By Mike Leone           

February 2, 2011             

(Hartford, OH)…With Punxsutawney Phil emerging today at Gobbler’s Knob and predicting an early spring, some 100 miles to the northwest, officials at Sharon Speedway are hoping the world’s most famous prognosticating rodent’s proclamation comes true as the 2011 racing season is now less than two months away.   The 82nd anniversary season will get underway on Saturday, March 26 with the second annual “Springduro 150” Enduro event along with an open practice for all divisions.

While the March 26 event won’t include the track’s regular weekly divisions, Sharon has announced that all five divisional sponsors for the Saturday night “Steel Valley Thunder” program have been secured and two of the five for the biweekly “Friday Night Thunder” card have been signed.

Governor Insurance Agency of Vienna, Ohio will present the track’s headlining Big-Block Modified division.  Sharon Speedway is just one of two tracks in the region running the nation’s top Modified division on a weekly basis and the only track in Ohio to do so.  The Big-Block Modifieds will open their season on Saturday, April 9.  Two of their biggest events in 2011 will be the third annual Lou Blaney Memorial on Tuesday, July 12 and the 26th annual Russ King Memorial on Saturday, September 17, which ironically has the late Lou Blaney atop the all-time win list at five victories.

One of the most exciting announcements out of Sharon Speedway over the offseason has been the addition of the FASTRAK Late Models to the weekly card.  It’ll be the first time since 1989 that the Late Models have been a weekly attraction at the Hartford, Ohio oval.  Sponsoring the FASTRAK Late Models will be Barris Supply of West Middlesex, Pa.  Speaking of the Barris Family, 21-year-old Tyler Barris is looking forward to his third year of competition after a much improved sophomore campaign.  Sharon will be the site of four FASTRAK Northeast Touring Series events in 2011. 

The E-Mod division is coming off a stellar 2010 season as it led all divisions with the highest weekly car count.  Picking up the divisional sponsorship for this class for the first time is Ainsley 500 Heating & Cooling of nearby Cortland, Ohio.  Another stout year is expected for the E-Mods as several new racers have expressed a strong desire in running Sharon weekly.

The Stock Car division will have backing in 2011 from Gibson Agency.  The Stock Cars always features some of the most competitive racing and Sharon has typically drawn some of the region’s highest weekly car counts over the last decade.  Like the E-Mods, Sharon has been receiving a lot of interest in new competitors calling Sharon Speedway home in 2011.  The Stock Cars will be under the “open rules” format for the April 2 $1,500 to-win opener. 

The former Hobby Stock division has been renamed the Mini Stocks for 2011.  The front-wheel-drive four-cylinder division will have backing for the first time from Presidential Lawn Care of Austintown, Ohio.  This ever-growing division will begin its third season of competition at Sharon on April 2 with a big $300 to-win special.

Meanwhile, the “Friday Night Thunder” program will get underway on April 1.  It’ll be a big opening weekend for the Mod Lites, who will be featured in both the Friday night program and on the following day in STAR’s event.  Joe’s Radiator and Unitech Frame Straightening will present the Mod Lites in 2011.  The Sportsman Dwarf Cars will also be sponsored by Unitech Frame Straightening and Joe’s Radiator.   

Divisional sponsorship is available for the remaining three “Friday Night Thunder” classes including the Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Econo Mods, and the Micro Sprints.  If interested, please contact the office at 330-772-5481. 

There is a lot of interest in the new Outlaw Sprint Warrior division, which will bring together the former Green Flag/Limited Sprint division with the 305 Sprint Cars.  The Econo Mod division saw growth throughout its inaugural season in 2010 and that trend is expected to continue for the two-barrel class.  Sharon gives Micro Sprint racers in eastern Ohio and western Pa. their only Friday night option. 

“We’re really pleased with these great businesses that have stepped up to sponsor our divisions in 2011,” expressed second year GM Dave Willoughby.  “Race fans are loyal consumers so I urge everyone to support these great sponsors whenever you can.  We’re getting so much interest from racers in all divisions that I really expect a great season with strong car counts.  Believe it or not, registrations have already been coming in steady.”

Registration forms for the “Springduro 150” on March 26, the open Stock Car special on April 2, and the annual registration form for all divisions are available online at www.sharonspeedway.com and by clicking Driver Info and then Registrations.  Drivers are urged to complete these forms as soon as possible to save both time and money on opening night.

Stayed tuned for more information on Sharon Speedway in the coming weeks.  Sharon Speedway is owned by the Blaney, Weller, and Kirila Families and is a 3/8-mile dirt track located on Custer-Orangeville Road in Hartford, Ohio near the intersection of Routes 7 & 305.  For more information, check out the website at www.sharonspeedway.com or call 330-772-5481.  Become a fan of Sharon Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sharonspeedway and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sharonspdwy.



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