Danny Dietrich becomes 5th different “410” Sprint Car winner in 5 races at Sharon in 2021 with 1st career Ohio Speedweek victory Tuesday against the 53-car All Star field; Back-to-back RUSH Sprint wins for Nolan Groves


Danny Dietrich becomes 5th different “410” Sprint Car winner in 5 races at Sharon in 2021 with 1st career Ohio Speedweek victory Tuesday against the 53-car All Star field; Back-to-back RUSH Sprint wins for Nolan Groves

By Mike Leone

June 15, 2021                   

(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway hosted round number four of Cometic Gaskets Ohio Speedweek presented by Hercules Tires on Tuesday night in the second of four appearances by Tony Stewart’s FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 during the 92nd anniversary season.  Scoring victories and celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Danny Dietrich-All Star Sprints and Nolan Groves-Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars.  A large crowd watched as 73 Sprint Cars filled the pits for the two-division program. 

Danny Dietrich out-dueled George Hobaugh on the opening lap and fended off All Star points leader Tyler Courtney for his first career Sharon Speedway win as he became the fifth different “410” Sprint Car winner in as many 2021 races.  Dietrich earned $6,000 in the 35-lap All Star feature for his first career Ohio Speedweek victory as well.

“You’re never owed anything in racing- you just have to keep digging,” explained the 33-year-old Gettysburg, Pa. racer, who lost one on the last lap to Cole Duncan on Saturday night at Fremont Speedway.  “We’ve been fast this whole week.  Man this feels good.  This one is for Derek (Snyder).  He’s our biggest supporter out here and this is his home track.  This is awesome.  Our goal was to come to Ohio and get one and compete for the (Speedweek) championship and by golly we’re doing!  It’s always good when the Posse can come to Ohio and get a win whether it’s me or someone else.” 

Dietrich was able to overtake May 15 Sharon winner, Hobaugh, for the early lead.  Courtney started in fifth and made his way to third on the opening lap.  Courtney ran down Hobaugh and was all over the western Pa. local on lap six, while Ian Madsen closed in making it a three-car battle for second on lap eight.  Courtney was finally able to dispose of Hobaugh on lap nine just before Dietrich caught traffic on the 10th circuit; meanwhile, seventh starting Justin Peck passed Madsen for fourth  Courtney then reeled in Dietrich, who was dealing with lapped traffic, on lap 11.

Kyle Larson, who won Monday’s Ohio Speedweek event at Wayne County Speedway from the 10th starting spot, once again was on the move.  Larson started eighth this time and cracked the top five on lap 19 when he dropped Madsen back another spot.  After 24 caution-free laps, action slowed for a spin by Cap Henry.  When green replaced yellow on lap 25, Larson continued to move forward taking the fourth spot from Hobaugh.

On lap 30, Dietrich once again caught lapped traffic, but then got a break when the event’s second and final caution was displayed for a spin by Cole Macedo.  That caution setup a five-lap dash to the checkered as Dietrich kept Courtney at bay to become the third new Sharon Speedway “410” winner in 2021 and the 167th all-time winner at the track.  Dietrich’s 14th career All Star win came in the Gary Kauffman-owned, Sandoe’s Fruit Market/Weikert’s Livestock/Pace Performance/Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC-sponsored #48.

“Tyler (Courtney) ran second and he’s been real good lately,” continued Dietrich.  “I know it rubbered up, but we were good all night long.  It was just when you needed to move down the race track in the feature.  It’s a technical track even when it rubbered up cause it’s so round.  It’s so easy if you don’t get down to miss the rubber and then you were in trouble.  I was working real hard on those lapped cars trying not to make a mistake then the yellow came out, they all went away, and Tyler was back on my bumper.  I just kept telling myself to hit the bottom and keep it tight on the tractor tires.”

Peck, who won  the May 1 All Star show for his first career Sharon victory, was third.  Larson came home fourth.  Hobaugh dropped to fifth.  Hunter Schuerenberg was sixth.  Cole Duncan raced from 18th to seventh just missing the hard charger.  Madsen dropped to eighth.  Local A.J. Flick was ninth with Australian Lachlan McHugh completing the top 10 in his first ever appearance.  After taking a provisional, Paul McMahan went 25th to 13th to earn the hard charger.

Schuerenberg set fast time overall against the 53-car field with a lap of 15.771.  Heat winners were Schuerenberg, Bill Balog, Courtney, Peck, and Hobaugh.  Rico Abreu was victorious in the C main, while Cory Eliason won the B main.  Hobaugh won his first career dash to earn the pole position, while Dietrich won dash number two to earn the outside pole.  The All Stars will return to Sharon on Saturday, July 10 for the “Lou Blaney Memorial” and Sunday, July 11 for Justin Snyder’s “Salute to the Troops”.

At the last Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Car feature at Sharon on June 5, 17-year-old Nolan Groves charged from the 12th starting spot to win his first career feature.  Ten days later, the 2020 Pace Performance RUSH Sprint Car “Futures Cup” Champion led all 20 laps of the feature for another $600 payday.  The victory also kept Groves atop the $5,000 to-win Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series points standings for RUSH.

“I didn’t know if we were going to get this one,” acknowledged the Sugar Grove, Pa. winner.  “Off the start, I could tell he (Arnie Kent) was right on me for awhile.  I hope we can keep the ball rolling- we have some speed right now.  I have to thank all of my great sponsors, the crew, and everyone that helps out during the week.”

Grove was able to race into the lead ahead of veterans Arnie Kent, Gale Ruth, Jr., and Chad Ruhlman.  Sixth starting Blaze Myers passed Ruhlman for fourth on lap two, but Ruhlman came back to retake the spot one lap later then got past Ruth for third on lap four.  That would be as far forward as Ruhlman would get as Ruth reclaimed third on lap six with Myers getting back to fourth on lap seven.

Meanwhile up front, Kent was pressuring Groves.  Kent would get under Groves on several occasions off turn four, and the two would be side-by-side down the frontstretch but every lap Groves was able to hold on.  On lap 13, Kent actually made the pass going into turn one, but slipped high allowing Groves to get back under the veteran to maintain his lead. 

On lap 16, Kent tried another move to take the lead, but it wasn’t successful as Myers slipped underneath Kent to steal second.  The event’s only caution was displayed with 16 laps completed for the #16c of Amelia Clay.  Myers, who is also 17, was unable to make a serious challenge over the final four laps as the Paul Beedle-owned, Coyote Performance Products/Tom Abbott Auctioneers/Spray Foam Options/Schuylers Service Center/Speedway Service Center/Kart Works-sponsored #25 took the win by 1.924 seconds.

Myers, who got upside down on Saturday night in his Pro Stock, recorded his career best RUSH Sprint Car finish in second for the former RUSH Sportsman Modified winner.  Kent was third over Ruth.  John Mollick raced from eighth to fifth.  Kevin Ruhlman, who flipped hard at the last show, had a solid run in sixth after starting 14th.  Kevin’s father Chad dropped to seventh at the finish.  Brad Blackshear was eighth over May 22 winner Rod George.  Tyler Newhart completed the top 10.  Heat winners over the 20-car field were Myers and Chad Ruhlman.

Coming up this Saturday night (June 19) will be a “Steel Valley Thunder” show featuring the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply UMP Modifieds for $1,000 to-win along with the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Whelen Econo Mods.  Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5.  Race time is 7 p.m.  General admission is $15.  Kids 13 and under are free.  Pit passes are $30.

All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars (35 laps, $6,000 to-win): 1. DANNY DIETRICH (Kauffman 48)  2. Tyler Courtney (Clauson/Marshall 7BC)  3. Justin Peck (Buch 13)  4. Kyle Larson (Silva 57)  5. George Hobaugh (40)  6. Hunter Schuerenberg (Vermeer 55)  7. Cole Duncan (22)  8. Ian Madsen (McGhee 11)  9. A.J. Flick (2)  10. Lachlan McHugh (Muth 101)  11. Buddy Kofoid (Clemens 5X)  12. Bill Balog (17B)  13. Paul McMahan (Clemens 5)  14. Tim Shaffer (Grove 28)  15. Cale Conley (3c)  16. Sye Lynch (42)  17. Cory Eliason (Rudeen 26)  18. Zeb Wise (10)  19. Cole Macedo (Brooks 28)  20. Kyle Reinhardt (Quakenbush 91)  21. Adam Kekich (5K)  22. Darren Pifer (23)  23. Cap Henry (Lane 4)  24. Lee Jacobs (Lewis 81)  25. Greg Wilson (w20).

DNQ for the feature: Carl Bowser (11), Jac Haudenschild (Abreu 22), Bob Felmlee (6), Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Hills 15H), D.J. Foos (Burmeister 16), Frankie Nervo (21N), Cale Thomas (Demyan/Rudzik 49x), Rico Abreu (24), Jordan Ryan (MAR Motorsports 25R), Tanner Holmes (18T), Brent Matus (33), Henry Malcuit (70M), David Kalb, Jr. (11J), Brandon Conkel (08), Duane Zablocki (9z), Skylar Gee (Coldren 07), Stuart Brubaker (35), Landon Lalonde (2L), Brett Brunkenhoefer (47), Ricky Peterson (2), R.J. Jacobs (18J), Garret Williamson (24), T.J. Michael (8M), Dan Kuriger (08), Brandon Matus (13), Brandon Spithaler (22), Chris Andrews (Kiser 23), Nate Dussel (1).

Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars (20 laps, $600 to-win): 1. NOLAN GROVES (Beedle 25)  2. Blaze Myers (43Jr)  3. Arnie Kent (18)  4. Gale Ruth, Jr. (McConnell 24)  5. John Mollick (Clever 14)  6. Kevin Ruhlman (23)  7. Chad Ruhlman (Engles 68)  8. Brad Blackshear (19)  9. Rod George (Hull 41)  10. Tyler Newhart (57N)  11. Andy Feil (Mahoney/Eckart 9J)  12. Joe Lockhart (58)  13. Ricky Tucker, Jr. (1T)  14. Amelia Clay (16c)  15. Bob Bland, Jr. (44)  16. Brian Hartzell (69)  17. Brandon Shughart (29)  18. Kevin Kaserman (13)  19. Calvin Clay (12c)  20. Brad Church (40).

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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Congrats to 7/24 winners Adam Kekich-410 Sprints, Chris McGuire-Stocks, Garrett Krummert-RUSH Mods & Will Thomas-Econo Mods