$3,558 TO-WIN "BILL GABRIELSON MEMORIAL" FOR UMP MODS HEADLINE SATURDAY'S "STEEL VALLEY THUNDER"; RUSH SPRINTS, RUSH MODS & ECONO MODS ALSO IN ACTION
By Mike Leone
August 16, 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Hartford, OH)…After Mother Nature claimed last Saturday night's show, great weather is in the forecast for this Saturday night's (August 19) "Steel Valley Thunder" program. The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply UMP Modifieds will headline the program in the "Bill Gabrielson Memorial" presented by A&MP Electric and EZ's Orangeville Tavern. Also on the card will be the Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Whelen Econo Mods. It's Integra Excavating Night. Group qualifying for the UMP Mods will get underway at 6:40 p.m. followed by racing.
The Hovis Auto & Truck UMP Modifieds will be making their third appearance of 2023 on Saturday night, but richest to date in the inaugural "Bill Gabrielson Memorial" as the 30-lap feature will pay $3,558 to-win and $385 to-start! The complete payoff is posted below. Gabrielson passed away in 2013 from cancer. Gabrielson owns 42 career wins at Sharon including 40 in the Semi-Late division, which is the most all-time. He was a three-time Semi-Late Champion (1977-1979) at Sharon and is in the Twin-State Auto Racing Club Hall of Fame.
In addition to the excellent payoff, the following bonuses have been posted: $358 to the fastest qualifier (FTM General Contracting & the Gabrielson Family), $158 to-win heat races (Gabrielson Family), $358 to-win dash with $258 for second, $158 for third, and $58 for fourth through sixth. (Gabrielson Family), $158 to the longest tow (Gabrielson Family), $158 to the feature hard charger (Gabrielson Family), $100 to the hard luck recipient (Spencer Motorsports), $100 to the driver pulling pill 58 (Spencer Motorsports), $58 to the 15th finisher (Twin-State Auto Racing Club), $50 to the leader on lap 5 (Spencer Motorsports), $50 to the leader on lap 8 (Spencer Motorsports), $50 for fifth on lap 5 (Jack Young Racing), and $50 for eighth on lap 8 (Jarrett Young Racing).
The fastest six qualifiers will transfer directly to the dash. Those six drivers will redraw for the starting lineup of the dash as that finish will determine the first six starting spots of the feature. All other drivers will transfer to the heat races, which will be lined up straight up on qualifying times. There is no entry fee. Saturday's event is also part of the "Local's Cup" Series with Raceway 7, Eriez Speedway, and Mercer Raceway.
Thus far this season, Bud Watson was victorious on July 22 for his first career Sharon Speedway victory. Watson became the 61st different winner all-time at Sharon between the former 1/2-mile and current 3/8-mile, and most recently Ty Rhoades won the August 5 event. Alan Dellinger is the division's all-time winner with 87 victories over active racer Joel Watson, who had 30 wins and is expected to be on hand.
In addition to EZ’s Orangeville Tavern and A&MP Electric being the presenting sponsor of the "Bill Gabrielson Memorial", thank you to the following sponsors for making the event possible: Gabrielson Motorsports, Paul Gabrielson Sr., Russ King Racing, Warren Diesel Performance, Razor Sharp Logistics, Gustavus Veterinary Service, Ady Excavating, Buckeye Construction, J&C Kustom Creations, Nathan Roman Financial Advisor, Mike Forney, Anita Carson, Darkside 6 Motorsports, Shoreline Truck Service, Jack Young Racing, Jarett Young Racing, Garrett Calvert Racing, Big Ed’s Tire Service, Showtime Restoration, Midway Garage Doors, King Bros. Ready Mix Concrete, Gina Santagata (In memory of Jim “Tugboat” Santagata), Benny Trask, and Buddy and Kim Starcher.
The Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars have made only four appearances at Sharon this season thanks to Mother Nature interfering on four occasions. Chad Ruhlman has won all four. The Erie, Pa. driver won the May 13 opener then won the May 25 $800 special as an undercard to the World of Outlaws Late Models. On June 17, Ruhlman won from 17th after a thrilling duel with Blaze Myers, and once again out-dueled Myers to win the $800 "Wednesday Night Thunder" event on June 28. The RUSH Sprints have had 22 or 23 cars for all four events this season. Ruhlman has won 13 of the 28 races run all-time at Sharon as the four-time Series champion currently leads RUSH $5,000 to-win Sunbelt Weekly Series Championship points. Around the circuit, Ruhlman has only won one of the last four races with Blaze Myers, who has one career Sharon win, capturing the last two events.
The HTMA/Precise Racing RUSH Sportsman Modified division has produced five different winners in six races as only Ben Easler has been able to repeat. The 2022 RUSH Weekly Series Champion won the season opener then returned to Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane on June 17. Ayden Cipriano, Garrett Krummert, JC Boyer, and most recently Rob Kristyak have also been victorious. Two-time track champion, Kole Holden, has won seven races around the circuit; however, is still searching for his first Sharon win of 2023. Cipriano leads RUSH's $3,500 to-win Weekly Series Championship, while Holden has a two-point advantage on Cipriano in the Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble" Series.
Rounding out the four-division program will be the Whelen Econo Mods, who have had four different winners in five races. 2019 champion, Dustin DeMattia, returned to the class and won the May 13 opener. Jeremy Double upped his all-time career win total to 19 following his $800 victory on May 27. Will Thomas III collected his ninth career win in the division on June 3. Jacob Eucker topped a season high 24-car field on July 29 then went back-to-back winning on August 5 for his 16th career win in the division. NOTE: Econo Mods MUST race in the Econo Mod division and are not permitted to race in the UMP Modified division on Saturday night.
Summit Racing Equipment will present the hard charger award to the RUSH Sprint Car division. The driver that passes the most cars in the feature will receive a $100 Summit gift card. In the event of a tie, the tiebreaker will be the driver that finished highest in the feature.
UMP Modified "Bill Gabrielson Memorial" Payoff: 1. $3,558 2. $1,158 3. $1,058 4. $958 5. $858 6. $758 7. $658 8. $558 9. $525 10. $500 11. $458 12. $425 13. $410 14. $400 15-24. $385. Tow/Non-Qualifier $100.
There is no Sharon registration fee. One-way driver radios are mandatory; channel 454.000. AMB/MyLaps transponders are required; rentals available for $25. If you have yet to register for the 2023 season, please bring the registration form with you completed https://www.sharonspeedway.com/downloads/get.aspx?i=785729
Fans can not only experience viewing from the frontstretch and backstretch grandstands, but also from the infield fan zone, which includes concessions and restrooms. Sharon is the only track in the area to have viewing from the unique infield perspective. There will be times throughout the night when fans can cross on the frontstretch back and forth.
Pit passes will go on sale at 4 p.m., while general admission opens at 5. Drivers meeting and pill draw will close at 6:15 p.m. Motor heat for the RUSH Sprints will be at 6:30 p.m. Group qualifying for the UMP Mods will be at 6:40 p.m. with racing to follow.
Grandstand/fan zone admission for those 14 and over is $15, while senior admission is $10. Patio seating upgrades are just $10 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission. These can be upgraded on race night at the track office. As always, children under 14 and parking are always FREE. Pit passes are $30. As a reminder, coolers nor outside food or beverages are not permitted.
Coming up next Saturday (August 26), the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds will return racing for $1,500 to-win. It'll also be the rescheduled "Ray's Race" presented by R&R Enterprises and Virgile Iron & Scrap for the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks paying $2,000 to-win, $150 to-start. The Whelen Econo Mods and the HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will round out the four-division show. Group qualifying for the Stocks will get underway at 6:40 p.m. followed by racing.
Then on Wednesday, August 30, it'll be the second installment of "Wednesday Night Thunder" presented by Cortland Mower Sales as the "410" Sprints will race for $4,000 to-win, while the Big-Block Modifieds return for $2,000 to-win.
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. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sharonspeedway and follow us on Twitter @sharonspdwy.
Article Credit: Mike Leone