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DANNY DIETRICH WINS OHIO SPEEDWEEK AT SHARON FOR THE 2ND TIME IN 3 TRIES WORTH $5K WITH FAST 410 SPRINTS; RUSH SPRINTS TO ARNIE KENT FOR THE 1ST TIM
738
6/12/2024

6/12/2024

Sharon Speedway


DANNY DIETRICH WINS OHIO SPEEDWEEK AT SHARON FOR THE 2ND TIME IN 3 TRIES WORTH $5K WITH FAST 410 SPRINTS; RUSH SPRINTS TO ARNIE KENT FOR THE 1ST TIM

By Mike Leone

June 12, 2024

(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway returned to action on Wednesday night hosting round six of the 42nd annual Ohio Speedweek for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply "410" Sprint Cars presented by Bala Management in a FAST on Dirt Series-sanctioned event. Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Danny Dietrich (FAST "410" Sprint Cars) and Arnie Kent (Billy's Garage RUSH Sprint Cars. Seven-two cars filled the pit area for the two-division Sprint Car only program on Diehl Automotive Night.

In 2021, Danny Dietrich captured his first career Sharon Speedway victory part of Ohio Speedweek sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions. On Wednesday night, Dietrich led all 30 caution-free laps of the feature to become the fifth different winner in as many Ohio Speedweek events (Fremont's feature was rained out) this year! Dietrich earned $5,000 for his fifth career Ohio Speedweek win overall in the first FAST-sanctioned event at Sharon since 2019.

"I didn't even feel good at the beginning," acknowledged the 36-year-old Gettysburg, Pa. standout. "The full load of fuel back there makes you feel kind of crappy. I felt slow and it just slows down so fast. I decided to move around a bit. I didn't feel like I had a big lead, but didn't hear anyone. Eventually I got to watching (Tim) Shaffer and he was walking away from me on the bottom and middle. A couple times I rolled the middle and the car felt pretty good. I finally moved down and felt like if anyone drove around me they would have to be pretty good. We love to coming to Sharon and love coming to Ohio Speedweek. This is a really feel good moment for the team. I want to thank you fans for coming out and my sponsors. We've had a long week and my guys have put in a lot of hours."

Dietrich drew the pole for the feature and raced into the lead over defending FAST Series Champion and local hot shoe, Brandon Spithaler, while Scotty Thiel went fifth to third. Australian Brock Hallett passed Thiel for third on lap two and by lap five the top three of Dietrich, Spithaler, and Hallett began to pull away. Hallett pressured Spithaler for the runner-up spot on laps 8-10, but was unable to make the pass.

Eyes began to shift to Zeth Sabo, who was riding the fence from his eighth starting spot. Sabo cracked the top five on lap 10 then drove around Dale Blaney for fourth on lap 11 before getting into the fence the following lap, which allowed Blaney to regain fourth. Dietrich caught lapped traffic on lap 13 before an incredible battle for third erupted just prior to the halfway point as Hallett was trying to hold off Dale Blaney, Sabo, and Dave Blaney. Dale Blaney and Sabo both raced past Hallett for third and fourth respectively on lap 15.

Back up front, Dietrich began to pull away from Spithaler and the battle for third just past the halfway point. Dave Blaney worked his way by Sabo for fourth on lap 23; meanwhile, Dave's younger brother, Dale, snuck under Spithaler for second on lap 24.

Sixth starting Dale Blaney cut into Dietrich's lead in the final laps, but the margin was too great as Dietrich's second career Sharon win came by 1.619 seconds in the Gary Kauffman-owned, Sandoe's Fruit Market/Derek Snyder's Self Made Racing/Weikert's Livestock/York Excavating/Drop of Ink Tattoo-sponsored #48.

Spithaler kept 10th starting Dave Blaney at bay for third. Cap Henry was 5th after starting 9th. Completing the top 10 were Sabo, Hallett, Cale Thomas, Thiel, and 17th starting Jordyn Charge. Henry set fast time overall against the 55-car field in qualifying with a lap of 15.479. Heat winners were Spithaler, Dietrich, Dave Blaney, Thomas, and Thiel, while the last chance B mains went to Craig Mintz and Tim Shaffer.

Veteran Sprint Car racer, Arnie Kent, finally captured his first career Sharon RUSH Sprint Car feature win and first victory at the track in nearly 22 years! Kent drove around fellow veteran John Mollick on lap five and pulled away for the $800 Billy's Garage feature victory in a race that was slowed just once for a caution. Kent, who had never finished better than third at Sharon in his 21 prior RUSH starts at the Hartford, Ohio oval, became the fourth different RUSH Sprint Car winner in four races on the 2024 Sunbelt Rentals Weekly Series circuit.

"I've been trying for several years to get one here," acknowledged the soon-to-be 60-year-old New Castle, Pa. driver. "We had a good car at the end of last year and it carried over to this year. The car was sticking really good and I could pretty much drive everywhere I wanted. Once I got in front, I got to the bottom and just stayed there. This means a lot for these guys; they work hard and it takes an army to run one of these things. We stayed up late last night and did some work to it and it all paid off."

Kent started fourth and drove by Charlie Utsinger and Gale Ruth, Jr. for second at the start of the 20-lap feature. Kent was all over Mollick on laps 2-5. Typically it's Mollick up top and Kent on the bottom, but the roles were reversed on this night as Kent made the outside work nipping Mollick at the start-finish line to lead lap five. Sixth starting Brandon Blackshear made it a three-car race for the lead on lap seven before Kent began to pull away on lap nine.

Kent caught lapped traffic on lap 15 before the event's only caution for a spin by rookie T.J. Rosario with 17 laps completed. Kent was able to keep Mollick at bay over the final laps as he took the checkered flag first by 0.831 seconds in the Jack Mahoney-owned, Burkhardt Sheet Metal/Bucket of Suds Car Wash/Brazen Contracting/Big G's Portable Toilets-sponsored #9.

Kent became the 13th different driver to win a RUSH Sprint Car race at Sharon as the victory was the second of his career overall at Sharon as he also owns one "410" Sprint Car victory back on August 3, 2022! It was also Kent's first RUSH Sprint Car win on the circuit since winning a pair of events during the inaugural 2018 season.

In fact, none of the top four finishers had ever won a RUSH Sprint Car event at Sharon including Mollick in second, sixth starting Brandon Blackshear in third, and Brent Rhebergen in fourth. Rhebergen came from the 10th starting spot in his first ever Sharon RUSH Sprint Car race and earned the $100 Summit Racing Equipment Hard Charger gift card. Rounding out the top 10 were Bill Cunningham, Utsinger, Amelia Clay, Joe Buccola, and Billy Myers. Mollick and Ruth won the heat races.

Coming up this Saturday night (June 15), the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds will make their second appearance of the season for $2,000 to-win and will be joined by the Billy's Garage RUSH Sprint Cars, Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks, and the first appearance of the season by the Whelen Econo Mods. Race time is 7 p.m.

Ohio Speedweek for the FAST on Dirt Hovis Auto & Truck Supply "410" Sprint Cars presented by Bala Management (30 laps, $5,000 to-win): 1. DANNY DIETRICH (Kauffman 48) 2. Dale Blaney (Barris 32B) 3. Brandon Spithaler (22) 4. Dave Blaney (10) 5. Cap Henry (Ward 33w) 6. Zeth Sabo (Farmer 29) 7. Brock Hallett (5AU) 8. Cale Thomas (Kiser 23) 9. Scotty Thiel (73) 10. Jordyn Charge (V60) 11. Ricky Peterson (2) 12. Skylar Gee (99) 13. Chris Verda (3V) 14. Greg Wilson (w20) 15. A.J. Flick (2) 16. Riley Goodno (22) 17. Tim Shaffer (Demyan/Rudzik 49x) 18. Travis Philo (5T) 19. Creed Kemenah (15K) 20. Craig Mintz (09) 21. Dan Kuriger (08) 22. Nate Dussel (1) 23. Max Guilford (79) 24. Dylan Norris (17).

DNQ for the feature: Trey Jacobs (McClure 9), David Kalb, Jr. (11J), Joel Myers, Jr. (Hayward 19), Conner Morrell (28M), Adam Kekich (5K), Glenn Styres (0), Jeremy Weaver (McMillin 5), Devon Borden (Grove 45), Sterling Cling (34), Carl Bowser (11), Zane DeVault (Lane 4), Reese Nowotarski (10x), Tyler Gunn (68G), Logan McCandless (29), Henry Malcuit (70), Danny Sams III (24D), Michael Bauer (46), Brett Brunkenhoefer (47), Leyton Wagner (38), John Jerich (3), Chris Myers (25), Dusty Larson (47), Stuart Brubaker (35), Cody Bova (20B), Natalie Brannon (8), Chase Metheney (31c), Danny Smith (4), George Hobaugh (40), Kalib Henry (Running Boxer Farm 101), Cameron Nastasi (99), Jake Hesson (5J).

Billy's Garage RUSH Sprint Cars (20 laps, $800 to-win): 1. 9-ARNIE KENT[4]; 2. 4J-John Mollick[1]; 3. 10-Brandon Blackshear[6]; 4. 68-Brent Rhebergen[10]; 5. 24-Gale Ruth Jr[2]; 6. 44-Bill Cunningham[5]; 7. 23-Charlie Utsinger[3]; 8. 16C-Amelia Clay[8]; 9. 5B-Joe Buccola[9]; 10. 43SR-Billy Myers[12]; 11. 29-Brandon Shughart[15]; 12. 17-Trent Marshall[11]; 13. 13K-Kevin Kaserman[13]; 14. 1E-Curt Emings[14]; 15. 17M-CJ McClintock[16]; 16. 48T-TJ Rosario[17]; 17. 41-Blaze Myers[7].

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 X (formerly known as Twitter) at www.twitter.com/sharonspdwy.


Article Credit: Mike Leone

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