Sharon Speedway

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CAUTION-FREE BIG-BLOCK MOD THRILLER TO RUDOLPH AT SHARON; 1ST WINS FOR MYERS (RUSH SPRINTS) & BISH (PRO STOCKS); GABRIELSON WINS IN ECONO MOD DEBUT
343
6/15/2024

6/15/2024

Sharon Speedway


CAUTION-FREE BIG-BLOCK MOD THRILLER TO RUDOLPH AT SHARON; 1ST WINS FOR MYERS (RUSH SPRINTS) & BISH (PRO STOCKS); GABRIELSON WINS IN ECONO MOD DEBUT

By Mike Leone

June 15, 2024

(Hartford, OH)…After hosting round six of Ohio Sprint Speedweek on Wednesday night, Sharon Speedway was right back in action on Saturday night for the first "Steel Valley Thunder" program of the season. Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane with exciting down to the wire wins were Erick Rudolph (Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds), Blaze Myers (Billy's Garage RUSH Sprint Cars), Curt J. Bish (Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks), and Joe Gabrielson (Whelen Econo Mods). It was Hovis Auto & Truck Supply and Cortland Mower Sales Night.

While the box score will show Erick Rudolph leading all 20 caution-free laps of the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modified feature, that certainly doesn't tell the story of what a tremendous race it was. In his season debut, Rudolph scraped and clawed his way through lapped traffic and held off a furious challenge by Rex King, Jr. and late charge by Garrett Krummert for the exciting victory. Rudolph earned $2,000 in an event sponsored by Autism Awareness, King Bros. Ready Mix Concrete, King's Sanitary Services, Russ King Racing, and Thermo Supply. The feature went non-stop in 6:24.977.

"I really didn't know what kind of lead I had," stated the 32-year-old Ransomville, NY racer. "I think the top came in a little better than I thought it did, and I had a rearview mirror full at the end. We were able to make some key passes in lapped traffic at the end. Every time we come to Sharon it's a memorable experience. I'd like to thank all of my sponsors on board and my crew for coming down."

Rudolph powered around Rick Regalski, Jr. at the start of the feature with King following in second, while Krummert quickly went eighth to fourth on the opening lap. Krummert then drove around Regalski for third on lap six. Lapped traffic came into play for Rudolph on lap eight and he'd have to deal with it through the remainder of the feature.

King closed the deficit on lap 12 and pulled alongside the leader on lap 14, but the following lap saw Rudolph open up some breathing room, while Krummert closed in on King. With two laps to go, Krummert closed in even more as a three-car race for the win would ensue. On the final lap, King ducked low heading into turn one and briefly had the advantage in between turns one and two; however, Rudolph slid up, hit the moisture on the cushion and the momentum propelled him back into the lead. Krummert then snuck under King for second racing off turn two.

Krummert charged hard but wasn't able to get quite close enough as Rudolph took the checkered flag first by 0.475 seconds as his fifth career win came in the Briggs Motorsports-owned, Stirling Lubricants/Highmark/Nationals Maintenance Contracting/Snyder Industries/United Steelworkers-sponsored #25. Krummert earned $1,200 for his runner-up finish. King, who was fresh off his 36th career Lernerville Speedway win on Friday night, was third after doing everything possible to get by the New York invader.

Will Thomas III started seventh and finished fourth. Pole-sitter Regalski dropped to fifth at the finish. Colton Walters was sixth in his season debut. Steve Feder had a good run in 7th after starting 12th. Jeremiah Shingledecker was eighth also in his first appearance. Ayden Cipriano, who won his first career Big-Block Modified race at the last show on June 1, went 15th to 9th. RUSH Sportsman Modified graduate and Big-Block Modified rookie, Jordan Ehrenberg, completed the top 10. Heat winners over the 20-car field were Krummert and Thomas.

Blaze Myers had fought some mechanical grelims in RUSH Sprint Car events throughout the region in 2024, but on Saturday night appeared to put those bugs behind him. Myers started sixth, took the lead on lap five, and drove a flawless race keeping John Mollick at bay to capture the 20-lap Billy's Garage feature victory. It was Myers' first Sharon win of the season and second overall on the Sunbelt Rentals Weekly Series circuit.

"Hopefully that's the end of it as we finally found our issue I believe," acknowledged the 20-year-old Franklin, Pa. racer. "When we pushed off I saw the top looked good. I tried to stay up there and keep my momentum up and be standing here and look what happened. I have to thank all of my sponsors, my dad, Curt Emings, but most importantly Ted and Cal Hull, who give me a hot rod. It's nice to drive something nice like this."

Kent, who was fresh off his first Sharon Speedway win in nearly 22 years on Wednesday night, went third to first on the opening lap. Kent raced side-by-side with Krummert, who was making his RUSH Sprint Car debut in a car owned by Kent! Krummert used the outside to take the lead racing off turn four on lap three. Myers, who had went sixth to third on the opening lap, then got by Kent for second on lap four.

A four-car race for the lead continued until Myers put a big slider on Krummert entering turn one, hit the moisture on the cushion and powered into the lead on lap five. Mollick started fifth, was fourth after lap one, and then passed Kent for third on lap six. It was three-wide for second on lap seven. Mollick continued his march to the front as he put a big slider on Krummert to grab second on lap eight.

Mollick faced a two-second deficit when he moved into the runner-up position. Lapped traffic came into play on lap 11 as Mollick cut into the lead. A caution for rookie Curt Emings with 14 laps scored was the only stoppage of the event. Myers was able to fend off Mollick in an excellent race to capture the victory by 0.991 seconds in the Ted Hull-owned, Billy's Garage/Kevin Hoffman Door/C&S Hilltop Hardware/Marco Auto Body/JI McCall Construction/JI's Place/Washington House/Linda's Lou Restaurant-sponsored #41. The win was Myers' third career in the division and fourth overall at the track as he also has one RUSH Sportsman Modified win.

Krummert was third for his second podium finish of the night. Making just his third career RUSH Sprint Car start and first at Sharon, 14-year-old Luke Mulichak was impressive running on the fence and went 11th to 4th! After leading the first two laps, Kent dropped to fifth at the finish. Veterans of many types of racing throughout the region in Brent Rhebergen and Bill Cunningham finished sixth and seventh respectively. Trent Marshall, Kevin Kaserman, and Amelia Clay completed the top 10. Heat winners were Myers and Mollick.

Sixth starting Curt J. Bish passed Scott Stiffler for the lead at the halfway point of the 20-lap Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stock feature then held off a late charge by Chris Schneider to capture his first win of 2024.

"I could hear someone and thought I saw his nose with one to go," explained the 40-year-old Cranberry, Pa. resident. "I thought 'do I go to the bottom and protect it or run the top where I know I'm pretty decent'. I didn't want to mess up my mojo so I just went for the top again. I saw him there again and it was pretty much a drag race. I had to use the bottom and middle to get to the lead. The middle was really good to me in (turns) one and two, while I could rotate through three and four about quarter throttle and maintain with him. I have to dedicate this win to my father. He's having some health problems right now and we're hoping he bounces back. He loves being here and watching everyone- especially me. I have to thank my car owner Bob Tarr, my crew, all of my sponsors, and everyone that helps- it's a huge effort. My aunt and uncle are in from Chicago and it's a blessing to be able to perform in front of them and all you fans."

Stiffler used the outside to charge into the early lead over Jonathan Davis and Jason Jones. Stiffler quickly pulled away from the field on lap three, while the battle was on for second. Bish was able to advance to fourth on lap six before a caution for Scott Malone. When racing resumed on lap seven, Bish went fourth to second. Bish and Stiffler went at it over the next three laps racing side-by-side with Bish making the winning move with a slide job in turn four to lead lap 10 just before the event's second and final caution.

Bish chose the outside for the double file restart and maintained his lead when racing resumed; meanwhile, eighth starting Paul Davis advanced to third. As Bish pulled away, the elder Davis challenged Stiffler for second as Schneider joined the battle making it a three-car race for runner-up. Schneider made the move on Davis on lap 14 then drove around Stiffler for third on lap 16.

With just four laps to go, Schneider found himself two seconds behind Bish, but quickly chopped into the lead every lap and was right on the leader with the white flag waving. Bish was able to thwart Schneider's challenges as he took the checkered flag first by just 0.240 seconds as his 12th career win came in the Bob Tarr-owned, Virgile Iron & Steel/Logan Cabin Family Restaurant/Pioneer Electric Supply/Allegheny Tool & Supply/Bish Heating & Cooling/Schaeffer Oil/Double E Landscaping & Fencing/Bernard's Electrical Services-sponsored #29.

Stiffler was third over Davis and seventh starting Steve D'Apolito. After battling for second early on, Jones and Jonathan Davis dropped to sixth and seventh respectively at the finish. Jamie Duncan went 16th to 8th and also earned the Performance Bodies $100 gift card for nosing out Larry Kugel by just 0.184 seconds. Troy DeZarn completed the top 10. Heat winners were Paul Davis and Bish.

Joe Gabrielson talked about retiring from racing following the 2023 season; however, the veteran UMP Modified racer decided rather than to quit to race weekly close to home in the Econo Mod division. That decision quickly paid dividends as Gabrielson went fourth to first in 10 laps and drove off to a winning debut in the 20-lap Whelen feature presented by Alcon Mechanical. Gabrielson became the 37th different winner all-time in the division.

"This is the relapse tour," joked the 36-year-old Bristolville, Ohio driver. "I had everything up for sale; we sold a motor and sold off all of my tire inventory; actually in the heat race I ran Jake Eucker's old tires. It's a 100% addiction and once you're in it, it's really hard to try and get out of. I always like to run the bottom, but anymore there's always a top. The car was very comfortable. I made some changes as with the Econo Mod motor we had to do some different stuff. It's wild I came out the first night and won! I have to thank my mom and dad for getting me started in racing and my wife and daughter over there. I never got to see my dad race- he quit before I was born. All I ever wanted to do was have a little one to be able to get in victory lane with me and that's what it's all about now. This is a family deal and that's why I kept going and went to this because it's 20 minutes from home."

With Jeremy Double starting on the outside pole, the consensus was he was the odds on favorite to become the division's all-time winner. After a side-by-side duel trading the lead with George Vestal IV, Double got by him for good following a restart on lap five. Gabrielson meanwhile raced into third on the restart then drove around Vestal in turn four for second on lap seven. Double's bid for his 22nd career ended when Gabrielson powered around him for the winning move at the halfway point.

Coleton Longwell, who had advanced to third, brought out the event's final caution with 11 laps scored. Back under green, Gabrielson quickly pulled away and opened up an advantage by lap 13. Seventh starting Andy Buckley snuck past Double for second on lap 17, but Gabrielson was long gone. Gabrielson added to his nine career UMP Mod victories with a commanding win by 3.546 seconds in his Big Ed's Tire Service/McCool's Graphics/Wedge Motorsports/MB Customs-sponsored #58.

After bringing out the caution running third with 11 laps scored, Longwell put on quite the show from the tail in the last nine laps. Longwell ripped the lip and made it all the way back to third after getting by Double on lap 19. Double dropped to a disappointing fourth over Vestal, who led laps 2-4. Completing the top 10 were Eric Wilson, Steve Haefke, Jr., Alex Siekkinen, Jeremy Holbrook, and Bryan Wagner. Holbrook advanced 10 positions from his 19th starting position to earn the $100 Summit Racing Equipment Hard Charger gift card. Vestal and Double won the heat races over the 19-car field.

Coming up next Saturday night (June 22) will be the season's first appearances by the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply UMP Modifieds and the HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds along with the return of the Billy's Garage RUSH Sprint Cars and the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m.

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds (20 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. 25-ERICK RUDOLPH[2]; 2. 29-Garrett Krummert[8]; 3. 165-Rex King Jr[3]; 4. 9-Will Thomas[7]; 5. 13-Rick Regalski Jr[1]; 6. 18-Colton Walters[5]; 7. 45-Steve Feder[12]; 8. 37MD-Jeremiah Shingledecker[4]; 9. 5C-Ayden Cipriano[15]; 10. JD57-Jordan Ehrenberg[10]; 11. 20P-Mike Kinney[6]; 12. 18JR-Mike Dougherty Jr[13]; 13. 60-Tom Holden[11]; 14. 25B-Steve Barr[9]; 15. 75-Jeff Miller[14]; 16. 17-Brad Deeter[16]; 17. 1X-Ryan Riffe[20]; 18. 8M-Macey Adamik[19]; 19. 11R-Brad Rapp[17]; 20. 74-Kevin Green[18]

Billy's Garage RUSH Sprint Cars (20 laps): 1. 41-BLAZE MYERS[6]; 2. 4J-John Mollick[5]; 3. 8B-Garrett Krummert[2]; 4. 55-Luke Mulichak[11]; 5. 9-Arnie Kent[3]; 6. 68-Brent Rhebergen[4]; 7. 44C-Bill Cunningham[1]; 8. 17-Trent Marshall[7]; 9. 13K-Kevin Kaserman[13]; 10. 16C-Amelia Clay[10]; 11. 23-Charlie Utsinger[8]; 12. 5Z-Zack Wilson[12]; 13. 1E-Curt Emings[9]. DNS: Brandon Blackshear (10).

Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks (20 laps): 1. 29-Curt J Bish[6]; 2. 55-Chris Schneider[5]; 3. 14-Scott Stiffler[2]; 4. 3-Paul Davis[8]; 5. 84-Steve D'Apolito[7]; 6. 81J-Jason Jones[4]; 7. 8-Jonathan Davis[1]; 8. 67J-Jamie Duncan[16]; 9. 0-Larry Kugel[14]; 10. 21-Troy DeZarn[13]; 11. 19N-Troy Norman[9]; 12. 51L-Brian Lacey[12]; 13. 13J-Jordan Perkins[3]; 14. 8C-Russ Coyne[11]; 15. 12M-Scott Malone[10]. DNS: Don DeZarn (12) & Dalton Gabriel (47).

Whelen Econo Mods presented by Alcon Mechanical (20 laps): 1. 58-JOE GABRIELSON[4]; 2. 965-Andy Buckley[7]; 3. 7-Coleton Longwell[5]; 4. 83-Jeremy Double[2]; 5. 4-George Vestal IV[1]; 6. 10-Eric Wilson[3]; 7. 39-Steve Haefke, Jr.[6]; 8. 21J-Alex Siekkinen[8]; 9. 9-Jeremy Holbrook[19]; 10. 56-Bryan Wagner[10]; 11. 71A-Don Watson[11]; 12. 4RJ-Robert Simmons[9]; 13. 12-Troy Pinch[12]; 14. B1-Buzz Seitz[14]; 15. C12-James Clay Jr[18]; 16. 37-Ryan Wisniowski[13]; 17. T4-Travis Lueckert[17]; 18. 44R-Gary Robinson[16]; 19. 89C-Travis Carothers[15].

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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