By Mike Leone

(Hartford, OH)…The 83rd anniversary season at Sharon Speedway came to a close on a chilly Saturday night with the Super Late Model/Open Stock Car Shootout that was postponed from April 21. A sharp cold front came through Friday night that dumped a lot of rain and dropped the temperature some 20 degrees, but the skies cleared late in the morning and the track crew got the speedway into shape, which featured record breaking speeds. Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane was Keith Barbara in the Kennedy Motorsports ULMS Late Model Series.
Despite overheating in the late stages of the event, Keith Barbara decided to stick it and stay on the speedway and it paid off as he led all 30 laps of the $3,000 to-win Super Late Model feature in the division’s only appearance of the season. The event was sanctioned by the United Late Model Series (ULMS) for the first time ever and brought a strong field of 31 cars in their next-to-last event of the season. Only Dick Barton, Chub Frank, and Boom Briggs were prior Sharon winners as the event marked the 404th Super Late Model event in the speedway’s history.

“I was overheating so much and was just peddling it the last seven laps,” explained the South Park, Pa. driver. “I was going to pull off because the three grand doesn’t pay my motor expenses, but I’m glad I stayed out. You guys kept working on the track all night and it turned out pretty good at the end there. I could see the scoreboard and I knew the 37-car (Jared Hawkins) started pretty deep in the field. This is a good Series. It’s a little north for us, but the people that run it are good people and we enjoy racing with them. I have to thank everyone that helps me out.”
Barbara drew the pole position and took off in the lead with September 23 McKean County Raceway winner Rich Gardner, Briggs, Dave Hess, Jr., and Doug Eck in tow. The first caution was displayed with three laps completed for Doug Drown, who jumped the cushion and found the turn four wall.. When racing resumed, Hess got a great restart passing both Briggs and Gardner for second.

Barbara had opened up a half-straightaway lead when he caught lapped traffic on lap eight. Hess was able to run down Barbara and was right on the leader on lap 13, before Jared Miley and Ken Schaltenbrand tangled in turn four to bring out caution number two. This time on the restart, Hess jumped the cushion allowing Gardner back by with eighth starting Chub Frank now up to third. Briggs and 20th starting Jared Hawkins were also able to get by for fourth and fifth before Garrett Krummert spun to bring out the caution with 13 laps scored.

Hawkins continued his progression forward taking fourth from Briggs in turn two on lap 14, while Frank passed Gardner for second. The battle then focused on the third position as Gardner tried to fend off Hawkins and Briggs; meanwhile, Frank began to close in on Barbara with 10 laps to go. Hawkins put a slider on Gardner in turn four on lap 23 to take third just as Gardner got into the fence necessitating the race’s final caution with 23 laps scored.
It was under caution that Barbara showed signs of smoke and contemplated exiting the event, but he decided to finish it out and ran the final seven non-stop laps uncontested for the most part winning by 1.029 seconds in his #17 over World of Outlaw racer Chub Frank. Barbara became the 105th different Super Late Model winner in the history of the speedway.

Frank just barely edged out Hawkins by 0.055 seconds! It was sure an impressive performance by Hawkins, who got to the speedway late and missed hot laps. He then got caught up in an accident in turn one on lap one of his heat and was forced to start at the tail of the B main, which he transferred and made his way forward in the feature.
Briggs edged out Hess for fourth. Drown came back from his early spin to finish sixth as Dutch Davies, Greg Oakes, Miley, and Brent Rhebergen rounded out the top 10. Briggs, Barbara, and Eck won the heat races. Drown captured the B main and set a new Late Model track record with a lap of 15.037.

The Kennedy Motorsports ULMS Late Model Series concludes their 2012 season this Friday and Saturday at Hesston Speedway in part of their “Championship Weekend”. The two day event at Hesston will see a possible $14,044 available for one driver, with Friday night’s Moonsault Scramble paying $4044 to win and Saturday’s “Ultimate”paying $10,000. Approximately 80 late model entries have pre-entered for this mammoth event.

ULMS Super Late Models (30 laps, $3,000 to-win): 1. KEITH BARBARA (17) 2. Chub Frank (1*) 3. Jared Hawkins (Lake 37) 4. Boom Briggs (99B) 5. Dave Hess, Jr. (44) 6. Doug Drown (63) 7. Dutch Davies (40) 8. Greg Oakes (22) 9. Jared Miley (H1) 10. Brent Rhebergen (07R) 11. Scott Gurdak (Briggs 99G) 12. Charles Powell, Jr. (94) 13. Jason Dupont (No7) 14. Chris Hackett (33) 15. Rich Gardner (Tobber 1G) 16. Doug Eck (03) 17. Garrett Krummert (29) 18. Jim Rasey (32) 19. Ken Schaltenbrand (29) 20. Chuck Parker (72) 21. John Garvin, Jr. (J4) 22. Terry Porter (32) 23. Tom Bateman (B8) 24. Mike Blose (5) 25. Billy Dickson (32)-DNS 26. Matt Lux (21)-DNS DNQ: Tom Shaffer (47), Damon Haught (33c), Chris Schneider (55), Dick Barton (Lacki 14B), Tyler Dietz (35).
Kennedy Motorsports Heat #1
Boom Briggs, Dave Hess Jr., Jim Rasey, Dutch Davies, Greg Oakes, Scott Gurdak, Doug Drown, Matt Lux, Chris Schneider, Tyler Dietz, Tom Bateman

Lias Tire – American Racer Tire Heat #2
Keith Barbara, Rich Gardner, Chub Frank, Billy Dickson, Charles Powell, Chuck Parker, Terry Porter, Damon Haught, Dick Barton, Garrett Krummert

Hoosier Tire Mid Atlantic Heat #3
Doug Eck, Ken Schaltenbrand, Chris Hackett, Jared Miley, Brent Rhebergen, Jason Dupont, Tom Shaffer, Mike Blose, John Garvin, Jared Hawkins

Jay’s Auto Wrecking BMain:
Doug Drown, Terry Porter, Jared Hawkins, Mike Blose, Matt Lux, Garrett Krummert, John Garvin, Tom Bateman, Tom Shaffer (DNS), Damon Haught (DNS), Chris Schneider (DNS), Dick Barton (DNS), Tyler Dietz (DNS)