ALL STAR SPRINTS COMING TO SHARON FOR OHIO SPEEDWEEK ON JUNE 24; BLANEY BROTHERS SET TO DEFEND HOME TURF
By Mike Leone
Hartford, OH June 13, 2014 The “410” Sprint Cars will be making their first of two appearances of the 2014 season at Sharon Speedway coming up Tuesday, June 24 when the All Star Circuit of Champions come to town for the 32nd annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek. The TUSA Mod Lites will also be on hand in a Mid-Atlantic regional event. Qualifying for Sprints will get underway at 6:30 p.m. followed by racing.
This year’s version of Ohio Sprint Speedweek will feature nine straight nights of racing at eight different speedways beginning at Attica Raceway Park on Friday night (June 20) with the Sharon event being stop #5 of the popular summer tradition. Sharon’s race will pay $5,000 to-win.
After a five-year absence, Ohio Speedweek returned to Sharon in 2010 as Tim Shaffer topped a 42-car field for the victory. In 2011 it was hometown favorite Dale Blaney winning the Sharon leg of Speedweek over a 45-car field for his 13th career win at the track. In 2012, in a stunning turn of events, local Brandon Matus came out victorious for his first career win with both the All Stars and at Sharon. Another strong field of 43 cars was on hand. Last year’s event was rained out before a car ever hit the speedway with some 40 cars in the pit area.
“Sharon has always played in an important part in Ohio Speedweek history,” explained fifth year GM Dave Willoughby. “Sharon was there at the beginning, and we’re happy once again to be part of this long-running tradition. We hope the fans and racers come out and support this great event so we can continue to host this event for years to come.”
Ohio Speedweek always draws in the best talent from the Midwest, western Pennsylvania, along with the All Star regulars, usually a few central Pa. cars, and always some surprises. In 2012, Tony Stewart appeared to have the race in hand until a flat tire in the late stages of the event. Three new faces at Sharon will be Australian James McFadden, Danny Dietrich of the PA Posse and Washington’s Austen Wheatley. McFadden is aboard the Joe Gaerte/Tim Norman #3G and already has a $10,000 All Star win at Fremont over Memorial Day Weekend! Dietrich has wins this year at Lincoln, Williams Grove, and most recently the $5,000 to-win “Dirt Classic” qualifier at Roaring Knob on June 1.
Earlier this season Dale Blaney reached a monumental milestone with 100th career All Star win eclipsing Kenny Jacobs’ prior all-time leading 99 victories. Dale will once again be racing with his brother Dave, who has confirmed his participation! The elder Blaney, a former World of Outlaw champion, has 27 career wins at Sharon. Like Dietrich, Dave won a Sprint Car event also this season at PA’s Roaring Knob on May 18!
Four-time All Star Champion Tim Shaffer has climbed the All Star win ladder as he sits in a tie for fourth all-time with 53 career victories. The Aliquippa, Pa. four-time Sharon winner has been shutout of victory lane with the All Stars this season in his new ride- the Bryan Grove #45.
Danny Holtgraver is one of the up and coming rising stars of Sprint Car racing. The Pittsburgh racer has three career wins at Sharon and has really stepped up his game the last few seasons with several major wins. Holtgraver won the last All Star race at Butler Motor Speedway in Michigan for his seventh career All Star win. He also has several wins locally at Lernerville Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park.
Former World of Outlaw racer, Jac Haudenschild, is running full-time with the All Star this year. “The Wild Child” won with the All Stars the last time they were at Mercer for his 27th career win with the Series. The Wooster, Ohio great owns four career wins at Sharon.
Like Haudenschild, Chad Kemenah is another Ohio racer that’s come off the road with the WoO to race with the All Stars and also has 27 career wins with the Series. Kemenah won four straight All Star titles from 2002-2005. The Alveda driver also owns five career wins at Sharon.
Other full-time All Star regulars Andrew Palker and Caleb Helms, while Lee Jacobs, Dean Jacobs, and Cole Duncan all run the All Star Ohio Region events. Lee Jacobs is driving for former racer Johnny Lewis of nearby Tallmadge, Ohio, and won the All Star event at Lernerville last month for his first career Series win.
Atop the all-time Sharon Speedway Sprint Car win list is Ed Lynch, Jr. The Apollo, Pa. driver has scaled back his operations the past four seasons running predominately special events only; however, recently won a weekly event at Lernerville Speedway for his all-time Lernerville Sprint leading 108th victory. Lynch is expected to be in the field looking to add to his 50-win mark.
Another top local looking forward to returning to Sharon is Jack Sodeman, Jr. The North Jackson, Ohio racer won back-to-back titles when the Sprints ran weekly at Sharon 2009 and 2010 and owns 12 career wins at the Hartford, Ohio oval.
The TUSA Mod Lites will be back for their second appearance of the season. On May 24, New York racer Derek Wagner topped a 25-car field in his first ever appearance at the speedway. The Mid-Atlantic regional event will pay $500 to-win. For more info, check out their website at www.t-usa.org.
Miss Area Auto Racing News 2014 and Ms. Motorsports 2014 runner-up, Lainey Reinard of Brookville, PA, will be making a special appearance to meet and greet the fans and racers. Reinard’s prior scheduled appearance on May 17 was rained out.
Tickets will go on sale at 4 p.m. Sprint warm-ups will take place at approximately 6:15 with qualifying at approximately 6:30 and racing to follow. Adult admission is $22. Kids 13 and under are always free. Pit passes are $35. Advance ticket holders will be able to gain access at 3 p.m. for preferred seating.
The “410” Sprint Cars will return for the sixth annual “Lou Blaney Memorial” on Wednesday, July 30 for another $5,000 to-win feature. The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds will also be on the card for a $2,000 to-win BRP Tour event.
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.