SHARON TO CLOSE OUT MONTH OF MAY ON SATURDAY WITH “STEEL VALLEY THUNDER” PLUS RUSH SPORTSMAN MODS
By Mike Leone
Hartford, OH May 28, 2014 Sharon Speedway was finally blessed with sunny and warm conditions last Saturday for the first time this season and is hopeful that trend continues for this Saturday night (May 31). The “Steel Valley Thunder” week five program as part of the 85th anniversary season will include another special appearance by RUSH Sportsman Modifieds along with the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m. The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars will have the night off.
The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will be back for the second time this season. The inaugural event on April 26 was won by Jordan Eck. Since then the Sportsman Mods have competed at both Lernerville and Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway with New York racer Adam Hilton victorious both times. Hilton finished third at the Sharon opener and currently leads the points. Former Sharon Big-Block Modified racer Ken Moy, Jr. is excited to make his debut in the class on Saturday.
Outside of a win by defending champion Jim Weller, Jr., the Kings have controlled DIRTcar Big-Block Modified competition to date winning three of the four features and holding down the top two spots in points. Two-time winner Rex King, Jr. has a slim two-point lead over his father in search of his first track championship. Weller though is only four points out of the top spot in third. Consistent Jim Rasey is the only non-King or Weller in the top five in fourth, and trails the young King by just 11. Jimmy Weller III is fifth in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points.
The car count has been on the rise in the RUSH Late Models each of the past two events with several new competitors making their way to the speedway. In fact, 26 different teams have participated to date, but it’s still defending champion Dennis Lunger, Jr. holding down the top spot in the Barris Supply points by one over 2012 champion Will Thomas III, who won his first feature of 2013 last Saturday night. Russ Byler has been impressive in his first full season in a Late Model after taking over the wheel of Terry Hoover’s #00H late last year and is in third in points. Sophomore Late Model racer Jamie Wrightsman is fourth ahead of “Futures Cup” driver Clay Ruffo.
One race after getting stopped by his good friend Mike Kinney, Joel Watson was back in victory lane last Saturday night for the third time in four races in the Modifieds. The Conneaut, Ohio speedster was able to extend his point lead to 34 over a tie between Kinney and Steve Dixon in the Summit Racing Equipment points. After a stellar 2013 in the Econo Mods, 13-year-old Jacob Eucker is coming off an impressive runner-up finish and is only five points behind Kinney and Dixon in fourth. Carl McKinney and Russ Dunn are tied for fifth.
The Econo Mods had last Saturday night off due to the TUSA Mod Lite special. They’ll return this Saturday anxious to compete again as they haven’t run since May 10. There’s yet to be a repeat winner as Jeremy Double, Steve Burns, Jr., and Tim Deutsch have all been victorious. Double, the defending champion, has a pretty comfortable 24-point advantage on George Vestal IV in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products point standings. Only seven points separate positions two through six with Ty Rhoades, Brian Foley, Jr., Jason Longwell, and Burns filling out those positions.
The Deforest Used Parts Mini Stock is another hotly contested championship chase. Defending champion Travis Creech has picked up where he left off from his rookie season winning three of the first four features; however, his DNF the other night has allowed Bill Fuchs to remain just one-point back. Fuchs, the division’s all-time winner and 2011 champion, has been held winless to date this season. Scott Gilliland, the division’s only other winner, is third over Jamie Maxwell and rookie Joe Campbell.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will again award six complimentary pit passes for the following week; a pair going to the hard luck driver in DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, a pair to a lucky driver in the division that competes first, and a pair to a lucky fan. Summit Racing Equipment will award $25 gift cards to the hard charger in the Modified, Stock Car, and Econo Mod divisions. Sweeney Chevrolet/Pace Performance will award $50, $25, and $25 certificates to the top three GM 602 crates in the Econo Mods that have been purchased through them or have secondary seals.
Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, drivers meeting at 6:20 and heat races slated for 7. Grandstand admission is $13 for those 14 and older. Kids 13 and under are free. Pit passes are $30. Parking is always free.
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 @SharonSpdwy.