by Mike Leone
Hartford, OH August 6, 2019 After yet another successful Menards “Super Series” event last Saturday night featuring the “410” Sprint Cars, Sharon Speedway will do it all over again this Saturday night (August 10) for the annual “Bill Kirlia Memorial” on Kams Electric Service Night as part of the 90th anniversary season. The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars will be featured in their third of four straight appearances and they will be joined by the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods. Race time is 7 p.m.
Bill Kirila was one of the owners of Sharon with his brother Ron along with the Blaney and Weller Families when the track changed ownership in 2002. Kirila of nearby Brookfield, Ohio passed away after an extended illness on June 23, 2006 at the age of 68. He was a graduate of Brookfield Ohio School and went on to become the Vice President of Kirila Contractors. Each year, the “Bill Kirila Memorial” is held in remembrance.
The “410” Sprint Cars have put on six tremendous shows this year with Cole Duncan withstanding the challenges of Tony Stewart for the $3,000 FAST-sanctioned victory that came over an excellent field of 43 cars back on May 11. A.J. Flick then out-dueled George Hobaugh for the $3,000 non-sanctioned win on May 18. After 10 straight different winners, Dave Blaney ended the streak picking up the June 29 $3,000 win for his 30th career “410” victory at Sharon. Brother Dale Blaney then won his first “Lou Blaney Memorial” on July 6 in the $6,000 to-win All Star Circuit of Champions-sanctioned event. The “Buckeye Bullett” put the Blaney name in victory lane for the third straight race as he won a thriller over Dan Shetler and Chad Kemenah on July 27. This past Saturday saw Kemenah break into victory lane for the first time in 2019 out-dueling early leader Dan McCarron then Carl Bowser late for the $3,000 payday.
Last year, the “410” Sprint Car events had at least 29 cars present every night with eight different winners in eight events, while there’s been five different winners in six 2019 events with at least 29 cars on hand each night as well!
Saturday will utilize the hot lap/group qualifying format that has been used at all “Super Series” Sprint Car events the last two years. Two to three cars will qualify at a time only amongst their heat race group. The fastest four in each heat will be inverted with the top three redrawing plus the fastest transferring non-top three finisher if there are three heats or the top two plus the two fastest transferring non-top two finishers if there are four heats. The B main will be lined up heads up on heat race finishes. Heat and B main finish(es) will complete the 24-car starting lineup. Mufflers are not required and there are no registration or entry fees.
The Stock Cars continue to produce strong car counts with over full fields of cars each night allowing them to race for the $700 to-win purse structure. Curt J. Bish joined Chris Schneider as repeat winners in the Gibson Insurance Agency-sponsored division. On June 29, Bish ended a four-year winless drought, and on Saturday won for the second time in three races. Schneider meanwhile won the $2,000 2018 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up on May 11 then captured the July 27 show. Other winners this season include Bobby Whitling on May 18 when he ended a seven-year Sharon winless drought and Chris McGuire on June 8. Bish has taken over the points lead by two ahead of McGuire, the defending Gibson Insurance Agency champion. Shaun Hooks, Paul Davis, and Andy Thompson are third through fifth in points.
After a successful first of three Touring Series events that brought out 28 cars last Saturday night, the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will return for a weekly event on Saturday night. Garrett Krummert picked up the $600 special as he returned to victory lane for the second time this season in his first appearance since winning on June 8.
Rob Kristyak, also a two-time winner, entered the night as both the Tour and Sharon points leader, but that got derailed due to a hard heat race crash that ended his night. Kole Holden, who won his first feature in nearly years on July 27 since his 2017 championship season, is the new points lead. Holden leads Chas Wolbert, also a two-time 2019 winner, by 20 in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings with Kristyak just two more points back in third as Tony Tatgenhorst and Jacob Jordan complete the top five in points.
At the end of the night, the “Wheelman” Non-Winners race presented by Ohio Intra Express and C&R Tire will take place. To date there have been five different winners in six races. Cameron Nastasi was the most recent winner last Saturday night and has ascended to second in points as he trails Jacob Wolfe by nine. One-time winner, Amelia Clay, is third.
The Econo Mods finally had their first repeat winner of 2019 last Saturday night as Dustin DeMattia performed the honors. In fact, it was the second year racer’s second straight win! DeMattia can start no better than 12th in the feature on Saturday night as he looks for the hat trick. Other winners this season include Kyle Miller, who won his biggest career race worth $750 on May 11, Ty Rhoades the following week for the regular season opener, and Eric Wilson in an Elite Series event. With Rhoades MIA on Saturday, DeMattia has taken over the Summit Racing Equipment points lead for the first time in his career as he has a 19-point advantage on Rhoades. Andy Buckley is just two more points back in third over last year’s champion, Jacob Eucker, and veteran racer Gary Robinson.
Pits will be open throughout the afternoon on Saturday with pit passes going on sale at 4 p.m., while the main grandstands open at 5. Drivers meeting will be at 6:00 p.m. followed by Sprint engine starts at 6:15 and group qualifying at 6:30. Heat races are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $13, while senior citizens are $10. Patio seating upgrades are just $5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission. These can be reserved on race night in the track office. As always, children under 14 and parking are always FREE! Pit passes are $30. As a reminder, coolers nor outside food or beverages are not permitted.
Coming up on August 17 will be second and final appearance by the FAST Series for the “410” Sprint Cars in a $3,000 to-win, $300 to-start event. The Menards “Super Series” event will also include the rescheduled “Bickerstaff Cup” Series race #3 for the Outlaw Mods paying $1,200 to-win, the RUSH Sportsman Modified Touring Series for their “Manufacturers Night”, RUSH Sprint Cars, and Econo Mods. Race time is 7 p.m.
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. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sharonspeedway and follow us on Twitter @sharonspdwy.