By Mike Leone
(Hartford, OH)…After the season’s second cancellation last Saturday night, Sharon Speedway is ready to resume racing action this Saturday night (June 5) with warm and dry weather predicted as the 92nd anniversary season rolls on. The “Super Series” program will feature Western PA Speedweek for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars along with the Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Whelen Econo Mods on Buck’s Fabricating and Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Night. Kids bike races will be held at intermission. Race time is 7 p.m.
Leading Saturday’s program will be the “410” Sprint Cars in the return of Western PA Speedweek after a 20-year absence. Sharon will be stop number four of the five-night swing through western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. Each night will pay $3,000 to-win, $250 to-start. The fastest qualifier will receive $150 with a $200 hard charger award each night. There will also be a $7,500 point fund with $2,500 going to the champion paying down 10 positions presented by Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants and Bova Excavating plus other perfect attendance awards.
Some 17 drivers have committed to running the entire Speedweek including Texan Josh Baughman, central Pennsylvania’s Ryan Smith and Bradley Howard along with local stars Sye Lynch, A.J. Flick, Brandon Spithaler, Carl Bowser, Jack Sodeman, Jr., and others.
Sharon has hosted three ultra-successful “410” Sprint Car events in 2021. Justin Peck won the opener on May 1 sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions that paid $6,000, which attracted 41 cars. The May 15 show was non-sanctioned and saw George Hobaugh score his second career win, worth $3,000 and came over a 30-car field. The World of Outlaws returned to Sharon on May 22 after a 14-year absence and Dave Blaney captured the storybook $10,000 victory.
After an exciting win during the May 22 World of Outlaws program by 61-year-old Rod George, the non-wing Pace Performance RUSH Sprint Cars will return for their second appearances at Sharon presented by Terry Bowser Excavating. The RUSH Sprints have competed four times this year around the circuit with four different winners. Besides George, Gale Ruth, Jr., Chad Ruhlman, and Kevin Ruhlman have also been victorious.
There have been seven different RUSH Sprint Car winners in 10 races run all-time at Sharon. Still Chad Ruhlman, the 2018 and 2019 RUSH $5,000 champion, is the only driver with multiple victories at four. Chad is in search of his third $5,000 Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship in four years; however, currently Rod George sits atop the points chase.
The HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds return for their third show of the 2021 season. Drivers will not only be battling for Sharon points, but also the $3,500 to-win Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Weekly Series and the $1,000 to-win Wedge Motorsports “Route 7 Rumble” Series Championship. Wolbert, who won the May 1 opener at Sharon, currently leads all three point standings. Garrett Krummert won the last time out for the RUSH Mods at Sharon on May 15. Justin Shea, who won at Pittsburgh on May 22, is second in all three points. If 24 or more cars are on hand, RUSH Mods will be competing for the $500 to-win increased payoff.
The Whelen Econo Mods will look to complete their third show on Saturday night. The Econo Mods were part of the opener back on April 24 when Dennis Lunger, Jr. made his first ever start in the division a successful one winning over 17th starting Jeremy Double, who is the division’s all-time active leading winner at 14. Then on May 15 it was Will Thomas III capturing his first ever Econo Mod win in his first start with Double once again coming home in second. After two races, Double, who was the 2013 and 2014 champion, leads the way over cousins Nate and Jarrett Young. Veterans racers Andy Buckley and Butch Lambert, who have both run many divisions over the years, are fourth and fifth in the standings.
There is no Sharon registration fee. One-way driver radios are mandatory; channel 454.000. AMB/MyLaps transponders are required; rentals available for $25. If you have yet to register for the 2021 season, please bring the registration form with you completed http://www.sharonspeedway.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/RegistrationFormSharon2021.pdf
Fans can not only experience viewing from the frontstretch and backstretch grandstands, but also from the infield fan zone. The fan zone, which includes a concessions and restrooms, debuted in 2020 during the COVID-19 shortened season. Sharon is the only track in the area to have viewing from the unique infield perspective. There will be times throughout the night when fans can cross on the frontstretch back and forth.
“410” Sprint Car Payoff for Western PA Speedweek: 1. $3,000 2. $1,100 3. $800 4. $650 5. $550 6. $500 7. $450 8. $425 9. $400 10. $375 11. $350 12. $325 13. $300 14. $275 15-24. $250.
Pits will be open during the afternoon with passes going on sale at 4 p.m. General admission tickets will go on sale at 5 p.m. The drivers meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Sprint pill cutoff is 6 p.m., while the other divisions’ pill draw will close at 6:15. Sprint Car motor heat is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. followed by group qualifying for the “410” Sprints at 6:30 and heat races at 7.
Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $15. Patio seating upgrades are just $5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission. These can be upgraded on race night at 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 next weekend will be the third annual “Steel Valley Pro Stock Nationals” sanctioned by the Penn-Ohio Series. Friday night (June 11) will include open practice, qualifying, and a King of the Hill. Saturday’s program will be a complete show for the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks paying $10,000 to-win along with the Sportsman Dwarf Cars. Then on Tuesday, June 15, Ohio Speedweek for the All Star Circuit of Champions will be at Sharon for $6,000 to-win along with the Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars.
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.