By Mike Leone
At the last Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Car feature at Sharon on June 5, 17-year-old Nolan Groves charged from the 12th starting spot to win his first career feature. Ten days later, the 2020 Pace Performance RUSH Sprint Car “Futures Cup” Champion led all 20 laps of the feature for another $600 payday. The victory also kept Groves atop the $5,000 to-win Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series points standings for RUSH.
“I didn’t know if we were going to get this one,” acknowledged the Sugar Grove, Pa. winner. “Off the start, I could tell he (Arnie Kent) was right on me for awhile. I hope we can keep the ball rolling- we have some speed right now. I have to thank all of my great sponsors, the crew, and everyone that helps out during the week.”
Grove was able to race into the lead ahead of veterans Arnie Kent, Gale Ruth, Jr., and Chad Ruhlman. Sixth starting Blaze Myers passed Ruhlman for fourth on lap two, but Ruhlman came back to retake the spot one lap later then got past Ruth for third on lap four. That would be as far forward as Ruhlman would get as Ruth reclaimed third on lap six with Myers getting back to fourth on lap seven.
Meanwhile up front, Kent was pressuring Groves. Kent would get under Groves on several occasions off turn four, and the two would be side-by-side down the frontstretch but every lap Groves was able to hold on. On lap 13, Kent actually made the pass going into turn one, but slipped high allowing Groves to get back under the veteran to maintain his lead.
On lap 16, Kent tried another move to take the lead, but it wasn’t successful as Myers slipped underneath Kent to steal second. The event’s only caution was displayed with 16 laps completed for the #16c of Amelia Clay. Myers, who is also 17, was unable to make a serious challenge over the final four laps as the Paul Beedle-owned, Coyote Performance Products/Tom Abbott Auctioneers/Spray Foam Options/Schuylers Service Center/Speedway Service Center/Kart Works-sponsored #25 took the win by 1.924 seconds.
Myers, who got upside down on Saturday night in his Pro Stock, recorded his career best RUSH Sprint Car finish in second for the former RUSH Sportsman Modified winner. Kent was third over Ruth. John Mollick raced from eighth to fifth. Kevin Ruhlman, who flipped hard at the last show, had a solid run in sixth after starting 14th. Kevin’s father Chad dropped to seventh at the finish. Brad Blackshear was eighth over May 22 winner Rod George. Tyler Newhart completed the top 10. Heat winners over the 20-car field were Myers and Chad Ruhlman.
Coming up this Saturday night (June 19) will be a “Steel Valley Thunder” show featuring the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply UMP Modifieds for $1,000 to-win along with the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Whelen Econo Mods. Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5. Race time is 7 p.m. General admission is $15. Kids 13 and under are free. Pit passes are $30.
Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars (20 laps, $600 to-win): 1. NOLAN GROVES (Beedle 25) 2. Blaze Myers (43Jr) 3. Arnie Kent (18) 4. Gale Ruth, Jr. (McConnell 24) 5. John Mollick (Clever 14) 6. Kevin Ruhlman (23) 7. Chad Ruhlman (Engles 68) 8. Brad Blackshear (19) 9. Rod George (Hull 41) 10. Tyler Newhart (57N) 11. Andy Feil (Mahoney/Eckart 9J) 12. Joe Lockhart (58) 13. Ricky Tucker, Jr. (1T) 14. Amelia Clay (16c) 15. Bob Bland, Jr. (44) 16. Brian Hartzell (69) 17. Brandon Shughart (29) 18. Kevin Kaserman (13) 19. Calvin Clay (12c) 20. Brad Church (40).
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.