By Mike Leone
(Hartford, OH)…After two consecutive rainouts, Sharon Speedway is hoping Mother Nature cooperates this Saturday night (July 24) for the resumption of the 92nd anniversary season. The “Super Series” program presented by C&R Tire and Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will feature the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars racing for $3,000 to-win along with the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Whelen Econo Mods. Race time is 7 p.m.
Sharon has hosted seven successful “410” Sprint Car events with seven different winners in 2021! Justin Peck won the May 1 All Star show over a stellar 41-car field for his first career Sharon win. George Hobaugh returned to victory lane on May 15 over the 30-car field nearly three years after his first career Sprint win. Dave Blaney thrilled the hometown capacity crowd on May 22 winning his first World of Outlaws show in 24 years. Invader Ryan Smith won the Western PA Speedweek show over a 38-car field on June 5. Central Pa. star Danny Dietrich captured his first career Sharon and Ohio Speedweek victory over a huge 53-car field in the All Star-sanctioned event on June 15. Dale Blaney made a winning 2021 debut on June 26 driving Rich Farmer’s #29 to victory. And most recently, Spencer Bayston became the latest new “Lou Blaney Memorial” winner topping a 43-car field for the All Star show on July 10.
Will there be an eighth different Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Car winner on Saturday night? The “410” Sprint shows have averaged nearly 38 cars per night in 2021 at Sharon! A lot of top local talent are still looking for their first Sharon wins in 2021 including A.J. Flick, Carl Bowser, Sye Lynch, Brandon Spithaler, Brandon Matus, Michael Bauer, Adam Kekich, Dan Kuriger, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Dan Shetler and others.
Due to rain and some scheduled nights off, the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks have completed just three events this season and haven’t raced since the June 12 “Steel Valley Nationals”. Chris Schneider’s victory in the $10,000 event denied Curt J. Bish of starting the season off with three straight victories and his bid for two straight $10,000 “Steel Valley Nationals” wins. Bish, the 2019 track champion, has a nine-point edge on 2018 champion Chris McGuire, who appeared headed to victory on Saturday before tagging the fence and suffering a flat tire 10 laps from the finish. Chase Lambert, veteran Larry Kugel, and Coleton Longwell are third through fifth in points. The Stocks will race for the $700 to-win payoff on Saturday night if 24 or more cars are present.
The HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds return on Saturday night for their fifth 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. Chas Wolbert has won two features to date to lead the Sharon points by 10 over Justin Shea, who leads both the Weekly Series and “Route 7 Rumble” Series points. Tony Tatgenhorst, 14-year-old Ben Easler, and two-time champion Kole Holden complete the top five. At the most recent show on June 26, Jacob Wolfe captured his first career win and earned $500 with a full field of cars on hand.
Like the Sportsman Mods, the Whelen Econo have completed just four events in 2021. The Econo Mods were part of the opener on April 24 when Dennis Lunger, Jr. made his first ever start in the division a successful one winning over 17th starting Jeremy Double. Then on May 15 it was Will Thomas III capturing the win his first ever Econo Mod start. After a pair of runner-up finishes, Doubled cracked victory lane on June 5 for his 15th career win, which is tops amongst active drivers. Thomas returned to victory lane the last time the Econo Mods ran on June 26. That victory closed him to within 31 points of Double despite missing one event. Travis Creech, Nate Young, and rookie Vinnie DePizzo complete the top five in points.
There is no Sharon registration fee for any division. 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.
The pits will be open throughout the afternoon with passes going on sale at 4 p.m., while general admission opens at 5. Pill draw for the “410” Sprints will close at 6 p.m. with the other divisions at 6:15. Motor heat for the Sprints will be at 6:15 p.m. with “410” Sprint group qualifying at 6:30. Heat races will begin at 7 p.m.
Grandstand/fan zone 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 on Saturday, July 31 will be a “Steel Valley Thunder” program featuring the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply UMP Modifieds in a $1,000 to-win event plus the RUSH Sportsman Modified Touring Series, Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars, and the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks. Racing begins at 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.