By Mike Leone
(Hartford, OH)…After ending Mother Nature’s four-race win streak last Saturday night by hosting the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Model event, Sharon Speedway will look to complete its second straight event this Saturday night (June 4). A sunny and 70-degree day is forecasted for the all open wheel show that includes Western PA Speedweek for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars, Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Whelen Econo Mods. Warmups will begin at 6:30 followed by qualifying and racing.
Cap Henry opened the season on April 30 winning the $6,500 All Star show for his second career Sharon win. Since then Mother Nature wiped out the “Super Series” Sprint Car events on May 7 and May 14 as well as the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car show on May 21.
Hopefully the bad weather is behind us as Sharon welcomes in round four of the revived Western PA Speedweek. Last year, central Pennsylvania invader Ryan Smith hounded race-long leader Carl Bowser before making the winning pass with six laps to go for his first career Sharon win. A big field of 38 cars were on hand. Smith also won at Lernerville to earn the Western PA Speedweek title and will look to defend that crown once again this week.
Other invaders expected to take on the regional talent include last year’s Tri-City Speedweek winner, Bradley Howard, central Pa. racer Anthony Fiore, New York driver Denny Peebles, and Texas’ Josh Baughman- a teammate of third generation Sprint Car racer Sye Lynch.
Western PA Speedweek features an $11,000 point fund with $3,000 going to the champion. The fastest qualifier will receive $250 from Knox Bakery. The hard charger will receive $200 from Knox Bakery. There will also be a $50 hard luck award, and one driver that has maintained perfect attendance in Speedweek will receive a free right rear tire.
The 2021 season at Sharon started off with nine different winners in the first nine “410” Sprint Car races before Bowser became the first repeat winner with the first two victories of his Sharon career. Bowser’s teammate, George Hobaugh, was one of the 2021 winners and led the first 28 laps of the April 30 feature in search of his first career All Star win before fading to fifth at the finish. Like Bowser, Hobaugh also owns two career Sharon victories. Dave Blaney’s 34 “410” victories at Sharon are the most amongst active racers.
The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sprint Car Series has only raced twice this year around the circuit with Blaze Myers winning the opener at Tyler County Speedway back on April 23 and Gale Ruth, Jr. at Dog Hollow on May 21. The RUSH Sprints will battle for a $20,000 Weekly Series Championship presented by Equipment Rental Options with $5,000 going to the 2022 champion.
For the second straight year, Terry Bowser Excavating is presenting all of the RUSH Sprint Car events at Sharon in 2022. There have been 17 RUSH Sprint Car events completed all-time at Sharon with nine different winners. Three-time Series Champion, Chad Ruhlman, leads the way with seven victories. Jarod Larson and Nolan Groves are two-time winners, while Andy Feil, Brian Ruhlman, Brian Woodhall, Jeremy Weaver, Rod George, and Steve Pedley each have one feature win to their credit.
The HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds finally ran their first Sharon show of the season last Saturday night and it was Tony Tatgenhorst winning the $700 special for his first career Sharon victory. This year is the ninth year of existence for the division, which has averaged over a full field of cars annually. If there are 24 or more cars, the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will compete for $550 to-win, $85 to-start this year.
With two-time Series Champion, Chas Wolbert, moving on to Big-Block Modifieds this year, the division is wide open. There have already been four different winners in four races around the circuit for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, who battle for the $3,500 to-win Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Weekly Series Championship. Saturday’s event is also part of the Wedge Motorsports “Route 7 Rumble” Series Championship between Raceway 7 and Sharon’s events.
The Whelen Econo Mods round out the four-division show on Saturday night. The Econo Mods joined the All Star Sprints at the April 30 opener, and it was Jeremy Double earning his 17th career win; however, haven’t been able to compete since. Double will look to go two-for-two on Saturday and inch closer to Brandon Blackshear’s all-time leading total of 21 wins in the division. If there are 24 or more cars, the Econo Mods will compete for $450 to-win, $80 to-start in 2022.
Summit Racing Equipment will present the hard charger award on Saturday night to the Econo Mod division. The driver that passes the most cars in the feature will receive a $100 Summit gift card. In the event of a tie, the tiebreaker will be the driver that finished highest in the feature.
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 2022 season, please bring the registration form with you completed http://sharonspeedway.myracepass.com/downloads/get.aspx?i=713060
Fans can not only experience viewing from the frontstretch and backstretch grandstands, but also from the infield fan zone, which includes concessions and restrooms. 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. Warmups for the “410” Sprints will be at 6:30 followed by group qualifying and racing.
Grandstand/fan zone admission for those 14 and over is $20. Patio seating upgrades are just $10 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 $35. As a reminder, coolers nor outside food or beverages are not permitted.
Western PA Speedweek “410” Sprint Car Payoff: 1. $3,000 2. $1,500 3. $1,000 4. $700 5. $650 6. $600 7. $550 8. $500 9. $450 10. $400 11. $390 12. $380 13. $370 14. $360 15. $350 16. $340 17. $330 18. $320 19. $310 20-24. $300. Tow/Non-Qualifiers $100.
There will be no racing next Saturday night (June 11); however, Ohio Speedweek for the Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars will make its annual stop at Sharon on Tuesday, June 14 for a $6,000 to-win event along with the Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars. Advance and reserved tickets are on sale https://sharonspeedway.simpletix.com/
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.