By Mike Leone
(Hartford, OH)…The 40th annual Cometic Gasket Ohio Speedweek presented by Hercules Tires is set to make a stop at Sharon Speedway this Tuesday (June 14. The Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 will feature the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars along with the non-wing Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars on BALA Management Night. Warm-ups are slated for approximately 6:15 p.m. followed by qualifying and racing. The early outlook calls for sunshine and temps in the low 80s.
Tuesday will mark the second of four appearances by the All Stars at Sharon in 2022 as Tony Stewart’s Series will return for the “Sharon Nationals” September 2-3. Tuesday and the opening night of the “Sharon Nationals” will pay $6,000 to-win, while the finale will pay $12,000 to-win for the “Lou Blaney Memorial”. Tickets for all events are available at the following link: https://sharonspeedway.simpletix.com.
Ohio Speedweek will feature nine straight nights of racing with Sharon being stop number five on the grueling swing through the Buckeye State. A $12,000 points fund is on the line with $5,000 to the champion; $2,500 for second, $2,000 for third, $1,500 for fourth, and $1,000 for fifth. On behalf of Tony Stewart Store, a victory bonus will also be up for grabs during Ohio Sprint Speedweek: if a driver wins three or more events, an extra $1,000 will be awarded per win.
Also, the Mobile Bail Bounds “Bounty Hunter” Bonus will offer $1,000 if an eligible racer wins the feature or $150 to the highest eligible finisher. To be eligible, drivers must have competed in the June 4 Sharon show, compete primarily on the western Pa. and eastern Ohio circuit, and be a resident of those areas.
After a five-year absence, Ohio Speedweek returned to Sharon in 2010 as Tim Shaffer topped a 42-car field for the victory. In 2011, it was hometown favorite Dale Blaney winning the Sharon leg of Speedweek over a 45-car field. In 2012, in a stunning turn of events, local racer Brandon Matus came out victorious for his first career win with both the All Stars and at Sharon. Another strong field of 43 cars was on hand. The 2013 and 2014 events fell victim to Mother Nature.
In 2015, Dale Blaney won his second Speedweek race in three events at Sharon over another strong 42-car field. Bryan Clauson topped a 51-car field in 2016 winning his first career All Star race before tragically losing his life in a racing accident later in the summer. In 2017, Kyle Larson scored a popular win over a big field of 48 cars. Larson’s bid for two straight Sharon Speedweek wins failed when Christopher Bell made a late race pass to win in 2018 with 48 cars were on hand. The 2019 Speedweek show was rained. In 2020, the “Lou Blaney Memorial” and Justin Snyder’s “Salute to the Troops” events fell under Speedweek due to the COVID-19 pandemic as Cale Conley and Larson were victorious over the 39 and 38-car fields respectively. And last year, Danny Dietrich won his first career Sharon race topping a huge 53-car field.
Speedweek always brings a diverse field of competitors. Not only will the All Stars’ base of 12 full-time competitors be in action, but also racers from all over the US and Australia in addition to the stars of central Pa., Ohio, and locally. The average car count since Speedweek returned to Sharon in 2010 has been 45.2!
Sharon has only been able to complete two “410” Sprint Car events in 2022 due to Mother Nature. Cap Henry won the opener over the 41-car field of All Star Sprints, and last Saturday saw A.J. Flick end more than a three-year dry-spell by capturing the Western PA Speedweek event over the 33-car field.
The Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars will round out the two-division Sprint Car program on Tuesday night. The non-winged racers were finally able to hit the Hartford, Ohio oval last Saturday night as Ryan Fraley of nearby Brookfield won his first career Sprint Car race. A record 24 cars turned out for the fifth year division topping last year’s prior high car count of 23.
The RUSH Sprints have competed four times this year around the circuit heading into this weekend with three different winners. The only repeat winner is Gale Ruth, Jr. Teenager Blaze Myers has also been victorious. There have been 18 RUSH Sprint Car events completed all-time at Sharon with 10 different winners. Three-time Series Champion, Chad Ruhlman, leads the way with seven victories. Ruhlman is in search of his fourth $5,000 Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship in five years as he currently leads the points; however, is in search of his first win of 2022.
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.
Pit passes will go on sale at 3 p.m. with grandstands at 4. The All Stars drivers meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Sprint Car motor heat is scheduled for approximately 6 p.m. followed by warmups, Sprint Car qualifying and racing. Reserved and general admission tickets for those 14 and over is $25. Patio seating upgrades are just $10 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission. These can be reserved online https://sharonspeedway.simpletix.com/. Children under 14 and parking are always FREE. Pit passes are $35. As a reminder, coolers nor outside food or beverages are not permitted. A camping permit is $25 and must be reserved through the above ticket link.
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.