By MIKE LEONE
HARTFORD, OH – 2018 Sharon Speedway will kick-off the final full month of racing for the 89th anniversary season this Saturday night (August 4) with another Menards “Super Series” event. The annual “Bill Kirila Memorial” will feature the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods on Ritenour Equipment and Sawtelle Tree Night. Race time is 7 p.m.
Bill Kirila was one of the owners of Sharon with his brother Ron along with the Blaney and Weller Families when the track changed ownership in 2002. Kirila of Brookfield, Ohio passed away after an extended illness on June 23, 2006 at the age of 68. He was a graduate of Brookfield Ohio School and went on to become the Vice President of Kirila Contractors. Each year, the “Bill Kirila Memorial” is held in remembrance.
After a month hiatus, the “410” Sprint Cars return for their first of three straight Saturday night appearances paying $3,000 to-win, $250 to-start for their 30-lap feature. There has yet to be repeat winner in the five events contested thus far this season as Aaron Reutzel, Christopher Bell, and Dave Blaney were victorious in the All Star-sanctioned events, while Chad Kemenah and Sye Lynch captured the $3,000 non-sanctioned victories. Will there be a sixth different winner on Saturday night!? A strong field of local and regional talent is expected.
“We’ve had some tremendous Sprint Car races this year,” said General Manager Dave Willoughby. “The support from both the fans and racers have been great and we hope that continues throughout the remainder of the season. We’ve had great feedback from the fans about how good the racing has been with many returning after several years of absence. With the support being so good, we’ve decided to run a complete $3,000 to-win program for the Sprints on Saturday night of the Apple Festival Nationals this year.”
Saturday will again utilize the hot lap/group qualifying format that was used on the prior two Menards “Super Series” Sprint Car events. Two to three cars will qualify at a time only amongst their heat race group. The fastest four in each heat will be inverted with the top three redrawing plus the fastest transferring non-top three finisher if there are three heats or the top two plus the two fastest transferring non-top two finishers if there are four heats. Heat and B main finish(es) will complete the 24-car starting lineup. Mufflers are not required and there’s no registration or entry fee.
After not completing a race for the Stock Cars until the June 16 “Penn-Ohio Steel Valley Nationals”, the weather has cooperated of late allowing the Gibson Insurance Agency-sponsored division to complete three events since the division’s opener. Two of the four events completed were Penn-Ohio shows with Brent Johnson taking $10,000 on June 16 and Andrew Gordon $1,000 last Saturday night. Those two events were show-up points only. The two regular events saw winners Jason Fosnaught and Gordon both earn $700 checks with the high car count. Chris McGuire has a five-point lead over four-time track champion, Steve D’Apolito, in the track standings. Curt J. Bish, Fosnaught, and Mike Clark are third through fifth in points.
It’s been a very competitive season for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. The HTMA/Precise Racing Products-sponsored division has produced five different winners in six races as only Garrett Krummert has been able to repeat. Four of the five winners captured their first ever Sharon RUSH Sportsman Mod wins. Blaze Myers, Chas Wolbert, Jeremy Weaver, and most recently Josh Deems have also been victorious in addition to Krummert. The GM 602 crate engine division continues to draw solid car counts and has only dipped under 20 cars on two occasions over the past three years. For the second straight week, Krummert maintains a 20-point lead over Josh Deems. Defending champion, Kole Holden, has been consistent despite being shutout of victory lane as he currently sits third over Wolbert. Weaver and Kyle Martell are tied for fifth.
The Econo Mods have produced some great racing in recent weeks with Dwayne Clay and Ty Rhoades earning victories. For Rhoades it was career first. And like the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, only one driver has been able to repeat this season- that being Jacob Eucker. With his victory, Rhoades has shot into the Summit Racing Equipment point lead as he has just a five-point advantage over Steve Haefke, who is after his third straight title. Haefke though has yet to win a feature after putting up big numbers in recent years. Eucker dropped from first to third in points, but is only eight points out of the lead. Brian Toto and Mark Titus are fourth in fifth in search of their first career Sharon wins.
As a reminder on Saturday for the Stock Cars, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and Econo Mods, if 24 or more cars are present then the highest purse structure will be offered, and if there are 32 or more cars a non-qualifier will be run.
Pits are open throughout the afternoon on Saturday with pit passes going on sale at 4 p.m., while the main grandstands open at 5. Drivers meeting will be at 6:10 p.m. Pill cutoff and Sprint engine motor heat is at 6:20 p.m. with Sprint qualifying at 6:40 and heat races are at 7.
Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $13. Patio seating upgrades are just $5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission. In order to reserve either of these ahead of time, call the office Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 330-772-5481. As always, children under 14 and parking are always FREE! Pit passes are $30. Pit passes for children 12 and under are $20.
An identical show to Saturday’s will be held next Saturday (August 11) for another Menards “Super Series” event on Cam’s Electric Night.
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.