By MIKE LEONE
HARTFORD, OH – After two successful All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car events earlier this summer, the “410” Sprint Cars will make their third of four appearances during the 2017 88th anniversary season this Saturday night (August 12). The weekly Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, and Junior Sprints for kids will round out the “Steel Valley Thunder” program presented by Thompson Fab. Racing is set for 7 p.m. Adult admission is just $10.
The “Simon Yoder Memorial” will feature a 30-lap $3,000 to-win, $250 to-start feature event for the “410” Sprint Cars (complete payoff posted below). Drivers will draw for heat race starting positions. The top six drivers from the heat races (provided two or three heat races are run) will compete in a six-lap dash paying $150 to-win with a complete payoff that will determine the first three rows of the feature. The remainder of the lineup will be heads up from the heat races or B main finish. There will be no entry or registration fees. Standard local Sprint Car rules will be utilized. Mufflers and tethers are not required.
The “410” Sprint Cars have made two visits this season under the All Star Circuit of Champions sanction with Kyle Larson winning the Ohio Speedweek event on June 20 and Christopher Bell the “Lou Blaney Memorial”. The “410s” will return on September 8-9 for the “Apple Festival Nationals” in another $3,000 to-win non-sanctioned event.
With several tracks not running Sprint Cars on Saturday, the event has drawn interest from throughout the region. Dave Blaney will look to add to his 28 career “410” Sprint Car wins at the track. Leading the local contingent is Jack Sodeman, Jr. The North Jackson, Ohio driver won the last two championships when the Sprints last ran weekly in 2009 and 2010. Sodeman has 12 “410” wins at Sharon. Dan Shetler, the 2008 track champion, has been fast throughout the region this year and is expected to compete along with locals such as A.J. Flick, Carl Bowser, Sye Lynch, Dan Kuriger, Brandon and Brent Matus, Michael Bauer, and many more. Central Pa. driver, Bradley Howard, who has competed with the All Stars for much of the last two years has stated his intention to compete.
“We’ve had great success with our Sprint Car shows,” stated general manager Dave Willoughby. “Last year we were unable on a couple tries to get our non-sanctioned 410 Sprint show in, but had a great turnout in 2015. Looks like the weather should cooperate on Saturday, and this year we’ve added a second non-sanctioned show as part of the Apple Festival Nationals. We have to thank all of the contributors that allowed us to raise the purse in memory of Simon Yoder, while keeping the general admission price at just $10. We really hope both the fans and racers support this event so we can do more Sprint Car events in the future.”
Yoder was a longtime Sprint Car fan and supporter of several drivers over the years until succumbing to cancer. The following contributors have helped increase this payoff of this event: Jim Miller, Good Tire Service, BLR Trucking, Deems Logging, Bill Altman, Palmer Pools, Intense Fabrication, Don Book Trucking, Mitcheltree Bros. Logging & Lumber, Jake Yoder, and Nathan Exley.
The Stock Cars had last Saturday night off, while on July 29 Chris McGuire and Chris Schneider picked up wins for the Penn-Ohio Series events. Only three regular weekly events have been completed this season for the Stocks. McGuire won the season opener followed by Andy Buckley and Paul Davis won the last regular event clear back on June 10. Davis has an 11-point lead on Andy Thompson in the Gibson Insurance Agency standings. Mike Miller, Mike Clark, and Jamie Scharba are third through fifth.
The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds are coming off a big night where they had 29 cars in competition and received the highest pay structure. Ironically three drivers have won two events in a season marred by rain including point leader Kole Holden along with Chas Wolbert and Rocky Kugel. Wolbert is coming off the $800 make-up feature win from last Saturday night, while Holden meanwhile picked up a win Sunday at Eriez Speedway as he also leads the $3,000 to-win RUSH Weekly Series points. Holden has an eight-point lead on Wolbert, while Chelsie Kriegisch, Shayne Izzo, and Kyle Martell complete the top five in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings with just three nights of point events remaining.
Tyler Frankenberry was able to end Steve Haefke’s run of five straight wins in the Econo Mods. Frankenberry led all 20 laps of the Summit Racing Equipment feature event for his first career win. Haefke meanwhile had charged from 23rd to third as he appeared ready to content for a sixth straight win before spinning out. The defending champion has just a seven-point lead over Brandon Blackshear, who has one win this season. Zach Myers, Kyle Miller, and Mike Hillman are third through fifth in points.
After getting rained out on July 1, the Junior Sprints for kids will try and complete their second show of the season. Jordan Simmons won the first event, while Mike Lutz, Jr. won their debut at the 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals”. The Junior Sprints will also compete on Friday night, September 8 for the 2017 “Apple Festival Nationals”.
“410” Sprint Car Feature Payoff: 1. $3,000 2. $1,000 3. $800 4. $600 5. $550 6. $475 7. $425 8. $400 9. $350 10. $300 11. $280 12. $260 13-24. $250. $100 non-qualifier/tow.
“410” Sprint Car Dash Payoff: 1. $150 2. $125 3. $100 4. $75 5. $50 6. $50.
Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, Sprint Car warm-ups at 6:40, and racing at 7. Grandstand admission is $10 for those 14 and over. 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 13, parking, and camping is always FREE! Pit passes are $30. Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.
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.