|By Mike Leone
Hartford, OH-A big night is on tap this Saturday (August 12) at Sharon Speedway. The Super Late Models return for their final appearance of the 94th anniversary season. The Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks will compete in “Ray’s Race” presented by R&R Enterprises and Virgile Iron & Scrap. Also in action will be the Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars and the HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. It’s Stackhouse Construction of Orwell, Ohio Night. Qualifying will get underway at 6:30 p.m.
The Super Late Models return for the first time since Memorial Day weekend when the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Models competed in a three-day affair with Chris Madden winning two of the races and Ryan Gustin the other. Saturday’s non-sanctioned event will include a 30-lap feature paying $3,000 to-win, $300 to-start (complete payoff posted below). Hot lap/qualifying will be utilized to set the heat race lineups. The Hoosier LM20s, LM30s, LM40s along with the NLMT1-4 Tires will be permitted. The World of Outlaws droop rule will be in effect.
The Super Late Models have competed 418 times in the history of Sharon Speedway with 115 different winners over the course of dirt and asphalt and on the various sizes of the Speedway.
For the first time, “Ray’s Race” will take place at Sharon for the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stocks. “Ray’s Race” honors the late Ray Virgile of Oil City, Pa., who was a longtime supporter of auto racing in the region. The sixth annual event will pay $2,000 to-win, $150 to-start for the Gibson Insurance Agency Pro Stock division. The event is
There has yet to be a repeat winner in the five previous events. Past “Ray’s Race” winners include Andrew Gordon (2018 at Tri-City), Tim Bish (2019 at Mercer), Noah Brunell (2020 at Tri-City), Curt J. Bish (2021 at Tri-City), and Chris Schneider (2022 at Tri-City). Will there be a sixth different winner on Saturday!?
The only repeat winner in nine features at Sharon this season has been Tim Bish! Bish won the opener for his first career Sharon victory and also won the first twin feature on July 21. Jordan Perkins, Jackson Humanic, and most recently Cody Koteles have also been first time Sharon winners this season. Standouts Curt J. Bish and Chris Schneider won their first feature events of the season during the “Steel Valley Pro Stock Nationals”, while Jason Fosnaught ended a five-year winless drought winning one of the $3,500 features on July 22. And last Saturday night saw Bobby Whitling win his first of 2023.
The Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars have made four appearances at Sharon this season with Chad Ruhlman winning all four. The Erie, Pa. driver won the May 13 opener then won the May 25 $800 special as an undercard to the World of Outlaws Late Models. On June 17, Ruhlman won from 17th after a thrilling duel with Blaze Myers, and once again out-dueled Myers to win the $800 “Wednesday Night Thunder” event on June 28. The RUSH Sprints have had 22 or 23 cars for all four events this season. Ruhlman has won 13 of the 28 races run all-time at Sharon as the four-time Series champion currently leads RUSH $5,000 to-win Sunbelt Weekly Series Championship points. Around the circuit, Ruhlman has only won one of the last four races with Blaze Myers, who has one career Sharon win, capturing the last two events.
The HTMA/Precise Racing RUSH Sportsman Modifieds are back for the third straight week. The 10th year division has produced five different winners in six races as only Ben Easler has been able to repeat. The 2022 RUSH Weekly Series Champion won the season opener then returned to Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane on June 17. Ayden Cipriano, Garrett Krummert, JC Boyer, and most recently Rob Kristyak have also been victorious. Two-time track champion, Kole Holden, has won seven races around the circuit; however, is still searching for his first Sharon win of 2023.
Summit Racing Equipment will present the hard charger award to the RUSH Sprint Car 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.
Super Late Model Payoff: 1. $3,000 2. $1,300 3. $1,000 4. $750 5. $650 6. $550 7. $500 8. $450 9. $425 10. $400 11-13. $375 14-16. $350 17-24. $300. Tow/Non-Qualifiers $100.
Pro Stock Payoff: 1. $2,000 2. $1,000 3. $550 4. $450 5. $350 6. $250 7. $225 8. $215 9. $205 10. $200 11. $195 12. $190 13. $185 14. $175 15. $170 16. $165 17. $160 18-24. $150. Tow/Non-Qualifiers $75.
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 2023 season, please bring the registration form with you completed https://www.sharonspeedway.com/downloads/get.aspx?i=785729
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 at 4 p.m., while general admission opens at 5. Hot lap/qualifying will get underway for the Super Late Models and Pro Stocks at 6:30 p.m. followed by heat race action.
Grandstand/fan zone admission for those 14 and over is $15, while senior admission is $10. 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.
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.