Hartford, OH – While showers washed out several Ohio speedways on Saturday night, Sharon Speedway finally wasn’t one of them as the first “Steel Valley Thunder” program of the 2017 season was completed after three straight rain out. Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane on Mark Thomas Ford Night were Rex King-Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds, Jacob Hawkins-Renegades of Dirt Modifieds (9/17/16) make-up, Joel Watson-E-Mods, Chris McGuire-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Zach Myers-Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, and Jordan Simmons-Junior Sprints. It marked just the second completed event in five tries during the 88th anniversary season.
Third starting Rex King took the victory in the season opening 25-lap Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modified feature. The veteran Bristolville, Ohio five-time champion fended off Garrett Krummert, Dave Murdick, and his son Rex, Jr. as the top four cars were separated by just 1.282 seconds! The victory for King was his 52nd career at Sharon, which is tops on the active driver win list, and came in the KMB, Inc.-owned, King Bros Ready Mix Concrete/King Sanitary Service/RKR/University Hospitals/Midway Garage Doors/RD Banks/Hunyady Auction/Campbell’s Indoor Gardening-sponsored #65. Completing the top 10 were Jim Weller, Australian Peter Britten in Jimmy Weller’s #23, Rick Regalski, Jr., Chris Haines, Jim Rasey, and Skip Moore. Heat wins went to Moore and King over the 18-car field.
Jacob Hawkins made the long tow up from Fairmont, West Virginia pay off as he led wire-to-wire in the 25-lap Renegades of Dirt Modified make-up feature from the 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals”. Hawkins first ever Sharon win was worth $3,000 and came in a Rocket XR1 trial chassis for 2 Brothers Motorsports. Hawkins became the 52nd different driver to win an E-Mod race in the history at Sharon. Dan Davies was 2.604 seconds behind Hawkins in second. Ken Schrader was third as Carl McKinney, Joel Watson, Matt Lux, Jeff Johnson, Jeremy Double, Mike Kinney, and Casey Bowers rounded out the first 10.
In the regularly scheduled 25-lap E-Mod program, Joel Watson tracked down Matt Lux and made the winning pass with four laps to go. Watson pulled away over the final laps to win by 1.994 seconds over Lux. The win was the 27th of the 38-year-old Conneaut, Ohio driver’s career at Sharon and came in the Northwest Restoration/Zimmer’s Service Center/Close Racing Supply/955 Automotive-sponsored #92. Schrader was third for the second time of the night as Kinney, Davies, Josh Ferry, Shawn Shingledecker, Gary Eicher, Ken Zimmer, and Larry Kugel completed the top 10. Heat wins over the 20-car field went to Schrader and Kinney.
Chris McGuire started 11th and survived a caution-filled 20-lap Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car feature for his first career win at Sharon. With a full field of 24 cars on hand, the 26-year-old Erie, Pa. driver earned $700 in his Welders Supply/Beacon Lubricants/H&K Donuts-sponsored #63c. Jamie Scharba, who started alongside McGuire in 12th, finished just 0.793 of a second behind the leader. Mike Miller, Hunter Exley, and defending track champion Paul Davis were third through fifth. Heat victors were Scharba, McGuire, and Curt J. Bish.
After being close on several occasions last year, Zach Myers finally was able to nail down his first career Sharon win in the 20-lap Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mod feature. Myers started second and basically controlled the event from start-to-finish winning by a comfortable 3.010 seconds over Brandon Blackshear- the division’s all-time winningest driver. The 19-year-old Knox, Pa. driver became the 26th different winner in the history of the division as his win came in the Les Myers-owned, Sligo Auto Salvage/Don Hartzell Motors/ Bubba’s Racing Supply-sponsored #1M. Kenny Meadows, defending track champion Steve Haefke, and Mitchell Wright were third through fifth. Haefke and Tyler Frankenberry copped the heat race wins over the 19-car field.
The Junior Sprints made their first appearance of the season and second ever as Jordan Simmons picked up the win. Luke Mulichak was second over Mike Lutz, Jr., who won the first ever event last September during the “Apple Festival Nationals”. Jaren Dye and Mason Canter were fourth and fifth.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds (25 laps): 1. REX KING (65) 2. Garrett Krummert (29) 3. Dave Murdick (61) 4. Rex King, Jr. (165) 5. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 6. Peter Britten (Weller 23) 7. Rick Regalski, Jr. (13) 8. Chris Haines (35H) 9. Jim Rasey (32) 10. Skip Moore (17M) 11. Will Thomas III (9) 12. Shawn Kozar (3K) 13. Bob Warren (96B) 14. Clyde Gumpp (51) 15. Erik Martin (29E) 16. Colton Walters (18) 17. Rod Laskey (Haines 35R) 18. Rob Kristyak (00)-DNS.
Renegades of Dirt Modifieds 9/17/16 make-up (25 laps, $3,000 to-win): 1. JACOB HAWKINS (13) 2. Dan Davies (71D) 3. Ken Schrader (9) 4. Carl McKinney (Hendrickson 6M) 5. Joel Watson (92) 6. Matt Lux (21) 7. Jeff Johnson (27) 8. Jeremy Double (83) 9. Mike Kinney (Porter 20P) 10. Casey Bowers (20) 11. Brandon Blackshear (10) 12. Kevin Miller (4M) 13. Gary Eicher (29) 14. Ken Zimmer (62) 15. Bob Williamson (93) 16. Jacob Eucker (64)-DNS 17. Bob Diver (23)-DNS 18. Rich Michael, Jr. (17x)-DNS 19. Jeff Hassay (10)-DNS 20. Rich Jaeger (5)-DNS 21. Dan Sasso (21s)-DNS.
E-Mods (25 laps): 1. JOEL WATSON (92) 2. Matt Lux (21) 3. Ken Schrader (9) 4. Mike Kinney (Porter 20P) 5. Dan Davies (71D) 6. Josh Ferry (33) 7. Shawn Shingledecker (54S) 8. Gary Eicher (29) 9. Ken Zimmer (62) 10. Larry Kugel (27C) 11. Casey Bowers (20) 12. Ed Wilson (33) 13. Jeff Hassay (10) 14. Brent Rhebergen (07R) 15. Jeff Johnson (27) 16. Jeremy Double (83) 17. Al Brewer (71) 18. Carl McKinney (Hendrickson 6M) 19. Bob Williamson (93)-DNS 20. Jacob Hawkins (13)-DNS.
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (20 laps, $700 to-win): 1. CHRIS MCGUIRE (62) 2. Jamie Scharba (11S) 3. Mike Miller (T6) 4. Hunter Exley (23H) 5. Paul Davis (3) 6. Andy Thompson (5) 7. William Hurrelbrink (c8) 8. Mike Clark (7) 9. Curt J. Bish (Tarr 29) 10. Michael Hudzik (31H) 11. Brian Carothers (02c) 12. Jacob Billyk (4) 13. Troy Norman (Gower 19N) 14. Jamie Maxwell (6) 15. Jamie Gibbs (98) 16. Richard Chess, Sr. (56c) 17. Troy DeZarn (21D) 18. Mike Kerr (25K) 19. Jamie Duncan (67J) 20. Brad Shaffer (77) 21. Steve Allison (1BAD) 22. Brian Lacey (51) 23. Bobby Robinson (34R) 24. Jim Flaherty, Jr. (95)-DNS.
Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods (20 laps): 1. ZACH MYERS (1M) 2. Brandon Blackshear (10) 3. Kenny Meadows (Christopher 2JR) 4. Steve Haefke (29) 5. Mitchell Wright (m11) 6. Ty Rhoades (12R) 7. Mike Hillman (29) 8. Kyle Miller (15) 9. Brian Toto (8B) 10. Mark Titus (25) 11. Dan McEwen (44) 12. Wayne Daniels (4) 13. Jeff Mundell (11) 14. Buzz Seitz (1) 15. Tyler Frankenberry (38) 16. Keith Felicetty (98) 17. Tommy Davis (32) 18. Matt Alexander (77)-DNS 19. Josh Ferry (Ferringer 02)-DNS.
Junior Sprints: 1. JORDAN SIMMONS (13) 2. Luke Mulichak (18L) 3. Mike Lutz, Jr. (86) 4. Jaren Dye (40D) 5. Mason Canter (88) 6. Austin Randall (36) 7. Blaine Schlechty (25).
Sharon Speedway will return to action with a “Saturday Night Live” program on Saturday, May 27 for Warren Diesel Performance Night featuring the Big-Block Modifieds, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Stock Cars, and Econo Mods. Power wheels races will be held for kids at intermission. Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5 and racing at 7.
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.