By MIKE LEONE
HARTFORD, OH – After a successful opener last Saturday night for Tony Stewart’s All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars, Sharon Speedway looks to resume action this Saturday night (May 12) with the first Menards “Super Series” event. The FAST “410” Sprint Car Series, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods will complete the program on Miller Industries Night. Race time is 7 p.m.
With Sunday being Mother’s Day, all mothers in attendance will receive a complimentary sundae at the ice cream stand. It’s also Scout and Youth Sports Night with free attendance for those in uniform.
The FAST Series for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars will make their first of two appearances during the 2018 season on Saturday night highlighted by a 30-lap $3,000 to-win, $300 to-start feature (see complete payoff below). FAST has completed three events to date this season with Craig Mintz winning both Fremont races, while Byron Reed won last Friday night at Attica Raceway Park. FAST has 15 member racers in 2018 with Mintz leading the points over Cap Henry, Stuart Brubaker, Chris Andrews, DJ Foos, Broc Martin, Tyler Gunn, T.J. Michael, Jess Stiger, Adam Kekich, Duane Zablocki, Kelsey Ivy, Byron Reed, Brian Lay, and Max Stambaugh.
Saturday’s event will use Attica Raceway Park’s hot lap/group qualifying format that was used at last August’s “410” event with two to three cars qualifying 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.
Saturday will mark the second of 10 “410” Sprint Car events scheduled for the 2018 season. Last Saturday night, Aaron Reutzel topped a 43-car field for his first career All Star win and first ever at Sharon. The “410” Sprints next appearance will be on Saturday, June 2 for a $3,000 to-win Menards “Super Series” event that will also include the new non-wing RUSH Sprint Car Series. FAST will meanwhile return to Sharon on August 18 for another $3,000 to-win, $300 to-start event. For more information on FAST, check out their website at www.fastondirt.com, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FASTonDIRT, and follow them on Twitter @FASTseries.
After a rainout on April 28, the Stock Cars will attempt to get their season underway on Saturday night. After Mike Clark won three consecutive Gibson Insurance Agency titles (2013-2015), veteran Paul Davis not only put a stop to the streak in 2016 but repeated the feat in 2017. Davis is now up to 22 career Stock Car wins at the track, while Davis has 17; however, it’s still Steve D’Apolito leading the active win list. D’Apolito owns 32 career wins and four track championships at the Hartford, Ohio oval, and in recent years has been competing with a GM 604 crate engine. The Stock Cars should have strong fields of cars weekly getting tuned up for the $10,000 to-win Penn-Ohio “Steel Valley Pro Stock Nationals” on June 16.
The HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will attempt for the third time to kick-off their season as they begin their fifth year of competition at Sharon and fourth as a weekly division. Car counts have grown each year with an average count of 24 last year. Only on one night in each of the last two seasons has there been less than 20 cars. Greg Martin, Brandon Ritchey, and Kole Holden are past track champions. Top racers Alan Dellinger, Garrett Krummert, and Rob Kristyak will be new weekly competitors in 2018 along with several other newcomers like Tony Tatgenhorst, who raced at Sharon in Mod Lites, RUSH Late Models, and E-Mods.
The Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods opened their season last Saturday night as Brad Blackshear took the $500 top honors. Blackshear was the inaugural champion back in 2010 and then ended a near six-year winless drought at Sharon with his fifth career win on Saturday night. Defending two-time champion, Steve Haefke, was battling for the victory when he spun on the final lap.
FAST “410” Sprint Car Payoff: 1. $3,000 2. $1,300 3. $1,000 4. $775 5. $650 6. $550 7. $500 8. $450 9. $425 10. $410 11. $390 12. $375 13. $350 14. $325 15. $325 16. $320 17. $315 18. $310 19-24. $300. Non-Qualifiers/Tow $100.
Race teams can enter the pit area throughout the day. Pits will be cleared before 4 p.m. with pit passes going on sale at 4. Main grandstands open at 5 p.m. Drivers meeting will be at 6 p.m. Pill draw will close at 6:20 p.m. with warm-ups at 6:30 followed by racing at 7.
Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $15. Senior citizens 62 and over are $10. Discounted general admission tickets are available through the Warren and Massillon Menards stores. Patio seating upgrades are just $5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission. These can be purchased by calling the track office at 330-772-5481. As always, children under 14, parking, and camping is always FREE! Pit passes are $30. Pit passes for children 12 and under are $20. Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 19 for the annual FREE “Fan Appreciation Night” presented by Quick Lane with free grandstand admission for everyone. This will now be the opener for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds. The Stock Cars, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and Econo Mods will also be on the card.
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.