By MIKE LEONE
HARTFORD, OH – Despite storms initially in the forecast throughout the afternoon and evening, skies cleared mid-afternoon on Saturday and allowed Sharon Speedway to complete the second straight night of racing after back-to-back rainouts. The Menards “Super Series” event on Armed Forces Night presented by Kams Electric saw Dave Blaney-Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars, Curt J. Bish-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Eric Wilson-Elite Series for the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, and Chas Wolbert-HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds celebrate in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane. Also, Tony Tatgenhorst won RUSH’s “Wheelman” Non-Winners race presented by Ohio Intra Express and C&R Tire.
After competing with the All Star Circuit of Champions full-time in 2018, Dave Blaney has run a reduced schedule in 2019 picking and choosing events across the Eastern United States. On Saturday night, it was some good old fashioned home cooking for Blaney, who prepped for next Saturday’s “Lou Blaney Memorial” by leading the final 23 laps of the “410” Sprint Car feature for his first win of 2019. The $3,000 victory was milestone win number 30 at Sharon in the “410” division moving him into a tie with George Bischoff for second on the all-time win list. Blaney also became the first repeat “410” Sprint Car winner after 10 straight different winners dating back to last season.
“We haven’t been here this year and had a free night so it was great to come out here and run and hopefully it works out next week too,” explained the 56-year-old Concord, NC resident. “I thought the track was nice. You could run clear at the top or clear at the bottom and kind of anywhere. Cole Duncan is really, really good on this type of a race track so that was a good test against him and good win beating him. I’d like to thank all of the racers and fans for coming out- it was a fun night.”
After an end over end flip by Jake Hesson, who was making his first career Sharon start, Carl Bowser used the outside to power to the early lead over Blaney, while Cole Duncan passed T.J. Michael for third, and 10th starting A.J. Flick flew into fourth after one lap. By lap three, the top four of Bowser, Blaney, Duncan, and Flick began to pull away from the field. Bowser caught lapped traffic on lap six as Blaney closed in; however, on lap eight, Bowser got too high racing off turn two and clipped the fence. Bowser then rode the fence partially down the backstretch before suffering a flat tire and bringing out the caution.
When racing resumed on lap eight with Blaney as the new leader, eighth starting Dan Shetler found the bottom to his liking as he moved from sixth to fourth on the restart. Shetler continued to run the bottom as he drove under Flick for third on lap 10. As Shetler tried to close in on the front duo, Blaney caught lapped traffic on lap 14 with a half-straightaway lead. Chad Kemenah, who started 14th, was on the move as he put a big slider on T.J Michael to crack the top five on lap 17.
The event’s final stoppage occurred with 18 laps scored when Brandon Matus caught the fence racing off turn two and got upside down. Thankfully everyone missed him and he was okay. On lap 20, Kemenah continued to move forward as he passed Flick for fourth, while Jordan Ryan followed in fifth. Blaney would go unchallenged the rest of the way as he took the checkered flag first by a margin of 2.792. Blaney’s 33rd overall win at Sharon came in his J&B Medical Supply/Mohawk Northeast/Bill Davis Trucking/Wicked Cushion/Ryan Blaney Family Foundation-sponsored #98H.
Shetler was all over Duncan for most of the second half of the event until Duncan got away late to settle for runner-up. Shetler was third. Ryan passed Kemenah for fourth on lap 23 as Kemenah was fifth at the finish. Flick dropped to sixth. Darren Pifer had a solid run in seventh after starting 17th. Michael faded to eighth as Max Stambaugh and Justin Barger completed the top 10. Barger set fast time overall against the 30-car field in qualifying with a lap of 14.272. Ryan, Shetler, and Lynch won the heat races, while Broc Martin captured the last chance B main.
Curt J. Bish emerged victorious after a great four-car race for the lead for much of the caution-plagued 20-lap Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car feature as he ended a near four-year winless drought at Sharon. The 35-year-old second generation Oil City, Pa. driver became the season’s fourth different winner in as many races and with more than a full field of cars present, his victory was worth $700.
Tim Deutsch was the early leader as he powered around pole-sitter Andy Thompson to lead the opening lap as Rob Shook and Bish followed past Thompson for second and third. Shook caught Deutsch on lap three and the duo would race side-by-side for the lead over the course of the next three laps before Bish got by on lap six with an inside move in turn four.
Bish, who started fourth, passed Deutsch for second on lap eight as Deutsch began to fade and fell out of the top five on lap nine. Chris Schneider had started eighth and raced into the top five on lap nine then would pass points leader, Chris McGuire, for fourth and then Jamie Duncan for third on lap 11. Following a caution with 12 laps scored, Bish would make the winning pass using the outside on a double file restart to nose ahead on lap 13.
Bish would have to hold off Schneider in the closing laps. Schneider finally worked his way by Shook for good on lap 18 and went after Bish, but come up just 0.248 of a second shy. Bish’s second career Sharon win and first since August 10, 2015 came in the Bish Heating & Cooling/Double E Fencing/RK Virgile/Pioneer Electric, Robert Tarr-owned #29.
After leading seven laps, Shook dropped to third. Shaun Hooks, who started seventh, was a season best fourth as Paul Davis was fifth after starting ninth. Completing the top 10 were McGuire, Jamie Scharba, Larry Kugel, Noah Brunell, and 25th starting Joey Zambotti III. Heat wins for the 27-car field went to Davis, Schneider, and Hooks.
After getting docked a row for jumping the restart early on, Eric Wilson used a late race restart to regain the lead and stole a first career win away from Dustin Demattia in the 20-lap Summit Racing Equipment feature for the Elite Econo Mod Series. With Wilson’s $500 victory, he became the third different winner in as many Econo Mod races in 2019. The 29-car field was the highest since 30 cars at the September 9, 2017 “Apple Festival Nationals”.
“Often times my mouth gets me in trouble so I’m going to focus on the positives,” expressed the 22-year-old Cortland, Ohio driver. “I’d like to donate all of my winnings tonight to Kyle Miller, who is a fellow competitor of mine that is suffering from cancer. No matter how mad I get behind the seat, he has it a lot worse than me. I have an awesome group of people behind me; Mike and Missy Bambarger- they’re family; Paul Hovis of Hovis Tire and Automotive; Dave Campbell of Campbell Tool & Mini Storage; Bruce Redman built the motor for thing; Rage Chassis and Close Racing Supply.”
Wilson took off in the lead over Demattia and fifth starting Andy Buckley. Buckley would pass Demattia for second on lap two, while Wilson pulled away out front. Following a caution for Gary Olson’s spin with four laps completed, Wilson fired way too early before the restart zone and was docked a row. This moved Buckley to the top spot, but he officially wouldn’t lead a lap as it was three-wide on the restart with Demattia gaining control. Buckley’s fine run in second ended when he spun with six laps completed.
Demattia and Wilson raced hard for the lead on laps eight and nine, but Demattia was able to maintain the top spot, while 19th starting Ty Rhoades passed Dwayne Clay for third. Lapped traffic came into play on lap 15 and one lap later Rick Wilson, Jr. and Mark Titus spun right in front of Demattia and Wilson. One more caution slowed action with 18 laps completed.
Back under green, Wilson was able to drive around Demattia on the outside and went on to lead the final two laps to capture his second career win in the division and fifth overall at the track by 0.426 of a second in his Mike Wilson Motorsports/Mike & Teena Investments/Buster Engines/Bruce & Debbie’s Wood Fired Wagon/Close Racing Supply-sponsored #27B. Demattia was a career best second over points leader Rhoades. Clay was fourth ahead of Butch Lambert, while Jason Fosnaught, Alan Dellinger, Jacob Eucker, Mitchell Lam, and Buzz Seitz completed the top 10. Heat winners were Wilson, Demattia, and Clay, while Rhoades won the last chance B main.
Chas Wolbert got around Kole Holden on a restart on lap six and then had to hold him off for the final 14 laps to score the win in the 20-lap HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified feature. For Wolbert, it was his second win of the season and his sixth victory in the past nine races at Sharon dating back to last season when he won the final four. More impressively, it was Wolbert’s 11th career win at the track tying him with Greg Martin for the division’s all-time top spot.
“I messed up one time going into (turn) three and looked over my left shoulder and saw his nose (Holden) sticking there and I said to myself I better slow down and hold onto the bottom,” explained the 24-year-old Warren, Ohio victor. “I tried to play the lapped traffic right. Kole is a great driver. All of these guys and girls are great drivers; anyone can win at any time- that’s what’s great about this division. I have to thank God- without him I wouldn’t be here along with all of my sponsors, track officials and crew here at Sharon Speedway, my wife for everything she does, and also Jim Clay for getting my car here today as I got held up on an airplane in Atlanta.”
Wolbert would line up on the outside front row alongside Holden, but was docked a row for jumping the initial start. Holden took off in the early lead, while Wolbert went from fourth to second getting by Tony Tatgenhorst and Kyle Martell on the opening lap. Tatgenhorst regained third when he passed Martell on lap three. One lap later, sixth starting Rob Kristyak dropped Martell back another spot to fifth.
The event’s only caution occurred with five laps scored when rookie Brandon Albert spun. The spin by Albert, who is Wolbert’s brother in-law, would prove beneficially to Wolbert as he’d take the lead on the outside following the double file restart, while Kristyak got past Tatgenhorst for third. Holden though would stay right with Wolbert for most of the duration until Wolbert made a great move in lapped traffic on lap 18. Wolbert’s winning margin was 0.933 of a second in his Alcon Mechanical/Dunkin Donuts of Warren, OH/C.T. Wolbert Trucking/Walters Building Co./Ohio Intra Express/Russ King Racing-sponsored #c3.
Holden’s second place was his best finish on the circuit in 2019. Kristyak, a two-time Sharon winner in 2019 and three-time victor on the circuit, was third to maintain the points lead. Tatgenhorst was fourth over a career best finish by Jacob Wolfe. Completing the top 10 were Josh Deems, Jacob Jordan, Martell, Chelsie Kriegisch, and Amelia Clay. Tatgenhorst and Wolbert won the heat races over the 18-car field, which was the first time the count has dropped under 20 since August 12, 2017 and only the third time in the past four years.
After finishing a solid fourth in the RUSH Sportsman Modified feature, Tony Tatgenhorst went out and dominated the eight-lap “Wheelman” event presented by Ohio Intra Express and C&R Tire for non-winners. Tatgenhorst flew from the third starting spot into the lead at the start and never looked back for his first “Wheelman” win in the non-stop event. The 39-year-old Columbiana, Ohio racer took the $75 win by a commanding 5.036 seconds in his All State Integrity of Salem/Edwards Flower Shop-sponsored #63T. Tatgenhorst became the third different “Wheelman” winner in four races. Fourth starting Wolfe passed Amelia Clay on lap seven to finish second for the third straight race! Clay was third and maintains the points lead. Jacob Jordan and Greg Porter completed the top five.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars (30 laps, $3,000 to-win): 1. DAVE BLANEY (98H) 2. Cole Duncan (22) 3. Dan Shetler (Pryde 29) 4. Jordan Ryan (Chappel 8) 5. Chad Kemenah (Garvin K4) 6. A.J. Flick (2) 7. Darren Pifer (23) 8. T.J. Michael (8M) 9. Max Stambaugh (Seeling 97) 10. Justin Barger (5) 11. Sye Lynch (42) 12. Frankie Nervo (21N) 13. Michael Bauer (46) 14. Darin Gallagher (12) 15. Jimmy Morris III (Stafford 4N) 16. Cody Bova (20B) 17. Brandon Matus (13) 18. Jack Sodeman, Jr. (23Jr) 19. Broc Martin (83m) 20. Dan Kuriger (08) 21. Brent Matus (33) 23. Carl Bowser (11) 24. Gary Kriess, Jr. (Frederick 55). DNQ: Leyton Wagner (38), Russ Sansosti (23s), Brett Brunkenhoefer (Kish 47), Logan McCandless (29), Brandon Fredericks (Beasley 1), Jared McFarland (250).
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (20 laps, $700 to-win): 1. CURT J. BISH (Tarr 29) 2. Chris Schneider (55) 3. Rob Shook (Keihl 64) 4. Shaun Hooks (65) 5. Paul Davis (3) 6. Chris McGuire (63) 7. Jamie Scharba (11S) 8. Larry Kugel (Duncan 67) 9. Noah Brunell (31) 10. Joey Zambotti III (948) 11. Andy Thompson (5) 12. Brent McDonald (25) 13. Jamie Duncan (67J) 14. Brian Carothers (02c) 15. Steve Burns, Jr. (70B) 16. Jamie Maxwell (6) 17. Troy DeZarn (21) 18. Gil Demello (22) 19. Tim Deutsch (20) 20. Mike Miller (T6) 21. Jordan Perkins (13J) 22. Kevin VanZandt ( 19) 23. Bryan Wagner (56) 24. Gary Miller, Jr. (1M) 25. Don DeZarn (12) 26. Jason Longwell (7s)-DNS 27. Tyler Kubic (222)-DNS.
Elite Series for the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods (20 laps, $500 to-win): 1. ERIC WILSON (27B) 2. Dustin Demattia (77D) 3. Ty Rhoades (12R) 4. Dwayne Clay (007) 5. Butch Lambert (Hendrickson 19) 6. Jason Fosnaught (J19) 7. Alan Dellinger (Williams 7) 8. Jacob Eucker (64) 9. Mitchell Lam (12) 10. Buzz Seitz (1) 11. Andy Buckley (Leamer 965) 12. Jarrett Young (21) 13. Brian Toto (8B) 14. Gary Robinson (44R) 15. Jeremy Double (83) 16. Gary Olson (23) 17. Robert Simmons (4RJ) 18. Nate Young (42) 19. Ed Snyder (25) 20. Ray Gregory (82R) 21. James Myers (77M) 22. Mark Titus (25) 23. Rick Wilson, Jr. (35) 24. Dan McEwen (44). DNQ: Brandon Fiedler (18), Daniel Moffitt (2), Ed Roberts (6s), Pat Drennan (22), Mike Hillman (29).
HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds (20 laps): 1. CHAS WOLBERT (c3) 2. Kole Holden (2) 3. Rob Kristyak (00) 4. Tony Tatgenhorst (63T) 5. Jacob Wolfe (7) 6. Josh Deems (9D) 7. Jacob Jordan (28J) 8. Kyle Martell (8) 9. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 10. Amelia Clay (16c) 11. Calvin Clay (12c) 12. Greg Porter (25) 13. Brandon Albert (30) 14. Todd Gabriel (33G) 15. Clayton Deems (55R) 16. Cameron Nastasi (615) 17. Don Blaney (11B)-DNS 18. David Kalb, Jr. (11J)-DNS.
Ohio Intra Express/C&R Tire RUSH Sportsman Modified “Wheelman” Non-Winners Race (8 laps, $75 to-win): 1. Tony Tatgenhorst 2. Jacob Wolfe 3. Amelia Clay 4. Jacob Jordan 5. Greg Porter 6. Cameron Nastasi 7. Todd Gabriel 8. Clayton Deems 9. Calvin Clay (12c)-DNS 10. Brandon Albert (30)-DNS 11. Don Blaney (11B)-DNS 12. David Kalb, Jr. (11J)-DNS.
Coming up on Saturday, July 6 will be the “Lou Blaney Memorial” featuring the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars racing for $6,000 to-win along with The Mod Tour for big blocks competing for $2,000 to-win. Race time is 7 p.m.
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.