By MIKE LEONE
HARTFORD, OH – After a weekend off and a surprise storm that washed out last Saturday night’s racing program, Sharon Speedway is hopeful to resume action this Saturday night (July 27) for another Menards “Super Series” event. Texas Roadhouse Night as part of the 90th anniversary season will feature the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods in an Elite Series event along with the Junior Sprints for kids. Race time is 7 p.m.
The “410” Sprint Cars have put on four tremendous shows this year with Cole Duncan withstanding the challenges of Tony Stewart for the $3,000 FAST-sanctioned victory that came over an excellent field of 43 cars back on May 11, then A.J. Flick out-dueled George Hobaugh for the $3,000 non-sanctioned win on May 18 with 33 cars on hand. After 10 straight different winners, Dave Blaney ended the streak picking up the June 29 $3,000 win over a 30-car field for his 30th career “410” win at Sharon. Brother Dale Blaney then won his first “Lou Blaney Memorial” on July 6 in the $6,000 to-win All Star Circuit of Champions-sanctioned event. Unfortunately the May 4 and June 18 All Star races were rained out in addition to the June 1 non-sanctioned show.
Last year, the “410” Sprint Car events had at least 29 cars present every night with eight different winners in eight events, while there’s been four different winners in as many 2019 events with at least 30 cars on hand each night.
Saturday will utilize the hot lap/group qualifying format that has been used at all “Super Series” Sprint Car events the last two years. Two to three cars will qualify 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. The B main will be lined up heads up on heat race finishes. Heat and B main finish(es) will complete the 24-car starting lineup. Mufflers are not required and there are no registration or entry fees.
The Stock Cars last competed on June 29 when Curt J. Bish ended a four-year winless drought. Defending track champion, Chris McGuire, won his first show of the season on June 8. Ironically the duo, who have won the last two races, are tied for Gibson Insurance Agency points lead with Andy Thompson, Larry Kugel, and Shaun Hooks completing the top five. Other winners this season include Bobby Whitling on May 18 when he ended a seven-year Sharon winless drought and Chris Schneider at the May 11 show that was actually the 2018 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up, worth $2,000. Will there be a fifth different winner in five races on Saturday night!?
Rob Kristyak leads the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds into Sharon this Saturday night, which had 32 cars on hand last Saturday night before the rain out. Kristyak has two wins and hasn’t finished outside the top five this season at Sharon and also has victories at Raceway 7 and Expo. The Bristolville, Ohio driver leads the HTMA/Precise Racing Products points by nine over Kole Holden with Tony Tatgenhorst, Chas Wolbert, and Jacob Jordan completing the top five. Wolbert leads RUSH’s $3,000 to-win Weekly Series Championship. Also on Saturday night, the “Wheelman” race for non-winners presented by Ohio Intra Express and C&R Tire will take place at the end of the night. David Kalb, Jr. has won two of the three races, but it’s Amelia Clay of Warren, Ohio leading the points.
The Econo Mods will be competing in an Elite Series event on Saturday night with $500 to-win, $100 to-start. The Econo Mods have also struggled to get shows in during the 2019 season with only three to date, but with three different winners. The first was the 2018 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up on May 11 when Kyle Miller won his biggest career race worth $750. One week later, Ty Rhoades won the only regular event completed this season. On June 29, Eric Wilson won the Elite Series show. Rhoades has a 24-point lead on Andy Buckley in the Summit Racing Equipment standings with Gary Olson in third. Dustin Demattia and Jacob Eucker are tied for fourth.
Pits will be open throughout the afternoon on Saturday with pit passes going on sale at 4 p.m., while the main grandstands open at 5. Drivers meeting will be at 6:00 p.m. followed by Sprint engine starts at 6:15 and group qualifying at 6:30. Heat races are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $13, while senior citizens are $10. Patio seating upgrades are just $5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission. These can be reserved on race night in the track office. As always, children under 14 and parking are always FREE! Pit passes are $30. As a reminder, coolers nor outside food or beverages are not permitted.
Coming up on Tuesday, July 30 will be the return of the Super DIRTcar Series for the Big-Block Modifieds, which will be featured in a 100-lap $7,500 to-win feature. The non-wing RUSH Sprint Cars will also be racing for $600 to-win. Reserved tickets are on sale by visiting SharonSpeedway.com and clicking on “Buy Tickets” at the top left of the page. Predator Trucking and Stackhouse Construction are presenting the event.
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.