Story By: MIKE LEONE / SHARON SPEEDWAY – HARTFORD, OH – Night five of the 36th annual Ohio Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket for Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars presented by Mobil 1 made a stop on Tuesday night at Sharon Speedway on Tom’s Sewer and Stackhouse Construction Night.
Christopher Bell (All Star Sprints) and Chas Wolbert (HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds) celebrated in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane.
Last year Christopher Bell thrilled fans by winning the ninth annual “Lou Blaney Memorial” for the All Star Sprints. On Tuesday night, Bell led early before losing the lead to 10th starting Kyle Larson. While many probably thought the race was over, Bell stuck to the topside of the racey speedway, ran down Larson in traffic, and made the winning move on lap 27. Bell went on for the $5,000 victory- his second of the season with the All Stars.
“When I came here last year there was a lot more meat left on the top and it was easier to run,” explained the 23-year-old Norman, Oklahoma star. “This year it was tough. Laps two, three, four I could tell the lane was going away. I started getting up along the fence and was struggling a little bit. It was a matter of staying off the wall and keeping my tires underneath me. Kyle’s car has been really good and Kyle is a hell of a driver so I knew he was going to be tough to beat. I kept seeing the #57 on the scoreboard. I was kind of surprised he stayed on the bottom with those lappers and I had the open road on the top. I couldn’t do it down there. I didn’t have the grip to run the middle or bottom, and luckily for me the lapped cars stayed down there and kind of dirtied up the air more for him than me.”
The 30-lap feature got off to an exciting start with Bell shooting from his fourth starting spot into the lead with quite the move entering turn one as Danny Dietrich, pole-sitter D.J. Foos, Cale Conley, and Rico Abreu completed the top five after lap one. Despite starting 10th, Larson was halfway to the front on lap five taking the spot away from Carson Macedo.
Aaron Reutzel, who won the May 5 All Star show at Sharon, got into the turn two fence to bring out the caution with six laps scored. When racing resumed on lap seven, Larson flew past Abreu and Foos into third. Larson then went after central Pa. standout, Danny Dietrich. The two threw sliders at each other between laps 8-10 in the battle for second before Larson got by for good on lap 10.
Larson was a near straightaway behind Bell by the time he made his way into the runner-up spot. A pair of cautions slowed action with 12 and 14 laps completed. When racing resumed on the 15th circuit, Larson made the bottom and middle work in turn four to grab the lead. Larson stretched his advantage to a half-straightaway when he caught traffic on lap 21.
Larson surprised many by moving to the bottom, while Bell continued to hammer the top. Bell began to close in. On lap 27, Larson got bottled up in traffic in addition to Reutzel slowing ahead and exiting to the infield, which allowed Bell to keep his momentum up as he blasted into the lead off turn two. Larson moved back to the top, but his efforts were futile as Bell rocketed on to his second career Sharon win by 1.472 seconds in the Ed Neumeister-owned, Linder’s Speed Equipment/Dough-Si-Dough Shoppe/Fisher Performance-sponsored #11N.
Larson, who won last year’s Sharon Ohio Speedweek event, settled for his second runner-up finish of 2018 Ohio Speedweek to go along with two wins in five events. Dietrich was third over Rico Abreu. Parker Price-Miller once again put on a show for the fans at Sharon charging from 22nd to fifth at the finish riding up against the fence. T.J. Michael had a great run in sixth after starting 12th. Spencer Bayston, Macedo, Chad Kemenah, and Ryan Smith completed the top 10.
Larson set fast time overall against the 48-car field in qualifying with a lap of 15.107. Bell, Foos, Caleb Helms, Michael, and Macedo won the heat races. Mitchell Wormall won the C main from 12th then went 16th to seventh in the B main, but failed to transfer to the feature. Stuart Brubaker captured the B main. Foos and Dietrich added dash wins to earn front row starting spots for the feature.
After raining out five of the first six scheduled events, the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds completed just their second event of the season with Chas Wolbert dominating the 20-lap HTMA/Precise Racing Products feature. Wolbert took the lead from Rocky Kugel on the opening lap and never looked back for the $500 victory.
“I didn’t know I had that big of a lead- I was just trying to hit my marks out there,” explained the 23-year-old Warren, Ohio driver. “It was a good track for me- I don’t know about anyone else. This car was great. I could probably run anywhere. This is awesome. Thank you to Dave Willoughby and all the Sharon Speedway staff as they prepare an excellent track week in and week out. First and foremost I want to thank God because without him none of this would be possible along with all of my sponsors.”
Wolbert’s Dunkin’ Donuts/C.T. Wolbert Trucking/Russ King Racing/Ohio Intra Express/MJ’s Auto Repair/Crooked Pine Woodworking/955 Automotive/Kings Sanitary/Total Trumbull Sports-sponsored #c3 Bicknell took the checkered flag first for his fifth career win at Sharon by a commanding 6.860-second advantage over 2017 RUSH Weekly Series Champion, Rocky Kugel.
Tenth starting Kyle Martell passed Kole Holden on lap three to finish third. Justin Shea raced from seventh to fourth, while Holden dropped to fifth. Garrett Krummert charged from the 22nd starting spot to sixth. Opening night 14-year-old winner, Blaze Myers, was seventh as David Kalb, Jr., Josh Deems, and 17th starting Jordan Ehrenberg completed the top 10. Heat wins over the 24-car field went to Kugel, Myers, and Wolbert.
All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars (30 laps, $5,000 to-win): 1. CHRISTOPHER BELL (Neumeister 11N) 2. Kyle Larson (Silva 57) 3. Danny Dietrich (Kauffman 48) 4. Rico Abreu (24) 5. Parker Price-Miller (Destiny 4) 6. T.J. Michael (8M) 7. Spencer Bayston (Swindell 39) 8. Carson Macedo (Gaerte/Norman 3G) 9. Chad Kemenah (Hunter 10H) 10. Ryan Smith (McGhee 11) 11. Cale Conley (Jessup 7K) 12. Paul McMahan (Buch 13) 13. Jac Haudenschild (3) 14. Cap Henry (Coomer 21) 15. Gerard McIntyre, Jr. (Coldren 07) 16. Dave Blaney (Grove 70) 17. Tim Shaffer (Demyan/Rudzik 49x) 18. Mitch Harble (Prosser 19) 19. D.J. Foos (Kiser 23) 20. Brandon Spithaler (22) 21. Aaron Reutzel (Baughman 87) 22. Stuart Brubaker (35) 23. Caleb Helms (17) 24. Tony Stewart (14) 25. Gio Scelzi (Indy Parts 71) 26. Josh Baughman (17).
DNQ for the feature: George Hobaugh (40), Mitchell Wormall (97AU), Max Stambaugh (5M), Trevor Baker (45), John Garvin, Jr. (51), Carl Bowser (Chiapelli 98), Jordan Ryan (McClure 9), Adam Kekich (5K), Jessie Attard (53), Michael Bauer (46), Dan Kuriger (08), Tyler Esh (35), Frankie Nervo (21N), Ayrton Olsen (71), Jared Zimbardi (Chappel 8), Chase Baker (23), Jimmy Morris (4N), Henry Malcuit (70), Mike Marano II (34M), Lee Jacobs (Lewis 81), Jeremy Kornbau (27K), Travis Philo (5T).
HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds (20 laps, $500 to-win): 1. CHAS WOLBERT (c3) 2. Rocky Kugel (83) 3. Kyle Martell (8) 4. Justin Shea (14s) 5. Kole Holden (2) 6. Garrett Krummert (10s) 7. Blaze Myers (43JR) 8. David Kalb, Jr. (11J) 9. Josh Deems (9D) 10. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57) 11. Gary Haupt (16) 12. Brandon Ritchey (17) 13. Steve Slater (29) 14. Justin Rasey (McMillen 6) 15. Rob Kristyak (00) 16. Tony Tatgenhorst (63) 17. Brandon Michaud (132) 18. Preston Cope (24P) 19. Lexi Couch (51) 20. Jeremy Weaver (35W) 21. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 22. Jessica Kriegisch (63) 23. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8)-DNS 24. Cameron Nastasi (615)-DNS.