Story By: MIKE LEONE / SHARON SPEEDWAY – HARTFORD, OH – After successful events on Saturday for the “Steel Valley Pro Stock Nationals” followed up by Ohio Sprint Speedweek on Tuesday night, Sharon Speedway will to get right back to racing action this Saturday night (June 23) with a Menards “Super Series” event featuring The Mod Tour for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds, RUSH Sportsman Modified Touring Series, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, and the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods. It’s Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Night. Race time is 7 p.m.
The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds have still yet to get a program in thus far as only the four heat races were completed at part of The Mod Tour event on May 26. The Big-Block Modifieds were also rained out for the scheduled Menards “Super Series” opener on April 28 along with “Fan Appreciation Night” on May 19 and then again on June 9.
The Modified Tour will be competing for their first $2,000 to-win payday of the season on Saturday night. The Tour opened their season back on April 14 at West Virginia’s Tyler County Speedway where Erick Rudolph ran his win streak to an amazing nine straight! The New York versatile driver has two career wins at Sharon both coming in 2016 including the last time the Mod Tour visited Sharon on September 17, 2016. Rudolph’s win streak ended on May 27 at Eriez Speedway when Canadian Mat Williamson denied him of a 10th straight victory.
Rex King, Jr. leads the way for the Sharon regulars. The Bristolville, Ohio driver has won three of the last four titles and has upped his career win total to 23. His father Rex Sr. is a five-time track champion and leads the active drivers with 53 career wins. Jim Weller, Jr. has posted 36 career wins and three track titles. Other active top racers with career wins in parentheses including Kevin Bolland (22), Jim Rasey (19), Swartzlander (14), Dave Murdick (9). Jeremiah Shingledecker is fresh off a runner-up finish at Tyler County and owns three wins at Sharon including last year’s prestigious “Lou Blaney Memorial” victory. For more information on The Mod Tour, check out their website at www.themodifiedtourinc.com.
The HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds have now completed two events with the most recent being on Tuesday night with the All Star Sprints. Blaze Myers became the division’s youngest winner on June 2 as the 14-year-old won his first career race and then on Tuesday night, Chas Wolbert put on a dominating performance to capture his first overall RUSH win of 2018. Saturday will be the first of two Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series events of 2018. While $600 will go to the winner, more importantly, it’s RUSH’s annual “Manufacturers Night” with some $18,000 in prizes at last count to be given away randomly to racers.
The RUSH Sportsman Mod Tour has made four prior visits with Wolbert winning two, while Steve Slater and Justin Shea captured their first career wins. The average car count has been 26 for those races. When Myers won the RUSH Weekly Series event on June 2, a record 31 cars were on hand, while 24 competed on Tuesday night. Garrett Krummert has both the Sharon and RUSH Weekly Series points lead entering Saturday night.
The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars were finally able to complete their first race of the season last Saturday night for the inaugural “Steel Valley Pro Stock Nationals”. Brent Johnson came away with the $10,000 win edging out Chris Schneider by 0.118 of a second. Eighty-one cars competed in the event on Saturday night with several others that didn’t make it through practice on Friday night. The only other night the Stock Cars hit the track was on May 26 when their four heat races were completed before rains came and washed out the program. On that night there were 31 cars. With no regular programs completed yet this season, Stock Cars drivers have only received show-up points on May 26 and then again last Saturday night.
Completing Saturday’s program are the Econo Mods. The Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored division opened their season with the All Stars on May 5 as 2010 track champion, Brad Blackshear, took the $500 top honors and have only got one other event completed. The second event took place on June 2 when Jacob Eucker captured his eighth career victory in the division. Currently Brian Toto and Ty Rhoades are tied for the points lead. Neither driver has ever won a title let alone a feature at Sharon. Steve Burns, Jr. is just three points back in third with Mark Titus only one behind Burns.
For all regular events, Sharon will continue to offer a higher purse structure if 24 or more cars are on hand for any of the weekly divisions and a non-qualifier if there are 32 or more cars. Sharon also offers a $100 bonus to the highest “358” small-block competitor in the big-block events.
Pits are open throughout the afternoon on Saturday with pit passes going on sale at 4 p.m., while the main grandstands open at 5. Pill cutoff is 6:20 p.m. and racing is at 7. Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $13. Patio seating upgrades are just $5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission. In order to reserve either of these ahead of time, call the office Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 330-772-5481. As always, children under 14 and parking are always FREE! Pit passes are $30. Pit passes for children 12 and under are $20. Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.
Coming up on Saturday, June 30 will be another Menards “Super Series” event, this time featuring the “410” Sprint Cars for $3,000 to-win plus the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Stock Cars, and Econo Mods on Thompson Fab Night. It will be Armed Forces Night