Press Release by Mike Leone, Provided by Sharon Speedway
Sharon Speedway wrapped up the two night Bill Emig Memorial on Sunday night. Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Ryan Montgomery-Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series, Rex King, Jr.-Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Rod Laskey-Gibson Insurance Agency Open Stock Cars, Scott Gilliland-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks, and Max Wilkerson-H.P.M. 3/4 Late Models. Dennis Coleman from Masury, Ohio and Denne Crystal were the bike race winners courtesy of King Bros. and Sharon Speedway. After trashing a car in an accident that looked more like a superspeedway crash at Talladega on Saturday night, Ryan Montgomery turned it around with an impressive win in at thrilling 25-lap feature on Sunday night to cap off the Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card Weekend”. Montgomery came from fifth to pass Glenn Elliott then held off Joe Martin and Elliott for his first Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Tour win. The victory was worth $1,500 and also a $100 bonus for ending up fifth in the “Wild Card Weekend” points.
“This is a great comeback from yesterday,” acknowledged the 16-year-old Fairmont, WV racer. “We were running up front yesterday then that whole deal happened. We’ve had that car out twice and it pretty much looked like that both times so we’re going to park that car. We’ve had this car out six times and this is my third win! It’s great to a turnaround. It’s insane to know you can wreck yesterday and come back with whatever confidence you have and then win.”
By virtue of winning the John Buzzard Memorial K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash, Elliott raced into the lead over “Futures Cup” racer Clay Ruffo with Bobby Pifer III followed by Montgomery and eighth starting Rick Singleton. On lap two, Pifer got high in turn three allowing Montgomery, Singleton, and seventh starting Martin to advance to positions three through five respectively.
Montgomery and Singleton then went after Ruffo. Montgomery and Ruffo raced side-by-side on lap five with Montgomery nosing ahead. Montgomery faced a straightaway deficit as Elliott had checked out. The battle was now on for third as Ruffo tried to fend off Singleton and Martin. Hard side-by-side racing was taking place on lap nine and ten before the event’s first and only caution was displayed for Michael Lake, who went up in smoke with nine laps scored.
On the ensuing restart, Montgomery kept pace with Elliott. The duo ran side-by-side with Montgomery having the momentum off the top of turn four to lead lap 10. Elliott though wasn’t going away as he raced back by Montgomery on the bottom of turn four to reclaim the lead on lap 11. The race for the lead continued side-by-side with Montgomery battling back to lead lap 12.
Meanwhile, Singleton and Martin had passed Ruffo for third and fourth respectively on the restart. Martin continued his march to the front getting by Singleton on lap 12 for third. The race for the lead never died as they continued to race side-by-side on laps 15 and 16 with Montgomery still maintaining his advantage with the momentum on the topside of the speedway. Their battle allowed Martin to close in on lap 17 making it a three-car race for the lead.
Traffic loomed ahead with five laps to go. Montgomery caught the back-markers on lap 21 as Martin seized the opportunity taking second from Elliott. The closing laps through lapped traffic were intense. Martin tried everything, but Montgomery made the right moves through lapped traffic to secure his second career Sharon Speedway win in the Jeff Montgomery-owned, T.J. Contracting/High Gear Speed Shop/Mountain State Plumbing/Central Supply/Frankland Rearends/Genesis Racing Shocks-sponsored #12.
Martin’s runner-up was his best run of the season moving him into fourth in the standings and also was second in the weekend’s “Wild Card” points to earn an extra $400. Though he may have been a little disappointed in his third place effort; what a weekend it was for Elliott. Coupled with his third place effort on Saturday and card draws both nights, Elliott garnered 207 points good enough to win the $500 Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card Weekend” crown and take over the Tour point lead!
Singleton’s fourth place finish gave him fourth place in the “Wild Card” points to earn an extra $200. Delaware racer Matt Glanden was an impressive fifth for his best career RUSH-sanctioned finish. Josh Holtgraver came from 10th to finish sixth over Lauren Longbrake, Shaun Hooks, 19th starting Mike Pegher, Jr., who ended up third in the “Wild Card” points for a $300 bonus, and 16th starting Josh Double.
Mike Anderson made his first ever Sharon Late Model start on Sunday and he ended the night winning the six-lap non-qualifier. The 54-year-old Harmony, Pa. driver led all six laps to earn the $150 in his Marshall’s Hair Salon/Bilo’s Gas & Go-sponsored #72. Paul Jablonski and W.L Stile battled hard for runner-up swapping the spot back and forth with Jablonski getting the nod.
Montgomery, Elliott and Glanden captured the heat races over the 28-car field, while Pegher won the B main. Elliott also earned $100 for winning the K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash for the John Buzzard Memorial.
After yielding the lead early on, opening night winner Rex King, Jr. charged back around Jim Weller, Jr. in the closing laps to become the first repeat winner in the Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. King’s $1,500 victory came in the 25-lap feature in what was probably the most competitive field to date this season as his father failed to crack the top 10.
“I don’t know if Mr. Weller was having tire issues and they were going away or what,” said the 22-year-old Bristolville, Ohio driver. “There was some rubber laying down and I think the rest of the field was running up top and he was running the bottom. I just went up there and had a good run and we had enough to catch him and sneak around him.”
Though he started from the pole position, the victory was far from easy for “Cooter”. On lap three, third starting Jim Weller, Jr. dove under and past King, Jr. entering turn three. Brian Swartzlander, who started fourth, pressured King for second as Weller pulled away on lap five. Fifth starting Jeremiah Shingledecker entered the picture on lap six taking fourth from outside pole-sitter Eric Gabany. The event’s only caution was displayed when Chris Haines slowed with 11 laps scored.
On the ensuing restart, Shingledecker powered past Swartzlander into third. The next several laps ran off without any changes. King started chewing into Weller’s lead on lap 18 and was right on the leader with five laps to go. Much to Weller’s surprise, King went to the top in turn four and snuck past Weller down the frontstretch to lead lap 22.
King then quickly pulled away to win by 1.574 seconds in the KMB, Inc.-owned, Jim Brown Seed Sales/Bristol Disposal/Cedar Steel/Professional Heating & Cooling/Reese Services/King Sanitary Service-sponsored #165. It was “Cooter’s” fifth career Sharon victory.
Weller was able to fend off Shingledecker for runner-up as he leads the points by eight over King, Jr. Swartzlander was fourth. Ricky Richner battled from eighth to finish fifth and maintain his string of all six finishes between fourth and sixth place. Completing the top 10 were Gabany, Dave Murdick, newcomer Brad Rapp, Rob Kristyak, and Steve Feder. King and Gabany captured the heat races over the 18-car field.
Making just his second start of the season and first in his own car at Sharon in a couple years, Rod Laskey captured the 20-lap Gibson Insurance Agency feature for the Open Stock Cars. After battling Steve Burns, Jr. in the first half of the event, Laskey made the pass and pulled away for the $750 victory.
“We just pulled this car out of the garage Sunday,” revealed the 37-year-old Oil City, Pa. racer. “This car was tailored for me over the winter. My crew guys and I built it and I love it. Opening night at Mercer (Raceway Park) we rolled it in the feature and kind of tore it up pretty bad. Tonight is really my shakedown night. This car is brand new so I wanted to pace myself, but I saw Steve (Burns) was having a little trouble. I have to thank Sharon Speedway- I love these open Stock Car shows!”
After a caution in turn one on the opening lap, the race went caution-free. Subbing for Ron Yarab, Jr., Burns raced to the lead at the start, while Laskey passed newcomers Mike Miller and Leigh Wheeler for runner-up. Rusty Wheeler had started sixth and was halfway to the front after one lap. By lap two, Burns and Laskey distanced themselves from the field. On lap five, Laskey began pressuring Burns, but it wasn’t until lap 13 when Laskey finally made the pass in turn four after a mistake by Burns.
Once in front, Laskey pulled away to win comfortably by 2.929 seconds over Burns in his Randy’s Auto Sales/Anderson Physical Therapy/The Works/Les Frickshun #1R for his third career win. The driver that turned a lot of heads was Brian Carothers. Carothers started 17th and worked his way to the top five by lap 12. He passed Jamie Duncan for fourth on lap 14 and then Rusty Wheeler for third on lap 15. Carothers ran down Burns at the finish, but had to settle for third doing it all with only the first lap restart. Chris Schneider also had a good run forward placing fourth after starting 15th. Rusty Wheeler dropped to fifth. Heat winners over the 22-car season high field were newcomers Bob McCann, Bob Schwartzmiller, and Brandon Gardner.
After rookie Travis Creech cooled off Scott Gilliland with two straight wins, Gilliland bounced back on Sunday night and became the Speedway’s top winner with his fourth victory of the season in the Mini Stocks. The 12-lap Deforest Used Parts win was worth $200 for the point leader.
Gilliland passed Tim McAninch and Pete Blazczak on the opening circuit. The event’s only caution with four laps completed bunched up the field. Gilliland would have to deal with heavy lapped traffic on the final lap, but was able to somehow make the right moves and hold off Bill Fuchs and 12th starting Creech. Gilliland’s eighth career win came in his Lawn Wizard/NRC Management/VP&R/Inventive Sign & Design-sponsored #27 and moved him into a tie for third place with Jim Haefke, Jr. on the division’s all-time win list.
“I was counting the laps down and seeing how far away I was,” described the 47-year-old Warren, Ohio racer. “They (lapped cars) were banging off each coming through here. I could hear Bill (Fuchs) underneath me and I knew he was coming. Luckily there was just a little bit of a hole for me to get through or Bill would have probably gotten me. Travis (Creech) has really stepped up his game and Bill is a class act. We’re good friends and if you can beat him you’ve really done something. We’ve been getting beat by Travis so we changed some things in the suspension and it must have worked- we’re in victory lane!”
Fourth and fifth went to Blazczak and Ken Koby II, who was running his back-up car after a bad crash the week prior. Heats were won by Fuchs and Creech over the 14-car field, which matched a season high.
The H.P.M. ¾ Late Models were on the card for the second straight night. Just two of the six cars took the green for the eight-lap shortened feature. Max Wilkerson changed cars and the 17-year-old Gibsonia, Pa. driver picked up the victory in the #18 over Carl Kohan.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series (25 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. RYAN MONTGOMERY (12) 2. Joe Martin (55) 3. Glenn Elliott (5E) 4. Rick Singleton (Enyeart 99*) 5. Matt Glanden (01) 6. Josh Holtgraver (00) 7. Lauren Longbrake (27) 8. Shaun Hooks (65) 9. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 10. Josh Double (38) 11. Andrew Wylie (84) 12. Clay Ruffo (14R) 13. John Over (K2) 14. Jorden Peters (11P) 15. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 16. Matt Latta (21) 17. Nico Dabecco (Karalagas 1FR) 18. Shane Weaver (Ruffner 325x) 19. Rocky Kugel (21KRT) 20. Butch Lambert (27) 21. Bobby Pifer III (6P) 22. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 23. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 24. Russell Baird, Jr. (17) 25. Michael Lake (27).
Non-Qualifier (6 laps, $150 to-win): 1. Mike Anderson (72) 2. Paul Jablonski (3J) 3. W.L. Stile (1W).
Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (25 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. REX KING, JR. (165) 2. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 3. Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD) 4. Brian Swartzlander (83) 5. Ricky Richner (26) 6. Eric Gabany (3E) 7. Dave Murdick (61) 8. Brad Rapp (11R) 9. Rob Kristyak (00) 10. Steve Feder (45) 11. Rex King (65) 12. Tom Mattocks (69) 13. Tom Glenn (83T) 14. Shawn Fleeger (88) 15. Bob Warren (96B) 16. Rick Regalski, Jr. (13) 17. Chris Haines (35H) 18. Rodney Beltz (64)-DNS.
Gibson Insurance Agency Open Stock Cars (20 laps, $750 to-win): 1. ROD LASKEY (1R) 2. Steve Burns, Jr. (70B) 3. Brian Carothers (02c) 4. Chris Schneider (55) 5. Rusty Wheeler (44) 6. Jamie Duncan (67J) 7. Dan McEwen (95) 8. Jamie Scharba (00S) 9. Bob McCann (USA1) 10. Bob Sloss (44s) 11. Jeff Broniszewski (08) 12. Brandon Gardner (G27) 13. Leigh Wheeler (2W) 14. Pat Fielding (23) 15. Bob Schwartzmiller (28s) 16. Mike Miller (666) 17. Mark Hopkins (69H) 18. Gary McGregor (79) 19. Troy DeZarn (21D) 20. Tim Burns (66) 21. Brent Johnson (92x) 22. Brent Coleman (01)-DNS.
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (12 laps, $200 to-win): 1. SCOTT GILLILAND (27) 2. Bill Fuchs (10) 3. Travis Creech (75T) 4. Pete Blazczak (77) 5. Ken Koby II (11) 6. Ray Gregory (82R) 7. Nick Groves (65) 8. Tim McAninch (43) 9. Jim Haefke, Jr. (421) 10. Jim Clay, Jr. (421) 11. Geof Pinch (36) 12. Brian Shay (3J) 13. Evan Kornbau (62) 14. Tyler Fulton (09).
H.P.M. ¾ Late Models (12 laps): 1. MAX WILKERSON (18) 2. Carl Kohan (19) 3. Jim Thompson (21)-DNS 4. Colton Flinner (75)-DNS 5. Tim Gould (4J)-DNS 6. Kelvin Kohan (11)-DNS.
Sharon Speedway will be back in action this Saturday, June 1 with “Steel Valley Thunder” featuring the weekly the Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5 and racing at 7. Grandstand admission is $13 for those 14 and up. Children 13 and under are always free. Pit passes are $25. Parking is always free.
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.