Story By: MIKE LEONE / SHARON SPEEDWAY – HARTFORD, OH – After losing four of the first five scheduled events, Sharon Speedway is hoping Mother Nature will give a reprieve this weekend as the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Models will be making their way to the Hartford, Ohio oval for a doubleheader with $10,000 to-win on Friday night (May 27) and $20,000 to-win on Saturday night (May 28).
The Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars will be on the Friday night card for $800 to-win, while the HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will compete on Saturday night for $700 to-win. Warm-ups will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. each night followed by qualifying and racing.
A $30,000 weekend is a there for the taking with a sweep of the 40 and 60-lap main events for “The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet”. Dennis Erb, Jr. leads the WoO into Sharon. The Carpentersville, Illinois veteran has two victories and sits atop the standings by 100 over rookie-of-the-year candidate Max Blair. Blair of Centerville, Pa. is no stranger to Sharon as he has nine career wins including one in a Super Late Model and eight in a Crate Late Model for the former ULMS and RUSH Champion. Blair has matched Erb with two victories, which is tied with Dale McDowell and Jonathan Davenport as the most with the Series in 2022.
Completing the top 10 in points are Tanner English, Josh Richards, Brent Larson, Ryan Gustin, Kyle Hammer, Gordy Gundaker, Boom Briggs, and Tyler Bruening. All eight of those racers will be in search of their first Series win of 2022 this weekend. Gustin led last year’s WoO event before Larson stole a first career Series win away from the Iowa driver. Four-time WoO Champion, Brandon Sheppard, currently owns the Late Model one-lap track record at Sharon with a 14.842 set back on April 21, 2017.
Last Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway, Jared Miley captured his first career WoO victory. The Pittsburgh driver is one of many Pennsylvania drivers expected to join the Series at Sharon, including Chub Frank, 2011 Series champion Rick Eckert, Colton Flinner, and Gregg Satterlee.
The World of Outlaws Late Models have made eight prior appearances at Sharon with eight different winners! The most recent race was last August 21 when eventual NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Larson won a thriller. In 2019, Brandon Sheppard won a race of the year candidate as the WoO returned for the first time in more than nine years. Other winners include Darrell Lanigan (2010), Tim Fuller (2009), Donnie Moran (2008), Frank (2007), Eckert (2006), and Davey Johnson (2004). The WoO Late Models will return to Sharon on August 20 for the “Battle at the Border”.
For the second straight year, Terry Bowser Excavating is presenting all of the RUSH Sprint Car events at Sharon in 2022. There have been 17 RUSH Sprint Car events completed all-time at Sharon with nine different winners. Three-time Series Champion, Chad Ruhlman, leads the way with seven victories. Jarod Larson and Nolan Groves are two-time winners, while Andy Feil, Brian Ruhlman, Brian Woodhall, Jeremy Weaver, Rod George, and Steve Pedley each have one feature win to their credit.
The HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will try again to make their Sharon season debut on Saturday night. This year will mark the ninth year of existence for the division, which has averaged over a full field of cars annually at Sharon. Hovis Auto & Truck Supply presents the RUSH Weekly Series Championship that pays the top 20 RUSH member drivers for their best 12 races across the region with $3,500 going to the champion. Saturday’s show is also part of the “Route 7 Rumble” Series Championship presented by Wedge Motorsports. That Series takes into account all races run between Sharon and Raceway 7 as the top eight drivers will share in the $2,500 point fund with $1,000 going to the champion.
Summit Racing Equipment will present the hard charger award on Friday night to the RUSH Sprints and Saturday night to the RUSH Mods. The driver that passes the most cars in the feature will receive a $100 Summit gift card. In the event of a tie, the tiebreaker will be the driver that finishes highest in the feature.
There is no Sharon registration fee for the RUSH Sprint Cars or RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. One-way driver radios are mandatory; channel 454.000. AMB/MyLaps transponders are required; rentals available for $25.
Fans can not only experience viewing from the frontstretch and backstretch grandstands, but also from the infield fan zone, which includes concessions and restrooms. Sharon is the only track in the area to have viewing from the unique infield perspective. There will be times throughout the night when fans can cross on the frontstretch back and forth.
Pits passes will go on sale at 2 p.m. both days with general admission at 5 p.m. on Friday night and 4 p.m. on Saturday night. Warm-ups are slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. each night followed by qualifying and racing. Single Day Reserved: $35. Single Day Adult General Admission: $30. Single Day General Admission (6-12): $10. Single Day General Admission (0-5): free. Two-Day Reserved: $60. Two-Day General Admission: $55. Two-Day General Admission (6-12): $20. Pits: $40 each night. As a reminder, coolers nor outside food or beverages are not permitted.
Coming up next Saturday (June 4) will be the Western PA Sprint Speedweek for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars along with the Terry Bowser Excavating RUSH Sprint Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products, and Whelen Econo Mods.