by Mike Leone
Hartford, OH June 8, 2019 After raining out prior to warm-ups for the past two Saturday nights and four of the last six nights, sunshine and no chance of rain allowed fans and racers to enjoy a big night of racing at Sharon Speedway on Saturday night. The Menards “Super Series” event on A&MP Electric Night saw Brian Ruhlman-Outlaw E-Mods “Bickerstaff Cup” Series, Chad Ruhlman-RUSH Sprint Cars, Chris McGuire-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, and Garrett Krummert-HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds celebrate in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane. Also, Pat Adams won RUSH’s “Wheelman” Non-Winners race presented by Ohio Intra Express and C&R Tire. A total of 113 cars were in the pits for the four-division show.
Brian Ruhlman will go down in the record books as the inaugural “Bickerstaff Cup” Series race winner. Ruhlman, who was doing double duty also running a RUSH Sprint Car, made the trip in from Michigan worthwhile as he topped a huge field of 40 Outlaw E-Mods for the $1,200 payday and takes the early points lead for the four-race mini series. After leading much of the feature until losing the lead to Nathon Loney on a restart, Ruhlman returned the favor on a restart with three laps to go in the 25-lap main event.
“I thought we were going to have it pretty easy but Nathon was right there,” explained the soon-to-be 49-year-old Clarklake, Michigan standout racer. “I think I saw a nose a few times before the caution. He snookered me on the first restart so I knew what to do on the second one. This is a superb race track- it’s smooth and it’s slippery. Beautiful job by the Sharon crew. It seems like I’ve been out here a 100 times and have never run a feature because of the rain until tonight so I’m glad to be here. We came out here to run the Sprint Car with my brother Chad and nephew Kevin and decided to throw this in the box to run too.”
Passing points from the four heat races locked the top 12 in for the feature as the top eight redrew for positions one through eight with Ruhlman and Dennis Lunger, Jr. drawing the front row. Loney would pass Lunger on the opening lap for second and went after Ruhlman. The two were side-by-side for the lead on laps four and five with Ruhlman holding on, while eighth starting Dan Davies cracked the top five.
As Ruhlman and Loney pulled away, it appeared Davies was the only other racer that may have something for the front duo. Davies ran the fence as he drove around Mike Kinney for fourth on lap eight. Davies caught Lunger and the two raced side-by-side for third on laps 11 and 12 with Davies going to the inside to take the third spot on the 12th circuit.
Back up front, Ruhlman and Loney were fighting through lapped traffic as the laps ticked off caution-free. Loney pulled even on lap 16, but Ruhlman continued to lead. As traffic heated up and Ruhlman and Loney again raced side-by-side for the lead on laps 19 and 20, Davies began to close in running the rim of the track. It looked like it was going to be a three-race race for the win the final five laps until Davies got crossed up in lapped traffic and spun between turns and four to bring out the first caution of the event after 19 non-stop laps.
Ruhlman chose the inside for the double file restart, but Loney used the top to take the lead, while Joe Gabrielson entered the mix moving into fourth on lap 20. The event’s second and final caution was displayed when Howard Fraley spun with 22 laps scored. Loney surprisingly chose the inside for the restart and that would prove costly as Ruhlman used the top to regain the top spot and would lead the final three laps for his first career Sharon win in his Ruhlman Race Cars/Quality Body & Paint-sponsored #49. Ruhlman’s margin of victory was 0.799 of a second as he became the 53rd driver to win an E-Mod race in the history of Sharon.
Loney was a career Sharon best second. Gabrielson, who won the 2016 track championship when the E-Mods last ran weekly at Sharon, had a great run going 14th to third to earn the $75 hard charger from Burgan Realty. Kinney was fourth over Mike Potosky. Lunger dropped to sixth at the finish. After his spin, Davies raced back through the field in the final six laps to finish seventh over Gary Eicher, Butch Lambert, and Rich Michael, Jr. Davies, Carl McKinney, Lunger, and Troy Johnson won the heat races, while Lambert and Gabrielson won the last chance B mains. Dickson Racing Shocks posted $100 for the hard luck award to Shawn Shingledecker after losing a brand new engine. The next “Bickerstaff Cup” race will be on June 22.
Even though Brian Ruhlman wasn’t able to get the night’s sweep in the RUSH Sprint Car feature, it was a family affair up front with brother Chad taking the victory in the 20-lap feature, while Chad’s son Kevin was third and Brian took fourth. After raining out three times this season at the track and in their last four appearances, the second year division was able to complete their first Sharon event of the season. Chad Ruhlman, the 2018 $5,000 Bonnell’s Rod Shop Weekly Series Champion, out-dueled Brian Woodhall for his second overall win on the circuit of 2019.
“Man this place is fun,” expressed the 42-year-old Bemus Point, NY driver. “The new surface they put down is tremendous. Woodhall on the bottom was very impressive. I don’t know how he did it because I don’t have that kind of self-control. I have to get up and manhandle it a little bit, but I’m more excited about the #23 (Kevin Ruhlman) and #49 (Brian Ruhlman) up on the scoreboard. We’re a close knit group so I’m glad we got three out of the top four spots.”
Woodhall shot into the lead off the bottom of the track, while it was four-wide for second with Andy Feil, Chad Ruhlman, Zach Morrow, and Brandon Blackshear fighting it out. Woodhall began to pull away on lap two, while Chad Ruhlman went to the inside of Feil for second on lap three. A caution for rookie Matt Sherlock’s spin with three laps completed slowed action.
When racing resumed, Chad Ruhlman rode the fence and used the momentum to power past Woodhall to lead lap four, while 11th starting Brian Ruhlman went from sixth to third on the restart. Kevin Ruhlman started in seventh and made his presence known when he took fourth from Blackshear on lap eight with Morrow following to take fifth two laps later.
Up front, Chad Ruhlman never really got away from Woodhall as the two were running totally opposite lines with Woodhall smooth on the complete bottom of the track, and Ruhlman running along the fence. Woodhall began to close in on the leader on lap 16, while Kevin Ruhlman caught his uncle Brian and would make the pass for third on lap 19.
Chad Ruhlman had just enough to hold off Woodhall by 0.970 of a second in his Callahan Water Hydraulics/Wicked Wrenches/Kelly Frederes Auto Repair/Close Racing Supply/North Star Unlimited/5th St. Sunoco/Jen’s Pink Zebra/Ruhlman Race Cars/Premier Communications-sponsored #87R for his second career Sharon RUSH Sprint Car win.
Woodhall turned in his career best RUSH finish in second, while Kevin matched his third place from his debut at Pittsburgh on May 18. Brian Ruhlman and Zach Morrow were fourth and fifth. Completing the top 10 were Blackshear, Steve Pedley from 13th, Arnie Kent, Jeremy Weaver in his debut, and Dave Hawkins. Feil and Woodhall won the heat races over the record field of 18 cars.
Defending Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car track champion, Chris McGuire, appears primed for another run at a track championship as he won the final tune-up before next Saturday’s $10,000 to-win “Steel Valley Nationals”. McGuire took the lead from Curt J. Bish on lap eight and survived numerous double file restart to cop the 20-lap victory, which was worth $700 due to the high car count, and was his first at Sharon since July 29, 2017.
“They gave us an awesome track with a bottom and a top,” stated the 28-year-old Erie, Pa. driver. “I really enjoy coming here because it’s one of the best tracks in the area. Once I got to the outside I knew I had to maintain the car. I was slowly gaining on him, but I had to save my tires.”
Bish and McGuire started on the front row with Bish leading the first seven circuits until McGuire finally got the outside to work taking the lead off turn four to lead lap eight. Fifth starting Randy Wyant drove around Bish for second on lap 10 and began to close in on McGuire on lap 14 in lapped traffic. Bish though didn’t go away as he snuck back by Wyant for second on lap 15 as the two made contact. Wyant would eventually spin in turn one to bring out the caution with five laps to go.
On the ensuing restart, Bish jumped the start and was docked a row, but would fight his way back to second on lap 17 following another restart. Bish was closing in on McGuire on lap 19, but a pair of cautions slowed action. McGuire was able to keep Bish at bay on the final lap by 0.483 of a second for his third career win at the track in his Welders Supply/Beacon Lubricants/Tobber Racing/Bob Swanson’s Garage/Ed’s Drywall/Stone Perfection/Dan Marshall Motorsports/B&M Well Drilling/Tregler Race Engines/Xtreme Graphics-sponsored #63.
Seventh starting Todd Weldon came home third in his first visit of the season. Andy Thompson had a nice run in fourth after starting 11th as Jim Fosnaught was fifth. Completing the top 10 were 12th starting Steve D’Apolito, Kyle Couchenour, Leigh Wheeler, Noah Brunell, and Mike Miller all the way from 21st. Heat victors over the 30-car field were Bish, McGuire, and Fosnaught, while Chris Schneider won the last chance B main.
Garrett Krummert became the third different RUSH Sportsman Modified winner in as many races in 2019 taking the 20-lap HTMA/Precise Racing Products feature. The 2018 $3,000 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Weekly Series Champion led the entire distance over Jim Rasey for the $500 victory. The non-stop event was timed in 8:06.863.
“We weren’t very good so track position played a lot into that one,” explained the 31-year-old Ellwood City, Pa. driver. “The race track is racey, but it got tough when we got to lapped cars. It was three-wide, which shows how racey the track was as you could race all over it. I think the top seemed quicker to me, but when I saw Jim (Rasey) dive to the bottom I thought I better protect the bottom.”
An invert three from the heat races put Rasey on the pole, but he wasn’t able to hold P1 as Krummert used the top take the early lead. The two ran side-by-side on lap two then again on lap five as Krummert continued to maintain the top spot. Traffic came into play on seven and one lap later, Rasey again pulled even, but was still unable to make the pass stick.
Krummert began to open up some ground on Rasey on lap nine. Heavy traffic came into play on lap 12, which actually allowed Krummert to pull away even more. Krummert’s lead increased in the final laps and was a substantial margin of 3.512 over Rasey at the checkered flag. Krummert’s third career RUSH win at the track was his fourth overall at Sharon. Tony Tatgenhorst was third as he nears his first career win. Kole Holden and Rob Kristyak traded fourth and fifth several times throughout the event with Holden getting the fourth spot. Sixth through 10th were Jacob Jordan, Kyle Martell, Josh Deems, Jordan Ehrenberg, and Pat Adams. Tatgenhorst, Krummert, and Rasey won the heat races over the 25-car field.
Pat Adams led from green-to-checkered in the 10-lap RUSH Sportsman Modified “Wheelman” event for non-winners presented by Ohio Intra Express and C&R Tire. One caution on lap two was all that slowed the 50-year-old Bristolville, Ohio driver’s run to the $75 victory by 1.857 seconds in his Bristol Disposal/King’s Sanitary Service-sponsored #39. Jacob Wolfe went from fourth to second over Jordan Ehrenberg. Jacob Jordan was fourth and leads the “Wheelman” points. Preston Cope completed the top five.
Outlaw E-Mods “Bickerstaff Cup” Series Race 1 (25 laps, $1,200 to-win): 1. BRIAN RUHLMAN (49) 2. Nathon Loney (10) 3. Joe Gabrielson (58) 4. Mike Kinney (Porter 20P) 5. Mike Potosky (m20) 6. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 7. Dan Davies (71D) 8. Gary Eicher (29) 9. Butch Lambert (Hendrickson 19) 10. Rich Michael, Jr. (17x) 11. Josh Ferry (33) 12. Alan Dellinger (Williams 7) 13. Randy Hall (Engles 68) 14. Carl McKinney (6M) 15. Jacob Eucker (64) 16. Jason Fosnaught (J19) 17. Buzz Seitz (1) 18. Casey Bowers (30) 19. Troy Johnson (2J) 20. Mike Eschrich (9E) 21. Howard Fraley (217) 22. Chris Basich (71c) 23. Steve Rex (27R) 24. Mike McGee (11M). DNQ: John Boyd (1), Alan Atkinson (32), David Lanphere (39), Dan McEwen (44), Brandon Grossman (17G), Zach Johnson (105), Greg Johnson (05), Jesse Gould (2G), Shawn Shingledecker (54s), Hunter Hulley (66), Dwayne Clay (007), Jeff Johnson (27), Amanda Stiffler (14A), Dan Sasso (21), Tyler Frankenberry (38), Scott Stiffler (14).
RUSH Sprint Cars (20 laps): 1. CHAD RUHLMAN (87R) 2. Brian Woodhall (8B) 3. Kevin Ruhlman (23) 4. Brian Ruhlman (23) 5. Zach Morrow (27) 6. Brandon Blackshear (10) 7. Steve Pedley (21) 8. Arnie Kent (18) 9. Jeremy Weaver (Hull 41) 10. Dave Hawkins (27) 11. Andy Feil (Mahoney/Eckart 9J) 12. Frank Wilson, Jr. (13) 13. Matt Sherlock III (55) 14. Scott Hawkins (37) 15. Tyler Powell (35) 16. Brad Blackshear (19) 17. Shawn Smith (36) 18. Brian Hartzell (69).
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (20 laps, $700 to-win): 1. CHRIS MCGUIRE (63) 2. Curt J. Bish (Tarr 29) 3. Todd Weldon (45) 4. Andy Thompson (5) 5. Jim Fosnaught (20J) 6. Steve D’Apolito (84) 7. Kyle Couchenour (299) 8. Leigh Wheeler (717) 9. Noah Brunell (31) 10. Mike Miller (T6) 11. William Hurrelbrink (c8) 12. Larry Kugel (Duncan 67) 13. Chris Schneider (74) 14. Tyler Thompson (T2) 15. Randy Wyant (11T) 16. Terry Wheeler (2W) 17. Shaun Hooks (65) 18. Jacob Billyk (4) 19. Jason Jones (81) 20. Tyler Wyant (24) 21. Brian Carothers (02c) 22. Rusty Moore (17M) 23. Jamie Scharba (11S) 24. Jordan Perkins (13J) 25. Don Kramer, Jr. (95)-DNS. DNQ: Tyler Kubic (222), Bill Watson (Petsko 00), Gil Demello (22), Bob Egley (30), Mark Hopkins (69H).
HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds (20 laps, $500 to-win): 1. GARRETT KRUMMERT (Schaffer 10s) 2. Jim Rasey (32) 3. Tony Tatgenhorst (63T) 4. Kole Holden (2) 5. Rob Kristyak (00) 6. Jacob Jordan (28J) 7. Kyle Martell (8) 8. Josh Deems (9D) 9. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57) 10. Pat Adams (39) 11. Gary Haupt (16) 12. Jacob Wolfe (7) 13. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 14. Jessica Kriegisch (63) 15. Amelia Clay (16c) 16. Preston Cope (24P) 17. Calvin Clay (12c) 18. Cameron Nastasi (615) 19. Brandon Albert (30) 20. John McMillen (6) 21. Clayton Deems (55R) 22. David Kalb, Jr. (11J) 23. Don Blaney (11B) 24. Chas Wolbert (c3)-DNS 25. Greg Porter (25)-DSQ.
Ohio Intra Express/C&R Tire RUSH Sportsman Modified “Wheelman” Non-Winners Race (10 laps, $75 to-win): 1. Pat Adams 2. Jacob Wolfe 3. Jordan Ehrenberg 4. Jacob Jordan 5. Preston Cope 6. Amelia Clay 7. Cameron Nastasi 8. Brandon Albert 9. Clayton Deems 10. John McMillen 11. Tony Tatgenhorst-DNS 12. Don Blaney-DNS 13. David Kalb, Jr.-DNS 14. Calvin Clay-DNS 15. Greg Porter-DSQ.
Up next is the “Steel Valley Nationals” for the Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series along with the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods. Practice and qualifying will be held on Friday night (June 14) with heat races, last chance B mains, and the $10,000 to-win Stock and $2,000 to-win Econo Mod features on Saturday night (June 15) for the Menards “Super Series” event. There will be a post-race DJ by Brian Kelly Productions.
Then coming up on Tuesday, June 18 is Ohio Speedweek for Tony Stewart’s Ollie’s Bargain Outlaw All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars racing for $5,000 to-win along with the non-wing RUSH Sprint Cars.
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.