by Mike Leone
Hartford, OH August 3, 2019 A beautiful Saturday night allowed Sharon Speedway to even up the score with Mother Nature at 8 to 8 in the 90th anniversary season on Thompson Fab Night. Picking up victories and celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane as part of the Menards “Super Series” were Chad Kemenah-Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars, Garrett Krummert-RUSH Touring Series for the HTMA/Precise Racing Products Sportsman Modifieds, Curt J. Bish-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, and Dustin Demattia- Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods. Also, Cameron Nastasi won the “Wheelman” Non-Winners race presented by Ohio Intra Express and C&R Tire for the RUSH Mods, while Terry Wheeler, Jr. captured the Stock Car mechanics race. There were 105 cars in the pits for the four-division show.
Chad Kemenah has traveled up and down the country’s highways chasing Sprint Car glory. He’s beat the World of Outlaws six times in his career and is a six-time champion of the All Star Circuit of Champions with 30 career victories. But in Sprint Car racing there’s no guarantees. After the conclusion of the 2018 season, Kemenah found himself without a ride after four successful seasons with Hunter Racing. For 2019, Kemenah put together last minute part-time separate deals with Shannon Wheatley along John Garvin, Jr., who he befriended in recent years competing with the All Stars.
On Saturday night, Kemenah returned to prominence with an impressive victory after getting by Dan McCarron for good on lap nine then had to fend off Carl Bowser without brakes over the final 10 laps to score his first victory of 2019. With his $3,000 win and first ever for Garvin as a Sprint Car owner, Kemenah became the season’s fifth different “410” winner in six races. It marks the second straight season Kemenah has won a non-sanctioned $3,000 feature at Sharon, and was the seventh of his career spanning over three decades at the Hartford, Ohio oval.
“This has been one of the hardest seasons I’ve probably ever had in all of the years I’ve raced,” acknowledged the 47-year-old Alvada, Ohio driver. “The whole Garvin family has stuck behind me and we finally won one! I thought ‘oh shit’ when I lost my brakes because it’s like heading up to a stop sign and realizing there’s no way that’s going to happen. I started cheating the corners real bad with about 10 to go. (Carl) Bowser is a good racer and I knew he’d be coming around the top so I tried to make it as wide as I could and not make many mistakes. I’m not complaining after the year we’ve had. My crew chief (Creed) is 12- that’s my little boy!”
Front row starters Jack Sodeman, Jr. and McCarron put on quite a battle early on for the lead, while 10th starting Dale Blaney was halfway to the front after two laps. After a side-by-side duel, McCarron nosed ahead to lead lap three running the highline. Kemenah followed in McCarron’s tracks driving around Sodeman for second on lap four. By lap six it was a four-car race for the lead between McCarron, Kemenah, Sodeman, and Bowser.
Lapped traffic came into play on lap seven as Kemenah put a big slider on McCarron to take the lead, but McCarron didn’t go away as he regained the lead on lap eight. There was a different leader for the third consecutive lap when Kemenah went back to the point on the ninth circuit with a slider in turn four. Bowser and Sodeman then moved past McCarron for second and third respectively on lap 10. Bowser was a straightaway behind Kemenah and closed the deficit in half by lap 14, but a slowing Darren Pifer brought out the caution with 14 laps scored.
The top four of Kemenah, Bowser, Sodeman, and McCarron pulled away from the field by lap 17, but Blaney joined the battle on lap 19; however, in the ensuing laps McCarron and Blaney lost pace with the top three as they had a battle of their own for the fourth spot. Bowser closed back in on Kemenah, who had to change his lines around the 3/8-mile without brakes, but wasn’t able to make the pass as Kemenah took the checkered flag first by just 0.360 of a second in the Garvin Scrap Metals/Alternative Power Sources/Clarksburgh Hose/Kistler Race Products-sponsored #K4.
Bowser’s second place was his best Sharon finish of the season. Sodeman matched his best effort of the year at Sharon in third. Blaney passed McCarron for fourth on lap 26 with the Michigan driver fading to fifth for his best career Sharon finish. Brandon Spithaler and Dan Kuriger were sixth and seventh. Kemenah’s car owner, Garvin, raced from 13th to eighth. Brandon Matus went 17th to ninth. George Hobaugh was 10th. Blaney set fast time overall in qualifying against the 29-car field with a lap of 14.742. Heat winners were Blaney, Kemenah, and Sodeman, while Brent Matus won the last chance B main for the second straight week.
Making his first appearance since winning on June 8, Garrett Krummert captured the HTMA/Precise Racing Products feature for the RUSH Sportsman Modified Touring Series. Krummert emerged victorious after getting by Chas Wolbert on lap seven and held off Wolbert and Jim Rasey over the final laps of the 25-lap feature presented by C&R Tire. Krummert’s first Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Touring Series victory of the season was worth $600.
“I thought it was a heck of a race the first seven or eight laps with Chas and when Tony was up there- hopefully the fans enjoyed it,” expressed the 31-year-old Ellwood City, Pa. racer. “The big-block (Modified) is actually a heck of a lot easier to drive than these things. There’s a lot of good cars in this division so if you’re off a bit, you can’t make up with the motor. They’re fun to drive and a lot of fun. I have to thank my wife and Jerry Schaffer, who couldn’t be here for letting me do this. I also have to thank my mom and dad, my crew chief Ryan and his wife Amy, my other crew guy Jordan along with the fans and everyone for putting this deal on.”
Tony Tatgenhorst drove around Amelia Clay on the opening lap for the lead, while fourth starting Wolbert moved to second as Krummert and Rasey also got around Clay for third and fourth respectively. Last week’s winner, Kole Holden, started eighth and cracked the top five on lap two when he dropped Clay back another spot. Wolbert and Tatgenhorst went at it for the lead racing side-by-side on laps four and five with Wolbert sneaking under to lead the fifth circuit.
Krummert moved to the top and drove around Tatgenhorst for second on lap six then made the winning pass one lap later on Wolbert driving around the leader off turn two, while sixth starting Rasey overtook Tatgenhorst for third. Three cautions slowed action with 12 laps scored with the final one seeing Tatgenhorst and Rasey making contact with Rasey then getting into Tatgenhorst sending Tatgenhorst spinning. Rasey was put to the tail.
This would move ninth starting Deems into third with Holden and Pat Adams in fourth and fifth. Back under green at the halfway point, it was a three-car race for the lead between Krummert, Wolbert and Deems. Wolbert pulled alongside Krummert on lap 15, but Krummert maintained his lead. Rasey meanwhile worked his way back into the top five by passing Connor King on lap 16.
Krummert pulled away on lap 17 and appeared to be on cruise control to the finish, but a spin by rookie Brandon Albert would bunch up the field for a four-lap dash to the finish. When racing resumed, Rasey made quite the move to pass both Deems and Holden for third as it was nearly three-wide for the lead in turn one, but Krummert would maintain the top spot. Krummert then quickly pulled away to take his fourth career win in the division and fifth overall at Sharon in the Jerry Schaffer Racing, Turn 4 Toilets-sponsored #10s by a comfortable 2.034 seconds.
Wolbert was second over Rasey. Holden’s fourth place finish allowed him to take over the Sharon points lead. King was fifth. Completing the top 10 were Deems, Jacob Wolfe, Adams, Kyle Martell from 22nd, and Greg Porter. Heat winners over the 28-car field were Wolbert, Deems, and Krummert, while King won the last chance B main.
Cameron Nastasi became the fifth different winner in the six “Wheelman” Non-Winners races that have been contested in the inaugural year presented by Ohio Intra Express and C&R Tire. The 21-year-old Hubbard, Ohio driver led all eight non-stop laps in his #615 and went unchallenged to the $75 victory by 1.873 seconds. Rookie Clayton Deems passed Greg Porter on lap six to finish second for his best finish. Sixth starting Jacob Wolfe also got by Porter to finish third. Porter dropped to fourth ahead of Amelia Clay, who continues to lead the points.
Back on June 29, Curt J. Bish ended a four-year winless drought at Sharon Speedway in the Stock Cars. It certainly didn’t take Bish long to find himself back in victory lane as on Saturday night he went from third to first on a restart on lap three and survived four restarts over the final five laps to capture the 20-lap Gibson Insurance Agency-sponsored feature. With more than a full field of cars again, Bish earned $700.
“There were a lot of cautions late and I think they actually helped me as the right front tire started to go away a bit and I started to pick a little push up,” explained the 35-year-old Oil City, Pa. driver. “It was a nice track tonight- it was good and racey. You could go to the middle and bottom. I didn’t really have to venture to the top or we would have tried it. I have to that Dave Willoughby, the safety crew, and everyone here for doing what they do every week to get this place in the condition it is.”
Shaun Hooks was the early leader off the pole position with Andy Thompson, Chris McGuire, and sixth starting Bish in tow. McGuire and Bish then passed Thompson for second and third respectively on lap two. After a caution for Michael Hudzik with two laps scored, Bish made his winning move shooting under both McGuire and Hooks in turn one. Bobby Whitling, who was making his first start since winning back on May 18, started ninth and entered contention taking third from Hooks on lap four.
Up front, Bish pulled away from the field, while a tremendous race for second took place with McGuire trying to fend off Whitling, Hooks, Noah Brunell, and Chris Schneider. It was three-wide for third on lap 11 with Hooks and Brunell getting by Whitling. And after dropping back to fourth, Hooks was hitting his marks just right on the outside as he drove around McGuire for second on lap 13. Schneider then would pass both Brunell and McGuire for third on lap 14.
The four cautions then ruined tremendous racing behind Bish. When racing resumed for good on lap 17, Hooks and Schneider made contact with Brunnel and Whitling getting back by. Bish though was the class of the field on this night in the Robert Tarr-owned, Bish Heating & Cooling/Double E Fencing/RK Virgile/Pioneer Electric-sponsored #29 as he took his third career win by 1.584 seconds.
Seventh starting Brunell had a career best Sharon finish of second as Whitling won the battle for third over Hooks and McGuire. Schneider lost a lot of ground after the contact with Hooks as he finished sixth over Brian Carothers, Paul Davis, Terry Wheeler, and Randy Wyant. Heat race wins over the 28-car field went to Hooks, Thompson, and McGuire.
They always say the first one is the toughest. Dustin DeMattia captured his first career win on July 13 in an Elite Series event for the Econo Mods at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway. Last Saturday night saw DeMattia pick up his first career Sharon win once again taking the Elite Series victory. On Saturday night, DeMattia continued his winning ways taking the lead on lap nine from Jacob Eucker and going unchallenged in the caution-plagued 20-lap feature. His back-to-back victories have also ascended him into the Summit Racing Equipment points lead for the first time in his young career.
“After the year we were having I never thought we’d go back-to-back,” stated the 21-year-old Montville, Ohio driver. “We’ll see if we can do it next week from 12th. My car was so good on the restarts just like last week and seems to have so much more bite than everyone else. My brother really has me rolling on this slick and shiny stuff. I can’t thank him enough.”
Eucker jumped out to the early lead over Alan Dellinger and Josh Mueller, while sixth starting DeMattia moved into fourth on the opening lap. Mueller went under Dellinger for second on lap two, while DeMattia followed in third one lap later. DeMattia went to the top and drove around Mueller for second on lap eight before a caution for Brandon Fiedler’s spin.
DeMattia’s winning pass came when racing resumed on lap nine as he drove around Eucker in turns one and two. DeMattia stretched his lead to a straightaway at the halfway point as he continued to distance himself from the field until four cautions between laps 13-15 brought action to a halt. The final five laps would go caution-free as DeMattia’s Larson Trucking/Ed’s Garage/Anton’s Hot Rod Shop/Warren Diesel Performance/Mayfield Brainard Collision/Mahan Welding-sponsored #77D drove away to win by a commanding 4.360 seconds.
Eucker was second. Mitchell Lam had career best run in third after starting 17th! Lam dropped Mueller back to the fourth spot on lap 16 where he’d finish. Jason Fosnaught, who has competed in RUSH Late Models, Stock Cars, Outlaw Mods, and now Econo Mods this year, had a good run going 10th to fifth. Eucker and DeMattia won the heat races over the 20-car field.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply “410” Sprint Cars (30 laps, $3,000 to-win): 1. CHAD KEMENAH (Garvin K4) 2. Carl Bowser (11) 3. Jack Sodeman, Jr. (23Jr) 4. Dale Blaney (Stafford 4N) 5. Dan McCarron (22M) 6. Brandon Spithaler (22) 7. Dan Kuriger (08) 8. John Garvin, Jr. (J4) 9. Brandon Matus (13) 10. George Hobaugh (40) 11. Frankie Nervo (21N) 12. Michael Bauer (46) 13. Jared McFarland (250) 14. Jamie Myers (1) 15. Jeremy Kornbau (27K) 16. Brent Matus (33) 17. Eric L. Williams (4w) 18. Darin Gallagher (12) 19. Ricky Peterson (15) 20. Joe McEwen (44) 21. Jordan Ryan (Chappel 8) 22. Darren Pifer (23) 23. Andy Priest (McCandless 7N) 24. Brett Brunkenhoefer (Kish 47). DNQ: Lance Christie (Kish 45), Mike Marano II (34m), Gale Ruth (1R), Logan McCandless (29M), Landon Lalonde (2L).
RUSH Touring Series for the HTMA/Precise Racing Products Sportsman Modifieds (25 laps, $600 to-win): 1. GARRETT KRUMMERT (Schaffer 10s) 2. Chas Wolbert (c3) 3. Jim Rasey (32) 4. Kole Holden (2) 5. Connor King (19) 6. Josh Deems (9D) 7. Jacob Wolfe (7) 8. Pat Adams (39) 9. Kyle Martell (8) 10. Greg Porter (25) 11. Cameron Nastasi (615) 12. D.J. Schrader (14S) 13. Brandon Albert (30) 14. Clayton Deems (55R) 15. Jacob Jordan (28J) 16. Tony Tatgenhorst (63T) 17. Gary Haupt (16) 18. David Kalb, Jr. (11J) 19. Preston Cope (24P) 20. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 21. Calvin Clay (12c) 22. Amelia Clay (16c) 23. Joe Gibson (19) 24. Nathen McDowell (Sarcinella 11G). DNQ: Jessica Kriegisch (63), Teddy Williams II (818), Eric Gabany (Schaffer 4S), Rob Kristyak (00).
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (20 laps, $700 to-win): 1. CURT J. BISH (Tarr 29) 2. Noah Brunell (31) 3. Bobby Whitling (7w) 4. Shaun Hooks (65) 5. Chris McGuire (63) 6. Chris Schneider (Keihl 64) 7. Brian Carothers (02c) 8. Paul Davis (3) 9. Terry Wheeler (2W) 10. Randy Wyant (11T) 11. Bryan Wagner (56) 12. Mike Miller (Thompson 81) 13. Andy Thompson (5) 14. Jamie Scharba (11S) 15. Jim Fosnaught (20J) 16. Jamie Maxwell (6) 17. Mike Kerr (25K) 18. Jordan Perkins (13J) 19. Brad Shaffer (26) 20. Brian Lacey (51) 21. Steve Burns, Jr. (70B) 22. Curt Bish, Jr. (00) 23. Tyler Wyant (24) 24. Troy DeZarn (21) 25. Steve D’Apolito (84) 26. Mike Hudzik (31H) 27. Jamie Duncan (67J) 28. Larry Kugel (Duncan 67J)-DSQ (unsportsmanlike conduct).
Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods (20 laps): 1. DUSTIN DEMATTIA (77D) 2. Jacob Eucker (64) 3. Mitchell Lam (12) 4. Josh Mueller (01) 5. Jason Fosnaught (J19) 6. Ray Gregory (82R) 7. Gary Robinson (44R) 8. Andy Buckley (Leamer 965) 9. Jarrett Young (21) 10. Rob Shook (64) 11. Buzz Seitz (1) 12. Dan McEwen (44) 13. Mason Canter (9T) 14. Rick Wilson, Jr. (35) 15. Keith Felicetty (98) 16. Daniel Moffitt (2) 17. J.J. Bametzrieder (74) 18. Brandon Fiedler (18) 19. Mike Hillman (29) 20. Alan Dellinger (Williams 7).
Ohio Intra Express/C&R Tire RUSH Sportsman Modified “Wheelman” Non-Winners Race (8 laps, $75 to-win): 1. Cameron Nastasi 2. Clayton Deems 3. Jacob Wolfe 4. Greg Porter 5. Amelia Clay 6. Brandon Albert 7. Teddy Williams II 8. Nathen McDowell 9. Jacob Jordan-DNS 10. Tony Tatgenhorst-DNS 11. D.J. Schrader-DNS 12. Preston Cope-DNS 13. Joe Gibson-DNS 14. David Kalb, Jr.-DNS 15. Calvin Clay-DNS.
Coming up next Saturday (August 10) will be the “Bill Kirila Memorial” featuring the “410” Sprint Cars for their third of four straight appearances for $3,000 to-win on Kams Electric Service Night. The Menards “Super Series” event will also include the Stock Cars, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and Econo Mods. Race time is 7 p.m.
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.