DON O’NEAL’S 2ND STRAIGHT $12,000 LUCAS OIL LATE MODEL WIN IS HIS 1ST EVER AT SHARON; JEREMY WEAVER HOLDS OFF KRUMMERT FOR 1ST RUSH MOD WIN
by Mike Leone
Hartford, OH July 2, 2018 Cold and wet grounds forced the postponement of the “Steel Valley 50” back on April 20 to Monday night and what a difference in weather. Scorching temps in the 90s and high humidity was present with storms literally all around the speedway; however, only a few big drops fell despite a major thunder and lightning show after the gates opened. The two-division show, which was presented by Barris Truck Service and Performance Bodies, was completed at 9 p.m. as only one caution was needed all night long. Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Don O’Neal-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Jeremy Weaver-HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.
Don O’Neal overtook Mason Zeigler on lap 14 and for the most dominated the remainder of the caution-free “Steel Valley 50” for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. It was O’Neal’s second straight $12,000 victory in LOLMDS action after winning Sunday night at Mansfield, and first ever at Sharon.
“It’s pretty cool to match the boss in wins (Clint Boyer) and hopefully we’ll get several more,” expressed the soon-to-be 54-year-old Martinsville, Indiana driver. “Hats off to this Peak car- man it’s been pretty good the last couple nights. This whole team has worked their butts off. I get the glory, but it’s all because of them. It was three-wide there for awhile and that was pretty cool- I’m just glad to come out on top. Hopefully we can go get one at Muskingum tomorrow night for three-in-a-row. Last year there wasn’t much they could do here with all the rain, but it was smooth as glass tonight. I’m glad everyone came out and now can go home early on a Monday night.”
Zeigler raced out to the early lead with Earl Pearson, Jr., O’Neal, Jonathan Davenport, and Bobby Pierce in tow after the opening lap. Davenport went to the outside and passed both O’Neal and Pearson for second on lap four, but two laps later O’Neal was able to work back by Davenport for second. Piece and Davenport then traded third and forth with Davenport getting back by for good on lap 11.
Back up front, O’Neal closed in Zeigler and the two raced side-by-side on lap 11 through 14 until Zeigler got too high in turn two allowing O’Neal to make the winning pass on the 14th circuit. Davenport closed in on Zeigler on lap 18 in the battle for second, while fifth starting Josh Richards joined the battle on lap 21. Meanwhile, O’Neal began to pull away on lap 22. Richards then made the pass on Davenport for second on lap 24.
O’Neal had built up a huge lead, but Zeigler would close in on the final laps. O’Neal would hold on and take the checkered flag by a winning margin of 0.722 of a second in the Clint Bowyer-owned, Peak Anti-Freeze & Coolant/Crawford Outdoor/Cometic Gaskets/Penske Shocks-sponsored #5 for his 45th career LOLMDS win.
Richards, Davenport, and 11th starting Darrell Lanigan completed the first five. Bobby Pierce was sixth as Pearson dropped to seventh over Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Owens, and Mike Maresca. Zeigler set fast time overall against the 27-car field in qualifying with a lap of 16.642. Zeigler, Pearson, and O’Neal won the heat races, while Hudson O’Neal won the B main.
Jeremy Weaver led all 20 caution-free laps of the HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified feature holding off the region’s top winner, Garrett Krummert who started eighth, to capture his first career win at the speedway. The $600 increased purse win was the second of Weaver’s career after winning last October in a special event at Mercer Raceway Park.
“I have to start off by praising God- without him I wouldn’t be standing here,” stated the soon-to-be 17-year-old Stoneboro, Pa. driver. “We have a lot of great guys working on this race car. It’s my dad’s birthday. We’re down there sweating buckets to get this thing ready to go. I can’t thank him and my mom enough. They do everything possible to get this car on the race track every week. We had some good cars behind us and I knew they were going to be there quick. I tried to focus on what I was doing. I saw the 10 (Krummert) was second- I knew he was going to be fast and be there. It’s really special to get one here. It’s a daunting track.”
Weaver jumped into the lead from the pole position, while Josh Deems passed David Kalb, Jr. for second on the first lap. By lap two, Krummert had worked his way up to fifth then drove under Kugel and Kalb to take third on lap three. Krummert was all over Deems in the battle for second. The two raced side-by-side until Krummert finally made the pass stick on lap 13.
By now, Krummert was a half-straightaway behind Weaver with seven laps to go. Krummert quickly chopped into the deficit and was on the teenage leader on lap 15. Weaver though was able to hit his marks and make the right moves in traffic to hold off Krummert’s challenges as he took the checkered flag first by a margin of 0.426 of a second in the Aaron Weaver-owned Lakeview Fertilizer/J&J Sauer Trailer Sales/H&H Materials/Supreme MFG/Campbell’s Camp Perry/Muscle Products/ Schaffer Family Racing/Wagler’s Camp Perry-sponsored #35W. Weaver became the fourth different winner in four races this year and 14th different all-time to win in the division.
Deems was third for the second time this season. Kugel was fourth for the second time in three days as he’s now a perfect four-for-four with top fives this season. Justin Shea was fifth. Weaver, Kalb, and Deems won the heat races. It was the third straight race where 24 cars were on hand after a record turnout of 31 on opening night.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series “Steel Valley 50” (50 laps, $12,000 to-win): 1. DON O’NEAL (5) 2. Mason Zeigler (25z) 3. Josh Richards (1) 4. Jonathan Davenport (49) 5. Darrell Lanigan (14) 6. Bobby Pierce (32) 7. Earl Pearson, Jr. (1) 8. Tim McCreadie (39) 9. Jimmy Owens (20) 10. Mike Maresca (7MM) 11. Max Blair (111) 12. Jackie Boggs (4B) 13. Scott Bloomquist (0) 14. Gregg Satterlee (22) 15. Hudson O’Neal (71) 16. Austin Rettig (94) 17. Dennis Erb, Jr. (28) 18. Jared Miley (10) 19. Kyle Bronson (40B) 20. Matt Cosner (66c) 21. Charlie Powell (94) 22. Jason Jameson (12) 23. Bob Anderzack (8) 24. Doug Drown (12). DNQ: Matt Latta (B1D), Brian Baumberger (32B), Breyton Santee (9).
HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds (20 laps, $600 to-win): 1. JEREMY WEAVER (35W) 2. Garrett Krummert (10s) 3. Josh Deems (9D) 4. Rocky Kugel (83) 5. Justin Shea (14s) 6. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8) 7. Chas Wolbert (c3) 8. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 9. Rob Kristyak (00) 10. Kyle Martell (8) 11. Blaze Myers (43JR) 12. Gary Haupt (16) 13. David Kalb, Jr. (11J) 14. Tony Tatgenhorst (63T) 15. Brandon Ritchey (17) 16. Kole Holden (2) 17. Brian Sadler (5) 18. Jeff Schaffer, Jr. (4s) 19. Kevin Long (22) 20. Will Schaffer (4) 21. Steve Slater (29) 22. Jacob Wolfe (7) 23. Lexi Couch (51) 24. Jessica Kriegisch (63).
Coming up this Saturday (July 7) will be the 10th annual “Lou Blaney Memorial” presented by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. featuring the third and final appearance of the season by the All Star Circuit of Champions along with The Mod Tour big blocks in a $2,000 to-win event. The night will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Reserved tickets are on sale through Friday night at midnight by clicking on “buy tickets” at the top left of the SharonSpeedway.com website. All gates open at 3 p.m. with warm-ups at approximately 6:30 following by qualifying and racing.
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.