HARTFORD, Ohio – Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane at Sharon Speedway were Rex King (Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds), Joel Watson (Summit Racing Equipment E Modifieds), Greg Martin (Weller Hughes Contracting & Developing RUSH Sportsman Modifieds), Mike Miller (Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Ryan Fraley-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods), and Adam Little (Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks).
After the King Family won the first four DIRTcar Big-Block Modified features to open the season, Brian Swartzlander, Jim Weller, and Ricky Richner were new winners in successive events; however, on Saturday night it was a King back in victory lane with Rex, Sr. victorious in the 20-lap Hovis Auto & Truck Supply feature holding off a challenge by New York invader Randy Chrysler.
“He’s got good equipment and is a lot of fun to race with – I’m glad he’s coming down here,” said the Bristolville, Ohio veteran in regards to Chrysler. “I tried the top and about ate the wall coming out of turn two so I figured I better do something different. I moved down and ran right through the middle of the black. I actually slowed down and went faster. I have a lot of great sponsors. University Hospitals is here tonight and is one of our sponsors. It’s a great place if you ever need anything done. I have a great crew that helps. I want to thank all of the fans. I hope all the people that came tonight come back some more.”
Jimmy Weller III led the opening lap before a caution for a Justin Rasey spin slowed action. On the ensuing restart, King made the winning move driving under Weller in turn four. Weller slipped high in turn two allowing Chrysler to make the pass for second with the entire field freight-training Weller. Chrysler stayed with King for the duration, even getting alongside the leader on several different occasions, but the elder King was too strong as he captured his 51st career win by 1.673 seconds.
Chrysler recorded his best ever Sharon finish in runner-up. Rex King, Jr. had made his way to third before suffering mechanical issues, which allowed his father to take over the point lead for the first time this season. Jim Rasey was third. Last week’s winner, Richner, raced from seventh to fourth over Jim Weller, Jr. Completing the top 10 were Rob Kristyak, Tom Glenn, Justin Rasey, Carl Murdick, and King, Jr.
Joel Watson won an exciting 20-lap Summit Racing Equipment Modified feature with some daring moves and held off a season best performance by Scott Stiffler for his second win of the season. “I’ll tell you I’m out of breath- I was really driving hard,” expressed the 36-year-old Conneaut, Ohio racer. “I was taking some big chances going in above the cushion and turned back down in the corner. There was a lot of speed up there, but it took a lot of guts. I try to put on a show every time I get behind the wheel. Stiffler was really on his game tonight. I really thought he was going to win and I was going to follow him around the track, but we mounted up some monster runs. I really can’t believe I passed him on the inside. He was up on the cushion and I thought was the dominant car.”
Two-time winner and current point leader, Will Thomas III, raced to the early lead over Stiffler and Watson. Following a caution with three laps scored, Stiffler took over the top spot on lap four with Watson moving into third. Mike Kinney and Watson battled for the spot with Kinney getting back by before a caution with seven laps scored. On the ensuing restart, Watson found the outside to his liking racing past both Kinney and Thomas for second.
Watson’s winning move came on lap 10 following another restart when he dove under Stiffler in turn one and made the pass stick racing off the bottom of turn two. Watson survived two more cautions to beat Stiffler by just 0.509 of a second. The victory was Watson’s 21st of his career.