HARTFORD, Ohio – After a rainout, Sharon Speedway resumed action with week three of Steel Valley Thunder on Saturday night as part of the track’s 85th anniversary season.
Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Jim Weller, Jr.-Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Dennis Lunger, Jr.-Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Mike Kinney-Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Mike Clark-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Tim Deutsch-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Scott Gilliland-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. It was a night when the veterans and defending champions reigned supreme. Four of the six winners were the 2013 champions in their respective divisions, and the youngest winner was 39.
With a pole position start, it looked like Rex King may be able to keep the Kings a perfect three-for-three in the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds this season, but defending champion Jim Weller, Jr. had other ideas as he held off King for his first win of the 2014 in the non-stop 20-lap Hovis Auto & Truck Supply feature.
“The track was getting a little slick- you’re tight, you’re loose; it’s tricky tonight,” said the Hubbard, Ohio veteran. “We were good, but we weren’t great. If you get on the gas too quick and you hit the slick stuff the rear-end slides out from under you. I have to thank John Corbin and my son Johnny, Chris, Bill, and my other son Jimbo.”
Weller used the outside of the tacky track to get around King at the start, while Jim Rasey was able to get by Jimmy Weller III for third. Rex King, Jr. started sixth and cracked the top five on lap two when he passed Tom Glenn. The top two quickly pulled away over Rasey; meanwhile, the battle was on fourth as Weller III tried to keep King, Jr. at bay. The two battled hard over the ensuing laps, but Weller III was able to hang on until the 17th circuit when King, Jr. finally made the pass.
Ironically back up front it was the elder King and Weller going at it, King closed on lap 14 then pulled even three laps later. The two veterans ran side-by-side on laps 17-19. Weller made a couple moves in lapped traffic to hold off King in the final laps for his 27th career win in his Zip Motorsports-owned, Liberty Steel Products-sponsored #31. The margin of victory was 0.492 of a second in the event that was timed in 5:40.645.