The "Grand Old Lady" of auto racing, Sharon Speedway will open its gates for another season of racing tonight. One of the oldest race tracks in the country, if not the oldest, first opened in 1929. Since then, some of the finest racecar drivers in the country have passed through the gates and continue to do so.
Saturday Night Steel Valley Thunder kicks off with the Big Block Modifides. Rex King of Bristoville will be on hand to defend his championship title along with his son Russell who finished fourth in the standings and hopes to dethrone his father. Kevin Boland of New Brighton Pa., a top runner for years in the twin-state area should be on hand and looking for the winners circle.
Top runner and great guy Jim Rasey of Warren is a contender to win at any time, after finishing third in last year's standings, will have his foot to the wood looking for another win. While son, Justin, former high school football star, will be back and looking for a way to get to the front after last year's freshman start and turning heads. The powerful big blocks will have many more stars and cars on hand.
The Fastrak Late Model series in a short time has become one of the fastest growing racing series in the country with Sharon Speedway having the highest count of cars anywhere in the country for the series.
Let me tell you about the Fastrak series large fields, two- and three-wide racing is the norm. Fourteen- and 15-year-old kids not just being competitive, but winning against season veterans. The national champion Max Blair of Titusville, Pa., races at Sharon often. Teenager Joshua Double of Bristoville, last year's point champion, will also be back with Eric Wilson of Cortland who, at 14 years old, pulled off a big upset and won at Sharon last year becoming the youngest winner ever in Sharon's storied history. This series gets me excited.
E-Mods, great looking cars with very competitive racing. The man from Mars, Pa., that is and last year's champ won over a stellar field. Alan Dellinger, who has won in about every division in the Ohio and Pennsylvania area, finished second in last year's standings will be back and hard to beat as ever. Joel Watson of Conneaut is as good as anyone in an E-Mod, made several trips to the Hartford oval and brought fans to their feet with his hard driving style.
The Grand Old Lady has much more to offer than space allows.
Grandstands open at 5 p.m. and racing is at 7.