Winston Cup's Stewart/Blaney to race Sharon Speedway

Tony Stewart, Dave Blaney to race at Sharon Thursday Stewart, crew chief Greg Zipadelli and others to sign autographs for charity HARTFORD, Ohio (June 9, 2003) -- Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart and Dave Blaney, driver of the...

Tony Stewart, Dave Blaney to race at Sharon Thursday
Stewart, crew chief Greg Zipadelli and others to sign autographs for charity

HARTFORD, Ohio (June 9, 2003) -- Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart and Dave Blaney, driver of the NASCAR Winston Cup Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford, have something to prove when they return to Sharon Speedway this Thursday night.

Last August, when the two professional drivers competed at the Hartford dirt track in V-8 Modifieds, neither one of them ended up in Victory Lane. Blaney finished one position behind winner Ron Smoker -- a regular competitor in Sharon's Gibson-Governor Insurance Modified division, and Stewart turned in a fourth-place effort. This year, they both hope to improve their finishing positions and go head-to-head for the win.

"I thought I had last year's race won, but (Ron) Smoker made a great pass on me with 10 laps to go," Blaney said. "I'm looking forward to a little redemption this year -- and I know Tony is as well. He really wanted to beat me on my own track last year, and since that didn't happen, I'm sure his desire to win is even stronger this year."

Again this year, Stewart and Blaney will compete against some of area's best Modified drivers. Stewart, who is coming off a victory in NASCAR's Pocono 500 yesterday, hopes to be leading the final lap Thursday night.

Prior to making the first lap on the track, though, Blaney and Stewart, along with Greg Zipadelli, crew chief for Stewart's No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet, and FOX pit reporter Matt Yocum, will sign autographs to raise money for Zipadelli's children's charity, Zippy's Crusade for Kids. Founded in January by Zipadelli and his wife, the charity provides support to kids in need.

Fans who want to participate in the autograph session will be required to make a $10 donation to Crusade for Kids to receive a "ticket." The ticket entitles the holder to have one item only signed by all four men -- whether it's the special autograph card with photos of Blaney, Stewart, Zipadelli and Yocum donors will receive that night, or an item they bring with them. There will be a limit of one item signed per ticket. A limited number of tickets remain and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The autograph session is expected to begin around 4:15 p.m. and last approximately two hours.

Reserved tickets for Tony Stewart Night, Thursday, June 12, are on sale and moving quickly. Reserved seats are $27 for adults (14 and older) and $14 for kids 3-13 and may be obtained by calling the speedway at (330) 772-5481 through Wednesday, June 11, at 5 p.m. All remaining reserved seats will be available at the speedway's EAST ticket booth on the night of the event.

General admission tickets are $25 for adults 14 and older, $12 for kids 6-13 and free for children 5 and younger and will be available at the gate on the night of the event.

Gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps beginning at 6:30 p.m. Fans can call (330) 772-5481 or visit www.sharonspeedway.com for more information and directions.

About Sharon Speedway
One of the oldest, continuously running weekly racetracks in the United States, the New Sharon Speedway is located 10 miles north of I-80 in Hartford, Ohio. Owned by NASCAR Winston Cup driver Dave Blaney, Jim Weller Sr., Ron Kirila and Bill Kirila, and operated by their families, the speedway features a 3/8-mile dirt racing surface and seating for more than 8,000. The track holds weekly racing every Saturday night from mid-April through mid-August, and over Labor Day weekend hosts the annual Sharon Nationals. This season, the track also will feature several special events, including the World of Outlaws, BRP Modified Tour with Tony Stewart and Dave Blaney, AMA Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Motorcycles and the XTREME DirtCar Series.

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Tony Stewart , Dave Blaney
Teams HART