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Racing Around: Johnson earns win in Ohio

July 9, 2009
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

A few years ago, Jack Johnson got a call from DIRT Motorsports with the news that he had been selected to be inducted into its Hall of Fame.

Jumpin' Jack respectfully declined the honor saying he wasn't done winning races and wanted to wait until he retired.

Now you can add another victory and another track to Johnson's already lengthy racing resume.

Tuesday night, Jumpin' Jack made the trip to Hartford, Ohio to run in the inaugural Lou Blaney Memorial Classic at Sharon Speedway.

He came home with career victory 423 as he led the 30-lap modified feature from green to checkers, withstanding a pair of restarts for his first win at the half-mile track.

The racecard for the inaugural event also featured the winged sprints that featured Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Dave Blaney.

Stewart picked up the victory in the 30-lap feature with Jessica Zemken finishing 24th after experiencing mechanical problems during the A-main.

Featured features

No matter what local track is your favorite, the race programs feature high-profile main events.

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park will run double-points features for all divisions.

The modifieds will run 40-laps for $1,500-to-win. The DIRTCar sportsmen will compete for $500 over 30-laps.

The street stocks will run 25-laps for $300-to-win in the third leg of the Harry's Auto Street Stock Series. Justin Knight leads the series going 2-for-2 in the races run.

The cruisers will take to the track for a $75-to-win, 20-lap main event.

Fonda Speedway will run double features for the sportsman division.

You knew the track couldn't get through a complete day without rain. As Matt DeLorenzo pulled onto Victory Lane, the skies opened up. There was enough rain to wipe out the 20-lap sportsman feature, but not the fireworks.

The sportsman drivers were given the option of waiting to see if the track crew could get the racing surface back or running double features this week. They elected to do double duty this week.

However, the pro stock division will take center stage with the fourth annual Hondo Classic.

The race, run in the memory of pro stock fan favorite Hondo Carpenter, draws several outsiders to Fonda Speedway.

It is difficult to determine how much, or exactly what the winner of the event will receive as prizes, contingencies and lap money still are being added to the race purse.

Nick Stone has won the last two Hondo Classics, while Jim Burton won the inaugural 2006 race.

In addition, for fans who like to reminisce about the days of coupes at the Track of Champions, the NESCOT Old Timers are on the racecard.

If you enjoy go-kart and sling shot racing, Caroga Creek Raceway is the place to be this weekend.

CCR will host a full weekend of action starting Friday night with a full race program featuring the third leg of its King of Dirt series. Saturday, the karts return to the racing surface along with the Tobias Slingshot Tour. The karters will run non-point races with the stock heavy division running a $300-to-win main.

For motorcycle enthusiasts, Royal Mountain will host its annual hillclimb as riders run for time and distance up a 700-foot course on the Royal slope.

James A. Ellis is a sports reporter for The Leader-Herald. We invite your feedback on this or any other sports-related topic. E-mail your opinions or ideas to us at



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