Media Contact: Steven Ovens - firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 729-3825 For Immediate Release – May 3rd, 2016 –
Going into 2016, the Daugherty Auto Sales Mini Stocks was a division that was going to be wide open for the taking as several changes ushered in the new season.
Rich Sharpsteen and his Flyin’ X machine took home six regular season wins in 2015, enroute to the track championship. Sharpsteen sold the car that won all of those races and all the races he won at Outlaw Speedway last season where he double-up on championships.
With having to build a new car for the 2016 season, Sharpsteen wasn’t expected to come out of the gates firing as he did in 2015. This would open the door for Sharpsteen’s competition to close the gap and make it more than a one horse race this season.
Enter Addison, NY Mini Stock veteran Ron Dailey Jr.
Dailey finished fourth in points last season, eighty points behind Sharpsteen, but took home four victories in the process. As the season kicked off for 2016, it was apparent that Dailey was going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Dailey dominated the first feature event of the season on April 16th and has shown incredible speed in the two events since opening night. Sharpsteen has had some struggles, getting the bugs worked out of his new car which have included a blown motor and handling issues.
Saturday night at Woodhull Raceway saw this rivalry boil over which divided the crowd left in attendance. As fans exited the speedway after the Modifieds and Crate Sportsman features wrapped up, they had no idea what they were about to miss when the Mini Stocks took to the track in the final feature of the night.
Sharpsteen led the opening sixteen circuits of the feature on Mountain Dew and Pepsi Night, but Dailey was charging hard through the field. The duo hit heavy lap traffic which also allowed eventual winner Karl Born to join the battle.
“Ron got to the inside of me down the front stretch and I will admit I crowded him,” said Sharpsteen when contacted Monday. "He kept his nose there and we touched and it moved me up the track. A lap or so later, he left the door open on the bottom so I filled the gap. He crowded, I kept my nose in there, good hard racing at that point."
That's where Sharpsteen says, he thought Dailey went over the line.
"Then going down the backstretch door-to-door, he turns left and tries to run me to the infield," described Sharpsteen from Dundee. "Luckily the 06 (Born) was on my inside to prevent that from happening."
Dailey disagrees and gave his account of what led to the competitive pot boiling over.
"As far as I'm concerned there is no rivalry," said Dailey. "I never made contact with the X when or before I passed him for the lead. After I passed him, he plowed me in Turn 1, so I returned the favor down the back stretch. Then he just flat took me out."
The contact in question angered Sharpsteen and led him to take matters into his own hands. As he stated on social media after the races, “…the contact apparently broke the ability for my car to turn or slow down when we got to turn 3.”
Sharpsteen expanded upon his post on Monday.
"When we got to Turns 3 and 4, I wanted to give him a shot. Not necessarily spin him but lay the chrome horn to him."
Sharpsteen closed in on Dailey at a fast rate in the third turn and spun the ArdcoPro.com No. 76 around in Turn 4.
Dailey was upset as his car sat idle in Turn 4 and the caution was brought out with two laps remaining. As the field re-aligned, Dailey slowed trying to find Sharpsteen and the Flyin’ X. When he found the target of his frustration, the two cars traded paint and the drivers revved their engines with incredible displeasure.
Both drivers went to the back of the pack per race control. Dailey went on to finish tenth, while Sharpsteen pulled off before the green flag and finished fourteenth. The emotions carried over into the pit area with a lot of jawing and yelling at one another taking place after the race program came to a close.
The question now becomes, with emotions running at an all-time high for these two championship contenders in week 3, where do they go from here? How will they race one another going forward, knowing that all eyes will be upon them each time they are not only on the track but near each other?
"My plan going forward is the same as it always is- race people the way I want to be raced including Richie," said Dailey. "I will make my car as good as possible so I don't have to move people to win. I guess we will have to see where Richie wants to take this. For me it's over, lets race. Saturday is over and you can't change the past."
Sharpsteen seems to be on the same page going forward.
"I will race him as he races me. If he wants to slam, bang- ok. If he wants to race clean- ok. I'm not the only one who is done with his on-track antics."
One thing is for sure- you don't want to hit the exits early this Saturday night. We will see if the next chapter of this story is written, or if both drivers decide to bury the proverbial hatchet. Either way, we will find them at the front of the pack, chasing point leader Karl Born.
This week at Woodhull Raceway the Joe Willcox Performance Automatics will race 35 laps in distance on Kickin’ Country 105.3FM Night. The Street Stocks will be joined by the Insinger Performance 370 Modifieds, NAPA Crate Sportsman, SWL 360 Late Models, Daugherty Auto Sales Mini Stocks, Woodhull Auto Supply Front Wheel Drives and Daugherty Auto Sales Warriors.
Pit gates will open at 3:30PM with general admission gates opening at 4:30PM with Scott Lyon’s first green flag of the night waving promptly at 6:30PM. General admission is just $11 for adults 13 and up, $6 for Seniors and ages 8-12 with children 7 and under always free at Woodhull Raceway.
Race fans are encouraged to sign up for the fastest alerts from Woodhull Raceway’s Rained Out Alert system by sending the text message “WoodhullAlert” to 84483, message and data rates may apply.
For more information race over to www.woodhullraceway.com, Like Woodhull Raceway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WoodhullRaceway or Follow Woodhull on Twitter @WoodhullPR.
Woodhull Raceway is located in Woodhull, NY, just 30 minutes West of Corning, NY and competes weekly on Saturday nights from mid-April through Labor Day Weekend. The track offers several special events including the Patriot Sprint Tour 360 Sprints and the Short Track Super Series Modifieds in mid-August.