Knight earns $3,000 for first Sharon victory
By Mike LeoneNDRL's ULMS Racing Series
HARTFORD, Ohio (June 12) — Mike Knight of Ripley, N.Y., raced to his first-career victory at Sharon Speedway, earning $3,000 in the track’s Pay It Forward Foundation Summer Bash event.
Knight led all 25 laps of the NDRL's ULMS Racing Series event and was unchallenged in claiming his eight-career series victory in a race that was threatened by rain all evening.
"We didn't think this was going to happen," said Knight. "You're damned if you do, damned if you don't in your perspective. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't, but I'm glad (the track) decided to run.
“We have some of the best drivers and competition and fans in the country right here in this area. We're on a good streak right now and doing well. I've been good here before, but I'm glad to get a win.”
Russ King of Bristolville, Ohio, recovered from a flat tire on the first attempt to start the race and finished second in an event that was threatened by rain all evening. Matt Urban was third with Jim Rasey of Southington, Ohio, and Adam Gordon rounding out the race’s top five finishers.
After a false start and a flat tire for King, Knight surged into the lead over Gordon and Dave Hess, Jr. The race was slowed again when Urban spun with one lap scored. When racing resumed, Knight quickly distanced himself from the field and had a comfortable lead by lap four, while the battle was on for second as Gordon was attempted to hold off Hess and King.
Knight continued to stretch his lead as the margin grew to a straightaway by lap seven. King and Hess battled side-by-side on laps nine and 10. King nosed ahead of Hess for third racing off the bottom of turn two on lap 10. Two laps later, Hess slowed and exited the event, which moved Urban to fourth.
Knight was gaining about four tenths of second every lap on Gordon as he opened up a near half-lap lead at the halfway point of the event. King closed in on Gordon on lap 14 and the battle picked up for second. After a good battle for several laps, King made the pass for second on lap 18. Gordon's fine run ended when he blew a tire and slapped the backstretch fence with 21 laps scored.
The last four-lap dash to the finish ran green as Knight faced no challenges taking the checkered flag first by a margin of 2.023 seconds.
Notes: Knight’s Rocket Chassis is powered by a Craiger Race Engine and sponsored by Jay’s Auto Wrecking, Arrowhead Wine Cellars, Knight Operating Services, Ripley Machine & Tool and Keystone Alliance. ... Knight became the 106th different driver to win a Super Late Model race at Sharon in the 406 races run all-time. ... Knight’s most recent ULMS victory came Aug. 11, 2012 at Woodhull (N.Y.) Raceway. ... Hess was credited with sixth. ... Engines issues forced John Garvin, Jr. to scratch from the feature. ... King set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 15.659 to earn the $50 from Zimmer's Service Center. ... ULMS competitors continue their stretch of three races in four days with a Friday and Saturday doubleheader at McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa. Friday’s race pays $5,000 to the winner, while Saturday’s pays $7,000.
NDRL’s ULMS @ Sharon: (1) Mike Knight, (2) Russ King (3) Matt Urban, (4) Jim Rasey, (5) Adam Gordon, (6) Dave Hess, Jr. Did not start: John Garvin, Jr. Fast qualifier: King, 15.659 seconds. Heat race winner: Knight.