Joel Watson took his second straight UMP Mod win in his No. 92. (Sharon Speedway photo)

Second Straight UMP Mod Win For Joel Watson

HARTFORD, Ohio — Sharon Speedway completed its 12th straight event on a cloudy and cool evening in Northeast Ohio on Saturday night.

After crashing with a lapped car in mid-June and throwing away a race win, Joel Watson has redeemed himself by scoring his second straight $1,000 UMP Modified victory. Watson passed Joe Gabrielson on lap four and fended him off over the remainder of the 25-lap Hovis Auto & Truck Supply for his milestone 30th career Sharon win.

“We’ve put a lot of effort into the last couple nights,” revealed the 48-year-old standout. “I can’t thank all of the people on my team. Gary is one of the most special guys you could ever imagine. He joined our team this year and has made some amazing things happen. Yesterday we got a new motor after blowing two or three in a row, which is very devastating for any race team.

“We got lucky to get one at 6 p.m. last night, thrashed very hard to get it ready for the races last night and we put on a very competitive race and backed it up with a win tonight. This is actually only the second night with this race car as we blew up the other nights and didn’t get any laps on the car.”

Gabrielson and Troy Johnson led the field to green with Gabrielson taking the early lead, while Watson charged from the fifth starting spot to second on the opening lap. Watson quickly went after Gabrielson and the two raced side-by-side for the lead on lap three. 

Watson would make the winning move in turn one on lap four. 

Dennis Lunger, Jr. lost the handle in turn four and collected Bud Watson to bring out the first caution of the event with six laps scored. When racing resumed on lap seven, sixth starting Ty Rhoades entered the picture moving into third. 

Rhoades pressured Gabrielson for the runner-up spot on lap eight and the two battled back and forth until a caution arose on lap 11 for a spin by Eric Nellis. After another caution for Nellis, the final 11 laps went green-to-checkered.

Gabrielson got a good restart and stayed with Watson. 

Gabrielson tried a slider in turns one and two on lap 18 and made contact with Watson. The fence straightened Watson out and neither car spun as both maintained their positions. After the near mishap, Watson pulled away over the final seven laps to once again win by more than three seconds — 3.587 seconds to be exact.

In second, Gabrielson fought off Rhoades in the closing laps to take the podium.

Nate Young beat out Mike McGee in a great race for fourth. 

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 92-Joel Watson [6]; 2. 58-Joe Gabrielson[1]; 3. 12R-Ty Rhoades[7]; 4. 42-Nate Young[4]; 5. 11M-Mike McGee[5]; 6. 28-Mason Lobb[9]; 7. 32-Alan Atkinson[13]; 8. 2J-Troy Johnson[3]; 9. 1-Vinnie DePizzo[14]; 10. 225-Bud Watson[11]; 11. 15-Eric Nellis II[16]; 12. M20-Mike Potosky[8]; 13. 27-Jeff Johnson[17]; 14. 71L-Dennis Lunger Jr[10]. DNS: 77D-Dustin DeMattia, 17-Jason Gracey, 4J-Jim Plance, 44R-Gary Robinson