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Kevin Bolland Becomes 4th Different Modified Winner In Lou Blaney Memorial While Holding Off King

By Mike Leone

kevin bolland lou blaney memorial modified feature winner 07.10.12

(Hartford, OH)…A huge crowd turned out on a beautiful Tuesday evening at Sharon Speedway to remember the legacy of the great Lou Blaney, who amassed more than 600 victories in his five-decade career of racing. The fourth annual “Lou Blaney Memorial” Alzheimer’s Association Benefit presented by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet saw Brad Sweet (410 Sprint Cars) and Kevin Bolland (DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds) win their first features in this prestigious event. Lou’s wife Kate gathered over $10,000 in contingencies for the racers.

After splitting the first four events at two a piece, Kevin Bolland and Rex King have been shutout of victory lane the last four races. On Tuesday night, it was King and Bolland battling for the 25-lap win with Bolland getting by in the closing stages of the Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modified event. Bolland’s third win of the season at Sharon was his biggest anywhere on the 2012 circuit, worth $2,000.

“I raced a lot of years with Lou (Blaney),” explained the 52-year-old New Brighton, Pa. veteran. “He was the guy I always looked at. I’d always sneak around his cars to see how to go fast. I finally got to a point in my career where I could compete with him. We miss Lou- he was a great racer!”

King bolted from his third starting spot into the lead on the opening circuit with Tom Mattocks and Kevin Hoffman in pursuit. Hoffman and ninth starting Chad Brachmann dropped Mattocks back to fourth on lap two. Kyle Fink looked strong making a three-wide move on lap four to steal third, but Fink would spin one lap later collecting Brad Rapp, who was making his 2012 Sharon debut.

Bolland entered the mix from his eighth starting position driving under and by Brachmann for third on lap five. By lap seven, the top five of King, Kevin Hoffman, Bolland, Brachmann, and Shingledecker pulled away from the field. Fink slowed and brought out another caution with eight laps scored.

When green replaced yellow, Bolland’s forward progress continued as he raced by Hoffman for second. A long green flag run took place from laps 9-23, which allowed King to distance himself from the field as the battle raged for second. Brachmann began to put the heat on Hoffman as he closed in on lap 17 and tried every move possible to get by on the 19th circuit.

King had his hands full with lapped traffic on lap 22. Bolland was right on King as the battle heated up for second. The two raced side-by-side on lap 22 racing off turn two. King held on until he got bottled up in lapped traffic on lap 23 as Bolland used the momentum on the outside to power into the lead. King really got blocked in on lap 24 due to his son “Cooter” slowing on the backstretch and getting caught behind traffic; this allowed Hoffman and Brachmann to blow by, but “Cooter” was unable to get off the track necessitating the caution with 23 laps completed.

Bolland survived a scary restart for his 21st career Sharon win by a margin of 1.34 seconds in the Bol-Tech Motorsports-owned, Boundary Systems | CREO/Bolland Machine/Cintas/BudisakBoys/TurboStart/MyWay Mobile Storage/Bickenell Racing Products/Bilstein/Car Cleen/Matheson Valley Gas/Cranberry Coin & Currency-sponsored #777. “It seems like ever since I’ve left the winners’ circle I’ve been coming from 12th,” continued Bolland. “We’re back here now. The track was great tonight. I got bumped on that last restart and nearly spun, and the first one they said I started too early, but I recovered and took the lead again. The third time was a charm and I took it to the flag.”

King barley held off Hoffman for runner-up. Brachmann was fourth over Jim Weller. Eric Gabany was sixth ahead of Rapp. Jimmy Weller III was eighth after starting 24th to earn the Hard Charger Award. Chris Haines was ninth as Tom Glenn rounded out the top 10. Heat winners were Shingledecker, Pearson, and Chrysler. The B main was cancelled after just six of the 10 original starters reported to the speedway.

Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (20 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. KEVIN BOLLAND (777) 2. Rex King (65) 3. Kevin Hoffman (17H) 4. Chad Brachmann (3) 5. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 6. Eric Gabany (3E) 7. Brad Rapp (11R) 8. Jimmy Weller III (31W) 9. Chris Haines (35H) 10. Tom Glenn (83T) 11. Carl Murdick (6) 12. Tom Mattocks (69) 13. Dillion Barr (15B) 14. Don Brown (71B) 15. Bob Warren (96B) 16. Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD) 17. Rob Curtis (McElhaney 6 7/8) 18. Rex King, Jr. (165) 19. Skip Moore (17M) 20. Justin Rasey (21) 21. Randy Chrysler (21K) 22. Dean Pearson (8J) 23. Steve Barr (25B) 24. Brian Fink DNQ: Rob Kristyak (00), Jim Rasey (32), Rick Ryder (Snider 189), Del Rougeux, Jr. (20D).

Sharon Speedway is owned by the Blaney, Weller, and Kirila Families and is a 3/8-mile dirt track located on Custer-Orangeville Road in Hartford, Ohio near the intersection of Routes 7 & 305. For more information, check out the website at or call 330-772-5481. Become a fan of Sharon Speedway on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at

Bolland contemplating leaving Modified racing

By John Enrietto Eagle Sports Editor
NEW BRIGHTON — Citing inconsistencies in rules and frustration over recent sanctions imposed by the BRP Modified Tour, Kevin Bolland is considering leaving Modified dirt track racing.
Bolland, who turned 50 on Friday, has won eight track championships during his career, including the 2002 and 2006 Modified titles at Lernerville Speedway. The New Brighton resident won his 100th-career feature April 24 of last season, but he was unable to compete at Lernerville's Steel City Stampede last weekend because of a two-race suspension levied by BRP. The suspension, which included a lifetime ban from the Syracuse National Modified Championships, occurred while Bolland was in Syracuse, N.Y., for the 2009 event. "I was there to watch. I didn't even bring my car with me," Bolland said. "There was a communication problem up there over an incident I wasn't involved in. "The whole thing just isn't right. It's very frustrating."
Bolland said a miscommunication at Tri-City Speedway resulted in him being black-flagged one night in June, ultimately costing him a fourth consecutive track championship there."I'm tired of confusion at tracks and with promoters," Bolland said. "BRP has a set of rules and specs that go with their races, yet tracks use their own rules when hosting those events.
"Everyone's not on the same page and that makes it tough to compete." Part of the Bol-Tech Motorsports ownership group, Bolland said racing is a business for him and he needs to finish among the top three consistently to keep his program going.
"Our purses around here dictate that," he said. Lernerville and other Western Pennsylvania tracks pay about $1,100 to their Modified feature winners each week. Tracks in New York and at Lebanon Valley pay as much as $2,500. "I know where Kevin's coming from because I'm in the same boat," said veteran Modified driver Brian Swartzlander. "If I don't finish among the top three, I don't get new tires on my car."
Swartzlander finished sixth at the Steel City Stampede and received $325. "We all do this as a business, in a way," he said. "You have to be able to keep your race program going. "The Modified division can't afford to lose Kevin. He's one of the top drivers we have. A lot of people pay their money to watch he and I go at it on the track. That's part of the show," Swartzlander added.
Bolland has put all of his equipment up for sale. It will be available at a Nov. 14 garage sale that will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bol-Tech Motorsports in Beaver Falls. Bolland's future in racing is anybody's guess including his own. "I'm not saying I'm retiring, quitting or anything," he said. "It's all up in the air right now."