By Greg Gulas
Today will be a long, tiring day for Hubbard’s Jimmy Weller.
He doesn’t seem to mind at all.
Seeking to win twice on the same day, he’ll race his truck in Brooklyn, Mich., in the early afternoon and upon completion of that event, will drive a little over almost four hours to take part in “Fan Appreciation Night” at Sharon Speedway.
A 2004 graduate of Liberty High School, Weller has been racing since he was 15, beginning his career in 2001.
He even dodged a career-threatening injury in 2004 to become a fan favorite on both circuits.
“Today is an exciting day for me because it has always been a dream of mine to run two races in the very same day,” Weller said. “I know that there are other drivers who have raced twice in a day, most notably when they have gone from Daytona to the Volusia Speedway Park, which is located about 45 minutes away. I haven’t heard of many though, who have driven nearly four hours to get to their next race.”
In the early afternoon, Weller will race his No. 08 Geneva-Liberty Steel/Engine Parts Plus Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Michigan International Speedway — located approximately 200 miles from Youngstown.
He’ll then race his No. 23 Liberty Steel Products dirt modified at Sharon Speedway at night in their big block dirt modified event.
Weller, who is looking for his first truck series race this year, raced four times last year with Michigan being his eighth event this season.
His best finish came at Daytona back in February when he placed ninth during their first event this season.
He’ll go after his second win at Sharon, having captured the modifieds back on July 5.
“The biggest difference is that Michigan is a two-mile track and speeds will push 200 miles per hour while at Sharon, the average speed is about 85 miles per hour,” Weller said.
Weller’s head struck a cement pole in his 2004 wreck. He was in a coma for a week and spent another week in an induced coma. Later he had a screw inserted in his neck and two rods placed in his back. He said the key was getting back into racing as soon as he received clearance from his doctors.
“I saw some of the very best doctors in the country in Charlotte [N.C.], and Dr. Terry Trammell, an IndyCar Series doctor in Indianapolis. Going right back to work when I was finally cleared was the best thing that I could ever have done,” he said.
Weller arrived in Michigan on Thursday and visited with sponsors, partners Mac & Janet Carvalho of Engine Parts Plus and Hopek Hardware Plus in Detroit.
On Friday, he arrived at the track at 11 a.m. with two practice rounds scheduled for 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., then again from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Today, he is expected at the track by 8 a.m., will be a part of Sirius XM NASCAR Radio at 8:30 a.m. with qualifying set for 9:40 a.m.
Driver introductions will take place at noon with race time set for 12:30 p.m.
At Sharon Speedway, pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands set to open at 5 p.m.
A drivers meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. while heat races are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Admission for those 14 and over is $5. Pit passes are $30 with children under 13 years of age and parking free of charge.
Further information can be obtained by calling 330-772-5481 or visiting www.sharonspeedway.com