GREG ROBERSON WINS CAREER 1ST SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL VICTORY AT POTOMAC; DEFENDING WAYNE COUNTY CHAMP CHARLIE DUNCAN FINALLY GETS 1ST WIN OF 2016; BRUCE HORDUSKY, JR. WINS "I-79 SUMMER SHOOTOUT" POINTS
August 3, 2016
(By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone)
(Pulaski, PA)...After a relatively dry stretch of weather since late May, a large number of weather systems, some including heavy downpours and thunderstorms, had a serious impact on racing in throughout the region as speedways part of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance were not immune.
The RUSH Late Model weekend kicked off at McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa. for the "Ron Baker Memorial". At the drop of the green, Damian Bidwell used his outside front row starting spot to his advantage as he held the lead through a series of cautions at the middle part of the event. As the race rolled on, Bidwell held tight to the lead until Eric Wilson caught him and the two ran side-by-side. By the 16th circuit, Wilson had taken the top spot while Bidwell headed pit side with a flat tire. With four laps to go it was Wilson, pole sitter Brad Mesler, Jeremy Wonderling, Chad Silleman and Jason Tingue. At the checkered flag, Wilson held on for the $1,074 victory- his third in four starts this season at the track. Wonderling moved back into the second spot after an early race restart at the rear of the field. Mesler settled for third with Joe Chamberlain fourth and Garrett Mott coming home fifth. McKean will be off until the McKean County Fair $1,500 to-win Sweeney Tour event on Thursday, August 18.
On Friday night at Maryland's Potomac Speedway a first time winner was crowned as a pair of first time 2016 visitors to the speedway would find the Budds Creek track to their liking. Greg Roberson made his first start of the season a memorable one as he would take the checkers over fellow first timer Matt Hill. Roberson led all but one lap of the 20 lapper for the win, holding off Hill, Jamie Sutphin, Logan Roberson and Jeff Pilkerton. "We got lucky and drew a good number for the feature." Roberson stated post race. "Our car was a little free tonight and Matt didn't make it easy on us, but it feels great to finally get win here at Potomac." The RUSH Late Models return to Potomac's schedule on August 26.
The three-day "I-79 Summer Shootout" for the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars set for Eriez Speedway, Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and Tri City in Franklin PA would each include the RUSH Late Models in weekly competition as a supporting event to the All Stars.
Friday night at Eriez Speedway, Sweeney Weekly Series point leader Max Blair started on the front row alongside of former champion Kyle Zimmerman. Blair used his front row position to dart to the early lead, bringing Bruce Hordusky, Jr. from the second row with him. By mid-race, Blair was out front with a 10-car length lead, holding on for his seventh victory of the season over Hordusky, Dave Lyon, John Waters and Jason Genco. Blair has now won five straight at Eriez! Regular Sunday night racing resumes at Eriez this Sunday.
The RUSH Late Models returned to the Path Valley Speedway Park schedule on Friday night where Kris Eaton took the victory with his $135 sealed, spec Bilstein Shocks over Brad McGinnis, Transton Stoner, Steve Lowery and Tim Snare for the top five. The RUSH Late Models will be back at the Spring Run, Pa. track on August 12.
For the second straight race, Jason Knowles won the feature winner at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, NY. Brian Knowles, who won the prior three features, was second over Bob Buono and Adam Depuy. Michael McDowell MRO Night is on tap for this Friday at Outlaw where all regular divisions will compete in a features-only format.
The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds made their second of three visits of the season to Thunder Mountain Speedway near Brookville. Seventeen cars were pit side, the highest of any of the track's weekly divisions. Four new drivers made their first ever starts, but it was Bicknell Weekly Series point leader, Brian Schaffer, padding his point lead with his first win at the track, which was worth $500. The Boyers, Pa. driver now has wins at three of the region's tracks. Kyle Martell, Jerry Schaffer, Jeremy Weaver, and Jeremy Zufall were second through fifth. The Mods will be back to Thunder Mountain on August 19. The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds were rained out Saturday at Sharon, but will return this Saturday night for a regular program with racing at 7 p.m.
Saturday night in Pittsburgh, Miley Motorsports made every effort to get a race program in at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. The All Stars Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars were in for their only visit of the season and hoping to get in a complete show after a very rainy Saturday morning. After the Sprints qualified and got their heat races in, the Precise Racing Products RUSH Late Models took to the track for heat race action. With just one heat race completed and the second heat field on the track, the visibly approaching weather system arrived, and in a big way washing out the program. Action returns to PPMS for the RUSH Late Models and five other divisions this Saturday, August 6th.
West to Orrville, Ohio on Saturday night where Charlie Duncan of Millersburg, Ohio has had a difficult time of defending his championship at Wayne County Speedway. But Saturday night Duncan took control of things and went green-to-checkered for his first RUSH Late Model win of the season. The #240 of Duncan led by a straightaway for most of the event with season winners Eric Wilson and Matt Aber battled it out for the runner up spot well behind Duncan. Aber took the second spot, but had nothing for Duncan. Wilson held on for third with Alan Dellinger and points leader Justin Chance making up the top five. A regular weekly show is on tap for this Saturday when the Twin State Auto Racing Club will be in attendance.
Saturday night at Fulton Speedway, it was Jason Occhino getting the early lead in the RUSH Late Model feature event. With plenty of racing going on behind him, heat race winner Occhino held a two-second lead and led almost the entire distance. That was until Chris Fleming found the speed to charge to second and in the final two turns of the final lap, where Fleming pulled a textbook slide job on Occhino and pulled off the win. Fleming's fourth win of the season would come by just 0.183 second! Occhino would have to settle for second with Bret Belden, Jason Parkhurst and Kevan Cook in the third through fifth spots. Racing returns to the Fulton, New York speedway this Saturday night.
A $1000 to win feature for the Sportsman Modified division at New York's Genesee Speedway saw Bryce Davis finishing in a top five position, and then jumped into his regular ride in the RUSH Late Model race in his first start at the Batavia speedway. Davis said his laps in the Modified really didn't factor in to what he was able to do in the Late Model portion of the evening's racing, but it couldn't have hurt either as he took the victory to become the eighth different winner in the class at Genesee this season! TJ Downs, Damian Bidwell, Beamer Guzzardi and newcomer John Venuto were second through fifth. A regular "Five Star" racing program is on tap this Saturday at Genesee Speedway.
Tri-City Raceway Park near Franklin, Pa. was the site of the third and final leg of the "I-79 Summer Shootout" for the All Star Sprints and RUSH Late Models. The RUSH Late Models was brought to green by Matt Latta and Max Blair. Early in the event Blair took control with Mike Pegher Jr. moving up from his seventh starting spot to easily take the second spot from Latta. In the final laps, it was two of the best in the business battling for the lead. Pegher took the top spot from Blair on a late restart and held on for the $1,000 win over Blair, Dave Lyon, Latta and Andy Boozel for the top five.
In the three-night points, Bruce Hordusky, Jr. and John Waters tied for the championship, but Hordusky won the tiebreaker due to his best finish being a second compared to a fourth by Waters. Hordusky, of Erie, Pa., earned $700. Thanks to Hovis Auto & Truck Supply for posting a $2,500 point fund for the top 10 racers in points!
Tri-City will be off until August 14 when "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance comes to the track for the very first time. Over $40,000 in products is expected to be given away to the competing drivers in the $2,000 to-win Sweeney Tour event!
North of the border in Port Colborne, Ontario, John McIntire and Rob Pietz brought the field of the RUSH Late Models to the green flag for their 30-lap feature event part of the "All Canadian" event, and it was McIntire showing the way. With McIntire holding the early lead, there was plenty of racing going on behind him. Pietz was in second with several drivers battling for position just behind. On a lap nine restart, Sam Pennacchio had moved into second and challenged for the lead. By lap 12, Pennacchio moved to the front bringing Dennis Lunger Jr. with him in the second spot. On the final restart it was Pietz retaking the top spot and holding on for his third win. Pennacchio, Jeff Dayman, Chad Homan and Lunger completed the first five. Racing returns to Humberstone this Sunday for a regular racing program that will include an appearance by the Southern Ontario Sprints.
Congrats to RUSH member Joey Zambotti on his third victory of the season last Friday night at Lernerville Speedway as he came out on top of a wild duel between his good friend Corey McPherson and Aaron Easler, who won his first feature on July 15. A total of 24 different drivers have competed in the all crate engine division this season!
Freedom Speedway was one of the casualties to Mother Nature last Friday. They'll hope for better weather this Friday night. The Delevan, New York track has produced seven different winners in eight races.
On Saturday night, Stateline Speedway was rained out forcing the inaugural Pro Mod "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance to be rescheduled to this Saturday night along with a special event for the RUSH Late Models.
Winchester Speedway will be closed this Saturday night then will feature the World of Outlaws Late Models on August 13. The RUSH Late Models next appear at the Winchester, Virginia track on August 19.
Old Bradford Speedway was rained out for their special ULMS Super Late Model event and with that event being rescheduled for this Sunday, the RUSH Late Models will again have the night off.
Current RUSH Late Model point leaders are Bryce Davis (Tour), Max Blair (Weekly & Summer Chase), Kris Eaton (Bilstein Bandits), and Wyatt Scott (Futures Cup).
Current RUSH Sportsman Modified point leaders are Brian Schaffer (Weekly), Chas Wolbert (Tour), and Kyle Martell (Futures Cup).
Current RUSH Pro Mod point leaders are Kelly Frederes (Weekly) and Brian Mohawk (Futures Cup), while Corey McPherson leads the Sweeney RUSH Pro Stock Weekly Series points.
RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, FK Rod Ends, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Rocket Chassis, Bobby Lake Motorsports High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners: Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Bicknell Racing Products, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, MSD Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, FK Rod Ends, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Velocita-USA, Precise Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, K&N Filters, TBM Brakes, Lincoln Electric, CrateInsider.com, Rocket Racing, and B.R.A.K.E.S.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at firstname.lastname@example.org and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300 and fax is 724-964-0604. The RUSH Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.