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Monday, July 3, 2017

BRYCE DAVIS MAKES A LAST LAP, TURN 4 WINNING PASS OF JOHN WATERS FOR A THRILLING $3000 VICTORY IN THE 1ST EVER SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL TOURING SERIES EVENT AT BRADFORD


(By Mike Leone)

(Rew, PA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring
Series powered by Pace Performance paid a visit to Old Bradford Speedway on Sunday to kick off the Independence Day holiday. The "Firecracker 50" event marked the first ever Sweeney Tour event at the historic 1/4-mile bullring. Race #7 of the 2017 slate saw Bryce Davis victorious, while Rich Michael, Jr. won his first ever at Bradford in the Sweeney RUSH Pro Mod Weekly Series event.

One month ago at Outlaw Speedway, Bryce Davis won what he thought was his most exciting victory out-dueling Series stars Jeremy Wonderling and defending champion John Waters. On Sunday night, Davis may have done one better. Davis tracked down Waters in the final laps in lapped traffic and made a last lap, turn four winning pass of Waters for the $3,000 victory with the packed grandstands on their feet. Davis was selected as the Maxima Racing Oil "Maximum Performance" award winner.

"We were running behind him the whole time and had our shots," explained the 26-year-old Hornell, NY winner. "I'm sure he'd have done the same thing to me right there. We came in there (turn four) and were pretty tight and got together coming out of turn four- that's racing. I didn't realize what lap we were on until I saw the two sticks come out. It just wouldn't stick as I couldn't get the bite coming off the corner, but we did alright in the end. This track is tough to pass on and when you get into lapped traffic, it really slows your speed down quite a bit. This means quite a bit to win this- it's a huge accomplishment. This is my first time here and this track is a lot of fun. Props to the track crew for giving us a great track to run on, and Vicki (Emig) and Mike (Leone) for putting this on."

Following his K&N Dash win, Jeremy Wonderling took off in the early lead over Brad Mesler, John Waters, Andy Michael, and Davis. Michael made a great move on lap three to get by both Waters and Mesler for second. Tremendous side-by-side racing took place for positions two through five over the ensuing laps. The trio of Michael, Waters, and Mesler continued to trade the positions back and forth, while Wonderling opened up a lead on lap six. Mesler fought his way back to third on lap seven then to second on lap 10 before a caution for a spin by W.L. Stile.

On the ensuing restart, Mesler drove into turn one hard on the bottom and lost the handle to bring out the caution. Back under green, Waters fought his way past Wonderling for the lead on lap 12. Following a caution for Wayne Robertson with 17 laps scored, contact was made between Davis and Wonderling with Wonderling spinning into the infield as Davis inherited second. Wonderling was named the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient. The event's final caution was displayed with 18 laps completed when Steve LeBarron got into the backstretch wall as the final 32 laps went green-to-checkered!

Michael battled his way back to second with a slide job on Davis in turn two on lap 22, while Waters began to pull away on lap 23. Davis stayed with Michael and returned the favor with a slide job in turn two to reclaim the runner-up spot on lap 27. The ensuing laps ran off without any changes as Waters maintained a steady, comfortable lead; however, lapped traffic came into play on lap 39 as his lead shrunk to a half-straightaway.

On lap 41, Waters had to tip-toe through traffic allowing Davis to catch the leader and the two were side-by-side on lap 42. Waters continued to lead over the next several laps with Davis trying everything to get by. On lap 48, Davis tried a move in turn two, but it didn't work. Davis got sideways scraping the outside wall and appeared maybe this was going to allow Waters to race on the victory.

Davis though didn't give up as he charged back and quickly made up lost ground. Entering turn four on the final lap, Davis threw a slider on Waters; the two New York stars banged wheels off turn four and Davis won the drag race to the checkered flag by 0.377 of a second with the crowd on its feet. Davis' ninth career Sweeney Tour win came in the Dave Davis-owned, Griswolds E.T.R. Services/ Close Racing Supply/Jody's Hair Design/GRT Racecars-sponsored #94.

After a slow start to the season for the defending champion, Waters has now rattled off four straight podium finishes- though this one stung pretty bad, but the nonetheless earned $1,500. "It is what it is- what comes around goes around," expressed the Whitesville, NY racer. "He did what he had to do. That's all I'm going to say right now. Thanks to the fans for coming out. I hope you enjoyed the show and hope to be back. Fifty laps here- I wasn't looking forward to it, but it was a fun race. Everyone was running good out there. I had 10 guys down there, people that didn't even come with us that helped pull the front end together just to get us out there after the dash crash. They are the people that took second tonight. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't even be out there. My crew did a heck of a job and thanks to Dale (LeBarron) for putting me in this car."

Michael improved on his fourth place effort at Outlaw with a third place to earn a season best $1,000. Jason Knowles was fourth matching his best Sweeney Tour effort since July 15 of last year at Expo Speedway. After spinning in second on lap 11, Mesler fought his way back from the tail to finish fifth. Brian Knowles was sixth. Jon Rivers went from 13th to seventh to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card and was also the final car on the lead lap to receive a $25 gift certificate from CrateInsider.com. LeBarron was eighth. Rookies Kyle Murray and C.J. Irons completed the top 10.

Wonderling set fast time for the second time this season to earn another $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" award following his lap of 15.814 as he was the only driver to run a sub 16-second lap in qualifying. Waters and Mesler earned an additional $25 for their FK Rod Ends heat race wins. Wonderling also won his second K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash victory of the season to pick up another $100 K&N certificate over Mesler, who received a $50 certificate. Davis and Waters received $25 cash for their third and fourth place finishes.

The Sweeney Tour will return to action at Expo Speedway for the annual Trumbull County Fair race in Cortland, Ohio on Wednesday, July 12. The Platinum Tour Event will pay $1,500 to-win.

Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Model Touring Series Race #7 "Firecracker 50" (50 laps, $3,000 to-win): 1. BRYCE DAVIS (94) 2. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 3. Andy Michael (17x) 4. Jason Knowles (4) 5. Brad Mesler (24B) 6. Brian Knowles (7) 7. Jon Rivers (85) 8. Steve LeBarron (29) 9. Kyle Murray (21) 10. C.J. Irons (80JR) 11. W.L. Stile (1W) 12. Wayne Robertson (20) 13. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 14. Chad Silleman (47) 15. Rich Michael, Jr. (17).

Car Count: 15
Feature Lap Leaders: Jeremy Wonderling (1-11), John Waters (12-49), Bryce Davis (50).
Margin of Victory: 0.377 of a second
Maxima Oil "Maximum Performance": Bryce Davis
Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down Hard Charger": Jon Rivers (+7)
TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night": Jeremy Wonderling
CrateInsider.com "Last Car on Lead Lap": Jon Rivers

FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. Jeremy Wonderling 15.814 2. Jason Knowles 16.122 3. John Waters 16.170 4. Brad Mesler 16.181 5. Chad Silleman 16.241 6. Bryce Davis 16.362 7. Steve LeBarron 16.419 8. Wayne Robertson 16.464 9. Rich Michael, Jr. 16.726 10. Brian Knowles 16.755 11. Andy Michael 16.761 12. Jon Rivers 16.928 13. W.L. Stile 16.993 14. Kyle Murray 17.301 15. C.J. Irons 17.865.

FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win) 1. Wonderling 2. Waters 3. A. Michael 4. Silleman 5. LeBarron 6. Stile 7. Irons 8. R. Michael.

FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Mesler 2. Davis 3. Robertson 4. B. Knowles 5. J. Knowles 6. Murray 7. Rivers.

K&N "Cold Air Induction" RUSH Late Model Dash (4 laps, $100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Wonderling 2. Mesler 3. Davis 4. Waters.

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, Holley Performance Products, Earl's Performance Plumbing, Quick Fuel Technology, FK Rod Ends, Maxima Racing Oil, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Rocket Chassis, Landrum Performance Spring, CrateInsider.com, RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.

E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at info@rushracingseries.com 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.

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