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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RUSH Racing Series 8/6/17 weekend recap

August 8, 2017
(By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone) 

(Pulaski, PA)...As the calendar rolls into August, the racing rolls on in the family of tracks under the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance banner. Well past the midpoint of the season, point titles are heating up and special race shows are populating the racing landscape.

Friday night at Potomac Speedway, Darren Alvey pulled past Chuck Bowie on the 14th circuit of the 20-lap RUSH Late Model race to take the lead. Alvey held off a late race challenge from Jamie Sutphin to take second victory of the season. Alvey and Sutphin sit atop the points at Potomac, so every position is precious. "I knew Jamie was back there." Alvey stated after the event. "I knew if we could hold the bottom he'd have a hard time on the outside but we had a right front shock that was giving up and I'm glad it held up so we could get this team another win." Logan Roberson, Chuck Bowie and Jeff Pilkerton would trail Alvey at the finish. This Friday, the RUSH Late Models will be on the card on Friday for night two of the "Battle of the Bay" Series with $1,000 to-win. Delaware International Speedway will host night one on Thursday for $1,000 to-win.

Brewerton Speedway, a sister track to Fulton Speedway, had a pair of RUSH Late Model Sweeney Weekly Series events scheduled this season. Unfortunately rain won the first event and it appeared on Friday night Mother Nature was going to win again, but the track persevered and got two features in including the Late Models before the storms hit. Kevan Cook battled it out with Dale Caswell throughout the event with Cook officially making the winning pass on lap six. Kyle Sopaz, Brett Belden, and Jason Occhino trailed the lead duo to the finish.

Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, NY wasn't as lucky as Brewerton as their NASCAR Night including the RUSH Late Model "Double Down" Series event with Saturday night's Genesee Speedway was rained out. Outlaw will try again this Friday night with the RUSH Late Models.

Saturday night at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, a short shower didn't dampen the spirits of the crowd that witnessed Mike Pegher Jr. completely dominate the RUSH Late Model feature. Pegher, who lined up 10th in the 18-car field, made short work of his journey through the field, taking the lead on lap three. The 20-lap feature event went non-stop for Pegher who bested Daryl Charlier, who started from 12th and settled for a runner-up position nearly seven seconds behind. Pegher's move to the Super Late Models a few years back has kept him from competing as much in PPMS's RUSH Late Model class, but an early career win total was added to on Saturday night. Jamie Wrightsman was a career best third at the "Monster Half-Mile". Clinton Hersh and Justin Lamb rounded out the top five. This puts Lamb and Charlier in a tie for the division point lead. This Saturday, the biggest race of the season for the RUSH Late Models at Pittsburgh as the RUSH Touring Series presents the "Jook George Steel City Classic," paying $4,010 to the winner!

Southeast to Virginia's Winchester Speedway where on Saturday night, Kyle Lee fresh off his victory at Pittsburgh took the checkered flag first in the 20-lap feature event over a strong field of 21 cars. Lee moved into the lead at the drop of the green from his third starting spot, fighting off a race-long challenge from Logan Roberson. "I know Logan is really tough down here and he was there every step of the way." Lee stated in victory lane. "We're kind of on a roll right now, and I hope we can keep it going." Transton Stoner, Tanner Kerr and Richard Hawkins trailed at the finish. The RUSH Late Models will be a part of the "Battle of the Bay" weekend this Saturday at Winchester paying $1,100 to-win.

Saturday night at Fulton Speedway, in the RUSH Late Model feature Brandon Carvey would lead the opening three laps before Dale Caswell drove into the lead. At the halfway point Caswell, Jason Occhino and Chad Homan were locked in a tight three-way battle for the lead. Bret Belden and Chris Fleming showed in fourth and fifth. On lap 12, Homan, using the tight inside groove, went from third and into the lead. Once out front nobody seriously challenged Homan as he drove away for his fourth Fulton win of the season. Chris Fleming, Bret Belden, Dale Caswell, and Jason Occhino finished second through fifth. Racing action rolls on with $20 Car Load Night this Saturday at Fulton.

At Batavia, New York's Genesee Speedway, it was Jeremy Wonderling putting up a battle all race long to catch leader JJ Mazur. Then with just under two laps to go in the 20-lap race, Wonderling made his move under Mazur and took the victory. "There were two or three times where I had (Mazur) set up for a pass and the caution would come out. With two to go, a got underneath him and ¾ of the way down the backstretch didn't see him and figured I was clear, but then I felt him, so I hope he isn't too mad," admitted Wonderling. "It looks like it was in the back though so I guess I was in front of him." Mazur held on for second. A career run was turned in by rookie Billy DuBois, who ran up to finish a strong third. Zack Carley and TJ Downs completed the top five. This Saturday at Genesee, it's a regular show along with the NY6A Micro Sprints.

Also in New York on Saturday night, Darrell Bossard claimed his first win of the season at Stateline Speedway. Though he led all the way, Bossard had to fend off Max Blair then a late charge by 2016 "Futures Cup" Champion, Wyatt Scott for the victory. Scott got by Blair to finish second as veterans Dennis Lunger, Jr. and Scott Gurdak finished fourth and fifth. The RUSH Pro Mods had the night off, but will return this Saturday night along with the RUSH Late Models.

After suffering some rainouts, Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex completed two events last week- their 14th and 15th Sweeney Late Model Weekly Series events of 2017. After taking until July 15 to win his first of the season, Troy Shields made it two in a row on Thursday night. Then on Saturday night, Michael Ott won his second of the season, but first since May 20. The Markleysburg, Pa. facility will host another RUSH Late Model event this Saturday night.

After several nights of Mother Nature throwing the red flag on racing in Hartford Ohio, Sharon Speedway was finally able to pull off two race nights in a row. Another huge field of RUSH Sportsman Modifieds were on hand at Sharon with Rocky Kugel worked his way through traffic to best the 29-car field that filled the pits on Saturday night at Sharon. Kugel beat out veteran Jeff Schaffer, who charged through the field to finish second. Chas Wolbert, Kole Holden, and Kyle Martell made up the rest of the top five.

The field of Sportsman Modifieds got to take to the track again, finally completing the 2106 "Apple Festival Nationals" Touring Series event. Jeff Schaffer, Jr. was the scheduled driver for the make-up feature seemed to be on the way to the win in the long-postponed race. Schaffer, Jr. came from 16th to the lead, but couldn't avoid the spun Jessica Kriegisch on the final lap suffering two flat tires and ended his shot at his first career win. This gave the lead to Chas Wolbert, who went on for the $800 Touring Series victory. "I'm telling you this car is always good in and out," described the 22-year-old Warren, Ohio racer. "We were fighting it a little bit tight and on that one restart we went from first to third. The right front brake hung up, but somehow we got it figured out." Kole Holden came from deep in the field to take second, with Martell, Shane Izzo and Brian Schaffer as the top five. The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds return to action this Saturday at Sharon Speedway.

Saturday night's RUSH Racing Series action wrapped up on the asphalt at Jennerstown Speedway where GM crate engine racers shared in over $21,000 of giveaways part of the inaugural "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance. Barry Awtey appropriately won the Late Model "Bill Awtey Memorial." Jeremiah Kuntz, Teddy Gibala, Brian Shipp and Joe Maruca rounded out the top five. In the RUSH Asphalt Series sanctioned Modifieds, Chris Brink took the victory over Jason Busch, Jarred Barclay, Pete Rech and Gary Scott. After a long streak of runner-up finishes, Lauren Butler stepped to the top of the podium in the Street Stock division. Butler bested Josh Coughenour, Adam Kostelnik, Shawn Beam and Aaron Van Fleet. A full card of racing is on tap at Jennerstown Speedway this Saturday, along with an induction ceremony for the Jennerstown Hall of Fame.

Moving on to Sunday and north of the border, it was the All Canadian Championships at Port Colborne, Ontario's Humberstone Speedway. In the RUSH Late Model portion of the evening's racing, some tough racing incidents took out some of Humberstone's heavy hitters including Dennis Lunger, Rob Pietz and Colton Ledingham amongst the 16-car field. Holding on for the win after a fierce battle for the lead with Sam Pennacchio was Chad Homan. Following Saturday's win at Fulton, Homan took the lead for good from the "Bilstein Bandits" competitor picking up his fifth win of the season and his first All-Canadian Championship. Pennacchio held on for second with Lunger, Stan Zanchin, Mike Greene and Jeff Dayman making up the top five. A full card of racing along with the Southern Ontario Sprints and ATV/UTV racing comes up this Sunday night at Humberstone.

A first ever RUSH doubleheader took place on Sunday at Eriez Speedway as the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds joined the weekly program of RUSH Late Models. Mike Knight took his first win of the season in the RUSH Late Model feature leading wire-to-wire in Joe Harvey's #55. Matt Latta worked his way past Darrell Bossard to finish second. Bossard edged out John Waters and two-time winner, Andy Boozel, for third.

The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds made their first ever appearance at the Erie, Pa. facility for a Bicknell Weekly Series event. Chas Wolbert appeared headed for his third win in the past four starts, but lost the handle late in the event, while feeling pressure from Kole Holden. Holden would inherit the lead and beat out Shayne Izzo, Chip Ritchey, Brian Sadler and Anthony Gillespie. Holden, the 2015 Futures Cup Champion, continues to lead the $3,000 to-win Bicknell Weekly Series points.

At the Old Bradford Speedway on Sunday evening, it was Mike Wonderling and Andy Michael leading the RUSH Late Model field to the green flag. Michael would jump out to the lead and hold onto it in route to picking up his second win of the season. Jeff Hoffman and Jeremy Wonderling would swap the runner up spot a few times throughout the race with Hoffman nailing it down. Mike Wonderling and Brad Mesler were fourth and fifth.

In the RUSH Pro Mods at Bradford, Steve Dixon powered into the lead at the start and kept Rich Michael, Jr. and Critter Hemphill at bay throughout the duration. The victory was Dixon's first ever at Bradford and third of the year added to his two wins at McKean County Raceway. Adam Peterson and Mike Tarabori were fourth and fifth. This Sunday, it's the Jim Byerly Memorial paying $800 to-win for the RUSH Late Models and the Super Late Models will make an appearance at Bradford. The Pro Mods will have the night off.

McKean County Raceway is off until the McKean County Fair event on August 16 and 17. The RUSH Pro Mods will compete in a Sweeney Weekly Series event on Wednesday and the RUSH Late Models in a Sweeney Touring Series race for $1,500 to-win on Thursday.

The next event for the RUSH Late Models at Path Valley Speedway Park in Spring Run, Pa. will be on Friday, August 18.

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