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Friday, June 8, 2018

RUSH Racing Series 6/4/18 weekend recap

June 7, 2018
(By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone)

(Pulaski, PA)...It was another weekend of battling Mother Nature for many of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance tracks especially on Friday night and Sunday night, while several Saturday night tracks amazingly finally got their first race events completed.

The weekend action began at Sarver, Pennsylvania's Lernerville Speedway where Gale Ruth Jr. picked up his first career win in the all new RUSH Sprint Car division. With the high likelihood of rain all night, Lernerville managed to get the full show with only a few sprinkles, in an event highlighted by the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars. Ruth held off Zach Morrow, Joe McEwen, Brandon Hawkins and Shawn Smith for his first career Lernerville win. The RUSH Sprints make their next Lernerville appearance on Wednesday, June 20 for round two of the "Wednesday Night Lightning" Series.

In Friday RUSH Late Model action, Jamie Sutphin overtook Chuck Bowie on the second of 20 laps at Potomac Speedway. Sutphin went on to collect his first win of the year and third of his career in the division. Darren Alvey came up second, with Bowie, Matt Glanden and Matt Tarbox making up the top five. Potomac is closed this Friday as the RUSH Late Models will return to the track on June 15.

Northern RUSH tracks of Raceway 7 and Outlaw Speedway fell victim to rain on Friday. Series and Outlaw track officials have agreed to reschedule the $2,000 to-win "Gary Montgomery Memorial" for the Sweeney Tour to Friday, July 20. The RUSH Late Models have the night off at Outlaw, while Raceway 7 will be in action with a regular program on autograph night.

After a rain out on Friday, Dog Hollow Speedway rescheduled their show to Saturday night where they will now run weekly for the foreseeable future. Fans watched Braeden Dillinger take over the lead of the RUSH Late Model feature from track standout Mike Laughard, who led the first five circuits. Dillinger went on for his first win of 2018. Troy Shields, Paul Ivory, Joe Moyer and Chris Frank made up the top five. The RUSH Late Models will join five other divisions on "Meet the Drivers Night" this Saturday.

Daryl Charlier added another win to his stellar career at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway on Saturday. Charlier, who was making his season debut, started 11th and moved his way to the front of the 23-car field finishing ahead of a stout field that included Justin Lamb, John Mollick, Nico Dabecco and Ben Policz. The Late Models return to action on Saturday, June 9 and will be joined by the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. PPMS will then be in action on Tuesday, June 12 for the May 5 make-up feature and a new program.

Saturday at Batavia, New York's Genesee Speedway, Jason Genco finally captured his first ever Sweeney Touring Series victory. Genco, who started seventh, would benefit from a lap 13 caution involving top runners John Waters, Jason Knowles and Jeremy Wonderling. "This is not the way I want to win in it, but I think I had something for them," declared Genco in victory lane. Brady Wonderling and Beamer Guzzardi recorded their career best Sweeney Tour finishes as well in second and third. John Waters and Kyle Murray made up the top five. Racing returns to Genesee on Thursday night (June 7) as Genesee will be closed on Saturday night.

Saturday night at East Smethport, Pennsylvania's McKean County Family Raceway, RUSH Late Model action saw Steve LeBarron take his first RUSH win of 2018 over Andy Michael, Brad Mesler, Jason McGregor, and John Haggerty. MCFR is off this Saturday night, but will return on June 16.

Stateline Speedway in Busti, New York was finally able to complete their first race event of 2018. Max Blair used his front row starting spot to propel him to his season's fifth win at five different tracks! A series of caution periods in the latter part of the race allowed Damian Bidwell to charge into second over Darrell Bossard, Kyle Zimmerman and Matthew Sipes.

In the RUSH Pro Mods, Dennis Lunger won over a stout field including Adam Ashcroft in his RUSH Pro debut, Justin Carlson, Jason Covey and Chad Carlson. This Saturday RUSH Sprints make their first ever appearance for a $600 to-win Bonnell's Rod Shop Weekly Series special event and will be joined by the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars. The RUSH Late Models will have the night off.

Saturday night in RUSH Late Model action at NY's Fulton Speedway, Kevan Cook held off Sean Beardsley, Chris Fleming, Jason Parkhurst and Bret Belden for his second Fulton win of the season and third overall. This Saturday the RUSH Late Models will join a regular racing card that also features one-on-one spectator racing.

Virginia's Winchester Speedway suffered a rain out on Saturday night. The RUSH Late Models have the night off on June 9, but will return on the 16th. The RUSH Late Models are off this weekend at Delaware as well, but will return on June 16th.

It was a RUSH doubleheader on Saturday night at Sharon Speedway when the brand-new RUSH Sprints and the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds raced as the undercard to the "410" Sprint Cars. In the Sprints, Chad Ruhlman came from seventh to win his heat race earning him the pole for the feature. He then went on to lead wire-to-wire for his second win in as many starts. Ruhlman bested Mike Lutz, points leader Gale Ruth, Jr., Brandon Hawkins and Zach Morrow.

The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds finally were able to complete their first show of the year at Sharon after six tries! Fourteen-year-old Blaze Myers took his first ever win scoring the upset victory over the record 31-car field. Myers has to hold off seventh starting Garrett Krummert to become the division's youngest winner in history. Josh Deems was second over Alan Dellinger. The Sportsman Modifieds move to Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway this Saturday night for their second show of the season.

In RUSH Asphalt Series racing action on Saturday night, Jennerstown Speedway Complex was finally able to get a full show in the books after losing the May 26 program to rain after just one feature race had been run.

In the make-up race for the Late Models, it was Barry Awtey picking up the victory over Mike Hemminger, Jeremiah Kuntz, Gary Wiltrout and Rick Boyer. In feature number two on the night, Kuntz would take the win, besting Hemminger, Boyer, Awtey and Joe Maruca. In the Modified division, Anthony Aiello was awarded the victory after apparent winner Chris Brink failed post-race inspection. Behind Aiello were Tom Golik, Jason Busch, Jarred Barclay and Jim Bodziak. Finally, in the Street Stocks, Josh Coughenour couldn't quite match his opening night victory and settled for runner-up behind winner Mel Wilt. Third through fifth were Aaron VanFleet, Rick Meeleib and defending champ Lauren Butler. A regular five division show is on tap at Jennerstown this Saturday June 9th for First Responder Appreciation Night.

The rains continue to make life unpleasant for race fans in the Northeast, as each of the Sunday night Sweeney Late Model weekly-sanctioned speedways, Bradford, Humberstone and Eriez, all had their programs washed out. The Sweeney Tour for Late Models will be at Eriez on Sunday in a make-up event paying $2,000 to-win. The RUSH Late Models will have the night off at Bradford, but the RUSH Pro Mods will attempt to run their second race. Humberstone meanwhile will have a regular event.

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