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Saturday, June 1, 2019

JEREMY WONDERLING WITHSTANDS PRESSURE FROM KYLE LUKON TO WIN "GARY MONTGOMERY MEMORIAL"

JEREMY WONDERLING WITHSTANDS PRESSURE FROM KYLE LUKON TO WIN "GARY MONTGOMERY MEMORIAL" FOR 2ND CONSECUTIVE YEAR AT OUTLAW; HIS 2ND STRAIGHT SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL TOUR WIN EXTENDS POINTS LEAD
May 31, 2019
(By Mike Leone)

(Dundee,NY )...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series presented by Pace Performance headed to Outlaw Speedway for the annual trip to the Finger Lakes Region. Race #5 of the 2019 season brought out an all-time record high RUSH car count for the Dundee, NY track with 29 cars from all over New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada making the trip for the third annual "Gary Montgomery Memorial" on the beautiful race day.

2018 Sweeney Tour Champion, Jeremy Wonderling, appears primed to defend his title. One year after winning his season's first Tour race in the "Gary Montgomery Memorial" that appeared to propel him to the Series crown, Wonderling not only repeated that special victory for the former Can-Am "360" Late Model racer on Friday night, but captured his second straight Tour win of the season. Wonderling took the lead on lap 12 and held off a valiant charge from 12th starting Kyle Lukon for the $2,000 victory and receive a Sunoco 5-Gallon Race Jug.

"Not only was Gary (Montgomery) a promoter, but he was one of my best friends and it was sad to see him go," acknowledged the 39-year-old Wellsville, NY racer. "If we wouldn't had that caution on the backside I would have had Waters. Then we'd run for awhile and the caution came out and I looked at the board and saw 84 and I was like 'who's 84' then it took me awhile to realize that's 184 and figured he must be pretty good. I just kept doing what I was doing. I figured the only way he was really going to get me was on a restart. He was trying everything he could do; push me up the race track and stuff like that, but I don't blame him I'd have done the same thing- it was good racing."

2017 Tour Champion, John Waters, who was making his season debut, took off in the early lead after earning the pole following his dash win with Chad Homan, Wonderling, Michael Duritsky, Jr., and Braeden Dillinger in tow. Wonderling ducked under Homan and made the pass for second on lap two as Duritsky made the identical move one lap later for third. Waters had a straightaway lead on Wonderling when the caution was displayed for Kyle Murray, Chris Fleming, and Sam Pennacchio with three laps completed.

When racing resumed, Wonderling powered around Waters for the apparent lead, but a multi-car accident mid-pack occurred on the backstretch involving seven cars. Everyone was okay, but several were done for the night. Under caution, Duritsky pitted and yielded third back to Homan. This time, Waters chose the outside for the restart and would maintain the lead.

Lukon, who started 12th, was up to fifth for the restart then took over fourth from Dillinger on lap five. By lap six, Waters and Wonderling distanced themselves from the pack. Wonderling really put the pressure on Waters beginning on lap eight. The last two years' champions really went at for five laps until Wonderling decided to go under Waters racing into turn three to lead lap 12.

Lukon's car was really working well on the bottom as he drove under Homan in turn three for third on lap14 then two laps later snuck under Waters in turn four for second. Wonderling had a straightaway lead built by the time Lukon got to second. Wonderling caught lapped traffic on lap 19, but it was short-lived as the caution was displayed for Steve LeBarron. Under caution, LeBarron's teammate, Waters, became the second driver to pit while running second and once again Homan re-assumed third for the restart. Waters was selected as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night".

While Wonderling took back off in the lead on lap 19, Lukon stayed right with the leader. It appeared Lukon may have had a shot to grab the lead, but Murray spun to bring out the event's final caution with 26 laps scored. Wonderling would keep Lukon at bay over the final four laps to earn his sixth career Tour win in his Close Racing Supply/Terry Prince Contracting/Pine Grove Collision/The Store in Scio/Ultra Force Machine/Wonderling Pit Stop-sponsored #3J.

Lukon came up 0.530 of a second back for a great runner-up effort in his first ever visit to Outlaw, which moved him into second in points behind Wonderling. Lukon earned $1,000 plus the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card for advancing 10 positions. Homan was third for the second straight year at Outlaw. Ryan Frazee, who turned 16 on Monday, recorded his best career Sweeney Tour finish in fourth after starting ninth for the "Futures Cup" racer and Tour rookie.

Jon Rivers, who was making his 2019 Tour debut, had a great run in fifth after starting 14th. Rivers also picked up the "Spoiler Alert" contingency and received a $150 spoiler kit from Ontime

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