7 WINNERS IN 7 SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL WEEKLY SERIES EVENTS AS ACTION BEGINS TO HEAT UP THROUGHOUT THE REGION; SHARON & MCKEAN TO OPEN SATURDAY
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
April 15, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)…As the weekend of April 10-13 came to a close, the win total at Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series weekly member tracks continues to pile up as not one driver has repeated to date. The second weekend of April yielded three new winners bringing the total number of winners in weekly-sanctioned Sweeney RUSH Late Model events to seven in as many events!
The weekend started at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway on Thursday, April 10 with the running of the NDRL “Kings of Dirt”-sanctioned PENNational. The longtime event, which has taken many forms and moved around the calendar a bit in its history, was the season opener for the Imperial, Pennsylvania “Monster Half-Mile”. Super Late Model star Steve Francis topped some of the best in the business to capture the $10,000 NDRL payoff.
Many of the young competitors in the Sweeney RUSH Series have their sights set on the sort of success enjoyed by the likes of Francis. One of those is young Ryan Montgomery, who took the win in the Sweeney RUSH Series race- his third straight in competition at Pittsburgh. The 17-year-old West Virginian has been a bright spot in the RUSH Series ranks for the last couple seasons. Without question, he would like to move into the highest ranks of late model racing in his career.
Montgomery talked about his success at PPMS in victory lane, “I’ve loved Pittsburgh ever since I came here for my first time. It’s a great race track. It’s always different so that’s good. Everybody gets a chance to run the high line one night, or if you like running the bottom or running the middle; you can run anywhere.” Steve Beatty and Michael Lake rounded out the podium in the non-stop feature event. Greg Belyea made the seven-hour tow down from Stirling, Ontario in preparation for the "Steel City 100" Sweeney Tour event on June 8, but had engine issues sidelining him for the night during his heat race.
Week two of racing at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex saw an entire new set of winners in victory lane. One of those, Michael Lake, the Albert Gallatin middle-schooler, who has a great future behind the wheel of most anything he drives, came home with the win. The soon-to-be 13-year-old is off to a great start to back up his five victories at Roaring Knob last year as he’s taken over the lead in the $1,000 to-win “Futures Cup” standings.
Lake was followed to the line by Jared Hawkins, John Over, Troy Shields and Chad McClellan. The Sweeney RUSH Late Models will be on the card again this week as the Markleysburg, Pa. oval plays host to a regional race for the Mod Lite cars in addition to their regular schedule of events.
The action continued on Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway as the Imperial oval had its second show in three days. When the dust settled over the 20 lapper, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania’s Ben Policz came home with the upset win. For Policz, it was not only his first win in a RUSH Late Model- it was his first in any full-size car! An accomplished go-kart racer, Policz excitedly talked about the win in victory lane.
“It was incredible,” expressed the driver of the beautiful new #14B Rocket Late Model. “A brand new car; we had no idea what it was going to do. (Steve) Baker put a heck of a setup on it; (Mike) Ingram put a great motor in it.” Policz knew his competition would not make it an easy win. “I know (Ryan) Montgomery is amazing up here, I don’t know how I pulled that off!”
Montgomery held on for second as he yet to finish worse than second in his last six PPMS starts! The runner-up finish also propelled him into the Sweeney Weekly Series point lead for the first time in his career. Josh Holtgraver was third. Mike Reft was fourth in his season debut and “The Steel City Outlaw” Tim Shaffer completed the top five in an off night from Sprint Car competition. A full card of regular racing is on tap for this week at PPMS, when the crowd gets involved with “Ugly Sweater Night” and a special appearance of the ¾ Late Models.
The rest of the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Weekly tracks get underway in earnest in the next few weeks. Sharon Speedway kicks off its “Steel Valley Thunder” program this Saturday, April 19 at the beautiful Hartford, Ohio facility. McKean County Raceway also begins its 2014 campaign on Saturday night at the East Smethport, Pa. oval under the second season of management by John Kennedy and Chris Zuver. The Mid-Atlantic speedways of Potomac and Winchester resume action this Friday and Saturday night respectively.
After a couple of practice sessions each, both Ontario’s Humberstone Speedway and New York’s Freedom Speedway kick off their 2014 seasons on Sunday, May 4 and Friday, May 9, respectively. The 2014 season for the Sweeney RUSH Dirt Late Model Series weekly-sanctioned speedways is about to be in full force. Go to www.rushlatemodels.com to find a weekly track near you and keep track of the latest news and point standings!
It was announced last week that Bilstein Shock Absorbers are the “Official Shock” of the RUSH Racing Series for the next two years. The Bilstein “sealed” spec shock will be mandatory on the new Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, which debut on Saturday, April 26 at Sharon Speedway, and only an option on the Sweeney Late Models.
RUSH marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Bilstein Shocks, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, High Gear Speed Shop, RainEater Wiper Blades, Utsinger’s Towing, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at [email protected] 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.