By Mike Leone


April 17, 2021               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Winchester, VA)...The Pace Performance RUSH Dirt Late Model Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC finished out the third annual “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek on Saturday night at Winchester Speedway.  The northern Virginia high-banked track hosted their first Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series event since the 2019 “Battle of the Bay” event.  Forty-one cars from six different states turned out for the finale, which continued the streak of at least 40 cars for all 10 “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek events in the three-year history.  A total of 60 different drivers competed over the three completed events of this year’s “Battle of the Bay”.


Kyle Hardy has come out of the box swinging in his first year of RUSH Late Model racing.  Prior to the “Battle of the Bay”, Hardy already won all three Weekly Series events at Winchester and had runner-up finishes at Georgetown and Potomac to take the early lead in the National Weekly Series Championship.  On Saturday night, Hardy took the lead on the opening lap of the feature from Max Blair, and other than two scary moments in lapped traffic cruised to another $3,000 Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Tour victory.  Hardy’s three-night sweep of the “Battle of the Bay” was worth $9,000 plus the $1,000 Speedweek title, $100 in fast time, $75 in heat race wins for a total of $10,175 plus contingencies! 


“This was a hard thing to do,” expressed the 27-year-old Linden, Virginia on his sweep of the “Battle of the Bay”.  “We were looking forward to these races coming up in our backyard, but to be honest I didn’t think we could win all three.  I just wanted to get through the last two nights because I was looking forward to coming here.  This is so great.  We couldn’t be happier and it just shows you what a great car can do.  I thought I was about done when I made that mistake in lapped traffic, but it doesn’t matter now.  There are so many people that help out with this deal and of course I wouldn’t be racing if it weren’t for my parents.  I can’t say enough about everyone- it’s a great feeling to be here.”


About the only thing Hardy didn’t accomplish over the three nights was winning a Sunoco Dash to earn the pole position; however, on Saturday night Hardy had his best feature starting spot in second and used that to his advantage as the outside was the preferred starting spot at Winchester throughout the night.  Hardy powered to the lead past Sunoco Dash winner, Blair, to take the lead with Blair, Logan Roberson, Joey Love, and Joe Martin in pursuit.


A caution for Justin Kann and Derek Magee slowed action after just one lap completed.  When racing resumed, seventh starting Jeremy Pilkerton raced into fourth getting by Martin and Love.  While Hardy began to open up some ground, Roberson caught Blair on lap four and the battle was on.  The two raced side-by-side on lap six with Roberson on the bottom and Blair on top, but Blair was able to maintain runner-up. 


Hardy stretched his lead to more than a half-straightaway by the time he caught lapped traffic on lap 11, while two battles were on directly behind him with Roberson on Blair and Martin trying to work his way back by Pilkerton for fourth.  The event’s second and final caution was displayed at the halfway mark when track regular Scott Sweeney, Jr. spun directly in front of Hardy between turns three and four.  Hardy was able to quickly turn right and maneuver past Sweeney as several other racers also did a good job to avoid a potential multi-car accident.


Back under green, Hardy continued to lead, but it was nearly three-wide for second as Pilkerton joined the fray with Blair and Roberson; no positions changed however as Blair maintained the position.  As the laps ticked off, Martin was able to once again put pressure on Pilkerton, and even though it appeared Martin was faster most of the race, Pilkerton was able to keep the Pennsylvania invader at bay.


Hardy’s second scary moment in lapped traffic came on lap 27 as he made contact trying to lap Sweeney; Hardy got sideways, but kept control and was fortunate not to suffer a cut tire as well.  Hardy was then able to work his way through lapped traffic in the final laps to take the checkered flag first by 1.123 seconds in his American Paint Co./AGX/Anthony's Pizza/Ingram Engines/Cline Construction/Sommey Lacey Paint-sponsored #99 as he became the fifth different Tour winner in six races run all-time at Winchester.  Hardy became the third different “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek Champion in as many years.


Blair got away from Roberson late, but never as able to challenge Hardy as he settled for the $1,500 runner-up for the second time in three nights.  Blair also had a third at Potomac, which allowed him to finish second in the “Battle of the Bay” standings worth $500.  Blair was the 2019 “Battle of the Bay” champion. 


“He’s (Hardy) got a bazillion laps around this place and I’m not taking anything away from him because he was better than I was tonight,” explained the 31-year-old Blair of Centerville, Pa.  “There was a stretch during the race where I felt I was running him down before we got to lapped traffic.  I was changing up my line a lot kind of following in his tire tracks.  I thought we got better and better as the race went on; my car wasn’t quite good enough, but we were close.  This deal is always a great time down here.  It’s too bad we lost Wednesday night, but I always look forward to coming here it’s always smooth, really racy, and a lot of fun.”


Roberson, who had won the last two Tour events in 2018 and 2019 at Winchester and was the 2018 “Battle of the Bay” Champion, was third and also earned third in the Speedweek standings to add an additional $350.  Roberson also picked up a spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic for the second straight night.  Pilkerton ended the three-race swing with a solid fourth for his career best Tour finish.  After a pair of 11th place finishes at Georgetown and Potomac, Martin ended Speedweek strong with a fifth.


Kyle Lukon raced from 11th to sixth for his third top 10 in as many nights and earned him fourth in the “Battle of the Bay” points.  Love dropped to seventh at the finish over Jeremy Wonderling.  Austin Hubbard was ninth to give him top 10 finishes all three nights and a fifth in the “Battle of the Bay” standings for Karl Klink.  After a pair of eighth place finishes at Georgetown and Potomac, track regular Levi Crowl advanced from 15th to round out the top 10.  Delaware racer Sparky White, who calls Winchester his favorite track, charged from 21st to 11th to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card. 


After qualifying for the feature the first two nights of “Battle of the Bay”, Ben Scott missed transferring to the feature by one spot on Saturday night.  Scott though was still able to end the night in victory lane by leading all 10 laps of the Non-Qualifier for $200.  The 21-year-old Delmar, Delaware driver of the Wrinkles & Wags/J.W. Scott Quality Builders/J.T. Mobile RV Services/Hamilton Masonry/Terry Firma of Delmarva-sponsored #80 took the checkered flag first by a commanding 2.064 seconds to become the amazing 46th different winner in 55 races run all-time!  It was a disappointing "Battle of the Bay” for second year Tour racer Josh Ferry, but ended it on a positive note going fourth to second in the Non-Qualifier.  Megan Mann, J.J. Mazur, and Tanner Kerr completed the top five.


For the third consecutive night, the track record was shattered in qualifying; this time by Kyle Hardy as he earned his first FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying award.  Hardy’s lap of 15.119 eclipsed the previous standard of 15.261 set by Transtan Stoner last year.  Picking up $25 FK Rod End heat race wins were Hardy, Martin, Blair, John Waters, Roberson, and Love.  Sweeney, Jason Genco, and White won the last chance B mains.  Blair became the third different Sunoco Dash winner in as many nights.  Blair along with Tommy Armel, who was the lucky recipient drawn at the drivers meeting, earned the $100 Sunoco fuel cards part of the “Fill’er up with Sunoco Bucks” program presented by Sunoco and Zarin Truck and Auto.  After a tough Speedweek, Robert Smith was selected as the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”.


The Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series will be right back in action on Sunday, April 25 at the McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa. for a $2,000 to-win event.  It’ll be the first RUSH Tour race a MCR since September 29, 2018 when Max Blair topped a 39-car field at the “Fall Classic”.


Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series “Battle of the Bay” Race #3 (30 laps, $3,000 to-win): 1. KYLE HARDY (99)  2. Max Blair (111)  3. Logan Roberson (17)  4. Jeremy Pilkerton (8)  5. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s)  6. Kyle Lukon (184)  7. Joey Love (08)  8. Jeremy Wonderling (3J)  9. Austin Hubbard (49)  10. Levi Crowl (5)  11. Sparky White (16)  12. Trevor Collins (72)  13. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  14. Mike Franklin (74)  15. Logan Zarin (1z)  16. Amanda Robinson (Whaley 4)  17. Brandon Sturgis (10B0  18. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J)  19. Bud Watson (225)  20. Scott Sweeney, Jr. (40s)  21. Derek Magee (96)  22. Nick Davis (92)  23. Jason Genco (Badgley/Craig 29J)  24. Darrell Bossard (Winans 213)  25. Justin Kann (66).  (Note: Nick Davis took a Tour provisional)


Non-Qualifier (10 laps, $200 to-win): 1. Ben Scott (80)  2. Josh Ferry (33)  3. Megan Mann (55)  4. J.J. Mazur (13)  5. Tanner Kerr (41*)  6. Donald Brown, Jr. (11)  7. Timmy Booth (95)  8. Tommy Armel (15)  9. Robert Smith (01s)  10. Dustin Arnold (18A)  DNS: Ryan Frazee (11F), Donald Lingo, Jr. (55L), Cory Sines (25s), Billy Henry, Jr. (21*), Andy Michael (17x), Kyle Murray (21).


Car Count: 41

Feature Margin of Victory: 1.123 seconds
Feature Lap Leaders:
Kyle Hardy (1-30)

Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Logan Roberson

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Robert Smith

Performance Bodies "Nosed Out" $100 gift card: Ryan Frazee

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger $100 gift card: Sparky White (+10)

Precise Racing Products 5-Gallon Race Jug: Kyle Hardy

Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto $100 Sunoco Fuel Cards: Tommy Armel & Max Blair


FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying Flight A ($100 for fast time) (Track record 15.261 by Transtan Stoner in 2020): 1. 99-Kyle Hardy, 00:15.119[14] NTR; 2. 49K-Austin Hubbard, 00:15.147[21]; 3. 184-Kyle Lukon, 00:15.227[12]; 4. 8-Jeremy Pilkerton, 00:15.259[5]; 5. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:15.296[15]; 6. 111-Max Blair, 00:15.376[2]; 7. 4R-Amanda Robinson, 00:15.398[8]; 8. 40S-Scott Sweeney Jr, 00:15.500[6]; 9. 55M-Megan Mann, 00:15.539[10]; 10. 96-Derek Magee, 00:15.550[13]; 11. 5C-Levi Crowl, 00:15.565[3]; 12. 66-Justin Kann, 00:15.565[17]; 13. 11F-Ryan Frazee, 00:15.665[1]; 14. 15A-Tommy Armel, 00:15.667[20]; 15. 29J-Jason Genco, 00:15.684[9]; 16. 33-Josh Ferry, 00:15.695[16]; 17. 13-JJ Mazur, 00:15.790[7]; 18. 11B-Daniel Brown Jr, 00:15.791[18]; 19. 18A-Dustin Arnold, 00:17.091[4]; 20. (DQ) 55L-Donald Lingo Jr, 00:15.172[19]; 21. (DQ) 21*-Billy Henry, 00:15.423[11].


FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying Flight B: 1. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:15.295[4]; 2. 17R-Logan Roberson, 00:15.296[10]; 3. 10B-Brandon Sturgis, 00:15.341[9]; 4. 11L-John Waters, 00:15.342[5]; 5. 72-Trevor Collins, 00:15.493[11]; 6. 08-Joey Love, 00:15.558[20]; 7. 92-Nick Davis, 00:15.579[8]; 8. 16-Sparky White, 00:15.591[15]; 9. 1Z-Logan Zarin, 00:15.615[18]; 10. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr, 00:15.625[3]; 11. 74-Mike Franklin, 00:15.633[1]; 12. 80-Ben Scott, 00:15.634[17]; 13. 213-Darrell Bossard, 00:15.643[13]; 14. 225-Bud Watson, 00:15.650[2]; 15. 41*-Tanner Kerr, 00:15.800[19]; 16. 25S-Cory Sines, 00:15.811[12]; 17. 17X-Andy Michael, 00:15.908[7]; 18. 95-Timmy Booth, 00:16.222[16]; 19. (DQ) 01S-Robert Smith, 00:16.147[14]; 20. (DNS) 21-Kyle Murray.


FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 99-Kyle Hardy[1]; 2. 8-Jeremy Pilkerton[2]; 3. 4R-Amanda Robinson[3]; 4. 96-Derek Magee[4]; 5. 11F-Ryan Frazee[5]; 6. 33-Josh Ferry[6]; 7. 18A-Dustin Arnold[7].


FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 10S-Joe Martin[2]; 2. 49K-Austin Hubbard[1]; 3. 5C-Levi Crowl[4]; 4. 40S-Scott Sweeney Jr[3]; 5. 55L-Donald Lingo Jr[7]; 6. 13-JJ Mazur[6]; 7. 15A-Tommy Armel[5]


FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 111-Max Blair[2]; 2. 184-Kyle Lukon[1]; 3. 66-Justin Kann[4]; 4. 29J-Jason Genco[5]; 5. 55M-Megan Mann[3]; 6. 21*-Billy Henry[7]; 7. 11B-Daniel Brown Jr[6].


FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 11L-John Waters[2]; 2. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling[1]; 3. 213-Darrell Bossard[5]; 4. 92-Nick Davis[3]; 5. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr[4]; 6. 25S-Cory Sines[6]; 7. 01S-Robert Smith[7].


FK Rod Ends Heat 5 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 17R-Logan Roberson[1]; 2. 72-Trevor Collins[2]; 3. 74-Mike Franklin[4]; 4. 16-Sparky White[3]; 5. 225-Bud Watson[5]; 6. 17X-Andy Michael[6]; 7. (DNS) 21-Kyle Murray.


FK Rod Ends Heat 6 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 08-Joey Love[2]; 2. 10B-Brandon Sturgis[1]; 3. 1Z-Logan Zarin[3]; 4. 80-Ben Scott[4]; 5. 41*-Tanner Kerr[5]; 6. 95-Timmy Booth[6].


Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 40S-Scott Sweeney Jr[2]; 2. 96-Derek Magee[1]; 3. 11F-Ryan Frazee[3]; 4. 55L-Donald Lingo Jr[4]; 5. 33-Josh Ferry[5]; 6. 13-JJ Mazur[6]; 7. 15A-Tommy Armel[8]; 8. 18A-Dustin Arnold[7].


Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 29J-Jason Genco[1]; 2. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr[4]; 3. 92-Nick Davis[2]; 4. 55M-Megan Mann[3]; 5. 25S-Cory Sines[6]; 6. 21*-Billy Henry[5]; 7. 11B-Daniel Brown Jr[7]; 8. 01S-Robert Smith[8].


Last Chance B Main 3 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 16-Sparky White[1]; 2. 225-Bud Watson[3]; 3. 80-Ben Scott[2]; 4. 41*-Tanner Kerr[4]; 5. 95-Timmy Booth[6]; 6. 17X-Andy Michael[5]; 7. (DNS) 21-Kyle Murray.


Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 Sunoco fuel card to-win): 1. 111-Max Blair[2]; 2. 99-Kyle Hardy[5]; 3. 17R-Logan Roberson[4]; 4. 08-Joey Love[1]; 5. 11L-John Waters[6]; 6. 10S-Joe Martin[3].


RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Pace Performance together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, Born2Run Lubricants, Flynn's Tire & Auto Service, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Stop-Fyre, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage,, and Wedge Motorsports.


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.  The RUSH Late Model website is Like our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.