By Mike Leone


April 18, 2018               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Delmar, DE)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series powered by Pace Performance kicked off the 2018 season on Wednesday night in the first ever race at Delaware International Speedway, and in fact the first ever in the state of Delaware.  It was night one of the four-night inaugural “Battle of the Bay” Mid-Atlantic Speedweek presented by Pancho’s Racing Products, which attracted 46 cars from six states (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania & New York) along with Ontario, Canada.  Special thanks to Elliott Farms for posting $600 in feature lap money rotating amongst the top five cars each feature lap.


Max Blair has won races from Canada to Florida, but had never raced, let alone won before, in the “First State”.  That all changed on Wednesday night as Blair put on a dominating performance leading all but the first lap to claim the $2,000 season opening “Marquee” Tour event win at DIS.  Blair, who also earned an additional $100 in lap money, now takes the early point lead in both the Sweeney Tour as well as the “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek.


“This is our first time ever racing in Delaware so this is pretty neat,” expressed the 28-year-old Centerville, Pa. driver.  “We’ve got a lot of family here with us and it’s really cool to win the first race my little boy, who was born in January, has ever been to.  We were just a touch off all night, especially early on, but we just tweaked on it and tweaked on it.  Tonight I was a big fan of that dash because we threw some stuff at it and it was a lot better.  We tweaked it a little before the feature and got it rolling around there pretty good.  This is a stacked field of crate cars.  So anytime these guys are around you, it doesn’t matter how good your stuff feels those guys are just as good and it only takes one little slip up and they’re going to be all over you.”


2016 Sweeney Tour Champion and last year’s runner-up, John Waters, earned the pole position via his K&N Dash win and would lead the opening lap.  Blair started third and raced by Amada Whaley on lap one for second then made what would be the winning pass in turn one on the inside of Waters on lap two.  Whaley would follow Blair by Waters for second on the inside of turn four on lap three.  By the time Whaley made her way to second, Blair had opened up a half-straightaway lead on the ½-mile oval.


Super Late Model racer, Ross Robinson, started sixth and cracked the top five on lap two.  Robinson nosed ahead of Jason Genco for fourth on lap five then ran down Waters on lap nine.  While Blair was dealing with lapped traffic on lap 13 as Robinson’s girlfriend Whaley was trying to close, Robinson drove to the outside of Waters and the lapped car Bill Kessler making it three-wide off turn four to grab the third spot.


The event’s first caution was nearly a close call for Blair as Brandon Sturgis spun in front of him.  Blair and everyone else was able to avoid his spun car between turns three and four with 13 laps scored.  When racing resumed, three cars got stacked up in turn one including Touring Series regular Jason Knowles, track regular Charles Shawver, along with two-time 2018 Potomac Speedway winner Darren Alvey.  Alvey’s car caught fire, but he was able to safely exit.  That would end up being the last caution as the final 17 went green-to-checkered.


When racing resumed, it was a wild scramble behind Blair as 11th starting Austin Hubbard used the outside to power into second, while Robinson and Genco were also able to get by Whaley.  Hubbard would close in slightly on Blair as the laps wound down, but Blair would make the right moves in lapped traffic over the final five laps to secure his all-time leading 19th career Sweeney RUSH Tour victory by a margin of 1.912 seconds in his Murphy’s Logging/C&J Dairy/Upstate Auto Group/Moody & Son Welding/Previty’s Auto Wrecking/Specialty Products/Nemier Garage-sponsored #111.       


Hubbard, a former World of Outlaws regular, had an excellent run in second in his first ever Sweeney RUSH Tour start.  Hubbard earned $1,000 plus an additional $60 in lap money along with a $100 Precise Racing Products gift card for being the “Pedal Down” Hard Charger advancing nine spots.


“You could tell everyone was trying to carry their way around the bottom, but we’re in a crate car so you have to carry some speed,” explained Hubbard.  “If everyone was going to beat their way to the infield, I just decided to carry some speed on the top.  I couldn’t really tell, but it felt good and we came off (turn) two and saw Amanda who was running second and she was next to me.  I said ‘well that worked out’.  We didn’t have anything for Max.  We probably shouldn’t even have run second, but had a good restart.  We’ve got to work on our crate stuff- we haven’t done it too much, but I do enjoy racing them.  There are a lot of good cars here tonight and good competition so it was a lot of fun.  I’m just happy to be out racing on a Wednesday night!”


Robinson was able to beat out his girlfriend, Amanda Whaley, for the third spot.  Robinson added $100 in lap money, while Whaley led the way in lap money with $120.  Defending Sweeney Weekly Series Champion, Logan Roberson, was fifth after starting eighth.  Roberson was named the Dirt Defender “Defensive Drive” of the Night recipient after holding off Touring regulars Waters and Genco to secure a top five finish.  Matt Hill, Sparky White, and Darrell Bossard completed the top 10. 


A special note of interest was Brandon Sturgis, who qualified for the feature through his heat race doing it with a GM 602 crate engine on the $135 sealed, spec Bilstein Shocks!  It was Sturgis’ first ever RUSH Tour start.  Bruce Hordusky, Jr. was named the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”.  Hordusky made the long tow from Erie, Pa. and set fifth fastest time only to made heavy contact with Knowles battling up front in his heat race, which ended his night.     


Chuck Bowie, who entered the week as the Sweeney National Weekly Series point leader, ended the night by leading all eight laps of the non-qualifier event.  The 39-year-old Welcome, Maryland driver earned $175 in his Corbin Home Improvements/WMD Race Cars-sponsored #14C.  Bowie became the 27th different driver to win a “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series event in 31 races run all-time in the past six years, and took the Series early point lead.  Matt Tarbox passed Christian Schneider on the opening lap to finish second.  West Virginia racer, Garret Paugh, raced from sixth to finish third over Schneider and Mike Franklin.


Canadian and Brighton Speedway standout, Charlie Sandercock, made the near nine-hour drive from Belleville, Ontario and started the night off strong setting fast time over the 46-car field with a lap of 19.999 to earn the $100 FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Award.  Waters, Whaley, Hill, Blair, and Genco added $25 for garnering the FK Rod Ends heat race victories.  Alvey and Canadian Adam Ferri copped the twin last chance B mains. 


The Sweeney Tour will resume action in the state of Delaware on Thursday night (April 19) at Georgetown Speedway for the first ever appearance at the half-mile track in night two of the “Battle of the Bay” presented by Pancho’s Racing Products.  Pits open at 4 p.m. with the drivers meeting at 6, warm-ups at 6:20 followed by qualifying and heat races.


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Model Touring Series Race #1 "Battle of the Bay" presented by Pancho’s Racing Products (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (111)  2. Austin Hubbard (Nuttall 11)  3. Ross Robinson (11D)  4. Amanda Whaley (4)  5. Logan Roberson (17)  6. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  7. Jason Genco (Craig 29J)  8. Matt Hill (84)  9. Sparky White (16)  10. Darrell Bossard (Winans 213)  11. Jeremy Wonderling (3J)  12. Brady Wonderling (Ralyea 2R)  13. Joe Warren (11)  14. Scott Gunn (14G)  15. Jeff Pilkerton (8)  16. Cody Dawson (36)  17. J.J. Mazur (13)  18. Jason Knowles (4)  19. Charlie Sandercock (57)  20. Matt Glanden (01)  21. Adam Ferri (66)  22. Brandon Sturgis (Smedley 91s)  23. Charles Shawver (74C)  24. Bill Kessler (09)  25. Darren Alvey (30)  26. Trevor Collins (11).  (Note: Bill Kessler took a Series provisional and Charles Shawver took a Track provisional.)


Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $175 to-win): 1. Chuck Bowie (14C)  2. Matt Tarbox (66x)  3. Garret Paugh (03)  4. Christian Schneider (Maniecki 1ST)  5. Mike Franklin (74)  6. Chace Biron (Elliott 29)  7. Joe Pete (8/7)  8. Robert Smith (16S)  9. Joe Watson (35)  10. Beamer Guzzardi (12)-DNS  11. Damian Bidwell (1/2-Pint)-DNS  12. Kelly Putz (59)-DNS  13. Tyler Reed (44)-DNS  14. Jimmy Johnson (39J)-DNS  15. Cory Lawler (93)-DNS  16. Mike Wharton (100)-DNS  17. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. (3)-DNS  18. Jakob Piper (21)-DSQ  19. Billy Thompson (Klink 49)-DSQ  20. Zac Weller (1*)-DSQ.


Car Count: 46

Margin of Victory: 1.912 seconds
Feature Lap Leaders:
John Waters (1), Max Blair (2-30)  

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Austin Hubbard (+9)

Dirt Defender “Defensive Drive of the Night”: Logan Roberson

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Bruce Hordusky, Jr,


FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. Charlie Sandercock 19.999  2. Amanda Whaley 20.057  3. Logan Roberson 20.064  4. Max Blair 20.067  5. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. 20.203  6. Ross Robinson 20.211  7. Scott Gunn 20.241  8. Matt Hill 20.268  9. Sparky White 20.303  10. Jason Genco 20.355  11. John Waters 20.420  12. Darrell Bossard 20.438  13. Jeremy Wonderling 20.441  14. Matt Glanden 20.493  15. Jeff Pilkerton 20.562  16. Darren Alvey 20.574  17. Cody Dawson 20.592  18. Joe Warren 20.605  19. J.J. Mazur 20.607  20. Jason Knowles 20.630  21. Damian Bidwell 20.398 (penalized to 21st for being late and qualifying at end)  22. Christian Schneider 20.634  23. Brady Wonderling 20.752  24. Mike Franklin 20.842  25. Brandon Sturgis 20.910  26. Austin Hubbard 20.915  27. Garret Paugh 20.920  28. Mike Wharton 20.952  29. Adam Ferri 20.959  30. Cory Lawler 21.002  31. Charles Shawver 21.006  32. Jimmy Johnson 21.047  33. Matt Tarbox 21.067  34. Robert Smith 21.167  35. Beamer Guzzardi 21.225  36. Chuck Bowie 21.326  37. Tyler Reed 21.338  38. Trevor Collins 21.570  39. Chace Biron 21.287  40. Bill Kessler 21.931  41. Joe Pete 21.955  42. Joe Watson 22.122  43. Kelly Putz 22.141  44. Zac Weller NT  45. Jakob Piper NT 46. Billy Thompson NT. 


FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 4 transfer) 1. Waters  2. Robinson  3. Hubbard  4. Sandercock  5. Alvey  6. Shawver  7. Reed  8. Watson  9. Bidwell-DNS  10. Weller-DSQ.


FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 4 transfer):  1. Whaley  2. Gunn  3. Bossard  4. Collins  5. Dawson  6. Schneider  7. Tarbox  8. Paugh  9. Putz.


FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 4 transfer): 1. Hill  2. Roberson  3. B. Wonderling  4. J. Wonderling  5. Warren  6. Johnson  7. Wharton  8. Smith  9. Biron.


FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 4 transfer): 1. Blair  2. White  3. Glanden  4. Mazur  5. Ferri  6. Guzzardi  7. Franklin  8. Kessler  9. Piper-DSQ.


FK Rod Ends Heat 5 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 4 transfer): 1. Genco  2. Knowles  3. Pilkerton  4. Sturgis  5. Bowie  6. Lawler  7. Pete  8. Hordusky  9. Thompson-DSQ.


Last Chance B Main 1 (10 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Alvey  2. Warren  3. Bowie  4. Schneider  5. Guzzardi  6. Bidwell  7. Paugh  8. Reed  9. Biron  10. Kessler  11. Pete  12. Wharton  13. Thompson-DSQ.


Last Chance B Main 2 (10 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Ferri  2. Dawson  3. Shawver  4. Tarbox  5. Franklin  6. Watson  7. Putz  8. Smith  9. Johnson  10. Lawler  11. Hordusky-DNS  12. Piper-DSQ  13. Weller-DSQ.


K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash (4 laps): 1. Waters  2. Whaley  3. Blair  4. Hill  5. Genco.


RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Earl's Performance Plumbing, Quick Fuel Technology, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Dynamic Drivelines, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Pancho's Racing Products Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA,  Landrum Performance Spring, Schwartzmiller Ground Maintenance,,, 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 Like our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.