By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone


April 30, 2014


(Pulaski, PA)…Over the weekend of April 25-27, Mother Nature had her way with a couple of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Weekly Series member tracks washing out action at both Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex ad Winchester Speedway; however the weekend racing roared on at the tracks that were able to dodge the raindrops.  Three new winners in three events brought the total number of different winners to an astounding 14 in 16 races! 


On Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, young Michael Reft led the first several laps of the Precise Racing Products event.  Pittsburgh’s Nico Dabecco came hard from his fourth place starting position to take over the point by lap nine- a lead he would never relinquish.  With a few caution flags serving to bunch up the field, one of which relegated Reft to the back of the pack, Josh Holtgraver was able to take advantage making his way to the second spot.  


Holtgraver though was unable to repeat his previous week’s success and settled for second. Behind him at the line were Kyle Lukon, Daryl Charlier and Justin Lamb.  The win was the first of the year for Dabecco, who turned a 19.220 lap in the feature equating to an average speed of 117.066 mph!  “It was loose in the heat race; we tightened it up for the feature,” explained the 17-year-old in victory lane. “I knew the top line was where it was going to be.  The car was good!  I can’t thank my crew enough for it.”  Racing continues this Saturday (May 3) at PPMS with their six-division Action Event, this week featuring the Late Model Sportsman division in a special “Showdown” race.


McKean County Raceway was able to record their second night of racing on a chilly and blustery Saturday evening at the East Smethport, Pa. facility; nonetheless a season high 30 cars were on hand!  Defending Sweeney Weekly Series Champion Max Blair and Dusty Waters led the 24-car field to the green for the 20-lap feature.  A couple of early race yellow flags made for a rather slow start to the event.  Once things got going, it was Blair on the point with Jeremy Wonderling and Damian Bidwell close behind.  When the first lap had finally been completed, 2013 “Futures Cup” Champion Eric Wilson, who towed all the way from Cortland, OH, came to third and then to second by the end of four laps.


Wilson faded after a few more restarts and last week's winner Chad Ruhlman moved into second place late in the race. In the end it was Blair of Centerville, Pa. with his first win of the season driving a team car to Cody Dawson.  Ruhlman, Wilson, Bobby Rohrer, and Mike Knight were second through fifth.  McKean also held the Jim Duffy Memorial on Saturday honoring the man who in 1982 carved out the 3/8 mile oval we now know as McKean County Raceway.  Max’s father Robbie took the emotional victory.  This Saturday it’s a regular “Super 6” program and also “Smethport Night” with all Smethport residents receiving $2 off the regular admission price.


Last Saturday at Hartford Ohio’s Sharon Speedway, defending Barris Supply RUSH Late Model division champion Dennis Lunger, Jr. was able to hold off some of the best in the class, leading all 20 laps of the feature race.  After Lunger took the lead from “Futures Cup” driver Clay Ruffo at the start, he took off leaving the pack behind him; however, 2012 track champion Will Thomas III made it a race as he cut between one and two tenths of a second off Lunger’s lead just about every lap.  Lunger though withstood the charge to win by just over half a second.  In victory lane, Lunger seemed surprised that he had company.


“I didn’t know Will was catching me,” said Lunger. “I just tried to keep going and hold a line. That’s the thing about being up front, you don’t know how fast the guys are running behind you, and it makes it tough.” Behind Thomas were Ruffo, Jamie Wrightsman and Russ Byler. Action continues this Saturday night with Sharon Speedway’s regular six division “Steel Valley Thunder” race program.


Sharon also held the inaugural event for the new Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modified division last Saturday night.  Ten cars were on hand with seven passing tech as Jordan Eck, the son of Super Late Model veteran Doug Eck, taking his first career win.  The Sportsman Modifieds will move on to America’s Motorsports Park in Clearfield, Pa. on Saturday night.


Potomac Speedway was off this past Friday night and will run their next event for RUSH on May 16.  Winchester will be dark this weekend, and their next event for RUSH will be on Saturday, May 10. 


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Weekly Series member tracks Freedom Speedway in Delevan, New York and Humberstone Speedway in Port Colborne, Ontario are still set to embark on their respective seasons in the next couple of weeks.  Freedom is in the process of putting new clay on their speedway and had to postpone their practice scheduled for this Friday night.  Humberstone meanwhile has held a pair of open practices that has attracted several RUSH Late Model teams.  The Port Colborne, Ontario oval, which is located less than 20 minutes from Buffalo, is set to open this Sunday (May 4).


All eight of the RUSH Dirt Late Model Series Weekly tracks will be in full racing form by Freedom Speedway’s opening night on May 9.  For racers in the southern part of our region, Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. will host a RUSH doubleheader on Friday, May 9 with the All Star Circuit of Champion Sprint Cars as both the RUSH Late Models and Sportsman Modifieds will be in action in Sweeney Weekly Series events.  Lernerville will also graciously extend their DIRTcar pit pass discounts to all RUSH members. 


For the up to date points and latest news, check out www.rushracingseries.com.


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, Driven Racing Oil, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, High Gear Speed Shop, RainEater Wiper Blades, CrateInsider.com, 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].com 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.