LUNGER & LAKE REPEAT DURING A WET WEEKEND IN SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL WEEKLY SERIES ACTION; LERNERVILLE RUSH LM & MOD DOUBLEHEADER FRIDAY
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
May 7, 2014
(Pulaski, PA)...While all of the tracks and promoters running under the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model banner would have liked to have raced last week, the weatherman had other plans. Of the eight RUSH-sanctioned tracks, only two were able to get a full night of racing in.
The weekend got a bit of a late start at Markleysburg PA’s Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex. A few pesky rain showers delayed the start of the show, but as is often the case, track owner Rick Jones isn't one to easily throw in the towel and the moisture made for a fast track that was worth the wait as racing didn't get underway until approximately 9 p.m.
The 20-lap RUSH Late Model feature saw young Michael Lake come from his fourth starting spot to take the lead after a battle for position with George Kowatic, his Bobby Lake Motorsports teammate. Multiple laps of side-by-side racing treated the fans to a great race with Lake taking the win. Following Lake in his second win of the season was Kowatic, Rick Stickler, Robbie Marhefka and Chad McClellan. A solid field of 20 cars were on hand despite the threatening weather.
The victory for Uniontown, PA's Lake was an important one as it not only maintained his lead in the $1,000 to-win "Futures Cup" standings, but also propelled him into the lead in the Sweeney Weekly Series Championship standings for the first time in his young career! That title pays $5,000 to the champion! Drivers are also jockeying for top 10 positions at each track to make them eligible for the $3,000 Pace Performance "Summer Chase" later this summer.
Roaring Knob has a practice scheduled for this Thursday, May 8 and continues the Saturday night race action on May 10 with a regular six-division show on “Old Timers Night”
The weekend racing action continued Sunday north of the border as Humberstone Speedway in Port Colborne, Ontario got their 55th anniversary season off to a start. For the first time ever, Humberstone’s Late Models division competed under the RUSH banner. Humberstone has campaigned the Crate Late Models for three prior years and Sunday's count of 15 cars was definitely one of the highest regular show counts in their history.
Ironically it was an American taking home the checkered flag. Earlier in the week, Dennis Lunger, Jr. had never heard of Humberstone Speedway when he asked RUSH co-director Mike Leone where there were some additional places he could race. After Lunger was rained out all weekend and still hungry from his April 26 Sharon Speedway win, the team decided to make their maiden voyage across the border, which is less than 20 miles from Buffalo, and it certainly paid off!
Garret Stephen and Lunger led the field to the flag stand and it was Lunger taking the early lead. New York's Ed Carley, who was making his season debut, raced his way into second after the first few laps. Lunger had opened up a comfortable lead when Ken Winfield brought out the caution at the halfway point of the Cosco Haulage-sponsored event. On the restart, Lunger continued to show the way as Peters passed Carley for second place.
Lunger pulled away from Peters in the closing laps for his first career win outside of the United States. Rob Ledingham passed Peters for second with Zack Carley and Jeff Dayman completing the top five. This Sunday, Humberstone continues its 2014 campaign with the DIRTcar Sportsman, RUSH Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4 Trucks, Mini Stocks, Vintage Cars plus Spectator ONE on ONE. The entire program at Humberstone was completed at 8:45 p.m. this past Sunday!
Sharon Speedway has a regular six-division "Steel Valley Thunder" show on Saturday night when they celebrate Mother’s Day with a $7 admission price for the ladies! The RUSH Late Models take center stage at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway for the Spring Sizzler. Freedom Speedway has already cancelled their opening night show scheduled for this Friday due to wet grounds as they continue to work in their new clay. They still have their sights set on a practice night at some point before the season gets started. Remember, Freedom will be the sight of the kickoff to the 2014 Sweeney Tour on Friday, May 30.
The RUSH Late Models will be back on the card on Saturday night at Winchester Speedway as part of their "Victory in the Valley Shootout". A “Super Six” regular show is on tap for McKean County Raceway on Saturday night including the RUSH Late Models. RUSH will return at Potomac Speedway on Friday, May 16.
The biggest show of the weekend is Friday night at Lernerville Speedway. The Sarver, Pa. oval will host its only appearance by the All Star Circuit of Champion Sprint Cars and both the RUSH Late Models and RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will be support divisions. It will be the first ever appearance at Lernerville for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Gates open at 5 p.m. with warm-ups at 6:45, time trials for the Sprints at 7:15, and racing at 8. Lernerville has again graciously extended their DIRTcar member pit pass discount to the RUSH Late Model members!
America's Motorsports Park in Clearfield had the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds on the schedule for last Saturday night, but their season opener was cancelled due to wet grounds. The Sportsman Modifieds will be back on the schedule at AMP on Saturday, May 17 followed up by the first appearance at Pittsburgh on Saturday, May 24!
RUSH Late Model 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] 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.