By Mike Leone


May 8, 2015            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Mechanicsville, MD)…After two weekends off, the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series headed southeast to resume the Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Touring Series on Friday night at Potomac Speedway.  Summer-like conditions were present at the racey 3/8-mile facility that saw a Potomac record 26 competitors from all over Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, and New York compete eclipsing last year’s total of 22 for night one of the “Mid-Atlantic States Classic” at the Series’ southernmost facility.    


Southern and Mid-Atlantic Super Late Model and Crate Late Model standout Walker Arthur made his first ever Sweeney RUSH Late Model start a successful one overtaking Max Blair in a stirring battle between the two stars.  The two raced side-by-side for much of the 30-lap feature in an event that officially had seven lead changes with the lead changing hands the last four laps!  Arthur won the drag race to the checkered by a mere 0.010 for the $2,000 prize! 


“It was awesome racing Max- he’s one of the cleanest racers I’ve ever raced with in a long time,” expressed the 30-year-old Forest, Virginia driver.  “To battle back and forth like that for a win is phenomenal.  We kept having those cautions and I was hoping we’d get some green flag laps.  Max was just as good as me on the outside.  We had a real good car and it was real fun to be here at Potomac to race like this.  It was super frustrating when he kept driving back by me.  There are so many people that help out on this thing and especially J.R. Overstreet and Eddie Groom at the shop.”


Blair started the night off perfect setting fast time, winning his heat, and the K&N Dash to earn the feature pole.  Blair raced into the early lead with track regular Ben Bowie, Arthur, Jeff Pilkerton, and John Imler in tow.  Following a restart on lap four, fourth starting Arthur moved past Bowie for second, while Imler grabbed fourth from Pilkerton. 


Ohio’s Eric Wilson, who started eighth, was on the move as he cracked the top five on lap five then passed Imler for fourth on lap six.  Wilson continued to move forward as he overtook Bowie for third on lap eight following a caution for Kyle Lukon.  Arthur began to challenge Blair at the 1/3rd point of the race.  He pulled even for the first time on lap 13 running the bottom, while Blair was up top on the multi-groove surface. 


Following a caution with 13 laps scored, Arthur made the pass of Blair to lead for the first time on lap 14; however, it was short-lived as Blair gained the top spot back one lap later at the halfway point running the outside.  After qualifying just 24th out of 26 cars, Jason Knowles raced much better.  He improved from eighth to fifth in his heat race to earn the 15th starting spot.  Knowles began to make his presence known in the feature when he took third from Wilson on lap 15.  The two swapped the spot several times before Knowles took control for good.


With Blair still out front, Arthur didn’t go away as he stayed within striking distance then pulled alongside the leader once again on lap 23 running the low line.  Three cautions slowed action on laps 23 and 24.  Arthur was able to nip Blair at the line to lead the 24th lap.  The last six laps went green-to-checkered, and what a race it was!  The two literally raced side-by-side the entire final six laps swapping the lead at the start-finish line the final four.  Everyone knew it was going to come down to a drag race off turn four on the final lap, and it did with Arthur coming out by one hundredth of a second in the near photo finish!


Arthur has won features in most all of the top Crate Late Model sanctioning bodies in the country and now adds RUSH to his resume in his Cecil B. Arthur Beef Farm/All About Wraps/Penske Racing Shops/Kenny Lamb Racing Engines-sponsored #87.  When you pass Max Blair to win a race, you know you’ve accomplished something, and that feat alone earned Arthur the Maxima Racing Oil “Maximum Performance” Award. 


Blair’s runner-up was worth $1,000 and allowed him to maintain his Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Touring Series point lead.  “It’s always fun racing with Walker,” stated the Centerville, Pa. great.  “We raced a few nights in Florida and it was just like that- door-to-door.  You can race as hard as you want and it’s clean.  I wish a lot more people were as clean as he is.   There’s tiny little lip up there on top and if you hit it right it would shoot you down the backstretch, but if you hit it too hard it would kill your momentum.  I hit it right to lead at the white (flag), but I missed it a little bit on the last lap and he took my momentum a little in (turn) four.  He did everything right.  He left me a lane on the frontstretch and there aren’t many that would do that, and that’s why he’s so fun to race with.  It hurts not to come out with a win when you’re that close, but it was a lot of fun and am looking forward to tomorrow.”


Knowles, who traveled six hours to make his first ever Potomac start, was third, which improved on his fifth place Roaring Knob Motorsports Park finish to move him into runner-up in points.  Knowles earned the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger Award for advancing 12 spots from his original starting position.


“We really screwed things up at the start of the night and we actually went back to what we came with and hot lapped with,” explained the Addison, New York racer.  “We put it right back to the way it was, threw some new tires on it, and said here we go this is it.  I’d like to thank my dad, A.J., and Jason Dobson that helped me tonight, and all of my sponsors.”


Seventeen-year-old Logan Roberson, who won the last Sweeney Weekly Series event at Potomac charged from 14th to a solid fourth- his best ever in a Tour event.  Last year’s event winner, Rick Singleton, was another driver that made a charge to the front racing from 15th to fifth, which bumped him up to third place in the Tour standings following his sixth at Roaring Knob.


After suffering a flat tire early on, Bowie made his way back up toward the front with a sixth place finish.  After running in the top five for much of the event, Wilson dropped to seventh over Pilkerton.  Kris Eaton, who runs the $135 Bilstein sealed spec shocks came from 17th to ninth over Reese Masiello.  John Imler, who had a top five run going during the first half of the event, was awarded the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night” after getting caught up in a couple of accidents and was credited with 19th. 


Blair’s 16.203 lap in $100 Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Qualifying was just 0.019 of a second off David Puckett’s fast lap and track record at last year’s event.  Bobby Lake Motorsports $25 heat race wins went to Blair, Bowie, and Pilkerton.  Blair also received a $100 K&N certificate for winning his first “Cold Air Induction” Dash of the season.  Bowie received a $50 K&N certificate in second, while Pilkerton and Arthur picked up an additional $25 cash for their third and fourth place dash finishes.


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Touring Series Race #2 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. WALKER ARTHUR (97)  2. Max Blair (111)  3. Jason Knowles (4)  4. Logan Roberson (17)  5. Rick Singleton (99*)  6. Ben Bowie (17)  7. Eric Wilson (27W)  8. Jeff Pilkerton (8)  9. Kris Eaton (3)  10. Reese Masiello (22R)  11. Brian Knowles (4)  12. Matt Glanden (01)  13. Darin Henderson (22)  14. Darren Alvey (30)  15. James Sutphin (18)  16. Doug Gavette (9G)  17. Kyle Lukon (1)  18. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  19. John Imler (63)  20. Harry Shipe, Jr. (00)  21. Timmy Booth (95)  22. Matt Tarbox (66x)  23. Steve Lowery (48)  24. Richard Culver (213)  25. Tracy Graves (28)  26. Megan Mann (55).


Car Count: 26

Margin of Victory: 0.010
Feature Lap Leaders:
Blair (1-13, 15-23, 27, 29), Arthur (14, 24-26, 28, 30)

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Jason Knowles (+12)

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Walker Arthur

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night: John Imler


Bobby Lake Motorsports Qualifying (TR David Puckett 16.184 6/20/14) - $100 for fast time: 1. Max Blair 16.203  2. Ben Bowie 16.312  3. Matt Glanden 16.365  4. Walker Arthur 16.385  5. Logan Roberson 16.407  6. Jeff Pilkerton 16.414  7. John Waters 16.432  8. John Imler 16.504  9. Reese Masiello 16.514  10. Darren Alvey 16.524  11. Eric Wilson 16.648  12. Darin Henderson 16.676  13. Brian Knowles 16.681  14. Kyle Lukon 16.682  15. Matt Tarbox 16.707  16. Kris Eaton 16.803  17. Tracy Graves 16.803  18. Timmy Booth 16.831  19. Rick Singleton 16.847  20. Harry Shipe, Jr. 16.887  21. James Sutphin 16.900  22. Steve Lowery 16.948  23. Doug Gavette 16.950  24. Jason Knowles 17.019  25. Megan Mann 18.206  26. Richard Culver 18.769.


Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Blair  2. Arthur  3. Alvey  4. Waters  5. B. Knowles  6. Singleton  7. Lowery  8. Graves  9. Mann.


Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Bowie  2. Imler  3. Wilson  4. Lukon  5. Roberson  6. Eaton  7. Shipe  8. Gavette  9. Culver.


Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Pilkerton  2. Henderson  3. Tarbox  4. Glanden  5. J. Knowles  6. Sutphin  7. Masiello  8. Booth.


K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash (4 laps): 1. Max Blair  2. Ben Bowie  3. Jeff Pilkerton  4. Walker Arthur.


The next Sweeney Tour event will be night two of the second annual “Mid-Atlantic States Classic” on May 9 at Winchester Speedway.  The event will pay $2,000 to-win and will be part of the Bazell/Sunoco Southern Tour Series.


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 Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, 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.