WALKER ARTHUR SWEEPS "MID-ATLANTIC STATES CLASSIC" BAZELL/SUNOCO SOUTHERN TOUR WEEKEND AFTER LATE RACE PASS OF BLAIR & LAKE FOR SWEENEY WINCHESTER RUSH LATE MODEL WIN
By Mike Leone
May 9, 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Winchester, VA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series rounded out the second annual "Mid-Atlantic States Classic" weekend on Saturday night at Winchester Speedway for race #3 of the Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Touring Series. Another beautiful summer-like day saw a Winchester record 34 cars turn out shattering last year's event's previous record of 27. A total of 42 different drivers from all over Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Virginia, and Maryland participated in the successful weekend!
Walker Arthur came out on top of another fantastic feature event to earn the clean sweep of the "Mid-Atlantic States Classic" weekend. Ironically, last year Rick Singleton performed the same feat, but this year could only manage a sixth and a seventh place finish. After Michael Lake led the first 23 laps, Arthur, who dropped back as far as fifth, snookered both Max Blair and Lake on a restart and then drove away from the field for his first career Winchester win in the 30-lap, $2,000 to-win feature. Arthur, who had never competed in a RUSH event prior to the weekend, left with $4,075 plus contingencies.
"I didn't have any idea we'd be able to get that pulled off around the top," explained the 30-year-old Forest, Virginia driver. "I got lucky that Michael and Max went low, and we were able to get around the top down there. I did what I had to do there on that restart, and I want to thank Max for being such a clean racer. Him and I raced hard. I believe it was his race to win if that last caution hadn't come out. They had harder tires on than I did and that caution really hurt them. If they'd had stayed up high, I wouldn't have been able to do anything with them, but it worked out for us as I was real good around the top. I want to thank the Series for putting these races on and two fantastic race tracks for having us."
Following his K&N Dash win from the fourth starting spot, Joe Martin earned the feature pole, but it was Lake using the outside on the initial start to take the lead over Martin, Blair, and Arthur. Fifth starting Tyler Hershey was subbing for Jennae Piper, who was at homecoming, and he raced past Arthur for fourth on lap two.
As Lake continued to lead, Blair began to challenge Martin for second as the two ran side-by-side on lap three. Back behind this battle, a great race was taking place for fourth with Hershey trying to fend off Arthur and Singleton. This went on lap after lap and it was three-wide for the position on lap nine with Arthur retaking fourth. Just ahead, Martin and Blair continued their great side-by-side battle on laps 11 and 12.
Up front, Lake set a strong pace maintaining a fairly comfortable lead as he caught lapped traffic on lap 13. Arthur began to close in on Blair and Martin and the race appeared to be heating up when Jonathan Dehaven came to rest in turn four. That ended his solid run in his RUSH Tour debut and he was awarded the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night."
Back under green, a slow restart for Lake allowed Arthur to pass both Blair and Martin for second. By lap 17, Arthur was right on Lake, but Lake continued to hold down the lead. After battling Martin for the entire race, Blair finally made the pass for third on lap 19. And now it was a five-car breakaway battle for the lead with Lake holding on over Arthur, Blair, Martin, and Hershey.
Blair looked like he was coming on strong as he resumed his battle from the night before at Potomac with Arthur. The two standouts raced side-by-side on laps 22 and 23 with Blair getting runner-up at the start-finish line on lap 23. It looked like Blair was about to make the pass of Lake for the lead racing through turns one and two on lap 24, but the caution was displayed when Ralph Morgan, Jr. got into the wall and was sideways on the frontstretch in front of most of the field. The flagman decided to err on the side of caution and turned the yellow lights on.
Two more cautions following that caution without another lap completed resulted in a single file restart. Lake, who had been running the middle and top of the track, went to the bottom in turn one to block Blair, who was fast on the bottom. Blair followed in tow and that left the top open for Arthur, who drove around both to lead lap 24. The final seven laps went green-to-checkered, and Arthur extended his lead every lap to win by 2.521 seconds in his Cecil B. Arthur Beef Farm/All About Wraps/Penske Racing Shops/Kenny Lamb Racing Engines-sponsored #87. The win was a little more comfortable, but certainly not much more easier than Friday night's win at Potomac, which was by a mere 0.010 of a second!
Blair fought with Lake right down to the finish, but was unable to get by as Lake crossed in runner-up 0.189 of a second ahead of Blair. Lake, who is two days shy of turning 14 years of age, was awarded the Maxima Racing Oils "Maximum Performance" Award for his stellar run against some of the top Crate Late Model racers in the country.
"I saw Max on the bottom there so I was just trying to block him to keep the lead and hopefully the win, but Walker made the outside work," explained Lake- the Uniontown, Pa. 2014 "Futures Cup" Champion. "I didn't know if he was going to be there or not, but I figured I'd try the bottom. It's nice to know I'm racing against the best, and to know I basically led most all of the race and finished second feels good. I have to thank all of my sponsors and everyone that helps out, and also Ken Herman that came down tonight to help out."
"That one kind of slipped away from us- that one was mine, I just didn't bring it home," expressed Blair- the disappointed 25-year-old Centerville, Pa. point leader, who has now finished first, second, and third in the first three Series races. "We struggled bad early in the night, but every time we came on the race track we got a little better and better. I thought we had the car to beat in the feature, but Walker just hit that restart perfect. I guess I should have tried the top. I messed up, but it is what it is. If I was told I was going to finish third after the way the day started after qualifying, I would have been thrilled with that. We'll take it; we learned some stuff for the big race next month and will go for it then."
Hershey was fourth in his first RUSH start of 2015 over Martin, who crossed in fifth in his first RUSH Tour start of the season. Chad McClellan, Singleton, and 13th starting Kyle Lukon were sixth through eighth. Brian Knowles raced from the 21st starting spot to a solid ninth place finish and earned the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card. Ben Bowie completed the top 10.
Without power steering, Matt Glanden was still able to set fast time in Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" Qualifying with a lap of 16.662 to beat out Hershey for the $100 by just 0.012 of a second. Earning $25 for Bobby Lake Motorsports heat race wins were Singleton, Hershey, Martin, and Arthur. Transton Stoner and Knowles won the two last chance B mains.
Martin became the third different driver to win a K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash in as many races thus far this year, and was awarded a $100 K&N certificate. Lake received a $50 K&N certificate for second. Blair and Arthur finished third and fourth respectively and received an additional $25 cash.
The next Tour event will be the kickoff to the Insinger Performance/Sunoco Race Fuels Northern Touring Series in the inaugural event at Merrittville Speedway on Monday, May 18 for $2,000 to-win in the "Canadian Victoria Day Classic".
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Touring Series Race #3 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. WALKER ARTHUR (87) 2. Michael Lake (Yowler 27) 3. Max Blair (111) 4. Tyler Hershey (Piper 14) 5. Joe Martin (55) 6. Chad McClellan (119) 7. Rick Singleton (99*) 8. Kyle Lukon (1) 9. Brian Knowles (7) 10. Ben Bowie (17) 11. Jason Knowles (4) 12. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 13. Ralph Morgan, Jr. (44) 14. Rob Marhefka (99FM) 15. Steve Lowery (48) 16. Kris Eaton (3) 17. Eric Wilson (27W) 18. Darin Henderson (22) 19. Logan Roberson (17) 20. Transton Stoner (M14) 21. Matt Glanden (01) 22. Matt Tarbox (66x) 23. Jamie Sutphin (18) 24. Reese Masiello (22R) 25. Rob Nichols (7) 26. Jonathan Dehaven (Hall 69R). (Note: Reese Masiello took a Series provisional, and Matt Tarbox took a Track provisional)
DNQ: Scott Merryman (24CW), Travis Carol (07), Dave Friedrich (66), Scott Sweeney (44), Harry Shipe, Jr. (00), Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J), Walter Nichols (75), James O'Hara (44).
Car Count: 34
Margin of Victory: 2.521 seconds
Feature Lap Leaders: Michael Lake (1-23), Walker Arthur (24-30)
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Brian Knowles (+13)
Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Michael Lake
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night: Jonathan Dehaven
Booze Brothers Performance $50 Certificate: Kris Eaton (16th place finisher)
Bobby Lake Motorsports Qualifying (TR Rick Singleton 15.530 6/21/14) - $100 for fast time: 1. Matt Glanden 16.662 2. Tyler Hershey 16.674 3. Joe Martin 16.703 4. Walker Arthur 16.704 5. Rick Singleton 16.753 6. Michael Lake 16.772 7. Chad McClellan 16.814 8. Jonathan Dehaven 16.844 9. Darin Henderson 16.921 10. Kris Eaton 16.924 11. Ben Bowie 16.963 12. John Waters 16.965 13. Eric Wilson 16.973 14. Transton Stoner 17.000 15. Jason Knowles 17.021 16. Matt Tarbox 17.025 17. Max Blair 17.039 18. Steve Lowery 17.042 19. Travis Carroll 17.056 20. Ralph Morgan, Jr. 17.121 21. Kyle Lukon 17.282 22. Reese Masiello 17.300 23. Brian Knowles 17.330 24. Rob Marhefka 17.356 25. Dave Friedrich 17.360 26. Scott Merryman 17.443 27. Rob Nichols 17.478 28. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 17.625 29. Harry Shipe, Jr. 18.078 30. Logan Roberson DSQ (light) 31. Jamie Sutphin DSQ (light) 32. Scott Sweeney DSQ (light) 33. Walter Nichols DSQ (light) 34. James O'Hara DSQ.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, top 5 transfer, $25 to-win): 1. Singleton 2. Blair 3. Glanden 4. Lukon 5. Wilson 6. Henderson 7. Friedrich 8. Shipe 9. W. Nichols.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (8 laps, top 5 transfer, $25 to-win): 1. Hershey 2. Lake 3. Eaton 4. Roberson 5. Lowery 6. Stoner 7. Masiello 8. Merryman 9. O'Hara-DSQ.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 3 (8 laps, top 5 transfer, $25 to-win): 1. Martin 2. McClellan 3. Bowie 4. J. Knowles 5. R. Nichols 6. B. Knowles 7. Carroll 8. Sutphin.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 4 (8 laps, top 5 transfer, $25 to-win): 1. Arthur 2. Dehaven 3. Morgan 4. Waters 5. Marhefka 6. Tarbox 7. Sweeney 8. Duritsky.
Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, top 2 transfer): 1. Stoner 2. Henderson 3. Masiello 4. Merryman 5. Friedrich 6. Shipe 7. W. Nichols 8. O'Hara DSQ.
Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, top 2 transfer): 1. B. Knowles 2. Sutphin 3. Tarbox 4. Carroll 5. Sweeney 6. Duritsky.
K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash (4 laps): 1. Joe Martin 2. Michael Lake 3. Max Blair 4. Walker Arthur.
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.
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