CHARLIE SANDERCOCK WINS $2000 AT MERRITTVILLE ON VICTORIA DAY TO BECOME THE 1ST CANADIAN TO WIN A SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL TOURING SERIES EVENT
By Mike Leone
May 22, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Thorold, ON)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series powered by Pace Performance headed across the border on Monday to Merrittville Speedway for the season's second event. The Victoria Day Celebration marked the third trip to the 1/3-mile Thorold, Ontario, Canada facility and attracted 23 teams from all over Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.
Charlie Sandercock put on a dominating performance in the 30-lap feature to win $2,000; and it was only fitting that he became the first ever Canadian to be victorious in a Sweeney RUSH Touring Series event and doing it on Canadian soil on Victoria Day. Sandercock's only challenge came from Bryce Davis in heavy lapped traffic right before the event's only caution with nine laps to go. Sandercock was also chosen as the Maxima Oil "Maximum Performance" award winner after his impressive victory.
"It was starting to get nerve-wracking there at the end," explained the 30-year-old, who made a three-hour drive from Belleville, Ontario to Merrittville. "There were a lot of heavy hitters there in the first few rows. I was hoping it would go caution-free. I didn't even know he (Davis) was there. I was just trying to maintain my groove. I have to thank all my sponsors and the whole crew that helps me on the road and helped me get here. We busted our butts all day, made a lot of changes, and here we are."
Sandercock used the outside to power past pole-sitter John Waters on the start. Fourth starting Bryce Davis got by Jason Knowles on the opening lap and then began to challenge Waters for runner-up on lap four. Knowles and Mike Pegher, Jr. joined in on the battle making it a four-car race for second on lap five. Davis got alongside Waters on laps seven and eight. The two ran side-by-side with Davis making the inside move on lap eight.
By the time Davis got to second, Sandercock had opened up a half-straightaway lead. Pegher worked his way by Knowles on lap 11 for fourth. Waters meanwhile entered the event a winner of four of the last five Sweeney Tour events in Canada including last year's win at Merrittville, but it appeared this one wasn't going to be his night. Pegher raced side-by-side with the defending Sweeney Tour champion on lap 11 before making the pass for third racing off turn four.
Sandercock was cruising out front when he encountered lapped traffic on lap 13 as the race continued to go caution-free. Davis began to close the gap on lap 17 and two laps later was on the leader. Sandercock continued to deal with heavy traffic. Racing off turn four on lap 21, Davis found a lane on the inside and nearly pulled even at the start-finish line. A spin though by Mike Greene would prove costly for Davis, who looked like he may take the lead on lap 22.
When green replaced yellow for the final time, Sandercock had a clear track and pulled away. Sandercock was never challenged over the final nine laps stretching his lead and margin of victory to 2.532 seconds at the finish over Davis, who earned $1,000. Sandercock became the 28th different driver to win a Sweeney Tour event since 2013 doing it in his Bellevue Fabricating/Deerhaven Farm & Garden/Victory Motorcycles/Newnham Enterprises Windows & Doors/Jeff Harrison Farms/Excel Tower Service-sponsored #57.
"We were one corner away from making that our win," stated Davis- the 26-year-old from Hornell, NY. "I didn't want to see that caution, but congrats to Charlie- he ran a hell of a race. He deserves this. As we got going, I got more comfortable and the car got better, but he checked out after that caution."
Pegher was third for the second straight event. The battle over the final laps was for positions four through six. Knowles and Russell King got by Waters on lap 25. On the final lap, King dove to the inside of Knowles in turn one and made the pass after the two made contact. After starting 12th, King crossed the finish in fourth over Knowles.
Waters dropped to a disappointing sixth. Canadian Colton Ledingham was seventh and earned the $100 Precise Racing Products "Hard Charger" gift card after starting 15th. Canadians Brandon Mowat, Sam Pennacchio, and Rob Pietz completed the top 10. Brian Knowles finished 14th and was the final car on the lead lap to earn a $25 gift certificate from CrateInsider.com. After starting fifth in the feature, Chad Wright suffered a flat tire on lap 19 and was selected as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient.
Pegher set fast time in FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying with a lap of 15.923. Pegher, Davis, and Waters won the $25 FK Rod Ends heat races. Waters also earned a $100 K&N certificate after winning his second straight "Cold Air Induction" Dash to earn the feature pole.
The Sweeney Tour will return to action this Sunday (May 28) at Eriez Speedway for the first of two appearances at the Erie, Pa. facility in a $2,000 to-win Marquee event. Pit gates open at 3:30 p.m. with race time at 6:30.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Model Touring Series Race #2 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. CHARLIE SANDERCOCK (57) 2. Bryce Davis (94) 3. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Swank RJ1) 4. Russell King (56) 5. Jason Knowles (4) 6. John Waters (LeBarron (11) 7. Colton Ledingham (19JR) 8. Brandon Mowat (46) 9. Sam Pennacchio (311) 10. Rob Pietz (69) 11. J.J. Mazur (13) 12. Chad Homan (91) 13. Zack Carley (Ricotta 31) 14. Brian Knowles (7) 15. Ken Winfield (82) 16. Jeff Dayman (44) 17. Jimmy Johnson (39J) 18. John Pinsonneault (0) 19. Mike Greene (8) 20. T.J. Downs (1) 21. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. (3) 22. Chad Wright (6) 23. Paul Grigsby (24).
Car Count: 23
Feature Lap Leaders: Charlie Sandercock (1-30)
Margin of Victory: 2.532 seconds
Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Charlie Sandercock
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Colton Ledingham (+8)
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Chad Wright
CrateInsider.com "Last Car on Lead Lap": Brian Knowles
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. Mike Pegher, Jr. 15.923 2. Charlie Sandercock 16.001 3. John Waters 16.022 4. Jason Knowles 16.031 5. Bryce Davis 16.212 6. Colton Ledingham 16.267 7. Chad Homan 16.301 8. Sam Pennacchio 16.384 9. Chad Wright 16.405 10. T.J. Downs 16.421 11. Rob Pietz 16.427 12. J.J. Mazur 16.439 13. John Pinsonneault 16.481 14. Mike Greene 16.502 15. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. 16.524 16. Jeff Dayman 16.556 17. Brandon Mowat 16.558 18. Paul Grigsby 16.602 19. Brian Knowles 16.664 20. Zack Carley 16.671 21. Russell King 16.710 22. Jimmy Johnson 16.830 23. Ken Winfield 17.122.
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win) 1. Pegher 2. J. Knowles 3. Homan 4. Downs 5. Hordusky 6. Dayman 7. Pinsonneault 8. Johnson.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 5 transfer): 1. Davis 2. Sandercock 3. Pennacchio 4. Mowat 5. Pietz 6. Carley 7. Greene 8. Winfield.
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Waters 2. Wright 3. Mazur 4. King 5. Ledingham 6. B. Knowles 7. Grigsby.
K&N "Cold Air Induction" RUSH Late Model Dash (6 laps, $100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Waters 2. Sandercock 3. J. Knowles 4. Davis 5. Wright 6. Pegher.
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, Maxima Racing Oil, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Rocket Chassis, Landrum Performance Spring, CrateInsider.com, 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.