MIKE PEGHER CHARGES FROM 9TH & MISSES BIG ACCIDENT TO WIN BILL EMIG MEMORIAL NIGHT 1 AT SHARON FOR SWEENEY RUSH L.M. TOUR
By Mike Leone
May 25, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Hartford, OH…After summer-like conditions and thunderstorms on Thursday’s rainout at McKean County Raceway, it felt more like March on Saturday as the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series headed to Sharon Speedway for night 1 of 2 of the Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card Weekend”. Thirty-one cars from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Ontario, Canada were on hand for Tour race #2 of 27.
Mike Pegher, Jr. charged from the ninth starting spot, while coming out unscathed in a big accident that took out several of the frontrunners. Pegher then would pass Chad Ruhlman on the ensuing restart and go on for the 25-lap feature win, which was worth $1,500 and was his first in the new Sweeney RUSH Tour.
“I saw it at the last second,” explained the 27-year-old Wexford, Pa. standout when asked about the accident. “I was hoping there wasn’t going to be anyone below me because I cut the wheel hard to the left. The first couple laps I looked up and we were fifth or sixth. I knew we had a good car. I didn’t know what was going to happen on that restart with Chad (Ruhlman). I figured he was going to take the outside and my only chance to get him was going to be to drive as hard as I could in turn one. I have to thank all of my sponsors and I just have one crew guy now, and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here.”
By virtue of his
John Buzzard Memorial K&N Dash victory, Chad Ruhlman earned the pole for the
feature and was able to out-drag Josh Holtgraver into turn one for the early
lead with Holtgraver, Ryan Montgomery, Chad Wright, and seventh starting Rick
Singleton in tow. Holtgraver pulled even with Ruhlman on lap two, but Ruhlman
was able to maintain the lead.
Pegher was on the move as he cracked the top five on lap three getting by Singleton then drove by Wright for fourth on lap five. Twelfth starting Will Thomas III was another racer making his way forward. Thomas went toe-to-toe with Wright for the fourth position on laps eight and nine and made the pass stick on the ninth circuit.
As the laps ticked
off without a caution, the top five of Ruhlman, Holtgraver, Montgomery, Pegher,
and Thomas pulled away. Action began to heat up as lapped traffic loomed
ahead. Holtgraver ducked under Ruhlman in turn four on lap 16 using traffic to
his advantage to lead the lap. The duo continued to race side-by-side as did
right behind them for third.
Ruhlman was able to keep the momentum going on the top side to grab the lead back on lap 17. Holtgraver didn’t go away as they kept their side-by-side battle going on lap 18. Holtgraver appeared to have the advantage to retake the lead off the bottom of turn four on lap 18, but Ruhlman and Michael Lake made contact, which sent Lake’s car hard into Holtgraver’s right rear.
From then on cars scattered everywhere. Montgomery was sideways and Wright and Thomas made hard contact. Wright, Montgomery, and Thomas all received heavy damage and were shaken, but okay. Holtgraver, who nearly missed the accident, suffered a flat tire from the contact with Lake. Holtgraver was awarded The Brake Man’s “Tough Brake of the Night”.
When racing resumed, Pegher got a great restart to take charge of the event and lead lap 18. Glenn Elliott, who started 13th, lined up fourth for the restart and passed Singleton. Only two more laps would be completed when the final caution would be displayed for Shane Weaver and Rocky Kugel.
The last six laps went caution-free. Pegher chose the bottom for the restart and never looked back as he drove off for a convincing win by 4.238 seconds in the Lynn Geisler-owned, #1 Cochran/Alternative Power Sources/Pegher Painting/Triple-S Auto Outlet/Zero Wraps-sponsored #1c. The victory for Pegher was his second of the season at Sharon and division leading eighth of his career.
Ruhlman rode home second for his best finish of the season. “Congratulations to Mike,” stated the runner-up. “I always like to see him win- he’s a good clean driver. I got aero tight after that accident. We lost six inches of our nose piece and at that point Mike just left us. I was trying to bend the car too much just to keep it down on the bottom. The race track was awesome tonight.”
Elliott, who finished runner-up to Singleton in the opening event at Hagerstown, was able to beat him across the line Saturday night for third to tie him for the point lead. “I have to thank the track for having us here and RUSH- what a good thing they’ve got going,” expressed the Finksburg, MD driver. “We got to running pretty hard there and all I wanted to do was get past Rick (Singleton) and it didn’t seem like it was going to happen then the caution came out and things just went our way to get ahead of him. I don’t know how I pulled that deal off on the frontstretch, but it was fun.”
Dan Angelicchio, who made his first Tour start, had a solid fifth place effort after starting 14th. Completing the top 10 were Shaun Hooks, Dennis Lunger, Jr., Bobby Whitling, Joe Martin, and John Over. Over was awarded the $100 Precise Racing Products gift card for being the “Pedal Down Hard Charger” after improving 12 positions from his 22nd starting spot.
Just two cars reported for the Non-Qualifier as Russell Baird, Jr. led all four laps over rookie Jamie Wrightsman to score the $150 victory and tie for the “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series point lead in his Blout Paving/Civit Collision/Ford Business Machines/A&I Fire Extinguisher/Special T Metals-sponsored #17. The 20-year-old Uniontown, Pa. racer also was the first non-qualifier through the last chance B main and was awarded the ARbodies “Nosed Out” nose kit.
Heat winners were Singleton, Whitling, Longbrake, and Wright. Ruhlman’s victory in the K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash was worth an extra $100 as part of the John Buzzard Memorial Dash. Holtgraver’s runner-up was worth a $100 K&N certificate with Montgomery receiving a $50 K&N certificate and Wright earning $25 cash. Jorden Peters captured the last chance B main.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #2 (25 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. MIKE PEGHER, JR. (1c) 2. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 3. Glenn Elliott (5E) 4. Rick Singleton (Enyeart 99*) 5. Dan Angelicchio (14) 6. Shaun Hooks (65) 7. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 8. Bobby Whitling (7W) 9. Joe Martin (55) 10. John Over (K2) 11. Lauren Longbrake (27) 12. Butch Lambert (27) 13. Jorden Peters (11P) 14. Matt Latta (21) 15. Shane Weaver (Ruffner 325x) 16. Rocky Kugel (21KRT) 17. Josh Holtgraver (00) 18. Clay Ruffo (14R) 19. Bill Cunningham (59) 20. Ryan Montgomery (12) 21. Will Thomas III (9) 22. Chad Wright (6) 23. Mickey Wright (M6) 24. Josh Double (38) 25. Michael Lake (27) 26. Matt Glanden (01). (Note: Michael Lake took a Series provisional & Matt Latta took a Track provisional).
Non-Qualifier (4 laps, $150 to-win): 1. Russell Baird, Jr. (17) 2. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 3. Scott Tessman (19S)-DNS 4. Paul McGinley (97)-DNS 5. Cody Dawson (36)-DNS.
Lap Leaders: Ruhlman (1-15), Holtgraver (16), Ruhlman (17), Pegher (18-25)
Margin of Victory: 4.238
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: John Over (+12)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Josh Holtgraver
ARbodies “Nosed Out”: Russell Baird, Jr.
Heat 1 (8 laps/Top 5 transfer): 1. Singleton 2. Montgomery 3. Pegher 4. Elliott 5. Lunger 6. Tessman 7. Glanden 8. Lake.
Heat 2 (8 laps/Top 5 transfer): 1. Whitling 2. Ruhlman 3. Hooks 4. Angelicchio 5. Lambert 6. Peters 7. Over 8. McGinley.
Heat 3 (8 laps/Top 5 Transfer): 1. Longbrake 2. Holtgraver 3. Cunningham 4. Ruffo 5. Martin 6. Latta 7. Double 8. Baird.
Heat 4 (8 laps/Top 5 Transfer): 1. C. Wright 2. Weaver 3. Thomas 4. M. Wright 5. Kugel 6. Wrightsman 7. Dawson.
John Buzzard Memorial K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps/$100 to-win): 1. Chad Ruhlman 2. Josh Holtgraver 3. Ryan Montgomery 4. Chad Wright.
Last Chance B Main (10 laps/Top 4 Transfer): 1. Peters 2. Over 3. Double 4. Glanden 5. Baird 6. Tessman 7. Lake 8. Wrightsman 9. McGinley 10. Latta 11. Dawson.
The next event for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series will be the conclusion of the Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card Weekend” on Sunday at Sharon in a $1,500 to-win event plus the $1,500 point fund.
marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance,
RainEater, Hoosier Tire, Precise Racing Products, The Brake Man, K&N Filters,
Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, K1 RaceGear, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Wrisco
Aluminum, High Gear Speed Shop, Utsinger’s Towing, RockAuto.com, and Valley
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.