JEREMY WONDERLING BECOMES 3RD DIFFERENT WINNER IN 3 HOVIS RUSH LATE MODEL FLYNN'S TIRE TOUR RACES RUN ALL-TIME AT BRADFORD WITH SERIES LEADING 3RD VICTORY OF 2023
By Mike Leone
May 28, 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Bradford, PA)...The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Dirt Late Model Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants wrapped up a beautiful three-race Memorial Day weekend for the Flynn’s Tire Touring Series on Sunday evening at Bradford Speedway. It marked the second straight year track promoter and former RUSH Late Model racer Dennis Cummings hosted the holiday weekend finale at the historic, tight 1/4-mile bullring where Sunday night City Chevrolet Weekly Series action takes place for the RUSH Late Models and RUSH Pro Mods. All nine scheduled Flynn's Tire Touring Series events have now been completed during the 2023 season.
Jeremy Wonderling certainly knows how to get around Bradford Speedway; however, in the two prior Tour races run at the tricky track, it was fellow New York standouts Bryce Davis and John Waters victorious. Neither Davis nor Waters were in competition on Sunday so a new winner was guaranteed. Wonderling was certainly the favorite and he lived up to the billing passing Kurt Stebbins on lap three and holding off 13-year-old phenom Brock Pinkerous for his Series leading third victory of 2023 worth $3,000.
"I saw him (Pinkerous) back there and knew as long I could hold my line and not screw up I'd be okay," explained the 43-year-old Wellsville, NY racer. "I slowed down and just made sure not to overdrive or hit any holes and keep the car straight. He raced me clean- hats off to him for that. I know it wasn't easy- that was a good job by him. I have to thank my crew and family for travelling around all weekend with me. Close Racing Supply is a big supporter of mine. Thank you to Jim Stevens of Penske Shocks, all my sponsors, the fans for coming out, and everyone with the RUSH Tour."
Wonderling used the outside to power into the lead at the start of the 30-lap feature over Stebbins, but the Genesee Speedway promoter fought back on lap two with an inside move in turn four to lead his first Flynn's Tire Touring Series feature lap of his career. One lap later, the two good friends made contact racing off turn four as Wonderling nosed ahead for what would turn out to be the winning move.
Pinkerous meanwhile started in seventh and entered contention on lap five when he passed Brad Mesler for fourth. Stebbins' fine run ended when he lost the handle in turn two on lap six, which moved Friday night Outlaw winner Joe Martin into runner-up, Pinkerous to third, and Mesler back to fourth. When racing resumed, Pinkerous got my Martin for second, while Martin lost third to Mesler one lap later. Thirteenth starting Scott Gurdak was on the move as he dropped Martin back another spot then passed Mesler for third following a restart on lap 11 before Mesler returned the favor on lap 13.
By lap 18, Wonderling and Pinkerous began to distance themselves from the field, while Gurdak and Mesler continued their side-by-side battle for third which continued until their checkered flag. The packed grandstands were on their feet as Pinkerous closed in on Wonderling on lap 20 sensing a possible monumental upset, but a caution turned out to be just what Wonderling needed.
The final 11 laps went green-to-checkered. The top four of Wonderling, Pinkerous, Mesler, and Gurdak pulled away from the pack by lap 22. Gurdak moved back past Mesler on lap 26. Their battle over the final 20 laps continued as Mesler regained third for good on lap 28.
Up front, Wonderling was able to protect the lead as he took the checkered flag first by 0.704 seconds in his Terry Prince Contracting/Close Racing Supply/Cummings Trucking/Shuttleworth Sales/Penske Shocks by JDS/Swift Springs-sponsored #3J. Wonderling upped his all-time Series win total to 17 with seven of those coming in the last 14 races as he looks for his fourth title in the last six years!
Pinkerous, who won his first career Late Model race on May 6 at Stateline Speedway in RUSH City Chevrolet Weekly Series competition and followed that up with a fourth the following week in the Flynn's Tire Tour event at the Busti, NY oval, earned $1,500 on Sunday for his career best Tour run moving him into the top five in points for the first time.
"First off before I start this interview I want to apologize to Joe (Martin)," expressed the Ellenville, NY teenager. "I spun him out and he actually saved me from a couple wrecks. I feel bad. I'm going to go over to his trailer and say I'm sorry. This feels so good though. About halfway through the race I thought I had Jeremy (Wonderling) for a second as we were right on him. I feel so proud of myself and team. We've been working so hard and it really paid off. I want to thanks SRI Performance, NPS, Decklerax Trucking, everyone with BAM, and my mom and dad. Thank you to all my fans that support me and that came out here tonight to support everyone. I really appreciate it, thank you very much."
Mesler reached the podium for the first time since June 3, 2017 at Genesee Speedway as it was the third straight night that the third place finisher reached the podium for the first time in six or more years! "I have to thank Scott Gurdak," stated the 34-year-old Wellsville, NY driver. "He could have shut the door on me so many times off the bottom. He races like a veteran- that was really, really fun to race with him. Taking a couple years off hurt me. We need to race more. Between that and the track being rough is a little bit exhausting. I'm going to be looking for some help if I keep ripping the spoiler off as they have to be getting sick of putting that back on. I have to thank Kenny Sturdevant. He owns this deal and does everything. I just got fortunate enough to become friends with him and he lets me drive it. I have to thank dad, my family all help, and a couple others guys came on board."
Gurdak's fourth place was his best Flynn's Tire Tour finish since a runner-up on July 28, 2018 at Stateline. Mike Wonderling was fifth for his fifth top five in the last six races as he tries to keep pace with his brother Jeremy in the run for the $15,000 Series title. Cody Dawson was sixth. After a pair of sixth place finishes at Outlaw and Genesee, Austin Hauser completed a strong three-race weekend in seventh to move into the top 15 in Tour points. Joe Martin had a tough night, but was able to salvage an eighth place finish. One night after winning his first career RUSH race in City Chevrolet Weekly Series competition at Woodhull Raceway, Jacob Tubbs went 14th to 9th in his first career Tour start. Stebbins came back to finish 10th.
Mesler earned his first $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying honors with a lap of 15.662. Mesler, Jeremy Wonderling, and Mike Wonderling added $25 FK Rod Ends heat race victories. Stebbins won his first career Sunoco Dash to become the eighth different dash winner in nine events! Stebbins received a $100 Sunoco fuel card for his work.
Also winning $100 Sunoco fuel cards in the random drawings were Tour racers Jim Rasey and Dawson, while the $50 Sunoco fuel cards went to Hauser, LaFleur, Ian Travis, and Gurdak. Veteran RUSH Late Model racer, Ward Schell, had a tough night at his home track finishing last in both his heat and feature and was chosen as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient.
The Flynn’s Tire Touring Series will be off until June 10 and 11 as the Series makes it first appearances at a pair of western Pennsylvania tracks in Marion Center Raceway on Saturday night and Knox Raceway on Sunday night. Races #10 and 11 of the 2023 season are both $3,000 to-win Marquee Events.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire Touring Series Race #9 (30 laps, $3,000 to-win) (Platinum Event): 1. JEREMY WONDERLING (3J) 2. Brock Pinkerous (555) 3. Brad Mesler (Sturdevant 87S) 4. Scott Gurdak (Hollabaugh 5G) 5. Mike Wonderling (18) 6. Cody Dawson (36) 7. Austin Hauser (51) 8. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 9. Jacob Tubbs (89JR) 10. Kurt Stebbins (26) 11. Ian Travis (36) 12. Brandt Graham (14) 13. Hunter Proctor (432) 14. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 15. Chuck LaFleur (61) 16. Draven Kuzminski (22D) 17. Ashton Briggs (11A) 18. Jason Dobson (75) 19. Craig Graham (98) 20. Ward Schell (61s). DNS: Marc Berzowski (25M).
Car Count: 21
Feature Margin of Victory:
Feature Lap Leaders: Jeremy Wonderling (1, 3-30), Kurt Stebbins (2)
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Jacob Tubbs
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Scott Gurdak (+9)
Sunoco Fuel Card Winners: Jim Rasey ($100), Cody Dawson ($100), Austin Hauser ($50), Chuck LaFleur ($50), Ian Travis ($50), Scott Gurdak ($50),
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Ward Schell
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying (Track record 15.080 by Logan Roberson on 5/29/22) ($100 for fast time): 1. 87S-Brad Mesler, 00:15.662; 2. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:15.683; 3. 18-Mike Wonderling, 00:15.758; 4. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:15.963; 5. 11A-Ashton Briggs, 00:15.972; 6. 61S-Ward Schell, 00:15.979; 7. 555-Brock Pinkerous, 00:15.980; 8. 61-Chuck LaFleur, 00:16.141; 9. 21J-Jim Rasey, 00:16.218; 10. 51-Austin Hauser, 00:16.220; 11. 26-Kurt Stebbins, 00:16.229; 12. 36-Cody Dawson, 00:16.238; 13. 5G-Scott Gurdak, 00:16.388; 14. 98-Craig Graham, 00:16.538; 15. 14-Brandt Graham, 00:16.586; 16. 75-Jason Dobson, 00:16.594; 17. 36T-Ian Travis, 00:16.603; 18. 22D-Draven Kuzminski, 00:16.765; 19. 432-Hunter Proctor, 00:17.029; 20. 89JR-Jacob Tubbs, 00:17.737; 21. 25M-Marc Berzowski, NT.
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. 87S-Brad Mesler; 2. 10S-Joe Martin; 3. 555-Brock Pinkerous; 4. 51-Austin Hauser; 5. 5G-Scott Gurdak; 6. 75-Jason Dobson; 7. 432-Hunter Proctor.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 2. 26-Kurt Stebbins; 3. 11A-Ashton Briggs; 4. 61-Chuck LaFleur; 5. 89JR-Jacob Tubbs; 6. 98-Craig Graham; 7. 36T-Ian Travis.
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. 18-Mike Wonderling; 2. 21J-Jim Rasey; 3. 36-Cody Dawson; 4. 14-Brandt Graham; 5. 22D-Draven Kuzminski; 6. 61S-Ward Schell. DNS: 25M-Marc Berzowski.
Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 Sunoco fuel card to-win): 1. 26-Kurt Stebbins; 2. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 3. 18-Mike Wonderling; 4. 10S-Joe Martin; 5. 87S-Brad Mesler; 6. 21J-Jim Rasey.
The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, Flynn's Tire, Sunbelt Rentals, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Bilstein Shocks, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Wieland Metal Services, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Sherwood Wheels, Precise Racing Products, Velocita-USA, Wedge Motorsports, 3C Graphix, D&V Jewelers, CrateInsider.com, and Terry Bowser Excavating.
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. The RUSH Late Model website is www.rushlatemodels.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.