BIDWELL, HAWKINS & WATERS CAPTURE 1ST SWEENEY
RUSH LATE MODEL WEEKLY SERIES WINS; MARTIN WINS 1ST IN MODS; SWEENEY
TOUR IN HIGH GEAR
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
June 4, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)…Absolutely beautiful weather greeted competitors and fans alike for last weekend’s Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model racing at the Series’ weekly member tracks. Three new winners brought this year’s total to 23 different winners in 40 events contested!
The weekend started with the first Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series of the season, and it happened at one of the newest tracks on the circuit. Delevan, New York’s Freedom Speedway hosted their first ever RUSH Touring Series event; and the first ever Sweeney RUSH Tour event held in the state of New York provided tremendous racing on Friday night.
Chad McClellan made the five-hour tow profitable from his home in Stoystown, Pa. as he parked the #119 in victory lane. Starting in the fourth spot, and dropping back to fifth for a time, McClellan had to battle the father/son duo of Ed and Zack Carley, as well as Series heavy hitters Max Blair and the leader for most of the race, Josh Holtgraver.
By halfway, McClellan had the elder Carley in his sights and a few laps later overtook him for second, all while Holtgraver was stretching out his lead. Once McClellan had the runner up position, he took off after leader Holtgraver, taking the lead with just two to go. Following McClellan was Holtgraver, Ed Carley, Max Blair and Jason Rider. Action returns this Friday (June 6) as the RUSH Late Models are part of an evening that includes special shows for Freedom’s Street Stock and Mini Stocks.
Saturday at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway in Imperial Pa., the main event for the evening was the popular Ed Laboon 20, a memorial Stock Car race in honor of longtime PPMS competitor Vince Laboon’s father that drew 46 cars. In the RUSH Series, it was Fairmont, West Virginia’s Ryan Montgomery taking the top spot for the second time this season. Josh Holtgraver scored his second runner up of the weekend. Late Model rookie Corey McPherson, last week’s winner Russ Kolesar and Justin Lamb were third through fifth.
PPMS takes this Saturday off to present their annual Monster Mania Monster Truck show, but returns on Sunday with the “Steel City 100” Sweeney Tour event paying $4,000 to-win and an expected $5,000 in bonus cash drawings as part of the “Steel City Roulette”!
Saturday night at Sharon Speedway, Will Thomas III continued his strong performance at the Hartford, Ohio track. Clay Ruffo, Russ Byler and the ultra-successful Alan Dellinger were all out in front of seventh starting Thomas in the opening laps. After a few cautions, the final which flew on lap four, Thomas had taken over the lead from then-leader Byler. Thomas increased his lead throughout the rest of the feature, all while some serious racing was going on behind him. When the dust settled, Thomas crossed the line nearly seven seconds in front of Dellinger, Byler, Bobby Whitling and Bob Diver.
Thomas talked about the win in victory lane, “It’s been a really tough year,” acknowledged the 38-year-old Sharpsville, Pa. resident. “We lost my dad in April. We’ve had a great car all year, but just haven’t been able to get it done until last week. My racing was such a big part of mine and my dad’s life and it was something we always did together. When I lost my dad, I worried if I’d ever win again without him, but I think we’ll probably win more now that he’s up there looking out after us. It feels great to come to Sharon Speedway. I grew up here as a kid living seven miles away. It’s great to see the fans here supporting short-track racing. Sharon does a great job.”
Sharon also held their second event for the new Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Once again 10 cars were on hand as New York driver Greg Martin won his first ever at Sharon and became the third different winner in four events to date. Rocky Kugel was second for the second straight event over Jeremy Paup, Adam Siegel, and Ken Moy, Jr., who made his debut.
Sharon Speedway’s season continues this Saturday with a regular “Steel Valley Thunder” program, with a special night for the kids with bike races on the front stretch. Sharon will host a FREE general admission night along with driver autographs coming up on Saturday, June 14.
McKean County Raceway saw a first time winner in victory lane in the RUSH Late Models as Damian Bidwell checkered the 20-lap feature first. Bidwell took control of the top spot as the race began, but three time winner Chad Ruhlman was on the move, improving five positions in just four laps. Bidwell survived a couple of restarts, taking the point on each one. Ruhlman continued picking away at the field until he reached third near the end of the race, but got too high trying to overtake eventual runner up Max Blair and lost several positions. Doug Ricotta, Brad Mesler and Ward Schell were third through five. Next up for the RUSH Late Models at McKean is the $1,000 to win “Bill Law Memorial” for a special Friday night program.
Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex was in action all three days last weekend and thankfully had beautiful weather each day with three different winners prevailing! Friday night’s program was highlighted by the first night of the Super Late Model Appalachian Mountain Speedweek, where Tim McCreadie was the victor.
In Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model action, it was veteran Rick Singleton taking advantage of lapped traffic to overtake the young Michael Lake for the lead late in the race. Lake held on for second followed by Bob Gordon, Ken Herman and “Futures Cup” racer Dylan Lewis.
Jacob Hawkins made his first RUSH start of the season a successful one on Saturday night at the Knob winning the Sweeney Weekly Series event. John Over was second for the fourth time this season at the Knob! Lake was third. McClellan made his way back from Freedom to finish fourth ahead of Singleton.
On Sunday, the RUSH Late Models raced in a supporting role to the “410” Sprint Cars at the “Dirt Classic” qualifier race won by Danny Dietrich. Ryan Montgomery backed up Saturday’s win at Pittsburgh with his third overall win of 2014. Rick Strickler beat out Lake for second. Josh Holtgraver recorded his third top four finish in as many days. Bob Gordon was fifth.
Up next at Roaring Knob is the “Bill Hendren Memorial” Saturday night in a race that honors the memory of one of the pioneers of crate engine racing. The $1,500 to-win Sweeney Tour event will also include several thousands of dollars of contingency giveaways.
Humberstone had a special event on Sunday night that attracted over 30 competitors and was won by Sweeney Weekly Series member John Waters for his first win of the year. It was a good tune-up for Waters as the Sweeney Tour comes to the Port Colborne, Ontario oval on Sunday, July 20 in a $2,000 to-win event. Humberstone will have a Sweeney Weekly Series event once again this Sunday evening.
Potomac and Winchester are off this weekend. Winchester will have a Sweeney Weekly Series event on June 14 followed by the $2,500 to-win Sweeney Tour show on June 21. Potomac’s next RUSH event will be Friday, June 20 for the $2,500 to-win Sweeney Tour race.
Current point leaders through the month of May include Chad McClellan in the Sweeney Late Model Tour, Michael Lake in the Sweeney Weekly Series and “Futures Cup”, and Adam Hilton in the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.
For the latest news and points for both Series, check out www.rushracingseries.com.
RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Bilstein Shocks, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Driven Racing Oil, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, High Gear Speed Shop, RainEater Wiper Blades, CrateInsider.com, Utsinger’s Towing, 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.###