JEREMY WONDERLING SWEEPS THE WEEKEND FOR THE HOVIS RUSH LATE MODELS CAPTURING THE 1ST EVER FLYNN'S TIRE TOUR EVENT AT KNOX AS HIS 3RD STRAIGHT WIN IS HIS SERIES LEADING 5TH OF 2023
By Mike Leone
June 11, 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Knox, PA)...The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Dirt Late Model Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants wrapped up a two-race weekend for the Flynn's Tire Touring Series in western Pennsylvania on Sunday evening at Knox Raceway. After a successful first ever event on Saturday night at Marion Center Raceway, race teams traveled less than 60 miles northwest to Knox Raceway for the first ever event there. Race #11 was at the former Sportsman's Speedway, which was revived and refurbished by second year owner Brian Steinman. Despite a high likelihood of rain, the track went on with the show, started early and raced through on and off sprinkles and drizzle, and the entire four-division program was completed by 7 p.m. just as the rain began.
One night after making a last lap pass to win at Marion Center, Jeremy Wonderling left little doubt on Sunday at Knox. Wonderling led from green-to-checkered and was never challenged over the 30-lap event to go in the record books as the first ever Flynn's Tire Touring Series winner at the 1/3-mile Clarion County oval. Last year, Wonderling matched the record with four straight Tour wins, Sunday's $3,000 victory was Wonderling's third straight and Series leading fifth of the season. Wonderling has now won 9 of the last 16 events dating back to last season!
"It means a lot," acknowledged the 43-year-old Wellsville, NY driver when asked about his fifth victory. "We've got things rolling pretty good right now. The biggest problem I was having was tearoffs- trying to conserve and wipe. As soon as I got behind a lap car they were just covering me in dust and I was having a hard time seeing. I was running out of tearoffs and I was using my arm, sleeve, and anything I could find to clear my shield. The last couple laps I couldn't see anything."
The Wonderling brothers led the field to green, but drivers got bunched up on the start causing Cody Dawson, who was fresh off a runner-up finish the night prior at Knox, to spin. Dawson would have to pit and was the only driver unable to finish the 30-lap feature as he was selected as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient. That would be the only stoppage of the event as the 30 laps went green-to-checkered with a steady drizzle falling throughout the feature.
Jeremy Wonderling took off in the lead as racing resumed. Max Blair had gained three spots in the Sunoco Dash to start third in the feature and passed Mike Wonderling on the opening lap for second. As Jeremy Wonderling began to open up some ground, Blair and Mike Wonderling battled for second. The two were side-by-side for second on lap 11 as Blair held on. Meanwhile, Jeremy Wonderling had opened up a lead of 2.672 seconds when he caught lapped traffic on lap 12. Behind him, Mike Wonderling got under and past Blair for second on lap 13 and the deficit shrunk to 1.845 seconds. Blair though returned the favor and regained second for good on lap 14.
Jeremy Wonderling had some issues with lapped traffic late, but still comfortably took the checkered flag first by 2.335 seconds in his Terry Prince Contracting/Close Racing Supply/Cummings Trucking/Shuttleworth Sales/Penske Shocks by JDS/Swift Springs-sponsored #3J for his 19th career victory as he now trails all-time Series leading winner, Blair, by 11 victories.
Blair, who won race #2 of the season at Georgetown Speedway in a Briggs Transport #1 entry, made his debut in the Centerline Motorsports #00K entry and finished second for $1,500. "That was a lot of fun," expressed the 33-year-old Centerville, Pa. Late Model star. "Mikey (Wonderling) is one of my best friends and we don't get to race together much anymore. I wish it was for the win- not second, but it was still a lot of fun. I think we have a few bugs to work out. It seemed to be missing after the race. We'll go home and work on it to see if we can be one spot better at Lernerville. I have to thank Brad (Spochacz) for letting me drive this- those guys are a lot of fun. I also have to thank Briggs Transport for allowing me to come do this, and looking forward to racing some more."
Mike Wonderling, who trails his brother Jeremy in the battle for the $15,000 championship, was third for his fourth podium effort of the season as he continues to knock on the door for his first career Tour victory. "Max is a real good friend of mine and probably if it was anyone else I would have pushed the issue a little harder," revealed the 49-year-old Wellsville, NY driver. "We've always raced clean together in the supers and crates. I think I was better than him. I raced with Jeremy in the dash and he couldn't get away from me so I knew I had a pretty good car. I tried to make the outside work on the initial start and let Max get by me and knew it was going to be tough to get back by him if it didn't work. It was great to come out of here with third and go on to Lernerville with a little momentum."
Austin Hauser, who is in his first year on the Tour, had recorded back-to-back sixth place finishes for his best career Tour finishes last month was able to do two spots better with a fourth place effort. Colby Beighey passed Kurt Stebbins on lap 24 to earn his first career top five with the Touring Series and also received the $50 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card.
Stebbins was sixth. Joe Martin challenged Hauser for fourth in the early stages of the event before slipping too high and then faded to seventh at the finish. In his fourth season driving for Jim Wrightsman, Big-Block Modified standout Jim Rasey recorded his first career top 10 finish in Touring Series competition with an eighth place effort. Ashton Briggs was ninth for his third top 10 of the season. Ward Schell, who was a former weekly competitor at the track, was 10th as the veteran has finished in the top 10 in two of his three Tour starts this season. Canadian Craig Graham just missed out on a top 10 finish in 11th, but did earn a spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic.
Martin set fast time in FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying with a lap of 16.679 to earn $100 for the second straight night. Martin and Mike Wonderling won the $25 FK Rod Ends heat races. Jeremy Wonderling won his second Sunoco Dash of the season for a $100 Sunoco fuel card as he joined Martin as the only repeat dash winners in 11 races this year.
Brock Pinkerous and Rasey were the lucky recipients of the $100 Sunoco fuel cards through the random drawings, while the $50 fuel cards went to Schell, Stebbins, Beighey, and Steve Hollabaugh, who made his first Tour start of the season.
The Flynn’s Tire Touring Series will return to action Thursday-Saturday, June 22-24 for the "Bill Emig Memorial" presented by Sunoco Race Fuels with support from TBM Brakes at Lernerville Speedway as part of the "Firecracker 100" with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. Race #12 of the season will pay $20,000 to-win, $600 to start along with the $500 to-win D&V Jewelers Non-Qualifier. The race winner will also receive a championship ring from D&V Jewelers valued at $7,000!
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire Touring Series Race #11 (30 laps, $3,000 to-win): 1. JEREMY WONDERLING (3J) 2. Max Blair (00K) 3. Mike Wonderling (18) 4. Austin Hauser (51) 5. Colby Beighey (36) 6. Kurt Stebbins (26) 7. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 8. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 9. Ashton Briggs (11A) 10. Ward Schell (61s) 11. Craig Graham (98) 12. Brock Pinkerous (555) 13. Steve Hollabaugh (3) 14. Brandt Graham (14) 15. Scott Gurdak (Hollabaugh 5G) 16. Cody Dawson (36).
Car Count: 16
Feature Margin of Victory: 2.335 seconds
Time of the Event:
Feature Lap Leaders: Jeremy Wonderling (1-30)
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Craig Graham
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Colby Beighey (+2)
Sunoco Fuel Card Winners: Brock Pinkerous ($100), Jim Rasey ($100), Ward Schell ($50), Kurt Stebbins ($50), Colby Beighey ($50), Steve Hollabaugh ($50)
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Cody Dawson
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Flight Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:16.679 (NTR); 2. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:16.695; 3. 51-Austin Hauser, 00:16.819; 4. 18-Mike Wonderling, 00:16.836; 5. 00-Max Blair, 00:16.996; 6. 11A-Ashton Briggs, 00:17.009; 7. 36-Cody Dawson, 00:17.056; 8. 21J-Jim Rasey, 00:17.095; 9. 36B-Colby Beighey, 00:17.115; 10. 26-Kurt Stebbins, 00:17.148; 11. 555-Brock Pinkerous, 00:17.181; 12. 14-Brandt Graham, 00:17.237; 13. 98-Craig Graham, 00:17.397; 14. 61S-Ward Schell, 00:17.465; 15. 3H-Steve Hollabaugh, 00:17.810; 16. 5G-Scott Gurdak, 00:17.877
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. 10S-Joe Martin; 2. 00-Max Blair; 3. 51-Austin Hauser; 4. 36B-Colby Beighey; 5. 36-Cody Dawson; 6. 555-Brock Pinkerous; 7. 98-Craig Graham; 8. 3H-Steve Hollabaugh.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. 18-Mike Wonderling; 2. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 3. 26-Kurt Stebbins; 4. 21J-Jim Rasey; 5. 11A-Ashton Briggs; 6. 61S-Ward Schell; 7. 14-Brandt Graham; 8. 5G-Scott Gurdak.
Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 Sunoco fuel card to-win): 1. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 2. 18-Mike Wonderling; 3. 00-Max Blair; 4. 10S-Joe Martin; 5. 51-Austin Hauser; 6. 26-Kurt Stebbins.
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.