By Mike Leone


June 12, 2015            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Winchester, VA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series made returned to Winchester Speedway for the second time this season for a Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Tour event.  Night one of the inaugural “Crate Racin USA Late Model Nationals” drew a Winchester record 41 cars from six different states eclipsing the previous high of 34 set on May 9.  Friday’s program included Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Qualifying and the twin 20 “Bill Hendren Memorial” Qualifiers.


After setting a new track record in $100 “Bobby Lake Motorsports” Qualifying with a lap of 15.730, Jared Hawkins out-dueled Mid-Atlantic standout Ben Bowie with a late race pass to win the first “Bill Hendren Memorial” Qualifier to earn $1,000 and the pole position for Saturday night’s $6,000 to-win “Crate Racin’ USA Late Model Nationals”


“Once it got rolling green there I was able to try some different lines,” explained the Fairmont, West Virginia winner.  “It’s always easier to run second.  He was getting looser and looser off four so I figured I’d take advantage of that last deal down there.  I have to thank Jerry Haseleu for inviting me down here to run his car.  I’ve never been very good down here at Winchester in a Super Late Model, but not bad for the first time in a crate car.  I have to thank all of my guys, sponsors, and Ingram Engines.”


Ben Bowie used the outside to race into the lead past Hawkins at the start of the 20-lap event.  Several cautions slowed action in the first four laps.  Following an 11-lap green flag run, Bowie and Hawkins ran side-by-side on numerous occasions with Bowie running the top and Hawkins the bottom. Bowie had the momentum to continue leading, while behind the duo Super Late Model racers Robbie Blair and Alan Brannon were swapping third and fourth.


At the halfway point, Bowie and Hawkins pulled away, while Henderson joined the battle for third.  Hawkins was all over Bowie when the event’s final caution slowed action with 15 laps scored.  When racing resumed, Hawkins used a slider in turn four to take the lead on lap 16.  One lap later, Bowie was sideways as the battle heated up for second. 


Hawkins went on for the win in the Jerry Haseleu-owned, Jack’s Recycling/AOS Service/Bland’s Towing/Melvin’s Transmission-sponsored #RJ1.  Blair got past Bowie on lap 19 to finish second.  After leading the first 15 laps, Bowie dropped to third edging out Brannon and Henderson.


Sixth through 10th and earning starting spots in Saturday’s 50-lap feature were Jonathan DeHaven, Daryl Charlier, Dusty Waters, Jamie Sutphin, and Scott Sweeney.  Sutphin also earned an extra $100 for qualifying 29th fastest in memory of Bill Hendren thanks to his wife Bettie.


In the second “Bill Hendren Memorial” Qualifier, Max Blair continued his hot streak on the Series picking up the $1,000 win.  Blair, who has his sights set on the $10,000 Sweeney Touring Series sweep, put himself in good position for Saturday’s $6,000 main by earning the outside pole starting spot.


“It definitely wasn’t the same track that we raced on the last time we were here,” stated the 25-year-old Blair from Centerville, PA.  “It was a difficult track to run on.  I want to apologize to John Waters.  I know I got into him in turn two.  There was some water on the bottom of the track and I bounced up into him.  I’m going to go talk to him about that.  It should be a great race tomorrow starting alongside Jared Hawkins, and my dad in third.  I’m looking forward to it.  I’d like to thank everyone for putting this on, Steve Hendren, Mike and Vicki from RUSH, and Winchester; also all of the contingencies we’re going to get.  It’s a real honor to win this, and receive this plaque.  I’m going to put it on the wall as soon as I get home.”


In almost a duplication of the first race, several cautions slowed the event in the opening five laps before a long green flag run.  Blair led the first five laps only to see fourth starting John Waters use the outside to race into the lead.  Waters’ lead was short-lived though as Blair regained the lead on lap seven when Waters pushed high. 


A caution for Ryan Montgomery with 12 laps scored was the final thing to slow Blair.  The last eight laps went green-to-checkered.  Blair and Waters distanced themselves from the field as Blair took the win in the R&J Poultry/Moody & Son Welding/Specialty Products/Genesis Shocks/Murphy’s Logging/C&J Dairy-sponsored #111.


Waters, who has really struggled through a tough start to 2015, was happy to finish second and earn the fourth starting spot for Saturday night.  After a poor qualifying effort, Michael Lake, who finished second in the May 9 Tour event, raced from 15th to finish third.  “Futures Cup” racer Clinton Hersh had a strong Winchester debut finishing fourth after starting 16th.  Tyler Bare was fifth.  Completing the top 10 and earning feature starting spots for Saturday were Rob Marhefka, Troy Shields, Jennae Piper, Jeff Pilkerton, and Reese Masiello.


Saturday will open with over $16,000 in contingencies awarded at the drivers meeting at 5:30 p.m. followed by last chance B mains to set the remaining lineup of the 50-lap feature and the 25-lap non-qualifier.  New cars can tag the B mains. 


Bobby Lake Motorsports Qualifying - $100 for fast time, $100 for 29th fast time (TR Rick Singleton 15.830): 1. Jared Hawkins 15.700 (NTR)  2. Max Blair 15.711  3. Ben Bowie 15.805  4. Dylan Lewis 15.810  5. Darin Henderson 15.884  6. Ryan Montgomery 15.945  7. Rob Blair 15.963  8. John Waters 15.965  9. Alan Brannon 16.051  10. Reese Masiello 16.072  11. Richard Hawkins, Jr. 16.093  12. Logan Roberson 16.108  13. Daryl Charlier 16.151  14. Troy Shields 16.164  15. Jason Knowles 16.171  16. Jeff Pilkerton 16.208  17. Eric Wilson 16.209  18. Tyler Bare 16.210  19. John Imler 16.237  20. Joe Martin 16.247  21. Scott Sweeney 16.359  22. Kris Eaton 16.365  23. Jonathan DeHaven 16.397  24. Rob Marhefka 16.397  25. Jared Powell 16.404  26. Jennae Piper 16.438  27. Transton Stoner 16.441  28. Brian Knowles 16.464  29. Jamie Sutphin 16.552  30. Michael Lake 16.561  31. Dusty Waters 16.621  32. Clinton Hersh 16.640  33. Rob Nichols III 16.641  34. Steve Lowery 16.667  35. Timmy Booth 16.691  36. David Renalds 16.718  37. Matt Tarbox 16.764  38. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 17.173  39. Zack Kane 17.257  40. Harry Shipe DNQ  41. Matt Glanden DSQ.


“Bill Hendren Memorial” Qualifier 1  (20 laps, $1,000 to-win): 1. JARED HAWKINS (Haseleu RJ1)  2. Rob Blair (111X)  3. Ben Bowie (17)  4. Alan Brannon (30)  5. Darin Henderson (22)  6. Jonathan DeHaven (Hall 69R)  7. Daryl Charlier (12)  8. Dusty Waters (14)  9. Jamie Sutphin (18)  10. Scott Sweeney (44)  11. Timmy Booth (95)  12. Matt Tarbox (66x)  13. Eric Wilson (27W)  14. Rob Nichols III (7)  15. Jared Powell (2*)  16. Zack Kane (10)  17. Transton Stoner (m14)  18. Jason Knowles (4)  19. John Imler (63)  20. Richard Hawkins, Jr. (17)  21. Matt Glanden  (01)-DSQ.


“Bill Hendren Memorial” 2 Qualifier 2 (20 laps, $1,000 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (111)  2. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  3. Michael Lake (Yowler 27)  4. Clinton Hersh (16)  5. Tyler Bare  6. Rob Marhefka (99FM)  7. Troy Shields (11)  8. Jennae Piper (14)  9. Jeff Pilkerton (8)  10. Reese Masiello (22R)  11. David Renalds (37) 12. Ryan Montgomery (12)  13. Brian Knowles (7)  14. Steve Lowery (48)  15. Dylan Lewis (44)  16. Kris Eaton (3)  17. Joe Martin (55)  18. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J)  19. Logan Roberson (17)  20. Harry Shipe, Jr. (00)-DNS.


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 Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, 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.