By Mike Leone


June 13, 2015            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Winchester, VA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series completed night two of the inaugural “Crate Racin USA Late Model Nationals” at Winchester Speedway on Saturday for the Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Touring Series.  Despite a poor forecast with a very high likelihood of thunderstorms, only a brief shower occurred early in the afternoon and clear skies and steamy weather prevailed the rest of the afternoon and evening.  A Winchester Crate Late Model record of 42 cars participated over the weekend from six different states eclipsing the previous high of 34 set on May 9.  Steve Hendren of Hendren Racing Engines and Kate Dillon of distributed over $16,000 in contingency prizes.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW CONTINGENCY PRIZE LIST & WINNERS


Veteran hometown Winchester racer Allen Brannon made his Crate Late Model debut a rousing success dominating the inaugural “Crate Racin’ USA Late Model Nationals” 50-lap feature on Saturday night.  Brannon started seventh, had the lead on lap four, and never looked back pocketing $6,000 for the biggest win of his career.  Brannon was also awarded the Maxima Racing Oils “Maximum Performance” award.  Brannon entered the night with unofficially 9 Super Late Model wins, 13 Limited Late Model wins, and 3 Pure Stock wins at Winchester.


“It’s a hot one out there tonight- I needed air conditioning instead of a fan,” joked the winner, who also received a beautiful hand-crafted wooden plaque from the Hendren Family.  “It feels good to win at my home track in my first ever Crate Late Model race.  It’s more down on power than what I’m used to, but I got the hang of it later on.  They did a good job on the track tonight- it was in good shape.  I was a little worried in lapped traffic so I was glad that last caution came out.  I’d like to dedicate this race to my dad, who passed away a month ago.  He never missed a race, and I miss him a lot.  I have to thank all of my sponsors, my uncle Chuck who has stuck with me, my wife and kids who are here every weekend and put up a lot with this racing.  Also I have to thank Speedy Newcomb- this is his engine and he’s going crate racing at Winchester.  I was just doing some testing for him!” 


Following his $1,000 “Bill Hendren Memorial” Qualifier #1 win on Friday night, Jared Hawkins took off in the lead.  Max Blair, who won the second $1,000 Qualifier, slipped high in turn two on the opening lap, got sideways down the track, and somehow corrected it without anyone hitting him, but fell back to mid-pack.  Brannon was already up to fourth after one lap then passed both John Waters and Rob Blair for second on lap two.  Brannon quickly ran down Hawkins on lap three and made the winning pass down the backstretch on lap four.


By lap six, Brannon began to open up his lead, while Rob Blair closed in on Hawkins before a caution for Dusty Waters’ spin.  When racing resumed, a four-car accident took place in turn two including Mid-Atlantic standout Darin Henderson.  Once Henderson got back under power, he was speeding down the backstretch to catch up to the pack and made heavy contact with Max Blair, who was pitting ending Blair’s night.  Blair was awarded the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”. 


Back under green, John Waters and Rob Blair went at it for third.  Waters took the spot on lap seven, but Blair drove back by on lap nine.  Jonathan Dehaven brought out the caution with 10 laps completed, but that wouldn’t be the last we’d hear from him.  By lap 12, Brannon again began to distance himself from the field, while the battle heated up for second with Hawkins trying to hold off Blair, Waters, and 10th starting Tyler Bare.   Bare was on the move as he passed Waters for fourth on lap 14 then got a break when the caution was displayed for Ben Bowie, who smacked the wall with 17 laps completed.


Hawkins got a good restart and raced side-by-side for the lead with Brannon on laps 18 and 19, but Brannon was able to maintain the lead; meanwhile, Bare stole third from Blair and caught Hawkins on lap 20.  A caution for a spin by Clinton Hersh bunched up the field with 22 laps scored.  This time, Brannon killed Hawkins’ momentum as Blair passed both Bare and Hawkins for second with Bare getting by Hawkins for third. 


The longest green flag stretch of racing took place between laps 22-37, and for the first time of the event lapped traffic came into play.  Brannon had more than a half-straightaway lead when he caught the back-markers on lap 33.  Brannon was using the outside to lap cars, while Blair stayed on the bottom and began to close in on lap 35.  Hersh and Jamie Sutphin spun right in front of Brannon on lap 38, and Brannon was barely able to avoid them. 


The caution was a bad break for Blair, who then slipped high on the ensuing restart allowing Bare to grab second.  Bare’s #30 may have had a shot at overtaking the #30 of Brannon, but lost fuel pressure on lap 42 as he coasted to a stop on the backstretch bringing out the event’s final caution.  This moved Blair and Hawkins back to second and third for one last shot at Brannon.  The final nine laps went green-to-checkered as Brannon raced on to the popular win in his Brannon Construction/Lazer Chassis/Penske Shocks-sponsored #30. 


Blair earned $3,000 for second in his first Crate Late Model start of 2015.  “I didn’t need that caution,” stated the 45-year-old Centerville, Pa. standout.  “I was just starting to get going.  The race track was just starting to clean up where you could start to move around a little bit.  The yellows would come out I’d just sit there.  I struggled when he’d (Brannon) come up the track on the restart, but he was the leader and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do when you’re leading, but it wasn’t helping me any!”


Hawkins ended a solid weekend for Jerry Haseleu earning $2,000 for third to go with his $1,100 winnings from Friday night.  “Like I said yesterday I struggle here,” acknowledged the Fairmont, West Virginia star.  “I was glad to get the win yesterday and come home with a top three today.  I don’t think I would have had anything for those guys, maybe if I could have got rolling better on those restarts I could have held Robbie (Blair) off.  I have to thank Jerry, the crew, my sponsors, and Mike Ingram Engines along with all of the fans for coming out.”


After his spin on lap 10, Dehaven used the final 40 laps to march back toward the front.  On lap 45 he passed Waters to finish a solid fourth for $1,000.  After a tough start to the 2015 season, Waters recorded his second fifth place Tour finish in the past three events, and earned $800. 


After taking a Series provisional, Brian Knowles charged from the 25th starting spot to sixth and earned another $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger certificate.  12th starting Rob Marhefka, who made his way into the top five on lap 15, settled for a seventh place effort over 23rd starting Jason Knowles, Henderson, and Daryl Charlier.


John Imler came out on top in probably the best race of the weekend to capture the 20-lap, $1,500 to-win “Battle of the Blue & the Gray” Non-Qualifier.  Imler made a late race pass of defending Sweeney Touring Series Champion Ryan Montgomery for the impressive win. 


“It was tough last night,” stated the 52-year-old Tracys Landings, Maryland racer.  “I was caught up in everything that could possibly happen.  The whole year has been that way- I’ve been a victim of circumstances.  I don’t even know what to say.  You don’t even know how much this $1,500 means after the way this year has went.  It’s going to help a lot.” 


After just missing a transfer spot in the first last chance B main, Imler earned the pole for the Non-Qualifier event, but it was Montgomery taking charge.  After setting a strong pace in the first five laps, Imler began to close in on lap six; meanwhile, eighth starting Logan Roberson was on the move.  Roberson passed Richard Hawkins, Jr. for fourth on lap seven and three laps later passed the #3 of Kris Eaton.  Roberson looked like he may have had the fastest car on the track and he closed in on Imler and Montgomery, but the event’s only caution was displayed for a spin by David Renalds with 15 laps scored.


Montgomery chose the inside for the restart, but Imler stuck right with him on the outside.  The two raced side-by-side for two laps before Imler took over for good on lap 17.  Roberson followed Imler past Montgomery on the outside off turn four on lap 18 to take second.  Imler had enough to hold off Roberson for the victory in the J&L Electric/Hollenzover Construction/Converge Marketing #63. 


“On that last restart when I had to go to the outside of Ryan (Montgomery) I thought it was over,” continued Imler.  “I didn’t think anything was up there, but I when I went into (turn) one it stuck.  We got together going down the backstretch.  I was up as high I could be so I don’t know if he didn’t know if I was there.  It was good racing.  I didn’t see anyone after that.  Thanks to RUSH, Greg Gunter (track owner), Denise Hollidge (general manager), and everyone that put on this show for us.  I also have to thank Transton Stoner’s crew.  I took the car to their shop in Pennsylvania and they helped me put it back together.  I was going home- I’m pretty much a one-man show.”


Roberson earned $800 for second.  Montgomery, who just missed out on transferring to the feature in his B main, was a disappointing third.  Timmy Booth finished fourth over 10th starting “Futures Cup” racer, Michael Duritsky, Jr. 


Track regulars Matt Tarbox and fourth starting Steve Lowery won the two last chance B mains.  On Friday night, Jared Hawkins set fast time and established a new track record in $100 Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Qualifying with a lap of 15.700 then went on to win the first $1,000 “Bill Hendren Memorial” Qualifier.  Max Blair, who is still in line for the $10,000 Touring Series sweep, captured the second $1,000 “Bill Hendren Memorial” Qualifier. 


The next Tour event will be an Insinger Performance/Sunoco Race Fuels Northern Tour event on Sunday, June 21 at Tri-City Raceway Park in Franklin, Pa. for the $2,000 to-win “Bill Emig Memorial” followed up on Monday, June 22 for a Bazell/Sunoco Southern Tour event at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio for $1,500 to-win.


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Touring Series Race #4 “Crate Racin’ USA Nationals” (50 laps, $6,000 to-win): 1. ALLEN BRANNON (30)  2. Robbie Blair (111X)  3. Jared Hawkins (Haseleu RJ1)  4. Jonathan Dehaven (Hall 69R)  5. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  6. Brian Knowles (7)  7. Robby Marhefka (99FM)  8. Jason Knowles (4)  9. Darin Henderson (22)  10. Daryl Charlier (12)  11. Michael Lake (Yowler 27)  12. Steve Lowery (48)  13. Jennae Piper (14)  14. Troy Shields (11)  15. Dusty Waters (14)  16. Jeff Pilkerton (8)  17. Reese Masiello (22R)  18. Jamie Sutphin (18)  19. Scott Sweeney (44)  20. Matt Tarbox (66x)  21. Tyler Bare (30)  22. Clinton Hersh (16)  23. Ben Bowie (17)  24. Max Blair (111)  25. Joe Martin (55).  (Note: Brian Knowles took a Series provisional.)


“Battle of the Blue & the Gray” Non-Qualifier (20 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. John Imler (63)  2. Logan Roberson (17)  3. Ryan Montgomery (12)  4. Timmy Booth (95)  5. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J)  6. Dave Friedrich (66)  7. Kris Eaton (3)  8. Richard Hawkins, Jr. (17)  9. Dylan Lewis (44)  10. Zack Kane (10)  11. David Renalds (37)  12. Eric Wilson (27W)-DNS  13. Rob Nichols (7)-DNS  14. Jared Powell (2*)-DNS  15. Transton Stoner (m14)-DNS  16. Harry Shipe, Jr. (00)-DNS  17. Matt Glanden (01)-DSQ.


Car Count: 42
Feature Lap Leaders:
Hawkins (1-3), Brannon (4-50)

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Brian Knowles (+19)

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Allen Brannon

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night: Max Blair


Bobby Lake Motorsports Qualifying (Friday) - $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. Robbie 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. Robby 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. Dave Friedrich DNQ  42. Matt Glanden DSQ.


“Bill Hendren Memorial” Qualifier 1 (Friday) (20 laps, $1,000 to-win): 1. Jared Hawkins (Haseleu RJ1)  2. Robbie 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. Dave Friedrich (66)-DNS.


“Bill Hendren Memorial” 2 Qualifier 2 (Friday) (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. Robby 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  21. Matt Glanden (01)-DSQ.


Last Chance B Main 1 (Saturday) (10 lap, top 2 transfer to A): 1. Tarbox  2. J. Knowles  3. Imler  4. R. Hawkins  5. Booth  6. Friedrich  7. Kane  8. Wilson-DNS  9. Nichols-DNS  10. Powell-DNS  11. Stoner-DNS.


Last Chance B Main 2 (Saturday) (10 lap, top 2 transfer to A): 1. Lowery  2. Martin  3. Montgomery  4. Eaton  5. Renalds  6. Roberson  7. Duritsky  8. Lewis  9. B. Knowles  10. Shipe-DNS  11. Glanden-DSQ.


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,, B.R.A.K.E.S.,, 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 Like our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.