BRYCE DAVIS TOPS 38-CAR FIELD AT MCKEAN TO BECOME 4TH DIFFERENT SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL TOUR WINNER IN 4 RACES AFTER A HEARTBREAKING END FOR JOE MARTIN
By Mike Leone
June 14, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(East Smethport, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series headed north on Friday night for their first of five appearances this season at McKean County Raceway. Race #4 of 27 was the rained out rescheduled event from May 23 and attracted a season high 38 drivers from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia, Maryland, and Ontario, Canada.
After a simply flat-out dominating performance- possibly one of the best of his career, Joe Martin’s night came to a devastating end on lap 22 when he got too high and slammed at the end of the frontstretch fence. Martin’s misfortune turned into Bryce Davis’ fortune as the young racer held off Series point leader Rick Singleton for the $1,500 victory- the biggest of his career in Crate Late Models! Davis became the fourth different winner in as many Sweeney Tour events held this season.
“I’m whopped,” expressed the 22-year-old Hornell, New York driver. “I didn’t think we were going to catch Joe (Martin). We caught lapped traffic and he was just as quick as I was. We went on that long green flag run and I didn’t think I was ever going to get him. I knew they were all back there. (Max) Blair is tough to beat anywhere you go and when you can beat him you’re on your game. I couldn’t ask for a better night!”
Davis drew the pole position and he took off in the lead. Martin was able to get by Jon Lichy on the opening lap for second. Sixth starting Singleton got a great start as he passed Butch Lambert, Mike Pegher, Jr. and Lichy for third all on lap one. Pegher was also able to get by Lichy and went to work on Singleton. The two standouts battled side-by-side on lap three as the top four competitors quickly pulled away from the field.
Max Blair, who entered the night with a perfect four-for-four score in Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Weekly Series action at McKean, started ninth and was on the move. Blair passed both Lambert and Lichy to crack the top five on lap three. Lambert had just gotten by Lichy when Lichy got into Lambert sending him spinning to bring out the event’s first caution with three laps scored.
When green replaced yellow, Davis continued to lead; however, all eyes were on Blair as he continued to make his way forward getting by Pegher for fourth on the restart. On lap five, Martin took the lead from Davis and set sail as he quickly distanced himself from the field.
Pegher was able to regain fourth from Blair as he ducked under him in turn four on lap six. As Martin continued open up his lead, the battle raged for second on lap seven as Davis had his hands full with Singleton, Pegher, and Blair. When Martin caught lapped traffic on lap 10 he had a straightaway advantage.
Martin continued to maintain a straightaway lead until lap 14 when he encountered heavy traffic and several strong runners battling for positions, which resulted in his lead evaporating in half. In what would turn out to be a critical battle for second, Singleton was all over Davis on lap 17 and in fact pulled alongside on lap 18; however, Davis was able to hold on to second.
As the laps wound down, Martin continued to run a tremendous race through lapped traffic as he kept his half-straightaway lead. It seemed pretty clear as long as Martin didn’t have any hiccups in lapped traffic he was clearly headed to victory lane. Then in major turn of events on lap 22, Martin got too high just as he was set to enter turn one and slammed the end of the frontstretch wall. The contact sent him limping off the track and at the same time Maryland racer Cody Dawson spun as the caution was displayed with 21 laps scored. The devastation for Martin clearly earned him the night’s Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night”.
In that all important race for second, Davis had won out up until the caution was displayed. Davis got lane choice for the restart and chose the inside. As he had done for the prior 21 laps in the race for second, Davis kept Singleton at bay over the final four circuits to win by just 0.719 of a second in the David Davis-owned, Griswold’s E.T.R/Maple City Customs/Jody’s Hair Design/Design Sportswear-sponsored #94.
Singleton’s runner-up coupled with Glenn Elliott’s 12th place finish allowed him to regain the Series point lead. Singleton has yet to finish worse than fourth in as many Tour events this season, while it was Elliott’s first finish outside the top three. Singleton, a former NFL Seattle Seahawk and standout at Virginia Tech, really enjoyed McKean in his first ever visit.
Like he did on the first restart, Blair passed Pegher- this time for third as he was able to hold off Pegher for the show position in his first Tour start of the season. Pegher beat out 10th starting Chad Ruhlman for fourth and was able to take over the second spot in points thanks to all four top nine finishes.
After a tough start to 2013, 11th starting Matt Latta crossed the finish in sixth for his best Tour finish of the year. Ed Carley was seventh in his first Tour start of 2013. Last event’s Sharon Tour winner, Ryan Montgomery, rebounded nicely to finish eighth after starting 22nd to earn his first Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” $100 Hard Charger Certificate. Doug Ricotta was ninth ahead of Canadian Jorden Peters, who just missed the Hard Charger as he raced from 23rd to 10th for his season’s best effort.
Matt Harvey closed out the night with a little something to smile at as he led all eight laps of the Non-Qualifier event. Harvey’s #4 bested Justin Smith on lap one and was never seriously challenged to capture the $150 top prize and maximum points in the “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series points. “This feels great to win,” acknowledged the Jamestown, NY racer. “Even though I wish we would have been in the feature, these races allow us to work on stuff to get better.”
Smith was trying to hold off Zack Carley and sixth starting Justin Tatlow in a battle for second. On the final lap, Carley spun in turns one and two and Tatlow and Bill Mesler had nowhere to go. Smith broke away to claim second over Richard “Critter” Hemphill. Mesler came around to claim fourth. Carley was credited with fifth.
Blair, Latta, Lambert, and Martin won the heat races, while Bruno Mowery and Montgomery won the B mains. Ricotta passed Elliott to win the K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash to make for the fourth different winner in as many races. Ricotta earned the $100 K&N certificate and the 13th starting position in the feature. Elliott received a $50 K&N certificate, while the third and fourth place finishers of Chad Silleman and Adam Sixt received $25 cash.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #4 (25 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. BRYCE DAVIS (94) 2. Rick Singleton (Enyeart 99*) 3. Max Blair (111) 4. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 5. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 6. Matt Latta (21) 7. Ed Carley (28) 8. Ryan Montgomery (12) 9. Doug Ricotta (01) 10. Jorden Peters (11P) 11. Butch Lambert (27) 12. Glenn Elliott (5E) 13. Chad Silleman (47) 14. Lauren Longbrake (27) 15. John Over (K2) 16. Adam Sixt (6T) 17. Dusty Waters (14) 18. Bob Kish (5) 19. Ward Schell (Baker 74) 20. Craig Dean (21) 21. Bruno Mowery (48) 22. Joe Martin (55) 23. Cody Dawson (36) 24. Jon Lichy (35).
Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $150 to-win): 1. Matt Harvey (4) 2. Justin Smith (22) 3. Richard “Critter” Hemphill (31) 4. Bill Mesler (15) 5. Zack Carley (8) 6. Justin Tatlow (Kratts 81) 7. Scott Fitch (28) 8. Josh Jacoby (88)-DNS 9. Jamie Brown (135)-DNS 10. Brad Mesler (24B)-DNS 11. Garrett Mott (43x)-DNS 12. Paul Grigsby (24)-DNS 13. John Haggerty (49)-DNS 14. Cody Mason (MR1)-DNS.
Feature lap Leaders: Davis (1-4, 22-25), Martin (5-21),
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Ryan Montgomery (+14)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Joe Martin
Heat 1 (10 laps/Top 5 transfer): 1. Blair 2. Lichy 3. Davis 4. Elliott 5. Dawson 6. Smith 7. Jacoby 8. Hemphill 9. Bill Mesler 10. Mason.
Heat 2 (10 laps/Top 5 transfer): 1. Latta 2. Singleton 3. Dean 4. Ricotta 5. Kish 6. Mowery 7. Z. Carley 8. Peters 9. Mott 10. Haggerty.
Heat 3 (10 laps/Top 5 Transfer): 1. Lambert 2. Waters 3. Pegher 4. Silleman 5. Longbrake 6. Over 7. Brad Mesler 8. Fitch 9. Grigsby.
K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps/$100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Doug Ricotta 2. Glenn Elliott 3. Chad Silleman 4. Adam Sixt.
Last Chance B Main 1 (10 laps/Top 2 Transfer): 1. Mowery 2. Peters 3. Smith 4. Jacoby 5. Z. Carley 6. Hemphill 7. Mott 8. Bill Mesler 9. Haggerty 10. Mason-DNS.
Last Chance B Main 2 (10 laps/Top 2 Transfer): 1. Montgomery 2. Over 3. Harvey 4. Brown 5. Fitch 6. Bill Mesler 7. Tatlow 8. Grigsby-DNS.
The next events for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series will next weekend (June 21-23) as Hagerstown (MD) Speedway, Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex (Markleysburg, PA) and The Rock – Allegany County Speedway (Cumberland, MD) host $2,000 to-win events Friday through Sunday.
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