By Mike Leone


June 19, 2016               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Franklin, PA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance helped christen in the 2016 season opener at Tri-City Raceway Park as the second year of ownership under Mark Tatalovic began on a beautiful Sunday evening for Father's Day.  It was a RUSH doubleheader for the annual "Bill Emig Memorial" featuring the Sweeney Late Model Touring Series and the opener for the Bicknell Racing Products Sportsman Modified Touring Series.  Bryce Davis picked up the Late Model win, while Adam Hilton captured the Sportsman Modifieds as both racers received a beautiful laser etched "Bill Emig Memorial" hardwood award.  The Tatalovic Family and general manager Chad Wagner presented Series Director Vicki Emig with a plaque and hanging baskets as part of her father's memorial and her efforts with the RUSH Series throughout the region.


For the fourth consecutive year, Bryce Davis is a Sweeney Late Model Touring Series winner.  Davis flew from third to the lead on the opening lap, lost the top spot to John Waters, then battled hard with the fellow New Yorker to regain it at the halfway point and went on for the 30-lap, $2,000 "Bill Emig Memorial" victory.  Including the 2015 make-up at Sharon Speedway on April 16, Davis became the sixth different Tour winner in seven events this season!  Davis was also awarded the Maxima Racing Oil "Maximum Performance" award.

"First I have to apologize to Johnny Waters," stated the 25-year-old Hornell, NY driver.  "We were both racing hard in lapped traffic.  I saw my shot there.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to capitalize on it and wasn't sure if I was going to get another chance so I went a little too hot into (turn) one and got into him.  I feel really bad, but I'm glad I got him straightened out.  We're friends and we talk on a regular basis.  The last thing I want is bad blood between us.  I hope he forgives me and we can move on from this." 


"It means a lot to win this," expressed Davis.  "Vicki (Emig) does a lot for our sport. She puts a lot of time and effort into this and I can't thank her enough for putting this all together. We put on hard tires.  We weren't sure if that was the right choice or not, but I think they came in good.  It's Father's Day and I owe this whole thing to my father.  I wouldn't be where I was at if it wasn't for him.  He does a hell of a lot for us."    


After a thrilling $100 "John Buzzard Memorial" K&N Dash win by Daryl Charlier to earn the feature pole over Kyle Lukon, the two Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway regulars led the 24-car starting field to green by starter Tony VanPelt; however, it was Davis shooting from the third position to the lead.  Fifth starting Waters followed Davis to the front in a mad scramble off turn four on the opening lap.


Waters pulled alongside Davis on lap two and the two ran side-by-side for the lead for two laps with Waters leading lap three.  Waters quickly pulled away on lap four; meanwhile, Mike Pegher, Jr. and Will Thomas III were battling for the fourth spot.  As the laps continued caution-free, Waters caught lapped traffic on lap nine.  His half-straightaway lead on the half-mile began to shrink as Davis closed in on lap 11.  On lap 14, Waters got high in traffic racing off turn four allowing Davis to get even closer.  Davis saw on opportunity and seized it in turn one in traffic as the two made heavy contact, but kept going as Davis took over the lead on lap 15.


A caution for a spin by newcomer Bob Mitcham III slowed action with 15 laps scored.  Back under green, Pegher and Thomas moved into third and fourth past Lukon as 11th starting Alan Dellinger followed.  After a long battle, Thomas finally passed Pegher as he took the third spot on lap 17.  The event's second and final caution was displayed when 2015 "Futures Cup" Champion, Clinton Hersh, tangled with Zach Kane with 21 laps scored.


When racing resumed for the final time, Thomas made the pass of Waters for second on the restart.  After starting second and falling out of the top five, Lukon rebounded late and got by Waters for third on lap 27.  Positions continued to swap on back through the field, while Thomas tried to reel in Davis in the final laps.  Davis though was too strong taking his fifth career Sweeney Tour win by 1.577 seconds in his Griswolds E.T.R. Services/Close Racing Supply/Jody's Hair Design-sponsored #94.


Thomas' runner-up was worth $1,000 and matched his best career Sweeney Tour finish since a runner-up at Sharon Speedway on September 14, 2013.  "For racing a bunch of different cars this year, this is the best run we've had in the Late Model," said the 40-year-old Sharpsville, Pa. driver.  "I had a really good car.  Congratulations to Bryce on his win.  This was my first time here and we didn't know exactly how to read it tonight tire wise.  I think we made the right call- I just need to drive a little better.  I think the more laps I get, the better we'll be." 


Lukon battled back to claim third for the second straight year at the event.  "I thought we had a chance then I gave it up in the dash," explained the 26-year-old Burgettstown, Pa. racer.  "The start of the race Daryl and I got together and feel bad about that.  I don't know what we need to do to get a tiny bit better.  I didn't want to see that first caution.  Bryce and John were struggling in traffic and I was starting to reel them in, but then had a bad restart and fell back to sixth.  Luckily we got up to third on that last restart.  Congrats to Bryce and Will- they ran a great race." 


Like Lukon, Waters, who is the Series' only repeat winner, also fell out of the top five but worked his way back to fourth at the finishDellinger was fifth on the $135 sealed, spec "Bilstein Bandits" Shocks.  Pegher was sixth over Eric Wilson, Jason Knowles, Bruce Hordusky, Jr., and David Lyon, who started 17th and earned the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card.  W.L. Stile finished 17th and was the final car on the lead lap to earn a $25 gift certificate.  Matt Latta, who started 10th, was awarded the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" after dropping from the event.  Zack Kane received an ARbodies nose kit valued at $260 for being the first non-qualified in the "Nosed Out" contingency program.


Waters set fast time over the 26-car field in Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" qualifying to earn $100 with a lap 19.855.  Just 0.035 of a second separated the top four qualifiers!  Pegher, Davis, and Lukon picked up an extra $25 for their Bobby Lake Motorsports heat race wins, while Steve Hollabaugh won the last chance B main in his first start.  Lukon's runner-up dash finish was worth a $100 K&N certificate.       


Adam Hilton entered the season with eight career Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified victories at four different speedways over the past two years.  With the Series' first ever three-race weekend, Hilton made the trip down from Buffalo, New York for the first time this season.  Hilton was able to add two more tracks to his win list as he picked up the $500 Bicknell Weekly Series victory on Friday night at Thunder Mountain Speedway and on Sunday kicked off the Bicknell Touring Series with his first ever Tri-City win, worth $600.  Hilton was also selected as the Maxima Racing Oil "Maximum Performance" award winner. 


"I love racing this place- it's only three and half hours from home so it's no big deal," joked the 33-year-old standout.  "It's redemption from last year.  I hope we gave you a show,  I spun out going for the win on the last lap last year.  My buddy Mike Maresca reassured me the hard tires were going to work and it definitely did."


Hilton started the 20-lap feature from the third position and drove by Chelsie Kriegisch and pole-sitter Brandon Ritchey for the lead on the opening lap.  Fifth starting Rocky Kugel was third after one lap and trailed by Chas Wolbert, who got by Kriegisch for fourth on lap two.  Hilton began to pull away from the field on lap four until Ritchey spun on his own in second bringing out the caution.    


Ritchey's spin moved last year's Tri-City Bicknell Tour winner, Kugel, to second.  Kugel's night ended as soon as racing resumed after getting spun by Kole Holden and taking a hard shot by oncoming cars.  Kugel was awarded the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" award.  Back under green flag conditions, Nick Ritchey and Brian Schaffer were able to pass Kriegisch for third and fourth.  One more caution slowed action for Blaze Myers with 16 laps scored.


The final four laps saw Hilton go unchallenged in his Roar Logistics-sponsored #1R to win by 2.012 seconds.  Nick Ritchey, who started back in 14th, was able to get by Wolbert at the end to finish a season best second and received the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card.  Ritchey was also chosen as the Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel" recipient.  Ritchey hasn't had the best start to 2016 after a strong 2015 season.  Ritchey was one of the racers that competed all three nights this weekend, and rebounded strong after a poor heat race performance.


Wolbert dropped to third over eighth starting Brian Schaffer.  Kriegisch was fifth.   Holden came back from being put to the tail for spinning Kugel to place sixth.  Kyle Martell, who won his first career race Saturday at Sharon, was seventh over Brandon Ritchey, Jessica Shea, and Tiffany Williams.  Mike Sparks was the final car on the lead lap in 14th and earned a $25 gift certificate.  Brian Schaffer and Kugel won the heat races over the 20-car field, which was a record count for Tri-City.  Holden won the K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash to earn a $100 K&N certificate. 


The Bicknell RUSH Sportsman Modified Tour returns to action this Saturday night (June 25) at Sharon Speedway for the third annual "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance with a $600 to-win event.  Then on Friday, July 1, it'll be a doubleheader at Lernerville Speedway with a $2,000 to-win Sweeney Late Model Tour Marquee Event and a $600 to-win Bicknell Sportsman Modified Tour event. 


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #6 "Bill Emig Memorial" (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. BRYCE DAVIS (94)  2. Will Thomas III (9)  3. Kyle Lukon (184)  4. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  5. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8)  6. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Haseleu RJ1)  7. Eric Wilson (27W)  8. Jason Knowles (4)  9. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. (3)  10. Dave Lyon (14L)  11. Steve Beatty (B4)  12. Brian Knowles (7)  13. Daryl Charlier (12)  14. Jamie Wrightsman (21J)  15. Brian Swank (12s)  16. Tony White (27)  17. W.L. Stile (1W)  18. Clinton Hersh (16)  19. Zach Kane (10)  20. Bob Mitcham III (827)  21. Kyle Zimmerman (z17)  22. Steve Hollabaugh (3)  23. Matt Latta (B1D)  24. Jake Gunn (14G).


DNQ for the feature: Jared Kane (7), Jeff Haynes (64)


Car Count: 26
Feature Lap Leaders:
Bryce Davis (1-2, 15-30), John Waters (3-14)

Margin of Victory: 1.577 seconds

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Dave Lyon

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Bryce Davis

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Matt Latta "Last Car on Lead Lap": W.L. Stile

ARbodies "Nosed Out: Jared Kane


Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" RUSH Late Model Qualifying ($100 to fast time): 1. John Waters 19.855  2. Jason Knowles 19.876  3. Kyle Lukon 19.882  4. Mike Pegher, Jr. 13.890  5. Daryl Charlier 19.937  6. Brian Knowles 19.992  7. Will Thomas III 20.009  8. Bryce Davis 20.039  9. Eric Wilson 20.147  10. Matt Latta 20.173  11. Kyle Zimmerman 20.213  12. Bruce Hordusky 20.213  13. Jake Gunn 20.235  14. Clinton Hersh 20.259  15. Jamie Wrightsman 20.287  16. Steve Beatty 20.336  17. Dave Lyon 20.438  18. Bob Mitcham III 20.459  19. Brian Swank 20.477  20. Alan Dellinger 20.576  21. W.L. Stile 20.891  22. Zach Kane 21.014  23. Steve Hollabaugh 21.075  24. Tony White 21.137  25. Jeff Haynes 21.521  26. Jared Kane 22.020.


Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 6 transfer): 1. Pegher  2. Waters  3. Thomas  4. Latta  5. Gunn  6. Beatty  7. Swank  8. Z. Kane  9. Haynes.


Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 6 transfer): 1. Davis  2. Charlier  3. J. Knowles  4. Dellinger  5. Zimmerman  6. Lyon  7. Hollabaugh  8. Hersh  9. J. Kane.


Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 6 transfer): 1. Lukon  2. Wilson  3. Hordusky  4. B. Knowles  5. Wrightsman  6. Stile  7. White  8. Mitcham.


RUSH Late Model Last Chance B Main (8 laps, Top 6 transfer): 1. Hollabaugh  2. Swank  3. Hersh  4. Z. Kane  5. White  6. Mitcham  7. J. Kane  8. Haynes.


K&N "Cold Air Induction" RUSH Late Model "John Buzzard Memorial" Dash (4 laps, $100 to-win): 1. Daryl Charlier  2. Kyle Lukon  3. Bryce Davis  4. Mike Pegher, Jr.  5. John Waters  6. Eric Wilson.


Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified Bicknell Touring Series Race #1 "Bill Emig Memorial" (20 laps, $600 to-win): 1. ADAM HILTON (1R)  2. Nick Ritchey (77N)  3. Chas Wolbert (c3)  4. Brian Schaffer (41)  5. Chelsie Kriegisch (10)  6. Kole Holden (2)  7. Kyle Martell (8)  8. Brandon Ritchey (17)  9. Jessica Shea (24s)  10. Tiffany Williams (58)  11. Steve Slater (35)  12. Justin Shea (14s)  13. Jonathan Myers (11)  14. Mike Sparks (Smith 3G)  15. Jeremy Weaver (35H)  16. Blaze Myers (43JR)  17. Jessica Kriegisch (63)  18. Rocky Kugel (6)  19. Will Schaffer (4)  20. Josh Seippel (84)-DNS.


Car Count: 20
Feature Lap Leaders:
Adam Hilton (1-20)

Margin of Victory: 2.012 seconds

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Nick Ritchey (+12)

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance: Adam Hilton

Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel": Nick Ritchey

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Rocky Kugel "Last Car on Lead Lap": Mike Sparks


Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 1 (8 laps): 1.B. Schaffer  2. Martell  3. Wolbert  4. Weaver  5. W. Schaffer  6. Je. Shea  7. J. Myers  8. J. Kriegisch  9. B. Myers  10. Slater.


Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Kugel  2. Hilton  3. C. Kriegisch  4. B. Ritchey  5. Holden  6. Ju. Shea  7. N. Ritchey  8. Williams  9. Sparks  10. Seippel-DNS.


K&N "Cold Air Induction" RUSH Sportsman Modified Dash (4 laps, $100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Kole Holden  2. Justin Shea  3. Will Schaffer  4. Jessica Shea.


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 Performance, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, FK Rod Ends, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Rocket Chassis, Bobby Lake Motorsports High Gear Speed Shop,, B.R.A.K.E.S.,, and Valley Fashions.


RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners: Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Bicknell Racing Products, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, MSD Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, FK Rod Ends, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Velocita-USA, Precise Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, K&N Filters, TBM Brakes, Lincoln Electric, Classic Ink USA.,, and B.R.A.K.E.S.


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.