By Mike Leone


July 1, 2016               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Sarver, PA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance headed to Lernerville Speedway on Friday night for the first of two visits of the season by both the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series and the Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified Touring Series.  Some light showers early in the evening didn't cool the hot action on the track as Bryce Davis and Nick Ritchey were victorious in the Late Models and Sportsman Modifieds respectively.  A total of 71 crate engine cars were in the pits from all over Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia, and Virginia including 19 Stocks.  A special congratulations to RUSH Pro Stock member Bob Egley for winning his first feature on the $135 spec, sealed Bilstein Shocks.


At the last Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series event at Tri-City Raceway Park on June 19, Bryce Davis became the sixth different winner in seven races (including the 2015 make-up run on April 16 at Sharon).  On Friday night, Davis joined John Waters as the Series' only repeat winners with a stellar performance taking the lead from John Mollick on a wild restart and leading the final 17 laps in the 30-lap feature event after starting fifth.  The $2,000 victory also propelled Davis into the point lead for the first time in his career. 


"It means a lot to win here," expressed the 25-year-old Hornell, New York driver.  "I've always wanted to win at place of a caliber like this- it's a dream come true.  I got pretty worried on the restart.  We were coming down the frontstretch and he (Mollick) tried getting on the top and I wasn't letting him get there.  I thought all four of us were going to wreck, but we all came out of it and got straightened out.  I don't know how I did it.  I was just trying to keep it straight myself.  We're still pretty fresh in this class.  This is only our fifth year.  My guys are still learning; I'm still learning how to drive certain tracks.  They read through a lot of magazine and try different things so my hats off to them."


It was three-wide racing off turn two for the lead on the opening lap with Mollick leading over Daryl Charlier and Mike Pegher, Jr.  Two laps later it was three-wide for third with Davis and Jason Knowles getting by Pegher.  Kyle Lukon started sixth and moved into the top five on lap five dropping Pegher back another spot.  Mollick caught lapped traffic on lap eight as it was a three-car race for the lead.  Davis put a slider on Charlier in turn two on lap 11 to take over second.  Pegher and Lukon made contact in turn four with Pegher spinning to bring out the event's only caution with 13 laps scored.


Mollick chose the inside for the double file restart and ran Davis high into turn one and nearly off the track.  It was a wild scramble for the top six positions as Davis somehow crossed back under to take over the lead coming out of turn two with Jason Knowles, Charlier, Lukon, and Brian Knowles filling out the top five as Mollick fell back to sixth.  Lukon looked strong as he got by Charlier for third on lap 15 and drove under and past Jason Knowles for second in turn four on lap 19. 


By the time Lukon got to second, Davis has close to a straightaway lead with 11 to go.  Lukon began chipping into Davis' lead starting on lap 22.  Davis caught lapped traffic on lap 23 and Lukon continued to close in each and every lap.  Davis though made a couple good moves to clear traffic late in the race and secure the victory by 0.951 of a second.  Davis' sixth career Sweeney Tour win came in the Griswolds E.T.R. Services/Close Racing Supply/Jody's Hair Design-sponsored #94 and tied him for third on the all-time win list with Pegher.


After a third place finish at Tri-City, Lukon did one better with his best Sweeney Tour finish since his only career win on July 13 at Pittsburgh, which earned him $1,000 and the Maxima Racing Oil "Maximum Performance" award.  "I feel bad," stated the 26-year-old Burgettstown, Pa. driver.  "Mike (Pegher) and I were trying to lap the 12-car.  I cut down and Mike was there.  We got together and he got turned around and I feel bad about that.  We were fast tonight.  Bryce (Davis) did a great job.  You can't beat that as thick as the traffic was.  He just kept picking his way through it.  I just kept hoping I'd get a little closer.  A couple times I did, but he just ran a great race."


Jason Knowles' third matched his season's best finish from June 3 at Freedom.  "We worked real hard to get here," explained the 34-year-old Addison, New York racer.  "We've had a couple down times, but we're real proud to run up front with these guys and all the others here tonight- they're all a bunch of class acts."


Charlier's fourth was his best effort since September 13, 2014 at Pittsburgh.  After opening the season with back-to-back fifth place efforts in Canada at Humberstone and Merrittville Speedway, Brian Knowles recorded his season's third fifth place finish.  Completing the top 10 were Dave Lyon from 13th, Mollick, Mike Duritsky, Jr., John Waters, and Eric Wilson.


Duritsky raced from 16th to eighth for his best career Sweeney Tour finish, which earned him the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card.  In his first Tour start of the season, Virginia's Logan Roberson was 16th and received the $25 CrateInsider.com gift certificate for being the final car on the lead lap at the finish.  Mike Franklin also made the tow up from Virginia for his first Tour start of the season as well.  He was one of just two drivers that didn't finish the race and was awarded the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night".  Bob Diver also made his Tour season debut and was the first driver to fail to qualify for the feature and received the ARbodies nosed out kit valued at $260.


Making his first ever RUSH start, former Lernerville Stock Car standout Greg Beach led all eight laps of the "Wheelman" Non-Qualifier event to end the night.  The Chicora, Pa. driver, who has also raced Super Late Models and E-Mods in recent years, earned $175 for his efforts in his Anarchy Kustoms-sponsored #33x.  Last year's "Futures Cup" champion, Clinton Hersh was second.  Matt Bassaro, Josh Powell, and Mike Hite were third through fifth in their first starts of the season as well. 


Pegher set fast time in $100 Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" Qualifying establishing a track record in the first time Crate Late Models have ever qualified at the track with a lap of 16.893.  Pegher went on to win BLM heat race one to add another $25 to his payoff.  Other $25 BLM heat race winners were Bruce Hordusky, Jr., Wilson, and Jason Knowles.  Steve Beatty and Chuck Recker, who is a new member of the "Bilstein Bandits" program, won the two last chance B mains.  Mollick won his first K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash of the season, which earned him the feature pole and a $100 K&N certificate beating out Charlier, who received a $50 K&N certificate.  Pegher and Jason Knowles were third and fourth for an additional $25.


After winning seven feature events last season, the first half of 2016 hasn't been what Nick Ritchey had hoped for.  Ritchey closed out 2015 winning his first career feature at Lernerville at the "Steel City Stampede" Bicknell Tour event and finished second in Bicknell Weekly Series action at Lernerville in May.  On Friday night, Ritchey made it two straight in Bicknell Tour competition at Lernerville capturing his season's first win in the 20-lap feature.  Ritchey earned $600 for his efforts and was also awarded the Maxima Racing Oil "Maximum Performance" award. 


"This feel fantastic winning here at Lernerville," stated the 33-year-old Oil City, Pa. resident.  "This is my first win of the year.  I ran over that piece of debris early and thought 'oh my I'm going to get a flat tire' then got lucky to get that do-over on the final restart.  I have to thank my crew and sponsors for all the support to make this possible."


Chas Wolbert took off in the lead from the pole position looking to repeat last Saturday's Tour win at Sharon, while Ritchey passed Tiffany Williams for second.  Ritchey began to close in on Wolbert on lap four and two laps later was right on the leader.  A caution for debris slowed action for the first time with eight laps completed. 


Back under green, Ritchey made the winning move passing Wolbert on the outside coming off turn four to lead lap nine, while Kole Holden and Chelsie Kriegisch moved past Kyle Martell for third and fourth respectively.  Ninth starting Brian Schaffer, who led the first 19 laps at Sharon last Saturday, raced his way into fourth past Kriegisch on lap 12.


As green flag laps continued, Ritchey caught lapped traffic on lap 17 allowing Wolbert to close.  A caution for a spin by Steve Slater setup a one-lap shootout to the finish.  Ritchey chose the inside, but it was Wolbert making the outside work to take the lead and looked like he may win a second straight Tour feature on the final lap, but Martell, Josh Seippel, and Slater tangled negating the possible winning pass. 


Ritchey got a second chance and chose the outside and held on in the final lap to win by 0.504 of a second in his Interstate Mitsubishi/Edible Arrangements/DRK Services/Gamblers Garage/JJ Aiken/Extreme Snow Removal/Lockhart's Cleaning-sponsored #77N for his second career Tour win tying Greg Martin and Adam Hilton for tops on the all-time win list.


Wolbert's runner-up maintained his Bicknell Tour point lead.  Holden was third after starting sixth with Schaffer and Josh Deems completing the top five.  Rounding out the top 10 were Kriegisch, Brandon Ritchey, Jeremy Weaver, Jerry Schaffer, and Martell.


Weaver went from 15th to eighth to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger award.  Jessica Kriegisch was 16th and the final car on the lead lap earning the $25 CrateInsider.com gift certificate.  After spinning and hard contact from Jacob Jordan, which resulted in both drivers failing to finish their heat race, Schaffer rebounded to an ninth place finish in the feature, which earned him the Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel" honor.  Jordan meanwhile suffered heavy damage and was unable to start the feature as he was awarded the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night". 


The Sweeney RUSH Late Model Tour and Bicknell RUSH Sportsman Modified Tour will be together for another doubleheader on Wednesday, July 13 at Expo Speedway for the Trumbull County Fair race.  The Late Models will be competing in a $1,500 to-win "Platinum" event, while the Modifieds will race for $600 to-win.  Warm-ups are at 5:30 p.m. with racing at 6.


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #7 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. BRYCE DAVIS (94)  2. Kyle Lukon (184)  3. Jason Knowles (4)  4. Daryl Charlier (12)  5. Brian Knowles (7)  6. Dave Lyon (14L)  7. John Mollick (Bentz 60M)  8. Mike Duritsky, Jr. (90J)  9. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  10. Eric Wilson (27W)  11. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Haseleu (RJ1)  12. Will Thomas III (9)  13. Matt Latta (B1D)  14. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8)  15. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. (3)  16. Logan Roberson (17)  17. Alan Knepper (20)  18. Tony White (27)  19. Mike Laughard (38L)  20. Jamie Wrightsman (21J)  21. Brian Swank (12s)  22. Zach Kane (10)  23. Chuck Recker (6)  24. Steve Beatty (B4)  25. Mike Franklin (Shipe 00)  (Note: Brian Swank took a Series provisional)


Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $175 to-win): 1. Greg Beach (33x)  2. Clinton Hersh (16)  3. Matt Bassano (6)  4. Josh Powell (11)  5. Mike Hite (2M)  6. Chris Frank (49)  7. Bob Diver (23)-DNS  8. W.L. Stile (1W)-DNS  9. Jared Kane (7)-DNS.


Car Count: 34
Feature Lap Leaders:
John Mollick (1-13), Bryce Davis (14-30)

Margin of Victory: 0.951

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Mike Duritsky, Jr. (+8)

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Kyle Lukon

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Mike Franklin

CrateInsider.com "Last Car on Lead Lap": Logan Roberson

ARbodies "Nosed Out: Bob Diver


Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" RUSH Late Model Qualifying ($100 to fast time): 1. Mike Pegher, Jr. 16.893  2. John Mollick 16.977  3. Daryl Charlier 17.017  4. Will Thomas III 17.035  5. John Waters 17.109  6. Alan Dellinger 17.136  7. Matt Latta 17.174  8. Jason Knowles 17.204  9. Dave Lyon 17.218  10. Brian Knowles 17.235  11. Eric Wilson 17.257  12. Kyle Lukon 17.334  13. Bryce Davis 17.408  14. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. 17.506  15. Logan Roberson 17.561  16. Jamie Wrightsman 17.618  17. Steve Beatty 17.666  18. Mike Laughard 17.749  19. Chuck Recker 17.789  20. Mike Duritsky, Jr. 17.797  21. Alan Knepper 17.308 (penalized to 21st for missing his group)  22. W.L. Stile 17.849  23. Tony White 17.876  24. Greg Beach 17.894  25. Mike Franklin 17.897  26. Bob Diver 17.953  27. Chris Frank 17.978  28. Zach Kane 18.025  29. Brian Swank 18.174  30. Mike Hite 18.350  31. Jared Kane 18.400  32. Matt Bassaro 18.950  33. Josh Powell 19.042  34. Clinton Hersh 19.051.


Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 5 transfer): 1. Pegher  2. Davis  3. Waters  4. Lyon  5. Knepper  6. Beatty  7. Swank  8. Franklin  9. Powell.


Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 5 transfer): 1. Hordusky  2. Mollick  3. B. Knowles  4. Dellinger  5. Laughard  7. Diver  8. Stile  9. Hersh  10. Hite.


Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 5 transfer): 1. Wilson  2. Charlier  3. Latta  4. Roberson  5. White  6. Frank  7. Recker  8. J. Kane.


Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 4 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 5 transfer): 1. J. Knowles  2. Lukon  3. Thomas  4. Duritsky  5. Wrightsman  6. Z. Kane  7. Beach  8. Bassaro.


RUSH Late Model Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Beatty  2. Franklin  3. Diver  4. Swank  5. Stile  6. Hersh  7. Hite  8. Powell.


RUSH Late Model Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Recker  2. Z. Kane  3. Beach  4. Frank  5. Bassaro  6. J. Kane.


K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash (6 laps, $100 to-win): 1. Mollick  2. Charlier  3. Pegher  4. J. Knowles  5. Davis  6. Lukon  7. Hordusky  8. Wilson.


Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified Bicknell Touring Series Race #3 (20 laps, $600 to-win): 1. NICK RITCHEY (77N)  2. Chas Wolbert (c3)  3. Kole Holden (2)  4. Brian Schaffer (41)  5. Josh Deems (9D)  6. Chelsie Kriegisch (10)  7. Brandon Ritchey (17)  8. Jeremy Weaver (35W)  9. Jerry Schaffer (14)  10. Kyle Martell (8)  11. Tiffany Williams (58)  12. Steve Slater (35)  13. Will Schaffer (4)  14. Jessica Kriegisch (63)  15. Josh Seippel (84)  16. Mike Sparks (Smith 3G)  17. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57)  18. Jacob Jordan (28J)-DNS.


Car Count: 18
Feature Lap Leaders
: Chas Wolbert (1-8), Nick Ritchey (9-20)

Margin of Victory: 0.504

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Jeremy Weaver (+7)

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance: Nick Ritchey

Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel": Jerry Schaffer

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Jacob Jordan

CrateInsider.com "Last Car on Lead Lap": Jessica Kriegisch


Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Holden  2. Martell  3. Deems  4. B. Ritchey  5. B. Schaffer  6. Slater  7. W. Schaffer  8. Weaver  9. J. Kriegisch.


Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Wolbert  2. N. Ritchey  3. C. Kriegisch  4. Williams  5. Sparks  6. Seippel  7. Ehrenberg  8. J. Schaffer  9. Jordan.


K&N "Cold Air Induction" RUSH Sportsman Modified Dash (4 laps, $100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. B. Schaffer  2. Sparks  3. Slater  4. Seippel.


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, CrateInsider.com, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, 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., CrateInsider.com, 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 www.rushracingseries.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.