JOSH DOUBLE NAILS DOWN HIS 1ST SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL TOUR WIN IN NON-STOP LERNERVILLE AFFAIR; 37 CARS KICKOFF SPEEDWEEK
By Mike Leone
July 5, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Sarver, PA)…After a weekend off, the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series kicked off the five-night “Cross the Borders Speedweek” on Friday night in the first of two appearances of 2013 at Lernerville Speedway. A great field of 37 cars from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Ontario Canada was on hand for “Off with the Tops” presented by RainEater Wiper Blades.
Josh Double led all 25 laps of the RainEater Wiper Blades “topless” feature driving an impeccable race through lapped traffic to score his first Sweeney Tour win, and became the fifth different winner in seven events this season! Double’s $1,200 victory also put a stop to Series point leader Mike Pegher, Jr’s hot streak. Pegher entered the night as the perennial favorite winning two straight and three of the last six events and competing at the track he has called home since starting his racing career.
“I’m tired, but this feels great,” expressed the 20-year-old Bristolville, Ohio 2011 Sharon Speedway champion. “The nice thing about this place is there’s so much track you can race on and room to race. You don’t want to see the lapped traffic when you’re leading, but it doesn’t bother you that bad here. This is definitely a big confidence boost. I had this car all torn apart last week. I didn’t even race last week trying to figure out why haven’t been going good and think we finally got it dialed in. Hopefully it’s a good rest of the season! I have to thank all of my family and sponsors for making this possible.”
Double drew the
pole position and got a great start taking the lead over opening Sweeney Tour
event winner Rick Singleton. It was three-wide for second down the backstretch
and entering turn three as Singleton came out on top over Ryan Montgomery and
Justin Tatlow on the opening lap. Montgomery though would drive under Singleton
in turn four to grab second on lap two.
Max Blair, who won Wednesday’s Sweeney Weekly Series event at McKean, was making just his second Sweeney Tour start of the season. Blair started ninth and made a great move to get by both Pegher and Tatlow to take over fourth on lap three. The top four of Double, Montgomery, Singleton, and Blair quickly began to distance themselves from the field.
Chad Ruhlman started eighth, but nearly spun on the opening lap. Ruhlman gathered himself back up and found the topside to his liking. Ruhlman passed Dan Angelicchio, Pegher, and Tatlow all on the outside as he cracked the top five on lap nine. Singleton began putting the heat on Montgomery on lap 10 trying to find a way by on the racey 4/10-mile track; meanwhile, Ruhlman continued running the highline as he closed in on Blair for fourth on lap 12.
At the halfway point, Double had a 1.9 second lead as the battle for runner-up continued. Singleton drove hard in turn four and slipped under Montgomery for second on lap 14, while Ruhlman simultaneously made the pass of Blair. Singleton and Montgomery began chewing into Double’s lead, while Ruhlman was running the fastest laps of the race.
With five laps to go it was a three-car race for the lead. Just as it seemed like Double’s lead was shrinking away and heavy traffic loomed ahead, Double did a great job on laps 21 and 22 through traffic. Those moves through traffic would be the deciding factor as he opened up a more comfortable advantage in the final laps and took the checkered flag first by a margin of 2.724 seconds.
Double’s non-stop time was 7:36.729 and came in his Cortland Auto Repair/Wedge Motorsports/King Bros. Ready Mix/Thomas Heating & Cooling/Glunt Industries-sponsored #38. It was a big night for Double, who not only garnered maximum Sweeney Tour and Sweeney Weekly points, but also takes over the early lead of the $1,000 to-win “Cross the Borders” Speedweek title and the early lead in the $3,000 to-win Pace Performance “Summer Chase”!
Singleton edged out Montgomery for runner-up as it was his seventh finish in the top seven this season and closed to within one of Pegher for the Sweeney Tour point lead. Montgomery’s third gives him three straight top four finishes as he moves into third in points. Ruhlman simply ran out of the time without any cautions as his fourth place finish was his third top five of the season. Blair was fifth. Sixth through 10th were Angelicchio, Josh Holtgraver, Butch Lambert, Pegher, and Tatlow.
While Canadian “Futures Cup” racer Jorden Peters’ 15th place finish was his worst of the season, he was able to garner the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card for the first time this season as he advanced seven positions. Sharon Speedway point leader and Sweeney Weekly Series Championship contender Dennis Lunger, Jr. was awarded The “Brake Man” Tough Brake of the Night after getting caught up in a heat race accident and suffered an apparent broken hand.
After a heartbreaking night of coming light at the scales twice after qualifying for the feature through both his heat race and last chance B main, rookie Late Model racer Jamie Wrightsman ended his night with a small consolation winning the six-lap non-qualifier event. “This Late Model racing is so different,” acknowledged the 23-year-old Cortland, Ohio former six-time Sharon Speedway Mini Stock winner. “I can’t believe that happened to me (being light)- what a disappointing night. We’re going to make sure everything is right for Sharon- looking forward to that. I have to thank my mom and dad- they’ve been behind me 100% on this whole deal and making it all possible.”
Wrightsman started fifth and passed both Joey Valenti and Chris Lander on the opening lap. Wrightsman then got around both W.L. Stile and race-long leader, Nico Dabecco, on lap four and led the final laps for the $125 victory in his #21J to take over the “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series point lead. Dabecco, Lander, Stile, and Valenti completed the field.
Pegher, Angelicchio, Montgomery, and Tatlow picked up heat race victories, while Andrew Wylie and Matt Latta copped the last chance B mains. Twelve-year-old Michael Lake became the youngest driver to ever win a race at Lernerville as he captured his season’s first K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash victory. Lake received a $100 K&N certificate, while Rocky Kugel picked up the $50 K&N certificate for second. Ricky Meglaye and Matt Glanden each received $25 cash.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #7 presented by RainEater Wiper Blades (25 laps, $1,200 to-win): 1. JOSH DOUBLE (38) 2. Rick Singleton (Enyeart 99*) 3. Ryan Montgomery (12) 4. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 5. Max Blair (111) 6. Dan Angelicchio (14) 7. Josh Holtgraver (00) 8. Butch Lambert (27) 9. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 10. Justin Tatlow (Kratts 81) 11. John Garvin, Jr. (Lucas 99) 12. Chad McClellan (119) 13. Rocky Kugel (21KRT) 14. Andrew Wylie (84) 15. Jorden Peters (11P) 16. Michael Lake (27) 17. Matt Glanden (01) 18. Ricky Meglaye (5) 19. Matt Latta (21) 20. Bobby Whitling (7W) 21. Shaun Hooks (65) 22. Greg Beach (33x) 23. Clay Ruffo (14R) 24. Colton Flinner (75) 25. Mike Laughard (38L)-DNS 26. Craig Dean (21)-DNS.
Non-Qualifier (6 laps, $125 to-win): 1. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 2. Nico Dabecco (Karalagas 15D) 3. Chris Lander (18) 4. W.L. Stile (1W) 5. Joey Valenti (8V) 6. Will Thomas III (9)-DNS 7. Jason Rider (Wade 76)-DNS 8. Joe Martin (55)-DNS 9. Paul Jablonski (3J)-DNS 10. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L)-DNS 11. Eric Wilson (27W)-DNS.
Margin of Victory: 2.724 seconds
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Jorden Peters (+7)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Dennis Lunger, Jr.
Heat 1 (10 laps/Top 5 transfer) 1. Pegher 2. Blair 3. Holtgraver 4. Glanden 5. Hooks 6. Dabecco 7. Wylie 8. Thomas 9. Beach 10. Flinner.
Heat 2 (10 laps/Top 5 Transfer): 1. Angelicchio 2. Garvin 3. Laughard 4. Lake 5. Dean 6. Martin 7. Jablonski 8. Lunger 9. Wrightsman-DSQ (light).
Heat 3 (10 laps/Top 5 Transfer): 1. Montgomery 2. Lambert 3. Ruhlman 4. Kugel 5. Whitling 6. Latta 7. Ruffo 8. Rider 9. Lander.
Heat 4 (10 laps/Top 5 transfer): 1. Tatlow 2. Double 3. Singleton 4. Meglaye 5. McClellan 6. Peters 7. Valenti 8. Stile 9. Wilson.
K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps/$100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Michael Lake 2. Rocky Kugel 3. Ricky Meglaye 4. Matt Glanden.
Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps/Top 3 transfer): 1. Wylie 2. Flinner 3. Beach 4. Thomas 5. Dabecco 6. Wrightsman-DSQ (light) 7. Martin-DNS 8. Jablonski-DNS 9. Lunger-DNS.
Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps/Top 3 transfer): 1. Latta 2. Peters 3. Ruffo 4. Rider 5. Stile 6. Lander 7. Valenti 8. Wilson.
The next event for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series will Saturday (July 6) at Sharon Speedway for $2,000 to-win. It was will be Sweeney Night with the GM 604 engine giveaway!
marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance,
RainEater Wiper Blades, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels,
Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric,
TurboStart, K1 RaceGear, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports,
Wrisco Industries, High Gear Speed Shop, Utsinger’s Towing, RockAuto.com, and
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.