HENDERSON WINS CAREER 1ST AT WINCHESTER; LEDINGHAM WINS 1ST AT HUMBERSTONE IN SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL WEEKLY SERIES ACTION
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
July 11, 2014
(Pulaski, PA)…The weathermen handed a beautiful three-day weekend to the member tracks of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series to kickoff the month of July! It was also the first of nine weeks under the Pace Performance “Summer Chase” for the RUSH Late Models.
Friday’s Lernerville event was a doubleheader for both the RUSH Late Models and the growing Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified Series. Both of the RUSH divisions were joined by the non-winged Sprinters of the BOSS Series. A season-high 30 RUSH Late Models checked into the pits representing five states and Ontario, Canada.
Rick Singleton has been on a tear lately, winning the last three Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring events. But Friday it was Stoystown PA’s Chad McClellan taking the win at the famed Sarver, Pennsylvania oval to kickoff the Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card Weekend”.
"This means a lot," said an excited McClellan. "I've been coming here for a long time. This is a great, great facility. I've run every division here- 410 Sprints, Big-Block Mods, Super Late Models and I've always been close to winning. I'm finally glad I got one here." Following McClellan to the stripe were Ryan Montgomery, Singleton, Alan Dellinger and Eric Wilson finishing out the top five.
In the RUSH Sportsman Modified portion of the night, it was Dave Conant, Jr. holding off fellow New York racer and Series point leader Adam Hilton in a tremendous side-by-side battle for the win. On the final lap it looked as though Hilton might become the only winner in the two events this season at Lernerville, but Conant found space and time to squeeze out the win by little more than a quarter of a second!
"That was a lot of fun racing with Adam (Hilton)," exclaimed Conant in Victory Lane. "I've raced with him some in New York. I thought he had me at the end, but I was able to keep my speed up out of turn four. This place is pretty cool. I've been following this Series and really like it and where it's headed." Conant became the sixth different winner in eight races! Behind the fantastic one-two finishers were Rocky Kugel, Jeremy Paup and Jamie Duncan.
The Bill Emig Memorial Weekend continued at Sharon Speedway on Saturday night and the weather was just as stellar as Friday’s. In the 25-lap main event for the RUSH Late Models, it was a very happy Rick Singleton raising the checkered flag in victory lane, his first ever win at the Hartford Ohio track. In fact, not only did Singleton capture the win, he did it in dominating fashion leading wire to wire in a race that was slowed only once for a caution. Saturday’s win makes four victories in the last five events in the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series.
"This is a great race track," expressed the Front Royal, Virginia racer after his first victory at the speedway. "If it wasn't so far away we'd be here all of the time. Things are going real good right now. We've had a lot of luck on our side, but that can change in a hurry. This MBH Race Car has been so good and that's been the difference from last year.”
Following Singleton across the line were Ryan Montgomery, Josh Double, Will Thomas III and Russell Baird Jr. Singleton’s victory was worth $1,500 plus an additional $500 for capturing the overall "Bill Emig Memorial Wild Card Weekend" title, and $100 for winning the "John Buzzard Memorial" K&N Dash! In the five Tour events he's competed in, Singleton has earned $9,400- not bad for a $5,500 engine! No racing this coming Saturday, July 12th due to the Trumbull County Fair, but a full “Steel Valley Thunder” race program returns to Sharon on July 19.
Saturday July 5 also saw action for the RUSH Dirt Late Models at Imperial PA’s Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. After securing a heat race win, Michael Reft started on the pole for the feature event. But his lead would not even stick though the first lap. Ben Policz of Waynesburg, PA took the lead immediately and led every lap, taking his second win. Following him to the stripe were Mark Moats, Corey McPherson, who drove from deep in the field to finish third, Nico Dabecco and Justin Lamb.
Saturday, the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series takes center stage, paying $1500 to the winner. The night will be capped off by a giveaway of a Sweeney/Pace GM 604 race engine valued at over $5,500!
On Saturday night McKean County Raceway celebrated the 4th of July weekend with the annual Corporal Jason Dunham Memorial for the RUSH Crate Late Models. Before taking the green for the 20 lap event, the RUSH Late Models took a traditional four-wide pace lap with each driver holding up an American Flag honoring USMC Corporal Jason Dunham.
When the feature came to the stripe for the drop of the green, Damian Bidwell shot to the lead with an outside pass of pole sitter Doug Ricotta to lead lap one. By mid-race it was still Bidwell holding the lead all while some exciting action for position was going on behind him. The final five laps saw an intense battle between leader Bidwell, Max Blair and Jeremy Wonderling.
After one final caution on lap 18, the battle for the lead intensified, as the checkers fell first for Blair. Bidwell held on for second, with Wonderling, Ricotta and Paul Grigsby rounding out the top five. In victory lane Jeremy Wonderling awarded Blair with the unique US Marine Trophy as Wonderling and the Dunham families were very close to each other. A “Super Five” regular racing show is on tap for this Saturday. It is also Port Allegheny Night with all residents of the nearby town receiving $1.00 off general admission.
Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex celebrated the holiday week by running two shows in just four days! Wednesday, the Lucas Oil Late Model Series visited the Markleysburg PA track bringing the likes of Scott Bloomquist, Steve Francis and eventual winner Earl Pearson Jr. to the speedway. Also on the card Wednesday were the RUSH Dirt Late Models, where Chad McClellan got his great week off to a fabulous start with the win. Following McClellan in the top five were, Michael Lake, Jacob Hawkins, Dylan Lewis and Russell Baird, Jr.
Regular action continued on Saturday night at the Knob, when Michael Lake improved on his runner up spot from Wednesday with a win in the RUSH Series race. He was followed to the line by Nolan Dalton, Dylan Lewis, Bob Gordon and newcomer Chad Green. This Saturday at Roaring Knob, it’s a double points night for all divisions as well as “Old Timers Night.”
Saturday night at Virginia’s Winchester Speedway, Darin Henderson notched his first career Winchester victory in the RUSH Late Models. Henderson, who also became the sixth different winner in the seven races contested at Winchester this year, went wire to wire in the caution-free 20 lap event.
"This is the biggest win of my career," a jubilant Henderson stated in victory lane. "We've had a fast car here, but just haven't had any luck winning and to finally get one here is awesome." Trailing behind Henderson in the finishing order were Ben Bowie, Logan Robertson, Transton Stoner and Ralph Morgan Jr. The RUSH Dirt Late Models will be off this Saturday, but returns to action at Winchester on July 19 for a special double points feature race.
Sunday at Humberstone Speedway, Bill Gill and Rob Pietz led the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model to the green flag for their 20-lap feature event with Pietz taking the early lead. There were lots of action and races for position during the entire event, including a mid-race restart when Rob Ledingham took over the lead position. In the end Pietz went to the bottom through three and four trying to make it stick, but it was Ledingham holding on for his first win. Pietz, Paul Grigsby, Jeff Dayman and Ken Winfield were second through fifth.
The RUSH Late Models return to action at Humberstone this Sunday in a tune up of sorts for the July 20th Canadian Late Model Nationals featuring the Sweeney RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series for $2,000 to-win!
Potomac Speedway had their special pre-holiday Thursday night races rained out and Freedom Speedway was off for the holiday.
You can follow the latest news from both series by going to www.rushracingseries.com. Current point leaders are Ryan Montgomery-Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series, Michael Lake-Sweeney RUSH Late Model Weekly Series & “Futures Cup”, Max Blair, Darin Henderson, and Ben Policz are all tied for the Pace “Summer Chase” for Late Models, and Adam Hilton leads the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.
RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Bilstein Shocks, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Driven Racing Oil, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, Utsinger’s Towing, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, 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 www.rushracingseries.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.