ANDY MICHAEL’S SWEENEY RUSH MCKEAN VICTORY WAS HIS 1ST EVER IN A LATE MODEL; CHAD RUHLMAN’S 1ST FREEDOM WIN PUTS HIM INTO THE SWEENEY WEEKLY SERIES POINT LEAD
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
July 18, 2014
(Pulaski, PA)…The member tracks of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model series batted .500 last weekend as weather and scheduling allowed only half of the member tracks to hold racing events last weekend.
That said, the weekend’s action at the weekly tracks didn’t get underway until after the RUSH Late Models took to the track as part of Expo Speedway’s two day show as part of the annual Trumbull County Fair in Cortland, Ohio that was won by Max Blair for $2,000.
Weekly action got underway last Friday at Freedom Speedway when Chad Ruhlman made a successful initial start of the season at the Delevan, New York oval. Following Ruhlman to the stripe were Brad Mesler, Bill Holmes, Jamie Brown and Jeremy Wonderling. Ruhlman now has nine RUSH-sanctioned victories in Sweeney Weekly Series action as he gets closer to the perfect 15 score. Action for the RUSH Late Models continues at Freedom tonight (July 18) when the RUSH Late Models are part kid’s night with bike races and a bike giveaway for the kids.
Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, 37 RUSH Late Models checked into the pit area for the first visit of the season for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick Touring Series. Tour race number eight of the year also included a giveaway of a GM 604 engine compliments of Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC and Pace Performance.
After four heat races, two B-Mains, the K&N Dash, it was young Ryan Montgomery taking the $1,500-to-win, 25-lap event. Montgomery beat a stout field by a healthy 3.2 second margin over second place Andrew Wylie. "We are always good when we come," stated the 17-year-old Fairmont, West Virginia winner, who has now won five of the last six races he’s competed in at PPMS. "We like coming here and it's an awesome race track. I've run second so many times this year, but we're in the points lead and we're points racing so seconds are good too, but firsts are what you always want to have.” Russ Kolesar, Nico Dabecco and Chad McClellan rounded out the top five.
The GM 604 engine lucky winner was Windber PA’s Robby Marhefka. "We cannot thank Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC and Pace Performance enough," stated RUSH Co-Director Vicki Emig. "Their support of us over the years has enabled us to put together strong programs that benefit the racers and our speedways. This was the fourth straight year they have given away an engine and it's great to see four different drivers from all over the region win the prize!”
McKean County Raceway’s all-time Street Stock feature winner Andy Michael won yet another race on Saturday night, but this time it was his first ever in a Late Model as he captured the Sweeney RUSH Weekly Series event! Twenty-one RUSH Late Models the green on Saturday night at the East Smethport, PA oval. Michael took an early lead winning the race to the first turns over Dennis Lunger, Jr. By the second lap, Chad Ruhlman fresh off his victory at Freedom Speedway the night before was in third and pressuring Michael and Lunger.
With just three laps to go, the caution flag flew, bunching up the field for the final few laps. In the end it was Michael picking up the win for car owner Lewy Kratts. He was followed to the line by Dennis Lunger, Jr., who was in action with Sharon not in action. Ward Schell, Doug Ricotta and Brady Wonderling were third through fifth. Racing resumes this Saturday at MCR with the “Bill Bigley Memorial" for the RUSH Crate Late Models paying $1,000 to win plus a regular show.
Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex saw a new face in victory lane as Nolan Dalton cashed in on his first win of 2014. The Morgantown, WV driver improved on his runner-up finish the week prior to keep a keep point average for the Pace Performance “Summer Chase”. Following Dalton was Troy Shields, Rick Singleton, Michael Lake and Ken Herman. This Saturday is the Ernie Jones Memorial for the Super Late Models and a full card of racing divisions including the RUSH Late Models.
Potomac, Sharon, and Winchester Speedways were off last weekend, while Humberstone Speedway was rained out on Sunday night. The RUSH Late Models are off again this weekend at Potomac, but will return on July 25.
Racing resumes at Sharon Speedway this Saturday when a regular “Steel Valley Thunder” race program is on tap, as is the case at Virginia’s Winchester Speedway as RUSH joins a $3,000 to-win Super Late Model event.
Ontario’s Humberstone Speedway hopes to resume racing under better weather this Sunday as the RUSH Series headlines the “Canadian National Late Model Championship” featuring the Sweeney RUSH Tour in a $2,000 to-win event along with the DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pro 4 Trucks, and Mini Stocks.
On the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified side, Greg Martin became just the second driver this season to repeat joining three-time winner Adam Hilton. Martin won the second appearance by the RUSH Mods last Saturday at America’s Motorsports Park beating Jeremy Zufall. The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds are in action tonight (July 18) at Lernerville Speedway for their third appearance at the Sarver oval.
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, Chad Ruhlman-Sweeney RUSH Late Model Weekly Series, Michael Lake-“Futures Cup”, Max Blair and Darin Henderson are 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.