By Mike Leone


July 13, 2016               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Cortland, OH)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance had another doubleheader event on Wednesday evening as the Sweeney Late Model Touring Series and the Bicknell Sportsman Modified Touring Series made its annual stop at the big 5/8-mile at Expo Speedway part of the 170th annual Trumbull County Fair.  Sunshine, high humidity and temps in the low 90s were present as the severe storms held off until well after the event.   


John Waters will tell you Expo isn't one of his favorite tracks, but 2016 has been a different season for the Whitesville, New Yorker.  Waters is focused on winning his first career Sweeney Late Model Touring Series Championship, and on Wednesday night became the Series' top 2016 winner with his third victory.  The 450-mile roundtrip paid off for Waters as earned the $1,500 top prize along with being named the Maxima Racing Oil "Maximum Performance" award winner, and closed within two points of Bryce Davis.  Waters became the fifth different winner in the nine years the event has been at the fair.


"The guys did a great job on the track with what they had to work with, with this weather," stated the 35-year-old winner.  "This is the third time I've been here and I was nervous.  We haven't had any luck before between motor problems and hitting a yuke tire.  I guess we got the bad luck out of the way as we had a flat tire on the hauler coming here, which got us here late.  I was nervous about Will (Thomas) alongside me.  He's a wheelman and can drive anything so I just wanted to hit my marks.  I appreciate all my guys coming down here and helping on a weekday.  My car owner Dale LeBarron is at home working, while we're here playing.  I can't do it without everyone and my sponsors for making it possible." 


Waters drew the important pole position and won the drag race over Will Thomas III down the long frontstretch at Expo, while Davis made a nice move to pass both Dave Lyon and Alan Dellinger for third on the opening lap.  Mike Pegher, Jr. meanwhile went from seventh to fourth on lap one.  Eighth starting Jason Knowles cracked the top five on lap three when he passed Dellinger.


On lap 11, Waters caught Tony White at the back, which allowed Thomas to close in; however, once by White, Waters stretched his lead back out by lap 13.  Waters had negotiate traffic again on lap 16, but made the right moves as he continued to lead, while Pegher began to challenge Davis for third.  Pegher and Davis ran side-by-side on lap 17 and Pegher had the preferred inside line to make the pass as the two got around the lapped car of Ed Bolyard III racing down the frontstretch. 


Waters had to negotiate traffic once again on lap 19- this time with newcomer Duane Stiers and Brian Knowles.  Pegher's night ended when he slowed on the final lap bringing out the caution.  Pegher was awarded the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night".


The caution set up a one-lap shootout to the finish and gave Thomas one more shot at Waters on the double file restart.  Waters chose the preferred inside line and made it work as he raced on to his fifth career Sweeney Tour win, but ironically first ever in the United States as his four prior have come in Canada at Humberstone and Merrittville Speedways!  The victory for Waters was his fourth overall of the season in RUSH-sanctioned events and came in the Dale LeBarron-owned, Troups Creek Heating/Fox Shocks/Insinger Performance/Sunoco Race Fuel/Fastline Performance/Troups Creek Auto Parks/Renegade Forestry Management/Close Racing Supply/Atkins Appraisal-sponsored #11.


Davis, who was making his first ever Expo start, was able to slip by Thomas on the final lap for second, but had no chance of running down Waters as his bid for three straight Series wins ended.  Thomas, who won the event in 2012, had to settle for third.  It was Thomas' second podium finish in the last three events.



Jason Knowles and Dellinger swapped fourth and fifth on several occasions throughout the event with Knowles taking the fourth spot, which earned him the $100 Precise "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card.  Dellinger was fifth for the second time in the last three events.  Lyon and Bruce Hordusky, Jr. were sixth and seventh in their first ever Expo starts as Brian Knowles, Bolyard ($25 for being the last car on the lead lap), and White completed the top 10 with his first career Sweeney Tour top 10 in his first career Expo start.


Waters and Thomas won the heat races.  Pegher won his third K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash of the season to earn a $100 K&N certificate and also extended his dash championship point lead.  Wilson picked up a $50 K&N certificate for his second place dash finish, while Jason Knowles and Bolyard received an extra $25 cash for finishing third and fourth.


The 5/8-mile Expo Speedway can be an intimidating place.  Last season though Chelsie Kriegisch finished fifth in her first race at the track, which turned out to be her season's best Bicknell Tour finish.  Kriegisch was looking forward to returning to one of her favorite tracks on Wednesday.  And return she did.  Kriegisch made history in several ways after her first career victory in the 15-lap feature event.  Kriegisch became the first ever female to win in the 46-year history of Expo; became the first female to win a crate engine Tour event in the 10-year history of the Northeast; and became the first female winner in the three-year history of the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds!   


"This is incredible and I'm speechless right now," expressed the 22-year-old Ellwood City driver.  "My dad (Randy Kriegisch) and Darin Gallagher set the car up for me tonight- I can't thank them enough, and if it wasn't for my car owner Jerry Schaffer I wouldn't be here.  I also have to thank my sponsors and the guys that help week in and week out."


Kriegisch earned $600 for the Bicknell Tour victory and was named the Maxima Racing Oil "Maximum Performance" award winner.  She was congratulated by many of her fellow competitors including her sister Jessica and car owner Jerry Schaffer, who joined her in the victory lane celebration.  


"I've known these two girls their entire life-  I've watched them grow up and race go-karts," explained Schaffer.  "We were all sitting at Lernerville (Speedway) one night watching and I said to them 'well girls are you ready to race your first big cars?'  Chelsie said 'what do you mean?'  I said 'I'm going to put you in one of those RUSH Modifieds' and she said 'let's do it!'  It's been great and I love it!"


Kriegisch took off in the lead, while Brandon Ritchey passed Kyle Martell for second on the opening lap.  Jeremy Weaver and Kole Holden dropped Martell back two more spots as they took over third and fourth on lap two.  The sixth starting Holden continued to move forward as he passed Weaver for third on lap four.


By lap six, the top three of Kriegisch, Ritchey, and Holden distanced themselves from the field.  One lap later, Holden closed in on Ritchey in the battle for second, while Kriegisch began to pull away at the halfway point.  Further on back, a good battle was taking place for fourth with Weaver trying to fend off Martell and Chas Wolbert. 


As Kriegisch continued to lead and knock off laps, Holden was all over Ritchey on lap 11.  He got alongside on a couple occasions, but Ritchey had the momentum to maintain second.  Rookie racer Preston Cope lost the handle with 12 laps scored to bring out the event's only caution. 


The caution wasn't what Kriegisch wanted to see as her lead was erased and forced a double file restart with two-time Sharon Speedway Bicknell Weekly Series winner, Brandon Ritchey, alongside and Holden, who has wins at Sharon and Lernerville this season right behind.  Kriegisch though had a good restart as she was able to withstand Ritchey's bid for the lead as action resumed.  Ritchey had his hands full with Holden as the two resumed their side-by-side battle this time with Holden prevailing on lap 13.


Holden closed the gap on Kriegisch in the final laps, but would run out of time to mount a challenge as Kriegisch became the amazing 11th different winner in 15 RUSH Sportsman Modified events this season in her Fombell General Store, My Buddy's Outdoor Store, My Buddy's Pet Wash & Car Wash-sponsored #10.


Holden earned the $100 Precise "Pedal Down" hard charger gift card for improving four positions.  Ritchey's third gave him the Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel" honor for rebounding from a tough pill draw to a podium finish.  Weaver was fourth over Martell.  Completing the top 10 were Tiffany Williams, Wolbert, who is the Bicknell Tour point leader, Steve Slater, Brian Schaffer, and Josh Seippel. 


Chelsie's sister Jessica Kriegisch was chosen as the TMB "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient, while Cope was the final car on the lead lap and received a $25 certificate.  Wolbert and Weaver won the heat races.  Williams won her first K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash for a $100 K&N certificate over Slater, who received a $50 K&N certificate, and Seippel and Brian Schaffer, who both earned an extra $25 cash.


The Sweeney RUSH Late Model Tour resumes action this Friday night (July 15) for the first ever appearance at New York's Ransomville Speedway in a $2,000 to-win "Marquee" Event.  Warm-ups are slated for 6:45 p.m.  The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will have a Bicknell Weekly Series event this Saturday at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway.


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #8 (20 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. JOHN WATERS (LeBarron 11)  2. Bryce Davis (94)  3. Will Thomas III (9)  4. Jason Knowles (4)  5. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8)  6. Dave Lyon (14L)  7. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. (3)  8. Brian Knowles (7)  9. Ed Bolyard III (Patrick 05)  10. Tony White (27)  11. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Haseleu RJ1)  12. Duane Stiers (10)  13. Jamie Wrightsman (21J)  14. Eric Wilson (27W).


Car Count: 14
Feature Lap Leaders:
John Waters (1-20)

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Jason Knowles (+4)

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: John Waters

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Mike Pegher, Jr. "Last Car on Lead Lap": Ed Bolyard III


RUSH Late Model Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Thomas  2. Dellinger  3. Lyon  4. Pegher  5. Wilson  6. B. Knowles  7. White.


RUSH Late Model Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Waters  2. Davis  3. Hordusky  4. J. Knowles  5. Bolyard  6. Wrightsman  7. Stiers.


RUSH Late Model K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash (4 laps, $100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Pegher  2. Wilson  3. J. Knowles  4. Bolyard.


Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series Race #4 (15 laps, $600 to-win): 1. CHELSIE KRIEGISCH (10)  2. Kole Holden (2)  3. Brandon Ritchey (17)  4. Jeremy Weaver (35W)  5. Kyle Martell (8)  6. Tiffany Williams (58)  7. Chas Wolbert (c3)  8. Steve Slater (35)  9. Brian Schaffer (41)  10. Josh Seippel (84)  11. Jerry Schaffer (14)  12. Mike Sparks (Smith 3G)  13. Jessica Kriegisch (63)  14. Preston Cope (24P)  15. Will Schaffer (4)  16. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57)-DSQ.


Car Count: 16
Feature Lap Leaders
: Chelsie Kriegisch (1-15)

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Kole Holden (+4)

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance: Chelsie Kriegisch

Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel": Brandon Ritchey

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Jessica Kriegisch "Last Car on Lead Lap": Preston Cope


RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 1 (6 laps): 1. Wolbert  2. Martell  3. Ritchey  4. B. Schaffer  5. Seippel  6. Sparks  7. J. Schaffer  8. W. Schaffer.


RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 2 (6 laps): 1. Weaver  2. C. Kriegisch  3. Holden  4. Williams  5. Slater  6. Cope  7. J. Kriegisch  8. Ehrenberg-DSQ.


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


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.