JOHN WATERS DOMINATES INSINGER/SUNOCO NORTHERN TOUR SWEENEY RUSH $2000 “CANADIAN NAT’L LATE MODEL CHAMPIONSHIP” FOR 2ND STRAIGHT YEAR AT HUMBERSTONE
By Mike Leone
July 19, 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Port Colborne, ON)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series headed back across the border for the second time this season in an Insinger Performance/Sunoco Race Fuels Northern Touring Series event, but this time for the Series’ only appearance at Humberstone Speedway. Despite in upwards of a 70% chance of thunderstorms, the rain went all around the Port Colborne, Ontario facility allowing the fourth annual “Canadian National Late Model Championship” to be completed on a cool and breezy Sunday evening.
Series point leader Max Blair won the first two “Canadian National Late Model Championship” events; however, in 2014, John Waters, a newcomer to the Series, put a stop to Blair’s streak. On Sunday evening, Waters left little doubt he’s now the driver to beat at the racey 1/3-mile dominating the night winning his heat, the K&N dash, and the 30-lap, $2,000 to-win feature for the second straight year! It’s been a great weekend for Waters, who debuted a new car on Friday night and won the Sweeney Weekly Series event at New York’s Freedom Speedway.
“We’ve struggled and struggled on this touring stuff,” acknowledged the 34-year-old Whitesville, New York racer. “I know the car has been good. This is a brand new car, but the other one is just as good that got tore up at Expo on Wednesday. I just haven’t caught any breaks and tonight we did and this is great. I have to thank Dale LeBarron. He’s here tonight with his boy racing. He gives me everything I need, and we needed this tonight. I want to thank all the fans for coming out. I’m glad we stopped old Dennis Lunger from winning and could bring this win home tonight for the guys with the stout competition here.”
Waters quickly opened up a lead on lap three pulling away from the Terry Suppa team cars of Randy Hall and Ward Schell. Sixth starting Bryce Davis moved into the top five on lap four then grabbed fourth from Colton Ledingham the following lap. Waters stretched his lead to a straightaway on lap six and the lead grew to a near half-lap by the time he caught traffic on lap eight; meanwhile, Davis ducked under Schell for third.
As the laps continued to tick off under green flag racing, Waters’ lead was 6.5 seconds on lap 10. Davis continued his way to the front taking second from Hall with a pass down the backstretch on lap 11 before the event’s first caution when Steve LeBarron and W.L. Stile tangled. When racing resumed, Hall and seventh starting Jason Knowles made contact sending both racers off the backstretch, but both were able to continue without necessitating a caution.
Four more cautions slowed action between laps 12-15 before things settled back down with green flag racing for the next 12 laps. Waters again pulled away from the pack when racing resumed. Ledingham was on the move taking fourth from Schell on lap 17 and third from Dennis Lunger, Jr. on lap 20. One more caution slowed action on lap 27 for Rob Pietz, who had a rough night. Earlier in the event, Pietz nearly flipped over and somehow drove away from the accident. Pietz was awarded the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”.
Davis had a final shot alongside Waters for the double file restart with three laps to go, but was no threat as Waters drove off to his second career Sweeney Tour win with both of course coming at Humberstone. The win was Waters’ fourth overall in RUSH competition in 2015 as he has three Sweeney Weekly Series wins at Freedom in the Dale LeBarron-owned, Troups Creek Heating/Fox Shocks/Insinger Performance/Sunoco Race Fuel/Fastline Performance/Troups Creek Auto Parts-sponsored #11. With his simply dominating performance all night long, Waters was chosen as the Maxima Racing Oils “Maximum Performance” award winner.
Davis’ runner-up finish was worth $1,000 and cut eight points into Blair’s lead in the $4,000 to-win Insinger/Sunoco Northern Touring Series Championship. Davis now is a perfect four-for-four with top 10 finishes in those events including a win at Freedom.
“Our car was pretty good, but I didn’t have anything for Waters,” stated the 24-year-old Hornell, NY racer. “He walked away from us with a straightaway lead in three or four laps. We had a good point night and gained on Max (Blair). Hopefully over the next few nights we can gain on him a little bit more. I have to thank my dad, who puts a ton of time into this car, my fiancé, my daughter, all of the guys at home all week long- they are a huge help, and my sponsors.”
Lunger, who entered the night a winner in seven of the eight Sweeney Weekly Series events at Humberstone, crossed the finish in third with a late race pass of Ledingham for his worst finish of the season in RUSH competition at the Port Colborne oval.
“We broke the upper control arm on lap 10 and I couldn’t steer this thing,” revealed the 47-year-old Albion, Pa. veteran, who also lost the gears during the dash and was a DNF. “It was a bear out there. This is a little tackier than I’d like to see this place. I’m not used to it this fast, but we’ll be back next week to see what we can do. I’m really happy with a third with all these good cars here.”
After dropping off the backstretch just prior to the midpoint of the race, Hall battled back to fourth for his first top five of the season in Sweeney Tour events this year. After getting as high as third, Ledingham dropped back to fifth at the finish, which matched his finish in the Tour event on May 18 at nearby Merrittville Speedway. It was a good night for the 16-year-old rookie, who also set fast time in $100 Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” qualifying with a lap 16.800 over Waters.
It wasn’t a typical night for Blair, but nonetheless salvaged a sixth place finish to maintain his point lead in all three Sweeney Touring Series title chases for the $10,000 sweep. Blair only qualified 14th fastest out of the 20 cars, finished fifth in his heat, then suffered a flat tire in the feature after running outside of the top five.
The Knowles brothers finished seventh and eighth as Jason crossed the finish line ahead of Brian. Schell, who won the other $25 Bobby Lake Motorsports heat race, dropped to ninth over Paul Grigsby, who received a $25 gift certificate from CrateInsider.com for being the last car on the lead lap. Ken Winfield finished 13th and received the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card for advancing the most positions in the feature.
Waters became the 10th different K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash winner in as many dash events run in 2015 and received a $100 K&N certificate bringing his night’s cash and contingencies total to $2,300! Schell earned a $50 K&N certificate for his runner-up finish, while Hall and Lunger picked up an extra $25 cash for finishing third and fourth respectively.
The next Sweeney Tour events will be the make-up feature and non-qualifier from July 3 at Lernerville Speedway for the Bazell/Sunoco Southern Touring Series this Friday, July 24 followed by the $1,500 to-win Insinger/Sunoco Northern Touring Series race on Sunday at Eriez Speedway part of the $40,000 “Manufacturers Night”.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Insinger Performance/Sunoco Race Fuels Northern Touring Series Race #4 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. JOHN WATERS (LeBarron 11) 2. Bryce Davis (94) 3. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 4. Randy Hall (Suppa 4s) 5. Colton Ledingham (19JR) 6. Max Blair (111) 7. Jason Knowles (4) 8. Brian Knowles (7) 9. Ward Schell (Suppa s4) 10. Paul Grigsby (24) 11. Tim Gillespie (15) 12. W.L. Stile (1W) 13. Ken Winfield (82) 14. Rob Pietz (69) 15. Steve LeBarron (29) 16. Sam Pennacchio (311) 17. Luke Carleton (97c) 18. Eric Wilson (27W) 19. Dusty Waters (14W) 20. Jeff Dayman (44).
Car Count: 20
Feature Lap Leaders: John Waters (1-30)
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Ken Winfield (+5)
Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: John Waters
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Rob Pietz
CrateInsider.com "Last Car on Lead Lap": Paul Grigsby
Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. Colton Ledingham 16.800 2. John Waters 16.959 3. Ward Schell 16.983 4. Dennis Lunger, Jr. 17.059 5. Randy Hall 17.115 6. Bryce Davis 17.133 7. Eric Wilson 17.207 8. Jeff Dayman 17.338 9. Jason Knowles 17.376 10. Brian Knowles 17.520 11. Rob Pietz 17.523 12. Ken Winfield 17.531 13. W.L. Stile 17.749 14. Max Blair 17.871 15. Paul Grigsby 18.219 16. Sam Pennacchio 18.431 17. Dusty Waters 18.556 18. Tim Gillespie 19.049 19. Steve LeBarron 19.273 20. Luke Carleton 19.606.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (10 laps, $25 to-win): 1.Schell 2. Hall 3. Ledingham 4. J. Knowles 5. Pietz 6. Stile 7. Grigsby 8. D. Waters 9. Wilson 10. LeBarron.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (10 laps, $25 to-win): 1. J. Waters 2. Lunger 3. Davis 4. B. Knowles 5. Blair 6. Dayman 7. Gillespie 8. Carleton 9. Winfield 10. Pennacchio.
K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps): 1. John Waters 2. Ward Schell 3. Randy Hall 4. Dennis Lunger, Jr.
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 Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.