MAX BLAIR DOMINATES SHARON SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL TOUR FOR 2ND WIN & SPEEDWEEK TITLE; BOBBY WHITLING WINS SWEENEY/PACE GM 604 ENGINE
By Mike Leone
July 20, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Hartford, OH)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series was finally able to wrap up the “Cross the Borders” Speedweek on Saturday night at Sharon Speedway despite heavy morning rains and a rain delay just before the heat races. Originally scheduled for July 6, the “Sweeney Night” saw drivers compete from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New York, Maryland, and Ontario, Canada as Bobby Whitling was selected as the lucky recipient of the GM 604 engine presented by Sweeney and Pace Performance of Boardman, Ohio!
Max Blair dominated the 30-lap feature event joining Mike Pegher, Jr. as the Tour’s only repeat winners after 11 events. Four late race restarts with Pegher alongside were all that slowed Blair to victory. It was a big night for Blair as the victory was worth $2,000 plus an additional $1,000 for being crowned the “Cross the Borders” Speedweek Champion!
“I wasn’t sure if it was enough to win the Speedweek points or not,” acknowledged the 23-year-old Centerville, Pa. driver. “I knew it had to be close. That was real tough luck for Ryan (Montgomery), but we had a tough night last Saturday at Pittsburgh so one bad night out of five is how it goes I guess. I’ve raced here a bunch and without a doubt hands done this was the nicest this place has ever been. You could move around and lap race cars and use parts of the track you normally can’t here. Whatever you did tonight, keep doing it! ”
Via his K&N Dash victory, Blair quickly raced out to the lead as Pegher was able to pass Matt Latta for second. Latta was third after one lap, while defending track Will Thomas III got by Ryan Montgomery on the opening lap for fourth. Thomas continued moving forward taking third from Latta on lap two.
Blair began extending his lead on lap four as he pulled
away from the pack, while Thomas began pressuring Pegher for second. Blair had
a three-second lead built up when he caught lapped traffic on lap 10. The
lapped cars didn’t slow Blair at all and in fact was able to increase his lead
to four seconds over Pegher at the halfway point.
Pegher was able to break away from Thomas, while Thomas had his hands full in intense battle for third as Latta, Montgomery, and Jorden Peters were putting the heat on Thomas. After 23 non-stop laps, Jason Rider, who was making his second Tour start, spun to bring out the first caution. Two more laps were completed before another caution when Peters went up in smoke.
Latta and Montgomery were really going at it for fourth as Montgomery had taken the spot on lap 25 before the caution. When racing resumed, it appeared the two made contact on the restart and a 13-car pileup ensued in turn one. Most of the cars would resume including Montgomery, but it was a tough break for the West Virginia teen, who entered the night as the Speedweek point leader and would end up losing the title by just five points.
Three more laps were completed until the event’s final caution when Bobby Pifer III and Montgomery got tangled up. It was Pegher’s last shot at Blair, but Blair wasn’t to be denied as he held off Pegher in the final two laps by 0.734 of a second in his Specialty Products/Moody & Son Welding/Wescoat Excavating/Bobby Lake Motorsports/Genesis Shocks/VP Racing Fuels-sponsored #111 Rocket Chassis.
The victory was Blair’s first win of the season at Sharon and sixth of his career. It was Blair’s fifth top five in just six Tour starts this year and propelled him up four positions to 10th in the standings. It was also Blair’s eighth RUSH-sanctioned win of the season as he garners important points toward the $5,000 to-win Sweeney Weekly Series and $3,000 to-win Pace “Summer Chase” Championships.
“Anytime Mike is second you have to be worried and be on your toes,” stated Blair. “Nobody in the country restarts better than he does, but I think we’re catching him on the restart game. I couldn’t do any of this without my dad- he makes it all possible. He actually left his car at home so we could focus on my car to win the Speedweek for the third year in a row. I have to thank all of my sponsors and crew because without them I couldn’t do it.”
Pegher’s second was worth $1,000 and was his eighth top five Tour finish extending his point lead. Pegher entered the night just five points up on Rick Singleton, but Singleton was unable to make it after several flat tires on his way to the speedway and dropped to fourth in points. “We missed the setup a little bit, but we’ll take a second- we’re happy with it,” acknowledged the Wexford, Pa. driver. “I was a little too loose all over the track. There was more traction on the bottom and I knew I had to get there or I was probably going to get passed.”
Drivers finishing third through fifth all recorded their best Tour finishes of the year including Thomas, Dan Angelicchio and 15th starting Eric Wilson. Justin Tatlow came from 22nd to finish sixth and earned his first Precise Racing Products $100 “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card. Rocky Kugel was seventh after starting 13th crossing the finish in front of Rider, Matt Glanden, and 19th starting Nico Dabecco. Kugel, Rider, and Dabecco also earned their best Tour finishes of the season!
Bobby Whitling finished 11th in the feature, but his night will be remembered for winning the GM 604 engine valued at over $5,500 compliments of Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC and Pace Performance. The 40-year-old Franklin, Pa. driver couldn’t have been more thrilled as he was planning on putting a second car together and the new engine couldn’t have come at a better time! Whitling joins past winners Ben Black (2011) and Paul Jablonski (2012) as winners of the engine giveaway at Sharon.
Andrew Wylie was awarded The Brake Man’s “Tough Brake of the Night”. Wylie was slated to start fourth, but had an issue just as the field was slated to take the green. Wylie restarted on the tail and used the outside to work his way to seventh and appeared headed for a top five finish, but got collected in the 13-car accident ending his night.
Bobby Lake Motorsports heat race winners were Thomas, Montgomery, and Pegher, who all received $25. Thomas picked up an additional $100 for the Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” fast qualifier with a lap of 16.570. Blair became the amazing 11th different K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash winner in as many dashes this season! He received the $100 K&N certificate, while Latta received the $50 K&N certificate for second, and Pegher and Wylie $25 cash for finishing third and fourth respectively.
While Blair (471 points) captured his third straight $1,000 “Cross the Borders” Speedweek title, the following nine drivers will share the additional $2,000 point fund: Montgomery (466), Pegher (455), Martin (420), Glanden (409), Singleton (364), Tatlow (339), Chad Ruhlman (335), Butch Lambert (329), and Latta (323).
The third of 10 TurboStart 16-V Racing Battery giveaways was won by Joey Valenti. The giveaway was a combination between the July 5 Lernerville and originally scheduled July 6 Sharon event. The battery is valued at over $250!
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #11 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (111) 2. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 3. Will Thomas III (9) 4. Dan Angelicchio (14) 5. Eric Wilson (27W) 6. Justin Tatlow (81) 7. Rocky Kugel (21KRT) 8. Jason Rider (Wade 76) 9. Matt Glanden (01) 10. Nico Dabecco (Karalagas 15D) 11. Bobby Whitling (7W) 12. Ryan Montgomery (12) 13. Brian Booher (Hoover 00H) 14. Butch Lambert (27) 15. Bobby Pifer III (6P) 16. W.L. Stile (1W) 17. Matt Latta (21) 18. Jorden Peters (11P) 19. Andrew Wylie (84) 20. Josh Holtgraver (00) 21. Joe Martin (55) 22. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 23. Brad Blackshear (19) 24. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 25. Clay Ruffo (14R)-DNS 26. Josh Double (38)-DNS.
Feature lap Leaders: Blair (1-30)
Margin of Victory: 0.734
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Justin Tatlow (+16)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Andrew
Sweeney/Pace GM 604 Engine Giveaway: Bobby Whitling
TurboStart 16-V Battery Giveaway: Joey Valenti
Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Time Trials ($100 for fast time): 1. Will Thomas III 16.570 2. Ryan Montgomery 16.580 3. Jorden Peters 16.650 4. Andrew Wylie 16.683 5. Max Blair 16.698 6. Mike Pegher, Jr. 16.729 7. Josh Holtgraver 16.751 8. Bobby Whitling 16.836 9. Matt Latta 16.841 10. Josh Double 16.847 11. Brian Booher 16.908 12. Nico Dabecco 16.969 13. Jason Rider 16.992 14. Dan Angelicchio 16.998 15. Matt Glanden 17.003 16. Clay Ruffo 17.026 17. Eric Wilson 17.032 18. Jamie Wrightsman 17.045 19. Butch Lambert 17.089 20. Joe Martin 17.104 21. Rocky Kugel 17.166 22. Bobby Pifer III 17.174 23. W.L. Stile 17.190 24. Justin Tatlow 17.236 25. Dennis Lunger, Jr. 17.270 26. Brad Blackshear 18.044.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win) 1. Thomas 2. Wylie 3. Holtgraver 4. Rider 5. Ruffo 6. Lambert 7. Lunger 8. Pifer 9. Double.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Montgomery 2. Blair 3. Angelicchio 4. Whitling 5. Booher 6. Wilson 7. Martin 8. Stile 9. Blackshear.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Pegher 2. Latta 3. Peters 4. Glanden 5. Kugel 6. Wrightsman 7. Dabecco 8. Tatlow.
K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps/$100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Max Blair 2. Matt Latta 3. Mike Pegher, Jr. 4. Andrew Wylie.
The next event for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series will be Friday (July 26) at for the $2,000 to-win April 20 make-up event at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in Markleysburg, Pa. with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
2013 RUSH 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 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.