By Mike Leone


July 24, 2015            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Sarver, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series returned to Lernerville Speedway on Friday night for a doubleheader program featuring the Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Late Model Touring Series along with the Bicknell Race Products Sportsman Modified Touring Series.  The Late Model portion completed their preliminaries back on July 3 when 38 cars were on hand, while the Sportsman Modifieds ran a complete program with a record 16 cars competing.  For the second straight year, Sweeney/Pace Performance gave away a GM 602 engine, and this year with a complete belt drive system from Jones Racing Products upping the value to over $4,400.  The lucky winner was Kole Holden.


Defending Touring Series Champion, Ryan Montgomery, came out of nowhere in the closing laps to steal his first Tour win of 2015 away from John Waters, who dominated the first 21 caution-free laps in search of his second straight win.  Montgomery's impressive run to the front for the $1,200 win came from the 11th starting spot and also earned him the Maxima Racing Oils "Maximum Performance" Award.


"I thought it was over when John slid me in one and two," acknowledged the 18-year-old Fairmont, West Virginia driver.  "I figured he was better, he was out front, and rolling.  I was spinning my tires off turn two and off turn four.  I'm definitely not a cushion runner so I stayed on the bottom and that worked out apparently.  I backed out of it in turn two or I was going over the hill or was going to take us both out.  I knew I had to slide him off four.  That was my only chance or his momentum was going to kill me.  I tried my darndest and it worked out perfectly!  We've been struggling all year, but finally won last Friday and now tonight so hopefully we can keep it going." 


After a dominating win last Sunday at Canada's Humberstone Speedway, Waters quickly took charge of the feature using the outside to power past pole-sitter Daryl Charlier with Corey McPherson following in second.  Sixth starting point leader, Max Blair, looked fast as he moved into fourth after one lap then passed Charlier for third on lap two.  Blair ran down McPherson on lap four and the two raced side-by-side for second on lap five with McPherson holding on.


Waters pulled away every lap and then was in lapped traffic on lap eight as the laps ticked off caution-free.  The top three distanced themselves from the field, while the battle was on for fourth with Charlier trying to fend off Kyle Lukon, Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr., and Alan Dellinger.  On lap 11, McPherson got sideways in turn two; Blair made contact, but was able to keep going and went by McPherson for second with Charlier following in third.  This allowed Waters to stretch his lead out.


Charlier caught up to Blair on lap 13 and the two raced side-by-side on lap 14.  Charlier nosed ahead for the runner-up spot on lap 17, but Blair reclaimed it on lap 19 in lapped traffic.  Charlier's fine run ended when he brought out the event's only caution for a flat tire and was awarded the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night".   


It turned out to be a killer caution for Waters, who appeared headed for his second straight Tour win.  Montgomery, who wasn't even a factor for over half of the event found himself in fourth on the restart.  With Waters choosing the outside, that put Montgomery on the inside of the second row.  Montgomery found bite on the bottom and put a slider on Waters to lead lap 22; however, Waters didn't go away returning the favor with a slide job to lead the 23rd lap.  Montgomery wasn't about to let this one slip away as he regained the lead on lap 24 and led the final two laps. 


The victory was Montgomery's seventh career Sweeney Tour win, but first since July 12 of last year at Pittsburgh in his only win of the season in the T.J. Contracting & Custom Homes/Montgomery Homes/Central Supply/Genesis Shocks/High Gear Speed Shop/Bobby Lake Motorsports/Warrior Race Cars/Ultra Light Brakes/Frankland Rear Ends-sponsored #12.


The last four laps saw the top positions swapping at a furious rate.  Alan Dellinger raced his way from the 13th starting spot to back up his runner-up at Expo at his last event on July 15 in the $135 Bilstein Shocks.    "I just need to start in the top six one time here," said the 51-year-old Hermitage, Pa. veteran standout.  "I've started 22nd, 23rd, and now 13th, but we keep creeping closer to the front.  I think I might of showed my hand on the bottom and he (Montgomery) moved down in front of me, but he was a lot better than I was on the bottom.  It wasn't even slippery for him.  I'm happy with second." 


Waters dropped to third, but it was another good point night for the Whitesville, New York driver, who was making his third start with a brand new car after winning a Sweeney Weekly Series event last Friday at Freedom Motorsports Park then backed it up with the Tour win last Sunday at Humberstone.


"I saw I had a decent lead, but I was having trouble getting through traffic and passing the lapped cars," explained Waters.  "It would have been tough I think for someone to come up and pass me.  That was tough, but it was fun racing there with Ryan, Alan and all of those guys.  That was awesome.  I just wish it would have been better for us, but if I was going to get beat that's two wonderful people to get beat by.  We'll get ready for Sunday (Eriez)."


Schirnhofer made his way to fourth after starting 12th, also on the $135 Bilstein sealed, spec shocks.  Blair dropped to fifth, but continues his lead in the Bazell/Sunoco Southern Tour, Insinger/Sunoco Northern Tour, and the combined Sweeney Tour points for the $10,000 sweep.


McPherson fell to sixth.  Jason Knowles came from 21st to seventh to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card.  Matt Latta had a good run from 20th to eighth.  Russ Byler and Eric Wilson completed the top 10.  Charlier was also the last car on the lead lap and received a $25 gift certificate from  Jennae Piper received the ARbodies "Nosed Out" nose kit for being the first non-qualifier.      


Back on July 3, heat race winners were Bobby Whitling, Waters, McPherson, and Blair.  Michael Lake and Steve Beatty won the two last chance B mains, but neither returned to compete in the feature.  On July 3, Dellinger won his first K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash and received a $100 certificate.  Josh Holtgraver was second to earn a $50 K&N certificate, while the third and fourth place finishers of Steve Lowery and Jeremy Shaffer, who made his first ever RUSH start, received an extra $25 cash.


Making his first RUSH Sportsman Modified start since winning the season opening Sweeney Weekly Series event at Lernerville on May 1, Adam Hilton returned to capture his first ever Bicknell Touring Series event win by dominating the 20-lap feature for the $600 prize.  Hilton started from the sixth starting spot and also earned the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card.


"I appreciate what RUSH is doing going to all of these different tracks," stated the 32-year-old Buffalo, New York driver.  "I'm glad to see all these guys coming out.  Sixteen cars is a good field.  I love this place.  It's all about trying things.  Last night in New York I got in a big wreck and wasn't able to try anything so I put in the standard old setup in the first time I ran here and it worked.  This means a lot.  I have a DIRTcar Series win now I have a RUSH Series win so this ranks up there.  Thanks to Sweeney for all they do for this Series- that's a great sponsor.  For them to come up with that engine- that's a big take away for us guys plus all of the add-ons" 


Jordan Eck led the opening lap before rookie Brandon Ritchey used the outside off turn four to lead lap two.  Hilton meanwhile started sixth and was up to third after one lap.  On lap three it was three-wide for the lead with Hilton taking charge before a caution for Rocky Kugel and Kole Holden.  Back under green, this time it was three-wide for second with Ritchey maintaining the spot over Eck and Jerry Schaffer. 


By lap five, Hilton began to stretch his lead out, while Nick Ritchey was on the move.  Ritchey started fifth and passed both Eck and his cousin Brandon for second on lap six.  Brandon Ritchey would spin giving up third to Eck.  Two more cautions were all that slowed Hilton to his third career win at Lernerville and eighth overall in RUSH-sanctioned events in his Roar Logistics/MVP Network Consulting/Indiana Sugars/Performance Manufacturing-sponsored #3A.


Nick Ritchey was 3.223 seconds back in runner-up in his Bicknell Tour debut.  Larry Kugel came from eighth to finish third for the second straight Tour race and took over the point lead.  Rocky Kugel raced back through the pack to finish fourth and was awarded the Sherwood Racing Wheels "Man of Steel"
 honor.  Holden made his way back to finish fifth and remained second in the Bicknell Tour points.  Completing the top 10 were rookie Justin Shea, Jim Bryce, Schaffer, and Josh Deems. 


Though he didn't pick up the feature victory, Holden left Lernerville as the night's biggest winner.  The 16-year-old Tiona, Pa. driver is a go-kart graduate and is in his first full year of Modified racing after making a couple starts in the "358" small-block division last year.  Holden made the decision late in the winter to join the RUSH Sportsman ranks and the decision has paid off.  Holden has a victory at Sportsman's and leads both the Sweeney Weekly Series and Futures Cup points, and now was the big winner of the $3,600 GM 602 engine from Sweeney/Pace Performance that was dressed out by Jones Racing Products with a complete drive system adding another $850 onto the value.  Sweeney/Pace rep, Steve Mezz, again brought the engine, paced the field, and did the drawing. 


Will Schaffer crossed the finish line in 12th and was the final car on the lead lap to earn the $25 gift certificate.  Chelsie Kriegisch, who couldn't keep her car at full power all night long and failed to finish the race, received the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" Award.


Jerry Schaffer and Brandon Ritchey won the heat races.  Rocky Kugel won his first K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash and earned a $100 K&N certificate beating out Jessica Kriegisch, who received a $50 K&N certificate.  Shea and Deems finished third and fourth and will receive an extra $25 cash.


The next Tour event for the Late Models will be Sunday at Eriez Speedway part of the $40,000 "Manufacturers Night" in a $1,500 to-win Insinger/Sunoco Northern Tour race.  The Sportsman Modifieds next Bicknell Tour event will be Sunday, August 9 at Sportsman's Speedway for their "Manufacturers Night" in the "Sam and Bonnie Colwell Memorial".


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Touring Series Race #8 (25 laps, $1,200 to-win): 1. RYAN MONTGOMERY (12)  2. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8)  3. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  4. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. (8)  5. Max Blair (111)  6. Corey McPherson (Betz 60c)  7. Jason Knowles (4)  8. Matt Latta (21)  9. Russ Byler (Hoover 00H)  10. Eric Wilson (27W)  11. Kyle Lukon (84)  12. Bobby Whitling (7w)  13. Brian Knowles (7)  14. Steve Lowery (48)  15. Andrew Wylie (84)  16. Eric Andrus (54)  17. Daryl Charlier (12)  18. Clay Ruffo (14R)  19. Lon Emerick (3)  20. Mike Anderson (72)  21. Jeremy Shaffer (16)  22. Chris Frank (49)  23. W.L. Stile (1W)  24. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J)  25. Tony White (27)  26. Jamie Wrightsman (21J)  27. Josh Holtgraver (00)-DNS  28. Chuck Recker (6R)-DNS  29. Michael Lake (Yowler 27)-DNS  30. Steve Beatty (B4)-DNS.


DNQ: Jennae Piper (14), Zack Kane (10), Mark Moats, Jr. (15), Joe Sylvester (8), Russell Baird, Jr. (17), Bryan Hoffman (15), Rob Marhefka (99FM), Michael Reft (9R).


Car Count: 38

Margin of Victory: 0.418
Feature Lap Leaders:
John Waters (1-21, 23), Ryan Montgomery (22, 24-25)

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Jason Knowles (+14)

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Ryan Montgomery

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Daryl Charlier "Last Car on Lead Lap": Daryl Charlier

ARbodies "Nosed Out": Jennae Piper


RUSH Late Model Heat 1 (10 laps, Top 5 transfer to A): 1. Whitling  2. Wrightsman  3. Wilson  4. Dellinger  5. Ruffo  6. Sylvester  7. Baird  8. J. Knowles  9. Reft  10. Piper.


RUSH Late Model Heat 2 (10 laps, Top 5 transfer to A): 1. Waters  2. Wylie  3. Montgomery  4. Holtgraver  5. Frank  6. Anderson  7. Stile  8. Andrus  9. Duritsky  10. Lake.


RUSH Late Model Heat 3 10 laps, Top 5 transfer to A): 1. McPherson  2. Charlier  3. Byler  4. Shaffer  5. B. Knowles  6. Latta  7. Beatty  8. Kane  9. White.


RUSH Late Model Heat 4 (10 laps, Top 5 transfer to A): 1. Blair  2. Lukon  3. Schirnhofer  4. Lowery  5. Recker  6. Emerick  7. Marhefka  8. Moats  9. Hoffman.


RUSH Late Model Last Chance B Main 1 (10 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. Lake  2. Stile  3. Andrus  4. Piper  5. Duritsky  6. Sylvester  7. Baird  8. J. Knowles  9. Reft  10. Anderson-DSQ (no scales)


RUSH Late Model Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. Beatty  2. Latta  3. White  4. Kane  5. Moats  6. Emerick  7. Hoffman  8. Marhefka.

RUSH Late Model K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash
(4 laps): 1. Alan Dellinger  2. Josh Holtgraver  3. Steve Lowery  4. Jeremy Shaffer.


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modifieds Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series Race #2 (20 laps, $600 to-win): 1. ADAM  HILTON (3A)  2. Nick Ritchey (77N)  3. Larry Kugel (0)  4. Rocky Kugel (6R)  5. Kole Holden (2)  6. Justin Shea (14s)  7. Jim Bryce (30X)  8. Brandon Ritchey (17)  9. Jerry Schaffer (14)  10. Josh Deems (9D)  11. Joe Plesniak (89)  12. Will Schaffer (4)  13. Jessica Kriegisch (Schaffer 28)  14. Chelsie Kriegisch (Schaffer 10)  15. Jordan Eck (1M)-DSQ (light)  16. Steve Burns, Jr. (70B)-DSQ (seals).


Car Count: 16

Margin of Victory: 3.223 seconds
Feature Lap Leaders:
Jordan Eck (1), Brandon Ritchey (2), Adam Hilton (3-20)

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Adam Hilton (+5)

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Adam Hilton

Sherwood Racing Wheels “Man of Steel”: Rocky Kugel

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Chelsie Kriegisch "Last Car on Lead Lap": Will Schaffer


RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. J. Schaffer  2. Hilton  3. Eck  4. L. Kugel  5. R. Kugel  6. Shea  7. Plesniak  8. W. Schaffer.


RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. B. Ritchey  2. N. Ritchey  3. Holden  4. Bryce  5. J. Kriegisch  6. Deems  7. C. Kriegisch  8. Burns-DSQ.


K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps): 1. Rocky Kugel  2. Jessica Kriegisch  3. Justin Shea  4. Josh Deems.


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, Crate Innovations Inc., Velocita-USA, 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, MSD Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, VP Racing Fuels, FK Rod Ends, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Velocita-USA, Precise Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, K&N Filters, TBM Brakes, Lincoln Electric,, Rocket Racing, 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.