By Mike Leone


July 24, 2016            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Erie, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series powered by Pace Performance made its second and final visit of the season to Eriez Speedway on Sunday evening.  Despite a period of light rain during the early evening and heavy rains all around the speedway, track officials decided to push on with the show.  Skies cleared and after a delay to get the track in race conditions, the show was completed without a hitch as 33 drivers from all over Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York made the trip in.


In 2015, Max Blair won a Series leading nine feature events in route to the Sweeney Tour Championship.  This year, Blair has focused on his Super Late Model program and has only made limited starts in RUSH Late Model Weekly Series action.  On Sunday evening, Blair made his first Sweeney Tour start of 2016 a winning one dominating the 30-lap feature leading green-to-checkered for the $2,000 victory, and was selected as the Maxima Racing Oil “Maximum Performance” award winner.  Blair became the seventh different Sweeney Tour winner this season joining his father, who won the May 29 Eriez Tour event.  Later in the night, Blair added another $1,500 winning the Super Late Model feature fresh off his career biggest Super Late Model win on Thursday at Stateline Speedway when he won $10,000!


“The competition in this crate class gets better and better every year,” stated the 26-year-old Centerville, Pa. racer.  “It’s a lot of fun racing these tour races.  I wish we could make more of them, but we decided at the beginning of the year we were going to focus on the Super Late Model stuff.  That’s where I hope to be in a few years.  I love racing my crate car and I love racing here.  I have to thank all of my sponsors and without my dad I couldn’t do this.”


Following his K&N Dash win, Blair earned the pole position and took off in the lead over Wayne Robertson, Will Thomas III, and Damian Bidwell.  Bidwell got under and by Thomas in turn four for third on lap three and then raced side-by-side with Robertson for runner-up until the first caution was displayed with five laps scored when three-time Series winner, John Waters, tangled with Alan Dellinger. 


Back under green, Thomas got an excellent restart going from fourth to second, while it was opposite for Bidwell who dropped clear back to seventh.  Eighth starting Brian Knowles became a contender when he passed Robertson for third on lap seven before Robertson got tangled up in a four-car melee in turn two one lap later.  After dropping back to seventh, Bidwell began to make his way back forward as he passed Kyle Zimmerman for fourth when racing resumed then got by Knowles for third on lap nine with ninth starting Jason Genco following in fourth.


After getting back to third, Bidwell resumed his battle with Thomas from earlier in the race as the two raced side-by-side with Thomas continuing to hold the spot.  It was a great race for second as Genco joined in on laps 12 through 14 before Zimmerman slowed bringing out the caution with 14 laps completed.  Five more laps were recorded before a spinning Michael Duritsky, Jr. made contact with the second place car of Thomas when he re-entered the race in turn three.  It was a heartbreaking end for Thomas, who was awarded the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”.


Bidwell inherited second for the restart.  Two more cautions slowed action on laps 20 and 21 before the final nine laps went caution-free as Blair went unchallenged for his Series leading 15th career win in his Specialty Products/Moody & Son Welding/Murphy's Logging/C&J Dairy/L&R Rolloff/Race 1/Genesis Shocks-sponsored #111.  


“The race track is unreal,” explained Blair.  “Boy you could race all over it.  I think the Late Model race is going to be fun to watch too.  Most tracks when you have a rain delay, it turns out bad; you have a rough race track with torn up race cars, but this track is beautiful.  Bob (Rohrer) made a comment earlier about how my dad and I are loyal to this track, but really it’s easy to be loyal to a track when an owner puts this much effort into prepping a track every week.  He has a great track to race on and I wouldn’t think of racing anywhere else- I love this place.”


Bidwell earned $1,000 for second in just his second Sweeney Tour start of the season and first race of 2016 at Eriez.  Genco and Matt Latta swapped the third position on several occasions.  Dave Lyon had spun on the final lap between turns three and four.  The checkered flag was displayed to Blair with the rest of the field going checkered-yellow.  All scoring reverted back to lap 29 so even though Latta crossed ahead of Genco on the final lap it was under yellow conditions as Genco was credited with third and Latta fourth.  Hometown racer Bruce Hordusky, Jr., who is in his first year of touring, matched his season’s best Sweeney Tour finish with a fifth.


After starting 21st and then going to the tail for a spin with five laps completed, Waters worked his way back to sixth place, which earned him the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” hard charger award.  Waters, who is second in points, finished ahead of Sweeney Tour point leader, Bryce Davis, who entered the night a winner of three of the last four races.  Scott Gurdak was eighth.  Jason Knowles came from 18th to ninth over 23rd starting Eric Wilson.  J.J. Mazur made his second straight Sweeney Tour start and finished 13th again as the final car on the lead lap to earn a $25 gift certificate.


Mike Lozowski ended the night leading all six laps of the “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series Non-Qualifier event.  The 39-year-old driver from nearby North East, Pa. earned $175 in his Greenfield Basket Factory/Vinnie’s Pizza/Dave’s Archery/Wagner Rentals/Bob Martin State Farm/Scott Bensink Tax Services-sponsored #41.  Nathan Earle passed Hunter Hulley on lap four to finish second.  Hulley was third over defending two-time “Wheelman” champion, Tony White.


Due to the late start and being on a Sunday night, a mutual decision was made with track officials to cancel Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” qualifying.  Capturing $25 Bobby Lake Motorsports heat races were Mazur, Zimmerman, Brian Knowles, and Latta.  Waters and Jake Gunn won the last chance B mains.  Blair became the seventh different driver to win a K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash and received a $100 K&N certificate beating out Robertson, who earned a $50 K&N certificate.  Thomas and Bidwell received an extra $25 cash for finishing third and fourth.


The previously late added Sweeney Tour “Platinum” event scheduled for August 6 at Winchester (VA) Speedway has been cancelled as the speedway has decided to take the night off due to regional events in the area.  The Sweeney Tour will now resume on Sunday, August 14 with a $2,000 to-win “Marquee” event at Tri-City Raceway Park in Franklin, Pa. for the $30,000+ “Manufacturers Night” presented by MSD Performance.


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #10 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (111)  2. Damian Bidwell (7Teen)  3. Jason Genco (Badgley 29J)  4. Matt Latta (B1D)  5. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. (3)  6. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  7. Bryce Davis (94)  8. Scott Gurdak (Hollabaugh 5G)  9. Jason Knowles (4)  10. Eric Wilson (27W)  11. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8)  12. Justin Lamb (93x)  13. J.J. Mazur (13)  14. Dave Lyon (14L)  15. Brian Knowles (7)  16. Khole Wanzer (01W)  17. Will Thomas III (9)  18. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J)  19. Chad Schauers (28c)  20. Kyle Zimmerman (z17)  21. Clinton Hersh (16)  22. Wyatt Scott (x3)  23. Michael Wonderling (18)  24. Wayne Robertson (20)  25. Jake Gunn (14G.  (Note: Alan Dellinger took a Series provisional)


Non-Qualifier (6 laps, $175 to-win): 1. Mike Lozowski (41)  2. Nathan Earle (17E)  3. Hunter Hulley (09)  4. Tony White (27)  5. Andy Boozel (12B)-DNS  6. Robert Mitcham III (827)-DNS  7. Mike Knight (Harvey 55)-DNS  8. Chad Wright (6)-DNS.


Car Count: 33
Feature Lap Leaders:
Max Blair (1-30)

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: John Waters

Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Max Blair

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Will Thomas III "Last Car on Lead Lap": J.J. Mazur


Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 4 transfer): 1. Mazur  2. Robertson  3. Genco  4. Scott  5. Wonderling  6. Lozowski  7. Knight  8. Boozel  9. Wright.


Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 6 transfer): 1. Zimmerman  2. Blair  3. Lyon  4. Wanzer  5. J. Knowles  6. Waters  7. Mitcham  8. Wilson.


Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 4 transfer): 1. B. Knowles  2. Bidwell  3. Lamb  4. Gurdak  5. Schauers  6. Gunn  7. Dellinger  8. White.


Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 4 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 4 transfer): 1. Latta  2. Thomas  3. Duritsky  4. Hordusky  5. Davis  6. Hersh  7. Hulley  8. Earle.


Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Waters  2. Wilson  3. Lozowski  4. Boozel  5. Mitcham  6. Knight.


Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Gunn  2. Hersh  3. Hulley  4. Earle  5. Dellinger  6. White.


K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (6 laps, $100 K&N certificate to win): 1. Blair  2. Robertson  3. Thomas  4. Bidwell  5. Latta  6. Zimmerman  7. Mazur  8. B. Knowles.


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.