LOGAN ROBERSON SWEEPS THE NIGHT FOR 1ST CAREER PITTSBURGH WIN WORTH MORE THAN $7600 IN "JOOK GEORGE STEEL CITY CLASSIC" FOR HOVIS RUSH LATE MODEL FLYNN'S TIRE TOUR
By Mike Leone
August 6, 2022 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Imperial, PA)...After rain throughout the morning and early afternoon, skies cleared at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway and allowed the 33rd annual "Jook George Steel City Classic" presented by Nex-Gen Outdoor Services for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Dirt Late Model Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants to be held on a humid evening in southwestern Pennsylvania. Thirty-seven teams from seven different states competed in the 13th Flynn's Tire Touring Series event of the season. Special thanks to event coordinator Branden Lockwich, who brought over $20,000 to the event, which was added to the typical RUSH Tour purse thanks to so many gracious sponsors and contributors. For the second straight year, the event was streamed live by Lernerville TV (http://dirt.tv).
Logan Roberson would be hard pressed to find a more perfect night than he experienced on Saturday night. The Flynn's Tire Touring Series points leader set fast time in qualifying, won his FK Rod Ends heat race, picked up the "John Beatty Memorial" Sunoco Dash victory then passed Michael Norris, who had won the last two "Jook George Steel City Classic" events, on lap 30 for his first career Pittsburgh win. Roberson earned a season best $7,639 for his fourth Tour victory of 2022, but first since May 15. While the feature was posted at $6,010 to-win, Roberson collected the $1,000 event contributor bonus from Lockwich and Miley Motor Sports.
"That last restart killed everything it had in me," explained the 24-year-old Waynesboro, VA driver. "Those restarts usually don't go right for me. Kyle (Lukon) was really good and I gave it everything I had. Luckily it worked out tonight. I left Michael (Norris) a lane up there then under red my dad said he flipped and I thought 'oh man that sucks'. I enjoy racing with Michael, Kyle, and Daryl Charlier- they are all respectable racers. They gave me a lane, and I gave them a lane. I have to thank the fans, Branden (Lockwich), Vicki, Mike, even though he sent me back a row on the restart I still like him, the Jook Family, and everyone that made this possible. I really do appreciate it. I wanted to win this race because Branden pours his heart into it, and I hope people keep supporting it."
Charlier used the outside to power into the lead at the start 50-lap feature over pole-sitter Roberson, while Norris passed Kyle Lukon for third. While Charlier and Roberson battled side-by-side for the lead, seventh starting Michael Duritsky, Jr. was on the charge as he blew into third place on lap two. Charlier and Roberson continued their side-by-side battle on laps three and four, while all eyes now shifted to sixth starting Michael Reft, who took over fourth from Norris on lap four. After a caution for Breyton Santee, six cars were involved in a crash in turn one on the restart including second place Tour points man Joe Martin.
On the ensuing restart, Roberson was docked two spots for jumping the restart. When racing resumed, Norris, who had fell back to fifth, had a tremendous restart and raced into the lead; meanwhile, Reft continued to move forward as he overtook Charlier for second. Roberson now had to charge forward as he got by Duritsky then Charlier for third on lap nine. Roberson quickly caught Reft in the battle for second. Lukon started third, but got shuffled back to seventh early on and was on the move. Lukon took fourth from Charlier on lap 12 before a caution for Jeremy Wonderling with 13 laps scored.
When racing resumed, Roberson moved past Reft for second. After back-peddling, Charlier came forward getting by Lukon for fourth on lap 19 then drove around Reft for third on lap 22. Back up front, Roberson began to close in on Norris on lap 23. Lapped traffic came into play for the first time of the event on lap 26 and three laps later Roberson was right on Norris. Roberson made what would be the winning move on lap 30. On lap 31, Roberson ducked under Josh Stoica off turn four to lap him; Stoica tried to avoid contact and moved up the race track. Norris had a big run off the top of turn four and was trying to go around both Stoica and Roberson, but launched off Stoica into the catch fence. Thankfully no one hit Norris, who climbed out of Nico Dabecco's #N1 okay after the horrifying crash. Norris was selected as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient and earned an extra $100.
Under the red flag, Charlier, who had inherited second, had to pit with a flat tire. This moved Lukon to second when racing resumed on lap 32. Roberson and Lukon quickly distanced themselves from the pack, while the battle was on for third between Reft and ninth starting Tim Shaffer. Reft and Shaffer put on a tremendous battle swapping third several times until Shaffer took the spot for good on lap 44.
Lukon got one more shot alongside Roberson on the double file restart with two laps to go, but Roberson was too strong as he took the checkered flag first for his seventh career Tour win by 0.795 seconds in his Gunter's Honey/Clary's Used Cars/RBS Auto/All About Wraps-sponsored #17. Roberson was also able to extend his points lead over Martin in the $15,000 to-win Flynn's Tire Touring Series Championship.
Lukon, who won a Weekly Series event at Pittsburgh 14, earned $3,000 for his season's best Tour finish beating his third place from Lernerville on July 22. "The initial start of the race I was inside of him (Roberson) and Daryl (Charlier) and I don't think he knew I was there and I had to get on the brakes," explained the 32-year-old Burgettstown, Pa. standout. "I was sideways and fell all the way back to seventh, drove up to third or fourth, fell back to sixth, then came back up and got to second when Daryl had the flat under red. We were good, but the driver made a few too many mistakes and that was it. I feel like if I could catch it right, I was just as good or better than Logan, but like I said I made more mistakes than him. I'm pretty pumped to run well in these big shows and get second tonight against the region's best and some of the best in the country. Overall it was a good night for us and hopefully everyone enjoyed the show."
Shaffer's third place easily bested his prior career best Tour finish of sixth in the "Herb Scott Memorial" July 18, 2020. Shaffer earned $1,800 for third plus a $888 bonus from the Charlier Family "in memory of Tub Charlier" for being the highest finishing rookie racer of the "Jook George Steel City Classic" bringing his winnings to $2,688!
"That was a blast and what a race with Mike Reft," expressed the 55-year-old Aliquippa, Pa. National Sprint Car Hall of Famer, who won his first career RUSH Late Model Weekly Series event on July 9 at Pittsburgh. "To run clean and give each other room- that means everything. I really enjoy this; this is fun for me, and there's not a lot of pressure. I'm excited to run third against this group of cars; it's a big accomplishment for me. This is so different for me. There's a lot of changes on these cars. That's what is fun for me learning how to set them up and get them to work. This is by far the best car I've had. I was actually driving it instead of it driving me. You learn every time you're on the track. I'm still racing Sprint Cars, but fortunate enough to race this car 11 times this year. In the past, I'd race three times a year and it was a 2009- this is a Rocket XR1."
Making his first RUSH start since 2016, central Ohio's Justin Chance drove an impressive race going 22nd to fourth giving car owner Phil Lukon two top four finishes! Chance earned $1,500 plus the Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger, which was worth a $50 gift card plus $100 from Joe Wojcik and Michele Karas in his first start aboard the second Lukon #184 entry.
After getting as high as second, Reft dropped back to fifth at the finish for $1,400 giving him two top fives in both Pittsburgh Tour races this year. After pitting three times, Martin was able to salvage a sixth place effort worth $1,300 for his 11th top 10 in 13 Tour races. Ben Policz was seventh for $1,150 plus the $107 from Scott Gunn "in memory of Dave & Mary Lynn Nicholas". Duritsky dropped to eighth for $1,100. Dan Lepro had a solid run going 17th to ninth for $1,050 and was the lucky recipient of the $110 drawing from Nex-Gen Outdoor Services. Charlier came back for 10th after his flat tire and earned $1,000 plus $110 from the George Family "in memory of Jook George".
"Futures Cup" points leader, Philip Bubeck, was 12th and earned an extra $200 from All Interior Painting bringing his winnings to $950. Cole Petrelle was 13th and received a spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic plus an extra $200 from Erika Ulrich at Edward Jones Investments for running 11th on lap three.
Making her first ever Tour start, Kayla McManus drove around Jim Rasey on lap two and drove away to win the caution-free 12-lap Non-Qualifier worth $500. The 21-year-old Elizabeth, Pa. racer took the checkered flag first by a commanding 3.676 seconds in the Centerline Motorsports, Three Rivers Karting/Gable Inn-sponsored #00K. McManus become the amazing 60th different Non-Qualifier winner in 72 races run all-time, but first ever female victor! Fourth starting Noah Brunell passed Rasey on lap seven to finish second. Rasey dropped to third, but received a $100 gift card from Performance Bodies for being the first feature non-qualifier as he continues to lead the D&V Jewelers "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series points. Kassidy Kamicker, the second female in the race, was fourth over Tom Klein.
Roberson earned his leading fifth $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying award with a lap of 19.193 and received an extra $100 from Our Cars Auto Detailing & Tire Service. Picking up $25 FK Rod Ends heat races victories were Roberson, Reft, Petrelle, and Policz. Roberson's third Sunoco Dash victory earned him the usual $100 Sunoco gift card, but also $404 cash "in memory of John Beatty" from the Beatty Family. Jake Gunn and Chance captured the $50 last chance B main wins.
Duritsky, Lepro, and Norris picked up an extra $100 in the random draw for racers that contributed to the event, while Tour drivers Cody Dawson and Martin won $100 Sunoco fuel cards. The $50 Sunoco fuel cards went to Brunell, Bill Kessler, and James Loar.
The Flynn’s Tire Touring Series will now be off until Sunday, September 4 for the first ever event in the state of West Virginia at Tyler County Speedway for the "Cider Jug 40" paying $4,000 to-win part of the "Hillbilly 100" with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model "Jook George Steel City Classic" for the Flynn’s Tire Touring Series Race #13 (50 laps, $7,010 to-win): 1. LOGAN ROBERSON (17) 2. Kyle Lukon (184) 3. Tim Shaffer (45) 4. Justin Chance (Lukon 184C) 5. Michael Reft (9R) 6. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 7. Ben Policz (14B) 8. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 9. Dan Lepro (2L) 10. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 3RK) 11. Garret Paugh (03) 12. Philip Bubeck (4) 13. Cole Petrelle (84) 14. Matt Latta (21) 15. Jake Gunn (14G) 16. Zach Gunn (17G) 17. Colby Beighey (36) 18. Braeden Dillinger (14) 19. Josh Stoica (Petrelle 84s) 20. Michael Norris (Dabecco N1) 21. Brandon Burgoon (Chernik 5x) 22. Dave Goble (20G) 23. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 24. Ashton Briggs (11A) 25. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 26. Breyton Santee (9). (Note: Ashton Briggs took a Tour provisional & Josh Stoica a Track provisional)
D&V Jewelers Non-Qualifier (12 laps, $500 to-win): 1. Kayla McManus (Centerline 00K) 2. Noah Brunell (31) 3. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 4. Kassidy Kamicker (72B) 5. Tom Klein (77) 6. Joe Squatriglia (15x) 7. James Loar (62) 8. Andy Spooner (85) 9. Jonathan Stockdale (31). DNS: Bill Kessler (9), Cody Dawson (36).
Car Count: 37
Feature Margin of Victory:
Feature Lap Leaders: Daryl Charlier (1-5), Michael Norris (6-29, 31), Logan Roberson (30, 32-50).
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Cole Petrelle
Performance Bodies “Nosed Out”: Jim Rasey
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger ($100 from Joe Wojcik & Michele Karas): Justin Chance (+18)
Precise Racing Products 5-Gallon Race Jug: Logan Roberson
Sunoco Fuel Card Winners: Cody Dawson ($100), Joe Martin ($100), Noah Brunell ($50), Bill Kessler ($50), Kyle Lukon ($50), James Loar ($50)
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night” ($100): Michael Norris
Rookie of the Race presented by Charlier Family ($888): Tim Shaffer
Nex-Gen Outdoor Services Drawing ($110): Dan Lepro
Branden Lockwich Contributor Drawings ($100): Michael Duritsky, Jr., Dan Lepro & Michael Norris
Leader on lap 10 "In memory of Jook George" presented by George Family ($110): Michael Norris
11th place on lap 3 presented by Erika Ulrich at Edward Jones Investments ($200): Cole Petrelle
7th place "In memory of Dave & Mary Lynn Nicholas" presented by Scott Gunn ($107): Ben Policz
10th place "In memory of Jook George" presented by George Family ($110): Daryl Charlier
12th place presented by All Interior Painting ($200): Philip Bubeck
Close Racing $100 certificate: Jeremy Wonderling
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying presented by Our Cars Auto Detailing & Tire Service ($200 for fast time) (Track record 18.652 by Daryl Charlier on 7/3/21): 1. 17R-Logan Roberson, 00:19.193; 2. 3RK-Daryl Charlier, 00:19.201; 3. 184-Kyle Lukon, 00:19.269; 4. 14D-Braeden Dillinger, 00:19.334; 5. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr, 00:19.417; 6. 9R-Mike Reft, 00:19.426; 7. 84P-Cole Petrelle, 00:19.447; 8. 184C-Justin Chance, 00:19.498; 9. 14G-Jake Gunn, 00:19.607; 10. 5X-Brandon Burgoon, 00:19.644; 11. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:19.723; 12. 14B-Ben Policz, 00:19.752; 13. 42D-Tony Musolino, 00:19.873; 14. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:19.883; 15. 77-Tom Klein, 00:19.932; 16. 20G-Dave Goble, 00:19.939; 17. 45-Tim Shaffer, 00:19.948; 18. 03-Garret Paugh, 00:20.022; 19. 21L-Matt Latta, 00:20.069; 20. 36-Cody Dawson, 00:20.075; 21. 2L-Dan Lepro, 00:20.075; 22. 9S-Breyton Santee, 00:20.126; 23. 4B-Philip Bubeck, 00:20.133; 24. 36B-Colby Beighey, 00:20.143; 25. 11A-Ashton Briggs, 00:20.289; 26. 00K-Kayla McManus, 00:20.300; 27. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker, 00:20.314; 28. 17G-Zach Gunn, 00:20.316; 29. 21J-Jim Rasey, 00:20.318; 30. 31B-Noah Brunell, 00:20.321; 31. 84S-Josh Stoica, 00:20.344; 32. N1-Michael Norris, 00:20.368; 33. 31-Jonathan Stockdale, 00:20.694; 34. 15X-Joe Squatriglia, 00:20.781; 35. 9K-Bill Kessler, 00:21.070; 36. 62-James Loar, 00:21.284; 37. 85S-Andy Spooner NT.
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 17R-Logan Roberson; 2. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr; 3. 45-Tim Shaffer; 4. 42D-Tony Musolino; 5. 2L-Dan Lepro; 6. 14G-Jake Gunn; 7. 11A-Ashton Briggs; 8. 21J-Jim Rasey; 9. 31-Jonathan Stockdale.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 9R-Mike Reft; 2. 3RK-Daryl Charlier; 3. 5X-Brandon Burgoon; 4. 10S-Joe Martin; 5. 03-Garret Paugh; 6. 00K-Kayla McManus; 7. 31B-Noah Brunell; 8. 15X-Joe Squatriglia; 9. 9S-Breyton Santee.
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 84P-Cole Petrelle; 2. 184-Kyle Lukon; 3. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 4. 21L-Matt Latta; 5. 4B-Philip Bubeck; 6. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker; 7. 84S-Josh Stoica; 8. 77-Tom Klein; 9. 9K-Bill Kessler.
FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 14B-Ben Policz; 2. N1-Michael Norris; 3. 14D-Braeden Dillinger; 4. 20G-Dave Goble; 5. 17G-Zach Gunn; 6. 36B-Colby Beighey; 7. 85S-Andy Spooner; 8. 184C-Justin Chance; 9. 62-James Loar; 10. 36-Cody Dawson.
Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A, $50 to-win): 1. 14G-Jake Gunn; 2. 9S-Breyton Santee; 3. 21J-Jim Rasey; 4. 00K-Kayla McManus; 5. 31B-Noah Brunell; 6. 31-Jonathan Stockdale; 7. 11A-Ashton Briggs; 8. 15X-Joe Squatriglia.
Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A, $50 to-win): 1. 184C-Justin Chance; 2. 36B-Colby Beighey; 3. 84S-Josh Stoica; 4. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker; 5. 77-Tom Klein; 6. 9K-Bill Kessler; 7. 85S-Andy Spooner. DNS: 62-James Loar, 36-Cody Dawson.
"John Beatty Memorial" Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $404 to-win plus $100 Sunoco fuel card): 1. 17R-Logan Roberson; 2. 3RK-Daryl Charlier; 3. 184-Kyle Lukon; 4. N1-Michael Norris; 5. 84P-Cole Petrelle; 6. 9R-Mike Reft; 7. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr; 8. 14B-Ben Policz.
2022 "Jook George Steel City Classic" Contributor List: All Interior Painting, Beatty Welding, Ben Policz, Bill Kessler, Billy Laurick, Bob Bentz, Close Racing Supply, Bob Siemon, Bonnie Lepro, Bryan Hoffman, Bryant Hank, Castleveter Landscaping, Centerline Motorsports, Charlier Racing, Close Racing Supply, Cole Petrelle, Curtis Stivasion, Dale Charlier, Dan Lepro, Dana George, Darren Ferguson, Derek and David Charlier, Dobs Auto, Don Gamble, Donny , Doug Clark, Doug Smith, Erika Ulrich at Edward Jones Investments, Fred K, Garret Paugh, Gary Heeman, Hendren Racing Engines, Hoods up Quicklime, Imperial Heights Garage, Jake Gunn, Jason Banish, Jeremy Wondering, Joe Wojcik and Michele Karas John with Daryl's crew, Jook George Family, Josh Harvey, Justin Lamb, Kamicker Racing , Keith Donnelly, Ken Chernik, Keystone Couch Works, Kristin Beatty, Kurt Thompson, Kyle Lukon, Lacie Thomas, Linda Kane, Logan Crewl, Logan Roberson, Matt Knupp, Matt Latta, Michael Duritsky, Mike Reft, Mike Smyzchek, Nate Langer , Nick and Zunic, Our Cars Auto, PCS, Pete and Kim Lockwich, Pete Loria, Philip Bubeck, Rocket Chassis (Steve Baker), Rohrich, Ron Hall, Rons Barber Shop, RUSH Racing Series, Russ Kolesar, Russ Rech, Rusty Drain, Schwartzmiller Transport, Sherry Charlier, Shining Rides Detailing, Ted Feitt, Tim Shaffer, Tom Klein, Tom Snyder, Tony Musolino, Trevor Herr, Troy Holtgraver, Will Thomas Motorsports, Zachary Yost, and Zarin Truck & Auto.
The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage, Wedge Motorsports, 3C Graphix, D&V Jewelers, DrumPreserve, CrateInsider.com, Marthinsen & Salvitti Insurance Group and Terry Bowser Excavating.
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. The RUSH Late Model website is www.rushlatemodels.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.