8 DIFFERENT SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL WINNERS IN 8 RACES; 1ST EVER RUSH WIN FOR REFT WHILE ROOKIE LEDINGHAM WINS CAREER 1ST AT HUMBERSTONE; SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND FOR RUSH MODS
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
August 11, 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)... The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model and Sportsman Modified Series sanctioned speedways were awarded with another great weekend of racing during the August 7-9 weekend as all but two tracks were able to complete their programs. Eight different speedways hosted Late Model events, while two hosted events for the Sportsman Modifieds and there were no repeat winners!
Action got underway on Friday night in Delevan, New York at Freedom Motorsports Park where Olean, NY’s Randy Hall captured his fifth win of the season keeping him in the hunt for the Sweeney Weekly Series title. John Waters, Adam Sixt, Andy Michaels and Brad Mesler completed the top five. This Friday (August 14) the RUSH Late Models will be a part of a full night of racing action as Freedom Motorsports Park welcomes the 6A Mini Sprint Tour.
The #9R of Michael Reft has been a contender all season for a victory in the Precise Racing Product RUSH Late Models at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. Saturday night he was no longer just a contender. Reft took over the 20-lap feature event on lap four and never looked back. He did it while holding off a number of this season’s previous winners. Once he got out front, he was dominant, holding off the likes of Josh Holtgraver, Colton Flinner, Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr., and Ben Policz, each of whom has multiple wins this season. The victory ended a long winless drought for Reft; in fact, the win was his first ever in RUSH-sanctioned competition.
This Saturday, the RUSH Late Models will be a part of the card which features the Super Late Models in the special 35-lap “Red Miley Rumble” along with the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, which will return in a complete Bicknell Weekly Series program in addition to the July 11 make-up feature.
Darin Henderson scored his third win of the 2015 campaign at VA's Winchester Speedway in the 20 lap RUSH Late Model feature on Saturday night. The second starting Henderson took over the top spot by lap one and led the 21-car field to victory. "It's been a rough couple of months," said Henderson, who stood in victory lane for the fifth time this season. "We wrecked this car the last time out at Potomac (Speedway) and the guys worked their guts out getting this thing ready and to win the first time back out with it is just awesome." Transton Stoner took the runner-up spot, with Bilstein Bandits member Kris Eaton, Steve Lowery and Ben Bowie completing the top-five. The RUSH Late Models return to action at Winchester on August 22.
Fulton Speedway was in action on Saturday night as well and the RUSH Late Model feature race was a real crowd pleaser. In the 20-lap event, Jason Occhino led the first two laps, only to trade places with Alan Fink for a lap. A caution period bunched up the field on lap nine. When the green was displayed again, Occhino, Fink, Dave Talbot, Kevan Cook and Sean Beardsley were running in a tight pack. Occhino set sail with five to go while the rest of the bunch was so close for the finish that it took the AMB scoring to determine the finishing order. When it was all sorted out, it was Occhino winning for the second time over Fink, Talbot, Beardsley and Cook making up the top five. Action returns to Fulton this Saturday with $20 Car Load Night.
The RUSH Late Models made their annual appearance at New York's Woodhull Raceway on Saturday night. The event offered Sweeney Weekly Series, Pace "Summer Chase", and "Futures Cup" points. Wayne Robertson, a driver that has a lot of experience at the high banks at Woodhull picked up his first RUSH victory of 2015 in just his second start. Jason Knowles, Jeremy Wonderling, Scott Waters, and Mike Wonderling completed the top five.
Brighton Speedway hosted the Southern Ontario Sprints last Saturday night as the RUSH Late Models only competed in a dash for cash. Five RUSH entries were in attendance competing for the $500 purse. When the checkers flew over the 10-lap shootout, Kyle Sopaz bested Brandon Mowat, who he passed for the lead on lap six and held on for the win. After Mowat, it was Steve Baldwin, Phil Potts and Nathan Bosma. The RUSH Late Models return to action at the Brighton, Ontario speedway this Saturday for a full program.
Nick Ritchey was the last driver to beat Greg Martin back on June 20 at Sharon Speedway before Martin went on a tear winning three straight features in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. On Saturday night, Ritchey out-dueled Jordan Eck and held off a charge from 15th starting Martin for his second 15-lap feature win. Ritchey also has three wins at Sportsman's Speedway.
Eck was disqualified in post-race tech for a carburetor violation moving point leader Martin to second. Earlier in the night, RUSH Officials confiscated Martin's $135 Bilstein sealed, spec shocks for further testing and gave him four new ones. "Futures Cup" point leader, Kole Holden, was third. Michael Kristyak continues to improve. Two weeks ago he matched a career best finish in eighth and bettered that last week with a fifth and did one better Saturday in fourth! Brandon Ritchey also turned in his best career Sharon finish in fifth. The "410" Sprint Cars highlight the August 15 program at Sharon, while the Sportsman Modifieds have the night off. The RUSH Late Models and Sportsman Modifieds will both be on the card at Sharon on August 22.
Rookie Colton Ledingham has definitely turned a lot of heads this year in Sweeney RUSH competition in Canada this season. He's finished fifth in both Canadian Insinger/Sunoco Tour events at Merrittville and Humberstone and was coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes at Humberstone. On Sunday evening at Humberstone, the 17-year-old hometown Port Colborne, Ontario driver pulled off his first career win! Ledingham started outside the top five and raced his way to the lead taking the top spot away from Rob Pietz on lap 10 and pulled away for the win putting a stop to track dominator and nine-time winner, Dennis Lunger, Jr. Pietz was second over Brighton regular Brandon Mowat, who made his first ever appearance. Sam Pennacchio was a season best fourth with Kyle Sopaz, another Brighton regular completing the top five in his first ever appearance as well.
Double Duty Max Blair took home two feature wins on Sunday night at Eriez Speedway as he checkered both the Super Late Models and the RUSH Crate Late Models. Blair and Jason Genco brought the field to green for the RUSH feature for the second straight week which included a couple of yellow flag periods and one red for the car of Mike Lozowski getting on his roof in the early going. Lozowski was uninjured and action got underway again and after another caution, Blair held onto his lead, his fifth of the season. Following Blair was Matt Latta, Genco, Mike Knight and Kyle Zimmerman. The RUSH Late Models will be off the next weeks and will return to the schedule at Eriez on August 30.
Bradford Speedway opened their gates for the second time under the new ownership of Norm Asel and completed the trifecta of Sunday night tracks. In an early race pass for the lead, Damian Bidwell got around the early leader Garrett Mott. After a couple of cautions, Bidwell held off Jeremy Wonderling in an ironic reversal of the prior Sunday's feature. John Waters, Mott and Mikey Wonderling were third through fifth. Bidwell is fifth in the Sweeney Weekly Series points just one behind fourth place Randy Hall and only two behind third place Dennis Lunger, Jr.
The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified Series held its second annual "Manufacturers Night" on Sunday for the first time at Sportsman's Speedway in Knox, Pa. Over $11,000 in product prizes were distributed to the Series racers for this event presented by MSD Performance in addition to the increased purse Bicknell Racing Products Weekly Series event for the "Sam and Bonnie Colwell Memorial"
After two early cautions in the 25-lap feature, thing settled down and the record 16-car field put on a tremendous race. Fourteenth starting Greg Martin, who pitted after being caught up in one of the early race accidents, charged through the field to make a late race pass of Jerry Schaffer and held off Rocky Kugel for the $500 win. Schaffer dropped to third over Larry Kugel Nick Ritchey. The Mods will be back at Sportsman's this Sunday with racing at 5 p.m.
Potomac and Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex were both rained out. The RUSH Late Models were off at Can Am Motorsports Park and Wayne County Speedway. The RUSH Late Models will return on Friday night to Can Am and on Saturday at Wayne County. Tri-City Raceway Park in Franklin, Pa. will host a doubleheader for the RUSH Late Models with a Sweeney Weekly Series event on Saturday night paying $800 to-win followed by the rescheduled $2,000 to-win "Bill Emig Memorial" on Sunday in an Insinger/Sunoco Northern Touring Series event. Path Valley Speedway Park in Spring Run, Pa. will host their first ever Sweeney RUSH Weekly Series event on Friday night paying $600 to-win, $100 to-start with many contingencies posted as well.
Current RUSH Late Model point leaders are Max Blair in the Sweeney Weekly Series, Bazell/Sunoco Southern Tour, Insinger/Sunoco Northern Tour, and combined Sweeney Tour points; Bryan Davis leads the Pace Performance “Summer Chase” and Clinton Hersh leads the “Futures Cup” points, while Charlie Sandercock leads the “Bilstein Bandits”. In the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Greg Martin leads the Bicknell Weekly Series points, while Larry Kugel leads the Bicknell Tour, and Kole Holden leads the Bicknell “Futures Cup”.
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, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, 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, CrateInsider.com, 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
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