By Mike Leone


August 17, 2013             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Hartford, OH)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series competed Saturday night at Sharon Speedway for the fourth of five visits during the 2013 racing season.  Event #14 of 25 was the third annual “Gary Knollinger Memorial” held at the beautiful, state-of-the-art Hartford, Ohio oval.  Gary’s parents Gary Sr. and Bev along with former crew chief John Seyler were on hand.  Seyler paced the field with Knollinger’s former #38K.

What a night it was for Ryan Montgomery!  The 16-year-old Fairmont, West Virginia Series star made it a clean sweep of the “Gary Knollinger Memorial” setting fast time, winning his heat race, picking up his first K&N dash win then earning his third Tour win of the season in the 30-lap feature!  The win was far from easy as he had to pass standout Max Blair and hold him off in the thrilling finish.  All told, Montgomery’s night was worth $2,125 plus the $100 K&N certificate and the beautiful Knollinger Memorial trophy.


“This is my first sweep,” expressed the happy winner.  “I was close at Roaring Knob last month getting all but the dash.   I didn’t actually get to meet Gary (Knollinger), but I heard a lot about.  He was someone if you broke a hub he’d give a guy a part off his car to race, which is amazing.  I’m glad they have the race for him.  The lapped car was a bit of a problem.  My right rear tire was going away.  He (Blair) had a hard tire on so he could run through the black.  The caution really helped me.  It cooled our tires off and let my tire fire faster than his.  I was getting me sideways in the last couple laps so I was trying to run down in the corner as hard as I could to get it to coast around so it all worked around.”


Via his dash win, Montgomery took off in the lead, while Blair passed Matt Latta for second on the opening lap as Will Thomas III and Josh Double filled out the first five after one lap.  On lap three, Blair closed on Montgomery, while Thomas did the same on Latta.  Blair really put the heat on Montgomery putting a nose under the leader on several occasions especially racing off turn four.  They were side-by-side on lap eight as Montgomery held the lead, but on the following lap Blair made the pass for the lead in traffic to lead lap nine.

Blair began pulling away on lap 12 and by the halfway point opened up a 1.5 second lead as the laps ticked off caution-free.  Thomas continued to put the heat on Latta, but just couldn’t find a way by.  Blair dealt with heavy lapped traffic on laps 16-18, but continued his advantage.  The complexion of the event changed when Andrew Wylie went up in smoke with 21 laps scored erasing Blair’s big lead. 


When racing resumed, Thomas made the pass on the outside to grab third before a six-car accident in turns three and four with 22 laps scored.  Back under green, Montgomery stayed with Blair the entire lap and had the momentum off the outside of turn four to lead lap 23.  Seventh starting Mike Pegher, Jr. entered the mix taking fifth from Josh Double on lap 25 then one lap later passed Latta for fourth.


The final laps saw Montgomery and Blair race side-by-side to the thrilling finish with Montgomery holding on by just 0.181 of a second in the Jeff Montgomery-owned, T.J. Contracting/High Gear Speed Shop/Mountain State Plumbing/Central Supply/Bobby Lake Motorsports/Frankland Rearends/Genesis Racing Shocks-sponsored #12. Two events ago at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex, Pegher edged out another standout in Pegher by just 0.132 of a second!  It was also Montgomery’s third career Sharon win. 

Blair was second for the second straight event, and after a late start on the Sweeney Tour, has moved into the top 10 in points.  “That was a lot of fun,” acknowledged the Centerville, Pa. runner-up.  “We just can’t catch a break the last couple weeks; seems like nothing is going our way.  I had a great race car.  I think I was a touch better than him, but he timed that restart just right.  That’s all part of racing.  It took me a few laps to get going.  I couldn’t go on the restarts like he could.  I was just hoping for no cautions after I cleared that last lapped car as I had a lot of clear space, but sure enough it came out.  That’s just how it’s been going, but we’re still getting good finishes so we’ll get back on track and keep going.”


Thomas matched his third place finish at the Sweeney Tour event last month at Sharon with another show position and received an extra $25 from the Knollinger Family. “I thought earlier in the day we might have something for these guys, but third place is just how it seems to go for us in Tour races,” explained the Sharpsville, Pa. 2012 Sharon champion.  “We’re going to get one one of these days here.  We had a really good car.  I might have made the wrong chassis decision right before the race, but Max and Ryan really did a good job.  It was great racing for the fans.  I feel honored to compete in this race.  I didn’t know Gary, but I heard a lot of great things about him.”


Pegher was fourth and leads the Sweeney Tour points by 24 over Montgomery.  Latta’s fifth was his best Tour finish of the season and advances two spots in points to 13th.  Josh Double was sixth.  Expo Speedway Tour winner, Russell King, was seventh driving for Bob Diver again.  Dennis Lunger, Jr. was eighth and also received an extra $25 from the Knollinger Family.  Jason Rider and Rocky Kugel completed the top 10. 


After starting 21st and getting caught up in an accident, Butch Lambert came back to finish 11th to earn his first $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card of the season.


Montgomery’s fast lap in Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” qualifying was a 17.019 to earn $100 then went out and won Bobby Lake Motorsports heat race one for another $25.  Other Bobby Lake Motorsports $25 heat race winners were Latta and Thomas.  Montgomery became the amazing 14th different K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash winner of the season!  Latta earned a $50 K&N certificate for second, while Blair and Thomas picked up $25 cash for third and fourth. 


Bobby Whitling was selected as The Brake Man’s “Tough Brake of the Night” after a heat race scrape, transmission problems, and more allowed him to only make one lap in the feature.  Last time at Sharon, Whitling won the $5,500+ GM 604 engine from Sweeneys and Pace Performance.


The next events on the Sweeney Tour will be the huge $50,000 “End of Summer Blowout” as Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway hosts the $30,000 “Manufacturers Night” with a $1,500 to-win feature on Saturday, August 31 then two days later a $2,000 to-win event at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex with the $20,000 NDRL “King of Dirt”.

Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #14 “Gary Knollinger Memorial” (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. RYAN MONTGOMERY (12)  2. Max Blair (111)  3.Will Thomas III (9)  4. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c)  5. Matt Latta (21)  6. Josh Double (38)  7. Russell King (Diver 23)  8. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L)  9. Jason Rider (Wade 76)  10. Rocky Kugel (21KRT)  11. Butch Lambert (27)  12. W.L. Stile (1W)  13. Eric Wilson (27W)  14. Joe Martin (55)  15. Cody Dawson (36)  16. Rick Singleton (Enyeart 99*)  17. Lon Emerick (3)  18. Jamie Wrightsman (21J)  19. Joel Prosser (77)  20. Russell Byler (Hoover 00H)  21. Andrew Wylie (84)  22. Tim Cole (9T)  23. Bobby Whitling (7W).


Feature Lap Leaders: Montgomery (1-8), Blair (9-22), Montgomery (23-30)

Margin of Victory: 0.181
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Butch Lambert (+10)

The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Bobby Whitling
Gary Knollinger Memorial $25 Bonuses: Will Thomas III & Dennis Lunger, Jr.


Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock Qualifying” ($100 for fast time): 1. Ryan Montgomery 17.019  2. Matt Latta 17.043  3. Will Thomas III 17.047  4. Jason Rider 17.214  5. Josh Double 17.216  6. Rocky Kugel 17.285  7. Max Blair 17.306  8. Jamie Wrightsman 17.372  9. Dennis Lunger, Jr. 17.375  10. Bobby Whitling 17.492  11. Russell King 17.552  12. Eric Wilson 17.673  13. Mike Pegher, Jr. 17.818  14. W.L. Stile 17.836  15. Joe Martin 17.864  16. Cody Dawson 17.885  17. Joel Prosser 17.946  18. Russell Byler 18.032  19. Rick Singleton 18.464  20. Lon Emerick 18.491  21. Andrew Wylie 18.570  22. Butch Lambert 18.668  23. Tim Cole 19.403.


Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win) 1. Montgomery  2. Blair  3. Pegher  4. Rider  5. Singleton  6. Whitling  7. Dawson  8. Lambert.


Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win) 1. Latta  2. Double  3. King  4. Wrightsman  5. Prosser  6. Stile  7. Emerick  8. Cole.


Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win) 1. Thomas  2. Wilson  3. Lunger  4. Kugel  5. Martin  6. Wylie  7. Byler.


K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps/$100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Ryan Montgomery  2. Matt Latta  3. Max Blair  4. Will Thomas III.


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.