PACE “SUMMER CHASE” NEARING CONCLUSION; METHENY & PIETZ WIN 1ST CAREER SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL EVENTS
By Mike Leone & Jim Zufall
August 20, 2014
(Pulaski, PA)… Another great weekend for the member tracks of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series was completed. Of the eight member tracks, six of them had the RUSH Late Models on the card for their respective race nights in addition to the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified event at Raceway 7.
While the Sweeney Weekly Series Championship for the RUSH Late Models continues through the month of September, one of the Series’ other programs, the Pace Performance “Summer Chase”, is set to conclude following the Labor Day Weekend. Fifty-six drivers qualified for the nine-week chase, which began on July 1, by either being in the top 10 of the RUSH points at a weekly-sanctioned speedway or the Sweeney Tour points.
The program looks at drivers’ average point score for all races competed in during the time period. Eight completed events are mandatory to be eligible for the $10,000 plus point fund, which will award $3,000 to the champion and down to $500 for 10th. Currently, Rick Singleton leads the standings with an average point score of 109.67. The Front Royal, Virginia racer has competed in six events so far with wins at Sharon and Roaring Knob, a second place finish at Roaring Knob, and three third place finishes at Lernerville, McKean, and Roaring Knob.
Completing the top 10 currently are Will Thomas III, Troy Shields and Nolan Dalton (tie), Darin Henderson, Alan Dellinger, Daryl Charlier, Max Blair, Ben Bowie, and Josh Holtgraver. So far, none of the top 11 drivers in points have completed the required eight events with two weekends remaining. Jeremy Wonderling, who is in 12th in points with a 104.13 average, is the highest point man that has completed the required minimum just ahead of a tie between Chad Ruhlman and Ward Schell.
Before the weekend got underway, the McKean County Raceway held a special Thursday night race event for the second week in a row as the event was part of the 109th annual McKean County Fair featuring the Sweeney Touring Series. When the dust had settled it was Bryce Davis taking his first Sweeney Touring Series victory of the season. While Davis managed to lead every lap, he had to contend with perennial winners Blair and Singleton, both of whom started well outside the top ten. There was no doubt that Davis felt the pressure applied by Blair. “When I saw him (Blair) get by me on that one restart I thought 'oh shit here we go', but thank God the yellow came out and I was glad we got to lap 25,” said the Hornell, New York driver. "We got a bad start on that one and had it gone green and I hadn't gotten another shot at him, I don't know if I'd have won.”
McKean is off until Saturday, August 30 when the hugely popular “RUSH Manufacturer’s Night” is part of the evening with a $1,500 to-win Sweeney Tour event along with the Patriot 360 Sprints. The next night (Sunday, August 31), the Sweeney Tour will make its maiden voyage to Ohio’s Wayne County Speedway for another $1,500 to-win event in an event highlighted by the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars.
The weekend began at Freedom Speedway where Adam Sixt added his first Freedom win of the season to his already stellar season, which included a $1,000 win the Thursday before at McKean. Sixt has been pulling in a number of high finishing positions, and his 66 point cushion for the lead shows it. Sixt was followed on Friday by Bill Holmes, Jamie Brown, Schell and Garret Stephen. With only three race nights to go in the RUSH Late Model division, Sixt has a good chance to wrap up the title and be the first champion of the RUSH Series at Freedom. The RUSH Late Models are back in action at Freedom Speedway this Friday along with all other regular divisions.
The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds made their second and final visit of the season to Conneaut, Ohio’s Raceway 7. It was the 12th race of the inaugural season for the 602 crate division. New York’s Dave Conant, Jr. made his second Series start of the season and won for the second time backing up his victory on July 4 at Lernerville Speedway. Series point leader Adam Hilton was second over Rocky Kugel, Jeremy Paup, and Ken Moy, Jr.
At Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway on Saturday night, the speedway paid tribute to former promoter Red Miley with the running of the eighth annual “Red Miley Rumble” for the Super Late Models. The RUSH Dirt Late Models were on the card as well and Josh Holtgraver charged to the front, took the lead from Ron Hall, and went on for his second win, but first since April 19. Charlier finished in the runner up position over point leader Nico Dabecco, Justin Lamb fourth, early leader Hall.
This Saturday night is one of the bigger nights for the RUSH Late Models at PPMS with the running of the “Jook George Classic,” a race that pays tribute to long-time car builder Jook George. George was one of the most respected car builders in the business in western Pennsylvania and this is the track’s way of honoring him. The RUSH Late Models will be competing for a $1,010 first place payoff in additional to other prizes. Racing begins at 7 p.m.
Saturday night at Sharon Speedway, it was former track champion Will Thomas III taking the feature win- his first since a three win tear in late spring. In a reversal of last week where Thomas tracked down Alan Dellinger only to come up 0.005 shy, Thomas held off Dellinger despite a couple late race restarts to win by 1.266. It was another good run for Dellinger with the $135 Bilstein “sealed” spec shocks. Bryan Salisbury was third in his first appearance of the season over Canadian Jordan Peters and Ben Black.
Sharon Speedway returns to action this Saturday with a RUSH doubleheader featuring both the Late Models and Sportsman Modifieds. One lucky Sportsman Modified racer will win a brand new GM 602 engine from Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC/Pace Performance, valued at over $3,200!
Saturday night at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex, 30 cars were on hand for the “Sprout Cossell Memorial” that was to feature twin 15s. Kingwood, West Virginia’s Corey Metheny took the victory in the first feature for his first career RUSH win. Singleton, Shields, point leader Michael Lake and Nolan Dalton were second through fifth.
The second feature was rained out and will be made up this Saturday night along with another regular program. Lake has a rather commanding 148 point lead coming into the home stretch at Roaring Knob with only five more weeks of racing to decide the title.
As always, Port Colborne, Ontario’s Humberstone Speedway finished out the weekend for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series. Front row starter Rob Pietz took control of the RUSH Late Model feature over pole-sitter Jeff Dayman and held on for his first career RUSH victory despite pressure from Jorden Peters, who recorded his fourth straight top three finish at the Canadian track. Rob Ledingham was third as Dayman dropped to fourth over Luke Carleton. Peters holds a slim lead over Paul Grigsby and Rob Ledingham heading into the final five race night so of the season.
Both Mid-Atlantic speedways of Potomac and Winchester didn’t have the RUSH Late Models scheduled due to World of Outlaw Late Model events. Winchester will have RUSH on the card this Saturday night. RUSH will be off again at Potomac until Sunday, August 31, which will be the track’s final race of the season for RUSH.
You can follow the latest news from both series by going to www.rushracingseries.com. Current point leaders are Ryan Montgomery-Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series, Chad Ruhlman-Sweeney RUSH Late Model Weekly Series, Michael Lake-“Futures Cup”, Rick Singleton-Pace “Summer Chase” for Late Models, and Adam Hilton leads the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.
RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Bilstein Shocks, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Driven Racing Oil, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, Utsinger’s Towing, B.R.A.K.E.S., 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.