HOLMES WINS 1ST EVER SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL EVENT; DELLINGER WINS #3 ON $135 BILSTEIN SEALED SHOCKS; PACE “SUMMER CHASE” NEARING COMPLETION
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
August 28, 2014
(Pulaski, PA)…While a couple tracks were off last weekend, the weather cooperated for the most part as all scheduled Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Weekly Series action for both the Late Models and Modifieds were completed with the exception of Saturday night at Virginia’s Winchester Speedway.
Just one weekend now remains for the Pace Performance “Summer Chase” that kicked off July 1 and continues through Labor Day for top 10 RUSH Late Model member racers in track points and Sweeney Tour points. The best point average in all races competed (eight minimum) in during this timeframe will determine the top 10 points paying positions with $3,000 to the champion down to $500 for 10th. Virginia’s Rick Singleton made himself eligible with the eight required races as he leads the points with a 109-point average.
While the “Pace Chase” wraps up this coming weekend, still four weeks remain in the Sweeney Weekly Series Championship for the Late Models. Chad Ruhlman continues to lead those points, which pays $5,000 to-win, over fast-closing Singleton, who would like to sweep both titles like Max Blair did last year.
Sweeney Weekly Series action got underway Friday night at Freedom Speedway. When the 20-lap feature was over, it was Bill Holmes in car number #8H holding the trophy for the first time this year and the first time as a winner in the RUSH Dirt Late Model Series! Holmes held off Brad Mesler, Scott Waters, Ward Schell and point leader Adam Sixt. Sixt currently holds a comfortable lead of 80 points heading into action this Friday night, which also features the Patriot Sprint Tour paying $1550 to win.
A packed pit area full of 117 cars greeted fans at Sharon Speedway on Saturday night, and for the third straight week, the weather cooperated after a month of rainouts earlier in the season. Action in the RUSH Late Model portion of the night saw Alan Dellinger returning to victory lane for the second time in three weeks. Dellinger continues to impress with a dominating performance, his third win using the $135 Bilstein “sealed” spec shock option that is beginning to gain popularity in a division that has over 300 cars in the region.
Dellinger liked the nearly caution free 20-lapper that saw him take the win by a half-track. “The green-to-checkered always helps,” explained Dellinger in victory lane. “I didn’t want to let Will (Thomas) get a shot to beat me on the restart. He always seems to do that! We were good and I wasn’t even running it as hard as she goes. I was just trying to save that left rear.”
Dellinger took an early lead in the feature event and never looked back in the race that was only slowed by a single yellow flag on the opening lap. With plenty of racing behind him, he stretched out his lead and left the race for the runner up spot well behind. The victory was Dellinger’s fourth Crate Late Model win at Sharon and gave him a whopping 163 victories in multiple divisions at the Hartford Ohio track. Following him to the stripe were Russ Byler, who matched a career best finish, point leader Will Thomas III, Bryan Salisbury, and Bob Diver.
Also on the card Saturday night were the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds making their fifth Sharon appearance of the season. Greg Martin came from his sixth starting position to pull off the win over the record field of 12 competitors, showing an increase of cars at nearly every Sharon event. Martin topped Rocky Kugel, Adam Hilton, Ken Moy Jr., and Andy Paden. Jeremy Zufall of Greensburg, Pa. was randomly drawn as the winner of the new GM 602 engine from Sweeney/Pace Performance!
After a week off over the Labor Day weekend, racing resumes at Sharon Speedway on September 6 with a regular “Steel Valley Thunder” race night followed on September 12-13 for Sharon’s Apple Fest Nationals, featuring the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring series on Friday the 12. Both Friday and Saturday’s shows include the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.
At Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, the RUSH Dirt Late Models competed in the annual “Jook George Memorial.” The special event featured time trials, which were topped by Ben Policz. The two heats for the 20-car field were won by Russ Kolesar and Daryl Charlier. At feature time, Corey McPherson took the lead from his pole position, holding it for nearly half the race. However, after a series of yellow flags, Charlier took the top spot on lap 10 and held on for the $1,010 win. He was followed by Tommy Schirnhofer, Policz, Kyle Lukon, and Josh Holtgraver.
Pittsburgh will host a RUSH doubleheader on Saturday as both the Late Models and Sportsman Modifieds will be in action in a Weekly Series event along with the “410” Sprint Cars. The Sweeney Tour will be at PPMS on Saturday, September 13 in an event that will also include the “Steel City Roulette” drawing.
The Sweeney Late Models was also in action at the Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex on Saturday night for double features. In the make-up second “Sprout Cossell Memorial” feature, “Futures Cup” point leader Michael Lake winning his track-leading sixth of the season over Sweeney Tour point leader Ryan Montgomery.
In the night’s regularly scheduled main, it was Morgantown, West Virginia’s Nolan Dalton taking the checkers for the second time in his past four starts. Dalton was followed across the line by Winchester invader Darin Henderson, Troy Shields, Singleton and Russell Baird, Jr. rounded out the top five. 13-year-old Lake of Uniontown, Pa. has a 147 point lead over Shields going into the homestretch of the 2014 campaign. This Saturday at Roaring Knob, it’s “Fan Appreciation Night” with $5 admission.
Ontario’s Humberstone Speedway, the lone Sunday night track in the RUSH Dirt Late Model family saw front row starter Paul Grigsby take over the lead from pole sitter “The Roadrunner” Rob Ledingham on the second lap of the RUSH feature and never relinquish it. Grigsby held off a field of Humberstone regulars including Rob Pietz and Ledingham, who battled for the runner up spot. Ultimately Pietz would hold onto second with Ledingham third, Luke Carleton fourth and Jeff Dayman rounding out the top five.
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Cosco Family on the passing of track owner Pete Cosco, who died unexpectedly this week. Pete and his wife Linda have operated the speedway since 2005. Cosco also owned a RUSH Late Model driven by Ledingham as well as a couple Modifieds.
Winchester will try again this Saturday night. Their sister track, Potomac Speedway, will hold their final event for RUSH in a special Sunday evening program this weekend.
McKean County Raceway of course will host the Sweeney Tour “Manufacturers Night” with $1,500 to-win and $30,000 of prizes on Saturday night. The Sweeney Tour then heads to Orrville, Ohio’s Wayne County Speedway for the first time ever in another $1,500 to-win event.
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.