LAMB WINS HIS 1ST OF 2014 IN SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL WEEKLY SERIES ACTION AT PITTSBURGH; SINGLETON CAPTURES $3000 PACE “SUMMER CHASE” CROWN
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
September 5, 2014
(Pulaski, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series completed the month of August last weekend and now looks ahead to the fall months as the 2014 season begins to wind down for the RUSH Late Models and inaugural season of the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.
The end of August also signaled the completion of the nine-week Pace Performance “Summer Chase” that pitted RUSH member Late Model racers that were in the top 10 of RUSH points at weekly-sanctioned tracks and the Sweeney Tour against each other. Drivers average point scores were used in all events competed in during this time period, but had to race in a minimum of eight events to be eligible.
When all was said and done, Rick Singleton came out on top for the $3,000 title in Clint Enyeart’s #99*. The Front Royal, Virginia racer ended with a 109-point average, which translates to an average finish of 2.5! Completing the top 10 were Darin Henderson, Troy Shields, Michael Lake, Chad Ruhlman, Ryan Montgomery, Jeremy Wonderling, Ward Schell, Adam Sixt, and John Waters. The top 10 racers will share over $10,000, which will be paid out at the awards banquet in January!
The weekend for the tracks in the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Series started off at Freedom Speedway in Delevan New York, where the main attraction on the card was the Patriot Sprint Tour. In the RUSH Late Model event, it was Adam Sixt taking the victory. For Sixt, his second victory of the year pads his already substantial hold on first place in the season points heading into the final two races of the season. Sixt was followed across the line by last week’s winner Bill Holmes, Chad Ruhlman, Garret Stephen and Adam Ashcroft. Tonight (Friday) at Freedom, all divisions will be in competition, leading up to Championship Night on Friday September 12.
It was a RUSH doubleheader last Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway as both the RUSH Late Models and the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds were on the card. In the RUSH Dirt Late Model race, Justin Lamb started and finished in the same position: First! Lamb separated himself from the pack early on to lead the first caution-free 10 laps. When the yellow flew mid-race bunching up the field for the first of a few cautions, Sharon Speedway regular Alan Dellinger and Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. each tried a charge to the lead, but Lamb went on to take his first victory in three years and first ever under the RUSH banner! He was followed across the line by Schirnhofer, Dellinger, Corey McPherson, and Michael Reft.
The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds made their second and final appearance of the season and it was first time visitor Greg Martin from Wilson, New York taking the win- his fourth in Series competition. Following Martin were Rocky Kugel, Jeremy Zufall, and the team cars of Will Schaffer and Chelsie Kriegisch in their first appearances.
Pittsburgh will return to action this Saturday night in their final tune-up before the “Pittsburgher”, which will feature the Sweeney Tour on Saturday night in the rescheduled “Steel City Roulette” along with a $1,000 to-win show on Sunday night. Pittsburgh has designated September 20 as a make-up in the event Saturday night gets rained out. RUSH has also been added to the card for the September 27 newly scheduled event.
One of the biggest nights of the year for the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series is “Manufacturers Night”. This year third annual event was held at McKean County Raceway for the first time. “Manufacturers Night” has become one the biggest attractions on the schedule due to the vast number of prizes and giveaways provided by many of the manufacturers of racing related products affiliated with the RUSH Series.
Saturday night’s car count of an astounding 43 entries was a season high featuring entries from five states and two countries! This topped the previous high of 38 attained at the McKean County Fair event a little over two weeks before. The attraction is of course is the $30,000 worth of products given away during the evening, topped off by the grand prize of an EF40000DE/D Yamaha Electric Start Generator and wheel kit, the "all-star utility infielder" of the Yamaha generator team from Alternative Power Sources valued at approximately $2,200! The generator was won by Bruno Mowery.
In racing action on “Manufacturers Night” at the East Smethport, Pa. oval, Joe Martin of Mayport, Pa. had a long way to come, but managed to take the victory in the 2- lap event. With the draw of the second lowest pill of the event, he had an 11th place starting position in his heat, transferred to the feature with a fourth in the heat and ultimately worked his way to the front from his fifth place feature start. Martin made the final pass on Jason Knowles for the lead on lap 19.
For Martin, who nearly won the event last year, this was a bit of redemption. His victory paid him the $1,500 for his first career Sweeney RUSH Tour win. Along with the top prize, he also took home a custom drivers suit valued at $1,000 from Velocita-USA as part of the Manufacturer’s Night prizes. "I really appreciate all of the gifts tonight," expressed Martin in victory lane. "I have to thank Mike (Leone) and Vicki (Emig) for what they do for RUSH. Tonight is a big deal. I don't know anyone in the country that does something like this.”
The RUSH Late Models will be on the card this Saturday night at McKean as the Super Late Models return and highlight the night’s action in a ULMS-sanctioned event.
From the northernmost part of Pennsylvania at McKean to the southernmost location at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex, it was Fan Appreciation Night Saturday with a $5 admission price for the entire event. Unfortunately the entire evening was shortened due to a power failure later in the feature events. But not before young Michael Lake was able to score yet another victory to further increase his lead in the RUSH Late Model standings at Roaring Knob. Lake, of nearby Uniontown PA, was followed by Nolan Dalton, Russell Baird Jr., Garrett Paugh and Dylan Lewis.
The win was a big one for Lake, who solidified a fourth place in the “Summer Chase”, maintained his “Futures Cup” point lead, and kept him alive to win the $5,000 Sweeney Weekly Series Championship, which wraps up at the end of the month. This Saturday, the RUSH Late Models are on the card, which features the Three State Flyers, King of the Knob race for the Super Late Models paying $3,000 to win.
Virginia’s Winchester Speedway was finally back in action and a solid field of 17 cars were on hand as their inaugural season of RUSH is in its final stages. Ralph Morgan Jr. took his second win of the season in the 20-lap feature. The win also gave Morgan the 2014 Track Championship, making him the first-ever to take the title under the Sweeney RUSH banner at Winchester. Morgan led all 20 laps in the green-to-checker event, holding off Transton Stoner, Ben Bowie, Timmy Booth and John Imler.
Speaking in victory lane as both race winner and track champion, Morgan said, “I love this place! With this RUSH deal here at Winchester this season, it gave us a chance to get on the road a bit and we really enjoy racing here. I just want to thank my family and everyone involved that helped us get this championship, it's an awesome feeling!" While the track championship is wrapped up at Winchester, the racing is not. The RUSH Late Models return on September 20 to take part in the “Winchester 200” weekend.
Like Winchester, Potomac Speedway was back in action with the RUSH Late Models for a special Sunday event- the final one for the 2014 season. The Mechanicsville, Maryland track also had a successful inaugural season under the RUSH banner and ended the campaign with a solid 17 cars for their season finale. Darin Henderson took the victory in the RUSH feature race, which clinched his runner-up in the Pace “Summer Chase” standings worth $1,500! For Henderson, the 20-lap race was his second win of the season, beating out Ben Bowie, Tyler Bare, Jeff Pilkerton and Tracy Graves. With his runner up finish, Bowie locked up the track point title.
Unfortunately rain showers on Sunday ruined what was to be the first ever Crate Late Model race held at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio. Stay tuned for a possible make-up date for the Sweeney Tour event.
In an incredibly sad note, Humberstone Speedway owner Pete Cosco passed away suddenly last week. In honor of his passing, no racing was held on their regular Sunday night slot. Cosco, not only owned the Port Colborne, Ontario speedway, but also Cosco Haulage, the title sponsor of the RUSH Late Models and the car driven by Rob Ledingham. Humberstone will resume racing this Sunday evening with a Sweeney Weekly Series event.
Sharon Speedway was off last weekend, but returns to action this Saturday night with another “Steel Valley Thunder” race night including the RUSH Late Models. Saturday will be the final tune-up before the Friday, September 12 “Gary Knollinger Memorial” Sweeney Tour event paying $1,500 to-win. The RUSH Late Models will also be on the card on September 20 and 27 to round out the season. The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will compete both days of the “Apple Festival Nationals” on September 12 and 13 then will return for one last time in 2014 on September 27.
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” Champion 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.