12-YEAR-OLD MICHAEL LAKE STUNS ROARING KNOB CROWD SWEEPING SWEENEY RUSH LM TOUR HEAT, K&N DASH & $2000 MAIN EVENT ON LABOR DAY; BECOMES SEASON’S 10TH DIFFERENT WINNER
By Mike Leone
September 2, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Markleysburg, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series participated with the NDRL “Kings of Dirt” Super Late Model Series on Monday at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex. Race #16 of 24 on the 2013 slate wrapped up the “$50,000 End of Summer Blowout” Labor Day Weekend that also included that wildly successful “Manufacturers Night” at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway.
Since becoming the youngest driver ever to qualify for a NeSmith Racing Series feature event back in February at Bubba’s Raceway Park in Ocala, FL, 12-year-old Michael Lake has been steadily improving. Lake has picked up a pair of Sweeney Weekly Series victories at Roaring Knob as well as two wins at Elkins Raceway, while sitting second in the “Futures Cup” standings.
Lake entered Monday with a pair of 13th place finishes as his best on the Sweeney Tour along with a K&N Dash victory at Lernerville Speedway. On Monday evening, Lake stunned the large crowd on hand prior to the $20,000 to-win NDRL main event with a sweep of his heat race, K&N Dash, and more importantly the 30-lap $2,000 to-win feature! Lake becomes the youngest dirt Crate Late Model Touring Series winner ever on the East Coast and possibly the nation!
“The yellow helped me,” acknowledged the Uniontown, Pa. resident. “It’s hard with traffic and if they don’t move. I got high in turn four and he (Ryan Montgomery) got a run on me. I ran hard into turn one and got into him. Honestly if the yellow didn’t come he would have probably won. I want to dedicate this win to Sprout Cossell. I have to thank my pap, everyone that helps me, and all of my sponsors.”
With lightning flashing to the west and south, Lake out-dragged Sweeney Tour point leader Mike Pegher, Jr. down the frontstretch and beat him into turn one for the early lead with Ryan Montgomery and Andrew Wylie in tow. Chad McClellan was able to get past Rick Singleton for the fifth spot on the opening lap.
By lap five, the top three of Lake, Pegher, and Montgomery began distancing themselves from the field, but four laps later Wylie began to track down the top three. After 10 non-stop green flag laps, Lake caught the back of the pack on the 11th circuit. Two laps later, Lake found himself amidst heavy lapped traffic with two of the Sweeney Tour’s best in Pegher and Montgomery right on his tail.
Lake continued to lead at the halfway point of the race as non-stop green flag action continued. With the top three dancing their way through heavy traffic, Wylie caught the trio and it was a four-car race for the lead on lap 16. Pegher went to the top in turns one and two to try and find a way past Lake, but yielded runner-up to Montgomery, who snuck underneath to grab the spot.
The young Lake continued to hit his marks and he had had traffic cleared on lap 18 as he and Montgomery opened up some ground on Pegher and Wylie. Coming down for 10 laps to go, Montgomery found an opening off turn four and it was a drag race down the frontstretch. Both drivers raced to the preferred line in turn one and contact was made. Montgomery appeared to have the pass completed, but Jason Rider spun in turn four necessitating the event’s first and only caution negating Montgomery’s pass.
Light sprinkles were in the air for the restart as Lake returned to the lead and chose the bottom. Lake took off in the lead as his Hoosier Crate Racin D21 fired better than Montgomery’s D55. The last 10 green-to-checkered laps saw Montgomery stick right with Lake. The pre-teen would fail to make a mistake and held off the 16-year-old by a few car lengths for his biggest career win. Lake also becomes the season’s 10th different winner in 16 races in the Bobby Lake-owned, C. Harper Chevrolet/Youngblood Concrete/V Corners Auto Sales/D&M Truck Repair/High Gear Speed Shop-sponsored Warrior Race Car #27.
Montgomery beat out Pegher for the runner-up spot for the second straight event and has now finished better than him for the eighth time in the past 10 races, but still trails the Sweeney Tour point leader by 20. It was Montgomery’s 11th top five of the season, but Pegher’s 13th in 16 races.
Wylie’s fourth place was his best Tour finish of the season and moved him into 10th in points. Chad McClellan recorded his second top five of the season in just his fourth Tour start. Third place point man Singleton was sixth over Ken Herman. Nolan Dalton was eighth in his first Tour start of the season. Ralph Morgan, Jr., who got passed on the final lap in Saturday’s non-qualifier at Pittsburgh, looked good in his second Tour start in John Powell’s #100 and finished ninth over Ricky Meglaye.
After his career best tour finish of fifth on Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway, Ben Policz earned the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card for the first time this season. Mike Laughard was awarded The Brake Man’s “Tough Brake of the Night” after his night ended when he wasn’t able to avoid the spinning Chris Angelicchio in heat race action. It was Laughard’s just second Tour start of the season with both nights now ending in the heat race.
Wylie earned his first $100 Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” qualifying award after turning a lap of 17.384. Winning the $25 Bobby Lake Motorsports heat races were Lake, Pegher, and Montgomery. Lake became the first repeat winner of a K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash this season after 16 events! Lake received a $100 K&N certificate, while Pegher received a $50 certificate for second with $25 cash going to Montgomery and Wylie.
The next event on the Sweeney Tour will be race #17 of 24 at Sharon Speedway for the “Apple Festival Nationals” on September 13-14 paying $2,000 to-win in a Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock & Beat the Heat” Quick Cash Program qualifying event.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #16 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. MICHAEL LAKE (27) 2. Ryan Montgomery (12) 3. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 4. Andrew Wylie (84) 5. Chad McClellan (119) 6. Rick Singleton (Enyeart 99*) 7. Ken Herman (58) 8. Nolan Dalton (D2) 9. Ralph Morgan, Jr. (Powell 100) 10. Ricky Meglaye (5) 11. Butch Lambert (27) 12. Mike Lewis (98) 13. Colton Flinner (75) 14. Cody Dawson (36) 15. Troy Shields (11) 16. Tracy Sampson (36) 17. Greg Lemley (4L) 18. Ben Policz (14B) 19. Joey Valenti (8V) 20. Nico Dabecco (Karalagas 1FR) 21. Chris Angelicchio (14) 22. Corey Metheny (11c) 23. Jason Rider (Wade 76) 24. Russell Baird, Jr. (17) 25. Mike Laughard (38L)-DNS.
Feature Lap Leaders: Lake (1-30)
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Ben Policz (+6)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Mike
Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. Andrew Wylie 17.384 2. Mike Pegher, Jr. 17.433 3. Ryan Montgomery 17.450 4. Nolan Dalton 17.454 5. Ricky Meglaye 17.457 6. Chad McClellan 17.602 7. Michael Lake 17.637 8. Rick Singleton 17.648 9. Ken Herman 17.680 10. Mike Laughard 17.699 11. Butch Lambert 17.709 12. Mike Lewis 17.709 13. Jason Rider 17.731 14. Ralph Morgan, Jr. 17.749 15. Joey Valenti 17.772 16. Greg Lemley 17.783 17. Corey Metheny 17.824 18. Cody Dawson 17.830 19. Chris Angelicchio 17.832 20. Nico Dabecco 17.934 21. Russell Baird, Jr. 18.100 22. Colton Flinner 18.120 23. Troy Shields 18.280 24. Ben Policz 18.349 25. Tracy Sampson 18.553.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win) 1. Lake 2. Wylie 3. Dalton 4. Rider 5. Flinner 6. Sampson 7. Lemley 8. Angelicchio 9. Laughard.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win) 1. Pegher 2. Singleton 3. Lambert 4. Morgan 5. Meglaye 6. Shields 7. Metheny 8. Dabecco.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1.Montgomery 2. McClellan 3. Herman 4. Lewis 5. Valenti 6. Dawson 7. Baird 8. Policz.
K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps/$100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Michael Lake 2. Mike Pegher, Jr. 3. Ryan Montgomery 4. Andrew Wylie.
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.