MAX BLAIR'S LATE RACE PASS IN FRONT OF A SRO CROWD AT TYLER COUNTY PART OF THE "HILLBILLY 100" EARNS HIM HIS 4TH HOVIS RUSH LATE MODEL FLYNN'S TIRE TOUR VICTORY OF 2023 WORTH $4,000
By Mike Leone
September 3, 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Middlebourne, WV)...The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Dirt Late Model Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants headed south to Tyler County Speedway on Sunday to take part in the 55th annual "Hillbilly 100" featuring the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series for the second straight year. A standing room only crowd filled "America's Baddest Bullring" on a stifling, sunny, 90-degree day. Flynn's Tire Touring Series race #18 attracted a Tyler County RUSH record 33 cars from five different states in the second and final visit of the 2023 season to the Middlebourne, West Virginia 1/4-mile dirt track. The event was streamed live on FloRacing.
After running third for the
first 32 laps, Max Blair saved the best for the last. In a race that had four
lead changes and three different leaders, Blair got by Mike Wonderling and Joe
Martin on late race restarts then led the final six laps of the "Cider Jug 40"
for the $4,000 payday. It was Blair's second straight Flynn's Tire Tour victory
and fourth of the season. Blair has now won three of his four starts along with
a runner-up finish in the Centerline Motorsports #00K for nearly $29,000 cash
plus contingencies to go along with a $3,000 victory in a Briggs Transports #1
"I honestly thought I was going to run third for the longest time," explained the 33-year-old Centerville, Pa. driver who finished 10th in the Lucas Oil Late Model feature. "Mikey (Wonderling) had a really good car too. That was a lot of fun. I am beyond wore out- 140 laps around this place is enough. When I got to second, I hit that last restart a little better than the ones before and we raced each other as hard as we absolutely could for the win. It's always a lot of fun racing with Joe (Martin). We've crate raced together for 15 or more years now and have gotten to race it out for the win a bunch of times over the years- there's no one more fun or clean to race with than he is. It's been a lot of fun racing this thing. I can't thank Brad (Spochacz), Dave and Kayla (McManus) and everyone with Centerline Motorsports enough to allow me to drive this thing. It's all top notch equipment and they've given me everything I need to come out here and compete to win these races."
Mike Wonderling used the outside to take off in the lead over Martin and fourth starting Blair. Logan Reed got into the fence bringing out the caution with two laps completed. When racing resumed on lap three, Martin made the inside work to take over the top spot. Wonderling and Blair then raced side-by-side for second on laps four and five, but Wonderling was able to hang on to the spot. Lapped traffic came into play on lap 12 as it was a three-car race for the lead.
The trio thrilled the packed grandstands and viewers around the world watching on FloRacing. Wonderling pulled alongside Martin on laps 21 and 22 with Wonderling nosing ahead to lead the 22nd circuit. Wonderling's lead though was short lived as Martin reclaimed the top spot on lap 23. Garret Paugh and Brent Trimble tangled battling for fourth on the backstretch as Paugh spun with damage ending his night, which brought out the caution after 29 caution-free laps. Paugh was selected as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient.
Back under green on lap 32, Martin took off in the lead, while Blair challenged Wonderling. Blair was able to make the pass on Wonderling for second on lap 33. Three cautions then slowed action. Martin chose the inside on the double file restart and was able to fend off Blair on the first two; however, on the final one, Blair made the outside stick in turns one and two and powered by Martin down the backstretch to lead lap 35.
It was a lead Blair wouldn't relinquish as he took the checkered flag first by 1.384 seconds for his all-time leading 33rd career Flynn's Tire Touring Series victory as the last three have come in the Centerline Motorsports-owned, Gable Inn/Lakeside Beer/Mailliard Electric Company/Krebs Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM-sponsored #00K.
Martin earned $2,000 for his fifth top four finish in the last seven races as he holds on to the second spot in points. "He's one of the best drivers in the country and that's all there is to it," expressed the 38-year-old Punxsutawney, Pa. racer. "I beat him twice on the double file restarts and I don't know what I could have done different on the third one. Max is good and I just have to get better that's all there is to it. The car was really good. I was at least as good as he was if not better. We simplified things and I couldn't be more happier with the car; $4,000 would have been better than $2,000, but you live and learn."
Wonderling, who finished third in the July 22 race at Tyler County, matched that finish on Sunday for $1,000. It was Wonderling's sixth podium finish of the year as he continues to fight for his first career Flynn's Tire Tour victory. "I really wish it would have stayed green as I had on a harder tire than those guys," revealed the 50-year-old Wellsville, NY driver. "I got to Joe (Martin) and I thought I was going to outsmart him on the tire but then we had all those cautions; Max is one of the best in the business and Joe is no slouch. We'll take the third and move on, but didn't gain any points tonight so it'll come down to the next few races between Joe and I (for second in points)."
Trimble was fourth after starting seventh. Tyler County regular, Ryan Hare, had never finished in the top 10 in a Flynn's Tire Touring Series event, but the 18-year-old on Sunday had a great run going 10th to 5th! Points leader Jeremy Wonderling, who won the prior two Tour events at Tyler County, salvaged a sixth place finish after starting ninth after struggling throughout the night.
A.J. Spagnuolo made his first Tour start of the season and finished seventh after being as high as fourth early on. Tour regular Jim Rasey matched his best finish of the season in eighth. Cody Dawson went 14th to 9th. Two-time 2023 Tyler County City Chevrolet Weekly Series winner, Michael Duritsky, Jr., earned the $50 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card after racing from 16th to 10th. Dave Loudin made his first career RUSH start and finished 18th to receive a spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic.
Colby Beighey passed pole-sitter Lane Brock on the opening lap and led the entire way in the eight-lap caution- D&V Jewelers Non-Qualifier. The 30-year-old Taylor, Michigan resident earned $200 aboard his own #36 as he became the amazing 71st different winner in 87 races run all-time! Brock, a 17-year-old "Futures Cup" racer, was second in his first ever Tour start and also received a $100 Performance Bodies gift card for being the first feature non-qualifier. Zach Kane, Eddie Starkey, and Blake Runyon were third through fifth in their first Tour starts of the season.
For the second straight year at the "Cider Jug 40", Trimble set fast time in $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" qualifying with a lap 13.691. Winning $25 FK Rod Ends heat races were Trimble, Blair, Paugh, and Dave Loudin, while Matt Adams and Brandon Weigle won the last chance B mains. Martin won his third Sunoco Dash of the season and received $100 Sunoco fuel card. Winning the $100 Sunoco fuel cards through the drawings were Tour racers Mike Wonderling and Jason Knowles, while the $50 Sunoco fuel cards were captured by Trimble, Donnie Dotson, Adams, and Paugh.
The Flynn’s Tire Tour will be off until September 29-30 at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway for the "Bill Hendren Memorial" paying a minimum of $3,000 to-win on Friday night and $10,000 to-win on Saturday night part of the "Pittsburgher" with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The Saturday night event will be streamed live on FloRacing.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire Touring Series "Cider Jug 40" Race #18 (40 laps, $4,000 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (Centerline 00K) 2. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 3. Mike Wonderling (18) 4. Brent Trimble (1) 5. Ryan Hare (29) 6. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 7. A.J. Spagnuolo (5A) 8. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 9. Cody Dawson (36) 10. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 11. Luke Hyre (Thomas 57) 12. Austin Hauser (51) 13. Kyle Zimmerman (Stockdale 31) 14. Ashton Briggs (11A) 15. Hayden Jacobs (27) 16. Matt Adams (9A) 17. Dalton Goode (Wamsley 9) 18. Dave Loudin (12L) 19. Donnie Dotson (15) 20. Daryl Charlier (Dobnak 42) 21. Brandon Weigle (47W) 22. Ryan Frazee (17) 23. Garret Paugh (03) 24. Logan Reed (37) 25. George Casto III (19c). (Note: George Casto III took a Track provisional.)
D&V Jewelers Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $200 to-win): 1. Colby Beighey (36) 2. Lane Brock (20B) 3. Zach Kane (4) 4. Eddie Starkey (58) 5. Blake Runyon (20). DNS: David Pangrazio (136), Jason Knowles (4), J.T. Ward (Wamsley 11).
Car Count: 33
Feature Margin of Victory:
Feature Lap Leaders: Mike Wonderling (1-2, 22), Joe Martin (3-21, 23-34), Max Blair (35-40)
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Dave Loudin
Performance Bodies “Nosed Out”: Lane Brock
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Michael Duritsky, Jr. (+6)
Sunoco Fuel Card Winners: Mike Wonderling ($100), Jason Knowles ($100), Brent Trimble ($50), Donnie Dotson ($50), Matt Adams ($50, Garret Paugh ($50)
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Garret Paugh
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. 1T-Brent Trimble, 00:13.691; 2. 00K-Max Blair, 00:13.823; 3. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:13.898; 4. 5A-AJ Spagnuolo, 00:13.901; 5. 18-Mike Wonderling, 00:13.950; 6. 21J-Jim Rasey, 00:14.011; 7. 03-Garret Paugh, 00:14.024; 8. 12L-Dave Loudin, 00:14.029; 9. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:14.049; 10. 29-Ryan Hare, 00:14.072; 11. 31-Kyle Zimmerman, 00:14.078; 12. 11A-Ashton Briggs, 00:14.094; 13. 136-David Pangrazio, 00:14.094; 14. 17-Ryan Frazee, 00:14.114; 15. 57-Luke Hyre, 00:14.159; 16. 27J-Hayden Jacobs, 00:14.180; 17. 20B-Lane Brock, 00:14.202; 18. 36-Cody Dawson, 00:14.238; 19. 36B-Colby Beighey, 00:14.242; 20. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr, 00:14.278; 21. 51-Austin Hauser, 00:14.293; 22. 4-Jason Knowles, 00:14.301; 23. 42-Daryl Charlier, 00:14.336; 24. 47W-Brandon Weigle, 00:14.372; 25. 9-Dalton Goode, 00:14.408; 26. 4K-Zachary Kane, 00:14.428; 27. 19C-George Casto III, 00:14.476; 28. 37-Logan Reed, 00:14.530; 29. 15D-Donnie Dotson, 00:14.538; 30. 9A-Matt Adams, 00:14.735; 31. 20-Blake Runyon, 00:14.875; 32. 58S-Eddie Starkey, 00:14.942; 33. 11J-JT Ward, 00:15.144.
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 1T-Brent Trimble; 2. 18-Mike Wonderling; 3. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 4. 15D-Donnie Dotson; 5. 51-Austin Hauser; 6. 9-Dalton Goode; 7. 20B-Lane Brock; 8. 136-David Pangrazio; 9. 11J-JT Ward.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 00K-Max Blair; 2. 21J-Jim Rasey; 3. 29-Ryan Hare; 4. 36-Cody Dawson; 5. 17-Ryan Frazee; 6. 9A-Matt Adams; 7. 4K-Zachary Kane; 8. 4-Jason Knowles.
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 03-Garret Paugh; 2. 10S-Joe Martin; 3. 57-Luke Hyre; 4. 31-Kyle Zimmerman; 5. 42-Daryl Charlier; 6. 36B-Colby Beighey; 7. 19C-George Casto III; 8. 20-Blake Runyon.
FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 12L-Dave Loudin; 2. 5A-AJ Spagnuolo; 3. 27J-Hayden Jacobs; 4. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr; 5. 11A-Ashton Briggs; 6. 47W-Brandon Weigle; 7. 37-Logan Reed; 8. 58S-Eddie Starkey.
Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 9A-Matt Adams; 2. 9-Dalton Goode; 3. 20B-Lane Brock; 4. 136-David Pangrazio; 5. 4K-Zachary Kane; 6. (DNS) 4-Jason Knowles; 7. (DNS) 11J-JT Ward.
Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 47W-Brandon Weigle; 2. 37-Logan Reed; 3. 36B-Colby Beighey; 4. 19C-George Casto III; 5. 58S-Eddie Starkey; 6. 20-Blake Runyon.
Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 Sunoco fuel card to-win): 1. 10S-Joe Martin; 2. 18-Mike Wonderling; 3. 21J-Jim Rasey; 4. 00K-Max Blair; 5. 5A-AJ Spagnuolo; 6. 03-Garret Paugh; 7. 1T-Brent Trimble. DNS: 12L-Dave Loudin.
The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, Flynn's Tire, Sunbelt Rentals, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Bilstein Shocks, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Wieland Metal Services, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Sherwood Wheels, Precise Racing Products, Velocita-USA, Wedge Motorsports, 3C Graphix, D&V Jewelers, CrateInsider.com, and Terry Bowser Excavating.
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. The RUSH Late Model website is www.rushlatemodels.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.