JENNAE PIPER WINS CAREER 1ST IN SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODELS AT ROARING KNOB; COLTON FLINNER SWEEPS "PITTSBURGHER" WEEKEND FOR 1ST WINS
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
September 18, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)… With the 2014 racing season winding down for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series weekly tracks, action is going strong right to the end. The Sweeney Weekly Series for the RUSH Late Models will end at the close of September, while the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds and Sweeney Late Model Tour will conclude at the end of October with the running of the "Steel City Stampede".
Last weekend got off to a rough start when New York's Freedom Speedway was forced to cancel their regular Friday night racing program. Freedom officials are planning on a makeup date of September 26 for Championship and Autograph Night featuring the RUSH Late Models as they conclude their inaugural season under RUSH.
The weather however did not hamper racing action at Hartford, Ohio's Sharon Speedway where they ran night one of the annual “Apple Festival Nationals” A whopping 190 cars filled the pit area, including a stellar field of 35 RUSH Late Models for the “Gary Knollinger Memorial” Touring event. It was the highest count at Sharon this season. Making just his second RUSH Late Model start of the year, King went wire-to-wire in the $1,500 to-win feature. While there was racing throughout the field, the action was up front in the closing laps when Alan Dellinger cut into King’s lead as both were dealing with heavy lapped traffic. In the end, King of Bristolville Ohio, held off Dellinger for his second career Sweeney Tour victory.
“Anytime you can beat that guy (Dellinger) no matter what you’re racing it’s a pretty big accomplishment,” expressed the 25-year-old who became the event's fourth different winner in as many years. “I didn’t get a chance to know Gary (Knollinger) very well, but from everything I’ve heard from the Blairs, Montgomery, and the people involved- he sounded like a really down to earth guy and I’m glad to win this race in his memory.” After King and Dellinger’s one-two finish, it was Sweeney Tour point leader Ryan Montgomery, Andrew Wylie and Max Blair rounding out the top three.
Also on the card Friday night at Sharon were the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Friday’s action saw series point leader Adam Hilton take his first career victory at Sharon. Hilton, who started the feature fifth made his way to the front, ultimately making a pass for the lead on lap 11 and held off 10th starting Greg Martin, who passed Schaffer on the final lap for second. After Schaffer, it was Larry Kugel and Ken Moy, Jr.
The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds return for night two of the "Apple Festival Nationals" on Saturday night and Greg Martin would make up for just missing the win on Friday. Martin won for the fourth time in seven tries this season. Taking the lead from pole sitter Jeremy Zufall on lap three, Martin would finish nearly four seconds ahead of Zufall, who held on to the runner up spot. It was Martin's sixth overall RUSH win of the season, which propelled him into the point lead by two over Friday’s winner Adam Hilton, who came in third. Larry Kugel was fourth for the second straight night as Chad Reitz completed the top five.
Sharon will look to resume "Steel Valley Thunder" action on Saturday night in its weekly six divisions including the RUSH Late Models for the first time since August 23. Sharon is down to just two events remaining in its 2014 85th anniversary season. The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, who are off this weekend, will return to Sharon on the 27th.
While the Mods were at Sharon again, the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series moved to Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway for the second Tour events in as many nights as part of the 26th annual "Pittsburgher" weekend. It was the second and final Tour event of the season at the Imperial. Pa. "Monster Half-Mile".
In a demonstration of the diversity and strong competition in the RUSH Late Model ranks, Colton Flinner won the 25 lap event in just his second Crate Late Model start of the season, making him the seventh straight different Sweeney RUSH Tour winner and ninth of the year in 13 races! Four different drivers held the lead during the 25-lap event. The bulk of the race saw an abundance of passing marred by a few caution periods.
Fifth place starting Chad Ruhlman, always a threat to win wherever the Bemus Point, NY standout travels to, battled Flinner for the lead in the final nine caution-free laps. Ruhlman stretched his lead turning the fastest laps of the event in the closing laps looking like a sure winner; however, it all came to an end when his engine went up in smoke on the final lap taking away a chance of winning his first ever Sweeney RUSH Touring Series race.
Flinner inherited the lead and the $1,200 win, but would have rather have raced Ruhlman for the victory. "I didn't want to see him blow up because I wanted to see if I could beat him fair and square, but I'll take the win this way- this is my first RUSH Tour win," said a happy Allison Park, Pa. driver in victory lane. Flinner was followed by Daryl Charlier (career best Tour finish), John Waters, Nico Dabecco and Michael Lake (best Tour finish of the season).
RUSH also held the rescheduled "Steel City Roulette" drawing from June 8 as all 26 feature starters won between $50-$1,000. The grand prize $1,000 winner was Tony White, who qualified for his first ever Sweeney Tour feature!
On Sunday, PPMS held a Sweeney Weekly Series event and Colton Flinner completed the weekend sweep at the "Pittsburgher" earning a cool $1,000! Charlier was second for the second straight night. Dabecco improved one position from Saturday night. Justin Lamb and Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. also bettered their Saturday night finishes with a fourth and fifth place respectively.
PPMS has one more event on their schedule when the RUSH Late Models in a Sweeney Weekly Series event join the new Renegade Sprint Series on September 27.
History was made on Saturday night at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex when "Futures Cup" racer Jennae Piper picked up her first ever win in the Sweeney RUSH Late Model feature. Piper joined Laura Lukon as the only female drivers to win Crate Late Model races in the state of Pennsylvania. Lukon won a RUSH event last year at Pittsburgh. Piper is a 17-year-old from Mercersburg, Pa. in her second year of Late Model racing, Teenager Garrett Paugh was a career best second over Bill Pluta, Bryan Rankin and Clinton Hersh, a new "Futures Cup" driver.
This Saturday at Roaring Knob it’s Championship Night featuring double points for all divisions and a $1000 to win, 35-lap feature race for the RUSH Late Models.
Sunday night at Humberstone Speedway it was Albion, Pennsylvania's Dennis Lunger, Jr. scoring his third victory of the season at the Port Colborne, Ontario oval after taking the lead from pole sitter Rob Pietz on lap four of the 20-lap RUSH Late Model feature. Lunger and Pietz would continue their battle for the lead throughout the race as Jorden Peters took third away from points leader Paul Grigsby. As the race wore on, Lunger stretched out his lead taking the victory. Pietz held on for the runner up spot with Peters, Jeff Dayman and Grigsby rounding out the top five. Humberstone’s inaugural season of RUSH comes to a close this Sunday as all point titles will be decided.
Another track ending its inaugural season under the RUSH banner this weekend on Saturday night is Virginia's Winchester Speedway. Winchester averaged nearly 19 cars per event this season with Ralph Morgan, Jr. winning the track title for John and Janet Powell.
McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa. will sit idle until the two-day "Fall Classic" on October 10-11. The RUSH Late Models will race for $800 to-win on the Friday night program and a 50 lapper on Saturday for $3,000 to-win!
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 Greg Martin 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.