SWEENEY WEEKLY SERIES POINTS TO END THIS WEEKEND FOR LATE MODELS; DABECCO INVADES & WINS SPECIAL AT ROARING KNOB; DELLINGER DOES IT AGAIN AT SHARON ON BILSTEIN SEALED SHOCKS
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
September 25, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)…The 2014 season for the weekly tracks of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series is rapidly winding to a close. Last weekend, a few tracks had their final or next to last races of the year and the same will be the case this weekend. In fact, this weekend marks the end of the $27,525 Sweeney Weekly Series Championship and the $3,000 "Futures Cup" programs for the Late Model division.
Chad Ruhlman has clinched his first $5,000 Sweeney Weekly Series title as the Bemus Point, New York driver dominated action at McKean County Raceway winning eight times in addition to three victories in five tries at Freedom Speedway along with a win at Canada's Humberstone Speedway.
The $3,000 runner-up spot is up for grabs as Virginia driver Rick Singleton currently holds the spot, but only by two over Pennsylvania's Michael Lake, while West Virginia's Ryan Montgomery still could tie for third. The top 40 drivers in points will share in the point fund payout at the awards banquet this winter.
Speaking of Lake, the 13-year-old has already clinched the $1,000 "Futures Cup" crown after coming up just short to Eric Wilson last year. Other past "Futures Cup" champions include Montgomery and Nico Dabecco.
Once again at Sharon Speedway last Saturday night it was Alan Dellinger in the unsponsored Bob Williams-owned number 8 entry in the RUSH Late Models crossing the finish first over a stout field of Sharon Speedway regulars in addition to a few outsiders. And once again he did it without the benefit of a pricy shock package, choosing instead the $135 Bilstein "sealed" spec shocks.
It was a hard fought battle in which Dellinger picked his way through the best the division has to offer. After finding his way to the front and taking the lead for good on lap 17, Dellinger left the pack for his third win in the past five events to go along with a pair of runner-ups at Sharon.
"All you can do is just drive in there and when they slide up in the corner you let them know you're there and hopefully if something happens you can get them," said Dellinger explaining the passing clinic he put on to get to the front. Commenting on the shock package he has chosen, Dellinger said “I'd like to see this as the shocks you have to run- it just saves everyone a bunch of money. They work just fine and we're doing a good job."
Following Dellinger across the line after his season's fourth win were Bob Diver, Will Thomas III, Ben Black, who led the first 16 laps in search of his first career win, and Bobby Whitling. This Saturday, September 27 will be the final event of the season at Sharon with a full "Steel Valley Thunder" program in addition to another appearance by the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Pits open at 4 p.m. Grandstands open at 5 p.m. Racing at 7 p.m.
Like Sharon, 17 RUSH Late Models checked into the pits at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex on Saturday night for their final points earning event of the season. When the 35-lap, $1,000 to win event was over, it was Pittsburgh’s Nico Dabecco standing in victory lane. With Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway off, Dabecco made the tow to The Knob and made the trip worthwhile for his first win at the Markleysburg, Pa. oval.
Following Dabecco to the line were Greg Lemley in his season debut, Russell Baird Jr., Mike Ott, and Bill Pluta, Jr. With his eighth place finish, young Michael Lake wrapped up his second straight RUSH Late Model championship title, finishing ahead of Troy Shields by 285 points. This Friday and Saturday at Roaring Knob, it’s the season ending "Big Kahuna" weekend, where the RUSH Late Models will run qualifying events on Friday night with the last chance B main and feature on Saturday night.
Last Saturday night in Winchester Virginia, it was night two of the "Winchester 200" weekend at Winchester Speedway. In the RUSH Late Model portion of the night, it was Darin Henderson driving to his third win of the season in the 20-lap feature event. Henderson started on the pole, took off into the lead and held off the entire field by a wide margin in the green to checkered race. "I don't want the season to end!!" Henderson stated in Winchester's victory lane. "This has been a dream season for us winning three times at Winchester and two at Potomac, I just want to give all the people from RUSH a big thank you for all they've done for the Crate cars this season."
Henderson, who earned $1,500 for runner-up in the Pace Performance "Summer Chase" is currently sixth in the Sweeney Weekly Series points. He was followed across the line on Saturday night by Transton Stoner, Timmy Booth, Ben Bowie and Kris Eaton. A solid field of 18 cars were on hand despite a few regulars missing include track champion Ralph Morgan, Jr. It was a great inaugural season for RUS at Winchester, which averaged nearly 19 cars per event!
Sunday night at Port Colborne Ontario’s Humberstone Speedway it was Ken Winfield and Darren Peters leading the RUSH Late Model field to the green for the final race of the season. But it was Rob Pietz, who took the lead on lap one with a three-wide pass. Pietz and Peters got in some trouble bringing out the first of a few cautions, in a race that also saw a red flag period for Ken Winfield’s engine fire on lap 13.
In the end it was Darren's son Jorden Peters of nearby Stevenson, Ontario, Canada with his fourth win at the track beating out Jeff Dayman, Paul Grigsby, Rob Pietz, and Tim Gillespie. American Paul Grigsby took the season points title for the first time. Humberstone concludes their 2014 season with their annual “Eve of Destruction” non-racing event this Saturday, September 28.
New York's Freedom Speedway was off last Friday night, but will conclude their inaugural season under RUSH this Friday night. Don't forget the first ever Sweeney RUSH Tour event at Woodhull (NY) Raceway will take place on Saturday night. $1500 will be on the line, Weekly member drivers will be able to accumulate points as well.
Another track that was off last weekend, but will conclude their season this Saturday night is Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway. The RUSH Late Models will be part of the Renegade Sprint Car show with racing getting underway at 6 p.m.
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.