NY RACERS BRAD MESLER & WAYNE ROBERTSON WIN 1ST RUSH LATE MODEL RACES AT FREEDOM & WOODHULL; SWEENEY RUSH LM WEEKLY CHAMPIONSHIP CONCLUDES
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
October 3, 2014
(Pulaski, PA)…The 2014 season for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series Weekly Series tracks is all but over. But before the RUSH-sanctioned tracks pull down the shades for the winter, there were just a few more events left last weekend and a few more scattered throughout the month of October.
After seven months of competition at 11 different speedways, the 2014 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Weekly Series Championship has concluded. Eighty-six different drivers joined the Sweeney Weekly Series, while at amazing 243 different drivers competed in at least one event! In the end, 40 drivers will share $27,525 in the Weekly Series point fund with Bemus Point, New York’s Chad Ruhlman capturing the $5,000 title! Michael Lake and Rick Singleton tied for second. Ryan Montgomery and Dennis Lunger, Jr. were fourth and fifth.
Thirteen-year-old Lake of Uniontown, Pa. captured the $1,000 “Futures Cup” crown as an additional $3,000 will be shared amongst the top 10 drivers. Earlier this season, Rick Singleton won the $3,000 Pace Performance “Summer Chase” as the top 10 in that program will share over $10,000! Ryan Montgomery leads the $5,000 to-win Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series with two events remaining.
Friday night at Freedom Speedway, action in the RUSH Late Model division saw Brad Mesler take the win over a strong field of 17 cars for the season finale at the Delevan, New York oval. It was the first win of the season for the Wellsville, New York driver and he was followed to the checkered flag by Adam Sixt, Ward Schell, Bob Kish and Chad Silleman. For Sixt, his second place finish firmed up his already healthy lead in the season point standings and he earned the honor of becoming the first RUSH-sanctioned Late Model champion at Freedom.
To the east of Freedom, Woodhull Raceway held their first ever Sweeney RUSH Late Model Tour event on Saturday night, and just the second ever RUSH Tour event ever held in New York. Making his first ever Sweeney Tour start and just his sixth race of the season, Wayne Robertson was impressive taking the 25-lap, $1500 to-win feature. Robertson started fourth and took the lead on lap two from Dusty Waters. Robertson then held off Bryce Davis, Jeremy Wonderling, Ward Schell, and Jason Knowles for the victory at his old stomping grounds. Robertson became the eighth straight new Sweeney Tour winner and 10th different in the 14 events to date.
At Sharon Speedway on Saturday night, defending RUSH Dirt Late Model champ Dennis Lunger was on a long dry spell after visiting victory lane four times in the early part of the season. Lunger started on the outside of the front row and took the lead from the start over Russ Byler and never gave it up during the duration of the 20-lap, non-stop feature.
It was Lunger’s fifth Sharon win of the 2014 campaign, the most in the division. Lunger has now won the season finale at the track for the third straight year! Byler came in second, trailing Lunger by 1.267 seconds. Bryan Salisbury, Will Thomas III, and Jamie Wrightsman rounded out the top five. Thomas of nearby Sharpsville, PA captured his second championship in the past three years in the RUSH Late Models at Sharon Speedway.
Also on the card at Sharon on the night they closed out the 85th anniversary season was the new Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modified division. When the 15-lap feature race had ended, it was Adam Hilton holding off Greg Martin for his second win in the past three events. Jeremy Zufall finished third followed by Andy Paden and Josh Deems, who was making just his second start. Sharon held eight events for the new division with 10-12 cars at each race, and just this week announced the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will join the weekly “Steel Valley Thunder” program in 2015!
Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway finished out their season in grand fashion with an appearance of the newly-formed Renegade Sprint Series. Joining the Sprints on the card for one last time were the RUSH Late Models. Daryl Charlier posted the fast time in pre-race qualifying, with a blistering lap of nearly 115 MPH. Charlier carried his speed into the feature where he started on the front row and never looked back. Charlier ended the season very strong at the “Monster Half-Mile” finishing first of second in his last seven feature starts! Josh Holtgraver, Justin Lamb, Michael Reft and Scott Gunn completed the top five.
Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex presented the annual “Big Kahuna” weekend, and the RUSH Dirt Late Models were among the divisions on the racing card. Jared Hawkins of Fairmont WV came away the big winner for the weekend event that was headlined by a $5,000 to win event for the Super Late Models.
Hawkins, who finished second and third earlier this season in his only two other RUSH starts at Roaring Knob, was followed across the finish by track champion Michael Lake, Nolan Dalton, Russell Baird, Jr. and Garrett Paugh. Roaring Knob will wrap up the season on October 10-11 as the RUSH Late Models will headline the “Small Car Nationals” event.
The Sweeney RUSH Late Model Tour has two events remaining and big ones at that. McKean County Raceway will hold a $3,000 to-win event as part of the “Fall Classic” on Saturday, October 11 and Lernerville Speedway will wrap up the season with the $2,000 to-win “Steel City Stampede” the final weekend of the month.
Speaking of the “Fall Classic”, RUSH Late Model racers will get the opportunity for two shows, as MCR will hold an $800 to-win event on the Friday night program as a tune-up for Saturday’s 50-lap Sweeney Tour event. There will also be an open practice on Thursday night.
Virginia’s Winchester Speedway has added one more event for the RUSH Late Models on Friday, October 10.
The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will also be on the card at Lernerville in their final point event of the season. The RUSH Mods will race for a season-high $500 to-win. Greg Martin leads the $3,000 to-win points by just three over Adam Hilton.
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.