MICHAEL NORRIS WINS HIS 2ND STRAIGHT PACE RUSH LATE MODEL FLYNN'S TIRE/BORN2RUN LUBRICANTS TOUR RACE AT PITTSBURGH BY CAPTURING $3200 IN NIGHT 2 OF THE "BILL HENDREN MEMORIAL"; ROOKIE PHILIP BUBECK ENDS HUGE WEEKEND BY WINNING THE $500 NON-QUALIFIER
By Mike Leone
October 2, 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Imperial, PA)...The Pace Performance RUSH Dirt Late Model Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC competed in night two of the 11th annual “Bill Hendren Memorial” presented by FK Rod Ends in conjunction with Pro Fabrication on Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway as part of the 33rd annual “Pittsburgher 100” with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. It was the fourth and final appearance of the season to “Dirt’s Monster Half-Mile” by the Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series as a total of 38 different race teams from seven different states participated during the weekend. The following helped make the “Bill Hendren Memorial” the two-day purse structure that it was: FK Rod Ends, Pro Fabrication, Hendren Racing Engines, CrateInsider.com, Miley Motor Sports, the RUSH Racing Series, and Branden Lockwich.
Super Late Model standout Michael Norris passed Kyle Lukon on lap 11 and then drove a masterful race through lapped traffic to keep Kyle Hardy at bay over the final 17 caution-free laps to capture the 30-lap "Bill Hendren Memorial" night two $3,200 feature win. Norris has now won two straight Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series events at Pittsburgh this year as he also pocketed $7,010 in the "Jook George Steel City Classic" on August 7, and three of the last four thanks to the 2020 "Jook George" $7,010 victory!
"I wish we could have done better in the other car (Super Late Model), but this made up for it," acknowledged the 29-year-old Sarver, Pa. racer. "Kyle (Lukon) got out there and was setting a pretty good pace. I kind of got in line behind him and didn't know if I had anything for him in clean air, but I figured once we got to lapped traffic we'd see what we're both made of. Fortunately I was able to get by him following that restart, got up on the top, and didn't let off the gas very much. He (Lukon) gave me a pretty good slider and there was room, but I figured after that it was game on. He's fun to race with; all these guys are fun to race with. We kept it clean and tried to keep it entertaining for you fans. I'm really happy for my brother-in-law (Nico Dabecco) and sister (Mindy). I think this car makes a better crate car than a super for me. It means a lot to win these memorials. Any memorial means the person was pretty significant and were pioneers in the sport. I appreciate you guys putting this on, and I just love coming here any chance I get- I'll run lawnmowers around here I don't care."
Norris took off in the lead following his Sunoco Dash victory over Lukon, Joe Martin, Hardy, and Daryl Charlier. After a caution for a spin by Kassidy Kamicker, Lukon took command on the lap two restart with Hardy moving into second; however, one lap later, Norris put a slider on Hardy in turn two for second. Hardy fell back to fourth when Martin put the identical move on him on lap four. For the second straight night, Colton Flinner was on the charge as he cracked the top five on lap seven after starting 13th.
Lukon caught traffic on lap 10 and had a 1.7 second lead on Norris, but the caution was displayed when Lukon's teammate slowed to bring out the caution. When racing resumed on lap 10, Lukon continued to lead over Norris, but Hardy was able to grab third back. Norris then made the winning move on lap 11 with a slide job in turn two, while Martin and Hardy continued their battle for third this time with Martin taking the spot.
Lukon's night ended prematurely when he got into the fence running second with 13 laps completed, which awarded him the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night". Almost simultaneously, Cole Petrelle came to rest in turn four ending his night. When racing resumed on lap 14, the final 17 laps would go caution-free. Hardy and Martin swapped positions for the sixth time in the first 14 laps, but this would be the final time as Hardy took control of second place.
Hardy kept Norris within striking distance; however, on lap 23 Hardy had to get on the brakes when the lapped car of Tom Klein got into the turn four fence. That sealed the deal for Norris as Hardy had to make a three-wide move on the frontstretch to clear lapped traffic; by then Norris was long gone. Hardy did chew into Norris' lead in the closing laps, but the 13-time Pittsburgh Super Late Model winner and 2012 track champion was still able to take the checkered flag first by 2.402 seconds in the A&M Norris Enterprises-owned, Millertown Pic-A-Part/Dob's Automotive/Ingram Engines-sponsored #51.
After a $3,000 win on Friday night, Hardy added $1,500 for his runner-up finish giving him 14 podium finishes in 16 Tour starts as he looks to close out the $12,000 Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Tour Championship with one event remaining.
"Not a bad weekend at all," stated the 28-year-old Linden, Virginia driver. "Michael and Joe do a great job racing these Late Models period whether it's a super or a crate. I thought Joe was going to have something for Michael when he started on the outside of that one restart. It's fun racing Joe like that. I didn't have anything for Michael. We'll just have to get a little better for the next one. It's been a pretty unbelievable this season. We would have liked to have won tonight, but always have the big picture in the back of our minds. We're excited to get back to Lernerville for the second time then have some Super Late Model races to run. It's going to be a good end of the year; just can't wait to get to the next one."
Martin was third for the second straight night. It was Martin's fifth straight Tour podium finish, 10th straight top six, and 13th top six in the last 14 events as he maintains runner-up in the standings. "It's fun to race with these Lucas (Oil Late Model Dirt Series) guys and in front of a big crowd- it makes us feel special. We had a fun race with these guys in front of me. The track was great. After the 100 lapper we were worried about it streaking up and not being able to race, but we were good top-to-bottom. If they have the track like this all the time it would be great."
Logan Zarin had raced from ninth to fourth by lap 14, but Flinner and Charlier were able to get back by on laps 21 and 22 respectively. Flinner crossed the line in fourth over Charlier, who was runner-up on Friday night. Zarin dropped back sixth at the finish. Last year's night two "Bill Hendren Memorial" winner, Levi Crowl, went 18th to seventh to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card. Michael Duritsky, Jr. was eighth for his eighth top 10 of the season. Jacob Gunn and Garret Paugh recorded their second top 10 finishes of the weekend with a ninth and 10th place respectively. Tom Duratz qualified for his first career Tour feature and finished 16th to earn a $150 spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic.
RUSH Late Model rookie Philip Bubeck had quite the weekend for himself. One night after winning the $1,200 "One to Remember" Non-Winners race presented by Hendren Racing Engines and CrateInsider.com and qualifying for the main event, Bubeck went out and led from green-to-checkered over Dave Goble in the $500 Non-Qualifier. Bubeck became the amazing 51st different Non-Qualifier winner in 62 races run all-time. In addition to the $1,975 of weekend winnings, Bubeck received a $100 Performance Bodies gift card for being the first feature non-qualifier part of the "Nosed Out" contingency also was the lucky recipient of the $100 Sunoco gift card as part of the "Fill'er up with Sunoco Bucks" program presented by Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto. In total, Bubeck won $2,175 in cash and contingencies driving the 20-year-old Bill Tennant-owned #2 car sponsored by B&J Performance, Bob's Trucking, Jim's Towing, and Lukon Racing.
"It kind of sucked we didn't get in the show but we held our heads up high, came out here and did the best we could and moved on," explained the 19-year-old Collier, West Virginia racer. "It was an awesome weekend. We did very well and I hope we can come back next year. I have to thank Bill and April Tennant along with Phil and Kyle Lukon, who took me under their wing this year, helped me learn a new car- I couldn't do it without them. Also have to thank my mom and dad, my grandparents, the Quaigs, and everyone else that helps out. We won the Non-Winners race last night without power steering."
For the second straight night and leading fifth time of the season, Joe Martin set fast time in FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" qualifying with a lap of 19.771 to earn $100 over the 32-car field. Picking up $25 FK Rod Ends heat race wins were Martin, Lukon, Charlier, and Norris. Fifth starting Bud Watson won the last chance B main and the Tour regular made his way from 21st to 12th in the feature. Norris won his second Sunoco Dash of the season for a $100 Sunoco gift card.
The Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series will close out the 2021 season on October 14-16 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. for the 13th annual "Steel City Stampede". Practice will be on Thursday night with qualifying and heat races on Friday night and the balance of the program on Saturday night. The RUSH Sprint Cars in an Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series special and the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds in a Hovis Auto & truck Supply Touring Series event will also be part of the program. The rain date is Sunday.
Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series Race #16 “Bill Hendren Memorial” Night 2 presented by FK Rod Ends & Pro Fab (30 laps, $3200 to-win): 1. MICHAEL NORRIS (51) 2. Kyle Hardy (99) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 5. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 6. Logan Zarin (1z) 7. Levi Crowl (5) 8. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 9. Jacob Gunn (14G) 10. Garret Paugh (03) 11. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 12. Bud Watson (225) 13. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 14. Zach Gunn (17G) 15. Tom Klein (77) 16. Tom Duratz (55D) 17. Ryan Frazee (11F) 18. Bill Kessler (09) 19. Kassidy Kamicker (72B) 20. Zach Kane (10) 21. Dan Lepro (2L) 22. Kyle Lukon (184) 23. Cole Petrelle (84) 24. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X).
Non-Qualifier (6 laps, $500 to-win): 1. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 2. Dave Goble (20G). DNS: Nick Love (38), Jeremy Wonderling (3J), Grant Garrison (1), Zach Morrow (Bentz 60), Tim Shaffer (45), Andrew Squatriglia (115).
Car Count: 32
Feature Margin of Victory:
Feature Lap Leaders: Michael Norris (1, 11-30), Kyle Lukon (2-10)
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Tom Duratz
Performance Bodies “Nosed Out”: Philip Bubeck
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Levi Crowl (+11)
Precise Racing Products 5-Gallon Race Jug: Michael Norris
Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto $100 Sunoco Fuel Cards: Philip Bubeck & Michael Norris
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Kyle Lukon
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time) (Track record 18.652 by Daryl Charlier on 7/3/21): 1. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:19.771; 2. 184-Kyle Lukon, 00:19.824; 3. 114-Daryl Charlier, 00:19.841; 4. 51N-Michael Norris, 00:19.849; 5. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr, 00:19.881; 6. 99-Kyle Hardy, 00:19.944; 7. 03-Garret Paugh, 00:20.044; 8. 08-Ray Love Jr, 00:20.147; 9. 2P-Philip Bubeck, 00:20.221; 10. 184X-Eddie Carrier Jr, 00:20.223; 11. 11F-Ryan Frazee, 00:20.255; 12. 1G-Grant Garrison, 00:20.308; 13. 1Z-Logan Zarin, 00:20.322; 14. 84P-Cole Petrelle, 00:20.357; 15. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:20.364; 16. 42D-Tony Musolino, 00:20.364; 17. 5X-Colton Flinner, 00:20.410; 18. 225-Bud Watson, 00:20.459; 19. 60-Zach Morrow, 00:20.500; 20. 14G-Jake Gunn, 00:20.527; 21. 10-Zachary Kane, 00:20.641; 22. 5C-Levi Crowl, 00:20.695; 23. 45-Tim Shaffer, 00:20.763; 24. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker, 00:20.808; 25. 2L-Dan Lepro, 00:20.884; 26. 20G-Dave Goble, 00:20.945; 27. 77-Tom Klein, 00:20.954; 28. 09-Bill Kessler, 00:21.154; 29. 38-Nick Love, 00:21.174; 30. 17G-Zach Gunn, 00:21.218; 31. 55D-Tom Duratz, 00:21.813; 32. 115-Andrew Squatriglia, NT.
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 10S-Joe Martin; 2. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr; 3. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 4. 5X-Colton Flinner; 5. 10-Zachary Kane; 6. 2P-Philip Bubeck; 7. 2L-Dan Lepro; 8. 38-Nick Love.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 184-Kyle Lukon; 2. 99-Kyle Hardy; 3. 184X-Eddie Carrier Jr; 4. 84P-Cole Petrelle; 5. 5C-Levi Crowl; 6. 17G-Zach Gunn; 7. 225-Bud Watson; 8. 20G-Dave Goble.
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 114-Daryl Charlier; 2. 03-Garret Paugh; 3. 11F-Ryan Frazee; 4. 55D-Tom Duratz; 5. 77-Tom Klein; 6. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 7. (DNS) 60-Zach Morrow; 8. (DNS) 45-Tim Shaffer.
FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 51N-Michael Norris; 2. 42D-Tony Musolino; 3. 14G-Jake Gunn; 4. 09-Bill Kessler; 5. 08-Ray Love Jr; 6. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker; 7. 1G-Grant Garrison; 8. (DNS) 115-Andrew Squatriglia.
Last Chance B Main (8 laps, Top 4 transfer to A): 1. 225-Bud Watson; 2. 2L-Dan Lepro; 3. 17G-Zach Gunn; 4. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker; 5. 2P-Philip Bubeck; 6. 38-Nick Love; 7. (DNS) 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 8. (DNS) 1G-Grant Garrison; 9. (DNS) 20G-Dave Goble; 10. (DNS) 60-Zach Morrow; 11. (DNS) 45-Tim Shaffer; 12. (DNS) 115-Andrew Squatriglia.
Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 Sunoco fuel card to-win): 1. 51N-Michael Norris; 2. 184-Kyle Lukon; 3. 99-Kyle Hardy; 4. 10S-Joe Martin; 5. 114-Daryl Charlier; 6. 42D-Tony Musolino; 7. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr; 8. 03-Garret Paugh.
RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Pace Performance together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, Born2Run Lubricants, Flynn's Tire & Auto Service, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Stop-Fyre, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage, CrateInsider.com, and Wedge Motorsports.
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.