MARYLAND TEEN LEVI CROWL SLAYS "THE MONSTER HALF-MILE" WITH 1ST CAREER RUSH LATE MODEL TOUR WIN WORTH $3100 IN NIGHT 2 OF THE "BILL HENDREN MEMORIAL" PRESENTED BY FK ROD ENDS & PRO FAB AT PITTSBURGH
By Mike Leone
October 3, 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Imperial, PA)...The Pace Performance RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC returned to Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway on Saturday for night two of the 10th annual “Bill Hendren Memorial” presented by FK Rod Ends together with Pro Fabrication as part of the “Pittsburgher 100” weekend with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. A total of 43 different RUSH cars participated over the two nights, which were two complete shows for the first time. The four 2020 Tour events at PPMS averaged 41 cars per night! The following helped make the “Bill Hendren Memorial” the richest to date: FK Rod Ends, Pro Fabrication, Pace Performance, Miley Motor Sports, Hendren Racing Engines, CrateInsider.com, Dirtwrap, Zarin Truck & Auto, Branden Lockwich, and the RUSH Racing Series.
Third year RUSH Late Model teenage racer Levi Crowl pulled off one of the biggest upset wins in Pace Performance Touring Series history on Saturday night. Crowl charged from the seventh starting spot to pass Kyle Lukon, winner of four of the last six Tour races at Pittsburgh, with seven laps to go then fended off challenges from two-time Tour champion Jeremy Wonderling and track regular Jake Gunn to capture the popular victory. In addition to the $3,100 payday, Crowl received a free wrap for the 2021 season from Dirtwrap valued at $800! Crowl became the fifth different Tour winner in five races in 2020 and third different driver to earn his first career Tour win!
Prior to 2020, Crowl made three Tour appearances at Pittsburgh failing to qualify for the feature each night; in fact, Crowl had competed in the "One to Remember" Non-Winners race each of the past two years during the "Pittsburgher". This year, Crowl scored the first two RUSH wins of his career coming at his home track, Winchester Speedway, in Weekly Series competition. Crowl didn't give up and returned to Pittsburgh on August 8 qualifying for the "Jook George Steel City Classic" with a 10th place finish and followed that up with a 16th place effort on Friday night. Persistence then paid off on Saturday night as Crowl was able to slay the "Monster Half-Mile"!
"It's extremely hard to win at this track," acknowledged the 19-year-old Clear Spring, MD racer. "Last year at this time we were running the Non-Qualifier race running third, fourth, and fifth- this is insane! I have no idea how this happened to be honest. I watched the Lucas Oil guys run the bottom. I knew it was rubbered up down there. I watched Lukon and some other guys try and run the top in traffic so I just stuck true to the bottom. It was bad fast, I persevered, and this is awesome. Everyone that comes here is the best of the best in the East Coast. I knew once I slipped up it wasn't going to be good; Lukon, Wonderling- someone was going to go under me. I regrouped, hit my marks in (turns) one and two, and three and four and we came away with the win!"
"It means everything to win here- I'm ecstatic," continued Crowl. "It's a true testament to my guys and how hard they work. We dream big. We come here and want to make the feature and from there we want to run top 10, but to come away with a win is unreal especially against these guys and this caliber of competition. It shows when the time came we can compete with these guys. My dad has been my best friend and crew chief since day one in Quarter-Midgets. I have to thank all of my sponsors and everyone that helps; definitely want to thank RUSH for putting this together. I wish we could have done 'Battle of the Bay' this year, but to be able to come here and get one is awesome."
Lukon picked up where he left off after winning Friday night's $3,100 Tour feature by setting fast time, winning his heat race, and the dash on Saturday night. Most figured Lukon would cruise to another $3,100 payday as he took off in the lead at the start of the feature, which followed the 100-lap Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series main event. Wonderling drove under and by Charlier for second on lap two. By lap five, Lukon and Wonderling began to distance themselves from the field, while the battle was on for third between Charlier and Logan Zarin. On lap six, Zarin put a slider on Charlier to take over the third, which was where he finished on Friday night for his best career Tour effort.
Chub Frank slowed on lap nine with a flat tire to bring out the night's first caution. That caution may have been what changed the night for Crowl. Crowl started seventh, but had fell back to ninth early on before getting back up to seventh when the caution was displayed. When racing resumed on lap 10, Crowl worked his way into fourth. The following lap, Crowl passed Zarin for third. Another driver making his way forward was Jake Gunn. Gunn started back in 11th and cracked the top five on lap 11 taking the spot from John Mollick then passed Zarin one lap later for fourth.
As the laps ticked off without another caution, Lukon caught lapped traffic on lap 20. Crowl meanwhile ran down Wonderling and made the pass for second on lap 21 in traffic. Crowl had the bottom working to perfection, and while Lukon struggled in traffic, Crowl pulled even and made the winning pass off the bottom of turn four on lap 23. Wonderling and Gunn though didn't go away as they both passed Lukon for second and third respectively on lap 25.
It looked like Crowl was well on his way to victory, but the teenager missed his mark in turn four coming to the white flag as his lead disappeared. Wonderling tried to use lapped traffic to his advantage racing to the outside of Crowl in turn one, but Crowl had the grip on the inside as Wonderling lost traction yielding second to Gunn. It was then a race to the checkered flag with Crowl running a perfect final lap to win by 0.778 of a second in his Drydene/Wrenches & Wreckers/Noel's Fire Protection/MS Shock Therapy.TW Vance Trucking-sponsored #5.
What a run for Gunn advancing nine spots for a career best Tour runner-up finish worth $1,500. Gunn has made select RUSH Tour starts each of the past eight years, but prior to Saturday night his best career finish was a ninth on two different occasions back in 2018 and 2015. It was a good weekend for the Gunn Family as Jake's younger brother Zach not only qualified for the feature both nights, but also finished second in the "One to Remember" Non-Winners race on Friday night.
Wonderling's third place finish was his career best at Pittsburgh as prior to Saturday night he had three fourth place efforts at the track including Friday night. Wonderling has now finished in the top six in all five Tour events this season including four top fours as he looks to nail down his third straight RUSH Tour Championship.
Kentucky's Grant Garrison had a career best Pittsburgh and RUSH Tour run finish by going 15th to fourth beating his best prior finish of fifth in 2018. After leading the first 22 laps, Lukon dropped to fifth at the finish. After Alex Ferree finished second on Friday night driving the Bob Bentz #60M, John Mollick was back behind the wheel of the #60M on Saturday night and finished sixth to stay in the hunt for the RUSH Tour Car Owner Championship.
Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. was seventh over Charlier, who dropped to eighth. After going 23rd to sixth on Friday night, Josh Ferry had another good run finishing ninth from the 13th starting spot. Jacob Hawkins was aboard Chad Sines' #15 that competes on the RUSH Tour and raced from 23rd to 10th after failing to qualify for the feature on Friday night.
RUSH rookie Cole Petrelle led all 10 laps of the Non-Qualifier race to close out the "Bill Hendren Memorial" weekend and earned $500. After a caution for Josh Stoica and Kassidy Kamicker before one lap was scored, Petrelle was never challenged crossing the checkered flag first by an impressive 4.001 seconds. The 36-year-old Follansbee, WV driver became the 42nd different winner in 51 Non-Qualifier races run all-time in his Quick Time Suspension/Tye Twarog Racing-sponsored #184.
Maryland's Chuck Bowie raced from fifth to finish second. Colby Beighey was third edging out Kamicker by just 0.032 of a second. Kamicker came back through the pack after her early spin to finish fourth, which moved her into second place in the "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series point standings. Big-Block Modified veteran and part-time RUSH Sportsman Modified driver, Jim Rasey, who has taken over the seat of Jim Wrightsman's #21J, was fifth.
Lukon beat out Christian Schneider by just 0.016 of a second to earn the $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying fast qualifier honors over the 34-car field. Lukon, Schneider, Mollick, and Zarin added $25 FK Rod Ends heat race victories. Mike Reft and Tony White won the two last chance B mains. Four round of warmups, qualifying, four heat races, two B mains, a dash, 30-lap feature, and 10-lap non-qualifier were contested with a total of two caution flags!
In addition to cash bonuses, the second through fifth place finishers in the features both nights and Friday's "One to Remember" received $250 off a Wrap N' Wear Package from Dirtwrap and Dirtink. CrateInsider.com gave away two GoPro Hero 8 and accessories valued at $480 to both Friday's "One to Remember" winner and a random draw on Saturday night which went to Denny Nakutis.
The 2020 RUSH Touring Series season will wrap up with its traditional finale at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. for the "Steel City Stampede" on October 15-17. Thursday night will include an open practice with FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying, heat races, and the dash on Friday night. Saturday night will conclude the season with last chance B mains, the championship feature event, and the non-qualifier. Rain date is Sunday (October 18).
Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Touring Series Race #5 “Bill Hendren Memorial” Night 2 (30 laps, $3,100 to-win): 1. LEVI CROWL (5) 2. Jake Gunn (14G) 3. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 4. Grant Garrison (1) 5. Kyle Lukon (184) 6. John Mollick (Bentz 60M) 7. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. (8) 8. Daryl Charlier (12) 9. Josh Ferry (33) 10. Jacob Hawkins (Sines 15) 11. Logan Zarin (1z) 12. Garret Paugh (03) 13. Christian Schneider (M5) 14. Levi Spinneweber (Lukon 184X) 15. Mike Reft (9R) 16. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 17. Tony White (27T) 18. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 19. Justin Lamb (93x) 20. Zach Gunn (17G) 21. Zach Kane (10) 22. Ryan Frazee (11F) 23. Chub Frank (1*) 24. Bill Kessler (09) 25. Tim Shaffer (Maniecki 1ST). (Note: Bill Kessler took a Tour provisional.)
Non-Qualifier (10 laps, $500 to-win): 1. Cole Petrelle (184) 2. Chuck Bowie (14c) 3. Colby Beighey (36B) 4. Kassidy Kamicker (72B) 5. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 6. Denny Nakutis (3) 7. Joe Squatriglia (15x) 8. Josh Stoica (22J) 9. Eric Hamilton, Jr. (33x)-DNS.
Car Count: 34
Feature Margin of Victory:
0.778 of second
Feature Lap Leaders: Kyle Lukon (1-22), Levi Crowl (23-30)
Wrap from Dirtwrap ($800): Levi Crowl
$250 off a Wrap N' Wear Package from Dirtwrap and Dirtink: Jake Gunn, Jeremy Wonderling, Grant Garrison & Kyle Lukon
GoPro Hero 8 Camera & Accessories ($480): Denny Nakutis
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying (Track record 18.849 by Mike Pegher, Jr. on 5/12/12): 1. 184-Kyle Lukon, 00:19.855; 2. M5-Christian Schneider, 00:19.871; 3. 60M-John Mollick, 00:19.948; 4. 03-Garret Paugh, 00:19.964; 5. 1ST-Tim Shaffer, 00:20.117; 6. 8S-Tommy Schirnhofer Jr, 00:20.126; 7. 12-Daryl Charlier, 00:20.174; 8. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:20.179; 9. 33-Josh Ferry, 00:20.208; 10. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:20.210; 11. 1G-Grant Garrison, 00:20.243; 12. 1Z-Logan Zarin, 00:20.251; 13. 1*-Chub Frank, 00:20.277; 14. 5C-Levi Crowl, 00:20.282; 15. 184X-Levi Spinneweber, 00:20.346; 16. 10-Zachary Kane, 00:20.383; 17. 9R-Mike Reft, 00:20.440; 18. 184P-Cole Petrelle, 00:20.635; 19. 14G-Jake Gunn, 00:20.672; 20. 11F-Ryan Frazee, 00:20.706; 21. 15-Jacob Hawkins, 00:20.758; 22. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr, 00:20.759; 23. 27T-Tony White, 00:20.778; 24. 93X-Justin Lamb, 00:20.914; 25. 17G-Zach Gunn, 00:20.944; 26. 36B-Colby Beighey, 00:20.956; 27. 09-Bill Kessler, 00:20.960; 28. 22J-Josh Stoica, 00:21.229; 29. 21J-Jim Rasey, 00:21.715; 30. 14C-Chuck Bowie, 00:21.717; 31. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker, 00:21.773; 32. 3N-Denny Nakutis, 00:21.825; 33. 15X-Joe Squatriglia, 00:21.875; 34. 33X-Eric Hamilton Jr, NT
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 184-Kyle Lukon; 2. 1ST-Tim Shaffer; 3. 1*-Chub Frank; 4. 33-Josh Ferry; 5. 17G-Zach Gunn; 6. 9R-Mike Reft; 7. 15-Jacob Hawkins; 8. 21J-Jim Rasey; 9. 15X-Joe Squatriglia
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. M5-Christian Schneider; 2. 5C-Levi Crowl; 3. 8S-Tommy Schirnhofer Jr; 4. 10S-Joe Martin; 5. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr; 6. 184P-Cole Petrelle; 7. 36B-Colby Beighey; 8. 14C-Chuck Bowie; 9. 33X-Eric Hamilton Jr
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 60M-John Mollick; 2. 12-Daryl Charlier; 3. 14G-Jake Gunn; 4. 1G-Grant Garrison; 5. 184X-Levi Spinneweber; 6. 27T-Tony White; 7. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker; 8. 09-Bill Kessler
FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 2. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 3. 03-Garret Paugh; 4. 11F-Ryan Frazee; 5. 93X-Justin Lamb; 6. 10-Zachary Kane; 7. 22J-Josh Stoica; 8. 3N-Denny Nakutis
Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 9R-Mike Reft; 2. 15-Jacob Hawkins; 3. 184P-Cole Petrelle; 4. 36B-Colby Beighey; 5. 14C-Chuck Bowie; 6. 21J-Jim Rasey; 7. (DNS) 15X-Joe Squatriglia; 8. (DNS) 33X-Eric Hamilton Jr.
Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 27T-Tony White; 2. 10-Zachary Kane; 3. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker; 4. 22J-Josh Stoica; 5. 09-Bill Kessler; 6. 3N-Denny Nakutis
Dash (6 laps): 1. 184-Kyle Lukon; 2. 12-Daryl Charlier; 3. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 4. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 5. 1ST-Tim Shaffer; 6. 60M-John Mollick; 7. 5C-Levi Crowl; 8. M5-Christian Schneider
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, FK Rod Ends, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, 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, Trailer-Alarms.com, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, 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 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.