By Mike Leone


October 5-7, 2018               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Imperial, PA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series presented by Pace Performance was part of the 30th annual "Pittsburgher" weekend once again joining up with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.  Forty-three teams participated in the sixth annual Northeast version of the "Bill Hendren Memorial", which took place at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway for the third straight year as rain on Saturday forced the event to be spread over three days.  It was a record event payoff thanks to presenting sponsor FK Rod Ends and other donors raised by the Hendren Family with Daryl Charlier taking home the lion's share of the purse with his victory on Sunday evening.  Pace Performance presented the "One to Remember" as Chuck Medved captured his first career win on Friday night, while Matt Dobnak closed out the weekend winning the Non-Qualifier.


Daryl Charlier passed Kentucky invader Grant Garrison on lap 20, and while a tremendous battle took place behind him from positions two through five, Charlier drove off to a convincing 40-lap victory for the second straight year in the "Bill Hendren Memorial" presented by FK Rod Ends.  One year after winning his first career Sweeney Tour victory, Charlier became the event's first repeat winner of the Northeast version and took home $4,000 for his biggest career win.  Charlier became the 11th different winner in 16 Tour events this season!


"Man my arms are tired after that one," expressed the 34-year-old Bulger, Pa. winner.  "The track was rough, but it was fast on the  high side.  I had a rough start, but I had to get up there and put it down.  Once I saw I was starting to gain I knew I just had to stay committed.  I was trying to set up that pass for the lead; we had a really good run and made it work.  This means a lot to win this at my home track.  To beat able to beat Jacob Hawkins- he's been whopping my butt for a long time, and some of the other guys that came in.  It's good to keep the money at home especially after the trouble I had at the Jook (George) race.  I means a lot that everyone contributes, but especially the Hendrens and FK Rod Ends.  RUSH has been doing a great job at giving away stuff every year, which really helps with the costs of racing.  I couldn't be happier to be racing with the RUSH Series."


After setting fast time, winning his heat, and the dash for nearly $700 of cash and prizes, Garrison bolted into the early lead over Jacob Hawkins.  Charlier started third but dropped to fifth on the opening lap as Scott Gunn and Nico Dabecco moved by.  Dabecco passed Gunn for third on lap two.  John Waters got into the wall ending his night and brought out the caution with five laps scored.


Garret Paugh started eighth and lined up sixth for the restart and when racing resumed shot into third on lap six.  Paugh and Dabecco had a great battle swapping the position several times over the next few laps with Paugh getting by for good on lap eight.  Charlier put a slider on Dabecco for fourth on lap nine with Mike Pegher, Jr. following, but Charlier would again fade back to fifth when Pegher made the pass on lap 11.  Pegher then grabbed third from Paugh on lap 13 before Paugh slowed with a flat tire.  He was selected as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient.


When green replaced yellow on lap 14 for the final time of the event, Pegher and Charlier passed Hawkins for second and third respectively.  By lap 16, the top three of Garrison, Pegher, and Charlier began to distance themselves from the field.  Charlier got under and past Pegher in turn two on lap 18 for second then set his sights on Garrison.  Charlier powered around the top side of the "Monster Half-Mile" and drove by Garrison for the lead at the halfway point.  Two laps later, Charlier began to pull away, while Pegher closed in on Garrison for second.  Lapped traffic came into play on lap 25.  Pegher made the pass of Garrison for second on lap 27 as it was three-wide racing off turn four with the lapped car of Bill Kessler.


Pegher was a half-straightaway behind Charlier as he attempted to track him down; however, traffic allowed Garrison to reclaim second on lap 33 and then Pegher would lose third to Hawkins on lap 34.  Hawkins was now on the charge as he got by Garrison for second on lap 35.  The margin though was too insurmountable as Charlier took the checkered flag by 4.928 seconds in his Three Rivers Karting/Bud's/Donaldson Supply Co/NAPA Auto Parts/McDonald Auto Supply/Knuckleheads Pizza/2 Brothers Motorsports/Kurt Thompson Real Estate/Accu-Force Dyno & Testers/Ingram Engines-sponsored #12.


Hawkins, who won over $5,000 at the August 11 "Jook George Steel City Classic", earned $2,000 for his runner-up finish.  "It seemed like the car got better in the longer runs and I got more comfortable behind the wheel," explained the 28-year-old Fairmont, WV standout.  "I saw Daryl (Charlier) running up there and finally moved to the top, but it was too little too late.  I have to thank Junior Nolan, his brother Tommy, and everyone back at the shop for putting the car together along with Mark Richards and Steve Baker at Rocket for building a fast piece and Brad Hibbard at Race 1.  Hopefully we'll give it a shot next year."


Pegher was able to pass Garrison on lap 38 to finish third for his fourth straight podium finish after joining up with the Tour starting on August 11 at Pittsburgh.  Jeremy Wonderling charged from 16th to finish fourth after passing Garrison on the final lap.  It was Wonderling's 13th straight top 10 finish as he closed to within four points of Jason Genco.  Garrison dropped to fifth after leading the first 19 laps in his first ever RUSH race. 


Twelfth starting Michael Duritsky, Jr. was sixth.  After getting to third early on, Dabecco faded to seventh over Justin Lamb, Gunn, and Genco.  Alex Ferree subbed for Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. on Sunday.  With the driver change, Ferree had to drop to the 24th starting spot and moved forward finishing 11th to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger in his first ever RUSH start.  Mike Wonderling, Jr. made his first start in Randy Ralyea's #2R and was chosen as the Dirt Defender "Defensive Drive" for passing Tom Duratz then fending him off to get the final feature transfer spot through the last chance B mains.   


Chuck Medved opened the "Bill Hendren Memorial" weekend presented by FK Rod Ends on Friday night by leading all 15 laps of the "One to Remember" Feature presented by Pace Performance for his first career victory in a race for drivers that had never won a feature event in any type of Late Model or headlining division.  Medved held off a furious challenge by Bob Schwartzmiller and Josh Stoica to earn $500 plus a $100 cash bonus from CrateInsider.com.


"I've been coming here my whole life and I never thought I'd be standing here," expressed the emotional 46-year-old Pittsburgh, Pa. racer.  "This means a lot.  I want to thank everyone that helps- the Lambs, everyone that comes to the garage and makes this happen; Vicki (Emig) for doing RUSH.  This is great- I don't know what to say.  I knew Josh (Stoica) was there and was going to be fast.  He did a great job, but I was focused on my starts and hit my marks.  Everything was perfect on the car."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     


An invert six from qualifying put Matt Dobnak and Medved on the front row of the race that saw 13 of the eligible 16 drivers from the regular Tour program take the green.  Medved used the outside to power into the lead over Dobnak, while Logan Zarin passed Schwartzmiller for third.  It was three-wide for fifth on lap three with Chad Sines and Stoica moving past Joey Zambotti III.  By lap four, Zarin and Schwartzmiller closed in on Dobnak in the battle for second, while Medved pulled away.


Prior to the caution for Zach Gunn's spin, Stoica had cracked the top five then when racing resumed on lap six passed both Schwartzmiller and Zarin for third.  The seventh starting Stoica put a slider on Dobnak for second on lap seven, while Schwartzmiller raced back into fourth on past Zarin.  Gunn brought out the second and final caution with 10 laps completed.  Back under green, Schwartzmiller took third from Dobnak.  Stoica was right on Medved on lap 12 as Schwartzmiller joined the battle and it was three-car race for the win to the finish.  Schwartzmiller got under and past Stoica on lap 14 for second.


Medved though was able to hold the pair off as he took the checkered flag first by 0.520 of a second in his Dean's Water Service/Hamilton Towing-sponsored #2M.  Schwartzmiller's second was his best career Late Model effort for the former Stock Car racer as Stoica, Zarin, and Dobnak completed the top five.  Tour regular, Bill Kessler, had a strong run going 13th to sixth.


After losing a feature transfer spot in the final laps of the second last chance B main, Matt Dobnak closed out the "Bill Hendren Memorial" weekend on Sunday evening by leading all eight laps of the Non-Qualifier event.  The 37-year-old West Mifflin, Pa. driver earned $250 in his Dobs Automotive/Boondas Hometown Pizza/Ultra Industrial/Hanus Plumbing-sponsored #42.  Dobnak became the 33rd different driver in 37 races to win a "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series race!  Cory Sines had raced from fifth to second in four laps, but slowed and exited the event on lap five handing second back to Tom Duratz, who earned $200 for his runner-up finish.  Third through fifth were Paul Jablonski, seventh starting Zach Gunn, and Andy Spooner.


On Friday night, Garrison set fast time in FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying and earned $100 cash along with a GoPro and CrateInsider.com package from Kate Dillon valued at an additional $440.  Picking up $25 FK Rod End heat races were Garrison, Charlier, Hawkins, Dabecco, and Scott Gunn.  The last chance B mains were captured by Tim Shaffer and Schwartzmiller.  Shaffer was fresh off his $27,000 "410" Sprint Car win Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway and was able to compete on Sunday after Saturday's rain out at Pittsburgh.


Garrison also picked up the win in the six-lap "John Beatty Memorial" Dash to earn the feature pole.  "Jook George Steel City Classic" organizer, Branden Lockwich, paid $104 for the victory.  Beatty, who recently passed away, was a longtime racer at Pittsburgh.  His son Steve has competed for years in the RUSH Late Models.  The Beatty Family presented the large check and cash to Garrison in victory lane.    


The Sweeney Tour will close out the 2018 campaign this coming weekend (October 11-13) with the annual "Steel City Stampede".  Practice will be Thursday night with FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying and heat races on Friday night.  The dash, last chance B mains, $2,000 to-win feature, and the "Wheelman" Non-Qualifier will be run on Saturday.  The rain date is Sunday.


Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Model Touring Series “Bill Hendren Memorial” presented by FK Rod Ends Race #16 (40 laps, $4,000 to-win): 1. DARYL CHARLIER (12)  2. Jacob Hawkins (Nolan 13)  3. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c)  4. Jeremy Wonderling (3J)  5. Grant Garrison (1)  6. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J)  7. Nico Dabecco (F1)  8. Justin Lamb (93x)  9. Scott Gunn (14G)  10. Jason Genco (Craig/Badgley 29J)  11. Alex Ferree (Schirnhofer 8)  12. Brady Wonderling (Ralyea z1)  13. Christian Schneider (Maniecki 1ST)  14. Logan Zarin (1z)  15. David Pangrazio (136)  16. Bob Schwartzmiller (28s)  17. Ron Hall (01)  18. Joey Zambotti III (948)  19. Josh Stoica (22J)  20. Chuck Medved (2M)  21. Bill Kessler (09)  22. Tim Shaffer (45)  23. Mike Wonderling, Jr. (Ralyea 2R)  24. John Mollick (Bentz 60M)  25. Garret Paugh (03)  26. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  27. Jared Miley (99)-DNS. (Note: Bill Kessler took a Series provisional & Ron Hall a Track provisional. Alex Ferree replaced Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr.)


Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $250 to-win): 1. Matt Dobnak (42)  2. Tom Duratz (55D)  3. Paul Jablonski (3)  4. Zach Gunn (114G)  5. Andy Spooner (3A)  6. Chris Lander (18)  7. Cory Sines (25)  8. Chad Sines (15)-DNS  9. Marino Angelicchio (55)-DNS  10. Troy Shields (11)-DNS  11. Bobby Rohrer (11)-DNS  12. Michael Reft (9R)-DNS  13. Zach Kane (10)-DNS  14. Ben Policz (14B)-DNS  15. Levi Crowl (5)-DNS  16. Tony White (27T)-DNS.


"One to Remember" Non-Winners Feature presented by Pace Performance (15 laps, $600 to-win): 1. CHUCK MEDVED (2M)  2. Bob Schwartzmiller (28s)  3. Josh Stoica (22J)  4. Logan Zarin (1z)  5. Matt Dobnak (42)  6. Bill Kessler (09)  7. Marino Angelicchio (55)  8. Paul Jablonski (3)  9. Zach Gunn (114G)  10. Chad Sines (15)  11. Joey Zambotti III (948)  12. Levi Crowl (5)  13. Cory Sines (25)  14. Zach Kane (10)-DNS  15. Tony White (27T)-DNS  16. Chris Lander (18)-DNS.


Car Count: 43

Feature Margin of Victory: 4.928
Feature Lap Leaders:
Grant Garrison (1-19), Daryl Charlier (20-40)

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Alex Ferree (+13)

Dirt Defender “Defensive Drive of the Night”: Mike Wonderling, Jr.

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Garret Paugh


FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 plus $440 CrateInider.com prize package for fast time): 1. Grant Garrison 19.191  2. Daryl Charlier 19.238  3. Garret Paugh 19.311  4. Nico Dabecco 19.328  5. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. 19.371  6. Justin Lamb 19.378  7. Christian Schneider 19.392  8. Jacob Hawkins 19.421  9. Joey Zambotti III 19.424  10. Scott Gunn 19.453  11. Mike Pegher, Jr. 19.459  12. John Mollick 19.467  13. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 19.503  14. Logan Zarin 19.533  15. Jared Miley 19.549  16. Zach Kane 19.776  17. Brady Wonderling 19.781  18. Jeremy Wonderling 19.842  19. Bob Schwartzmiller 19.855  20. Ben Policz 19.885  21. Chuck Medved 19.893  22. Matt Dobnak 19.900  23. Tim Shaffer 19.913  24. John Waters 19.927  25. David Pangrazio 19.930  26. Marino Angelicchio 19.944  27. Josh Stoica 19.955  28. Michael Reft 19.960  29. Ron Hall 19.984  30. Chad Sines 20.011  31. Jason Genco 20.040  32. Levi Crowl 20.069  33. Troy Shields 20.078  34. Mike Wonderling, Jr. 20.256  35. Bobby Rohrer 20.293  36. Paul Jablonski 20.388  37. Tom Duratz 20.472  38. Zach Gunn 20.497  39. Tony White 20.499  40. Cory Sines 21.518  41. Andy Spooner 20.859  42. Bill Kessler NT  43. Chris Lander DNQ.


FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A, $25 to-win) 1. Garrison  2. Lamb  3. Pegher  4. Genco  5. Medved  6. Angelicchio  7. Jablonski  8. Kane  9. Co. Sines-DNS.


FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A, $25 to-win) 1. Charlier  2. Schneider  3. B. Wonderling  4. Mollick  5. Dobnak  6. Kessler  7. Stoica  8. Crowl  9. Duratz.


FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A, $25 to-win) 1. Hawkins  2. Paugh  3. Duritsky  4. J. Wonderling  5. Shaffer  6. Shields  7. Reft  8. Z. Gunn  9. Lander-DNS.


FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A, $25 to-win) 1. Dabecco  2. Zambotti  3. Waters  4. Zarin  5. Schwartzmiller  6. M. Wonderling  7. Hall-DNS  8. White-DNS.


FK Rod Ends Heat 5 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A, $25 to-win) 1. S. Gunn  2. Schirnhofer  3. Miley  4. Pangrazio  5. Ch. Sines  6. Rohrer  7. Policz  8. Spooner.


Last Chance B Main 1 (10 laps, Top 3 transfer to A): 1. Shaffer  2. Medved  3. M. Wonderling  4. Duratz  5. Jablonski  6. Hall  7. Lander  8. Z. Gunn  9. Ch. Sines  10. Kessler  11. Reft-DNS  12. Kane-DNS.


Last Chance B Main 2 (10 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. Schwartzmiller  2. Stoica  3. Dobnak  4. Spooner  5. Co. Sines  6. Angelicchio-DNS  7. Shields-DNS  8. Rohrer-DNS  9. Policz-DNS  10. Crowl-DNS  11. White-DNS.


"John Beatty Memorial" Dash presented by Branden Lockwich (6 laps, $104 to win): 1. Garrison  2. Hawkins  3. Charlier  4. Dabecco  5. Gunn.


RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Earl's Performance Plumbing, Quick Fuel Technology, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Dynamic Drivelines, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Lincoln Electric, Pancho's Racing Products Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA,  Landrum Performance Spring, Schwartzmiller Ground Maintenance, Close Racing Supply, CrateInsider.com, RockAuto.com, Valley Fashions, Dirt Late Model Magazine, and Three Rivers Karting.


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.