JOHN MOLLICK GOES BACK-TO-BACK IN RUSH LATE MODEL TOUR WHILE ROCKY KUGEL TOPS RECORD FIELD OF 29 RUSH SPORTSMAN MODS AT LERNERVILLE; JOHN WATERS CAPTURES SWEENEY LM TOUR TITLE WHILE BRIAN SCHAFFER EARNS BICKNELL MOD TOUR & WEEKLY CROWN
By Mike Leone
October 14-15, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Sarver, PA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance were part of the eighth annual "Steel City Stampede" this past weekend at Lernerville Speedway featuring the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series and the Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified Touring Series as John Mollick and Rocky Kugel cashed in with victories on Saturday night. Also, Sweeney RUSH Pro Stock and Lernerville Champion, Corey McPherson, topped the 37-car field of "open" engine Stocks for the $1,000 payday. All told, 85 crate engine racers participated amongst the three divisions including an all-time division record count of 29 Sportsman Modifieds!
RUSH Late Model racers Jason Genco and Khole Wanzer were randomly selected winners as Genco received a $7,500 gift certificate toward the purchase of new Rocket Racing XR1, Stage 2 Chassis, and Wanzer won the Lincoln Electric Power Mig 140C welder and utility cart valued at $750. The 16 RUSH Pro Stock racers shared in over $5,000 of product giveaways part of the third annual "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD with Joey Zambotti winning the top prize of the four Thunderstock blueprinted brake calipers and brake fluid compliments of TBM Brakes, valued at $1,145.
John Mollick and John Waters battled for the victory in the 25-lap season ending Sweeney Late Model Tour feature, and while Mollick came out on top of the battle for his second straight Series victory, it was Waters winning the war garnering his first Series championship! Mollick got back by Waters on lap 20 for the $2,000 win, while Waters' runner-up finish coupled with Bryce Davis' 14th place earned him the $5,000 championship. Waters was also awarded the Maxima Racing Oil "Maximum Performance"
"He's one of the best guys I've ever raced with," acknowledged the 46-year-old Toronto, Ohio winner in regards to Waters. "I'll tell you what, his car was really good. He'll leave you room; he did a hell of a job. If I had to get second, I was hoping he'd win. His car was changing a little bit. My car was getting way too tight trying to keep heat in the tires so I went on the bottom to keep the tires cool and keep it smooth. I have to thank the Stan's Transmission team. Bob, Bobby, Tom, and Tommy- these guys do a hell of job on the car and I just turn the wheel. They told me the old man has never won here so I had to get up on the wheel and get it done."
Mollick picked up where he left off from one week ago at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway following his $2,500 victory taking the early lead from the pole position, which he earned by winning the K&N Dash. Waters went from fourth to second bringing sixth starting Ryan Montgomery with him to third after one lap. Davis, who entered the night with a seven-point lead, started from eighth and cracked the top five by lap three getting by Justin Lamb.
Waters closed on Mollick and pulled alongside, while Davis took fourth from Lyon on lap seven. Lapped traffic came into play on lap nine, but the event's first caution slowed action and forced a double file restart. On lap 10, it was three-wide for the lead with Mollick holding on over Waters and Montgomery, but Davis was able to sneak by Montgomery for third. Waters once again pulled even with Mollick on lap 11, but Mollick continued to lead. Meanwhile, the battle was on for fourth between Montgomery, Lyon, and 11th starting Kyle Lukon. Lukon made his way to fourth on lap 14, but the following lap spun off the backstretch forcing the caution but not before Waters slid under Mollick to lead the lap and Montgomery got back by Davis for third.
A trio of cautions slowed action on lap 16. Back under green, Davis and Lamb swapped fourth and fifth on laps 17 and 18. Davis was trying to stay in the top four to guarantee the title, but he'd bring out the caution with an apparent flat tire and later reported engine issues, which ended his night for good and bid for the title with 20 laps recorded. Davis was awarded the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night".
With Davis out of the race, Waters appeared to go conservative the final five laps as Mollick pulled away and went uncontested winning by 2.546 seconds in the Robert Bentz-owned, Stan's Transmission-sponsored #60M. Waters earned $1,000 for second for his ninth top five of the season and had just one finish out of the top nine all season long in Sweeney Tour competition.
"This mean a lot," stated the 35-year-old Whitesville, NY champion. "We've been following this for the last couple years up and down the road putting on a lot of miles. It's hard on my guys to be away from home and family. Without them and the guys at the shop, I couldn't do this- it's all them. My car owner Dale LeBarron is home working half the time and I can take this thing and play. He's the main man behind this project and I can't thank him enough."
"We came here to win this race and let the chips fall where they may," explained Waters. "That's unfortunate for Bryce. I wish it came up down to one point racing for the lead. We grew up racing together and it's cool to be up on top. They did wonderful all year long and had bad luck tonight, but finally good luck for us. He's a true champion. This is one of the top notch series. I feel if you can do it here, you can do it anywhere. We can travel and do well anywhere. I want to thank Mike (Leone), Vicki (Emig), Rich (Yeager), you (Brian Spaid), and everyone affiliated with RUSH. Without them we wouldn't be able to travel. It's fun when someone asks your name and know who you are for how well it's promoted."
Kyle Zimmerman, who was quiet for much of the race, came on late from his seventh starting spot to pass Montgomery for third on lap 22, but a mistake the following lap allowed Montgomery to get back by and go to finish in the show position. The 2014 Sweeney Tour Champion made his only two RUSH starts of the season in the final two races and recorded a second and a third.
Jason Knowles had a good run in fifth after starting 13th. Lamb improved on last week's seventh place Tour finish by one spot in sixth beating out fellow Bilstein Bandits competitor, Alan Dellinger, who came back from the tail after an early race caution. Brian Knowles was eighth over Lyon. "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series Champion, Greg Beach, made his first Sweeney Tour feature of the season and had a good run in 10th after starting 19th at the track he grew up racing Stock Cars at.
Tony White raced from 25th to 11th to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" hard charger gift card. West Virginia racer, Andy Spooner, made his second straight Sweeney Tour start and finished 12th as the last car on the lead lap to receive a $25 gift certificate from CrateInsider.com.
After just missing out on transfering to the feature, Clinton Hersh ended the RUSH Late Model season leading wire-to-wire in the eight-lap non-qualifier event. One caution on lap five was all that slowed Hersh from the $175 win in his father Tony Hersh's Clearwater Construction/Fred Spangler Water Conditioning & Plumbing/Jet Racing Engines/Laurel Machine/Mark's Auto Body-sponsored #16. The 17-year-old Somerset, Pa. driver was the 2015 "Futures Cup" Champion, and also received an ARbodies nose kit valued at $260 for being the first non-qualifier. The victory was Hersh's first ever in a non-qualifier event as he became the amazing 22nd different winner in 24 races run all-time. Sixth starting Jason Fosnaught was 2.038 seconds back in second as Jamie Wrightsman, Chris Frank, and Zach Kane completed the top five.
On Friday night, Dave Lyon set fast time over the 40-car field in Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" Qualifying for the second time this season with a lap of 17.408 to earn $100. Lyon, Davis, Waters, and Zimmerman also received an extra $25 for winning Bobby Lake Motorsports heat races. Mollick picked up a $100 K&N certificate for his second K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash win beating out Lamb, who received a $50 certificate. Lyon and Waters also added another $25 cash for their third and fourth place dash finishes respectively. Bob Diver and Chuck Medved won the last chance B mains.
After winning the last Bicknell Weekly Series race run on September 24 at Pittsburgh, Rocky Kugel put a cap on the 2016 Bicknell Touring Series slate dominating the 20-lap feature for the $800 win- his biggest career in the Series. Kugel became the season's sixth different Tour winner in as many races run including the 2015 "Apple Festival Nationals" make-up at Sharon on April 16, while the September 17 rained out feature at Sharon will be made up in spring of 2017. Kugel was also named the Maxima Racing Oil "Maximum Performance" award winner. Meanwhile, Brian Schaffer's third place finish earned him the Bicknell Tour title after already clinching the $3,000 Bicknell Weekly Series crown.
"I bought this car off Tom Glenn and it's been fast ever since," explained the 40-year-old East Liverpool, Ohio winner. "We junked one earlier this year at Tri-City and this is the seventh race for it and third win. I don't think we've finished outside of the top five. This thing was on a rail boys. I have to thank my dad. He works hard on this car. I told him I was done racing after junking the first car and he took this car and put it together in a week and said let's go race. Without Paper Service Company I couldn't be here- I'll guarantee you that. I want to thank the fans for coming out."
Kugel used the outside to power by Schaffer on the start with Tour point leader, Chas Wolbert, moving from sixth to third after the opening lap. Defending Tour Champion, Greg Martin, brought out the caution with a flat tire after one lap was completed. Back under green, it was four-wide for the lead with Kugel holding on over Schaffer, Kyle Martell, and Wolbert. Martell then passed Schaffer for second on lap six.
Ninth starting Jeff Schaffer was on the move as he passed Wolbert for fourth on lap five and two laps later passed his nephew Brian for third. Schaffer then went after Martell and took second on lap eight. The event's final caution slowed action when Wolbert lost the handle in turn four. The spin cost him the championship as he'd only be able to rebound to a 13th place finish in the final 10 non-stop laps. Wolbert was named the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night".
On the ensuing restart, Jeff Schaffer jumped the start and was docked a row. It took him then three laps to regain second after passing Martell and Tiffany Williams. By then, Kugel was checked out and without a caution, Kugel raced on to win by a sizable 3.954 seconds in his Paper Services/Brooks Graphicx/Myers Service Center/Sunset Whitetails-sponsored #83. The victory was Kugel's fourth overall of the season and second of his career in Bicknell Tour competition.
Jeff Schaffer beat out Brian for second. "This is unreal," expressed Brian Schaffer- the 29-year-old Boyers, Pa. first year RUSH driver. "I never would have imagined I'd be here at the beginning of the season. I have the whole Schaffer Family to thank along with Bowers Garage, my wife who is here and seven and half months pregnant- thank you Ashley! I hated to see that happen to Chas, but we came here to race and race clean. It's part of racing. This will go down in the history books- it means a lot to our entire family. Thanks to Lernerville Speedway for having the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds here."
Martell, the "Futures Cup" Champion, got by Williams on the final lap to finish fourth. After racing from seventh to second, Williams dropped to fifth with a broken shock still earned her best career Lernerville finish. Kole Holden was sixth. Josh Deems worked his way from 20th to seventh to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" hard charger gift card. Jeremy Weaver was eighth after starting 18th over Shayne Izzo from 16th. Greg Martin battled back to finish 10th and awarded the Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel". Martin had to return home nearly four hours after the races on Friday night to attend his father-in-law's funeral then made it back to race Saturday. Martin fought back from a flat tire to record a top 10 finish. Josh Seippel was the final car on the lead lap in 20th and received a $25 CrateInsider.com gift certificate.
Friday night's heat race winners were Martell, Brian Schaffer, and Wolbert over the 29-car field, which beat the prior high of 26 cars in June for "Manufacturers Night" at Sharon. Michael Sparks won the first ever B main in the three-year history of the division on Saturday night. "Futures Cup" racer, Jacob Jordan, took his first ever checkered flag winning the K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash for a $100 K&N certificate. Chelsie Kriegisch was second and received a $50 K&N certificate, while Nick Ritchey and Seippel received an extra $25 for their third and fourth place finishes respectively.
The 2016 season has now ended for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance. The awards banquet for all four divisions will be held on Saturday, January 21 at Gatherings Event and Banquet Center located just west of New Castle, Pa. on Route 422 in Edinburg, Pa.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Model Touring Series” Race #15 (25 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. JOHN MOLLICK (Bentz 60M) 2. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 3. Ryan Montgomery (12) 4. Kyle Zimmerman (z17) 5. Jason Knowles (4) 6. Justin Lamb (93x) 7. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8) 8. Brian Knowles (7) 9. Dave Lyon (14L) 10. Greg Beach (33x) 11. Tony White (27) 12. Andy Spooner (3) 13. Braeden Dillinger (14) 14. Bryce Davis (94) 15. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 16. Khole Wanzer (01W) 17. Chuck Medved (2M) 18. Bob Diver (23) 19. Jake Gunn (14G) 20. Kyle Lukon (184) 21. Russell Baird, Jr. (17) 22. Josh Stoica (22J) 23. Jared Miley (H1) 24. Michael Ott (Fields 21) 25. Will Thomas III (9). 26. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. (3)-DNS. (Note: Tony White took a Series provisional.)
Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $175 to-win): 1. Clinton Hersh (16) 2. Jason Fosnaught (J19) 3. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 4. Chris Frank (49) 5. Zach Kane (10) 6. Bill Kessler (09) 7. Bob Nelson (27) 8. Tony Iarrapino (54) 9. Rob Bates (64) 10. Zach Gunn (114G)-DNS 11. Troy Shields (11)-DNS 12. Jeff Haynes (64)-DNS 13. Clay Ruffo (14R)-DNS 14. Brian Swank (12s)-DNS.
Car Count: 40
Feature Lap Leaders: John Mollick (1-14, 20-25), John Waters (15-19)
Margin of Victory: 2.546 seconds
$7,500 Rocket Racing XR1, Stage 2 Chassis Gift Certificate: Jason Genco
Lincoln Electric Power Mig 140C Welder & Utility Cart Winner: Khole Wanzer
Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: John Waters
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Tony White (+14)
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Bryce Davis
CrateInsider.com "Last Car on Lead Lap": Andy Spooner
ARbodies "Nosed Out": Clinton Hersh
Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. Dave Lyon 17.408 2. Brian Knowles 17.595 3. Ryan Montgomery 17.659 4. Brian Swank 17.672 5. Jamie Wrightsman 17.682 6. Bryce Davis 17.748 7. Will Thomas III 17.802 8. Jake Gunn 17.915 9. Michael Ott 17.973 10. Bob Diver 18.019 11. Clinton Hersh 18.068 12. Greg Beach 18.076 13. Troy Shields 18.138 14. John Mollick 18.152 15. Kyle Lukon 18.164 16. Kyle Zimmerman 18.168 17. Jared Miley 18.187 18. Josh Stoica 18.210 19. John Waters 18.213 20. Justin Lamb 18.216 21. Clay Ruffo 18.364 22. Braden Dillinger 18.402 23. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 18.417 24. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. 18.446 25. Russell Baird, Jr. 18.493 26. Tony White 18.505 27. Chuck Medved 18.514 28. Khole Wanzer 18.626 29. Jason Knowles 18.641 30. Alan Dellinger 18.849 31. Chris Frank 19.032 32. Bill Kessler 19.069 33. Andy Spooner 19.178 34. Zach Kane 19.397 35. Jeff Haynes 19.573 36. Tony Iarrapino 19.616 37. Bob Nelson 19.852 38. Jason Fosnaught 20.312 39. Zach Gunn 21.074 40. Rob Bates 21.221.
Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 1 (10 laps, $25 to-win, Top 5 transfer) 1. Lyon 2. Miley 3. Spooner 4. J. Knowles 5. Ott 6. Baird 7. Nelson 8. Wrightsman 9. Shields 10. Ruffo.
Bobby Lake Motorsport RUSH Late Model Heat 2 (10 laps, $25 to-win, Top 5 transfer): 1. Davis 2. Mollick 3. B. Knowles 4. Dellinger 5. Dillinger 6. Diver 7. Fosnaught 8. Stoica 9. White 10. Kane.
Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 3 (10 laps, $25 to-win, Top 5 transfer): 1. Waters 2. Montgomery 3. Lukon 4. Thomas 5. Duritsky 6. Medved 7. Frank 8. Z. Gunn 9. Haynes 10. Hersh.
Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 4 (10 laps, $25 to-win, Top 5 transfer): 1. Zimmerman 2. Lamb 3. J. Gunn 4. Hordusky 5. Beach 6. Bates 7. Wanzer 8. Kessler 9. Iarrapino 10. Swank.
RUSH Late Model Last Chance B Main 1 (10 laps, Top 3 transfer): 1. Diver 2. Baird 3. Stoica 4. Nelson 5. Wrightsman 6. Fosnaught 7. Kane 8. White 9. Shields-DNS 10. Ruffo-DNS.
RUSH Late Model Last Chance B Main 2 (10 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Medved 2. Wanzer 3. Hersh 4. Frank 5. Kessler 6. Iarrapino 7. Bates 8. Z. Gunn 9. Haynes-DNS 10. Swank-DNS.
K&N "Cold Air Induction" RUSH Late Model Dash (6 laps, $100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Mollick 2. Lamb 3. Lyon 4. Waters 5. Miley 6. Montgomery 7. Zimmerman 8. Davis.
Sweeney RUSH Sportsman
Modified Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series Race #5
(20 laps, $800 to-win): 1. ROCKY KUGEL (83) 2. Jeff
Schaffer (14) 3. Brian Schaffer (41) 4. Kyle Martell (8) 5. Tiffany Williams
(58) 6. Kole Holden (2) 7. Josh Deems (9D) 8. Jeremy Weaver (35W) 9. Shayne
Izzo (86) 10. Greg Martin (4) 11. Nick Ritchey (77N) 12. Justin Shea (14s)
13. Chas Wolbert (c3) 14. Jacob Jordan (28J) 15. Jessica Shea (24s) 16.
Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 17. Michael Sparks (Smith 3G) 18. Michael Kristyak
(404) 19. Curtis Matthews (Persch 25) 20. Josh Seippel (84) 21. Preston Cope
(24P) 22. Jessica Kriegisch (63) 23. Brandon Ritchey (17) 24. Blaze Myers
(43JR) 25. Will Schaffer (4). (Note: Will Schaffer took a Series
DNQ for the feature: Jonathan Myers (11), Chip Ritchey (Blaney 11), Todd Gabriel (33G), Steve Slater (35)
Car Count: 29
Feature Lap Leaders: Rocky Kugel (1-20)
Margin of Victory: 3.954 seconds
Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance: Rocky Kugel
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Josh Deems (+13)
Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel": Greg Martin
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Chas Wolbert
CrateInsider.com "Last Car on Lead Lap": Josh Seippel
RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer): 1. Martell 2. B. Ritchey 3. Holden 4. Jordan 5. Seippel 6. Izzo 7. Sparks 8. Don Blaney 9. Kristyak 10. Matthews.
RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer): 1. B. Schaffer 2. J. Schaffer 3. Kugel 4. C. Kriegisch 5. J. Kriegisch 6. Je. Shea 7. Deems 8. W. Schaffer 9. Gabriel 10. J. Myers.
RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer): 1. Wolbert 2. Martin 3. Williams 4. N. Ritchey 5. Cope 6. Weaver 7. B. Myers 8. Ju. Shea 9. Slater.
RUSH Sportsman Modified Last
Chance B Main (10 laps, Top 6 transfer):
1. Sparks 2. Deems 3. B. Myers 4. Ju. Shea 5. Matthews 6. Kristyak 7. W.
Schaffer 8. J. Myers 9. C. Ritchey 10. Gabriel 11. Slater-DNS.
K&N "Cold Air Induction" RUSH Sportsman Modified Dash (4 laps, $100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Jordan 2. C. Kriegisch 3. N. Ritchey 4. Seippel.
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, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners: Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Bicknell Racing Products, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, MSD Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, FK Rod Ends, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Velocita-USA, Precise Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, K&N Filters, TBM Brakes, Lincoln Electric, Classic Ink USA., CrateInsider.com, and B.R.A.K.E.S.
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.