LOGAN ROBERSON WINS FROM 12TH AT LERNERVILLE & TAKES THE $15,000 HOVIS RUSH LATE MODEL FLYNN'S TIRE TOUR TITLE; BEN EASLER CAPS OFF RUSH SPORTSMAN MOD WEEKLY CHAMPIONSHIP WITH FLYNN'S TIRE TOUR WIN; BLAZE MYERS WINS #4 IN RUSH SPRINTS
By Mike Leone
October 15, 2022 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Sarver, PA)... The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Racing Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants participated in the “Steel City Stampede” once again at Lernerville Speedway Thursday through Saturday night. The 14th edition saw three of RUSH's classes spotlighted with Logan Roberson capturing the Late Model Flynn's Tire Touring Series event, while Ben Easler claimed the Sportsman Modified Flynn's Tire Touring Series race and Blaze Myers earned the victory in the Equipment Rental Options Sprint Car Weekly Series special. In addition, Doug Rutana was the lucky recipient in the Chevrolet Performance 602 Sportsman Modified complete engine giveaway presented by Sara Cipriano of Waterstone Mortgage of Hermitage, Pa.
Twelfth starting Logan Roberson emerged victorious after going fourth to first on a last lap restart in the 30-lap RUSH Late Model feature that had five different leaders with three of them coming in the final three laps! Roberson earned $3,500 for his first career Lernerville win and became the 12th different winner in 14 "Steel City Stampede" events; however, more importantly his season's sixth win on the Flynn's Tire Touring Series earned him the $15,000 championship!
"This means so much," acknowledged the emotional 25-year-old Waynesboro, VA winner and champion. "This is pretty much what we do for a living. This whole week I was under pressure and didn't get much sleep because we haven't done well the last couple events. I knew everything came down to this night and it had to be perfect for me to win it. Damn- my guys gave me a hell of a car and I just drove the thing and tried to make the right decisions. There was a couple times I could have taken it in there, but told myself not to, run my race, and keep my head on straight and damned if it didn't work out!"
2017 champion Bryce Davis led the first four laps before 2016 champion and fourth starting John Waters drove under Davis in turn two for the lead. One lap later, Michael Norris performed the same move on Davis for second. A three-car accident occurred right in front of Waters on lap nine; Waters made contact and kept going. On the ensuing restart however, Waters struggled with most likely a tire going down from the prior contact and then Norris made contact, which crumpled his nose. Norris inherited the lead for the restart, but faded before exiting the race.
Davis regained the lead on lap nine over Josh Ferry over Chad Homan. Over the next several laps, Ferry would lose second to Homan, third to Jeremy Wonderling, and fourth to Roberson. Davis stretched his lead to nearly four seconds when he caught lapped traffic on lap 16. Davis and the lapped car of Jim Rasey made contact on the backstretch, which allowed Homan to close right in on Davis by the time he was back up to speed. A caution for Joe Martin slowed action with 17 laps completed.
When racing resumed on lap 18, Roberson passed both Wonderling and Homan for second. Davis stretched out his lead to over 1.1 seconds by the time he caught traffic again on lap 24; however, the lead was erased again when Clinton Hersh, who had worked his way from 21st to fourth, spun to bring out the caution with 26 laps recorded. Back under green, Wonderling surged into second and then would get a shot alongside Davis after another caution. Wonderling, the 2018-2020 Tour Champion, made the pass on the restart and appeared headed to an unprecedented fifth straight win when a three-car accident slowed action one last time with 29 laps completed.
When racing resumed, Davis used the outside on the restart as he appeared to make the winning move on Wonderling; however, slipped high in turn two as Roberson snuck past Homan, Wonderling, and Davis with the thrilling move. Roberson became the fourth and final different Touring Series champion that led in the wild event! Roberson's Gunter's Honey/Clary's Used Cars/RBS Auto/All About Wraps-sponsored #17 took the checkered flag first by 0.484 seconds for his ninth career Flynn's Tire Tour victory.
"When they gave us the green and white together I said I'm going for it," explained Roberson. "As soon as they slid up in (turns) one and two, and I accidently gave Jeremy (Wonderling) the door, but I'm sure he would have done the same thing. I expect it back from him, but this is just an awesome feeling. This is a reward for everything my family has been through. I just can't thank all my help enough. I have so many people that stand behind me and I have to thank Vicki (Emig) and Mike (Leone) for this Series."
Not only did Wonderling come up one-lap shy of setting a record with a fifth straight Tour victory and overtaking Martin for second in points, but slipped to fifth at the finish as Davis, Homan, and brother Brady Wonderling all got by. For Davis, it was the second straight year he finished runner-up at the event to the champion as last year it was Kyle Hardy victorious. Davis earned $1,750 for his best Tour finish of the season as he just missed out on a complete sweep of the weekend.
Homan was third for his third podium finish of the season as he finished in the top six in all seven Tour starts! Brady Wonderling was fourth for the second time in three races as it was his fifth top five of the season. Jeremy Wonderling's fifth was his 11th top five of the season to earn third place in points for the second straight year. Tim Shaffer was sixth for his third top 10 in four starts this year. Ferry faded to seventh. Matt Latta was eighth for his 11th top 10 of the year. Brothers Brian and Jason Knowles finished ninth and 10th respectively as Brian earned the $50 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card for passing 13 cars.
Andy Spooner led all eight non-stop laps of the D&V Jewelers Non-Qualifier event to become the amazing 64th different winner in 76 races run all-time! An elated and emotional Spooner earned $200 aboard the Everly Trucking/A&R Trucking/Addison Farm Equipment-sponsored #85. "I can't believe this," said the 43-year-old Morgantown, WV driver. "This means so much. I'm the happiest man at the track tonight. I have to thank my entire team. We've struggled with this car all year, and to win and stand in victory lane at Lernerville Speedway is amazing!"
Thirteen-time Lernerville Pro Stock winner, Joey Zambotti III, was second in his first RUSH Late Model start of the year and also received a $100 Performance Bodies gift card for being the first feature non-qualifier. Jacob Peterson was third. Twelve-year-old Brock Pinkerous was fourth in his first RUSH Tour start ahead of Jacob Wilber, who made his first ever Late Model start for the former Street Stock racer.
Davis earned his first $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying award of the season with a lap of 17.209 on Friday night over the 31-car field. Picking up $25 FK Rod Ends heat race wins were Davis, Shaffer, Norris, and Jeremy Wonderling, while Hersh won the last chance B main Davis also won his first Sunoco Dash of the season and received a $100 Sunoco fuel card. Also receiving $100 Sunoco fuel cards in random drawings were Tour racers Roberson and Brandt Graham, while the $50 Sunoco fuel cards went to Kurt Stebbins, Ferry, Jason Knowles, and Will Thomas III.
Ben Easler opened the season for the Hovis RUSH Sportsman Modified Flynn's Tire Touring Series at Sharon by winning his first ever in Tour competition and closed out the year winning the finale at Lernerville. Easler, the 2021 "Futures Cup" Champion, passed Jordan Ehrenberg on lap 11 and went uncontested for the 25-lap feature win worth $800 as he became the ninth different winner in nine "Steel City Stampede" events! More impressively, Easler, who already won the $1,000 Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble" Series Championship, was able to earn the $3,500 Hovis Weekly Series Championship with his sixth overall win of 2022!
"This feels very relieving," expressed the 16-year-old Conneaut (PA) High School football quarterback. "I didn't think I was going to be (standing) here today. I had a football game and made it here just in time here to run the heats last night. I got lucky enough to draw the pole and to end up winning- I'm just so blessed to be here. It feels really good to win this Series. It's something I wanted to do since we started running it and I'm very happy to get it done in year two. We had some wins in karts, but this is way cooler than anything we did in karts. I have to thank my dad for driving me everywhere between racing and football, my family, all my sponsors, the Kings, RUSH and Lernerville for putting this on, and the fans."
Doug Rutana, who earlier in the day won the engine package giveaway valued at $11,000 from Sara Cipriano of Waterstone Mortgage with special thanks from MSD Performance, Holley Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, and Ingram Engines, led the first three laps in search of his first career win. Ehrenberg though overtook Rutana on a restart on lap four and now was hoping for his first career RUSH win. Ehrenberg maintained the lead until slipping high in turn four on lap 11 allowing Easler to make the winning pass.
The last 17 laps went caution-free as Easler's seventh career RUSH Sportsman Modified win came by 1.735 seconds in the Jason Easler-owned, Crawford Custom Consulting/Titusville Ford/Pore's Bodywax/Espyville Heating & Air/Tanner Southern Auto Parts/Latta Bros. Racing/Russ King Racing/Smokin J's Country Corner Inn/Lakeside Lanes/Happy Hill Farms-sponsored #02.
Seventh starting Kole Holden, a five-time 2022 RUSH winner, passed Ehrenberg for second on lap 13 to secure the runner-up position. Sixteen-year-old Ayden Cipriano, who earlier in the night finished third in the Big-Block Modified feature with a "358" small-block, went eighth to third after getting by Ehrenberg on lap 14 as the 2020 "Futures Cup" Champion was able to capture the Flynn's Tire Touring Series Championship! Ehrenberg slipped to fourth, but it was his season's best finish in 19 races! Preston Cope was fifth.
Doug Rutana dropped to sixth over Dalton Gabriel, Rob Kristyak, Kyle Martell, and Jacob Rutana. Eric Gabany went 19th to 12th to earn the $50 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card. Lucas Canon came back from a spin on lap nine to finish 14th and was selected as the Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel" recipient. Will Schaffer ran his first race in more than three years, but was the first car to exit the event and was chosen as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient. Heat winners on Friday night were Holden and Ehrenberg.
2022 Franklin (PA) High School graduate, Blaze Myers, capped off his career best season of racing by winning the 20-lap feature for the Hovis RUSH Sprint Cars. Myers got by Chad Ruhlman on the start and beat out veteran, standout racers John Mollick, Gale Ruth, Jr., Ruhlman, and Arnie Kent for his fourth Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series victory of the season. Myers, who won the 2018 "Steel City Stampede" in a RUSH Sportsman Modified, earned his second belt buckle but first in a Sprint Car and secured third place in points.
"I was standing here four years ago and was thankful to be there then but this means a little more to me," explained the 18-year-old racer. "It's just a hell of a thrill driving a Sprint Car around this place in a scary way. The track was slick, but there was a lane of rubber and if you got in there you were good. I didn't know who was behind me or where they were- I was just running my own race and hoping to stay out front. You just learn to deal with the lapped cars. The cost is so inexpensive to run one of these cars and it's honestly one of the best divisions there is in racing. You can almost make money doing this and that's hard to do when you're racing. I have to thank my entire family- I couldn't do it without them along with everyone on this car."
Ruhlman started from the pole, but it was Myers taking off in the lead from the outside. After going fourth to second on the opening lap, Mollick lost runner-up to Ruhlman on lap two and third to Ruth on lap three. Ruth, who had to win and have Ruhlman finish third or worse to have a shot at the title, passed Ruhlman for second on lap four. Mollick then got back by Ruhlman for third on lap nine. Things began to fall Ruth's way as he closed in on Myers each lap and was on the leader on lap 15. In the ensuing laps however, Ruth's championship hopes dwindled as the handling of his car went away and then would lose second to Mollick on lap 17.
Myers then went unchallenged to his fifth career RUSH Sprint Car win, which have come at five different tracks, by 1.160 seconds aboard his J.I. McCall Construction/John Pleger Roofing/Billy's Garage/Linda Lou's Restaurant/Jen Morris-Mays Insurance/ Lowry Auto Body/DiFrischia Recycling/McDaniel & Assoc./J.I.'s Place/Jolley Roofing & Construction-sponsored #43Jr.
Mollick was second over Ruth. Ruhlman's fourth place finish enabled him to earn his fourth $5,000 Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship in five years and second straight aboard the Engles Motorsports #68. Kent was fifth for his 11th top five of the season. Nolan Groves, Jeff Metsger, Ryan Fraley, Brian Hartzell, and Tyler Newhart completed the top 10. Heat winners on Friday night were Kent and Myers.
With the exception of three RUSH Late Model special events at Delaware International and Georgetown Speedways in the coming weeks, the 2022 season is now complete for all RUSH-sanctioned divisions. The 2022 RUSH Racing Series Awards Banquet & Dinner will be held in mid-January 2023 at Gatherings Banquet & Event Center in Edinburg, Pa. More information will be released in the coming weeks.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire Touring Series Race #19 (30 laps, $3,500 to-win): 1. LOGAN ROBERSON (17) 2. Bryce Davis (94) 3. Chad Homan (91) 4. Brady Wonderling (z1) 5. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 6. Tim Shaffer (45) 7. Josh Ferry (33) 8. Matt Latta (21) 9. Brian Knowles (7) 10. Jason Knowles (7) 11. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 12. Ryan Frazee (17) 13. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 14. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 15. Brandt Graham (14) 16. Tom Snyder, Jr. (10T) 17. Kurt Stebbins (26) 18. Clinton Hersh (16) 19. Craig Graham (98) 20. Austin Allen (32) 21. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 22. R.J. Dallape (75) 23. Tony Musolino (42) 24. Michael Norris (Dabecco N1) 25. Will Thomas III (9). (Note: Craig Graham took a Tour provisional.)
D&V Jewelers Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $200 to-win): 1. Andy Spooner (85) 2. Joey Zambotti III (948) 3. Jacob Peterson (112) 4. Brock Pinkerous (555) 5. Jacob Wilber (50). DNS: Jacob Gunn (14G).
Car Count: 31
Feature Margin of Victory:
Feature Lap Leaders: Bryce Davis (1-4, 9-28), John Waters (5-8), Jeremy Wonderling (29), Logan Roberson (30)
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Austin Allen
Performance Bodies “Nosed Out”: Joey Zambotti III
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Brian Knowles (+13)
Precise Racing Products 5-Gallon Race Jug: Logan Roberson
Sunoco Fuel Card Winners: Brandt Graham ($100), Logan Roberson ($100), Kurt Stebbins ($50), Josh Ferry ($50), Jason Knowles ($50), Will Thomas III ($50)
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: John Waters
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time) (Track record 16.776 by Alex Ferree 10/18/19): 1. 94-Bryce Davis, 00:17.209; 2. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:17.481; 3. N1-Michael Norris, 00:17.482; 4. 17R-Logan Roberson, 00:17.483; 5. 17-Ryan Frazee, 00:17.543; 6. 45-Tim Shaffer, 00:17.585; 7. 33-Josh Ferry, 00:17.718; 8. 11L-John Waters, 00:17.742; 9. 91-Chad Homan, 00:17.813; 10. Z1-Brady Wonderling, 00:17.848; 11. 9-Will Thomas, 00:17.868; 12. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr, 00:17.900; 13. 4-Jason Knowles, 00:17.922; 14. 32A-Austin Allen, 00:17.940; 15. 14-Brandt Graham, 00:17.942; 16. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:17.982; 17. 14G-Jake Gunn, 00:18.013; 18. 21J-Jim Rasey, 00:18.108; 19. 26-Kurt Stebbins, 00:18.116; 20. 948-Joey Zambotti III, 00:18.118; 21. 10T-Tom Snyder Jr, 00:18.161; 22. 555-Brock Pinkerous, 00:18.182; 23. 21L-Matt Latta, 00:18.194; 24. 75D-RJ Dallape, 00:18.233; 25. 98-Craig Graham, 00:18.365; 26. 16-Clinton Hersh, 00:18.403; 27. 7-Brian Knowles, 00:18.424; 28. 42-Tony Musolino, 00:18.636; 29. 112-Jacob Peterson, 00:19.089; 30. 50-Jacob Wilber, 00:20.149; 31. 85S-Andy Spooner-DSQ (did not scale).
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 94-Bryce Davis; 2. 91-Chad Homan; 3. 17-Ryan Frazee; 4. 4-Jason Knowles; 5. 10T-Tom Snyder Jr; 6. 98-Craig Graham; 7. 14G-Jake Gunn; 8. 112-Jacob Peterson.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 45-Tim Shaffer; 2. 10S-Joe Martin; 3. Z1-Brady Wonderling; 4. 21J-Jim Rasey; 5. 32A-Austin Allen; 6. 16-Clinton Hersh; 7. 555-Brock Pinkerous; 8. 50-Jacob Wilber.
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. N1-Michael Norris; 2. 33-Josh Ferry; 3. 21L-Matt Latta; 4. 9-Will Thomas; 5. 14-Brandt Graham; 6. 7-Brian Knowles; 7. 26-Kurt Stebbins; 8. 85S-Andy Spooner.
FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 2. 11L-John Waters; 3. 17R-Logan Roberson; 4. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr; 5. 42-Tony Musolino; 6. 948-Joey Zambotti III; 7. 75D-RJ Dallape.
Last Chance B Main (10 laps, Top 4 transfer to A): 1. 16-Clinton Hersh; 2. 7-Brian Knowles; 3. 26-Kurt Stebbins; 4. 75D-RJ Dallape; 5. 98-Craig Graham; 6. 948-Joey Zambotti III; 7. 14G-Jake Gunn; 8. 85S-Andy Spooner; 9. 50-Jacob Wilber; 10. 112-Jacob Peterson; 11. 555-Brock Pinkerous-DSQ (light).
Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 Sunoco fuel card to-win): 1. 94-Bryce Davis; 2. 33-Josh Ferry; 3. N1-Michael Norris; 4. 11L-John Waters; 5. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 6. 45-Tim Shaffer; 7. 10S-Joe Martin; 8. 91-Chad Homan.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sportsman Modified Flynn's Tire Touring Series Race #5 (25 laps, $800 to-win): 1. BEN EASLER (02) 2. Kole Holden (2) 3. Ayden Cipriano (5c) 4. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57) 5. Preston Cope (24) 6. Doug Rutana (46R) 7. Dalton Gabriel (333G) 8. Rob Kristyak (00) 9. Kyle Martell (8) 10. Jacob Rutana (57R) 11. Jacob Jordan (28J) 12. Eric Gabany (4) 13. Cole Edwards (29) 14. Lucas Canon (2LC) 15. Shayne Izzo (86) 16. Ryan Riffe (21x) 17. Todd English (01T) 18. Gage Priester (71) 19. Will Schaffer (4).
Car Count: 19
Feature Margin of Victory: 1.735 seconds
Feature Lap Leaders: Doug Rutana (1-3), Jordan Ehrenberg (4-10), Ben Easler (11-25)
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Eric Gabany (+7)
Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel": Lucas Canon
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Will Schaffer
Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. 2-Kole Holden; 2. 02-Benjamin Easler; 3. 01T-Todd English; 4. 5C-Ayden Cipriano; 5. 333G-Dalton Gabriel; 6. 00-Rob Kristyak; 7. 29-Cole Edwards; 8. 28J-Jacob Jordan; 9. 4-Will Schaffer; 10. 4S-Eric Gabany.
Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. JD57-Jordan Ehrenberg; 2. 24-Preston Cope; 3. 8-Kyle Martell; 4. 46R-Doug Rutana; 5. 57R-Jacob Rutana; 6. 21X-Ryan Riffe; 7. 71-Gage Priester; 8. 2LC-Lucas Canon; 9. 86-Shayne Izzo.
Hovis RUSH Sprint Car Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Race #25 (20 laps, $600 to-win): 1. BLAZE MYERS (43Jr) 2. John Mollick (Clever 4J) 3. Gale Ruth, Jr. (McConnell 24) 4. Chad Ruhlman (Engles 68) 5. Arnie Kent (Mahoney/Eckart 9J) 6. Nolan Groves (25) 7. Jeff Metsger (20) 8. Ryan Fraley (12) 9. Brian Hartzell (69) 10. Tyler Newhart (57N) 11. Brandon Shughart (29) 12. Ricky Tucker, Jr. (1T) 13. Lacey Shuttleworth (15) 14. Philip Young (4y) 15. Jack Sodeman, Jr. (Blaney 11).
The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage, Wedge Motorsports, 3C Graphix, D&V Jewelers, DrumPreserve, CrateInsider.com, Marthinsen & Salvitti Insurance Group and Terry Bowser Excavating.
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.