By Mike Leone


November 25, 2013            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Ocala, FL)ÖWhile the 2013 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series season ended a month ago and most are beginning to prepare for the 2014 season, five local racers made the tow south to compete in NeSmith's "World Championship" this past weekend (November 22-23) at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida. 


When the checkered flag waved in the 100-lap event on Saturday night it was Brasstown, North Carolina's Ray Cook charging from the 19th starting spot to capture the $10,100 top prize.  It was the second straight season that Bubba Raceway Park hosted the season finale for the NeSmith Series that once again attracted several Northeast racers.  The ninth annual event drew 49 race teams from 11 different states!


Mike Pegher, Jr., who beat out Ryan Montgomery by three points to win the Sweeney Tour championship, led all local competitors with an impressive runner-up finish worth $5,000!  The Wexford, Pa. 27-year-old started his first event in the Bobby Lake Motorsports-owned #1 Warrior Chassis from the ninth starting spot after finishing third in his heat on Friday night.  Pegher captured five Sweeney Tour wins in 2013 and also finished runner-up in the Sweeney Weekly Series Championship driving the Lynn Geisler-owned #1c.   


Five-time Sweeney Tour winner and second place point man, Ryan Montgomery, continues to impress no matter where he competes.  The 16-year-old Fairmont, West Virginia racer finished second in his heat on Friday night and crossed the finish line in 10th after 100 laps to pocket $1,000.  Montgomery's #12 will be back in action this weekend in a $20,000 to-win non-sanctioned Crate Late Model event at Swainsboro (GA) Raceway.


Moon Township, Pennsylvania's George Kowatic received the long tow provisional and finished 25th in Saturday's feature.  Muse, Pennsylvania's W.L. Stile, who finished 12th in the Sweeney Tour points, made his first ever trek south to B.R.P., but missed out on qualifying for the feature as did Joe Krcelich of Carmichaels, Pa.  Bruceton Mills, West Virginia native Doug Horton, who now resides in Florida, missed the feature by one spot in his last chance B main.


Twelve-year-old Michael Lake of Uniontown, Pa., who finished runner-up in the RUSH "Futures Cup" standings and won the $2,000 Sweeney Tour event on Labor Day at Roaring Knob, failed to qualify for the feature.  Back in January during Speedweek, Lake became the youngest driver in the history of NeSmith to qualify for a feature event.  Like Montgomery, Lake will also be in action this weekend, but his travels will take him to East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, FL.  Lake will drive his grandfather's #27 Warrior in a weekly event in preparation for competing with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in February!


"It's great to see our racers go on the road and have success," stated RUSH director Vicki Emig.  "Mike and Ryan had a tremendous season here in the Northeast so it wasn't surprising they were able to shine against some of the best Crate Late Models in the country.  It says a lot about the caliber of competition in the Northeast.  With our Sweeney RUSH rules identical to NeSmith's, it paves the way for our racers to compete in these big events." 


The NeSmith Series will open their 2014 season January 28 through February 1 at B.R.P. where several Sweeney RUSH teams are again expected to compete for the second straight year.  The first four nights will pay $2,000 to-win, while Saturday's 50-lap finale will pay $3,000 to the feature winner.


2013 RUSH marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, RainEater Wiper Blades, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The -Brake Man, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, K1 RaceGear, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Wrisco Industries, High Gear Speed Shop, Utsingerís Towing, RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.

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.