INAUGURAL "BATTLE OF THE BAY" SPEEDWEEK PRESENTED BY PANCHO'S A HUGE SUCCESS; LOGAN ROBERSON WINS 2 OF 4 & TAKES $1000 TITLE; 40+ CARS AT ALL 4 EVENTS
By Mike Leone
April 26, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)...It may have seemed like a crazy idea to some; four races in four days in three different states in mid-April for grassroots racers, but the inaugural "Battle of the Bay" Mid-Atlantic Speedweek presented by Pancho's Racing Products for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series was deemed a great success by all. All four tracks had a minimum of 40 cars and despite less than favorable weather, and all have already stated their intention to do it again in 2019!
A total of 63 different drivers from six states (Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware) plus Ontario, Canada participated. The average car count was 42.75. A total of 28 different drivers ran all four nights! Another five drivers ran three of the four nights. If it weren't for some issues, most likely at least five other drivers would have competed all four nights. Special recognition to Canadians Charlie Sandercock and Adam Ferri who competed all four nights with their tow to Delaware being between nine and ten hours!
"The only thing I can say about the Battle of the Bay Speedweek is that it was incredible," expressed RUSH Series Director Vicki Emig. "First we have to thank the promoters of Delaware, Georgetown, Potomac, and Winchester Speedways for making the commitment to the concept, our racers who so tremendously supported the events, our staff that worked tireless hours, and of course Pancho's Racing Products for their sponsorship."
"The racing of course was great, but I think what impressed me more than anything was the camaraderie that was formed between all of our RUSH racers," added Emig. "For the first time ever, racers from the very northern part of our region (Canada and New York) got the opportunity to race against racers from the very southern part of our region (Delaware, Maryland & Virginia), and by the end of the swing it was obvious many new friendships were forged. They raced hard against each other, but all came together to help each other get on down the road to the next event!"
The Speedweek kicked off on Wednesday (April 18) for the first time ever in the state of Delaware at Delaware International Speedway. A Speedweek high 46 cars turned out with Pennsylvania's Max Blair winning the $2,000 prize for his 19th career Sweeney RUSH Tour victory. Blair has won races all over the East Coast, but not only was it his first ever win in the state of Delaware, it was his first race in the "First State"!
Thursday night saw action move 20 miles northeast to Georgetown Speedway for the first time ever. Despite showers that lasted until mid-afternoon along with falling temperatures and gusty winds, promoter Brett Deyo went on with the show as 40 cars turned out. Delaware racers Ross Robinson, Amanda Whaley, and Matt Hill swept the podium. The $2,000 win was Robinson's first ever on the RUSH Tour.
After a pair of fifth place finishes, Logan Roberson swept the final two nights of Speedweek winning at his Friday night home, Potomac Speedway in Maryland, and his Saturday night home, Winchester Speedway in Virginia. The $2,000 victories were the first ever in a National Touring Series event for the 2017 Sweeney RUSH National Weekly Series Champion. Both tracks set all-time car count records for the division with 41 at Potomac and 44 at Winchester.
Roberson entered Saturday night third in the "Battle of the Bay" points. It was a frantic final laps as Roberson was in control out front, while Robinson was trying to fend off the hard charging Blair and Canadian Charlie Sandercock. Had Robinson been able to do so, he'd have won the title. Instead, Robinson back-pedaled to seventh, while Blair went from 10th to fifth. In the end, Roberson outgained Robinson by just one-point and Blair by two for the $1,000 Speedweek title. Roberson ended Speedweek with $6,150 in earnings!
Roberson and Blair were the only two drivers to finish in the top five all four nights. Robinson was the only other driver to finish in the top 10 all four nights. Eleven drivers were able to qualify for the feature all four nights (Roberson, Robinson, Blair, Amanda Whaley, Jeremy Wonderling, Darrell Bossard, Sandercock, John Waters, Jason Genco, Jason Knowles, and Brady Wonderling).
Amanda Whaley turned a lot of heads during Speedweek. The 23-year-old Millsboro, DE driver was in contention every night. In fact, she was the only driver to win her FK Rod Ends heat race every night ($100) and the only driver to qualify for the K&N Dash every night! If it wasn't for an electrical issue that caused a DNF at Potomac, Whaley would have been contending for the "Battle of the Bay" title. Whaley already has a RUSH win this season winning the Georgetown opener back on March 16.
Sandercock (Delaware), Knowles (Georgetown), Blair (Potomac), and Roberson (Winchester) each set fast time earning $100 thanks to FK Rod Ends. Roberson in fact shattered Jared Hawkins' Winchester track record from 2015 by 0.221 with a new standard 15.479.
A non-qualifier was run each night. Chuck Bowie (Delaware), Matt Glanden (Georgetown), Jimmy Jesmer, Jr. (Potomac), and Scott Gunn all picked up their first non-qualifier wins upping the total to 30 different winners in the 34 races run all-time. Bill Kessler and Christian Schneider are currently tied for the "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series point lead.
The new Dirt Defender "Defensive Drive" award went to Roberson (Delaware), Bruce Hordusky, Jr. (Georgetown), Ferri (Potomac), and Garret Paugh (Winchester). Earning the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake" awards were Hordusky (Delaware), Knowles (Georgetown), Whaley (Potomac), and Beamer Guzzardi (Winchester). Picking up $100 Precise Racing Products gift cards for being the hard charger were Austin Hubbard (Delaware), Jeremy Wonderling (Georgetown), Knowles (Potomac), and Sandercock (Winchester).
RUSH awarded a $150 travel package to any driver in the top 12 in 2017 Sweeney Touring Series points that competed in at least two of the events including the first. Earning those monies were Waters, Wonderling, Knowles, J.J. Mazur, and Hordusky.
Special thanks to Pancho Lawler, owner of Pancho's Racing Products, for presenting the inaugural "Battle of the Bay" Speedweek. The Hanover, Pa. business came on board for the first time in 2018 as a RUSH marketing partner and will also provide product giveaways at both the Late Model and Sprint Car "Manufacturers Nights" presented by MSD Performance. Pancho's 16-year-old son Cory competed in all four events and will run the full Sweeney Touring Series in addition to chasing after the 2018 "Futures Cup" title.
Also thanks to Elliott Farms for posting $600 in lap money at Delaware. The $20 per lap for the 30-lap feature rotated amongst the top five positions. Whaley led the way garnering $120. Blair and Robinson each added $100. New York drivers John Waters and Jason Genco each earned an extra $80, while Robinson and Roberson both pocketed $60.
FINAL "Battle of the Bay" Speedweek Points (drivers had to be a RUSH member and display the Pancho's decal): 1. Logan Roberson 384 ($1,000) 2. Ross Robinson 383 ($500) 3. Max Blair 382 ($350) 4. Amanda Whaley 356 ($225) 5. Jeremy Wonderling 354 ($200) 6. Matt Hill 348 ($180) 7. Darrell Bossard 346 ($150) 8. Charlie Sandercock 335 ($140) 9. John Waters 332 ($130) 10. Jason Genco 326 ($125) 11. Jason Knowles 324 12. Garret Paugh 320 13. Brady Wonderling 318 14. Damian Bidwell 312 15. Chuck Bowie 306 16. Matt Glanden 305 17. Cody Dawson 302 18. Adam Ferri 300 19. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. 299 20. Trevor Collins 298 21. J.J. Mazur 295 22. Christian Schneider 292 23. Cory Lawler 287 24. Bill Kessler & Mike Franklin 282 26. Jimmy Johnson & Beamer Guzzardi 280 28. Joe Warren 244 29. Jeff Pilkerton 221 30. Darren Alvey 220 31. Joe Watson 210 32. Braeden Dillinger 160 33. Billy Thompson 156 34. Brandon Sturgis 144 35. Matt Tarbox, Bob Schwartzmiller & Jimmy Jesmer, Jr. 140 38. Tanner Kerr 96 39. Sparky White 87 40. Levi Crowl 86 41. Devin Brannon 76 42. Steve Lowery 72 43. Jimmy Duncan, Megan Mann, Jakob Piper, Richard Hawkins & Corey McPherson 48. Austin Hubbard, Scott Gunn, Charles Shawver, Mike Wharton, Robert Smith, Tyler Reed, Chace Biron, Joe Pete, Kelly Putz, Zac Weller, Jamie Sutphin, Billy Beachler, James Marshall, Ronnie Martin, Jr., Jonathan Dehaven & Scott Sweeney 0.
The Sweeney Tour will resume action with a two-night weekend on May 19-20 with Saturday night at Stateline Speedway in Busti, NY for just the second time ever and Sunday night at Eriez Speedway in Eriez, Pa. Both “Marquee” events will pay $2,000 to-win.
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, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Landrum Performance Spring, CrateInsider.com, 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.