FRESH OFF $10,000 AT LERNERVILLE, MAX BLAIR MAKES HIS WEEDSPORT DEBUT A WINNING ONE CAPTURING TUESDAY’S SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL TOUR RACE; SHOW TO BE BROADCAST AUGUST 8 ON MAVTV PRESENTED BY SUNOCO RACE FUELS DISTRIBUTED BY INSINGER PERFORMANCE
By Mike Leone
July 2, 2019 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Weedsport, NY)... The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series powered by Pace Performance headed to the Empire State on Tuesday night for a special pre-Independence Day holiday program in the return to the beautiful, state-of-the-art Weedsport Speedway. Race #9 was tape delayed by MAVTV/SpeedSport.TV for the second straight year as the “RUSH Hour 30” will be shown on August 8 on MAVTV. Television was made possible by presenting sponsor Sunoco Race Fuels distributed by Insinger Performance. Alternative Power Sources, Close Racing Supply, and CrateInsider.com were again segment sponsors. In addition, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply sponsored the in-car cameras, while Three Rivers Karting sponsored both the speed shot wall and cushion cams and will have a watch party on August 8.
Fresh off his $10,000 “Bill Emig Memorial” victory 10 days ago at Lernerville Speedway, Max Blair made his first ever appearance at the showplace Weedsport Speedway a winning one. Blair raced from sixth to second in the dash then passed last year’s winner, John Waters, on lap two and drove a masterful race through lapped traffic to garner the victory. Blair’s fifth Sweeney Tour victory in his seven starts this season boasted his earnings to well over $25,000!
“John is one of my good buddies and it’s a lot of fun to race together especially when it’s for the win,” expressed the 29-year-old Centerville, Pa. winner. “He’s one of those guys that you can race hard with and he’ll race you back hard and it’s always clean. For the most part traffic wasn’t too bad. That one time I got pinched pretty hard low on the frontstretch and I kind of held my breath on that one going into turn one, but other than that everyone did a good job. This place is beautiful and I definitely can’t wait to come back. This is a big team effort. I have a lot of good people behind me and I couldn’t do it without them.”
Waters picked up where he left off in 2018 at Weedsport as his dash win put him on the pole of the 30-lap feature. Waters was able to fend off Blair on the opening lap. Lap two saw the duo race side-by-side for the lead as Blair made the inside work to grab the lead off the bottom of turn four. Waters then pushed bad on lap three allowing fourth starting Dale Caswell to take over the runner-up spot, while Michael Duritsky, Jr. cracked the top five getting by Fleming.
Waters caught back up to Caswell and the two ran side-by-side on lap four before six cars got together off turn two that included three Tour regulars in Kyle Lukon, Ryan Frazee, and Logan Zarin along with New York racers David Pangrazio, Wayne Robertson, and Zach Wiech. Pangrazio, who made the tow down to Pittsburgh last Saturday for “Manufacturers Night” before getting rained out, appeared to get the worst of the accident and was awarded the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”.
When racing resumed on lap five, Waters put a big slider on Caswell in turn four to grab second back. Lukon had rejoined the race, but lost the handle to bring out the caution with five laps scored. Lukon would retire from the event as apparently something wasn’t right on the handling from the accident; nonetheless was able to move into second place in Tour points. Back under green again, sixth and seventh starting Chad Homan and Jeremy Wonderling raced their way past Caswell for third and fourth respectively. Caswell would fall out of the top five on lap nine as Duritsky made the pass on lap nine. The event’s final caution slowed action when Bill Kessler got into the turn two wall with 11 laps scored.
The last 19 laps would go caution-free as lapped traffic finally came into play on lap 20. Blair had a half-straightaway lead at that point and by lap 21 found himself bottled up. Blair had to make a three-wide pass of “Futures Cup” racer Max Hill and Brad Mesler, who was making his 2019 debut, on lap 22. Waters began to cut the deficit on lap 24 and looked like he may make a run at Blair; however, Blair made the right moves in lapped traffic in the closing laps to secure the win. Blair's all-time leading 26th career Sweeney RUSH Tour win came in his Murphy’s Logging/C&J Dairy/Previty’s Auto Wrecking/Specialty Products/Moody & Son Welding-sponsored #111.
Waters was able to better his fifth place finish at Lernerville with his season’s best Sweeney Tour effort in second to earn $1,000. “There’s a reason he’s still the best in the country,” stated the Whitesville, NY racer. “Earlier in the week he texted me and asked what tires I ran at Weedsport, and I thought ‘oh crap’ and told him round ones, but no I gave him the information later. It’s always great when I get a chance to race against Max. If you can beat him, it’s just makes it that much better and steps your game up. I didn’t even know the checkered flag came out. We were rolling good and I felt like we were running him down in traffic, but out in the open he had us. The track was awesome. You could move all around and it made it very maneuverable through lapped traffic and everyone was very respectable. Hats off to Weedsport- thanks for having us.”
Homan backed up his third place Tour finish at Outlaw Speedway on May 31 with another podium effort in just his second Tour start of 2019. Homan received the Dirt Defender “Defensive Drive of the Night” award for holding off Wonderling. “I got held up some at the end by lapped cars but I didn’t have anything for the first two as they were checked out on me,” explained the Macedon, NY resident. “We had a good run early and went from sixth to third and just tried to maintain our position. We improved three spots from last year’s sixth place and made it to the podium- just not where I wanted to be so we’ll go get them next year.”
Wonderling’s fourth place was his sixth top five in nine starts allowing the defending Sweeney Tour champion to maintain his point’s lead. Duritsky was a season best fourth that vaulted him from a tie for fourth in points to sole possession of third. Brian Knowles raced from the 10th starting spot to sixth at the finish. After getting up to second on lap three, Caswell faded to seventh. Chris Fleming was eighth. Jason Knowles started 17th and finished ninth to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” hard charger gift card plus received a $150 spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic. Bret Belden completed the top 10 in his first Tour start of 2019.
Blair set fast time in $100 FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying with a lap of 16.639 just missing the track record of 16.630 set by Homan last year. Blair added another $25 for winning the first FK Rod Ends heat race to bring his earnings for the night to $2,125 plus received a Sunoco 5-Gallon Race Jug. Other $25 FK Rod Ends heat race winners were Wonderling, Duritsky, and Homan. Wiech won the last chance B main.
Hill, Homan, Caswell, Belden, and Pangrazio were all the lucky recipients of $100 through the “$500 Club” drawings presented by Zarin Truck & Automotive. Those five drivers were in the top 15 in points at one of the nearest two RUSH Weekly-sanctioned speedways of Genesee or Fulton Speedways.
Up next for the Sweeney Tour will be the first ever RUSH Late Model events in the Canadian province of Quebec on July 12-13. The "Quebec Invasion" will feature back-to-back Platinum events at the big half-mile Autodrome Granby (Friday the 12th) and the quarter-mile Le RPM Speedway (Saturday the 13th). Each night will be $4,000 to-win, $400 to-start in US funds. There will also be 20 $100 Sunoco gift cards given away.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Model Touring Series Race #9 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (111) 2. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 3. Chad Homan (91) 4. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 5. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 6. Brian Knowles (7) 7. Dale Caswell (R19) 8. Chris Fleming (10) 9. Jason Knowles (4) 10. Bret Belden (81) 11. Braeden Dillinger (14) 12. Wayne Robertson (20) 13. Steve Dixon (65) 14. Jimmy Johnson (39J) 15. Harry Halliday (13Two) 16. Brad Mesler (24B) 17. Max Hill (160) 18. Paul Grigsby (24) 19. Zach Wiech (6) 20. Kevan Cook (3x) 21. Bill Kessler (09) 22. Kyle Lukon (184) 23. Logan Zarin (1z) 24. David Pangrazio (136) 25. Ryan Frazee (11F). (Note: Bill Kessler took a Series provisional)
DNQ for the feature: T.J. Downs (1), Matt Kitts (5K), J.J. Mazur (13), Steve LeBarron (29), Brad Smith (76), Sean Beardsley (Claver 93J).
Car Count: 31
Feature Lap Leaders: John Waters (1), Max Blair (2-30)
Zarin Truck & Automotive “$500 Club”: Max Hill, Kevan Cook, Dale Caswell, Bret Belden, David Pangrazio
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Jason Knowles (+8)
Dirt Defender “Defensive Drive of the Night”: Chad Homan
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": David Pangrazio
Sunoco 5-Gallon Race Jugs: Max Blair
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert”: Jason Knowles
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time) (Track record 16.630 by Chad Homan 7/3/18): 1. Max Blair 16.639 2. Jeremy Wonderling 16.345 3. Braeden Dillinger 16.650 4. Chad Homan 16.808 5. John Waters 16.820 6. Dale Caswell 16.852 7. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 16.958 8. Logan Zarin 16.963 9. Kevan Cook 16.975 10. Brian Knowles 17.001 11. Chris Fleming 17.019 12. Steve Dixon 17.049 13. Harry Halliday 17.094 14. Bret Belden 17.107 15. Wayne Robertson 17.213 16. T.J. Downs 17.231 17. Jason Knowles 17.278 18. David Pangrazio 17.289 19. Ryan Frazee 17.300 20. Kyle Lukon 17.303 21. Max Hill 17.482 22. Jimmy Johnson 17.535 23. Paul Grigsby 17.677 24. Brad Mesler 17.682 25. Zach Wiech 17.814 26. J.J. Mazur 17.855 27. Steve LeBarron 18.076 28. Bill Kessler 18.139 29. Matt Kitts 18.521 30. Sean Beardsley 18.548 31. Brad Smith NT (light).
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win) 1. Blair 2. Waters 3. Halliday 4. Cook 5. J. Knowles 6. Wiech 7. Hill 8. Kitts.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win) 1. Wonderling 2. Caswell 3. B. Knowles 4. Belden 5. Pangrazio 6. Johnson 7. Beardsley 8. Mazur.
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win) 1. Duritsky 2. Fleming 3. Dillinger 4. Robertson 5. Grigsby 6. Frazee 7. LeBarron 8. Smith.
FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win) 1. Homan 2. Dixon 3. Lukon 4. Zarin 5. Mesler 6. Kessler 7. Downs.
Last Chance B Main (10 laps, Top 4 transfer to A): 1. Wiech 2. Johnson 3. Fraze 4. Hill 5. Downs 6. Kitts 7. Mazur 8. LeBarron 9. Kessler 10. Smith 11. Beardsley-DNS.
Dash (6 laps): 1. Waters 2. Blair 3. Fleming 4. Caswell 5. Duritsky 6. Homan 7. Wonderling 8. Dixon.
RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC & Pace Performance along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, FK Rod Ends, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Trailer-Alarms.com, Bonnell's Rod Shop, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, CrateInsider.com, and Valley Fashions.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.