(Imperial, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series completed night two of the traditional “Pittsburgher” on Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway, which also featured a $25,000 to-win NDRL “Kings of Dirt” Super Late Model event. Race #22 of the 24-event slate drew 37 drivers (38 total for the weekend) from all over Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York in the fourth and final visit of the season to the “Monster Half-Mile” in Imperial, Pa. RUSH was included in a live video broadcast produced by DirtonDirt.com for the second straight night.
Ryan Montgomery has certainly figured something out to tame the “Monster Half-Mile” this season at Pittsburgh. Montgomery had the fastest car in the first two Sweeney Tour events, but just missed out on victory lane with a pair of runner-up finishes. All season long, Montgomery has been chasing Mike Pegher, Jr. in the championship race. Pittsburgh has been a home track of Pegher’s for many years, while the 16-year-old Montgomery has little experience.
The “Pittsburgher” turned into a very fruitful weekend for Montgomery, and probably one of the most disappointing for Pegher. After dominating the final 22 laps in Friday’s $1,500 to-win feature, Montgomery picked up where he left off leading all 30 laps on Saturday night for the $3,000 win! The victory was the Tour leading fifth of the year for Montgomery, but more importantly took over the point lead with just two events remaining. Pegher could only muster a 10th on Friday and a 17th Saturday to see his point lead go from 18 to trailing by 17.
“I can’t explain this- it’s probably just pure luck,” stated the humble Fairmont, West Virginia racer. “God is watching over me and I have a lot of people helping me out. This will probably be the only weekend this will ever happen in my life, but at least it’s now I guess. I ran go-kart for a long time and was a national champion. This place you have to drive straight and it’s pretty close to go-karts. It’s an awesome place to race and I love racing here. Hopefully nothing breaks or the next two races both rain out!”
After qualifying just seventh fastest, Montgomery rebounded winning his heat race and the K&N Dash to earn the pole for the feature event. Montgomery took off into the lead at the start of the event, which was run first in the program in front of a big crowd that would later watch Scott Bloomquist win the $25,000 NDRL event. It was a big shuffle behind Montgomery as Andrew Satterlee and Max Blair were both able to pass Holtgraver for second and third. Blair looked strong early on as he got under Satterlee and the two raced side-by-side on laps two and three.
The event’s only caution came after three laps when Andrew Wylie did a 360-spin and Jason Rider slowed and exited the event. The caution wasn’t what Blair needed as he’d back-pedal from here on out. Holtgraver and 13th starting Michael Lake were both able to pass Blair when racing resumed for the third and fourth positions respectively. By lap six, the top three of Montgomery, Satterlee and Holtgraver began to distance themselves from the field, while Rocky Kugel got under and past Blair for the fifth spot.
As the laps ticked off, the best battle on the speedway was for the fifth position. Blair was able to get back by Kugel for the spot on lap nine, but Joe Martin was on the move. Martin took some time off from racing as he’d missed the last six shows, but looked good in his return Saturday night. Martin started 14th and grabbed the sixth spot from Kugel on lap 10.
Back up front, Montgomery had opened up a straightaway lead on lap 10 and had that advantage when he caught lapped traffic on the 13th circuit. The race for fifth continued to be hot and heavy. Friday’s third place finisher, Chad Ruhlman, started sixth but faded in the first half of the race, but got going again and joined the battle for fifth. Ruhlman passed Kugel and Martin then moved into the top five on lap 16 when he cleared Blair.
Holtgraver was slowly catching Satterlee every lap and caught up to his bumper on lap 16. Satterlee lost his momentum in turns three and four on lap 17 trying to lap Ron Hall as Holtgraver seized the opportunity driving under and by for runner-up. Holtgraver had a great car for the second straight night and certainly needed a late race caution, but didn’t get it either night. Friday’s race saw the last 22 go green to-checkered and Saturday featured the last 27 going non-stop.
The caution-free racing was perfect for Montgomery, who took the checkered flag by a margin of 7.702 seconds in the Jeff Montgomery-owned, T.J. Contracting/High Gear Speed Shop/Mountain State Plumbing/Central Supply/Bobby Lake Motorsports/Frankland Rearends/Genesis Racing Shocks-sponsored Warrior Race Car #12. After Pegher won three of the first six Sweeney Tour races, Montgomery has now beaten Pegher in 12 of the last 16 races to take over the point lead!
After recording a season best Tour finish of only sixth back on May 26 at Sharon Speedway, Holtgraver turned in back-to-back runner-up finishes worth over $2,300 for the weekend! “We were pretty good again and were good all weekend,” explained the 25-year-old Pittsburgh, Pa. racer, who was also coming off a win in Pittsburgh’s final regular event on September 28. “I can’t thank all of my guys, my dad, girlfriend, and sister, who is here tonight, enough. I think towards the end if we could have gotten a caution, we might have been the best car on the track, but before that he (Montgomery) has something that we don’t and I don’t think we are ever going to. I think that’s about all we have and everyone else is pretty close.”
Satterlee rebounded from a disappointing 21st place finish on Friday night for a third- his best since a runner-up on June 21 at Hagerstown Speedway. “We were pretty happy after last night’s deal,” said the 29-year-old Rochester Mills, Pa. driver. “Ryan (Montgomery) has been in a different zip code all weekend here. I’m not sure what he has, but I need it. I have to thank all of my sponsors and crew.”
Ruhlman really came on at the end and was turning some of the fastest laps as he passed Lake for fourth on lap 29. Ruhlman was closing on Satterlee, but ran out of time and settled for a fourth place one shy of Friday’s third place. It was Ruhlman’s seventh top five finish in 17 starts.
Twelve-year-old Michael Lake had a solid “Pittsburgher” weekend in just his second and third ever starts at the “Monster Half-Mile”. On Friday, Lake went from 13th to 8th and on Saturday earned the $100 Precise Racing “Pedal Down” Hard Charger certificate improving from 13th to 5th. Outside of his Sweeney Tour win at the NDRL event at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex on September 2, it was his best finish of the year.
Completing the top 10 were Martin, Dan Angelicchio, Nico Dabecco, Dennis Lunger, Jr., and Zack Dohm. It was Dabecco’s best Sweeney Tour finish of the season. In his first ever RUSH start on Friday, Dohm received the Precise Hard Charger going from 22nd to 11th and improved his finish by one on Saturday night.
Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. earned his first $100 Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” award with a lap of 20.560 equating to an average speed of 109.436. Picking up $25 Bobby Lake Motorsports heat races were Satterlee, Blair, Montgomery, and Holtgraver. Mark Moats, Jr. and Wylie won the last chance B mains.
Montgomery won his leading third K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash and clinched that championship. Montgomery received a $100 K&N certificate, while Holtgraver earned a $50 K&N certificate for finishing second. Satterlee and Blair picked up an extra $25 cash for finishing third and fourth respectively.
Eighth place point man Matt Glanden was awarded The Brake Man’s “Tough Brake of the Night”. Besides Cody Dawson, Glanden made the longest tow of anyone from his Denton, Maryland home and failed to qualify for the feature either night.
The next event on the Sweeney Tour will be race #23 of 24 next weekend (October 18-19) at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex. The Markleysburg, Pa. oval will host a $3,000 to-win event plus a $1,000 to-win RUSH members only feature, and the $200 to-win “Futures Cup” race. Qualifying events and the “Futures Cup” will take place on Friday night followed by the last chance B mains and feature events on Saturday night.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series “Pittsburgher” Race #22 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. RYAN MONTGOMERY (12) 2. Josh Holtgraver (00) 3. Andrew Satterlee (2) 4. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 5. Michael Lake (27) 6. Joe Martin (55) 7. Dan Angelicchio (14) 8. Nico Dabecco (Karalagas 1FR) 9. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 10. Zack Dohm (A1) 11. Max Blair (111) 12. Michael Reft (9R) 13. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. (8s) 14. Justin Lamb (93x) 15. Rocky Kugel (21KRT) 16. Andrew Wylie (84) 17. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 18. Mark Moats, Jr. (15M) 19. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 20. Cody Dawson (36) 21. Dennis Niederriter, Jr. (09) 22. Bryant Hank (28) 23. Butch Lambert (27) 24. Ron Hall (01) 25. Jason Rider (Wade 76). Note: Butch Lambert took a Series provisional.
DNQ: Jake Gunn (14G), Dusty Curry (8), Beau Glemba (99G), Daryl Charlier (12), Brian Goebel (12G), Matt Glanden (01), W.L. Stile (1W), Chuck Medved (2M), Toby Massie (2), Troy Shields (11), Paul Jablonski (3J), Steve Beatty (B4).
Car Count: 37
Feature Lap Leaders: Montgomery (1-30)
Margin of Victory: 7.702 seconds
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Michael Lake (+8)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Matt Glanden
Bobby Lake Motorsports Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. 20.560 2. Max Blair 20.587 3. Zack Dohm 20.744 4. Nico Dabecco 20.757 5. Andrew Satterlee 20.791 6. Justin Lamb 20.842 7. Ryan Montgomery 20.849 8. Michael Reft 20.852 9. Rocky Kugel 20.933 10. Chad Ruhlman 20.972 11. Dan Angelicchio 21.011 12. Josh Holtgraver 21.036 13. Dennis Lunger, Jr. 21.088 14. Michael Lake 21.167 15. Joe Martin 21.178 16. Andrew Wylie 21.261 17. Mark Moats, Jr. 21.305 18. Bryant Hank 21.312 19. Ron Hall 21.312 20. Jason Rider 21.329 21. John Waters 21.352 22. Cody Dawson 21.386 23. Dennis Niederriter, Jr. 21.404 24. Mike Pegher, Jr. 21.414 25. Matt Glanden 21.432 26. Steve Beatty 21.655 27. Chuck Medved 21.659 28. Daryl Charlier 21.695 29. Beau Glemba 21.778 30. Jake Gunn 21.891 31. Dusty Curry 22.066 32. Brian Goebel 22.090 33. Butch Lambert 22.151 34. Troy Shields 22.369 35. W.L. Stile 22.556 36. Toby Massie NT 37. Paul Jablonski DSQ (no pre-race tech).
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer, $25 to-win) 1. Satterlee 2. Kugel 3. Schirnhofer 4. Lake 5. Waters 6. Moats 7. Jablonski 8. Glemba 9. Lambert 10. Glanden.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer, $25 to-win) 1. Blair 2. Ruhlman 3. Lamb 4. Martin 5. Dawson 6. Hall 7. Gunn 8. Shields 9. Medved.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer, $25 to-win) 1. Montgomery 2. Dohm 3. Angelicchio 4. Lunger 5. Niederriter 6. Curry 7. Hank 8. Beatty 9. Stile.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer, $25 to-win) 1. Holtgraver 2. Dabecco 3. Reft 4. Pegher 5. Rider 6. Wylie 7. Charlier 8. Goebel 9. Massie.
K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps/$100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Ryan Montgomery 2. Josh Holtgraver 3. Andrew Satterlee 4. Max Blair.
Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Moats 2. Hall 3. Gunn 4. Glemba 5. Lambert 6. Glanden 7. Medved 8. Shields 9. Jablonski.
Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Wylie 2. Hank 3. Curry 4. Charlier 5. Goebel 6. Stile 7. Massie 8. Beatty-DNS.
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, Utsinger’s Towing, RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
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