(Batavia, NY)…After all day and night rain on Friday washed out the “Gary Montgomery Memorial” at Outlaw Speedway for the Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, the rain finally ended 24 hours after it started allowing Genesee Speedway to be one of the few tracks in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to be able to race on Saturday night. The event marked the first of three appearances by the Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series to the 1/3-mile Genesee County Fairgrounds oval in 2021. Despite the weather in the surrounding areas, 28 teams were on hand, which has now been the count for the past three Tour events at Genesee matching the highest Tour count all-time for the Batavia, New York track.
Kyle Hardy had laid down the gauntlet down by sweeping all three “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek events in his home area, the Mid-Atlantic, to open the season; however, since returning home, Jeremy Wonderling has begun to tighten things up. On Saturday night, Wonderling passed Joe Martin on lap 10 and then fended off 2016 Tour champion, John Waters, during the second half of the race to capture his second straight Genesee Tour victory, worth $2,000. The defending and three-time Tour champion has now won two of the last three events to go along with a runner-up finish.
“Restarts are brutal when you start by guys like Joe (Martin) and John (Waters),” stated the 41-year-old Wellsville, NY winner. “I got comfortable when I was leading by myself, but the car was slipping a little bit down in (turns) three and four. I saw John down there and was like ‘it must be better down there down’ and I wasn’t going to let him have it. I didn’t cut him off, but I got a run down there and hoped his car wasn’t any better on the top. He showed me a little too early. The top got pretty black later and it was actually driving the car straighter as I was able to do some things inside the car with my breaks. I was trying to be as smooth as possible, hit my marks, and keep those guys behind me.”
Following his Sunoco Dash victory, Wonderling raced to the early lead in the 30-lap feature over Martin, while Waters passed Kyle Lukon for third. Martin was all over Wonderling before taking the lead with an inside pass in turn four on lap three. Waters appeared to be the fastest car as he closed on the lead duo on lap seven. Wonderling didn’t go away as he hounded Martin and pulled alongside of the leader on lap eight while lapped traffic was in play. Martin held onto the lead for one more lap until a spin by Jared Keeney with nine laps completed.
Back under green, Wonderling would make what would turn out to be the winning pass getting by Martin to lead the 10th circuit. Waters then went into attack mode as he battled hard with Martin as the two raced side-by-side for the second on lap 12-16, which allowed Wonderling to pull away. Waters finally made the pass stick with a slider in turns one and two on lap 16 to grab the second spot; however, Wonderling had opened up a two-second advantage at this juncture.
Wonderling caught lapped traffic on lap 19 and things were about to get interesting when the fourth place running Kyle Lukon lost the driveshaft to bring out the caution with 20 laps scored. Lukon was chosen as the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night” recipient. Lukon’s misfortune moved Jason Knowles into fourth and Kyle Hardy into the top five for the first time of the event. Knowles and Hardy then battled for third and fourth with Hardy getting by for good on lap 22. Heartbreak then happened for Knowles, who was one of seven cars collected in a turns one and two melee with 25 laps scored.
The final five laps saw Wonderling fend off rival Waters as he collected his ninth career Tour win by 1.080 seconds Terry Prince Contracting/Close Racing Supply/Performance Bodies/The Store/
Winters Performance/Beyea Headers/Swift Springs/Penske Shocks/Hoosier Tire-sponsored #3J. The win moved Wonderling into a four-way tie for second on the all-time Tour win list with Waters, Bryce Davis, and Mike Pegher, Jr. Wonderling also received a 5-Gallon Race Jug from Precise Racing Products.
Waters’ runner-up was worth $1,000 for car owner Dale LeBarron as he matched his best Tour finish since July 2, 2019 at Weedsport (NY) Speedway. “With Jeremy in front of me and Kyle behind me I knew I had to pick it up,” acknowledged the soon to be 40-year-old Whitesville, NY standout. “I can’t thank Dale LeBarron and all my sponsors enough; it’s a small army and I couldn’t do it without them. With Bobby Bentz’ father passing away we put the number 60 on top of the wrap to give us some good luck; I’ve been racing for him. Bobby helped pick our program up. I want to thank all of the fans for coming out. It was iffy with the weather, it’s cold, and it’s Memorial Day weekend. I hope you all have a good burnout, drink a few adult beverages, and be safe!”
After qualifying just 20th fastest out of 28, Hardy had a lot of ground to make up throughout the night; however, the Linden, Virginia racer went seventh to third in his heat race to earn the eighth starting spot for the feature, and then gained five spots for a solid third place finish in his Genesee debut. After struggling during the “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek, Michael Duritsky, Jr. has turned things around with a third and now a fourth place finish in two of the last three events. Jimmy Johnson was the best of the Genesee locals coming home fifth after charging from the 16th starting spot.
Veteran RUSH Late Model racer, Steve Dixon, made his first Tour start of 2021 and went 12th to sixth, and received a $150 spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic. J.J. Mazur suffered mechanical woes all night long as he couldn’t get his #13 to run, but after taking a Tour provisional, Mazur raced his way forward to seventh as he gained 17 positions to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card. Dusty Waters went 20th to eight in his first Tour race of 2021. Genesee regular, Dave DuBois, was ninth. Ryan Frazee salvaged his night with a 10th place effort after starting 22nd.
Martin shattered the previous track record of 17.160 set by Wonderling on June 2, 2018 with a blistering lap of 16.430 on the heavy surface to earn $100 from FK Rod Ends in “Shock the Clock” qualifying. Picking up $25 FK Rod Ends heat races were Martin, Waters, and Bill Holmes III. Austyn Fugle won the last chance B main. Wonderling became the first repeat Sunoco Dash winner of the season and earned a $100 Sunoco gift card.
Also receiving a $100 Sunoco gift card was Martin, who was randomly selected at the drivers meeting as part of the “Fill’er up with Sunoco Bucks” program presented by Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto. Austin Kotarski made his first career Tour start and missed the feature by one spot, but received the “Nosed Out” $100 Performance Bodies gift card as consolation prize.
The Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series will be right back in action on Sunday (May 30) for just the second ever appearance at ¼-mile bullring, Bradford (PA) Speedway. The $2,000 to-win show will be a Platinum Tour event allowing Tour members to use the event to replace a missed Marquee event or replace their worst Marquee event finish of the year. Warmups will begin at 5:15 p.m.
Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series Race #6 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. JEREMY WONDERLING (3J) 2. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 3. Kyle Hardy (99) 4. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 5. Jimmy Johnson (39J) 6. Steve Dixon (65) 7. J.J. Mazur (13) 8. Dusty Waters (14) 9. Dave DuBois (012) 10. Ryan Frazee (11F) 11. Bud Watson (225) 12. Austin Hauser (51) 13. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 14. Jared Keeney (33K) 15. Austin Allen (51) 16. Jason Knowles (4) 17. Doug Ricotta (01) 18. Bill Holmes III (8) 19. Austyn Fugle (85) 20. Brian Kotarski (129) 21. Alan Chapman (64c) 22. Kyle Lukon (184) 23. T.J. Downs (1) 24. Billy DuBois (21B). DNS: Jon Rivers (85). (Note: J.J. Mazur took a Tour provisional)
DNQ for the feature: Austin Kotarski (10), Bill Button (71), Mark Sundt (94B).
Car Count: 28
Feature Margin of Victory: 1.080 seconds
Feature Lap Leaders: Jeremy Wonderling (1-2), Joe Martin (3-9), Wonderling (10-30)
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Steve Dixon
Performance Bodies “Nosed Out”: Austin Kotarski
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: J.J. Mazur (+17)
Precise Racing Products 5-Gallon Race Jug: Jeremy Wonderling
Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto $100 Sunoco Fuel Cards: Jeremy Wonderling & Joe Martin
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Kyle Lukon
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time) (Track record 17.160 by Jeremy Wonderling 6/2/18): 1. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:16.430* (*new track record); 2. 11L-John Waters, 00:16.727; 3. 8H-Bill Holmes III, 00:16.757; 4. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr, 00:16.818; 5. 11F-Ryan Frazee, 00:16.945; 6. 012-Dave DuBois, 00:16.962; 7. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:17.051; 8. 01R-Doug Ricotta, 00:17.116; 9. 51-Austin Hauser, 00:17.199; 10. 85-Jon Rivers, 00:17.213; 11. 184-Kyle Lukon, 00:17.289; 12. 65D-Steve Dixon, 00:17.330; 13. 1-TJ Downs, 00:17.346; 14. 225-Bud Watson, 00:17.353; 15. 32-Austin Allen, 00:17.416; 16. 39J-Jimmy Johnson, 00:17.419; 17. 85F-Austyn Fugle, 00:17.458; 18. 4-Jason Knowles, 00:17.560; 19. 33K-Jared Keeney, 00:17.671; 20. 99-Kyle Hardy, 00:17.674; 21. 64C-Alan Chapman, 00:17.710; 22. 129-Brian Kotarski, 00:17.914; 23. 21BD-Billy DuBois, 00:18.035; 24. 71B-Bill Button, 00:18.719; 25. 94B-Mark Sundt, 00:18.733; 26. 10K-Austin Kotarski, 00:18.914; 27. 13-JJ Mazur, NT; 28. 14W-Dusty Waters, NT.
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 10S-Joe Martin; 2. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 3. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr; 4. 1-TJ Downs; 5. 33K-Jared Keeney; 6. 39J-Jimmy Johnson; 7. 129-Brian Kotarski; 8. 85-Jon Rivers; 9. 94B-Mark Sundt; 10. (DNS) 14W-Dusty Waters.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 11L-John Waters; 2. 184-Kyle Lukon; 3. 99-Kyle Hardy; 4. 225-Bud Watson; 5. 01R-Doug Ricotta; 6. 21BD-Billy DuBois; 7. 85F-Austyn Fugle; 8. 11F-Ryan Frazee; 9. 10K-Austin Kotarski.
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 8H-Bill Holmes III; 2. 4-Jason Knowles; 3. 012-Dave DuBois; 4. 65D-Steve Dixon; 5. 32-Austin Allen; 6. 51-Austin Hauser; 7. 64C-Alan Chapman; 8. (DNS) 71B-Bill Button; 9. (DNS) 13-JJ Mazur.
Last Chance B Main (10 laps, Top 6 transfer to A): 1. 85F-Austyn Fugle; 2. 14W-Dusty Waters; 3. 129-Brian Kotarski; 4. 11F-Ryan Frazee; 5. 64C-Alan Chapman; 6. 85-Jon Rivers; 7. 10K-Austin Kotarski; 8. 71B-Bill Button; 9. 94B-Mark Sundt; 10. (DNS) 13-JJ Mazur.
Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 Sunoco fuel card to-win): 1. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 2. 10S-Joe Martin; 3. 184-Kyle Lukon; 4. 11L-John Waters; 5. 8H-Bill Holmes III; 6. (DNS) 4-Jason Knowles.
RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Pace Performance together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC 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, Born2Run Lubricants, Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service, FK Rod Ends, 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, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Stop-Fyre, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage, CrateInsider.com, and Wedge Motorsports.