(Winchester, VA)…After a successful debut at Potomac Speedway on Friday night, the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series completed the two-night “Mid-Atlantic States Classic” on Saturday night at Winchester Speedway. Despite an unfavorable forecast and two rounds of late afternoon/early steady evening showers, the program was only slightly delayed. The event drew a Winchester Crate Late Model record 27 cars in the first ever Sweeney Tour event in the state of Virginia. A total of 34 different drivers competed over the two-night swing.
It’s hard to believe Rick Singleton went over 13 months without winning a Sweeney Tour event until his second career Tour win on June 7 at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex. On Saturday night, Singleton completed the two-night sweep of the “Mid-Atlantic States Classic” earning $5,250 in cash plus contingencies! Singleton started eighth and worked his way to the front taking the lead from Tyler Bare on lap 12 and cruising to an unprecedented third straight Sweeney Tour win!
“This has been an awesome weekend and an awesome season,” expressed the 49-year-old Front Royal, Virginia racer. “All I have to say is MBH Race Cars. This car is a MastersBilt and my goal is to sell racecars for those guys. If this doesn’t sell, I don’t know what will! I’ll tell you what, there’s a lot of guys in the pits tonight that could have crawled in this car and won. It’s all about this racecar. The race track was really fast. Guys were high-siding it. That had me a little nervous, and sometimes starting back there you can’t control your own destiny. It was a good clean race and a lot of fun. When you start back there and win it’s exciting.”
Via his K&N Dash win, Bare earned the pole for the 30-lap feature and raced to the early lead in the third generation racer’s first ever Sweeney Tour start over Ben Bowie, Ralph Morgan, Jr., and Cody Dawson. Bowie, a two-time winner at Potomac, began pressuring Bare for the lead on lap three, while Singleton cracked the top five getting by Eric Wilson. Singleton was on the move as he raced under and past both Dawson and Morgan for third on lap five.
Bare began to open up his lead on lap seven, while Singleton put the pressure on Bowie in the battle for second. The two raced side-by-side for two laps with Singleton making the pass on the bottom of turn four. Singleton immediately closed in on Bare on lap nine, but Bare maintained the lead until the first caution of the event for a slowing Craig Guido with 11 laps completed.
When racing resumed, Singleton used the outside to take charge of the event. Dawson had slipped out of the top five, but passed both Ryan Montgomery and Wilson for fourth on lap 13. That key two-car pass earned him the Driven Oil “Slick Move of the Night”. Montgomery followed by Wilson one lap later for the fifth spot. While Singleton extended his lead, it was a three-car battle for second at the halfway point with Bare trying to hold off Bowie and Dawson.
Bare was able to get away, but Greg Roberson joined the battle making it a four-car race for third. The event’s second caution was displayed when Rob Nichols slowed with 20 laps scored. On the ensuing restart, Dawson and Roberson passed Bowie for third and fourth before the final caution of the race for a three-car spin in turn one involving Scott Sweeney, Austin Stover, and Jacob Burdette.
With Singleton in control of the event, Dawson began to challenge Bare for second. Dawson put a slide job on Bare in turn four. Contact was made, but Dawson made the pass stick. Roberson slipped high on lap 24 ruining his strong run, which allowed Montgomery and Bowie to get by for fourth and fifth. Montgomery then drove under and past Bare in turn four for third on lap 25.
Dawson would close in on Singleton in the final laps, but Singleton’s lead that he built up was too big as he took the checkered flag first by a margin of 1.375 seconds in the Clint Enyeart-owned, Rick Singleton Rental, MBH, TC Racecars-sponsored #99*. Singleton also picked up the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card.
One night after a career best Sweeney Tour finish of fifth, Dawson completed a terrific weekend with a runner-up worth $1,200 as he appears to be a championship contender moving into third in points. “The car felt good all night,” stated the 19-year-old Westover, Maryland driver. “This feels great. We’ve been working hard all year and to get a second is very good. I have to thank my dad, the guys that help me, Rob and Max Blair, Race-1 Engines, and all of my sponsors.”
After a disappointing 14th place finish at the opening event at Freedom, Montgomery’s third place finish was his third straight top four finish, which propelled him into the Sweeney Tour point lead for the first time this season. Montgomery, who tied for a Series best five wins in 2013, is still in search of his first Tour win of 2014.
“I would have liked to run better,” said the 17-year-old Fairmont, West Virginia driver, who was originally from Winchester, Virginia. “I got stuck on the outside a couple times and people would try to slide job you, and when it doesn’t work they push you off the cushion. But it was a racey, great race track tonight. You could race anywhere. I’m glad we ran it, and hope we come back.”
Morgan, who was in and out of the top five for most of the race, came on strong at the end passing both Bare and Bowie to claim the fourth spot, and earned the Crate Innovations “Performance Plus” Award of a carb spacer kit. Morgan also improved on his prior best career Sweeney Tour finish of seventh from the night before.
Bowie was another driver that had a strong weekend with a sixth at Potomac and a fifth at Winchester. Bare and Roberson dropped to sixth and seventh at the finish respectively. Wilson’s eighth place was his season’s best effort in his first year touring. Mike Wharton was ninth. Matt Glanden, who finished eighth in the 2013 Sweeney Tour points, completed the top 10 in his first race of any kind since March after suffering a five-alarm fire at his race shop. Glanden is another racer that is running the $135 Bilstein “sealed” spec shocks.
Scott Sweeney was the final car on the lead lap at the finish and received the “Ignite” Award for a Moroso Custom Fit Plug Wire Set compliments of Crate Innovations. John Over, who came from the back for top five finishes in the last two events, was leading his heat race when he took a nasty barrel-roll in turn four. Over climbed from the car on his own power and walked to the ambulance, but was transported for observation. Over received The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night”. Chad McClellan won the TurboStart 16-Volt Racing Battery drawing.
Singleton set a new standard in Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” qualifying with a lap of 15.530 to earn $100. Bobby Lake Motorsports $25 heat race winners were Singleton, Roberson, and Montgomery. Bare’s K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash victory was worth a $100 K&N certificate. Bowie received a $50 K&N certificate for second. Morgan and Dawson received an extra $25 cash for third and fourth.
“We have to thank Potomac and Winchester Speedways for their support of RUSH this season and giving us the opportunity for two high-paying Sweeney Tour events,” stated RUSH Co-Director Vicki Emig. “Greg Gunter owns both tracks and could have easily cancelled on Saturday night, but decided to go with the program despite an unfavorable forecast all day and night that featured cloudy, cool, and damp conditions along with and two rounds of late afternoon/early evening showers.”
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #4 (30 laps, $2,500 to-win): 1. RICK SINGLETON (Enyeart 99*) 2. Cody Dawson (36) 3. Ryan Montgomery (12) 4. Ralph Morgan, Jr. (Powell 100) 5. Ben Bowie (17) 6. Tyler Bare (30) 7. Greg Roberson (17) 8. Eric Wilson (27W) 9. Mike Wharton (Evans 100) 10. Matt Glanden (01) 11. Transton Stoner (m14) 12. Jason Rider (Wade 76) 13. Dave Friedrich (66) 14. W.L. Stile (1W) 15. Austin Stover (11) 16. Scott Sweeney (44) 17. Brian Lederhouse (12B) 18. Jacob Burdette (08B) 19. Travis Carroll (07) 20. Rob Nichols III (7) 21. John Imler (63) 22. Craig Guido (00*) 23. Harry Shipe, Jr. (00) 24. Chad McClellan (119) 25. Reese Masiello (22R)-DNS 26. John Waters (LeBarron 11)-DNS 27. John Over (K2)-DNS.
Car Count: 27
Feature Lap Leaders: Tyler Bare (1-11), Rick Singleton (12-30).
Margin of Victory: 1.375
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Rick Singleton (+7)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: John Over
Driven Oil “Slick Move of the Night”: Cody Dawson
Crate Innovations “Performance Plus” Accelerator-1 Carb Spacer Kit Giveaway: Ralph Morgan, Jr.
Crate Innovations “Ignite” Moroso Custom Fit Plug Wire Set: Scott Sweeney
TurboStart Battery Giveaway: Chad McClellan
Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Time Trials ($100 for fast time): 1. Rick Singleton 15.530 (NTR) 2. John Over 15.588 3. Reese Masiello 15.628 4. Matt Glanden 15.679 5. Greg Roberson 15.719 6. Ryan Montgomery 15.766 7. Transton Stoner 15.781 8. Cody Dawson 15.782 9. Ben Bowie 15.800 10. Eric Wilson 15.822 11. Jason Rider 15.831 12. John Waters 15.840 13. Mike Wharton 15.866 14. John Imler 15.896 15. W.L. Stile 16.095 16. Ralph Morgan, Jr. 16.112 17. Tyler Bare 16.179 18. Chad McClellan 16.246 19. Austin Stover 16.250 20. Travis Carroll 16.373 21. Scott Sweeney 16.502 22. Jacob Burdette 16.675 23. Harry Shipe, Jr. 16.754 24. Dave Friedrich 17.172 25. Rob Nichols III 17.184 26. Brian Lederhouse 17.586 27. Craig Guido 17.656.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Singleton 2. Wilson 3. Morgan 4. Glanden 5. Wharton 6. Stoner 7. Stover 8. Nichols 9. Burdette.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Roberson 2. Dawson 3. Bare 4. Rider 5. Carroll 6. Imler 7. Shipe 8. Lederhouse 9. Over.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Montgomery 2. Bowie 3. Friedrich 4. Stile 5. Guido 6. Sweeney 7. Masiello 8. Waters 9. McClellan.
K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps): 1. Tyler Bare 2. Ben Bowie 3. Ralph Morgan, Jr. 4. Cody Dawson.
The next events will be the Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card Weekend” presented by Bilstein Shock Absorbers on July 4-5 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, PA and Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio. Each event will pay $1,500 to-win plus an additional $1,500 “Wild Card Weekend” point fund.
RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Bilstein Shocks, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Driven Racing Oil, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, Utsinger’s Towing, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.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.