(East Smethport, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series made its first of three stops of 2014 at the McKean County Raceway on Thursday evening. Race #10 of the year was part of the 109th annual McKean County Fair and drew a large crowd despite unseasonably cool and breezy conditions. A rain shower just before 7 p.m. delayed the program nearly 30 minutes. A season high 38 cars from all over Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland were on hand.
Bryce Davis led all 25 laps of the Sweeney Tour feature for his first win of the season, but it was far from easy as he had standout Max Blair and four-time Series winner Rick Singleton, who charged from the 12th and 13th starting spots respectively, breathing down his neck for over half of the event. Ironically, it was the second straight year Davis has topped a 38-car field on the opening Sweeney Tour event at McKean. The win was worth $1,200 as Davis became the sixth different winner of the season.
“When I saw him (Blair) get by me on that one restart I thought ‘oh shit here we go’, but thank God the yellow came out and I was glad we got to lap 25,” stated the 23-year-old Hornell, New York driver in victory lane after his popular win. “We got a bad start on that one and had it gone green and I hadn’t gotten another shot at him, I don’t know if I’d have won. I have to thank my whole family- mom, dad, brother, sister, girlfriend and daughter along with my crew and sponsors. I enjoyed coming here tonight and it was a great turnout and great win.”
From the pole position, Davis raced to the lead over Cody Mason, Justin Smith, Brian Knowles, and Jeremy Wonderling. Both Wonderling and John Waters were able to pass Knowles for fourth and fifth on lap two before a caution for debris on the speedway. Back under green, Waters continued to move forward passing Wonderling for fourth and bringing Blair with him in fifth. Blair then began to put the heat on Waters as the two ran side-by-side before Blair made the pass on the outside on lap five.
Meanwhile up front, Davis had opened up a comfortable lead. Wonderling and Mason raced side-by-side for runner-up on lap six with Wonderling getting the nod. Blair was also able to make his way by for third before a caution for Chad McClellan’s spin. When racing resumed on lap seven, Waters regained the fourth position after the pass of Mason, while Singleton worked his way into the top five directly behind.
Blair ran down Wonderling and made the pass in turn four for second on lap eight as it appeared that he may have the fastest car on the track. Three cautions between laps 10-11 slowed action. Singleton advanced to the fourth position past Waters on lap 11 then took over third from Wonderling on lap 12. It now looked like Singleton, who won four of his five Sweeney Tour starts, had the car to beat as he got under Blair on lap 13 as the two battled side-by-side. Blair though was able to maintain the runner-up position.
The top three of Davis, Blair, and Singleton clearly had the three fastest cars on the speedway as they began to pull away from the field before a final caution when Brian Knowles slowed in turn four with 17 laps scored.
The final eight laps went caution-free. Blair made several challenges on Davis with Singleton lurking behind, but Davis was too strong and didn’t make any mistakes to capture his second career Sweeney Tour victory in his Griswold’s E.T.R. Services/Close Racing Supply/Jody’s Hair Design-sponsored #94. Davis’ margin of victory was a mere 0.555 of a second.
Blair was making just his third Sweeney Tour start of the season and has yet to finish worse than fourth. “We gave it everything we had to come home second, but 12th to second without getting tore up is good enough,” stated Blair of Centerville, Pa. “We had a terrible redraw and maybe if we could have started closer to the front we’d have had a better shot. The laps were winding down, and I was trying harder and harder and kept making more mistakes. Bryce (Davis) was real good. He did everything he needed to win the race. Congratulations to him and his guys- that’s awesome. I have to thank everyone that helps me along with Mike (Leone) and Vicki (Emig) for putting on RUSH- it’s an awesome deal and I always look forward to racing with you guys.”
Singleton meanwhile has now finished in the top three of all six Sweeney Tour starts this season! “I wish we had a few more laps,” acknowledged the Front Royal, Virginia veteran, who was able to maintain his Pace Performance “Summer Chase” point lead. “I looked up and I saw the flagman gives us two to go and I was like ‘holy smokes that went quick’ but I was having fun out there. These guys ran a good race; that kid in the 94 and it wasn’t like Max (Blair) cut him any slack. It was a real good race and that’s what we come for.”
Wonderling and Waters battled for the fourth spot for many laps, but it was Wonderling coming out on top in just his second Sweeney Tour start of the year. Fresh off his Humberstone win, Waters was able to record his fourth top five finish to maintain his runner-up spot in points and gain a little ground on the top spot.
Ward Schell and last week’s McKean Sweeney Weekly Series winner, Adam Sixt, finished sixth and seventh respectively for their best Sweeney Tour finishes of the season as well. Dennis Lunger, Jr. battled his way from 18th to finish eighth. It was a quiet night for point leader Ryan Montgomery, who salvaged a ninth place finish from 20th to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger” gift card. Cody Dawson recorded his fifth top 10 finish of the season in 10th.
In his first Sweeney Tour start of the season, Mason finished 11th and received an Accelerator-1 carb spacer kit compliments of Crate Innovations. Paul Grigsby was the last car on the lead lap and received the Moroso custom fit plug wire set compliments of Crate Innovations. Michael Lake was awarded the Driven Oil’s “Slick Move of the Night” for his last lap turn four pass of Zack Carley to make the feature, while Carley picked up the ARbodies nose kit for being the first non-qualifier.
After a disappointing finish in the first last chance B main, Zack Carley bounced back to lead all eight laps of the non-qualifier event. The win was worth $125 for the Freedom, New York driver in his Ed Carley Motorsports/Campbell’s Race Engines-sponsored #8. Third generation racer, Wyatt Scott, came home second in his first ever Sweeney Tour start. Tour regular, W.L Stile, was third as Bill Mesler and Garrett Mott completed the top five.
Heat winners were Mason, John Waters, Brady Wonderling, and Jeremy Wonderling, while Grigsby and Dusty Waters won the two last chance B mains. Singleton has now won all three K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash events he’s earned his way into this season to take over the K&N Dash Championship point lead. Singleton earned a $100 K&N certificate. Bobby Rohrer’s runner-up was worth a $50 K&N certificate, while Ruhlman and Damian Bidwell received $25 cash each.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #10 (25 laps, $1,200 to-win): 1.BRYCE DAVIS (94) 2. Max Blair (36) 3. Rick Singleton (Enyeart 99*) 4. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 5. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 6. Ward Schell (Baker 74) 7. Adam Sixt (6T) 8. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 9. Ryan Montgomery (12) 10. Cody Dawson (36) 11. Cody Mason (Wright 42) 12. Robby Marhefka (99FM) 13. Jason Rider (Wade 76) 14. Chad McClellan (119) 15. Bobby Rohrer (11) 16. Eric Wilson (27W) 17. Damian Bidwell (17) 18. Dusty Waters (14) 19. Michael Lake (Yowler 27) 20. Brian Knowles (7) 21. Paul Grigsby (24) 22. Justin Smith (22) 23. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 24. Brady Wonderling (10) 25. Andy Michael (Kratts 41). Note: Chad McClellan took a Series provisional.
Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $125 to-win): 1. Zack Carley (8) 2. Wyatt Scott (3) 3. W.L. Stile (1W) 4. Bill Mesler (15) 5. Garrett Mott (43x) 6. Craig Dean (21) 7. Richard Hemphill, Jr. (31) 8. John Haggerty (49)-DNS 9. Jason Knowles (4)-DNS 10. Scott Waters (53)-DNS 11. Doug Ricotta (01)-DNS 12. Ralph Morgan, Jr. (Powell 100)-DNS 13. Steve Watson (83)-DNS.
Car Count: 38
Feature Lap Leaders: Bryce Davis (1-25)
Margin of Victory: 0.555
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Ryan Montgomery (+11)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Jason Knowles
Driven Oil “Slick Move of the Night”: Michael Lake
Crate Innovations “Performance Plus” Accelerator-1 Carb Spacer: Cody Mason
Crate Innovations “Ignite” Moroso Custom Fit Plug Wire Set: Paul Grigsby
ARbodies “Nosed Out” Nose Kit: Zack Carley
Heat 1 (10 laps, Top 5 transfer): 1. Mason 2. Rider 3. Sixt 4. Bidwell 5. Marhefka 6. Carley 7. Stile 8. Lake 9. Hemphill 10. S. Waters.
Heat 2 (10 laps, Top 5 transfer): 1. J. Waters 2. B. Knowles 3. Smith 4. Rohrer 5. Lunger 6. Grigsby 7. Mesler 8. McClellan 9. Mott 10. Watson-DNS.
Heat 3 (10 laps, Top 5 transfer): 1. B. Wonderling 2. Davis 3. Schell 4. Singleton 5. Michael 6. Wilson 7. J. Knowles 8. Scott 9. Morgan.
Heat 4 (10 laps, Top 5 transfer): 1. J. Wonderling 2. Blair 3. Dawson 4. Ruhlman 5. Montgomery 6. D. Waters 7. Haggerty 8. Dean 9. Ricotta.
Last Chance B Main 1 (10 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. Grigsby 2. Lake 3. Carley 4. Stile 5. Mesler 6. Mott 7. McClellan 8. S. Waters 9. Hemphill 10. Watson-DNS.
Last Chance B Main 2 (10 laps, Top 2 transfer): 1. D. Waters 2. Wilson 3. Scott 4. Haggerty 5. Dean 6. J. Knowles 7. Morgan 8. Ricotta-DNS.
K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps): 1. Rick Singleton 2. Bobby Rohrer 3. Chad Ruhlman 4. Damian Bidwell.
The Sweeney Tour will be in action next on Saturday and Sunday, August 30-31 for the “$50,000 End of Summer Blowout” presented by Sunoco Race Fuels at McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa. and Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio. Both events will pay $1,500 to-win. The McKean event will feature “Manufacturers Night” with over $30,000 in prizes to be given away.
RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Alternative Power Sources, 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 email@example.com 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.