(Markleysburg, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series made its first of five visits of the 2013 season to the beautiful Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex on a hot Saturday night. A strong field of 29 competitors was on hand and a great gathering of fans spread all throughout the grounds at the scenic facility for night two of the three-night “Mid-Atlantic Triple Crown” presented by RainEater Wiper Blades. It was race #6 of the 27 event Touring slate.
One night after a dominating performance at Hagerstown Speedway for his milestone 100th career win, Mike Pegher, Jr. added another $2,000 to his stellar weekend holding off the hard charging Super Late Model star Jared Hawkins for his third Sweeney Tour event win of the season. The 30-lap victory not only maintains Pegher’s Sweeney Tour point lead, but also the RainEater Wiper Blades “Mid-Atlantic Triple Crown” point lead heading into the final night at The Rock.
“I kept watching the scoreboard and seen Jared (Hawkins) was coming,” acknowledged the 27-year Wexford, Pa. victor. I knew the outside was probably getting faster around the cushion so I chanced it and took it the outside for the final restart. It was a good race and I’m glad to be back up here again. I have to thank Mike Brunner for all the time and work he put in at the shop this week, all my sponsors, Lynn Geisler, and the fans for coming out.”
Via his first K&N Dash win, Pegher earned the pole position and took off in the lead over fast qualifier Ryan Montgomery and John Over. Joe Martin started sixth, but was able to use the outside to power by Michael Lake and Glenn Elliott to advance to fourth after one lap. Elliott faded outside the top five when Lake and ninth starting Hawkins moved to fifth and sixth on laps three and four respectively.
Pegher pulled out to a straightaway lead by lap six and was set to enter lapped traffic when Louie Krushansky, who was making his first Tour start of the season, slowed to bring out the caution with eight laps scored. The caution erased Pegher’s 3.5 second lead. When racing resumed, Hawkins pressured Martin on laps 10-12 and made the pass for fourth racing off the inside of turn two down the backstretch on the 12th circuit.
Hawkins moved to the topside of the racey 3/8-mile track and quickly tracked down Over. Hawkins drove around Over in turn four to grab third at the start-finish line on lap 13. Hawkins stayed up top as he made up ground on Montgomery in a hurry. On lap 17, Hawkins drove by Montgomery off the outside of turn two for second.
Hawkins, who was running faster laps than Pegher, had a 3.4 second deficit to make up. Just after the completion of lap 17, Lake spun in turn two ending a solid run and earned him The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night” award. With the field getting the one-lap to go signal, the lights went out on the speedway. Thankfully the race was under caution and no damage was done.
After nearly a 20-minute delay to restore the lights, racing was back underway. Pegher chose the outside line and after a false start took command of the race, while Martin was able to get by Montgomery for third. The top four of Pegher, Hawkins, Martin, and Montgomery distanced themselves from the field, while a tremendous race was on for fifth between Over, Ken Herman, Rick Singleton, Ricky Meglaye, and Butch Lambert.
The last 13 laps went green-to-checkered. After Pegher got out to a decent lead, Hawkins was again running faster laps and closed on the leader in the final laps. Lapped traffic loomed ahead, but the leaders didn’t quite get there as Pegher was able to hold on by just 0.625 of a second in the Lynn Geisler-owned, #1 Cochran/Alternative Power Sources/Pegher Painting/Triple-S Auto Outlet/Zero Wraps-sponsored Rocket Chassis #1c. Pegher has now finished in the top nine of all six Sweeney Tour events this season.
Hawkins put on a solid performance subbing for Chad McClellan and probably didn’t need the last caution and long power outage delay. “I had a lot of fun tonight,” expressed the 26-year-old Fairmont, WV resident, who also finished second in the Modified special. “I haven’t been in a Modified for a while, and never drove a crate car. I enjoyed both. We’re trying to cut back laps on our Super Late Model stuff to get geared up for a couple big races. I’m just glad I got the opportunity to race. I have to thank Chad and his brother (McClellan) for getting to do this and Kevin for letting us drive the Modified.”
“I was ready and trying to get the jump on that restart and get him so I could move up in turn one,” explained Hawkins. “Mike (Pegher) is an awesome guy and race car driver so I’m just happy to come home second. I have to thank everyone for coming out.”
Martin’s third was his fifth top nine finish in six races. “It was a lot of fun tonight,” acknowledged the Mayport, Pa. competitor. “This place is awesome especially once it starts drying out, and we had the cushion to play with. Jared (Hawkins) showed me what was up there. He’s a real good driver as everyone knows. We were decent at the end. We are going to keep after these top fives, but when Mike (Pegher) is on there isn’t too many people that can beat him. With what we have, we’re going to keep plugging away and stay in the points race and see what happens”
Montgomery was fourth for the second straight night for his fifth top eight finish in six races this season. Eleventh starting Herman had a great run to garner the fifth spot in his first Sweeney Tour start of the season.
After struggling through the preliminary events to get the Clint Enyeart #99* to run once again, Rick Singleton battled from the 16th starting spot to a sixth place finish to pick up the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger certificate for the second straight night and maintain runner-up in points. Meglaye was seventh after starting 13th in his season debut. Lambert advanced to eighth after starting 14th. Chad Ruhlman and Over completed the top 10.
Montgomery set fast time with a lap of 17.201 to earn the $100 from Bobby Lake Motorsports in “Shock the Clock” qualifying. Montgomery, Elliott, and Pegher added $25 to their payday for winning the Bobby Lake Motorsports heat races. Paul McGinley won the B main.
Pegher became the sixth different K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash winner in as many events this season and earned the $100 certificate. Montgomery received a $50 certificate for second, while Over and K&N Dash point leader Elliott received $25 cash.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #6 presented by RainEater Wiper Blades (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. MIKE PEGHER, JR. (Geisler 1c) 2. Jared Hawkins (McClellan 119) 3. Joe Martin (55) 4. Ryan Montgomery (12) 5. Ken Herman (58) 6. Rick Singleton (Enyeart 99*) 7. Ricky Meglaye (5) 8. Butch Lambert (27) 9. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 10. John Over (K2) 11. Mike Lewis (98) 12. Troy Shields (11) 13. Billy Beachler (21) 14. Jorden Peters (11) 15. Cody Dawson (36) 16. John Imler (63) 17. Matt Glanden (01) 18. Chris Angelicchio (14) 19. Glenn Elliott (5E) 20. Michael Lake (27) 21. Paul McGinley (97) 22. W.L. Stile (1W) 23. D.J. Troutman (7) 24. Louie Krushansky (23) 25. Andrew Wylie (84). (Note: Matt Glanden took a Series provisional).
Last Chance B Main (10 laps/Top 6 transfer): 1. Paul McGinley 2. John Imler 3. Jorden Peters 4. Andrew Wylie 5. W.L. Stile 6. Chris Angelicchio 7. Ben Policz (14B) 8. Matt Glanden 9. Jeff Compton (65)-DNS 10. Kelly Putz (59)-DNS 11. Scott Tessman (19s)-DNS.
Feature lap Leaders: (Pegher 1-30)
Margin of Victory: 0.625
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Rick Singleton (+10)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Michael Lake
Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100): 1. Ryan Montgomery 17.201 2. Glenn Elliott 17.208 3. Jared Hawkins 17.224 4. Ricky Meglaye 17.234 5. Chad Ruhlman 17.315 6. Mike Pegher, Jr. 17.361 7. John Over 17.377 8. Michael Lake 17.484 9. Joe Martin 17.487 10. Troy Shields 17.497 11. Ken Herman 17.506 12. D.J. Troutman 17.525 13. Rick Singleton 17.527 14. Jorden Peters 17.537 15. Mike Lewis 17.534 16. Billy Beachler 17.606 17. Butch Lambert 17.608 18. Louie Krushansky 17.693 19. Jeff Compton 17.706 20. Chris Angelicchio 17.711 21. Matt Glanden 17.712 22. Kelly Putz 17.772 23. Cody Dawson 17.902 24. Andrew Wylie 17.904 25. Ben Policz 17.905 26. John Imler 17.941 27. W.L. Stile 17.981 28. Paul McGinley 18.096 29. Scott Tessman NT.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (10 laps/Top 6 transfer/$25 to-win): 1. Montgomery 2. Over 3. Shields 4. Beachler 5. Meglaye 6. Singleton 7. McGinley 8. Compton 9. Policz 10. Putz.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (10 laps/Top 6 Transfer/$25 to-win): 1. Elliott 2. Lake 3. Ruhlman 4. Herman 5. Lambert 6. Dawson 7. Imler 8. Peters 9. Angelicchio 10. Tessman-DNS.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 3 (10 laps/Top 6 Transfer/$25 to-win): 1. Pegher 2. Martin 3. Hawkins 4. Troutman 5. Lewis 6. Krushansky 7. Wylie 8. Stile 9. Glanden.
K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps/$100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Mike Pegher, Jr. 2. Ryan Montgomery 3. John Over 4. Glenn Elliott.
The next events for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series will Sunday (June 23) at The Rock – Allegany County Speedway (Cumberland, MD) for $2,000 to-win.
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.
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.