May 14, 2014
By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone
(Pulaski, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Weekly Series track action began last weekend at a track that doesn’t run the class weekly. The famed Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. included both the Sweeney RUSH Late Models and Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified classes as support races to the annual visit by the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars.

While the All Stars were the drawing card for this event, the RUSH Late Models put on quite a show of their own with 20 of the 21 cars taking the green for feature. Nico Dabecco, Dan Angelicchio, Josh Holtgraver, and Chad Ruhlman put on quite a battle up front. Dabecco led the first three laps hoping to back up a win earlier this season at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway; however, Angelicchio took over the top spot on lap four and was able to hold off the hard charge by Chad Ruhlman. Holtgraver, Dabecco and Andrew Wylie rounded out the top five in the special Lernerville appearance.

“That took forever!” exclaimed Greensburg, Pa’s Angelicchio referring to the several cautions. “I was getting worried with all those restarts, but man this is awesome! I’ve always wanted to win here at Lernerville and this is something else!”

The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified division held its second event and first ever appearance at Lernerville. Adam Hilton, a regular in the Sportsman Modified class in and around his native Buffalo New York, took the win and the early point lead. Jordan Eck, the opening event winner at Sharon, came in second with Jamie Duncan, Adam Siegel and Eric Beggs, who made his debut completing the top five in a division. The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will be at America’s Motorsports Park in Clearfield, PA this Saturday night for the first time!

Both the Sweeney RUSH Late Models and Sportsman Modifieds will return to Lernerville on Friday July 4 for another doubleheader as they join the BOSS Wingless Sprints in their annual visit to the Sarver track. The Late Model portion will be a Sweeney Tour event with $1,500 to-win as part of the “Bill Emig Memorial”.

On Saturday night in East Smethport, PA, nearly three dozen RUSH Dirt Late Models were a part of a crowded pit area that totaled 117 cars at McKean County Raceway! The official count was 34 setting a record for a Sweeny RUSH Weekly-sanctioned event! After four heats and a B-Main, the 24-car field was set. Pole sitter Adam Sixt took the early lead with Ruhlman and Mike Knight closing in.

Unlike the night prior when he finished runner-up, this time Ruhlman took the lead with just five laps to go. He held on for his second MCR win of the season and continued to improve his standings in the Sweeney Weekly Series points.

Second through fifth were Sixt, Knight, Scott Waters and Jeremy Wonderling. The RUSH Late Models return to action as part of MCR’s “Super Six” show this Saturday, May 17 on Baseball Uniform Night.

Sharon Speedway managed to escape the rain that plagued the area’s Saturday night tracks, getting in a full show that included a season high field of 16 RUSH Late Models in the pits. Russ Byler led the first lap from his pole position start. Through a series of restarts and an impressive number of position changes throughout the field, defending Dennis Lunger Jr. was making his way forward.

By the 13th lap, Will Thomas III was at the front of the field when Lunger overtook him for a lead- one he would not relinquish. Lunger stretched his lead to over 1.2 seconds at the checkers over runner up Russ Byler, who recorded his career best Late Model finish. Lunger became the first RUSH driver of the season to reach three victories in the Series! Dabecco came from his 13th starting position to claim third, which was very important as his two top four finishes for the weekend propelled the Pittsburgh racer into the Sweeney Weekly Series point lead for the first time in his career!

Rounding out the top five were Thomas and Bobby Pifer III, who was very pleased with his finish. A special night for the fans this Saturday (May 17) as Sharon presents its annual Fan Appreciation Night. An autograph session on the track during intermission and a full night of Steel Valley Thunder racing for the low, low price of nothing! That’s right, FREE admission this Saturday night at the historic speedway, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary season!

The rain shortened weekend came to a close for the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Series member tracks on Sunday evening at Port Colborne, Ontario’s Humberstone Speedway. Rob Ledingham and Paul Grigsby set the pace, but it was second row starter Ed Carley, who took the point by lap two as a battle for second raged on behind him. His son Zack Carley battled with Grigsby and Ledingham for the spot.

Grigsby got by Zack Carley in the late going squelching any chance that Zack would catch his father. In the end it was Ed Carley holding on for his first win, followed by Grigsby, Zack Carley, Ledingham and Jorden Peters. After a week off, the RUSH Dirt Late Models return to action at Humberstone on Sunday, May 25.

RUSH member tracks Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, Winchester Speedway, Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex and Freedom Speedway all succumbed to the rainy weekend.

Weather permitting, Freedom is hoping to hold a practice session on Thursday night to test their new surface then open up on Friday night (May 16). Freedom has announced they will be paying $800 to-win, $90 to-start on a weekly basis!

Potomac looks to resume action this Friday night. Potomac will be closed Friday, May 23, but has a special event scheduled for Sunday, May 25- the night before Memorial Day that includes the Sweeney RUSH Late Models.

Roaring Knob will have a doubleheader weekend with their regular program on Saturday night followed by the first of two appearances by the “410” Sprint Cars on Sunday evening. The Sweeney RUSH Late Models will be on the card for both nights!

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, High Gear Speed Shop, RainEater Wiper Blades, 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 info@rushracingseries.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.