July 5, 2014
(By Mike Leone)

(Hartford, OH)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series wrapped up the “Bill Emig Memorial Wild Card Weekend” on Saturday night in the first of two appearances of the season at Sharon Speedway. A total of 34 different cars from six different states plus Canada competed chasing after the $1,500 point fund presented by Bilstein Shock Absorbers.

The way Rick Singleton is going right now it’s hard to imagine he went over 13 months without winning a Sweeney Tour event. On Saturday night, Singleton led wire-to-wire in the 25-lap Bilstein Shock Absorbers feature event for his fourth win in the past five events! The victory was worth $1,500 plus an additional $500 for capturing the overall “Bill Emig Memorial Wild Card Weekend” title, and $100 for winning the “John Buzzard Memorial” K&N Dash. In the five Tour events he’s competed in, Singleton has earned $9,400- not bad for a $5,500 engine!

“This is a great race track,” expressed the 49-year-old Front Royal, Virginia racer after his first victory at the speedway. “If it wasn’t so far away we’d be here all of the time. Things are going real good right now. We’ve had a lot of luck on our side, but that can change in a hurry. This MBH Race Car has been so good and that’s been the difference from last year. This extra money is great and I know Clint (Enyeart) appreciates it.”

After winning the dash, Singleton took off in the lead over Russell Baird, Jr., John Waters, Ryan Montgomery, and Jorden Peters. Eighth starting Cody Dawson was on the move racing into the top five on lap two before back-peddling. Josh Double started 10th and was halfway to the front after six non-stop laps taking the position from Peters.

Meanwhile up front, Singleton had begun to pull away on lap five, while the battle was on for second. Baird was trying to hold off Waters, but in the meantime Montgomery snuck under Waters for third on lap six. The event’s only caution came for a spin by Jason Stanke with seven laps completed.

Back under green, Montgomery made the pass of Baird for second as Waters slipped high and fell out of the top five allowing Double and ninth starting Will Thomas III to grab fourth and fifth respectively. Montgomery went after Singleton on lap 10. Behind the lead duo, Double and Thomas continued their progression forward getting by Baird for third and fourth respectively on lap 11.

By lap 12, Montgomery was right on Singleton, while Double was a half-straightaway back in third. Montgomery really put the pressure on Singleton on lap 15. Double and Thomas started to close in on lap 17 trying to make it a four-car race for the lead. Singleton caught the back of the pack on lap 21 as Montgomery followed Singleton close. Coming down for the white flag, Singleton had heavy traffic looming ahead. It appeared Montgomery may have had the advantage to try and steal his first win with a last lap pass, but Singleton made a great move in traffic to seal the victory, which also earned him the Driven Oil “Slick Move of the Night”.

Singleton’s fifth career win came by 1.343 seconds over Montgomery in the Clint Enyeart-owned, Rick Singleton Rental, MBH, TC Racecars-sponsored #99*. The victory tied him with Montgomery and Mike Pegher, Jr. as the Touring Series’ top winners after 30 events.

Montgomery’s runner-up was his fifth straight top four finish as he extended his Sweeney Tour point lead over Chad McClellan. His back-to-back runner-up finishes also tied him with McClellan for second in the “Wild Card Weekend” points. The two drivers will each receive an additional $350.

“This was a great track tonight,” said the 17-year-old Fairmont, West Virginia standout. “I probably should have gambled and tried the outside at the end. I got underneath Rick a couple times, but he’s six feet taller than me and I thought otherwise! We’re going to win one of these yet, but Rick is a great driver.”

Double joined up with the Tour on Friday night and improved on his ninth place finish with a fine third place just 1.795 seconds behind Singleton at the track he won the inaugural divisional championship at in 2011. Double passed seven cars on Saturday night to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card. Double wound up fourth in the “Wild Card Weekend” points for an additional $200.

“We had a really good car tonight,” stated the 21-year-old Bristolville, Ohio winner. “We enjoy these Tour shows and I’d get to a lot more if it wasn’t for work. I’ll be at Expo Wednesday and hopefully Pittsburgh next Saturday. Also hoping to get to Humberstone in Canada in a couple weeks. I really like that track.”

Thomas, the 2012 Sharon Champion and current point leader, had a good run gaining five spots to finish fourth in his first Sweeney Tour start of the season. Baird’s fifth place finish was a career best effort on the Sweeney Tour and best ever at Sharon Speedway at a track the Uniontown, Pa. racer really enjoys. Baird is now 13th in Sweeney Tour points as the top 15 receive point fund monies.

Canadian Jorden Peters was sixth and earned the Accelerator-1 Carb Spacer Kit compliments of Crate Innovations. Andrew Wylie, Alan Dellinger on the $135 Bilstein “sealed” spec shocks, Waters, and McClellan completed the top 10. Dellinger was randomly drawn for a pair of pit passes to Sharon Speedway’s next event on July 19 compliments of Hovis Auto & Truck Supply.

Wylie and Eric Wilson tied for the fifth spot in the “Wild Card Weekend” points and will each receive an extra $50. It was a tough weekend for Sweeney Tour regular Jason Rider with bad pill draws and struggled both nights. Rider was selected as The Brake Man’s “Tough Brake of the Night”. Rider was also the final car on the lead lap and received a Moroso Custom Fit Plug Wire Set compliments of Crate Innovations.

Two big drawings took place. The first was for the Lincoln Electric Power MIG 140C Machine and Utility Cart valued at over $750, and was won by Jason Stanke. The second was for a TurboStart 16-Volt Racing Battery valued at over $250 and the lucky winner was Bobby Pifer III.

Baird and Singleton won the heat races. Singleton’s second K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash victory put him atop those standings. Baird’s runner-up finish earned him a $100 K&N certificate, while third place Waters received a $50 K&N certificate, and fourth place Peters an extra $25.

Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #6 (25 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. RICK SINGLETON (Enyeart 99*) 2. Ryan Montgomery (12) 3. Josh Double (38) 4. Will Thomas III (9) 5. Russell Baird, Jr. (17) 6. Jorden Peters (11P) 7. Andrew Wylie (84) 8. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8) 9. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 10. Chad McClellan (119) 11. Eric Wilson (27W) 12. Cody Dawson (36) 13. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 14. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 15. Bobby Pifer III (6P) 16. Jason Rider (Wade 76) 17. Clay Ruffo (14R) 18. Lon Emerick (3) 19. Jason Stanke (44).

Car Count: 19
Feature Lap Leaders: Rick Singleton (1-30)
Margin of Victory: 1.343
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Josh Double (+7)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Jason Rider
Driven Oil “Slick Move of the Night”: Rick Singleton
Crate Innovations “Performance Plus” Accelerator-1 Carb Spacer Kit Giveaway: Jorden Peters
Crate Innovations “Ignite” Moroso Custom Fit Plug Wire Set: Jason Rider
Lincoln Electric Power MIG 140C Machine & Utility Cart: Jason Stanke
TurboStart 16V Racing Battery: Bobby Pifer III
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Sharon Speedway Pair of Pit Passes: Alan Dellinger

Heat 1 (10 laps):1. Baird 2. Peters 3. Montgomery 4. Pifer 5. Thomas 6. Wilson 7. Lunger 8. Ruffo 9. Rider 10. Emerick.
Heat 2 (10 laps):1. Singleton 2. Waters 3. Dellinger 4. Dawson 5. Double 6. Wylie 7. McClellan 8. Wrightsman 9. Stanke.

“John Buzzard Memorial” K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps, $100 to-win):1. Rick Singleton 2. Russell Baird, Jr. 3. John Waters 4. Jorden Peters.

The Sweeney Tour will be in action this Wednesday (July 9) at Expo Speedway at Trumbull County Fairgrounds for $2,000 to-win. Racing begins early at 6 PM. Then on Saturday, July 12, Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway will host a $1,500 to-win event plus the GM 604 Engine giveaway compliments of Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC and Pace Performance.

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 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.