June 20, 2014
(By Mike Leone)

(Mechanicsville, MD)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series kicked off night 1 of the two-night “Mid-Atlantic States Classic” on Friday night in the first ever appearance to Potomac Speedway. The event drew a track record 22 cars from eight different states! The Mechanicsville, MD track is located an hour south of Washington, DC and is in its second year of running Crate Late Models and first under the RUSH banner.

Rick Singleton won the inaugural Sweeney RUSH Tour event last year at Hagerstown Speedway, but failed to another Tour event for the remainder of the 2013 season. Singleton made his 2014 Tour debut a successful one winning the last event at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex for the “Bill Hendren Memorial.” On Friday night in his first ever race at Potomac, Singleton made it two in a row winning his heat, the K&N Dash, and the 30-lap feature! All told, Singleton earned $2,625 plus the $100 K&N certificate! The Hills Family posted a $100 bonus to the driver leading lap seven.

“I get to have all the fun, but Clint (Enyeart) gets this check so I don’t know how all that works out,” joked the 49-year-old Front Royal, Virginia racer. “I do have to thank Clint though as he works on these cars day and night and I’m not really around that much. That was good racing even though there were a lot of cautions. It’s tough to win these races. Sometimes it’s better to start back there as when you’re up front you don’t know which line is better. I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to run the top or bottom. I didn’t know if anyone was putting pressure on me or not. I’ve never been here before so I didn’t know what the quick way around this place is.”

“I love this RUSH Series,” continued Singleton. “I love the whole concept. They checked our tires last week. They check your motor. If you’re not legal with this Series you’re going to get caught and that’s what I like. Quite honestly I like racing with guys that have equal equipment and that’s what this is all about.”

By virtue of the K&N Dash win, Singleton earned the pole for the feature and took off in the lead. Several cautions slowed the event early on most for spins and debris with the exception of a hard hit that Timmy Booth suffered when he made contact with the frontstretch wall in his first ever Tour start.

Eric Wilson and Cody Dawson swapped the second position three different times in the first four laps with Wilson getting the spot on the fourth circuit. John Waters and John Imler moved into fourth and fifth respectively past Ryan Montgomery on lap five, while shortly after Singleton began to pull away under a longer stretch of green flag laps.

A caution for a spin by Mike Wharton bunched up the field with seven laps scored. When racing resumed, Wilson slipped out of the groove allowing Dawson, Waters, and 14th starting Ben Bowie to take positions two through four. Wilson fought back to regain fourth on lap nine. One lap later, Waters took control of second with a pass of Dawson to earn the Driven Oil “Slick Move of the Night”.

Wilson, the 2013 “Futures Cup” Champion who is in his first year of Touring, ruined a great run when he spun running fourth with 16 laps completed. This moved Bowie to fourth for the restart, but when racing resumed he’d lose the position to Montgomery. Montgomery then stole third from Dawson on lap 19.

The man on the move was John Over. Over had problems in warm-ups and qualifying which forced him to miss his heat race and start 21st in the feature. Over then got caught up in a pair of accidents early on which relegated him to the tail again. On lap 20, Over passed both Ralph Morgan, Jr. and Bowie to move into the top five.

While Singleton continued to set the pace out front with a fairly comfortable margin over Waters, the battle was on for third as Montgomery had his hands full with Dawson and Over. On lap 25, Over made the pass of Dawson for fourth then three laps later drove under and by Montgomery for third.

Over would run out of time catching Waters and Singleton as the last 12 laps went green-to-checkered. At Roaring Knob, Singleton’s margin of victory was 3.045 seconds. On Friday night, it was nearly identical at 2.919 in the Clint Enyeart-owned, Rick Singleton Rental, MBH, TC Racecars-sponsored #99*.

Waters, who ran six of the final seven 2013 Sweeney Tour events with a best finish of sixth, is in his first full season of Crate Late Model racing. The Whitesville, New York racer made the seven-hour tow south profitable as he recorded his career best Tour finish in second.

“This is a neat little track,” expressed Waters, who earned $1,200 for second place. “I’m glad we came all the way down here to get second. Rick (Singleton) is pretty tough. I have to thank my car owner Dale LeBarron, my crew, and all of my sponsors because without them I couldn’t do it.”

Over’s third earned him his second straight $100 Precise “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card along with the Crate Innovations Accelerator-1 Carb Spacer Kit for the “Performance Plus” Award. “I gained some spots then had to go back when someone spun in front of me,” explained the Uniontown, PA driver. “I’ll take a third starting 21st. Two weeks ago we did the same thing starting 19th to fourth- this is getting tiring.”

Montgomery, who tied for the most Sweeney Tour wins in 2013 at five, was fourth as he continues to look for his first Tour win of 2014. Dawson, who is in his second year of running the Sweeney Tour, dropped to fifth, but it was good enough for his career best Tour finish. The top five finishers were from five different states in Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland!

Bowie, a two-time 2014 Potomac winner, was sixth in his first ever Sweeney Tour start. Morgan was seventh. Jason Rider came back from an early spin to finish eighth and took over the Sweeney Tour point lead after problems forced Chad McClellan to the pits. Imler and “Futures Cup” racer Dylan Lewis completed the top 10.

W.L. Stile was the last running car on the lead lap and picked up the Crate Innovations “Ignite” Award for the Moroso Custom Fit Plug Wire Set. Darin Henderson was awarded The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night” as a broken rear-end allowed him to make only one lap in the feature. Henderson was credited with last place- 22nd.

In his first race of 2014, David Puckett established a new track record in Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” qualifying with a lap of 16.184 earning him an extra $100. Singleton, Montgomery, and Dawson each earned an extra $25 for winning the Bobby Lake Motorsports heat races. Dawson received a $50 K&N certificate for finishing second in the K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash, while Wilson and Montgomery picked up an extra $25 for finishing third and fourth in the dash.

Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #3 (30 laps, $2,500 to-win): 1. RICK SINGLETON (Enyeart 99*) 2. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 3. John Over (K2) 4. Ryan Montgomery (12) 5. Cody Dawson (36) 6. Ben Bowie (17) 7. Ralph Morgan, Jr. (Powell 100) 8. Jason Rider (Wade 76) 9. John Imler (63) 10. Dylan Lewis (98J) 11. Jeff Pilkerton (8) 12. Mike Wharton (Evans 100) 13. W.L. Stile (1W) 14. Reese Masiello (22R) 15. Harry Shipe, Jr. (00) 16. Tracy Graves (28) 17. Sonny Hatzel (1) 18. Eric Wilson (27W) 19. David Puckett (19) 20. Chad McClellan (119) 21. Timmy Booth (95) 22. Darin Henderson (22).

Car Count: 22
Feature Lap Leaders: Rick Singleton (1-30)
Margin of Victory: 2.919 seconds
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: John Over (+18)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Darin Henderson
Driven Oil “Slick Move of the Night”: John Waters
Crate Innovations “Performance Plus” Accelerator-1 Carb Spacer Kit Giveaway: John Over
Crate Innovations “Ignite” Moroso Custom Fit Plug Wire Set: W.L Stile

Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Time Trials ($100 for fast time): 1. David Puckett 16.184 (NTR) 2. Ryan Montgomery 16.204 3. Cody Dawson 16.229 4. Rick Singleton 16.277 5. Chad McClellan 16.285 6. Ben Bowie 16.308 7. Eric Wilson 16.310 8. John Waters 16.395 9. Jeff Pilkerton 16.403 10. Darin Henderson 16.439 11. Reese Masiello 16.459 12. John Imler 16.509 13. Tracy Graves 16.564 14. Jason Rider 16.570 15. Mike Wharton 16.716 16. Ralph Morgan, Jr. 16.781 17. Dylan Lewis 16.810 18. Timmy Booth 16.922 19. W.L. Stile 17.303 20. Sonny Hatzel 17.655 21. John Over 18.056 22. Harry Shipe, Jr. NT.

Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win):1. Singleton 2. Wilson 3. Morgan 4. Puckett 5. Henderson 6. Hatzel 7. Graves.

Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win):1. Montgomery 2. Waters 3. Rider 4. Masiello 5. Lewis 6. McClellan 7. Hatzel.

Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win):1. Dawson 2. Pilkerton 3. Imler 4. Wharton 5. Bowie 6. Booth 7. Shipe 8. Over-DNS.

K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps):1. Rick Singleton 2. Cody Dawson 3. Eric Wilson 4. Ryan Montgomery

The next event will be Saturday (June 21) at Winchester (VA) Speedway for night two of the “Mid-Atlantic” States Classic paying $2,500 to-win. Gates open at 4 p.m. with warm-ups at 6:45.

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.