Sweeney RUSH LM Tour MFG Night Tri-City 9/11/16 story & results
MAX BLAIR GOES 2-FOR-2 ON SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL TOURING SERIES IN 2016 WITH TRI-CITY WIN; ALL-TIME NORTHEAST RECORD 58 CARS PARTICIPATE IN "MFG NIGHT" PRESENTED BY MSD AS $50,000 IN CASH & CONTINGENCIES AWARDED
By Mike Leone
September 11, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Franklin, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series powered by Pace Performance made its second and final visit of the season to Tri-City Raceway Park on Sunday night. The fifth annual "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance attracted 58 drivers from all over Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and New York, which set an all-time record high car count in the 10-year history of Crate Late Model racing in the Northeast! Approximately $50,000 in cash and contingencies were distributed, which also set a record. Steve LeBarron won the top prize of a Yamaha Electric Start Generator from Alternative Power Sources valued at $2,200. A complete prize winners list of the $35,000 in products will be released in the near future.
Tri-City was the track Max Blair started his racing career at, it's the track closest to his home, and on Sunday night Blair proved why he continues to be the driver to beat in RUSH Late Model competition. Blair dominated the night winning his heat, the K&N dash, and led all 30 laps of the feature for the $2,000 win, and was chosen as the Maxima Racing Oil "Maximum Performance" award winner. Blair is now two-for-two in Sweeney Tour competition this season and his car is three-for-three as his father Rob won in a substitution role on May 29 at Eriez Speedway. The victory followed a $2,000 Sweeney Weekly Series win the night prior at Stateline Speedway. Blair recently captured the $3,000 Pace "Summer Chase" title and is closing in on his second straight $5,000 Sweeney Weekly Series title and third in four years!
"We really haven't run many of these tour races this year," explained the 26-year-old Centerville, Pa. driver. "We decided at the beginning of the year we were going to focus on the Super Late Model program so that's what we did. I always enjoy running these shows when we can especially when it's time trials. It's a lot of fun racing with these guys. I always love racing at this track. I live 15 minutes down the road so I have a lot of friends, family, and fans in the stands. I felt like if Bryce (Davis) pinched me down into (turn) one I might be in trouble so I had to have a half of a car length on him by the time I got there. When you have these guys behind you, you have to be on top of your game. The competition keeps getting harder and harder every year. We just keep trying to win races. It's been a really good year; last year was a really good year. You have to ride that wave when it's there because it will go away- that's for sure."
Blair took off in the early lead following his K&N Dash win over Davis, who won the last Sweeney Tour show at Tri-City on June 19; meanwhile, Waters was able to get by Will Thomas III and Mike Pegher, Jr. for third on the opening lap. Pegher came right back reclaiming third on lap two before a caution for Eric Wilson. When racing resumed, Blair began to pull away while Pegher challenged Davis for second on laps three and four; however, Waters wasn't about to go away as he took third from Pegher one more time on lap five.
Blair had opened up a straightaway lead when he caught traffic on lap 11. Davis began to close in on lap 13 and by lap 15 it was a three-car race for the lead in lapped traffic with Blair trying to fend off Davis and Waters, while trying to negotiate lapped traffic. Flat tires for Daryl Charlier and Thomas slowed action after 17 consecutive laps with 19 laps on the scoreboard.
When racing resumed, back-to-back cautions occurred in turn one, which forced a single file restart that Waters didn't want to see. Racing resumed for the final time, the final 11 laps went caution-free. Blair immediately pulled away again. Waters battled with Davis on lap 21, but Davis continued to hold down the runner-up spot. Blair caught traffic for the final time on lap 29, but at this point had a half-straightaway lead built up and those behind him would run out of time for any chance of closing in. Blair captured his all-time leading 16th career Sweeney Tour win by 1.396 seconds in his Specialty Products/Moody & Son Welding/Murphy's Logging/C&J Dairy/L&R Rolloff/Previty's Auto Wrecking/Race 1/Genesis Shocks-sponsored #111.
Davis' runner-up was worth $1,000 and was his eighth top four finish of the season as his point lead expanded to eight over Waters. "As good as Johnny (Waters) is- a solid second place and him in third we gained two points on him so It was a great points night for us," stated the 25-year-old Hornell, New York driver, who won a Lincoln Electric 140C power mig welder and utility cart valued at $700. "Max was too good. We were very close to him, but he was just a tick better than us. I have to thank my whole crew that puts it a ton of time and effort- I can't thank them enough along with my sponsors, my mom, dad, brother, sister, wife Hannah, and our two kids."
Waters remained right in the championship point battle with his eighth top five finish of the season in Sweeney Tour action, and won a set of Beyea custom crate headers valued at $800. After starting the Sweeney Touring season with four straight top three finishes, Pegher struggled throughout the summer as his fourth place finish was his best on the Tour since a runner-up at Eriez back on May 29. Damian Bidwell, who is currently second in the Sweeney Weekly Series standings, made just his fourth Tour start of the season and was able to improve two spots from his seventh place starting spot to round out the top five.
Bruce Hordusky, Jr. was sixth for his third straight top seven "Marquee" Tour finish. Former New York Big-Block Modified racer, Chad Homan, made his first ever Tour start and was seventh over Dave Lyon, Alan Dellinger, and Randy Hall. Matt Latta went from 19th to 13th and received the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" hard charger certificate. Brian Knowles was the final car on the lead lap in 19th and earned the $25 CrateInsider.com gift card. Jared Kane crashed in warm-ups, which ended his night early and possibly his season. Kane was selected as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient.
Eriez track champion, Jason Genco, ended a tough night by dominating the 10-lap non-qualifier event to close out the night. After getting caught up in a heat race accident, Genco made repairs and charged from the13th starting spot to a third place finish in the second last chance B main to miss out on transferring to the feature by one spot. Genco then was never challenged in the non-qualifier taking the Jason Badgley-owned #29J to the $175 victory by 2.526 over Steve LeBarron, who made his first Sweeney Tour start of 2016. Genco became the 20th different winner in 22 non-qualifier events run all-time! Khole Wanzer started fifth and finished third over Jamie Brown and "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series point leader Greg Beach.
Waters' lap of 20.083 in qualifying was the best of the 58 competitors, which earned him $100 from Bobby Lake Motorsports. Picking up $25 Bobby Lake Motorsports heat race wins were Waters, Pegher, Davis, Thomas, Blair, and Homan. Latta, Chris Withers, and Jeremy Wonderling won the three last chance B mains. Blair's K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash win was his second of the year and was worth a $100 K&N certificate. Davis received a $50 K&N certificate for his runner-up dash finish, while Pegher and Thomas earned $25 cash for finishing third and fourth.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #12 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (111) 2. Bryce Davis (94) 3. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 4. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Haseleu RJ1) 5. Damian Bidwell (7Teen) 6. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. (3) 7. Chad Homan (91) 8. Dave Lyon (14L) 9. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8) 10. Randy Hall (Suppa 4s) 11. Wyatt Scott (x3) 12. Darrell Bossard (Winans 213) 13. Matt Latta (B1D) 14. Kyle Zimmerman (z17) 15. Clinton Hersh (16) 16. Brady Wonderling (z1) 17. Chris Withers (21W) 18. Will Thomas III (9) 19. Brian Knowles (7) 20. Jake Gunn (14G) 21. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 22. Daryl Charlier (12) 23. Jason Knowles (4) 24. Steve Beatty (B4) 25. Eric Wilson (27W). Note: Brian Knowles took a Series provisional.
Non-Qualifier (10 laps, $175 to-win): 1. Jason Genco (Badgley 29J) 2. Steve LeBarron (29) 3. Khole Wanzer (01W) 4. Jamie Brown (135) 5. Greg Beach (33x) 6. Zach Kane (10) 7. Nathan Earle (17E) 8. Robert Mitcham III (827) 9. Eric Reinwald (Wanzer 01X) 10. J.J. Mazur (13)-DNS 11. Justin Lamb (93x)-DNS 12. Bob Pifer III (Schwartz 71L)-DNS 13. Scott Gurdak (Hollabaugh 5G)-DNS 14. Travis Martineau (Schwartz 171)-DNS 15. Andy Michael (17x)-DNS 16. Mike Wonderling, Jr. (18)-DNS 17. R.J. Pistner (73)-DNS 18. Jim Johnson (93J)-DNS 19. Joe Chamberlain (Kratts 41)-DNS 20. Brian Swank (12s)-DNS 21. Scott Schempp (75)-DNS 22. Mike Lozowski (41)-DNS 23. Jacob Piper (21)-DNS 24. Bill Kessler (09)-DNS 25. Jimmy Johnson, Jr. (39J)-DNS 26. Andy Boozel (12B)-DNS 27. Tony Iarrapino (54)-DNS 28. W.L. Stile (1W)-DNS 29. Jamie Wrightsman (21J)-DNS 30. Mike Bambarger (B2)-DNS 31. Tony White (27)-DNS 32. Logan Roberson (17)-DNS 33. Jared Kane (7)-DNS.
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