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Blair Captures 2nd Consecutive Canadian National Championship

By Mike Leone May 20, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Port Colborne, ON, Can.)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series headed north across the border Sunday for the second annual “Canadian National Championship” at Humberstone Speedway as part of the Victoria Day holiday celebration presented by Peters Racing Supplies. A track record 26 cars from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New York, and Ontario, Canada made the trip beating last year’s count of 16. One week after putting on what may have been his greatest performance coming from 17th to win at Eriez, Max Blair put on a show for the packed house that fans won’t soon forget. Blair charged from the ninth position, outdueled nemesis Mike Pegher, Jr., and then held off a last lap shootout and challenge from Chad Ruhlman to capture the “Canadian National Championship” for the second straight year! Blair earned $2,000 plus the $100 Genesis Shocks “Top Dog of the Night” certificate for his third Series win in four tries this season, and the beautiful framed Canadian Flag trophy presentation! “I love this place- I wish it was a little closer to home,” expressed the 22-year-old Centerville, Pa. winner. “The track mirrored last year. It was a great race last year and again this year. This is one of the nicest tracks we go to so I hope we can come back soon. I felt I was a little bit better than him (Pegher), but we were going through some pretty heavy lapped traffic and you never want to take a chance when you’re doing that. He slipped up just a hair coming off (turn) two and it opened the door. I’ve never had a car that I could go anywhere I wanted to. It felt great. My plan on the last restart was to stay glued on the bottom near the white wall. If someone was going to pass me it was going to be on the outside. I have to thank my dad because I had absolutely no pit crew tonight it was just him and my girlfriend and he was driving Joe Martin’s car!” Action is always fast and furious on the racey Humberstone bullring and it got off to a wild start as it was three-wide for the lead on lap one with fifth starting Ruhlman passing four cars for the lead, while third starting Nolan Dalton grabbed second with pole-sitter Justin Tatlow, seventh starting Wayne Robertson in tow, and Mike Pegher, Jr. in tow. Robbie Blair was subbing for Joe Martin. After coming from ninth in his heat to finish second, the feature was a rough one for Blair as he spun two consecutive times with one lap scored. Amazingly those would be the only cautions for the next 28 laps as the drivers set a torrid pace. Back under green flag conditions, Justin Tatlow made the pass of Ruhlman for second. After starting second and fading to fifth, Pegher was coming back forward taking third from Dalton on lap three. Blair quickly made his presence known stealing fourth from Dalton on lap four. Pegher ran down Tatlow on lap five and drove under the New Yorker down the backstretch into turn three on lap five for second. Blair followed Pegher taking third from Tatlow one lap later in turn four. By lap eight, the top three of Ruhlman, Pegher, and Blair began to pull away. Ruhlman was running a nice line around the top, while most of the other cars were on the bottom. Lapped traffic came into play on lap 10. Pegher then quickly zoomed in on the leader on lap 11. The duo was side-by-side for the lead on lap 12 with Pegher making an inside move in turn four to lead the lap as Ruhlman had to lift for traffic. Blair then went to work on Ruhlman and used the bottom of turn three on lap 14 to take over second as Ruhlman slipped high in turn four nearly slipping off the steep banking. This allowed Pegher and Blair to pull away, while Dalton closed on Ruhlman for third. Track regular and 13th starting Darren Peters was on the move. Peters passed Tatlow for fifth on lap 19 then joined the battle with Ruhlman and Wayne Robertson for third. Peters took over fourth from Robertson on lap 20. Back up front, Blair was tracking Pegher’s every move as the two standouts raced through lapped traffic keeping the fans on the edge of their seat. Finally on lap 22, Blair struck made his winning move getting under and past Blair in turn four. Peters continued his forward progression taking third after a side-by-side battle with Ruhlman. By lap 24, Blair began pulling away from Pegher and appeared to be on cruise control until a spin by Brad Kling on the final lap setup a one-lap shootout. And one-lap “shootout” it was! Blair chose the bottom and fired first as he out-dragged Pegher down the frontstretch. While Blair was stuck on the bottom and pretty much went unchallenged the final lap for his all-time leading 15th career Tour win in his Specialty Products/Rohrer Trucking/Moody & Son Welding/Genesis Shocks-sponsored #111, the battle behind him was intense. Ruhlman made a bonsai run around the top passing Peters and Pegher. Ruhlman put the hammer down on the top of turn four, but didn’t have quite enough to overcome Blair as he had to settle for second for the second straight Tour race to the point leader. Ruhlman earned $1,000 for car owner Terry Suppa. “We lost the lead in lapped traffic when 88 put us over the cushion,” explained the Bemus Point, New York driver. “At that point we were pretty much committed to the bottom. This Rayburn is good in the slick as we’re obviously not part of the Max Blair show. I had one shot at it there at the end so I went to the top. Last week after finishing second to him both nights, my nine-year-old son complained to me why didn’t you try him on the outside because no one was up there. So I guess this was my Hail Mary shot! I’m glad to finish second to class act like Max and Robbie. They have this deal figured out. It is getting irritating though.” “Thank you to the track for putting this on and the crowd for supporting it,” continued Ruhlman. “It’s a beautiful facility. Most of my last 10 years have been at Eldora (Speedway) and you come to place like this and it’s like Attica or Oakshade; it’s top notch, I like it!” Peters crossed the finish line in third for what appeared to be a career best Tour finish, but was later disqualified in post-race tech for a modified oil pump. Dalton, who won a Weekly Series event on Saturday night at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex, was able to also gain positions on the final lap as he passed Robertson and Pegher to earn third after the disqualification. In his first year on the Tour, that was the West Virginia racer’s first top 10 finish. For the second straight race, Butch Lambert put on quite a charge. At Eriez, the fifth year Tour racer advanced 16 positions to finish fifth. On Sunday, Lambert gained 13 positions for a fourth place effort and this time earned the Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger Award. It was Lambert’s third straight top five finish as he’s finished in the top nine of all four events to continue to hold down the runner-up in points for his best ever start. Like on the initial start when he lost four positions from the outside front row, the last lap was a costly one for Pegher as he dropped from second to sixth, but was credited with fifth at the finish after the disqualification of Peters. Robertson was sixth over Chad Wright, who will gain five positions to move into the top 10 in points unofficially. Tatlow earned the Utsinger’s Towing free Hoosier Tire giveaway for being the last car on the lead lap at the finish in eighth. Jason Knowles, who made just his second FASTRAK start, was a solid ninth over 17th starting Dan Angelicchio. Brad Kling was the awarded The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night” in the John and Janet Powell #100. The central Pennsylvania team made the longest tow of any competitor, but got caught up in a heat race and feature tangle before being credited with 21st. The three heat races were won by Robertson, Bobby Rohrer, and Max Blair, while Lambert won the B main for the second straight week. Darren Peters came from third to win the K&N “Cold Air Induction Dash”, but with his disqualification, John Over will get credited with the win and first place points. Darcy Heafey of Thorold, Ontario, Canada was the lucky winner of the fan giveaway for the Cold Air Induction system valued at up to $500! For the second straight year, Original Pizza Logs awarded eligible Touring members travel money to assist in passport acquisitions. This year, the following Touring drivers receive the $150 that did not attend last year’s event: Dan Angelicchio, Lauren Longbrake, Chad Wright, Chad Ruhlman, John Over, Justin Tatlow, Nolan Dalton, and Bobby Rohrer. “We are very proud of this event,” stated sixth year Northeast Co-Director Vicki Emig. “We have to thank general manager Bob Davidson and the Cosco Family for going out on a limb in giving FASTRAK a home in Ontario, and also for booking this event. It’s great to see the car count increase by 10 from last year and a large crowd support it. We couldn’t ask for better racing to showcase our cars in front of a new audience. Our goal this year was to get a full field of cars and we eclipsed that by two. There were even a few other cars that were planning on coming that didn’t make it.” Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series Race #4 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (111) 2. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 3. Nolan Dalton (D2) 4. Butch Lambert (27) 5. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 6. Wayne Robertson (Knapp 20) 7. Chad Wright (6) 8. Justin Tatlow (Kratts 81) 9. Jason Knowles (4) 10. Dan Angelicchio (14) 11. John Over (K2) 12. Jamie Brown (135) 13. Ryan Montgomery (12) 14. Paul Milligan (M5) 15. Bobby Rohrer (11) 16. Don Spiece (88) 17. Tim Gillespie (15) 18. Tim Sears, Jr. (Kingsley 3T) 19. Lauren Longbrake (27) 20. Zack Carley (8) 21. Brad Kline (Powell 100) 22. Adam Ferri (Cosco 17C) 23. Ken Winfield (82) 24. Jorden Peters (11P) 25. Robbie Blair (Martin 55) 26. Darren Peters (1P)-DSQ (modified oil pump). (Note: Lauren Longbrake took a Series provisional & Don Spiece took a Track provisional.) Heat Winners: Robertson, Rohrer, M.Blair K&N Cold Air Induction Dash: 1. John Over 2. Zack Carley 3. Adam Ferri 4. Darren Peters-DSQ B Main Winner: Lambert Feature Lap Leaders: Ruhlman (1-11), Pegher (12-21), M.Blair (22-30) Car Count: 26 Genesis Shocks “Top Dog of the Night”: Max Blair Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Butch Lambert (+14) Utsinger’s Towing Hoosier Tire Giveaway: Justin Tatlow Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night”: Brad Kling 2012 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series Results Date/Track/State/Winner/# of Wins/To-Win Amount/Car Count April 1 Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex (PA)/Max Blair (1)/$3,000/47 April 20 Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex (PA)/Mike Pegher, Jr. (1)/$1,200/42 May 13 Eriez Speedway (PA)/Max Blair (2)/$1,200/32 May 20 Humberstone Speedway (ON)/Max Blair (3)/$2,000/26 The next race for the Sweeney Chevrolet FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series will be this Saturday and Sunday, May 26-27 at Sharon Speedway for the Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card Weekend” featuring $1,500 to-win events each night along with a separate point fund. 2012 FASTRAK Northeast marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tires, Original Pizza Logs, K&N Filters, The Brake Man, Utsinger’s Towing, Precise Racing Products, Genesis Shocks, VP Fuels, Beyea Custom Headers, H&H Racing Equipment, High Gear Speed Shop, Hyperco, Jake’s Golf Carts, Lincoln Electric, Wrisco Aluminum, and Wylie Race Cars. You can reach co-directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone at the FASTRAK Northeast office at 724-964-9300. E-mail to info@fastraknortheast.com and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. The office is open daily late mornings and after 1:30 p.m. For more information, check out the FASTRAK Northeast website at www.fastraknortheast.com. Become our fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fastraknortheast.

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