(Port Colborne, ON, Canada)…Coming off a season high 37 cars last Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway, the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series will get right back at it this weekend with a much-anticipated appearance at Humberstone Speedway. Sunday’s (July 20) event is billed as the “Canadian National Late Model Championship” and will be race #9 of the 20-event 2014 Touring Series.
The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series went “north of the border” on Sunday for its first appearance at Humberstone Speedway. Race #9 of the 2014 season was the “Canadian National Late Model Championship” and drew 23 teams from five different states plus Ontario, Canada. Skies cleared in the afternoon after rain throughout the day and night on Saturday, which made for a fast and racey surface.
Since joining up with the Sweeney RUSH Touring Series last September, New York’s John Waters has traveled all over the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic racing in five states with his best finish being a runner-up at southern Maryland’s Potomac Speedway. On Sunday evening, Waters captured that elusive first career Sweeney Tour win, but had to go outside of the country to do it winning the “Canadian National Late Model Championship! The 30-lap victory came after a late-race duel with point leader Ryan Montgomery, and was worth $2,000 plus $100 for setting Bobby Lake Motorsports fast time and an additional $25 in K&N Dash money.
“I figured I’d sit back and watch the show when those three (Bryce Davis, Dennis Lunger, Jr., and Montgomery) started to battle,” expressed the 33-year-old Whitesville, New York racer. “My car and the track started to come to me. I knew Ryan would run me clean, but he had me scared and I had to get back up on the wheel or he would have had me. That’s why I like this Series- these guys make you a better racer.”
Via his K&N Dash win, Bryce Davis raced to the early lead over Montgomery, Waters, Dennis Lunger, Jr., and Ed Carley. The top six cars quickly began to distance themselves from the field as Jason Rider joined the battle. After four non-stop laps, three cautions slowed action. Back under green, the battle was on for third on lap eight as it was three-wide with Lunger getting the spot over Waters, and 11th starting Chad Ruhlman.
A caution for Dusty Waters and Luke Carleton slowed the race again- this time with eight laps scored. On the ensuing restart, Montgomery used the inside to make the pass of Davis, but Davis came back one lap later to regain the lead. On lap 10, it was two-by-two for the top four spots, but no changes in position took place.
On laps 12 and 13, Montgomery continued to put the heat on Davis, but was unable to make the pass as the top five pulled away. Lunger had the outside working as he closed in on Montgomery and Davis. Lunger drove around Montgomery to make the pass for second stick on lap 14. Lunger closed in on Davis on lap 16. On lap 17 it was a three-car race for the lead as Lunger slipped high in turn four allowing Montgomery to reclaim second at the line.
With the slower car of Bill Gill ahead, it was three-wide for the lead down the backstretch into turn three on lap 20 as Montgomery came out with the lead, while Davis dropped to third. The complexion of the race changed on lap 24 when Tim Gillespie spun not far in front of the leaders. Montgomery was able to avoid the spinning car in the middle of turns three and four; however, Davis didn’t get slowed down in time and got into the rear of Lunger sending both cars to the pits.
This moved Waters to second, which lined him up alongside Montgomery for the restart. Waters used the outside to lead lap 24 before a four-car accident involving the fourth place car of Ruhlman along with second place point man Chad McClellan in addition to track regulars Rob Ledingham and Gill slowed action again.
The last six laps saw Waters and Montgomery go at it. The two raced side-by-side on several occasions, but Waters was able to stop Montgomery from his second straight Sweeney Tour win as he took the Dale LeBarron-owned, Troups Creek Heating/Fox Shocks/Insinger Performance/Sunoco Race Fuels-sponsored #11 to victory for the second time this season in two starts at Humberstone. The victory, coupled with McClellan’s 16th place finish, propelled Waters into second in points by just four.
“Usually I’m a bottom feeder, but the car was great in the middle and top,” explained Waters, who became the fifth different Sweeney Tour winner of the season. “My guys did a great job. We got tore up on Friday night and they got this car put back together. Monday through Friday is when you win races and I get the enjoyment of running this thing so I couldn’t ask for anything more. I love the fans and I love coming here!”
Montgomery was second for the third time this season and now has finished in the top six in each of the past eight Sweeney Tour events! “The last restart hurt me,” stated the 17-year-old Fairmont, West Virginia driver, who earned $1,000 for runner-up. “I didn’t get my tires heated up and John got me. He drove a heck of a race. I missed my line in turn one on the last lap and he drove by me. I have to thank everyone that helps and Sweeney for all they do for the tour. It was an awesome race track.”
Track regular, Tim Gillespie, fought his way back from a spin to finish third in his first Tour start of the season. Gillespie’s pass of Eric Wilson on lap 26 earned him the Driven Oil “Slick Move of the Night”. Gillespie also received the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger” gift card for advancing 13 spots from his 16th starting position.
Wilson missed his first feature at the last event at Pittsburgh, but was able to score the non-qualifier victory as a consolation prize then came to Canada on Sunday to race for the first time in his young career and turned in his best career Sweeney Tour in fourth. His prior best finish was fourth at Lernerville Speedway on July 4. Wilson moved up to fifth in points just nine behind Jason Rider for fourth.
Jeff Dayman entered Sunday recording back-to-back season best fourth place finishes in Sweeney Weekly Series action at Humberstone and continued his strong runs with a solid fifth place finish. Rob Pietz, another track regular, was sixth. Davis and Ruhlman came back to finish seventh and eighth respectively. Zack Carley’s ninth place earned him the Accelerator-1 carb spacer kit compliments of Crate Innovations. Brian Knowles completed the top 10.
Rob Ledingham was awarded the Moroso Custom Fit Plug Wire Set compliments of Crate Innovations. The Brake Man’s “Hard Luck” was given to Cody Dawson. Dawson drove over nine hours one way from his home in Westover, Maryland to Humberstone only to have radiator issues that forced him to miss starting the feature.
Lunger, Paul Grigsby, and Jason Rider all received an extra $25 compliments of Bobby Lake Motorsports for winning their heat races. Davis’ K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash victory earned him a $100 K&N certificate, while Montgomery received a $50 K&N certificate for second. Waters and Rider picked up an extra $25 cash for finishing third and fourth respectively in the dash.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Race #9 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. JOHN WATERS (LeBarron 11) 2. Ryan Montgomery (12) 3. Tim Gillespie (15) 4. Eric Wilson (27W) 5. Jeff Dayman (44) 6. Rob Pietz (69) 7. Bryce Davis (94) 8. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 9. Zack Carley (8) 10. Brian Knowles (7) 11. Rob Marhefka (99FM) 12. Ken Winfield (92) 13. Rob Ledingham (Cosco 17c) 14. Bill Gill (49) 15. Dusty Waters (14) 16. Chad McClellan (119) 17. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 18. Jorden Peters (11P) 19. Jason Rider (Wade 76) 20. Luke Carleton (97c) 21. Ed Carley (02) 22. Paul Grigsby (24) 23. Cody Dawson (36)-DNS.
Car Count: 23
Feature Lap Leaders: Bryce Davis (1-8, 10-19), Ryan Montgomery (9, 20-23), John Waters (24-30)
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Tim Gillespie (+15)
The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night: Cody Dawson
Driven Oil “Slick Move of the Night”: Tim Gillespie
Crate Innovations “Performance Plus” Accelerator-1 Carb Spacer Kit Giveaway: Zack Carley
Crate Innovations “Ignite” Moroso Custom Fit Plug Wire Set: Rob Ledingham
Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. John Waters 15.693 2. Paul Grigsby 15.735 3. Jorden Peters 15.737 4. Dennis Lunger, Jr. 15.749 5. Ryan Montgomery 15.751 6. Jason Rider 15.752 7. Dusty Waters 15.779 8. Rob Pietz 15.806 9. Bryce Davis 15.824 10. Ed Carley 15.853 11. Chad Ruhlman 15.881 12. Jeff Dayman 15.916 13. Zack Carley 15.962 14. Eric Wilson 15.963 15. Cody Dawson 15.971 16. Rob Marhefka 15.991 17. Chad McClellan 16.055 18. Brian Knowles 16.158 19. Luke Carleton 16.198 20. Tim Gillespie 163.08 21. Ken Winfield 16.587 22. Rob Ledingham 16.597 23. Bill Gill 16.793.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win):1. Lunger 2. Waters 3. E. Carley 4. D. Waters 5. Z. Carley 6. Marhefka 7. Ledingham 8. Carleton.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win):1. Grigsby 2. Montgomery 3. Pietz 4. Ruhlman 5. Wilson 6. Gillespie 7. McClellan 8. Gill-DNS.
Bobby Lake Motorsports Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win):1. Rider 2. Davis 3. Dayman 4. Peters 5. Dawson 6. Knowles 7. Winfield.
K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash (4 laps): 1. Bryce Davis 2. Ryan Montgomery 3. John Waters 4. Jason Rider.
The Sweeney Tour will be in action next on Thursday, August 14 at McKean County Raceway for the annual fair race and first of three appearances to the East Smethport, Pa. track.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.