MATT LATTA WINS SHARON $2000 "APPLE FESTIVAL NAT'S" MAKE-UP FOR 1ST EVER SWEENEY RUSH LATE MODEL TOUR WIN; GREG MARTIN TOPS RECORD 24-CAR SWEENEY RUSH SPORTSMAN MOD FIELD FOR $800 BICKNELL TOUR WIN
By Mike Leone
April 16, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Hartford, OH)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance officially completed the 2015 season on Saturday night at Sharon Speedway with the twice postponed "Apple Festival Nationals". Capturing victories were Matt Latta in the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Tour event, while Greg Martin topped a record field of 24 Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds for the Bicknell Touring Series victory.
Matt Latta has had several top five finishes over the years in Sweeney Touring Series events including three last year with a career best runner-up at Tri-City Raceway Park; however, the 23-year-old racer was just never able to break into victory lane. That changed on Saturday night as Latta led all 30 laps of the feature holding off staunch challenges by crate racing great Max Blair and 2015 Wayne County Speedway Champion Charlie Duncan for the big $2,000 victory.
"I can't even put into words what this means for our team," expressed the emotional Conneaut Lake, Pa. native. "My brother (Tim) won this race. He puts in the most hours of anyone- you can't even imagine. Russ King has been a huge help this year and has helped us find a little more speed. The sponsors on this car make this happen. I couldn't ask for anything better than to start the season this way."
Latta used the outside to power into the lead on the start over Duncan, Blair, and former Sharon Speedway Champions Will Thomas III and Josh Double. Thomas and Double were battling for fourth with Double making the pass on lap five as Thomas ran out of room on the backstretch slapping the fence and ending his night. Thomas was given the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night".
When racing resumed on lap six, Blair took over runner-up and two laps later was right on Latta. On lap 12, Blair made a move in lapped traffic, but caught a rut allowing Latta to open up some breathing room. By the halfway point, the top three of Latta, Blair, and Duncan pulled away from the field. Blair began to close back in on lap 17 in lapped traffic before a caution for rookie Jared Kane.
Back under green, Latta controlled the restart and by lap 20 him and Blair pulled away from the pack. Latta caught traffic again on lap 24. Coming off turn four, Latta went high to lap Kane, while Blair shot to the bottom. It was three-wide racing down the frontstretch with Latta barely leading the lap and getting to the bottom in turn one first. That was the move that sealed the deal for Latta.
A pair of cautions slowed action on laps 27 and 28. Duncan was able to take back second on lap 28 only to see Blair regain the spot on the 29th circuit racing off turn four and coming down for the white flag. Blair went after Latta on the final lap, but would come up 0.791 of a second shy of Latta, who earned his fourth career Sharon win but biggest ever of his career anywhere. Latta also picked up the Maxima Oil "Maximum Performance" award.
Blair earned $1,000 for runner-up beating out Duncan, who will chase the Sweeney Tour for the first time this season. After ending 2015 on solid note, Eric Wilson picked right back up where he left off with a solid fourth over Double. Alan Dellinger raced from 15th to sixth on the $135 Bilstein sealed, spec shocks. Dave Lyon, who will also tour in 2016 for the first time, earned the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card for going from 21st to seventh. Wyatt Scott gained 10 positions to finish eighth as Jason and Brian Knowles completed the top 10. Clay Ruffo was the final car on the lead lap in 15th and received a $25 gift certificate from CrateInsider.com.
Back on September 11, Max Blair
set $100 Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" qualifying fast time, while
Blair, Thomas, and Steve Lowery won the $25 heat races, and Duncan earned the
K&N "Cold Air Induction
On July 15, 2015 at Expo Speedway, Greg Martin made history winning the inaugural Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series event for the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. On that night, Martin beat a 13-car field for the $600 top prize. Saturday's second career Bicknell Touring Series victory for Martin came over a record 24-car field for a class that is beginning its third year of competition and second for Bicknell Touring Series action! Martin held off an impressive run by 16-year-old Kyle Martell for the $800 win- his richest in RUSH competition.
"That lapped traffic was really racing hard for themselves," explained the 34-year-old Wilson, NY racer. "I had to pick a lane and unfortunately I got into him a bit. I knew the guys wouldn't be too far behind me so I forced my way a bit. I hated to do that and ding up a new body, but I really wanted to get the checkered flag. These guys down here are working so hard to get their cars top notch. These guys are great and are going to have a heck of a field this year. I hope you guys all enjoy watching them."
While the box score will show Martin leading all 20 laps, the victory was by no means a cake walk for the veteran Sportsman Modified racer and defending Sharon Speedway and two-time Bicknell Weekly Series Champion. Only two cautions slowed the event; one on lap five for a slowing Larry Kugel and another on lap nine for a slowing Calvin Clay. Kugel, the defending Bicknell Tour champion, was running in the top three early on and was awarded the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night".
When racing resumed on lap 10, seventh starting Rocky Kugel entered the picture taking third from Nick Ritchey. As the laps ticked off, Martell stayed within striking distance of Martin. On lap 18, Martell closed in on Martin as the leader tried to lap rookie Blaze Myers. Martin was able to keep Martell at bay in the final laps through heavy lapped traffic for his all-time leading 11th career Sharon win in his #4.
Ironically, Martell began his rookie RUSH season in 2015 with a pair of runner-ups at Sharon in Bicknell Weekly Series action and ended 2015 with a career best Bicknell Tour finish of third at Lernerville before starting 2016 season off with a great second place effort to earn the Maxima Oil "Maxima Performance" award. Rocky Kugel was a solid third. 2015 Bicknell "Futures Cup" Champion, Kole Holden, advanced from his eighth starting spot to a fourth place finish over 13th starting Anthony Gillespie in his second ever RUSH start.
Making his RUSH debut, Brian Schaffer charged from 17th to sixth and was awarded the Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel". Josh Deems was seventh. Chas Wolbert had strong RUSH debut going from 22nd to eighth and picked up the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card. Jerry Schaffer and Brandon Ritchey completed the top 10. Clay was the final car on the lead lap in 15th and received a $25 gift card from CrateInsider.com. Back on September 11, 2015, Martin and Larry Kugel won the heat races, while Rocky Kugel captured the K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash.
The Sweeney RUSH Late Model Tour will kick-off the 2016 season this Friday night (April 22) at Sharon Speedway in a $2,000 to-win "Marquee Event" racing with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. Warm-ups begin at 6:15 p.m. followed by Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" qualifying. The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will have a Bicknell Weekly Series event this Friday night at Lernerville Speedway. Race time is 7:30 p.m.
Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series 2015 "Apple Festival Nationals" Make-Up (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. MATT LATTA (21) 2. Max Blair (111) 3. Charlie Duncan (Hall 240) 4. Eric Wilson (27W) 5. Josh Double (38) 6. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8) 7. Dave Lyon (14L) 8. Wyatt Scott (X3) 9. Jason Knowles (4) 10. Brian Knowles (7) 11. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 12. Clinton Hersh (16) 13. Chris Frank (49) 14. Ed Bolyard (Patrick 05) 15. Clay Ruffo (14R) 16. Jared Kane (7) 17. Damian Bidwell (7Teen) 18. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Pifer 6P) 19. Lon Emerick (3) 20. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 21. Will Thomas III (9) 22. Russell King (Andrus 54)-DNS 23. Steve Lowery (48)-DNS 24. Russ Byler (Hoover 00H)-DNS 25. Rob Marhefka (99FM)-DNS 26. Joe Sylvester (8)-DNS 27. Joel Prosser (77)-DNS 28. Paul Grigsby (24)-DNS.
Car Count: 28
Feature Lap Leaders: Matt Latta (1-30)
Margin of Victory: 0.791
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Dave Lyon (+14)
Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Matt Latta
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Will Thomas
CrateInsider.com "Last Car on Lead Lap": Clay Ruffo
(9/11/15) Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" Bazell/Sunoco RUSH Late Model Southern Tour Qualifying ($100 to fast time): 1. Max Blair 16.419 2. Will Thomas III 16.631 3. Joe Sylvester 16.653 4. Matt Latta 16.694 5. Russ King 16.773 6. Jason Knowles 16.796 7. Bobby Pifer III 16.826 8. Josh Double 16.832 9. Charlie Duncan 16.849 10. Russ Byler 16.983 11. Jamie Wrightsman 16.984 12. Paul Grigsby 17.008 13. Robby Marhefka 17.067 14. Mike Pegher, Jr. 17.092 15. Lon Emerick 17.164 16. Joel Prosser 17.169 17. Brian Knowles 17.176 18. Steve Lowery 17.235 19. Clay Ruffo 17.253 20. Chris Frank 17.996 21. Eric Wilson NT (did not scale) 22. Michael Duritsky, Jr. NT (did not scale).
Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Blair 2. Latta 3. Pifer 4. Byler 5. Marhefka 6. Prosser 7. Duritsky 8. Ruffo.
Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Thomas 2. King 3. Double 4. Wrightsman 5. Pegher 6. Frank 7. B. Knowles.
Bobby Lake Motorsports RUSH Late Model Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. Lowery 2. Duncan 3. Wilson 4. J. Knowles 5. Sylvester 6. Grigsby 7. Emerick.
K&N "Cold Air Induction" RUSH Late Model Dash (4 laps, $100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Charlie Duncan 2. Bobby Pifer III 3. Russ King 4. Matt Latta.
Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified Bicknell Touring Series 2015 "Apple Festival Nationals" Make-Up (20 laps, $800 to-win): 1. GREG MARTIN (4) 2. Kyle Martell (8) 3. Rocky Kugel (6R) 4. Kole Holden (2) 5. Anthony Gillespie (Smith 3G) 6. Brian Schaffer (41) 7. Josh Deems (9D) 8. Chas Wolbert (c3) 9. Jerry Schaffer (14) 10. Josh Seippel (84) 11. Brandon Ritchey (17) 12. Jeremy Weaver (35W) 13. Will Schaffer (4) 14. Jessica Shea (24s) 15. Jessica Kriegisch (63) 16. Calvin Clay (21) 17. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 18. Blaze Myers (43Jr) 19. Nick Ritchey (77N) 20. Tiffany Williams (58) 21. Steve Slater (35) 22. Larry Kugel (0) 23. Justin Shea (14s) 24. Jonathan Myers (0)-DSQ.
Car Count: 24
Feature Lap Leaders: Greg Martin (1-20)
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Chas Wolbert (+14)
Maxima Oil “Maximum Performance”: Kyle Martell
Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel": Brian Schaffer
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Larry Kugel
CrateInsider.com "Last Car on Lead Lap": Jessica Shea
(9/11/15)Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Greg Martin 2. Nick Ritchey 3. Brandon Ritchey 4. Kole Holden 5. Tiffany Williams 6. Will Schaffer 7. Jerry Schaffer.
Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Larry Kugel 2. Kyle Martell 3. Jeremy Weaver 4. Rocky Kugel 5. Chelsie Kriegisch 6. Josh Deems.
K&N "Cold Air Induction" RUSH Sportsman Modified Dash (4 laps, $100 K&N certificate to-win): 1. Rocky Kugel 2. Kole Holden 3. Chelsie Kriegisch 4. Tiffany Williams.
RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, FK Rod Ends, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Rocket Chassis, Bobby Lake Motorsports High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners: Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Bicknell Racing Products, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, MSD Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, FK Rod Ends, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Velocita-USA, Precise Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, K&N Filters, TBM Brakes, Lincoln Electric, Classic Ink USA., CrateInsider.com, and B.R.A.K.E.S.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH
Racing Series at [email protected] 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.