ROB KRISTYAK DOMINATES HOVIS RUSH SPORTSMAN MODIFIEDS FOR 1ST SHARON WIN SINCE 2019 WORTH $1000 & BECOMES 4TH DIFFERENT FLYNN'S TIRE TOURING SERIES WINNER IN 4 RACES
By Mike Leone
September 2, 2022 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Hartford, OH)...The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sportsman Modified Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants were in action at on Friday night at Sharon Speedway for a Flynn's Tire Touring Series event part of the Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble" Series. Race #4 of Flynn's Tire Touring Series was part of the "Sharon Nationals" with the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars and was broadcast live on Flo Racing. It was also the season finale at Sharon and concluded the Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble" Series Championship.
Rob Kristyak ended a winless drought of more than three years at Sharon with a dominating performance in the 25-lap feature presented by Jerry Rents LLC. Kristyak, who owns 11 career Big-Block Modified wins at Sharon, led wire-to-wire taking the $1,000 victory by nearly six seconds in the non-stop feature timed in 8:22.894. Kristyak became the fourth different Flynn's Tire Touring Series winner in as many 2022 races as he also ended more than a three-year winless drought in the Tour with his first win since July 11, 2019 at Expo Speedway.
"I needed that to go green-to-checkered," acknowledged the 44-year-old Bristolville, Ohio veteran. "I knew Tony (Tatgenhorst) would be coming on the low side. I told the pit crew before I went out that I just needed to drive slow and don't go to the high side. Thank you to Jerry Schaffer for the extra money, Vicki (Emig), and Sharon Speedway for putting this on. We picked up a new sponsor this year, Bala Management with Scott Thompson- hopefully he's up there. I have to thank all my sponsors, my wife, son, and everyone that helps me. I have to thank my guys for sticking with me; I could take them anywhere."
Kristyak used the outside to power past Doug Rutana on the start with Tony Tatgenhorst following in second. By lap two, the top two of Kristyak and Tatgenhorst quickly began to distance themselves from the field, while Cole Edwards moved into the top five by passing Bill Cunningham. Kristyak pulled away from Tatgenhorst on lap eight and caught lapped traffic on lap 12; meanwhile, Rutana was trying to fend off Todd English and Edwards in the battle for third.
Lapped traffic didn't slow Kristyak during the second half of the event as he pulled away and took the checkered flag first by a commanding 5.761 seconds in his Mark Thomas Ford/Jeff's Towing & Auto Repair/Wedge Motorsports/ BALA Management/Bristol Disposal/C&R Tire/Texas Roadhouse Niles-sponsored #00. While the win was Kristyak's ninth of his career in RUSH Sportsman Modified competition, it was just his third at Sharon and first since June 22, 2019 and second of his career with the Touring Series. Kristyak also became the seventh different winner in nine races this year at Sharon.
Tatgenhorst, who won his first career Sharon feature on May 28, was a career best second in Touring Series competition. "I'm super happy to finish second," expressed the 42-year-old Columbiana, Ohio racer. "We've got caught up in some stuff the last couple weeks. This is by far the hardest I've worked all year so I'm absolutely thrilled to be standing here on the frontstretch. This is such a great place to race at. I absolutely love to race here. It's run super professionally and the track surface is awesome. We just ran 25 caution-free laps. Rob (Kristyak) is such a good competitor and I'm happy for him. He's worked really hard."
Rutana's third place was a career best finish for the second year racer. English was fourth. Edwards, who leads the "Futures Cup" points, earned his first career top five finish at Sharon and with the Touring Series in fifth for the 14-year-old second year racer. In addition to the extra $200 to the winner, positions two through five received a $100 bonus from Jerry Schaffer of Jerry Rents.
After struggling in his heat race, Ayden Cipriano, who had won the last two races at Sharon, raced from 15th to sixth and was all over Edwards at the finish. Cipriano, who took over the Flynn's Tire Tour points lead, received a $50 Precise Racing Products gift card and a $100 Summit Racing Equipment gift car for being the hard charger. Kyle Martell was seventh. After a season best fifth place finish last Saturday night at Sharon, Cunningham dropped from fourth to eighth at the finish. Josh Deems was ninth beating out Eric Gabany, who was subbing for Garrett Krummert.
After missing his heat race, Ben Easler made it from his high school football game and raced from 20th to 11th. Easler, who turned 16 on Thursday, earned the Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel" honors and also captured the $1,000 Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble" Series Championship for the 2021 "Futures Cup" Champion.
Heat winners over the 21-car field were Edwards, Tatgenhorst, and Holden.
The Hovis RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will be back in action on Saturday night (September 3) at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway for a Weekly Series event. The next Flynn's Tire Touring Series event will be at Lernerville Speedway on October 14-15.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sportsman Modified Flynn's Tire Touring Series Race #4 (25 laps, $1,000 to-win): 1. ROB KRISTYAK (00) 2. Tony Tatgenhorst (63T) 3. Doug Rutana (46R) 4. Todd English (01T) 5. Cole Edwards (29) 6. Ayden Cipriano (5c) 7. Kyle Martell (8) 8. Bill Cunningham (59) 9. Josh Deems (9D) 10. Eric Gabany (JGCP 10s) 11. Ben Easler (02) 12. Kole Holden (2) 13. Nick Ritchey (1R) 14. Dalton Gabriel (333G) 15. Ryan Riffe (21x) 16. Jacob Rutana (57R) 17. Jacob Jordan (28J) 18. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57) 19. Lucas Canon (2LC) 20. Dave Price (111) 21. Preston Cope (24)-DSQ (rev box).
Car Count: 21
Feature Lap Leaders: Rob Kristyak (1-25)
Margin of Victory: 5.761 seconds
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Ayden Cipriano (+9)
Summit Racing Equipment Hard Charger $100 gift certificate: Ayden Cipriano (+9)
Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel": Ben Easler
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Dave Price
Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. 29-Cole Edwards; 2. 00-Rob Kristyak; 3. 9D-Josh Deems; 4. 10S-Eric Gabany; 5. 111-Dave Price; 6. 2LC-Lucas Canon; 7. (DNS) 02-Benjamin Easler.
Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. 63T-Tony Tatgenhorst; 2. 59-Bill Cunningham; 3. 46R-Doug Rutana; 4. 1R-Brandon Ritchey; 5. 57R-Jacob Rutana; 6. 28J-Jacob Jordan; 7. (DQ) 24-Preston Cope.
Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. 2-Kole Holden; 2. 01T-Todd English; 3. 8-Kyle Martell; 4. 21X-Ryan Riffe; 5. 5C-Ayden Cipriano; 6. 333G-Dalton Gabriel; 7. JD57-Jordan Ehrenberg.
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 the Sportsman Modified Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushsportsmanmods and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSportMods.