ERIC GABANY PASSES ROB KRISTYAK ON A LATE RACE RESTART FOR HIS 1ST CAREER SWEENEY RUSH SPORTSMAN MOD WIN EARNING $800 OVER A SEASON HIGH 35 CARS IN HOVIS TOUR PART OF "APPLE FESTIVAL NATIONALS" AT SHARON
By Mike Leone
September 21, 2019 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Hartford, OH)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modified Series powered by Pace Performance was part of the "Apple Festival Nationals" for the sixth straight year at Sharon Speedway with heat races on Friday night followed by last chance B mains, the feature, and "Wheelman" race run on Saturday night. It was the third and final appearance by the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Touring Series at the Hartford, Ohio 3/8-mile oval for the 2019 season excluding the non-point 2018 "Apple Festival Nationals" make-up on May 11. Despite a two-hour rain delay, Tour points race #4 of the 2019 season attracted a season high 35 cars.
After 20 non-stop laps, Eric Gabany made a big move on a race-long leader Rob Kristyak with five laps to go following the race's only caution and went on to capture his first career RUSH Sportsman Modified and Sharon Speedway victory. Gabany becomes the 15th different driver to win a Hovis Tour event in 29 races run all-time with his $800 victory. Gabany also received a Sunoco 5-Gallon Race Jug.
"I was thinking at first (Rob) Kristyak is gone then we got that caution and my tires worked better after that restart and my car handled perfect," explained the 34-year-old Mercer, Pa. racer. "This is awesome. It probably took me a little longer to win than I expected, but there's some stiff competition in this class. I have to thank Jerry Schaffer. I hadn't been racing for awhile and he gave me this car and said I belong out on the race track- good stuff."
Kristyak used to the outside to power around pole-sitter Jacob Jordan for the early lead, while Josh Deems passed Gabany for third. Gabany then got to the top and drove around Deems and Jordan for second on lap three. Deems seemed to lose power as he faded back through the field and pulled off allowing Tony Tatgenhorst and Garrett Krummert to move into third and fourth. Deems, who won the last Hovis Weekly Series event at Sharon back on August 30, was awarded the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night".
By lap seven, the battle was on for second as Gabany had his hands full with Tatgenhorst and Krummert; meanwhile, up front Kristyak had stretched his lead to a straightaway when he caught lapped traffic on lap 11. Kristyak fought through heavy traffic on lap 13 that slowed his momentum and allowed Gabany to cut into the lead.
The first and only caution of the event came with 20 laps scored for a slowing Jim Bryce as Gabany had to take evasive action off turn four to miss rear-ending him. Kristyak chose the outside on the double file restart, but Gabany put a slide job on Kristyak entering turn one and got to the top in turn two first. The two battled hard for the rest of the lap with leading Gabany taking over for good on the 21st circuit. Gabany was able to stretch out his lead over the final four laps and took the checkered flag first by 1.429 seconds in the Jerry Schaffer-owned, Turn 4 Toilets/Atlantic Timber Farms-sponsored #4s. Gabany became the sixth different winner of the season and 18th overall at Sharon in the six-year history of the division.
Kristyak was able to fend off ninth starting Krummert to take second, which was important as he now takes over sole possession of the Hovis Weekly Series Championship points lead. "I think the tires sealed over during the caution," acknowledged the 41-year-old Bristolville, Ohio racer, who won the Tour opener at Expo Speedway on July 11. "I just couldn't get the car to work the way it was working. He (Gabany) had a fast car- congratulations. We had a good run. I have to thank my wife Carrie, son Jackson, and all of my crew and sponsors."
Will Thomas III was fourth. Jim Rasey's fifth place gave him all four top five Tour finishes to remain in second in points. Rookie racer, Clayton Deems, who won the "Wheelman" Non-Winners race on August 30, turned in his best career feature finish in sixth. Tatgenhorst dropped to seventh. David Kalb, Jr. went 13th to eighth. Brandon Ritchey made his first Sharon and Tour start since May 11 for the 2018 "Apple Festival Nationals" make-up and finished ninth after starting 18th. Kyle Martell completed the top 10. Tatgenhorst, Thomas, Gabany, and Kristyak won Friday night's heat races, while Rodney Beltz and Gary Haupt won the last chance B mains.
Chelsie Kriegisch was selected as the Dirt Defender "Defensive Drive of the Night" for holding off four-time 2019 Sharon winner Chas Wolbert for the final transfer spot in last chance B main number two. Wolbert meanwhile received a Tour provisional and raced from 25th to 11th to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger award. Wolbert was also selected as the Sherwood Wheels "Man of the Steel" recipient for salvaging his night after a heat race crash.
Jim Bryce closed out the season at Sharon winning the 10-lap "Wheelman" Non-Winners race presented by Ohio Intra Express and C&R Tire. The 49-year-old Harmony, Pa. driver led the entire distance holding off fourth starting Clayton Deems for the $75 victory. Bryce became the eighth different winner of the season in 11 "Wheelman" races in the Jerry Schaffer-owned, Turn 4 Toilets/Fombell General Store-sponsored #44. Three-time winner, Kalb, was third over D.J. Schrader and Amelia Clay. Cameron Nastasi finished eighth, but held on by just two points over Clay to win the $300 RUSH championship.
The Hovis Tour will return to action on October 4-5 at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway taking part in the "Pittsburgher 100" weekend for the first time ever. The second annual "Betsy Kriegisch Memorial" will pay a minimum of $1,500 to-win, $175 to-start with additional monies still coming in. This will also mark the first ever Tour race for the Sportsman Modifieds at the "Monster Half-Mile".
Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified Hovis Touring Series Race #4 (25 laps, $800 to-win): 1. ERIC GABANY (Schaffer 4s) 2. Rob Kristyak (00) 3. Garrett Krummert (Schaffer 10s) 4. Will Thomas III (9) 5. Jim Rasey (32) 6. Clayton Deems (55R) 7. Tony Tatgenhorst (63T) 8. David Kalb, Jr. (11J) 9. Brandon Ritchey (17) 10. Kyle Martell (8) 11. Chas Wolbert (c3) 12. Kole Holden (2) 13. Jessica Kriegisch (63) 14. Shayne Izzo (86) 15. Gary Haupt (16) 16. D.J. Schrader (14S) 17. Steve Slater (29) 18. Calvin Clay (12c) 19. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 20. Brandon Albert (30) 21. Cameron Nastasi (615) 22. Jim Bryce (44) 23. Michael Kristyak (404) 24. Rodney Beltz (Schaffer 14) 25. Jacob Jordan (28J) 26. Josh Deems (9D). (Note: Chas Wolbert took a Tour provisional & Calvin Clay took a Track provisional.)
DNQ for the feature: Preston Cope (24P), Gage Priester (71), Jacob Wolfe (7), Mike Smith (0), Greg Porter (25), Amelia Clay (16c), Teddy Williams II (818), Jason Hufnagel (048), Phil Kapcewich (93).
Car Count: 35
Feature Margin of Victory: 1.429 seconds
Feature Lap Leaders: Rob Kristyak (1-20), Eric Gabany (21-25)
Sunoco 5-Gallon Race Jug: Eric Gabany
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Chas Wolbert (+14)
Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel": Chas Wolbert
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Josh Deems
Dirt Defender "Defensive Drive of the Night": Chelsie Kriegisch
Heat 1 (8 laps, top 5 transfer to the feature): 1. Tatgenhorst 2. J. Deems 3. Krummert 4. Kalb 5. Slater 6. C. Clay 7. Beltz 8. Priester 9. Smith-DNS.
Heat 2 (8 laps, top 5 transfer to the feature): 1. Thomas 2. Rasey 3. Holden 4. Bryce 5. Ritchey 6. Cope 7. Hufnagel 8. M. Kristyak 9. Kapcewich-DSQ.
Heat 3 (8 laps, top 5 transfer to the feature): 1. Gabany 2. Jordan 3. J. Kriegisch 4. Nastasi 5. Albert 6. A. Clay 7. Williams 8. Porter 9. Wolfe-DNS.
Heat 4 (8 laps, top 5 transfer to the feature): 1. R. Kristyak 2. C. Deems 3. Martell 4. Izzo 5. Schrader 6. Wolbert 7. C. Kriegisch 8. Haupt.
Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, top 2 transfer to the feature): 1. Beltz 2. M. Kristyak 3. Cope 4. Priester 5. Smith 6. C. Clay-DSQ 7. Hufnagel-DNS 8. Kapcewich-DSQ.
Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, top 2 transfer to the feature): 1. Haupt 2. C. Kriegisch 3. Wolbert 4. Wolfe 5. Porter 6. A. Clay 7. Williams.
Ohio Intra Express/C&R Tire “Wheelman” Non-Winners Race (10 laps, $75 to-win): 1. Jim Bryce 2. Clayton Deems 3. David Kalb, Jr. 4. D.J. Schrader 5. Amelia Clay 6. Preston Cope 7. Jacob Wolfe 8. Cameron Nastasi 9. Shayne Izzo 10. Michael Kristyak 11. Gage Priester 12. Jacob Jordan-DNS 13. Brandon Albert-DNS 14. Calvin Clay-DNS 15. Jason Hufnagel-DNS 16. Teddy Williams II-DNS 17. Greg Porter-DNS 18. Phil Kapcewich-DSQ.
RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC & Pace Performance along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, FK Rod Ends, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Trailer-Alarms.com, Bonnell's Rod Shop, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, CrateInsider.com, and Valley Fashions.
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/rushsportsmanmods and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSportMods.