By Mike Leone


June 24, 2023               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Sarver, PA)...The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Dirt Late Model Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants took part in the 17th annual “Firecracker 100” with the “Bill Emig Memorial” presented by Sunoco Race Fuels with support from TBM Brakes for the fifth straight year at Lernerville Speedway this past weekend.  Despite threatening weather each night with weather delays, the event was completed as scheduled as 56 cars from 10 different states plus Ontario, Canada turned out matching last year's event high car count.  A huge crowd turned out on Saturday night for the historic event presented by Big River Steel that featured the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series for $50,000 to-win.  Race #12 of the 2023 Flynn's Tire Touring Series season marked the first of three appearances at "The Action Track".


One night after winning his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event, Max Blair passed Georgia invader Cody Overton on lap nine and kept him at bay throughout the remainder of 50-lap feature to capture his third "Bill Emig Memorial" victory in the five years since being part of the "Firecracker 100".  Blair's first two event victories were worth $10,000; however, Saturday night's $20,000 payday was Blair's richest in his RUSH career.  Blair also received a championship diamond ring from D&V Jewelers valued at $7,000 bringing his event total to over $27,300 in cash and contingencies.  Blair, who also won the 2015 "Bill Emig Memorial" at Tri-City Speedway, upped his all-time leading Flynn's Tire Touring Series win total to 31.    


"I'm wore out- I need a Red Bull or something," quipped Blair after running 150 feature laps back-to-back.  "Not only is this $20,000 but it's the most prestigious crate race we have in this region.  This is my third time winning it so it really means a lot.  I can't thank Mike (Leone), Vicki (Emig) and everyone with RUSH enough for putting this on along with Lernerville and the track crew.  Everyone put in a lot of effort to make this weekend happen.  If someone told me we'd get in all three races I'd have said no way- that was pretty impressive in itself.  I just love this place.  Growing up I actually didn't like it much as we always struggled bad then one year we just turned it around and started getting better ever since.  This will be a weekend I'll remember for a long time."


While Blair started from the pole, it was Overton using the outside to power into the lead.  By lap three, Overton and Blair opened up ground on the rest of the field, while the battle was on for third between Canadian Charlie Sandercock and Flynn's Tire Tour standout Joe Martin.  The duo raced side-by-side on numerous occasions before Martin took the spot for good on lap seven.


Overton had opened up a slight lead on Blair, but the gap closed fast on lap seven and Blair was all over the leader on lap eight.  Blair dove hard into the bottom of turn one on lap nine and made what would be the winning pass.  Overton didn't go away as he pulled even with Blair on laps 10 and 11, but Blair maintained the lead.  Lapped traffic came into play for the first time in the event on lap 13 as Blair continued to hold off Overton.  Four cautions between laps 18-21 slowed action.


When racing resumed on lap 22, sixth starting Logan Zarin raced into fourth.  National Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer, Darrell Lanigan, was making his first career RUSH start and cracked the top five on lap 24 dropping Sandercock back another spot, but it was 20th starting Mason Zeigler that was on the move.  Zeigler took fifth from Lanigan on lap 32 and was challenging Zarin for fourth when he lost the driveshaft on lap 33.  Zeigler had to pass a lot of cars in both his heat and B main after being light at the scales on Thursday and was chosen as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient.


When racing resumed on lap 34, it was 12th starting Michael Norris moving forward.  Norris got around both Zarin and Lanigan on successive laps to take over fourth.  Norris then closed in on Martin for third on lap 39.  Back up front, Blair had a comfortable lead before he caught lapped traffic on lap 47.  That lead shrunk in the final laps, but Overton ran out of time as Blair took the checkered flag first by 0.748 seconds. 


It was Blair's second Tour win of the season coming in two different cars as he won at Georgetown Speedway on April 13 driving a Briggs Transport #1 entry.  Saturday's win came in his second start in the Centerline Motorsports-owned, Gable Inn/Lakeside Beer/Mailliard Electric Company/Krebs Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM-sponsored #00K entry that was driven last year by Kayla McManus, who is now on the road as crew member for Blair's Super Late Model team.


"This thing was really, really good," stated Blair.  "We brought it to our shop a couple weeks ago.  We kept tweaking on it and kept getting it better and better all weekend.  Racing with Cody (Overton) is always fun, and we race each other really well and hopefully put on a show for everybody.  Those cautions were bumming me out because anything can happen on those restarts.  I can't thank Brad (Spochacz) of Centerline Motorsports and Kayla (McManus) enough for letting me drive this thing, and Boom and Steve Briggs for allowing me to do it.  It's been a lot of fun."


Overton's runner-up was his best career effort in a RUSH event and was worth $7,000.  "My car was good but I'm not sure if I was too tight or too loose- I'm still trying to figure that out," explained the 25-year-old Evans, Georgia standout.  "Congrats to Max (Blair).  He's got a lot of laps around here and it's only my second time here so I'll take it.  It's always good to go out of town and run well, but I really wanted that $20,000 though."


(Note: Blair and Overton's engines were tore down in post-race tech and were found to be 100% legal per the Chevrolet Performance 604 Technical Manual. The results will be official once the fuel and tire samples that were taken are verified to be in compliance.)


Martin was the highest finishing RUSH regular in third and captured $3,500.  "Max and Cody are really good drivers," acknowledged the 38-year-old Punxsutawney, Pa. driver.  "I'm really happy with the car after the changes we made from hot laps.  I felt really, really good.  I thought maybe we had a car good enough to win the race.  On the restarts, those guys really hustle and maybe I'm just taking it too easy trying to stay straight.  These guys travel all over and race with great competition all the time so they probably just beat me behind the wheel a little bit.  I would have liked to get into lapped traffic.  I was really maneuverable and could do pretty much anything I wanted.  I felt like I could run the same lap times running a bunch of different lines and I'm not sure if those guys could have done that or not."     


Norris was fourth in his first Flynn's Tire Tour start of 2023 and received $3,000.  Lanigan completed the top five for $2,000 in the Dirk Neal/Brian Daugherty #1 entry that won the event the last two years with Mark Whitener behind the wheel.  Jeremy Wonderling's three-race Tour win streak came to an end, but raced from 22nd to 6th to earn $1,500 and the $50 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card.  Zarin dropped to seventh for $1,300 aboard Greg Beach's #33x in his first Tour start since 2021.  Mike Wonderling went 17th to 8th for $1,200.  Josh Ferry was ninth for $1,100.  After running third early on, Sandercock faded to 10th at the finish, but still earned $1,000.


National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Tim Shaffer ended the night by leading all 15 laps of the D&V Jewelers Non-Qualifier.  The soon-to-be 56-year-old Aliquippa, Pa. driver fended off challenges from Kyle Lukon and Jim Rasey for the $500 victory to become the 68th different winner in 82 races run all-time.  Shaffer's Chamber's Embroidery & Silk Screening/Kendrew's Lounge-sponsored #45 crossed the finish 0.971 seconds ahead of Lukon.  Cody Koteles went 13th to 3rd in his first ever Tour start.  Fourth starting Jim Rasey challenged Shaffer for the lead with five laps to go before dropping back to fourth at the finish.  Tour regular, Austin Hauser, was fifth.


Lanigan earned his first $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" honors in qualifying on Thursday night with a lap of 16.942 over the 56-car field.  Ferry, Martin, Zarin, Overton, Sandercock, and Blair won the $25 FK Rod Ends heat races on Friday night, while Nick Davis and Zeigler opened Saturday's program by winning the twin last chance B mains. 


Blair won his second Sunoco Dash of the season for a $100 Sunoco fuel card in addition to $100 cash for it being labeled the "John Buzzard Memorial".  Tour regulars Cody Dawson and Craig Graham were the lucky recipients of the $100 Sunoco fuel card drawings, while the $50 Sunoco fuel cards were won by Blair, Norris, Tony Musolino, and Brandon Burgoon.


Breyton Santee received a spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic for finishing 12th in the feature.  2017 Flynn's Tire Tour Champion, Bryce Davis, was the first feature non-qualifier and received a $100 Performance Bodies gift card for being the "Nosed Out" recipient.   


The Flynn’s Tire Touring Series will be off until Saturday, July 15 for the first of four appearances at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway in 2023.  The annual "Herb Scott Memorial" will be a $3,000 to-win Marquee event at "Dirt's Monster Half-Mile" in Imperial, Pa. 


Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire Touring Series "Bill Emig Memorial" presented by Sunoco Race Fuels with support from TBM Brakes Race #12 (50 laps, $20,000 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR (Centerline 00K)  2. Cody Overton (Kane 15K)  3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s)  4. Michael Norris (1)  5. Darrell Lanigan (Neal/Daugherty 1)  6. Jeremy Wonderling (3J)  7. Logan Zarin (Beach 33X)  8. Mike Wonderling (18)  9. Josh Ferry (33)  10. Charlie Sandercock (57)  11. Tyler Bare (Snyder 10T)  12. Breyton Santee (9)  13. John Waters (LeBarron 11)  14. Chub Frank (1*)  15. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J)  16. Brock Pinkerous (555)  17. Nick Davis (92)  18. David Pangrazio (136)  19. Chad Sines (15)  20. Cody Dawson (36)  21. Logan Jaquay (Briggs 99*)  22. Justin Kann (66)  23. Mason Zeigler (Zulisky 58)  24. Braeden Dillinger (Holzer 28H)  25. Boom Briggs (99B)  26. Brent Trimble (1).  (Note: Brock Pinkerous took a Tour provisional; Justin Kann took a Track provisional)


D&V Jewelers Non-Qualifier (15 laps, $500 to-win): 1. Tim Shaffer (45)  2. Kyle Lukon (184)  3. Cody Koteles (1K)  4. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J)  5. Austin Hauser (51)  6. Kurt Stebbins (26)  7. Joey Zambotti III (948)  8. Corey Almond (7A)  9. Jon Lee (5L)  10. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. (8s)  11. Brandt Graham (14)  12. T.J. Downs (03)  13. Tony White (27T)  14. Frank Magill (05)  15. Chuck Recker (6)  16. Mason Jaquay (Briggs 17)  17. Dale Hollidge (Armel 15)  18. Jimmy Johnson (39J)  19. Craig Graham (98). DNS: Bryce Davis (94), Ryan Frazee (17), Brandon Burgoon (Chernik 5x), Jacob Gunn (14G), Zach Gunn (17G), Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42), Ashton Briggs (11A), Brad Mesler (Sturdevant 87S), Marino Angelicchio (55), Carl Eldridge (7E), Trevor Collins (72).


Car Count: 56

Feature Margin of Victory: 0.748 seconds
Feature Lap Leaders:
Cody Overton (1-8), Max Blair (9-50)

Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Breyton Santee

Performance Bodies “Nosed Out”: Bryce Davis

Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Jeremy Wonderling (+16)

Sunoco Fuel Card Winners: Cody Dawson ($100), Craig Graham ($100), Michael Norris ($50), Max Blair ($50), Tony Musolino ($50), Brandon Burgoon ($50)

TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Mason Zeigler


FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying A ($100 for fast time) (Track record 16.750 by Bryce Davis on 10/15/21): 1. 1N-Darrell Lanigan, 00:16.942[28]; 2. 99B-Boom Briggs, 00:17.499[4]; 3. 9S-Breyton Santee, 00:17.501[6]; 4. 33-Josh Ferry, 00:17.562[3]; 5. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:17.581[22]; 6. 33X-Logan Zarin, 00:17.678[8]; 7. 948-Joey Zambotti III, 00:17.783[1]; 8. 5X-Brandon Burgoon, 00:17.810[12]; 9. 18-Mike Wonderling, 00:17.833[2]; 10. 36-Cody Dawson, 00:17.841[15]; 11. 28H-Braeden Dillinger, 00:17.887[27]; 12. 42-Tony Musolino, 00:17.894[11]; 13. 51-Austin Hauser, 00:17.912[7]; 14. 184-Kyle Lukon, 00:17.965[18]; 15. 17-Ryan Frazee, 00:17.970[13]; 16. 1K-Cody Koteles, 00:17.977[5]; 17. 94-Bryce Davis, 00:18.015[23]; 18. 8S-Tommy Schirnhofer Jr, 00:18.035[10]; 19. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:18.295[19]; 20. 87S-Brad Mesler, 00:18.397[9]; 21. 10T-Tyler Bare, 00:18.460[25]; 22. 92-Nick Davis, 00:18.469[16]; 23. 5L-Jon Lee, 00:18.652[24]; 24. 7A-Corey Almond, 00:18.734[14]; 25. 98-Craig Graham, 00:18.995[20]; 26. 55A-Marino Angelicchio, 00:19.032[21]; 27. 27T-Tony White, 00:19.913[17]; 28. 7E-Carl Eldridge, 00:21.799[26]


FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying B: 1. 15K-Cody Overton, 00:17.067[18]; 2. 1T-Brent Trimble, 00:17.204[1]; 3. N1-Michael Norris, 00:17.249[5]; 4. 11L-John Waters, 00:17.278[17]; 5. 57-Charlie Sandercock, 00:17.368[20]; 6. 00K-Max Blair, 00:17.379[8]; 7. 15-Chad Sines, 00:17.513[2]; 8. 1*-Chub Frank, 00:17.541[24]; 9. 555-Brock Pinkerous, 00:17.577[27]; 10. 66-Justin Kann, 00:17.594[7]; 11. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr, 00:17.631[21]; 12. 99*-Logan Jaquay, 00:17.669[9]; 13. 03D-TJ Downs, 00:17.694[3]; 14. 11A-Ashton Briggs, 00:17.751[15]; 15. 17G-Zach Gunn, 00:17.773[19]; 16. 72-Trevor Collins, 00:17.812[4]; 17. 21J-Jim Rasey, 00:17.834[6]; 18. 15A-Dale Hollidge, 00:17.866[14]; 19. 05-Frank Magill, 00:17.870[13]; 20. 26-Kurt Stebbins, 00:17.874[11]; 21. 136-David Pangrazio, 00:17.906[12]; 22. 14-Brandt Graham, 00:18.002[25]; 23. 45-Tim Shaffer, 00:18.027[28]; 24. 39J-Jimmy Johnson, 00:18.142[22]; 25. 14G-Jake Gunn, 00:18.148[26]; 26. 17J-Mason Jaquay, 00:18.392[23]; 27. 6R-Chuck Recker, 00:18.735[16]; 28. 58-Mason Zeigler-DSQ (light at scales).


FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 33-Josh Ferry[2]; 2. 1N-Darrell Lanigan[1]; 3. 36-Cody Dawson[4]; 4. 92-Nick Davis[8]; 5. 948-Joey Zambotti III[3]; 6. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling[7]; 7. 51-Austin Hauser[5]; 8. 98-Craig Graham[9]; 9. 1K-Cody Koteles[6]; 10. 7E-Carl Eldridge[10].


FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 10S-Joe Martin[2]; 2. 99B-Boom Briggs[1]; 3. 28H-Braeden Dillinger[4]; 4. 5X-Brandon Burgoon[3]; 5. 94-Bryce Davis[6]; 6. 184-Kyle Lukon[5]; 7. 5L-Jon Lee[8]; 8. 55A-Marino Angelicchio[9]; 9. 87S-Brad Mesler[7].


FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 33X-Logan Zarin[2]; 2. 9S-Breyton Santee[1]; 3. 18-Mike Wonderling[3]; 4. 42-Tony Musolino[4]; 5. 10T-Tyler Bare[7]; 6. 17-Ryan Frazee[5]; 7. 7A-Corey Almond[8]; 8. 8S-Tommy Schirnhofer Jr[6]; 9. 27T-Tony White[9].


FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 15K-Cody Overton[1]; 2. 15-Chad Sines[3]; 3. 11L-John Waters[2]; 4. 66-Justin Kann[4]; 5. 58-Mason Zeigler[10]; 6. 14-Brandt Graham[8]; 7. 72-Trevor Collins[6]; 8. 05-Frank Magill[7]; 9. 14G-Jake Gunn[9]; 10. 03D-TJ Downs[5].


FK Rod Ends Heat 5 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 57-Charlie Sandercock[2]; 2. 1T-Brent Trimble[1]; 3. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr[4]; 4. 1*-Chub Frank[3]; 5. 45-Tim Shaffer[8]; 6. 26-Kurt Stebbins[7]; 7. 11A-Ashton Briggs[5]; 8. 21J-Jim Rasey[6]; 9. 17J-Mason Jaquay[9].


FK Rod Ends Heat 6 (8 laps, Top 3 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 00K-Max Blair[2]; 2. N1-Michael Norris[1]; 3. 136-David Pangrazio[7]; 4. 99*-Logan Jaquay[4]; 5. 555-Brock Pinkerous[3]; 6. 17G-Zach Gunn[5]; 7. 15A-Dale Hollidge[6]; 8. 39J-Jimmy Johnson[8]; 9. 6R-Chuck Recker[9].


Last Chance B Main 1 (12 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 92-Nick Davis[1]; 2. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling[5]; 3. 94-Bryce Davis[4]; 4. 184-Kyle Lukon[6]; 5. 51-Austin Hauser[7]; 6. 5X-Brandon Burgoon[2]; 7. 948-Joey Zambotti III[3]; 8. 5L-Jon Lee[8]; 9. 1K-Cody Koteles[11]; 10. 98-Craig Graham[9]; 11. 87S-Brad Mesler[12]; 12. 55A-Marino Angelicchio[10]; 13. 7E-Carl Eldridge[13].


Last Chance B Main 2 (12 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 58-Mason Zeigler[4]; 2. 10T-Tyler Bare[3]; 3. 66-Justin Kann[2]; 4. 7A-Corey Almond[7]; 5. 17-Ryan Frazee[5]; 6. 8S-Tommy Schirnhofer Jr[9]; 7. 14-Brandt Graham[6]; 8. 14G-Jake Gunn[12]; 9. 05-Frank Magill[10]; 10. 42-Tony Musolino[1]; 11. 03D-TJ Downs[13]; 12. 27T-Tony White[11]; 13. (DNS) 72-Trevor Collins.


Last Chance B Main 3 (12 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 99*-Logan Jaquay[2]; 2. 1*-Chub Frank[1]; 3. 45-Tim Shaffer[3]; 4. 21J-Jim Rasey[9]; 5. 26-Kurt Stebbins[5]; 6. 15A-Dale Hollidge[8]; 7. 555-Brock Pinkerous[4]; 8. 39J-Jimmy Johnson[10]; 9. 17G-Zach Gunn[6]; 10. 11A-Ashton Briggs[7]; 11. 6R-Chuck Recker[12]; 12. 17J-Mason Jaquay[11]


"John Buzzard Memorial" Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 cash & $100 Sunoco fuel card to-win): 1. 00K-Max Blair[4]; 2. 15K-Cody Overton[6]; 3. 57-Charlie Sandercock[2]; 4. 10S-Joe Martin[3]; 5. 33-Josh Ferry[5]; 6. 33X-Logan Zarin[1].


The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, Flynn's Tire, Sunbelt Rentals, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Bilstein Shocks, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Wieland Metal Services, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Sherwood Wheels, Precise Racing Products, Velocita-USA, Wedge Motorsports, 3C Graphix, D&V Jewelers,, and Terry Bowser Excavating.  


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.  The RUSH Late Model website is Like our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.