JEREMY WONDERLING SLAYS THE MONSTER TO CAPTURE HIS 1ST CAREER PITTSBURGH VICTORY IN THE "HERB SCOTT MEMORIAL" FOR THE PACE RUSH LATE MODEL FLYNN'S TIRE/BORN2RUN LUBRICANTS TOURING SERIES; JUSTIN SHEA WINS #2 IN RUSH MODS
By Mike Leone
July 3, 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Imperial, PA)...The Pace Performance RUSH Racing Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC took part in a doubleheader of action on Saturday night at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. The Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants RUSH Late Model Touring Series made their first of four visits during the 2021 season in their ninth event of the season, which saw Jeremy Wonderling win the "Herb Scott Memorial". Meanwhile, the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds competed in their third Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Weekly Series event of 2021 at PPMS with Justin Shea victorious.
Jeremy Wonderling grew up racing on the bullrings in his home state of New York. In 2017, Wonderling expanded his horizons hitting the road full-time with the RUSH Late Model Touring Series competing on tracks he had never seen before. That experience propelled him to his first championship in 2018, which set off a run of three straight titles. Through it all, one track Wonderling had never conquered was Pittsburgh. Wonderling has had numerous top five finishes at the "Monster Half-Mile" and two years ago was leading the "Herb Scott Memorial" before his engine expired. On Saturday night, Wonderling inherited the lead on lap six after mechanical woes ended Michael Norris' night and then kept Kyle Hardy at bay for the $2,000 victory- his third of the season in the Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series.
"This means a ton," expressed the 41-year-old Wellsville, New York winner. "This is one of the biggest tracks that's been on my bucket list to win at besides Lernerville. I've been so close here. One night I was leading by a straightaway and the motor blows. I was trying to hit my marks, but some of the lapped cars screwed me up a bit. You're racing against Hardy and the track regulars are really, really good here so it's tough to come down here a few times a year and beat them."
Following his Sunoco Dash victory, Norris raced out to the early lead with Kyle Lukon in tow. Wonderling started fourth and passed Garret Paugh on the opening lap for third. Wonderling made a crucial pass of Lukon to take second on lap three driving under the track standout in turn two. Wonderling now faced a 1.3-second deficit behind leader Norris. Hardy meanwhile started fifth and passed Daryl Charlier for fourth on lap four then took third from Lukon one lap later.
Norris, who won last year's "Jook George Steel City Classic" for more than $7,200, was looking for another RUSH Tour victory at PPMS; however, his car lost power to bring out the caution with five laps scored. Norris was chosen as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient. Wonderling inherited the lead with Hardy second. Joe Martin started ninth and charged forward. After cracking the top five on lap six, Martin continued to move forward. It appeared Martin had the fastest car as he passed Hardy for second in search of his first Tour win since his only one back on August 30, 2014.
Four accidents slowed action between laps 9-13 before the final 17 went green-to-checkered. Martin lost second back to Hardy on lap 12 and eventually faded to fifth on lap 15. Martin was able to pass back Charlier and then Paugh on lap 27. Back up front, Hardy was unable to mount a serious challenge on Wondering, who took the checkered flag first by a comfortable margin of 2.616 seconds in his Terry Prince Contracting/Close Racing Supply/Performance Bodies/The Store/Winters Performance/Beyea Headers/Swift Springs/Penske Shocks/Hoosier Tire-sponsored #3J. Wonderling's 10th career Tour victory moved him into sole possession of second place on the all-time win list.
Following his fifth Tour win of the season on Friday night at Dog Hollow Speedway, Hardy earned $1,000 for his runner-up finish as he remains in control of the $12,000 to-win Tour championship. "He's (Wonderling) been good all year wherever he goes," acknowledged the Linden, Virginia racer. "He's tough. We're glad to have guys like him and Joe (Martin) to race with. It wouldn't be fun without guys like them. I had a trouble on the restarts as it was missing or stumbling. We're going to have to figure that out, but that's not why we lost. Jeremy and his guys prepared a good car. We'll just move on to the next one. It was good to finish the weekend out with a second."
Martin's third place finish matched his season's best effort and has now finished in the top five six of the last seven races after opening the season with a pair of 11th place finishes. "Starting ninth I wasn't expecting much and said I'd be happy with a top five. We buried ourselves down on the bottom as that's where you needed to be when they watered the track and held it wide open. We freed up enough that were able to do that, and a bunch of guys made mistakes. Mikey (Norris) probably would have kicked all of our butts but he broke so that moved us up. We'll take it, we're happy."
Zach Gunn turned in a terrific performance coming home fourth after starting eighth. It was easily a career best Tour run in five years of trying for the 21-year-old McDonald, Pa. racer, whose prior best finish was 19th at Pittsburgh on October 2, 2020. After challenging Hardy for second on lap 17, Paugh faded to fifth at the finish in his first Tour start of the season.
Lukon and Charlier dropped to sixth and seventh respectively. Ben Policz was eighth in his first Tour start of 2021. Cole Petrelle went 13th to ninth and received a $150 spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic. After a season best ninth place in the $10,000 to-win "Bill Emig Memorial" at Lernerville Speedway last Saturday night, Cory Sines rounded out the top 10 after starting 21st and earned the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card.
For the second straight night, a new track record was established in FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying. Daryl Charlier shattered the previous standard of 18.829 with a lap of 18.652 to earn $100. Picking up $25 FK Rod Ends Heat Race victories were Charlier, Norris, and Paugh. Late Model rookie Zach Morrow, who was competing in his third straight Tour race, won the last chance B main. Norris won his first Sunoco Dash of the season to not only earn the pole position for the feature, but also a $100 Sunoco gift card.
In his first career Tour start, Philip Bubeck missed out on transfering to the feature by one spot and earned a $100 Performance Bodies gift card for the "Nosed Out" contingency. Chris Lander was the lucky recipient of a $100 Sunoco gift card for the "Fill'er up with Sunoco Bucks" presented by Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto.
The Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series will return to action on Saturday, July 17 at Sharon Speedway for the inaugural "Bill Forney Memorial", which will pay a minimum of $3,199 to-win. It'll also be the Canfield/Sharon Speedways Driver Reunion (1949-1973). This will be the first Tour race at Sharon since September 16, 2016 when Will Thomas III was victorious.
Justin Shea came out unscathed following an opening lap 360-spin after contact from Preston Cope that perpetuated a multi-car accident then passed Tony Tatgenhorst on lap 11 to win the Pace Performance RUSH Sportsman Modified feature. It was Shea's second win in three starts this year at Pittsburgh in Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Weekly Series action as he continues to lead the $3,500 to-win championship.
"That was a bit of a wild ride but we made the best of it and kept going," explained the 39-year-old Sharpsville, Pa. driver. "I was facing the other way and hoping no one was coming at me especially at this place when you carry so much speed- it can hurt. That was unfortunate to see that happen and everyone involved. I could walk up on Tony, but couldn't quite get by him and had to wait on him to slip up. You have to have the momentum and have it happen at the right time. We found it coming out of turn four and was able to get next to him. We found something with this car that it really seems to like and keep getting better and better with it. It's been a good piece so far."
Tatgenhorst was in control of the 15-lap event from the start, while Shea passed Ayden Cipriano for second on lap two. Shea ran down Tatgenhorst and caught the lead on lap nine. After several bids, Shea got underneath Tatgenhorst racing off turn four on lap 10. It was a drag race down the frontstretch with Shea getting to the bottom of turn one and making the pass stick on lap 11. Shea then pulled away to win by 1.843 seconds in his Shea Trucking/JJA Logistics-sponsored #14s. The victory was Shea's third of his career at Pittsburgh and sixth overall.
Tatgenhorst's bid for his first win of the year came up short with a runner-up finish. Cipriano's third was his first top five of the season. Ben Easler crossed the finish in fourth, but was disqualified in post-race tech for a rev box infraction moving Dave Price up a career best RUSH Sportsman Mod finish of fourth. Cope was fifth as J.C. Boyer, Chas Wolbert, Chelsie Kriegisch, Jordan Ehrenberg, and Kole Holden completed the top 10. Kriegisch and Shea won the heat races.
The Pace Performance RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will return to Pittsburgh once again this Saturday night (July 10), but not before a Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble" Series event on Friday night (July 9) at Raceway 7 in Conneaut, Ohio. The Hovis Touring Series will be in action on Thursday, July 15 at Expo Speedway in Cortland, Ohio for an $800 to-win event part of the Trumbull County Fair.
Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series “Herb Scott Memorial” Race #9 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. JEREMY WONDERLING (3J) 2. Kyle Hardy (99) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Zach Gunn (17G) 5. Garret Paugh (03) 6. Kyle Lukon (184) 7. Daryl Charlier (Spochacz 114) 8. Ben Policz (14B) 9. Cole Petrelle (84) 10. Cory Sines (25S) 11. John Waters (Bentz 60) 12. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 13. Ryan Frazee (11F) 14. Noah Brunell (31) 15. Joe Long (71) 16. Jacob Gunn (14G) 17. Zach Morrow (Flinner 48) 18. Michael Reft (9R) 19. Zach Kane (10) 20. Travis Justice (23) 21. John Boring (58B) 22. Dave Goble (20G) 23. Joe Squatriglia (15X) 24. Michael Norris (51) 25. J.J. Mazur (13). (Note: J.J. Mazur took a Tour provisional).
DNQ for the feature: Philip Bubeck (2), Zach Crawford (c4), Kassidy Kamicker (72B), Bud Watson (225), Chris Lander (18).
Car Count: 30
Feature Margin of Victory:
Feature Lap Leaders: Michael Norris (1-5), Jeremy Wonderling (6-30)
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Cole Petrelle
Performance Bodies "Nosed Out": Philip Bubeck
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Cory Sines (+11)
Precise Racing Products 5-Gallon Race Jug: Jeremy Wonderling
Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto $100 Sunoco Fuel Cards: Chris Lander & Michael Norris
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Michael Norris
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time) (Track record 18.829 by Joe Martin 6/5/21): 1. 114-Daryl Charlier, 00:18.652 (NTR); 2. 51N-Michael Norris, 00:18.861; 3. 03-Garret Paugh, 00:19.053; 4. 14B-Ben Policz, 00:19.094; 5. 184-Kyle Lukon, 00:19.172; 6. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:19.194; 7. 14G-Jake Gunn, 00:19.196; 8. 20G-Dave Goble, 00:19.214; 9. 48F-Zach Morrow, 00:19.216; 10. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:19.246; 11. 31-Noah Brunell, 00:19.258; 12. 99-Kyle Hardy, 00:19.306; 13. 84P-Cole Petrelle, 00:19.330; 14. 17G-Zach Gunn, 00:19.404; 15. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr, 00:19.438; 16. 10-Zachary Kane, 00:19.497; 17. 11F-Ryan Frazee, 00:19.511; 18. 71-Joe Long, 00:19.567; 19. 9R-Mike Reft, 00:19.588; 20. 58B-John Boring, 00:19.642; 21. 60-John Waters, 00:19.675; 22. 15X-Joe Squatriglia, 00:19.694; 23. 225-Bud Watson, 00:19.723; 24. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker, 00:19.856; 25. 2P-Philip Bubeck, 00:19.877; 26. 23J-Travis Justice, 00:19.961; 27. 25S-Cory Sines, 00:20.201; 28. C4-Zach Crawford, 00:20.605; 29. 13-JJ Mazur, 00:20.755; 30. 18L-Chris Lander, 00:25.828.
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 6 transfer to the A): 1. 114-Daryl Charlier; 2. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 3. 14G-Jake Gunn; 4. 14B-Ben Policz; 5. 84P-Cole Petrelle; 6. 9R-Mike Reft; 7. 2P-Philip Bubeck; 8. 10-Zachary Kane; 9. 15X-Joe Squatriglia; 10. C4-Zach Crawford.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 6 transfer to the A): 1. 51N-Michael Norris; 2. 184-Kyle Lukon; 3. 17G-Zach Gunn; 4. 11F-Ryan Frazee; 5. 31-Noah Brunell; 6. 20G-Dave Goble; 7. 58B-John Boring; 8. 23J-Travis Justice; 9. 13-JJ Mazur; 10. (DNS) 225-Bud Watson.
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, $25 to-win, Top 6 transfer to the A): 1. 03-Garret Paugh; 2. 99-Kyle Hardy; 3. 10S-Joe Martin; 4. 90J-Michael Duritsky Jr; 5. 60-John Waters; 6. 71-Joe Long; 7. 48F-Zach Morrow; 8. 25S-Cory Sines; 9. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker; 10. 18L-Chris Lander.
Last Chance B Main (10 laps, Top 6 transfer to the A): 1. 48F-Zach Morrow; 2. 10-Zachary Kane; 3. 25S-Cory Sines; 4. 58B-John Boring; 5. 23J-Travis Justice; 6. 15X-Joe Squatriglia; 7. 2P-Philip Bubeck; 8. C4-Zach Crawford; 9. 13-JJ Mazur; 10. 72B-Kassidy Kamicker; 11. (DNS) 225-Bud Watson; 12. (DNS) 18L-Chris Lander.
Sunoco Dash (6 Laps, $100 Sunoco gift card): 1. 51N-Michael Norris; 2. 184-Kyle Lukon; 3. 03-Garret Paugh; 4. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 5. 99-Kyle Hardy; 6. 114-Daryl Charlier.
Pace Performance RUSH Sportsman Modifieds Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Weekly Series Event #10 (15 laps): 1. JUSTIN SHEA (14s) 2. Tony Tatgenhorst (63T) 3. Ayden Cipriano (5c) 4. Dave Price (111) 5. Preston Cope (24) 6. J.C. Boyer (12) 7. Chas Wolbert (c3) 8. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 9. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57) 10. Kole Holden (2) 11. Jacob Jordan (28J) 12. Ben Easler (02)-DSQ (rev box infraction).
RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Pace Performance together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC 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, Born2Run Lubricants, Flynn's Tire & Auto Service, FK Rod Ends, 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, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Stop-Fyre, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage, CrateInsider.com, and Wedge Motorsports.
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 www.rushlatemodels.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.