MIKE LAUGHARD EARNS MORE $3100 AT MARION CENTER WITH 1ST HOVIS RUSH LATE MODEL WIN SINCE 2018; TRAVIS CAMPBELL BECOMES 9TH DIFFERENT LM WINNER AT WINCHESTER IN 2023; CAREER 1ST PITTSBURGH WIN FOR BEN EASLER IN RUSH SPORTSMAN MODS
By Marcie Barlow
September 7, 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)...The Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer but the Hovis Auto and Truck Supply RUSH Racing Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants action continues to heat up. Mike Laughard ended a long victory drought in the RUSH Late Models with his victory at Marion Center Raceway, while Travis Campbell became the impressive ninth different winner of the season at Marion Center. Ben Easler made a rare appearance at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway and captured his career first at "Dirt's Monster Half-Mile".
Northern Tier RUSH competitors got their holiday weekend off to an early start at McKean County Raceway on Thursday evening. A strong field of 22 RUSH Late Model competitors took the green in the City Chevrolet Weekly Series event with Brad Mesler capturing his first MCR win since June 16, 2018! Bryce Davis, Jeremy Wonderling, Austin Hauser and track promoter Kurt Stebbins rounded out the top five.
Mike Laughard ended a five-year plus winless drought in the RUSH Late Models by winning the second annual Snyder/Martz Memorial at Marion Center Raceway on Saturday night. Laughard led all 31 laps holding off National Late Model Hall of Famer Chub for the $3,100 victory. The last time Laughard was victorious was July 14, 2018 at Dog Hollow Speedway. Braeden Dillinger was third over Delaware's Cody Dawson and Michael Duritsky, Jr.
Travis Campbell wasted no time in grabbing the lead in RUSH Late Model action at Winchester Speedway on Saturday. While Campbell continued to put distance between himself and the rest of the field, Steven Payne, Dale Hollidge and Mike Franklin battled for the second spot. The front runners entered lapped traffic on lap 13, which enabled Payne to secure the second position and begin reeling Campbell. At the checkered flag it was Campbell, the 2022 City Chevrolet Track Pack Champion, taking his first win of the season. Payne was just two car lengths behind in second for his career best RUSH finish. Franklin, Hollidge and track champion Tyler Hoy followed. Outside of Kyle Hardy's five victories, no other driver has repeated as Campbell became the ninth different winner of the season and sixth straight different winner!
RUSH Late Model competitors battled in two feature events Saturday at Woodhull Raceway. In the August 26 make-up, Steve LeBarron and Brian Knowles led the field to the green with LeBarron taking the lead. LeBarron weathered several restarts, stretched his lead after each restart and cruised on to take victory number three of the season at the speedway in 2023. John Waters came home in second followed by Austin Allen, Knowles and Brett Marlatt.
In the nightcap, second year competitor Brett Marlatt scored his impressive fifth victory of the season and also kept his divisional championship hopes alive. Marlatt fended off the challenges of Austin Allen the entire distance of the 20-lap main event to claim the win. Brian Knowles finished in third with LeBarron rebounding from a mishap early in the event to come home in fourth. Jacob Tubbs completed the top five.
Doug Ricotta scored his second consecutive victory in Hovis Auto and Truck Supply RUSH Late Model action at Genesee Speedway on Saturday evening. Jon Rivers led the event from the start as Ricotta methodically worked his way through the field. A lap 22 restart gave Ricotta the opportunity he needed to move by Rivers and claim the victory- his third overall in 2023 City Chevrolet Weekly Series action. Dave DuBois finished in third with Bill Holmes and Chad Homan rounding out the top five.
Jake Gunn and Daryl Charlier led the field to the green Saturday at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. Charlier led the first two circuits before sixth place starter Brandon Burgoon took command on lap three and would never be seriously challenged as he went on to score his career best fifth win of the season and his second consecutive divisional victory at the Imperial, Pa. oval. Gunn, Charlier, Ben Policz and Zach Gunn completed the top five.
The RUSH Dirt Late Model Flynn's Tire Touring Series travelled to Tyler County Speedway this past Sunday to take part in the 55th annual "Hillbilly 100" weekend with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The event attracted 33 cars from five different states, which was an all-time record high car count at the Middlebourne, WV oval. Mike Wonderling, Max Blair and Joe Martin entertained the fans with plenty of side-by-side racing throughout the event. Wonderling led the first two laps before Martin took over and led laps 3-21. Wonderling gained the advantage on lap 22 before Martin once again nosed ahead on lap 23. By lap 33, Blair was finally able to get the second spot away from Wonderling and set his sights on Martin. Martin led the next lap but Blair used the high side of turned one and two to make the winning pass of Martin and secure the top spot on lap 35. Blair went on to score his fourth Touring Series victory of 2023. Martin, Wonderling, Trimble and Ryan Hare completed the top five.
Bradford Speedway closed out their 2023 season Sunday evening. Jacobs Tubbs lead the first lap of the RUSH Late Model A-main with veteran Scott Gurdak taking the top spot on laps two through six. Brad Mesler took command on lap seven and went on to score the win, his fifth of the season and second of the weekend in RUSH Late Model action. Gurdak settled for second in just his second visit of 2023. Ward Schell, Jake Wilber and Tubbs finished third through fifth respectively.
The Hovis RUSH Pro Mods had a pair of events last weekend. It kicked off on Thursday at McKean County. For the second straight event, there were 26 cars on hand matching the 26 at Stateline for their season finale for the highest car count of the season. Steve Dixon scored his first MCR RUSH Pro Mod win since July 30, 2017! It was also Dixon's 11th overall RUSH Pro Mod victory of the season, but first in five weeks. Adam Ashcroft, Critter Hemphill, Josh Wilcox and Kane Stebbins were second through fifth.
RUSH Pro Mod action at Bradford saw Dennis Lunger, Jr. lead the way for two circuits before veteran Al Brewer took the top spot and went on to score his second Bradford victory of the season and third overall in 2023 Hovis Weekly Series action. Dixon, Lunger, John Woodward and Josh Wilcox rounded out the top five
Hovis RUSH Sprint Car teams travelled to Hummingbird Speedway on Saturday for the second time this season. Veteran Chad Ruhlman tallied his seventh victory of the season, but first in nearly two months. Ruhlman's $1,000 Sunbelt Rentals Weekly Series special came over a strong field of 19 competitors beating the car count at the first Hummingbird show by one. Blaze Myers, who won the first show, came home in second as he tries to keep Ruhlman in sight for the $5,000 championship. Gale Ruth, Jr., John Mollick and Brian Cressley rounded out the top five.
The lone Hovis Auto and Truck Supply Sportsman Modified event took place at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway Saturday evening. Ben Easler and Chelsie Kriegisch led the field to green with Easler leading the entire distance of the 15-lap main event. At the checkered Easler had a 4.5 second advantage over Ayden Cipriano as he scored his first career victory at the Imperial, PA oval, but fourth overall of the 2023 season. Kriegisch, Kole Holden and Lucas Canon followed.
RUSH Sprint Car and Sportsman Modified teams will compete at the Sharon Speedway both this Friday and Saturday as part of the "Apple Festival Nationals" program. The prelims for both divisions will take place on Friday with the feature events running on Saturday. The Sprint Car main event will pay $1,000 to win, $175 to start with the Sportsman Modified winner receiving $800 with $160 to start.
Freedom Motorsports Park will host their “Fall Classic” on both Friday and Saturday. RUSH Stock Cars will be in action both days with RUSH Late Model and RUSH Pro Mod action taking place Saturday.
City Chevrolet Weekly Series action is also scheduled at McKean County Raceway Thursday evening. Georgetown Speedway, Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, Skyline Raceway and Woodhull Raceway are also in action.
The racing season is beginning to “wind down” so be sure to get out and enjoy some RUSH racing action this weekend.
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, CrateInsider.com, 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 www.rushlatemodels.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.