JOE MARTIN GETS REDEMPTION AT SHARON IN PACE RUSH LATE MODEL $4000 "CIDER JUG 40" PRESENTED BY ZARIN FOR 1ST FLYNN'S TIRE/BORN2RUN LUBRICANTS TOUR WIN IN 7+ YEARS; CHAS WOLBERT CAPS OFF SHARON TRACK TITLE WITH 2ND STRAIGHT RUSH SPORTSMAN MOD HOVIS TOUR WIN
By Mike Leone
September 10-11, 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Hartford, OH)...The Pace Performance RUSH Racing Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC returned to Sharon Speedway for the final time of 2021 to participate in the two-day "Apple Festival Nationals" on Friday and Saturday night. Race #13 of the Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Late Model Touring Series competed at Sharon for the second consecutive event following the "Bill Forney Memorial", while the RUSH Sportsman Modified Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Touring Series did the same following their "Manufacturers Night" event. Picking up victories to end the 92nd anniversary season at Sharon were Joe Martin (Late Models) and Chas Wolbert (Sportsman Modifieds).
Two weeks after losing a heartbreaker on the final lap to hall of famer Chub Frank, Joe Martin turned the tables and passed three-time RUSH Late Model Touring Series Champion Jeremy Wonderling with one lap to go and went on to win the "Cider Jug 40" presented by Zarin Truck & Auto along with an anonymous donor in support of Autism Awareness. The $4,000 victory ended a more than seven-year winless drought on the Tour for Martin, whose last and only victory came on August 30, 2014 at McKean County Raceway. Martin became the sixth different Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series winner of 2021.
"I shouldn't be this emotional; it's a crate race but it's hard to win these races," expressed the 36-year-old Punxsutawney, Pa. standout. "I feel like we've been good all year, but can't win these races; look at these winners Jeremy (Wonderling), Kyle (Hardy), Chub (Frank), Michael Norris and Mark Whitener. It means so much to me to give all these guys what they deserve. I put a lot of pressure on myself and I thought I gave it away for sure. With the restarts at the end, it's hard to beat these guys. My brother moved me down and I slowed down because I thought it was rubbered up. I got in traffic and moved up to see what I could do and it was just as good; it wasn't rubbered up. I had to pick the bottom on the restart and we run a different gear than everyone else, and I almost lost it. I knew I could run it in wide open like I did all weekend once he (Wonderling) got clear of me, and that's what I did. He squeezed me down the backstretch, but I wasn't lifting; I was either going to wreck or win it."
After a side-by-side battle for the lead on the opening lap of the 40-lap feature, Martin took control over Logan Zarin with Wonderling, Will Thomas III and Kyle Hardy in tow. A great battle for third developed on lap five as Wonderling was trying to fend off Thomas and Hardy. The trio went three-wide with Thomas taking the spot, while Martin and Zarin began to distance themselves from the field.
While Thomas took control of third, Wonderling and Hardy continued their battle for fourth. Hardy nosed ahead on lap seven, but Wonderling regained the spot one lap later. Hardy didn't back down and put a big slider on Wonderling in turns three and four on lap 10 to take the spot. Back up front, Zarin began to close in on Martin before Martin caught traffic on lap 13. Three laps later, Zarin caught the leader, while Thomas also closed the margin. Hardy was making ground on Thomas as well and it appeared he was about to rip around Thomas for third, but got hung up in traffic on lap 19 allowing Wonderling to make the pass once again.
After 26 caution-free laps, Dan Lepro wasn't able to clear the track necessitating the caution. When racing resumed, Zarin didn't have a good restart, which allowed Wonderling to pass both Thomas and Zarin for runner-up. Zarin's struggles also shuffled Thomas out of the top five and moved eighth starting Russ King into fourth past Hardy. King and Hardy really went at it in the ensuing laps. Hardy worked on King for many laps before finally getting under King in turn three on lap 37; contact was made between the two, which resulted in a flat tire for King. King's unsportsmanlike actions under caution resulted in a black flag from the event.
When racing resumed on lap 38, Wonderling was able to make the outside work taking the lead away from Martin. While everyone was having flashbacks of two weeks ago when Martin lost the race on the final lap, Martin wasn't about to let another race slip away. This time Martin charged back around Wonderling one lap later and fended off Wonderling on the final lap to win by 0.430 seconds in the Tom Snyder-owned, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/T&D Performance/Tuff Nuts/Weather Capital Sales/Kevin Martin Trucking-sponsored #10s. The victory was Martin's sixth of his career at Sharon and seventh overall of 2021 in RUSH-sanctioned competition.
"When I raced before I didn't this kind of stuff but Tommy (Snyder) has the best of the best," explained Martin. "To know what I used to race against with my own stuff to what I got now; we got a piece of equipment. It's all credit to him. He puts in a lot of time and effort. This is dead serious stuff these two guys I'm racing with (Wonderling and Hardy). It takes a lot of work. The more we race, the better we get. I want to thank the fans. I'm disappointed with the car count, but you fans got to see another good race. The Sprints put on a good show too. The track is awesome. Sharon Speedway from top-to-bottom has their stuff together and the safety crew is second to none. We appreciate the track prep, the safety crew everything they do, Vicki (Emig) and Mike (Leone) giving us big money to race for and getting these good guys to race with us- it's a lot of fun."
After three straight finishes of seventh or worse on the Tour, Wonderling returned to the podium for the sixth time this season. His runner-up finish was worth $2,000. "Of course I'd like to win the race but it was good to see Joe win his first," acknowledged the 41-year-old Wellsville, NY standout. "I had a lot of fun racing with these guys. I was telling Kyle (Hardy), I don't race on tracks that are this smooth to be able to pull the sliders and drive it across the race track like Joe does. I gave it everything I had on the last restart, but probably chose the wrong lane. Coming down the backstretch on the last lap, I really wanted to squeeze it to the wall and kind of block Joe off, but I knew he was close enough. We rubbed a little down the backstretch, but it's really good racing with these guys. You can race really hard, door-to-door. There's a lot of respect."
Hardy was able to pass Zarin in the final laps to finish third for the second straight race at Sharon. Hardy's 12th podium finish in 13 Tour races this season was worth $1,000. Hardy was also the lucky recipient of a $100 Sunoco gift card in the random draw part of the "Fill'er up with Sunoco Bucks presented by Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto.
"It wasn't a bad run," stated the 28-year-old Linden, Virginia $12,000 Tour points leader. "It got dicey there at the end. I didn't even know that was Russ (King) driving that car. I don't know how many times I tried to pass him and had to stop. It is what it is. I'm just ready to go home."
Zarin's fourth place was easily his best finish Tour finish of the season beating his prior season best of 10th on May 16 at Eriez Speedway. Matt Latta went ninth to fifth for his first top five Tour finish of the season. Thomas dropped to sixth at the finish before going out and winning the $2,500 Econo Mod feature. After a career best Tour finish of fifth two weeks ago at Sharon, Cory Sines had another strong effort in seventh after starting 10th. Daryl Charlier went 11th to eighth, while Bud Watson went 12th to ninth. Michael Duritsky, Jr. earned the $100 Precise Racing Products "Hard Charger" gift card for his run from 17th to 10th.
Steve Hollabaugh made his second consecutive Tour start and improved on his 22nd place finish with a 13th to receive a $150 spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic. Sixth starting Josh Ferry was chosen as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient after dropping out running in the top 10 late in the event.
On Friday night, Wonderling earned his third $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" fast time award with a lap of 17.996 beating out Thomas by just 0.013! Wonderling and Martin added $25 for winning FK Rod Ends heat races. Martin became the ninth different Sunoco Dash winner to earn the pole position for the feature and received a $100 Sunoco gift card.
The Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series for the Late Models will be off next weekend then will close September out with the "Topless Nationals" weekend at Genesee Speedway paying $2,000 to-win on both September 24 and September 25. The Friday show is a Platinum event, while Saturday's show is the traveling "Manufacturers Night" for eligible New York racers, which will push the 2021 "Manufacturers Nights" presented by MSD for Late Model racers to well over $42,000 in product giveaways!
Sharon champion Chas Wolbert won his second consecutive RUSH Sportsman Modified Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Touring Series event at the Hartford, Ohio track. The 2021 $3,500 Hovis Weekly Series Champion led all 25 laps of the feature. Wolbert's fifth Sharon win of the season was worth $800 and backed up his $600 Tour win on July 31 during "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance. Wolbert upped his all-time leading Tour win total to seven.
"This is awesome," expressed the 27-year-old Warren, Ohio driver. "We had some great runs this year. Thank you to RUSH and Sharon Speedway for allowing us to race here. Dave Willoughby and staff gives us a great facility and track surface to run on every week. We have great competition. Everyone works on their stuff and gets it to the front the best they can. I want to thank the fans for sticking it out to watch us. I'm really pushing to get a big-block for next year. I have everything I need except a motor, which is the main thing I need. We'll be putting a for sale sign on this soon so if I get rid of this we'll hopefully be making the move. You never know, Rob Kristyak may let me drive his car sometimes (jokingly)!"
One week after a last lap pass of J.C. Boyer at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway in Weekly Series competition, Wolbert used the outside to pass his good friend at the start of the feature for the early lead, while Jacob Wolfe went sixth to third. After being light on Friday night, Caden Petry raced from ninth to win the last chance B main, but would bring out the first caution with front end damage with three laps completed. Petry was chosen as the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" recipient.
When racing resumed on lap four, eighth starting Rob Kristyak was ripping the fence and moved into the top five past Clayton Deems. The event's second and final caution was displayed for rookie Doug Rutana with five laps scored. The final 20 laps went non-stop. Back under green, Wolfe was all over Boyer in the race for second, while Kristyak drove around Tatgenhorst for fourth on lap nine.
Up front, Wolbert caught lapped traffic on lap 13 and made a three-wide move on Amelia Clay and Dave Price. As Wolfe and Boyer continued to battle, Boyer made contact with an infield tire on lap 21 and did a 360 spin, which allowed Kristyak to blow by both Boyer and Wolfe on the outside for second. With only four laps to go, the margin for Kristyak to run down Wolbert was insurmountable as Wolbert's Alcon Mechanical/Dunkin Donuts of Warren, OH/C.T. Wolbert Trucking/Walters Building Co./Ohio Intra Express/Russ King Racing/BCT Construction-sponsored #c3 took the checkered flag first by 4.665 seconds. It was Wolbert's 20th career Sharon win and all-time leading 45th of his career in RUSH.
Kristyak earned $500 for a season best second place. Wolfe, who was leading the Tour points, crossed the finish line in third, but was disqualified in post-race tech for an ignition violation. That moved Boyer to third for his best career Tour finish. Tatgenhorst was fourth and moved into the Tour points lead. Clayton Deems was fifth and was chosen as the Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel" award winner. Despite winning his first career feature on August 7, Deems blew a motor that night forcing him out of action until August 28, in which he got caught up in a heat race accident that night ending his night.
Kole Holden was sixth after starting ninth. Josh Deems went 10th to seventh. Jordan Ehrenberg dropped to eighth. Raceway 7 track champion Brandon Ritchey was ninth, which was good enough to secure the $1,000 Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble" Series championship. Cory Sines, who finished seventh in the RUSH Late Model feature, ran his first ever Modified race and finished 10th. Greg Porter went 25th to 16th to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card, and also jumped from seventh to fifth in the "Route 7 Rumble" Series points. On Friday night, Boyer, Ehrenberg, and Holden won the heat races over the 27-car field.
The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Touring Series for the Sportsman Modifieds will end the season at Lernerville Speedway for the "Steel City Stampede" October 15-16; meanwhile, Hovis Weekly Series events will take place the next two Saturday nights at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway.
Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series "Cider Jug 40" presented by Zarin Truck & Auto Race #13 (40 laps, $4,000 to-win): 1. JOE MARTIN (Snyder 10s) 2. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 3. Kyle Hardy (99) 4. Logan Zarin (1z) 5. Matt Latta (21) 6. Will Thomas III (9) 7. Cory Sines (25s) 8. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 9. Bud Watson (225) 10. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 11. Ashton Briggs (11A) 12. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 13. Steve Hollabaugh (3) 14. Ryan Frazee (11F) 15. Josh Ferry (33) 16. Dan Lepro (2L) 17. W.L. Stile (51) 18. Russ King (Sines 15)-DSQ (unsportsmanlike conduct).
Car Count: 18
Feature Lap Leaders: Joe Martin (1-37, 39-40), Jeremy Wonderling (38)
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Steve Hollabaugh
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Michael Duritsky, Jr. (+7)
Precise Racing Products 5-Gallon Race Jug: Joe Martin
Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto $100 Sunoco Fuel Cards: Kyle Hardy & Joe Martin
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Josh Ferry
RUSH Late Model FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time): 1. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:17.996; 2. 9-Will Thomas, 00:18.009; 3. 11F-Ryan Frazee, 00:18.177; 4. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:18.295; 5. 99-Kyle Hardy, 00:18.325; 6. 15-Russ King, 00:18.459; 7. 33-Josh Ferry, 00:18.460; 8. 25S-Cory Sines, 00:18.470; 9. 21L-Matt Latta, 00:18.479; 10. 1Z-Logan Zarin, 00:18.488; 11. 114-Daryl Charlier, 00:18.692; 12. 3H-Steve Hollabaugh, 00:18.992; 13. 21J-Jim Rasey, 00:19.030; 14. 11A-Ashton Briggs, 00:19.331; 15. 2L-Dan Lepro, 00:19.922; 16. 225-Bud Watson, NT; 17. 90J-Michael Duritsky, Jr., NT; 18. 51-W.L. Stile, NT.
RUSH Late Model FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 2. 99-Kyle Hardy; 3. 33-Josh Ferry; 4. 11F-Ryan Frazee; 5. 21L-Matt Latta; 6. 114-Daryl Charlier; 7. 21J-Jim Rasey; 8. 2L-Dan Lepro. DNS: 90J-Michael Duritsky, Jr.
RUSH Late Model FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, $25 to-win): 1. 10S-Joe Martin; 2. 9-Will Thomas; 3. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 4. 15-Russ King; 5. 25S-Cory Sines; 6. 225-Bud Watson; 7. 11A-Ashton Briggs; 8. 3H-Steve Hollabaugh. DNS: 51-W.L. Stile.
RUSH Late Model Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 Sunoco gift card to-win): 1. 10S-Joe Martin; 2. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 3. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 4. 9-Will Thomas; 5. 99-Kyle Hardy; 6. 33-Josh Ferry.
Pace RUSH Sportsman Modified Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Touring Series Race #3 (25 laps, $800 to-win): 1. CHAS WOLBERT (c3) 2. Rob Kristyak (00) 3. J.C. Boyer (12) 4. Tony Tatgenhorst (63T) 5. Clayton Deems (55R) 6. Kole Holden (2) 7. Josh Deems (9D) 8. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57) 9. Brandon Ritchey (1R) 10. Cory Sines (25) 11. Shayne Izzo (86) 12. Ayden Cipriano (5c) 13. Brandon Albert (30) 14. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 15. Greg Porter (25) 16. Cameron McFadden (83) 17. Gage Priester (71) 18. Jake Rutana (11J) 19. Jeff Schaffer, Jr. (14) 20. Dave Price (111) 21. Amelia Clay (16c) 22. Doug Rutana (70B) 23. Caden Petry (7P) 24. Jacob Wolfe (7)-DSQ (ignition).
DNQ for the feature: Gary Haupt (16), Dalton Gabriel (333G), Lucas Canon (2LC).
Car Count: 27
Feature Lap Leaders: Chas Wolbert (1-25)
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Greg Porter (+9)
Sherwood Wheels "Man of Steel": Clayton Deems
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night": Caden Petry
RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A): 1. 12-JC Boyer; 2. C3-Chas Wolbert; 3. 00-Rob Kristyak; 4. 9D-Josh Deems; 5. 30-Brandon Albert; 6. 5C-Ayden Cipriano; 7. 71-Gage Priester; 8. 16-Gary Haupt; 9. 2LC-Lucas Canon.
RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A): 1. JD57-Jordan Ehrenberg; 2. 63T-Tony Tatgenhorst; 3. 1R-Brandon Ritchey; 4. 25S-Cory Sines; 5. 10-Chelsie Kriegisch; 6. 83-Cameron McFadden; 7. 111-Dave Price; 8. 14-Jeff Schaffer Jr; 9. 11J-Jacob Rutana.
RUSH Sportsman Modified Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A): 1. 2-Kole Holden; 2. 7-Jacob Wolfe; 3. 55R-Clayton Deems; 4. 86-Shayne Izzo; 5. 16C-Amelia Clay; 6. 70B-Doug Rutana; 7. 333G-Dalton Gabriel; 8. 25-Greg Porter; 9. 7P-Caden Petry- DSQ (light).
RUSH Sportsman Modified Last Chance B Main (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A): 1. 7P-Caden Petry; 2. 14-Jeff Schaffer Jr; 3. 71-Gage Priester; 4. 111-Dave Price; 5. 11J-Jacob Rutana; 6. 25-Greg Porter; 7. 16-Gary Haupt; 8. 2LC-Lucas Canon; 9. 333G-Dalton Gabriel.
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.