TOP RUNNERS AUSTIN HUBBARD & JEREMY PILKERTON COLLECT 1ST RUSH LM WINS OF 2022 WHILE JAROD LARSON CAPTURES SEASON’S 1ST RUSH SPRINT VICTORY; BEN EASLER HOT IN RUSH MODS
(Pulaski, PA)…It was a busy weekend for Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Racing Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants competitors with many Late Model teams competing in the prestigious “Bill Emig Memorial” as part of the Firecracker weekend at Lernerville Speedway. When the action was completed Florida veteran Mark Whitener claimed his second consecutive win of the event and took home more than $25,000 in cash and contingencies. New Late Models winners were Brett Marlatt, Austin Hubbard, and Jeremy Pilkerton. Jarod Larson meanwhile edged out John Mollick by a mere 0.035 seconds to claim the Equipment Rental Options RUSH Sprint Car win at Raceway 7 for his first victory of 2022.
Georgetown Speedway hosted the RUSH Late Models for a special $1,000 to-win main event on Friday, which was rescheduled from a June 3 rain out. Austin Hubbard led the event for the entire 20 lap distance to score his first win of 2022. Joey Warren pressured Hubbard but had to settle for a second place finish with Nick Davis, Jerry Barker and Matt Hill completing the top five.
After completing three shows in April, Potomac Speedway held its first RUSH Late Model event in two months this past Friday night. Defending track champion, Jeremy Pilkerton, capitalized on Kyle Hardy’s misfortune to capture his first win of the 2022 season. Hardy led the first seven laps of the main event, but slowed on the backstretch and retired from the event. Pilkerton went on to lead the remaining 13 circuits for the victory as he closed the gap on Hardy in the “Track Pack” points. Tenth place starter Joey Love came home in second with Ed Pope, Jr., Mike Raleigh and “Futures Cup” racer Scooter Tippett finishing third through fifth.
The Hovis Auto and Truck Supply RUSH Late Models once again took part in the 16th annual “Firecracker 100” event at Lernerville Speedway. This Year’s “Bill Emig Memorial”, which was presented by Sunoco Race Fuels with associate sponsorship from Marthinsen & Salvitti Insurance Group, was race number eight of the 2022 Flynn’s Tire Tour. Three days of beautiful weather saw a record 56 cars compete from 10 states and Ontario, Canada. Veteran southern Late Model standout Mark Whitener took the lead when the green flag dropped, weathered several restarts in the first half of the event and then withstood the late race challenge of Joe Martin to score his second consecutive victory in the prestigious event. Martin, who finished third in the 2021 Memorial event, captured the second position over South Carolina’s Dillon Brown. Tour points leader Logan Roberson and Michael Duritsky, Jr. rounded out the top five.
Jared Keeney scored his fourth consecutive RUSH Late Model victory at The Hill Speedway Friday evening and sixth overall in Hovis Weekly Series competition. Mike Epler matched his best career RUSH finish in second. Tony Kelley was third in his first appearance of the season.
Like Keeney, Chris Fleming is also on a roll. Flemming tallied his third win of the 2022 season Saturday evening at Skyline Raceway Motorsports Park. After winning his first of the season on June 18, Alan Chapman returned with a solid runner-up. Pat Parker matched his season best effort in third. Todd Chapman was fourth for the third straight week and fifth time of the season. Mike Kazmierczak rounded out the first five.
Brett Marlatt began his career in go-karts before moving into the Warrior Street Stock division at Woodhull Raceway. For 2022, Marlatt moved up to the RUSH Late Model division. His years of hard work and dedication were rewarded Saturday night at Woodhull as he scored his first career Late Model win. Joe Layfield and Jim Buck led the field to the green in the 20-lap main event, while divisional rookies Marlatt and Jacob Tubbs made up row two. Marlatt wasted little time in taking the top spot and went on to score a 1.330 second victory over four-time winner Brian Knowles. Clayton Tarabori was third for the fifth time in five Woodhull starts this year! Damian Bidwell made his 2022 Woodhull season debut and was fourth over Tony Kelley’s best Woodhull finish of the year.
The RUSH Late Models were a late addition to the racing program on Saturday night at Winchester Speedway. Travis Campbell led early before Mike Franklin took over the lead. By lap 11, Franklin had built up a full straightaway lead but when he entered lapped traffic, Campbell began to close in. The event’s lone caution flew on lap 22 when rookie Isaiah Gochenour spun. Campbell wasn’t able to capitalize on the restart and Franklin went on to score his second consecutive win at the Virginia oval. Campbell held on for the second spot matching his season’s best effort. Tyler Hoy, Brayden Anderson and Daniel Brown, Jr. completed the top five.
The Equipment Rental Options RUSH Sprint Car teams kicked off their two-race weekend Friday evening at Raceway 7 for the first visit of the season to the Conneaut, Ohio oval. Sixteen competitors were led to green by Brandon Blackshear and Jarod Larson. Larson would lead the entire distance of the event to score a mere 0.035 victory over John Mollick. Larson, who resides only 15 miles from Raceway 7 in Jefferson, Ohio, earned his fourth career RUSH Sprint win. Youngster Blaze Myers came home third. Zach Morrow was fourth subbing for Chad Ruhlman. Nolan Groves rounded out the top five. The top five competitors were separated by just 0.297 seconds at the finish of the main event!
The RUSH Sprint Car teams travelled the short distance south on Ohio Route 7 to compete at Sharon Speedway on Saturday night. After failing to win a RUSH Sprint Car race at Sharon until season four on June 18, Pleasantville, Pa. veteran Gale Ruth, Jr. made it two in a row as he also led the 20-lap main event from green to checkered. It was also Ruth’s division leading fourth of the season in Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series action. Dustin DeMattia, in just his third Sprint car start, came home in second with Ryan Fraley finishing in third. Veteran Jarod Larson was fourth and Nolan Groves finished in fifth for the second straight night.
The lone Hovis RUSH Sportsman Modified event this past weekend was held at Raceway 7. Ben Easler and Rob Kristyak led the field to the green. Easler, who scored his first ever Flynn’s Tire Touring Series event win last week at Sharon, collected his third straight RUSH-sanctioned victory to maintain the lead in the Wedge Motorsports “Route 7 Rumble” Series points. Kole Holden, who is in second in points, was second across the line. J.C. Boyer, Doug Rutana and Cole Edwards were third through fifth with their best finishes of the seasons.
RUSH Late Model competitors had the weekend off at Raceway 7, Dog Hollow Speedway, Delaware International Speedway, Genesee Speedway, Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, Stateline Speedway and Tyler County Speedway. Mother Nature cancelled Sunday evening’s racing action at both the Bradford and Eriez Speedways.
Winners in the RUSH Karting Series action at Stateline Speedway were Adalynn Ryan (Amateur), Ethan Arnone (JR-1), Trenton Curry (JR-2) and Morgan Curry (Adult). It was the first career win for seven-year-old Adalynn Ryan, which came one week after her cousin and six-year-old Alexander Daniels, Jr. won his first career race in the Amateur class at Stateline! Daniels is the current points leader heading into this weekend’s action.
As we prepare to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, there is plenty of RUSH racing action on the schedule. The Flynn’s Tire RUSH Late Model Touring Series will be in action both Friday and Saturday with a pair $3,000 to-win Marquee Events in western Pa. Friday night the tour will visit Dog Hollow Speedway for the only appearance of 2022 and then they will travel about 80 miles east to Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway for the “Herb Scott Memorial” on Saturday.
Both the Equipment Rental Options RUSH Sprint Cars and the Hovis RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will be in action on Saturday at the newly reopened Knox Raceway. The RUSH Sprints will then move over to Tri-City Raceway Park on Sunday for the second appearance of the season.
Weekly RUSH Late Model action is slated for Raceway 7 and The Hill Speedway on Friday night. Saturday night RUSH Late Model Weekly Series options include Genesee Speedway, Stateline Speedway, Skyline Raceway, Winchester ($1000 to-win) and Woodhull Raceway. Both Potomac Speedway and Tyler County Speedway will host special Sunday night racing cards. Eriez and Bradford Speedways will also be in action Sunday. Competitors at Delaware International Speedway will have the weekend off.
The RUSH Pro Mods will compete on Saturday at Stateline. The RUSH Stock Cars return to action at Dog Hollow, Stateline, and Eriez Speedways.
As we celebrate our nation’s birthday it is a perfect time to get out and enjoy some exciting RUSH Racing Series action at a speedway near you!
By Marcie Barlow
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