(Canandaigua, NY)…The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Dirt Late Model Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants trekked north to Land of Legends Raceway on Saturday night. Last year’s “Full Fender Frenzy” marked the first time a RUSH-sanctioned event had ever been run at the formerly known Canandaigua Speedway, and while the RUSH Late Models returned to the event for the second straight year on Saturday night it was the first ever Flynn’s Tire Touring Series event at the half-mile oval. Making nearly an eight-hour tow from his home in Waynesboro, Virginia, Logan Roberson passed Matt Latta on lap two and fended off the strong challenges by hard charging, three-time Touring Series Champion Jeremy Wonderling to win the 30-lap, $3000 feature on a fast and heavy surface. After going nearly three months between victories, it was Roberson’s second straight Tour win, both coming on half-mile tracks, and his fifth Flynn’s Tire Tour win of the year.
“That was probably one of the hardest ones I’ve had to fight for in a long time,” acknowledged the 24-year-old Touring Series point leader. “Jeremy (Wonderling) raced me super clean and I really appreciate that. He got to my bumper about halfway through the race and stayed there a long time. If I would have messed up a little more he would have definitely won the race. I was actually dangerous with those lapped cars and knew I was a sitting duck with Jeremy on me. When you get a hole you have to shove it in there and go on with it. Jeremy is good and has won about everything up here so I knew if there was a hole he’d use it. I do have to apologize to my buddy Ashton Briggs for getting into him there at the end. The track ended up widening out a little bit so all in all it was a good night. We have a bad ass race car right now.”
An opening lap accident in turn one collected six local New York racers including 2017 Tour Champion Bryce Davis and last year’s “Full Fender Frenzy” winner Chris Fleming. It was a rough night for Davis, who also got tangled up with Roberson on the opening lap of his heat race from the pole position. Davis was selected as the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night” recipient.
When racing resumed, Matt Latta took off in the lead fresh off his first Sunoco Dash win of the season with Roberson in tow, while David Pangrazio passed Chad Homan for third. Virginia driver Russell Erwin, Jr. was making his first ever RUSH start behind the wheel of central New York racer Mike Kazmierczak’s #118, but lost the handle in turn two while running in eighth to bring out the caution with just one lap scored. It was the last stoppage of the event as final 29 laps went green-to-checkered.
When racing resumed for the final time, Roberson made the outside work grabbing the lead from Latta, while Jeremy Wonderling and Joe Martin moved past Homan for fourth and fifth respectively. Sixth starting Wonderling was halfway to the front when he slipped under Pangrazio for third on lap four and quickly caught Latta. Wonderling got under Latta racing off turn four to steal second on lap five. Martin then drove around Pangrazio for third on lap six.
By the time Wonderling got to second, Roberson had a fairly comfortable lead, but that gap closed each and every lap and by lap 11, Wonderling was right on the leader. After slipping back to fifth, Pangrazio was able to pass both Martin and Latta for third on lap 14.
On several occasions throughout the second half of the event, Wonderling was all over the back bumper of Roberson especially off turn four and down the frontstretch, but Roberson was better getting through turns one and two. Once Roberson’s drifted high in turn four on a couple occasions, which nearly allowed Wonderling to get by, Roberson moved down in turn four to stop Wonderling’s advances. Roberson drove a great race through traffic lapping all but positions two through nine and got away from Wonderling in the closing laps to take the checkered flag first for his eighth career RUSH Tour win by 1.315 seconds in his Gunter’s Honey/Clary’s Used Cars/RBS Auto/All About Wraps-sponsored #17.
Wonderling matched his season’s best Tour effort with his second runner-up in the last three races for his sixth top five of the season, worth $1,500. “Racing with Logan (Roberson) is always a lot of fun,” expressed the 42-year-old Wellsville, NY standout. “I could get a real good run on him coming out of two, but the way the race track was you really didn’t dare race side-by-side going down into (turns) three and four. Unless I could get alongside of him down the frontstretch, there really wasn’t much I could do. He did what he had to do and always does. We had a lot of problems in the dash and I really don’t want to comment on that. Logan helped me out a ton as did Latta and Martin’s crews. Everyone that runs the RUSH Tour races each other with as much respect as they can. What’s nice about these races is most guys pull together and are here for the sport and have fun.”
Pangrazio matched his career best Tour finish of third from July 19, 2018 at Genesee Speedway. “We were pretty good but it would have been nice to be a little better in the dash,” stated the 23-year-old Elba, NY driver. “Third place- we’ll take it. We needed some more laps. Experience at this place is big. Getting through the corners is different because it’s so big. We could work on that a little bit, but other than that it was a good night.”
Martin was fourth for his ninth top five of the season and 12th top 10. Homan, who has nine RUSH Weekly Series wins in 2022, completed the top five. Latta dropped to sixth for his seventh top 10 of the season with four of them being sixth place efforts. Jason Knowles beat out his brother Brian for seventh; however, Brian earned a $50 Precise Racing Products gift card for being the hard charger. Erwin came back to finish ninth as the last car on the lead lap. Brady Wonderling was 10th.
Martin earned his third $100 FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” award of the season by setting fast time in qualifying with a lap of 18.327 beating out Davis by just 0.005 and Latta by 0.048 seconds! Martin, Roberson, and Jeremy Wonderling added $25 by winning FK Rod Ends heat races. Latta received a $100 Sunoco gift card for winning the Sunoco Dash. Tour drivers Andy Michael and Craig Graham were the lucky recipients of the $100 Sunoco gift cards by luck of the draw, while Austin Allen, Todd Chapman, T.J. Downs, and Chris Fleming received $50 Sunoco gift cards. Making his first Tour start of the season, Billy DuBois received a spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic.
Note: Saturday’s Flynn’s Tire Touring Series event at Land of Legends was a Platinum Event allowing Tour members to use the event to replace their worst Marquee Event finish or replace a missed Marquee Event.
The Flynn’s Tire Tour will return to action in the Empire State on Friday and Saturday, September 23-24 at Genesee Speedway in Batavia for the annual “Topless Nationals”. Each night will pay $3,000 to-win with Friday night’s show a Platinum and Saturday night’s show a Marquee designation.
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