By MIKE LEONE
HARTFORD, OH – The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modified Series powered by Pace Performance participated in their first of two Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series events of the season at Sharon Speedway on Saturday night. An all-time record high of 38 cars turned out for the fifth annual “Manufacturers Night” presented by MSD Performance as a record amount of more than $20,000 in actual, useful product was distributed to the competing racers by random draw during intermission. Prizes ranged from a minimum of $300 up to $1,420 in value (see prize winners list below).
Chas Wolbert has been on a roll. Wolbert entered the night a winner of three straight Bicknell Weekly Series events at Sharon. On Saturday night, Wolbert started fourth and took the lead from Rocky Kugel on lap seven. Wolbert then raced on to become the first driver in Series history to win four straight races at any track! The 25-lap, $600 victory was Wolbert’s first this season in Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series competition, but his fourth of his career putting up on top of the Series’ all-time win list. Wolbert’s five wins this season at Sharon alone have totaled $2,700. Wolbert also won a complete RUSH-legal header and exhaust system from Schoenfeld as part of the “Manufacturers Night” drawings.
“This is crazy,” stated the 24-year-old Warren, Ohio winner. “Four in a row for us and to win a tour race- I can’t believe it. Track was great, my car was great. I had a good starting spot and was patient. I knew I had 25 laps and worked my way up through there and hit every point I needed to hit. We have great competition here. Anyone can win week in and week out. I didn’t see Steve (Slater), but he’s not afraid to run out there (top). Steve is a good driver and if he had a little bit more he would have had me. I’m glad to be back in here in victory lane. Without God none of this or life is possible. I have to thank all of my sponsors and everyone that helps out on the car.”
Rocky Kugel used the outside to race into the early lead past Steve Slater, while Wolbert passed Garrett Krummert for third on the opening lap. Wolbert took second from Slater on lap two then went after Kugel as he caught the leader on lap five. Wolbert would make the winning pass driving around Kugel off turn four on lap seven. Kugel would try to get back under Wolbert in turns one and two, but clipped an infield tire and spun to bring out the first caution with seven laps scored.
Krummert had taken over third from Slater before the caution then inherited second after Kugel’s spin; however, when racing resumed on lap eight the team cars of Slater and Darin Gallagher both passed Krummert for second and third. Wolbert began to extend his lead and pulled away on lap 12 while the battled raged for second between Gallagher, Slater, Krummert, and 10th starting Rob Kristyak.
Kristyak was having his best performance of the season as he passed Krummert for fourth on lap 13. He then took over third from Gallagher on lap 20 before Gallagher got too high smacking the fence and ending his good run with 21 laps completed. That earned Gallagher the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night” award. Wolbert appeared headed for the win, but Jeremy Weaver lost a wheel in turn four coming down for the white flag, which set up a one-lap shootout to the finish. Weaver’s night wasn’t a total loss as he drew the number one prize during the “Manufacturers Night” drawings of TBM Brakes and brake fluid valued at $1,420.
Wolbert wouldn’t be denied as he still was able to win by 0.691 of a second in his Dunkin’ Donuts/C.T. Wolbert Trucking/Russ King Racing/Ohio Intra Express/MJ’s Auto Repair/Crooked Pine Woodworking/955 Automotive/Kings Sanitary/Total Trumbull Sports-sponsored #c3 Bicknell. Wolbert’s five Sharon wins has now more than doubled his career win total at Sharon to nine.
Slater and Kristyak turned in their season best finishes in second and third. In fact, Slater had yet to finish in the top five at any race this season, while Kristyak’s prior best was a fifth at Expo on July 11.
“He was a little faster than me on the starts- I just couldn’t get back to him,” acknowledged Slater- the 53-year-old Butler, Pa. runner-up. “Believe me, I was trying everything I had at the end. I could see guys down below me, but I didn’t want to give it up so I didn’t stay up there too long. On the restarts I was on the outside so I just gave it a Hail Mary for everything I had- I barely lifted. It was scary, but I kept it off the wall. I have to thank everyone that has helped me this year.”
“It’s been a long time to get on the mic,” expressed Kristyak- the 40-year-old Bristolville, Ohio third place finisher. “We’ve been changing everything on this car every night. Tonight I think we found something and we’ll stick with it. I can’t thank the team enough. I work them hard every night. I want to thank my wife and son along Brandon, Greg, and Scott for helping me out with this car this year. I love this division. I want to thank Sharon Speedway and Vicki Emig for what they’ve done with this division- it’s a really great division. I want to congratulate Chas (Wolbert)- he’s been doing great. It’s a tough. I have a lot of years of experience, but it’s taken all season to get where we are now.”
Krummert, who leads the Bicknell Weekly Series points, was fourth, which was good enough to earn him his first track title at Sharon. Kole Holden earned the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger gift card going 15th to fifth. It was Holden’s sixth straight top five finish at Sharon and was the third time in four weeks he’s finished fifth.
Brandon Ritchey, Josh Deems, Brian Schaffer, Gary Haupt, and Brian Sadler completed the top 10. Pat Adams, who was making just his third RUSH Sportsman Modified start and first ever with the Tour,
was selected as the Sherwood Wheels “Man of Steel” recipient. After qualifying just 34th fastest, Adams went fifth to second in the second last chance B main to garner the last feature starting spot then raced from 24th to 18th in the feature.
Rookie RUSH Sportsman Modified racer, Tony Tatgenhorst, made his first ever Tour start and set fast time in $100 Ohio Intra Express “Shock the Clock” Qualifying with a lap of 18.035. Heat wins went to Sadler, Wolbert, Krummert, and Gallagher. Alan Dellinger and Tatgenhorst won the last chance B mains. Slater won the dash to earn the pole for the feature.
“We have to thank all of the companies that supported this night with valuable giveaways,” stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “Each year we’ve been able to grow the Manufacturers Night. It’s come a long way from seven drivers sharing in $4,615 of product at the inaugural one back in 2014. To be able to increase the giveaways to over $20,000 and have 38 drivers show up four years later says so much about everyone’s belief in the division.”
The Bicknell Touring Series will resume action for the second and final appearance of the season at Sharon Speedway on September 7-8. Saturday’s feature will pay $800 to-win.
Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series Race #4 (25 laps, $600 to-win): 1. CHAS WOLBERT (c3) 2. Steve Slater (29) 3. Rob Kristyak (00) 4. Garrett Krummert (10S) 5. Kole Holden (2) 6. Brandon Ritchey (17) 7. Josh Deems (9D) 8. Brian Schaffer (41) 9. Gary Haupt (16) 10. Brian Sadler (5) 11. Alan Dellinger (Williams 8) 12. Kyle Martell (8) 13. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 14. Cameron Nastasi (615) 15. Blaze Myers (43JR) 16. Jessica Kriegisch (63) 17. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57) 18. Pat Adams (39) 19. Brandon Michaud (132) 20. Jacob Jordan (28J) 21. Jeremy Weaver (35W) 22. Darin Gallagher (Slater 29S) 23. Rocky Kugel (83) 24. Tony Tatgenhorst (63T).
DNQ for the feature: Josh Seippel (Myers 43X), Brian Foley, Jr. (Smith 3G), Michael Kristyak (404), Kevin Long (22), Jerry Schaffer (14), Amelia Clay (4S), Jason Hufnagel (048), Lexi Couch (51), Will Schaffer (4), Greg Porter (25), Todd Gabriel (33G), Preston Cope (24P), David Kalb, Jr. (11J), Ziggy Kugel (83X)-DSQ (seals).
Car Count: 38
Margin of Victory: 0.691 of a second
Feature Lap Leaders: Rocky Kugel (1-6), Chas Wolbert (7-25)
Dirt Defender “Defensive Drive of the Night”: Steve Slater
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down Hard Charger”: Kole Holden (+10)
Sherwood Wheels “Man of Steel”: Pat Adams
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Darin Gallagher
Ohio Intra Express “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fastest qualifier): 1. Tony Tatgenhorst 18.065 2. Chas Wolbert 18.165 3. Garrett Krummert 18.175 4. Brian Schaffer 18.252 5. Brian Sadler 18.256 6. Josh Deems 18.305 7. Chelsie Kriegisch 18.347 8. Darin Gallagher 18.380 9. Jacob Jordan 18.391 10. Rob Kristyak 18.436 11. Blaze Myers 18.487 12. Gary Haupt 18.494 13. Brandon Ritchey 18.505 14. Kevin Long 18.523 15. Kole Holden 18.525 16. Kyle Martell 18.550 17. Rocky Kugel 18.555 18. Jeremy Weaver 18.580 19. Steve Slater 18.587 20. Jordan Ehrenberg 18.703 21. Brandon Michaud 18.709 22. Cameron Nastasi 18.814 23. David Kalb, Jr. 18.859 24. Jessica Kriegisch 18.879 25. Preston Cope 18.894 26. Todd Gabriel 18.913 27. Jerry Schaffer 19.032 28. Greg Porter 19.032 29. Josh Seippel 19.059 30. Amelia Clay 19.187 31. Michael Kristyak 19.300 32. Brian Foley, Jr. 19.366 33. Jason Hufnagel 19.409 34. Pat Adams 19.476 35. Will Schaffer 19.537 36. Lexi Couch 20.206 37. Alan Dellinger NT 38. Ziggy Kugel DSQ.
Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to the A): 1. Sadler 2. R. Kugel 3. Ritchey 4. Tatgenhorst 5. Jordan 6. Dellinger 7. Michaud 8. Seippel 9. Hufnagel 10. Cope.
Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to the A): 1. Wolbert 2. Deems 3. R. Kristyak 4. Weaver 5. Nastasi 6. Gabriel 7. Clay 8. Adams 9. Long 10. Z. Kugel-DSQ
Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to the A): 1. Krummert 2. Slater 3. C. Kriegisch 4. Holden 5. Myers 6. J. Schaffer 7. M. Krisytak 8. W. Schaffer 9. Kalb.
Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to the A): 1. Gallagher 2. Haupt 3. B. Schaffer 4. Martell 5. Ehrenberg 6. J. Kriegisch 7. Porter 8. Foley 9. Couch.
Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to the A): 1. Dellinger 2. Michaud 3. Seippel 4. M. Kristyak 5. J. Schaffer 6. Hufnagel 7. W. Schaffer 8. Cope-DNS 9. Kalb-DNS.
Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to the A): 1. J. Kriegisch 2. Adams 3. Foley 4. Long 5. Clay 6. Couch 7. Porter 8. Gabriel 9. Z. Kugel-DSQ.
Dash (6 laps): 1. Slater 2. Kugel 3. Krummert 4. Wolbert 5. Deems 6. Haupt 7. Sadler 8. Gallagher.
2018 RUSH Sportsman Modified “Manufacturers Night” presented by MSD Performance Prize Winners List:
1. TBM Brakes- (2) F1 Tornado Calipers and (2) F3 Tornado Calipers & 3 Bottles of TBM Brake Fluid ($1,420) (Jeremy Weaver)
2. Alternative Power Sources- Yamaha PW3028 Pressure Washer ($790) (Chelsie Kriegisch)
3. Lincoln Electric- Power Mig 140C Welder & Utility Cart ($700) (Josh Seippel)
4. Animal Graphics- Complete Modified Wrap, Fully Printed Sides, Roof, Chutes ($700) (Amelia Clay)
5. Holley- 1 Holley 0-4777C Chromate 650 Carburetor ($650) (Gary Haupt)
6. Holley- 1 Holley 0-4777C Chromate 650 Carburetor ($650) (Rocky Kugel)
7. Classic Ink- Quick Crew (48 Piece) Apparel Package ($600) (Garrett Krummert)
8. Schoenfeld Headers & Exhaust- Complete RUSH Legal Header & Exhaust System ($550) (Chas Wolbert)
9. Schoenfeld Headers & Exhaust- Complete RUSH Legal Header & Exhaust System ($550) (Michael Kristyak)
10. Jones Racing Products- SBC 602 Crate Serpentine Water Pump & Power Steering Belt Drive Kit & 1 15″ Jones Hustler 3-Blade Fan ($540) (Pat Adams)
11. Jones Racing Products & Ingram Engines – SBC 602 Crate Serpentine Water Pump & Power Steering Belt Drive Kit & 1 15″ Jones Hustler 3-Blade Fan ($540) (Josh Deems)
12. Art’s Radiator- Modified Manifold Mounted Expansion Tank & Recovery Tank ($520) (Kole Holden)
13. MSD/K&N Filters- 1 8727CT Digital Soft Touch Rev Limiter & 1 Set 8.5 mm Super Conductor Wire Set/K&N $100 Gift Card ($518) (Todd Gabriel)
14. MSD/K&N Filters- 1 8727CT Digital Soft Touch Rev Limiter & 1 Set 8.5 mm Super Conductor Wire Set/K&N $100 Gift Card ($518) (Jason Hufnagel)
15. FK Rod Ends- 1 Complete Set of 4130 Black FK Rod Ends ($500) (Jessica Kriegisch)
16. FK Rod Ends- 1 Complete Set of 4130 Black FK Rod Ends ($500) (Will Schaffer)
17. Russell King Racing- $500 Gift Certificate ($500) (Brian Sadler)
18. Sherwood Wheels- 2 Sherwood Steel Wheels ($450) (Blaze Myers)
19. Sherwood Wheels- 2 Sherwood Steel Wheels ($450) (Brandon Ritchey)
20. Wrisco Industries- Package of 6 Sheets of White Aluminum ($432) (Preston Cope)
21. Wrisco Industries- Package of 6 Sheets of White Aluminum ($432) (Greg Porter)
22. Hoosier Tire/Dirt Defender/Race 1- 2 Hoosier Spec Tires/Dirt Defender Product Package/HEI Distributor Lock Out Kit ($405) (Lexi Couch)
23. Hoosier Tire/Dirt Defender/Race 1- 2 Hoosier Spec Tires/Dirt Defender Product Package/HEI Distributor Lock Out Kit ($405) (Jacob Jordan)
24. Frankland/Precise Racing Products- $300 Gift Certificate for Product or Repairs/$100 Precise Gift Card ($400) (Darin Gallagher)
25. Oakley/Precise Racing Products- 1 Pair Oakley Driving Gloves & 1 Pair Racing Shoes & $100 Precise Gift Card ($380) (Steve Slater)
26. Landrum Performance Springs/TBM Brakes- Package of 4 VB Standard Coil Springs/TBM Brake Fluid ($350) (Jerry Schaffer)
27. Landrum Performance Springs/TBM Brakes- Package of 4 VB Standard Coil Springs/TBM Brake Fluid ($350) (Jordan Ehrenberg)
28. Landrum Performance Springs/TBM Brakes- Package of 4 VB Standard Coil Springs/TBM Brake Fluid ($350) (Brandon Michaud)
29. Landrum Performance Springs/TBM Brakes- Package of 4 VB Standard Coil Springs/TBM Brake Fluid ($350) (Brian Foley, Jr.)
30. Landrum Performance Springs/Ultra-Shield- Package of 4 VB Standard Coil Springs/2 Boxes of Tear-Offs ($350) (Jordan Ehrenberg)
31. Landrum Performance Springs/Ultra-Shield- Package of 4 VB Standard Coil Springs/2 Boxes of Tear-Offs ($350) (Rob Kristyak)
32. Wedge Motorsports/TBM Brakes – 2 Bilstein RUSH Spec Shocks & TBM Brake Fluid ($350) (Preston Cope)
33. Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance- 1 Drum of RUSH 91 Fuel ($350) (Brian Schaffer)
34. Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance- 1 Drum of RUSH 91 Fuel ($350) (Tony Tatgenhorst)
35. Wrisco Industries/955 Automotive- Two Sheets of White Aluminum/ Complete GM 602 Tune-Up Package – GM Valve Springs, Oil, Plugs, Filter & $100 Precise Gift Card ($345) (Jessica Kriegisch)
36. Big Daddy’s Speed Center- Complete Bumper & Side Rail Kit for a Bicknell or Teo Chassis ($325) (Brandon Ritchey)
37. Bilstein Shocks/Dirt Defender- 2 Bilstein RUSH Shocks & Dirt Defender Product Certificate ($320) (Kevin Long)
38. Bilstein Shocks/Dirt Defender- 2 Bilstein RUSH Shocks & Dirt Defender Product Certificate ($320) (David Kalb, Jr.)
39. Dynamic Drivelines- Steel Driveshaft ($300) (Kyle Martell)
40. Schwartzmiller Ground Maintenance- $300 Precise Racing Products Gift Card ($300) (Alan Dellinger)
RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Earl’s Performance Plumbing, Quick Fuel Technology, FK Rod Ends, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Dynamic Drivelines, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Schwartzmiller Ground Maintenance,CrateInsider.com, RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at email@example.com and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300 and fax is 724-964-0604. The RUSH Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sportsmanmods and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSportMods.