By MIKE LEONE
HARTFORD, OH – After completing heat races back on September 7, 2018 in night one of the “Apple Festival Nationals” at Sharon Speedway for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modified Series powered by Pace Performance, rain washed out night two on September 8. Thus with Sharon’s 2018 season completed, night two was postponed to Saturday night, which finally kicked off the 2019 season. Due to the make-up occurring in the new season, it became a non-point Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Touring Series event; however, Hovis Weekly Series points were awarded. A total of 36 different drivers competed in the event.
Chas Wolbert started the 2019 season right where he left off in 2018- in victory lane. After ending the season winning the final four Sportsman Modified features at Sharon including the “Manufacturers Night” Tour event, Wolbert extended his win streak to five by capturing the 25-lap make-up feature event on Saturday night. Despite starting eighth, Wolbert made the winning pass of Garrett Krummert on lap 15 to nail down the $800 victory.
“This is crazy and awesome,” expressed the 24-year-old Warren, Ohio resident. “It’s 2019, but the same car from last year and only looks a little different. I was happy I got to second when I did. I utilized the top on the initial start and then the middle, but Krummert is such a good driver with all of his background and experience. He’s just an all-around awesome guy. I was a little worried for a bit, but you just have to get comfortable and whatever happens, happens. I have to thank God first because without him I wouldn’t be here. I have to thank RUSH- Mike (Leone), Vicki (Emig), and yourself (Brian Spaid) along with Sharon Speedway and all of the track officials, plus all of my sponsors.”
Krummert raced out to an early big advantage over Gary Haupt, while Wolbert advanced five spots on the opening lap to third. Wolbert caught Haupt on lap three and drove under the former Late Model racer for second on lap four. Rob Kristyak started sixth and was on the move taking fourth from Josh Deems on lap six then ran down Haupt on lap 11. The two were racing side-by-side for third on lap 13 when the event’s only stoppage occurred when Jordan Ehrenberg got upside down in turn two after catching an infield tire. He was okay.
When racing resumed on lap 14, Kristyak made the pass of Haupt for third; meanwhile, Wolbert and Krummert were battling side-by-side for the lead with Wolbert on the bottom and Krummert on the top. Wolbert slipped by Krummert on the 15th circuit for the winning move. Kristyak then went to work on Krummert for two laps before making the pass for runner-up on lap 17.
Kristyak though would be unable to mount a challenge over the final eight laps as Wolbert marched on in his Alcon Mechanical/Dunkin Donuts of Warren, OH/C.T. Wolbert Trucking/Walters Building Co./Ohio Intra Express/Russ King Racing-sponsored #10s by a winning margin of 3.392 seconds. The victory was Wolbert’s fifth career in Touring Series competition and 10th overall in his career at Sharon.
After finishing a season best third in the 2018 finale at Sharon, Kristyak did one spot better to open the 2019 season matching his best finish throughout the circuit since joining the class. After leading the first 14 laps, Krummert dropped to third at the finish. Kole Holden came on late to finish fourth as Haupt slipped to fifth.
Completing the top 10 were Josh Deems, Jeremy Weaver, Blaze Myers, Jacob Jordan from 18th, and David Kalb, Jr. Krummert, Kalb, and Deems won the heat races back on September 7, while Pat Adams and Brandon Ritchey won the last chance B mains on Saturday night.
Hovis Weekly Series action will continue at Sharon each of the next two Saturday nights, which will include the debut of the “Wheelman” Non-Winners race presented by C&R Tire and Ohio Intra Express. The first Hovis Tour points event will be on Sunday, May 26 at Tyler County Speedway for $800 to-win.
Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Touring Series (25 laps, $800 to-win): 1. CHAS WOLBERT (c3) 2. Rob Kristyak (00) 3. Garrett Krummert (Schaffer 10S) 4. Kole Holden (2) 5. Gary Haupt (16) 6. Josh Deems (9D) 7. Jeremy Weaver (35W) 8. Blaze Myers (43JR) 9. Jacob Jordan (28J) 10. David Kalb, Jr. (11J) 11. Jessica Kriegisch (63) 12. Brandon Ritchey (17) 13. Joe Lockhart (Degroat 03) 14. Jacob Wolfe (7) 15. Greg Porter (25) 16. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 17. Pat Adams (39) 18. Preston Cope (24P) 19. Amelia Clay (4S) 20. Calvin Clay (12C) 21. Tony Tatgenhorst (63T) 22. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57) 23. Cameron Nastasi (615) 24. Brandon Albert (30)-DNS 25. Will Thomas III (9)-DNS 26. Shayne Izzo (86)-DNS 27. Rocky Kugel (83)-DNS 28. Kyle Martell (8)-DNS.
DNQ for the feature: Clayton Deems (55D), John McMillen (6), Jim Rasey (32), Alan Dellinger (Williams 8), Max Smoker (Kristyak 404), Kyler Jolley (Myers 43X), Brian Foley, Jr. (Smith 3G), Steve Slater (29).
Heat 1 (9/7/18)(8 laps, top 6 transfer to the A): 1. Krummert 2. Haupt 3. J. Kriegisch 4. Izzo 5. Ehrenberg 6. Porter 7. Adams 8. Smoker 9. Jolley 10. Slater.
Heat 2 (9/7/18) (8 laps, top 6 transfer to the A): 1. Kalb 2. R. Kristyak 3. Thomas 4. Kugel 5. Weaver 6. Myers 7. Dellinger 8. A. Clay 9. Nastasi 10. Cope.
Heat 3 (9/7/18) (8 laps, top 6 transfer to the A): 1. J. Deems 2. Wolbert 3. Holden 4. Tatgenhorst 5. Martell 6. C. Kriegisch 7. Ritchey 8. Jordan 9. Foley.
Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, top 5 transfer to the A): 1. Adams 2. Wolfe 3. A. Clay 5. C. Clay 5. Nastasi 6. C. Deems 7. Rasey 8. Jolley-DNS 9. Foley-DNS.
Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, top 5 transfer to the A): 1. Ritchey 2. Jordan 3. Lockhart 4. Cope 5. Albert 6. McMillen 7. Dellinger-DNS 8. Smoker-DNS 9. Slater-DNS.
RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC & Pace Performance 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, FK Rod Ends, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, 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, Trailer-Alarms.com, Bonnell’s Rod Shop, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, CrateInsider.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 the Sportsman Modified Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushsportsmanmods and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSportMods.