FASTRAK NE LM Tour Sharon 8/18 story & results; Over $30K distributed in prizes
$30,000 IN PRIZES ATTRACTS 47 CARS TO “MANUFACTURERS NIGHT” AT SHARON; MAX BLAIR & MIKE PEGHER SPLIT FASTRAK NE TOUR EVENTS
By Mike Leone
August 18, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Hartford, OH)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series returned to Sharon Speedway on Saturday night for races #4 and 5 of the season at the beautiful Hartford, Ohio oval. The inaugural “Manufacturers Night” attracted a Sharon record 47 cars as approximately $30,000 was awarded to race teams. Each team went away with a minimum of a $250 prize in addition to their race earnings (a separate press release will be forthcoming). The night was races #18 and 19 on the record 25-event 2012 slate.
“I never would have imagined last winter that Manufacturers Night would blossom into this unbelievable that took place,” expressed sixth year Northeast Co-Director Vicki Emig. “When we initially announced the night, our goal was $15,000 and we were able to double that! Words cannot express the sincere appreciation we feel for all of our own great sponsors along with many new companies that have joined the effort to make this event a huge success! It was awesome to see the excellent turnout of cars for this event as well.”
The night kicked off with the May 27 make-up feature. In that 25-lap affair, Max Blair took advantage of a front row starting spot to lead all 25 laps for the Bill Emig Memorial victory. Blair’s record-breaking Series ninth win of the season was worth $1,500 plus an additional $500 for being the overall “Wild Card Weekend” Champion. Blair also received the $100 Genesis Shocks “Top Dog of the Night” certificate.
“The track is really fast,” expressed the 22-year-old Centerville, Pa. point leader. “The engine got really, really hot that’s why I had to get in there to cool it down. Anytime Mike Pegher is up front, you’re always worried he’s going to get by you. He’s one of the best there is. It’s fun racing with him. I didn’t know if I should take the top or bottom, but it’s Sharon so you always take the top. That’s what I did and it worked out.”
Blair rode the outside past pole-sitter Joe Martin for the lead with Pegher, Jamie Brown, and Will Thomas III in tow. Martin stuck on the bottom and raced side-by-side with Blair on laps two and three, but Blair had the momentum to continue to lead. Thomas, who started sixth, passed Brown for fourth on lap three as Ruhlman followed in fifth.
Lapped traffic came into play on lap eight as Thomas caught up to Pegher, Martin and Blair to make it a four-car race for the lead. Pegher snuck by Martin for second in turn four on lap 10. Ruhlman then caught the first four as five cars were set for a shootout, but Jason Stanke slowed to bring out the event’s only caution with 12 laps scored.
Thomas and eighth starting Josh Holtgraver got a great restart to move into third and fourth past Martin. Holtgraver though would exit the event on lap 16 yielding fourth back to Martin. Holtgraver was chosen as The Brake Man’s “Tough Brake of the Night. Blair would deal with lapped traffic over the final three laps, but Pegher wasn’t able to get by as Blair celebrated his all-time leading 21st career Northeast Touring Series victory in his Specialty Products/Rohrer Trucking/Moody & Son Welding/Genesis Shocks-sponsored #111.
Pegher was second for the fourth time this season. Thomas’ third was his 10th straight top nine finish on the Touring Series. Martin’s fifth was his best finish since a fourth on July 4 at Expo. Ruhlman was fifth over Matt Latta. Jamie Brown’s seventh matched a career best Tour finish dating back to July 1, 2011 at Raceway 7. Lauren Longbrake earned the $100 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger certificate for passing 11 cars to finish eighth. Josh Double and Butch Lambert completed the top 10. Brad Kling was 13th and the final car on the lead lap to earn the Utsinger’s Towing free Hoosier Tire.
For awhile it looked like Max Blair was going to make it a clean sweep of the $3,500 night and his third straight Tour win, but nemesis Mike Pegher, Jr. had something to say about it this time. After finishing second in the night’s make-up feature, Pegher passed Blair on lap 20 and pulled away for just his second win of the season and first since April 20 at Roaring Knob, worth $1,500. The thrilling 25 lapper was one of the best of the season as Blair and Pegher put on a quite a show for the fans trading slide jobs plus the racing through the pack was tremendous and very clean.
“We’ve been struggling all year long,” acknowledged the 26-year-old Wexford, Pa. driver. “We’ve been breaking stuff and having mechanical failures. I have to thank my crew. If it wasn’t for them coming and working on the car every night at the shop and coming to the races with me, I wouldn’t be able to do this.”
“I knew if I couldn’t get him down in (turns) one and two on that restart, I wasn’t going to get him,” continued Pegher. “He was just a little bit better than me on the outside. There was a little bit more traction on the bottom so I was hoping he’d take the outside on that restart. We’ve had our ups and downs with Max, but it’s always fun to race with him.”
For the second time of the night, Blair started second and raced into the lead; this time past Holtgraver with Pegher and sixth starting Ruhlman in third and fourth. Pegher and Holtgraver raced side-by-side on lap two with Pegher using the outside to get by for second. Thomas started eighth and was already into the top five after two laps.
Blair and Pegher began to distance themselves from the field on lap four. Pegher was right on Blair on lap five. Pegher stuck right with Blair as they caught lapped traffic on lap 11 as Pegher pulled alongside. Blair though had enough to temporarily hold on, while Ruhlman caught Holtgraver on lap 12.
Shane Bambarger, Bobby Whitling, and Ryan Montgomery tangled on lap 13 right in front of the leaders in turn three. Thankfully everyone else avoided the three spinning race cars. Montgomery was selected as The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night.” When racing resumed, Ruhlman and ninth starting Dan Angelicchio passed Holtgraver for third and fourth respectively.
Pegher put a slider on Blair on lap 15, but Blair came back by to continue to lead. Pegher and Blair raced hard, side-by-side on laps 15-18 never touching and using the entire race track. While the front two were going at it, Ruhlman and Angelicchio had a race their own going trading third and fourth back and forth.
Thomas, the Sharon point leader, saw his streak of 10 straight top nine finishes end when he suffered a flat tire to bring out just the second and final caution of the race with 19 laps recorded. Blair chose the outside for the restart. Pegher stuck with Blair down the frontstretch and made a great move in turn one that this time stuck coming out of turn two for the lead.
Once in front, Pegher pulled and his margin of victory was 1.863 seconds to end a 16-race winless drought on the Tour. The win was Pegher’s 15th of his career, second all-time behind Blair and came in the Lynn Geisler-owned, #1 Cochran/Triple-S Auto Outlet/Alternative Power Sources/Zero Wraps-sponsored Rocket Chassis #1c.
Blair received the $100 Genesis Shocks “Top Dog of the Night” certificate for the second time of the night. It was a good night for Ruhlman who improved on his fifth place finish in the first feature with a third place effort. It was Ruhlman’s seventh top five of the season as he continues to maintain runner-up in points. Angelicchio’s fourth place made for his eighth top five of the season in 16 starts. Holtgraver dropped to fifth, but matched his best finish of the season.
Rocky Kugel had an impressive sixth for his best career Tour finish in his fifth year of racing FASTRAK. Completing the top 10 were Latta, Martin, Ben Black, and Dave Airgood. After taking a Track provisional, Josh Double charged from the 25th starting spot to finish 11th and received the $100 Precise “Pedal Down” Hard Charger certificate. Dereck Frank was 20th and the final car on the lead lap to earn the Utsinger’s Towing free Hoosier Tire.
Nico Dabecco ended the big night leading all eight non-stop laps of the Non-Qualifier for the $150 victory. Dabecco, who won the $200 Pace Performance “Futures Cup” Trifecta race on July 7 at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway, had to hold off a hard charge by Dennis Lunger, Jr. Dabecco became the 25th different Non-Qualifier winner in the 32 races run all-time in the Dan Karalagas-owned Treasure Hunt Jewelers/D&T Towing/Frankland Rearend-sponsored #1Freek.
“I just tried to hug the bottom the best I could,” stated the 15-year-old Pittsburgh, Pa. driver. “I’m sure if I drifted up he would have gotten me. I have to thank my sponsors, my family, and everyone that helps on the car.”
Lunger started the race from fifth and passed Colton Gearhart and Kyle Wiser on lap one for third. Lunger then got under and past Jason Stetson in turn four on lap three for second. Lunger caught Dabecco on lap five, but just couldn’t get by him on the final lap and had to settle for second. Stetson was third over Gearhart, who made his first ever Tour start, and Wiser.
Heat winners were Blair, Angelicchio, Ruhlman, Holtgraver, and Pegher. Brian Booher won the K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash for the second time this season and received the $100 certificate. Black was second for the $50 K&N certificate. Latta, Tommy Schirnhofer, and Kling finished third through fifth and received $25 cash.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series Race #18 May 27, 2012 Bill Emig Memorial Make-up Feature (25 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. MAX BLAIR 2. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 3. Will Thomas III (9) 4. Joe Martin (55) 5. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 6. Matt Latta (Bidwell B1D) 7. Jamie Brown (135) 8. Lauren Longbrake (27) 9. Josh Double (38) 10. Butch Lambert (27) 11. Shane Weaver (Ruffner 325x) 12. John Over (K2) 13. Brad Kling (Powell 100) 14. Nico Dabecco (Karalagas 1Freek) 15. Shane Bambarger (68B) 16. Clay Ruffo (14R) 17. Doug Horton (Dalton D2) 18. Ryan Montgomery (12) 19. Bobby Rohrer (11) 20. Josh Holtgraver (00) 21. Jason Stanke (44) 22. Bobby Whitling (7W) 23. John Garvin, Jr. (J4)-DNS 24. Kyle Lukon (1)-DNS 25. Jason Genco (29J)-DNS 26. Billy Henry, Jr. (McGee 21*)-DNS 27. Colton Flinner (75)-DNS 28. Tom Bateman (B8)-DNS 29. Bud Watson (Lukon 1B)-DNS. DNQ: Andrew Satterlee (2), Michael Mitchell (19). Note: Lauren Longbrake took a Series provisional & Doug Horton replaced Nolan Dalton.
Lap Leaders: Blair (1-25)
Genesis Shocks “Top Dog of the Night”: Max Blair
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Lauren Longbrake (+11)
Utsinger’s Towing Hoosier Tire Giveaway: Brad Kling
Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night”: Josh Holtgraver
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series Race #19 (25 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. MIKE PEGHER, JR. (Geisler 1c) 2. Max Blair (111) 3. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 4. Dan Angelicchio (14) 5. Josh Holtgraver (00) 6. Rocky Kugel (21KRT) 7. Matt Latta (Bidwell B1D) 8. Joe Martin (55) 9. Ben Black (27B) 10. Dave Airgood, Jr. (42) 11. Josh Double (38) 12. Brian Booher (Hoover 00H) 13. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. (8) 14. Brad Kling (Powell 100) 15. Butch Lambert (27) 16. Andrew Wylie (84) 17. Eric Wilson (27W) 18. Justin Tatlow (Kratts 81) 19. Jason Knowles (4) 20. Dereck Frank (16) 21. Will Thomas III (9) 22. Bill Cunningham (59) 23. Chad Wright (6) 24. Shane Bambarger (68B) 25. Ryan Montgomery (12) 26. Bobby Whitling (7W). Note: Ryan Montgomery took a Series provisional & Josh Double took a Track provisional.)
Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $150 to-win): 1. Nico Dabecco (Karalagas 1Freek) 2. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 3. Jason Stetson (69s) 4. Colton Gearhart (Willar T3) 5. Kyle Wiser (Price 34) 6. W.L. Stile (2$) 7. Clay Ruffo (14R) 8. Pat Willar (39) 9. Shane Weaver (Ruffner 325x)-DNS 10. Junior Peters (00)-DNS 11. Jamie Brown (135)-DNS 12. Bobby Pifer III (6P)-DNS 13. Bobby Rohrer (11)-DNS 14. Joel Prosser (77)-DNS 15. Lauren Longbrake (27)-DNS 16. Chad Shearer (42c)-DNS 17. Bob Diver (23)-DNS 18. Breyton Santee (9)-DNS 19. John Over (K2)-DNS 20. Doug Horton (46)-DNS 21. Jason Stanke (44)-DNS.
Heat Winners: Blair, Angelicchio, Ruhlman, Holtgraver & Pegher
K&N Cold Air Induction Dash: 1. Brian Booher 2. Ben Black 3. Matt Latta 4. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. 5. Brad Kling
B Main Winners: Whitling & Cunningham
Feature Lap Leaders: Blair (1-19), Pegher (20-25)
Car Count: 47
Genesis Shocks “Top Dog of the Night”: Max Blair
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Josh Double (+14)
Utsinger’s Towing Hoosier Tire Giveaway: Dereck Frank
Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night”: Ryan Montgomery
2012 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series Results
Date/Track/State/Winner/# of Wins/To-Win Amount/Car Count
April 1 Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex (PA)/Max Blair (1)/$3,000/47
April 20 Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex (PA)/Mike Pegher, Jr. (1)/$1,200/42
May 13 Eriez Speedway (PA)/Max Blair (2)/$1,200/32
May 20 Humberstone Speedway (ON)/Max Blair (3)/$2,000/26
May 26 Sharon Speedway (OH)/Max Blair (4)/$1,500/34
June 8 Dog Hollow Speedway (PA) /Max Blair (5)/$1,200/32 (41 between the 2 nights)
June 16 McKean County Raceway (PA)/Ryan Montgomery (1)/$1,200/24
June 23 Sharon Speedway (OH)/Joe Martin (1)/$2,000/35
July 4 Expo Speedway (OH)/Will Thomas III (1)/$2,000/30
July 5 McKean County Raceway (PA)/Max Blair (6)/$1,200/49
July 6 Raceway 7 (OH)/Max Blair (7)/$1,200/33
July 7 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (PA)/Chad Ruhlman (1)/41
July 8 Eriez Speedway (PA)/Matt Latta (1)/22
July 14 Mercer Raceway Park (PA)/Will Thomas III (2)/24
July 21 Sharon Speedway (OH)/Sammy Stile (1)/42
Aug 11 Black Rock Speedway (NY)/Wayne Robertson (1)/32
Aug 16 McKean County Raceway (PA)/Max Blair (8)/39
Aug 18 Sharon Speedway (OH)/Max Blair (9)/31 (5/27/12 make-up)
Aug 18 Sharon Speedway (OH)/Mike Pegher, Jr. (2)/47
The next race for the Sweeney Chevrolet FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series will be at Sharon Speedway on Saturday, September 15. There will also be a Weekly Series event on Friday night the 14th as part of the “Apple Festival Nationals”
2012 FASTRAK Northeast marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tires, Original Pizza Logs, K&N Filters, The Brake Man, Utsinger’s Towing, Precise Racing Products, Genesis Shocks, VP Fuels, Beyea Custom Headers, H&H Racing Equipment, High Gear Speed Shop, Hyperco, Jake’s Golf Carts, Lincoln Electric, Wrisco Aluminum, and Wylie Race Cars.
You can reach co-directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone at the FASTRAK Northeast office at 724-964-9300. E-mail to email@example.com and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. The office is open daily late mornings and after 1:30 p.m. For more information, check out the FASTRAK Northeast website at www.fastraknortheast.com. Become our fan on ******** at www.********.com/fastraknortheast.
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