CHAD RUHLMAN OUT-DUELS ZACH MORROW FOR 2ND LERNERVILLE RUSH SPRINT CAR WIN; WELL OVER $10,000 OF PRODUCT DISTRIBUTED TO RECORD 16-CAR FIELD FOR INAUGURAL "MANUFACTURERS NIGHT" PRESENTED BY MSD
By Mike Leone
August 31, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Sarver, PA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sprint Car Series powered by Pace Performance returned to Lernerville Speedway on Friday night for the inaugural running of the "Sprint Car Spectacular" featuring four divisions of Sprint Cars along with the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Bonnell's Rod Shop Weekly Series event #19 attracted a record 16-car field for the first year division's inaugural "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance as well over $10,000 in product was shared amongst the competing racers.
Chad Ruhlman and Zach Morrow picked up right where they left off from last Saturday's event at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway trading slide jobs for the lead throughout the 20-lap feature on Friday night. Ruhlman though was able to withstand the pressure as he won for the second time in as many tries this year at Lernerville. Ruhlman, who leads the $5,000 to-win Bonnell's Rod Shop Weekly Series Championship, also had a lot of success part of the MFG Night drawings taking home $1,265 in product including a Holley RUSH Sprint Carburetor and a complete set of 4130 Black FK Rod Ends!
"That was a lot of fun and Zach (Morrow) made me work a lot harder than I wanted," expressed the 41-year-old Bemus Point, NY standout. "I really hope we put on a good show for you fans. This class is great. I was always intrigued with the non-wing cars, but never had an opportunity around here to do it. I have to thank Vicki (Emig) for everything she does with RUSH and these Manufacturers Nights. I hated to see that happen to my brother as I was wanting to race more with him."
It was three-wide for the lead racing off turn two on the opening lap between pole-sitter Scott Hawkins, Morrow, and Brian Ruhlman as Morrow would lead the first lap. Chad Ruhlman started in sixth and was halfway to the front on lap two when he passed his brother Brian, who was making his second RUSH start and first at Lernerville. Brian didn't go away reclaiming third on lap three before Chad got back by for good on the fourth circuit.
Chad then made a key pass of Hawkins for second on lap five before action was slowed when Brian Woodhall made heavy contact with the turn four wall. It was a tough ending for Woodhall, who was moving forward in his first RUSH race and first Sprint Car start in about 15 years. Woodhall didn't go away empty-handed as he won the top MFG Night prize of TBM Brake calipers valued at $800 along with a drum of RUSH Visual Methanol for another $225 value. Woodhall became the 20th RUSH Sprint Car to compete during the inaugural season.
Back under green, Chad Ruhlman would make the official winning pass of Morrow to lead lap six, while seventh starting Shawn Smith charged to third. Smith and Hawkins put on a great show traded the third spot for four laps before Smith made the pass stick for good on lap nine. Three-time 2018 Lernerville winner, Gale Ruth, Jr., passed Hawkins for fourth on lap 14 then two laps later moved to second by Smith.
Morrow was able to run down Ruhlman and two different times temporarily took the lead, but Ruhlman slid him back to continue leading the laps. Morrow was setting up a final lap slide job in turn one when the yellow was displayed for Hawkins, who spun and collected Brian Ruhlman ending the night for both racers.
The caution wasn't what Morrow wanted to see as Ruhlman got a great restart and Morrow wasn't able to make a serious bid as Ruhlman's 11th win of the season came by 0.599 of a second in his North Star Unlimited/Rand Machining/Premier Communications/Ruhlman Race Cars/Close Racing Supply-sponsored #87R.
Morrow recorded his sixth straight top five Lernerville finish and 13th overall of the season in 17 starts. Ironically, Morrow won the Yamaha PW3028 Power Washer valued at $790 from his sponsor, Alternative Power Sources! Ruth, who is currently second in points and leads the "Wednesday Night Lightning" Series points at Lernerville, was third and left with $1,000 in MFG Night prizes including a Holley RUSH Sprint Carburetor and a drum of RUSH Visual Methanol!
After recording just one top five finish in his first 12 races during his rookie Sprint Car campaign, former Stock Car racer, Shawn Smith, continued his impressive late season great runs with a fourth place for his fifth straight top five finish! Mechanical problems in his heat race forced Arnie Kent to started 15th in the feature. Kent was halfway up to the front when he slid off the turn three banking and fell nearly to the back again before working his way to fifth at the finish.
Steve Cousins won his first heat race, while Ruth won the second heat race. Cousins, who is a raw rookie, finished 10th in the feature, but did collect $890 in MFG Night drawing a including a complete set of 4130 Black FK Rod Ends, a $200 Earl's Performance gift certificate, and an MSD Rev Limiter.
The next RUSH Sprint Car event will be at Sharon Speedway on Friday, September 7 in the second and final appearance at the Hartford, Ohio oval. The $500 to-win, $125 to-start event will be part of night one of the "Apple Festival Nationals". Racing begins at 6 p.m.
Sweeney RUSH Sprint Cars Bonnell's Rod Shop Weekly Series Race #19 (20 laps): 1. CHAD RUHLMAN (87R) 2. Zach Morrow (27) 3. Gale Ruth, Jr. (Culver 1c) 4. Shawn Smith (36) 5. Arnie Kent (18) 6. Brad Blackshear (19) 7. Brandon Hawkins (27H) 8. Joe McEwen (Mahoney/Eckart 9J) 9. Steve Pedley (21) 10. Steve Cousins (56) 11. Jim Kurpakus (72B) 12. Scott Hawkins (37) 13. Brian Ruhlman (49) 14. Phil Thornton (35) 15. Brian Woodhall (8B) 16. Dave Hawkins (27)-DNS.
Inaugural RUSH Sprint Car "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance Product Winners List:
1. TBM Brakes- 1 F1 Left Front Caliper and 1 F4 Rear Inboard Caliper ($800) (Brian Woodhall)
2. Alternative Power Sources- 1 Yamaha PW3028 Power Washer ($790) (Zach Morrow)
3. Holley- 1 4150HP 750 CFM Methanol Carburetor ($765) (Gale Ruth, Jr.)
4. Holley- 1 4150HP 750 CFM Methanol Carburetor ($765) (Chad Ruhlman)
5. FK Rod Ends- One Complete Set of 4130 Black FK Rod Ends ($500) (Chad Ruhlman)
6. FK Rod Ends- One Complete Set of 4130 Black FK Rod Ends ($500) (Steve Cousins)
7. Earl's Performance/MSD- $200 Gift Certificate/One 8727CT Digital Soft Touch Rev Limiter ($390) (Steve Cousins)
8. Earl's Performance/MSD- $200 Gift Certificate/One 8727CT Digital Soft Touch Rev Limiter ($390) (Steve Pedley)
9. Earl's Performance/MSD- $200 Gift Certificate/One 8727CT Digital Soft Touch Rev Limiter ($390) (Dave Hawkins)
10. Earl's Performance/MSD- $200 Gift Certificate/One 8727CT Digital Soft Touch Rev Limiter ($390) (Phil Thornton)
11. Jones Racing Products- One Crate Radius Tooth Water Pump Belt Drive System ($370) (Shawn Smith)
12. Hoosier Tire- 2 RUSH Sprint Car Tires ($358) (Brian Ruhlman)
13. Hoosier Tire- 2 RUSH Sprint Car Tires ($358) (Steve Pedley)
14. Out-Pace Products/Intense Fabrication & Design- One Steering Arm & Center Link/Complete Front & Rear Bumper Package ($310) (Steve Pedley)
15. Benic Enterprises- $300 Gift Certificate ($300) (Brad Blackshear)
16. Pancho's Racing Products- $300 Gift Certificate ($300) (Joe McEwen)
17. Frankland Racing Supply- $300 Gift Certificate For Parts or Service ($300) (Jim Kurpakus)
18. Triple X Race Components- $300 Gift Certificate (Redeemable at Precise Racing Products) ($300) (Brad Blackshear)
19. Bilstein- 2 RUSH/Bilstein Sprint Shocks ($270) (Zach Morrow)
20. Holley/Intense Fabrication & Design- Vent Tube Roll-Over Valve/Complete Front & Rear Bumper Package ($262) (Scott Hawkins)
21. Holley/Intense Fabrication & Design- Vent Tube Roll-Over Valve/Complete Front & Rear Bumper Package ($262) (Brandon Hawkins)
22. Precise Racing Products/Ultra-Shield- $200 Gift Certificate/Two Boxes of Tear-Offs ($250) (Dave Hawkins)
23. Insinger Performance- 1 Drum of RUSH Visual Methanol ($225) (Gale Ruth, Jr.)
24. Insinger Performance- 1 Drum of RUSH Visual Methanol ($225) (Arnie Kent)
25. Insinger Performance- 1 Drum of RUSH Visual Methanol ($225) (Scott Hawkins)
26. Insinger Performance- 1 Drum of RUSH Visual Methanol ($225) (Brian Woodhall)
27. Schoenfeld Headers- 1 Complete Set Headers, Part #1022LCM2 ($225) (Jim Kurpakus)
Keizer Aluminum Wheels- Five $50 Off Certificates Towards the Purchase of a Wheel ($250) (Zach Morrow, Brandon Hawkins, Scott Hawkins, Phil Thornton, Jim Kurpakus)
RUSH Sprint Car marketing partners include partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bonnell's Rod Shop, Bilstein Shocks, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Frankland Racing Supply, Earl's Performance Plumbing, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Precise Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Lincoln Electric, Pancho's Racing Products, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Landrum Performance Spring, RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at [email protected] 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/rushsprintcars and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSprints