MICHAEL REFT WINS RICHEST CRATE LATE MODEL RACE IN THE HISTORY OF PPMS, CARL BOWSER TOPS SPRINTS
Imperial, PA (September 3, 2016) Michael Reft won the biggest race of his career on Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. Reft led all 40 laps of the 27th Annual Jook George Steel City Fall Classic for the Precise Racing Products RUSH Late Models, earning $4110 for his efforts. Carl Bowser was the winner of the Falconi’s Moon Township Automotive Sprint Monster for the Winged 410 Sprints, completing the 20 lap distance in 6 minutes and 44 seconds.
Other winners on the night of racing where the point races tightened in three of the four divisions were Todd Weldon in the Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman, Dave Sheriff in the Miley BP Car Wash Hobby Stocks, and Ben Anton in the Imperial Heights Garage Young Guns. Nick Ritchey topped the visiting RUSH Modifieds, with the open Four Cylinder win went to Bill Fuchs.
A field of 27 Precise Racing Products RUSH Late Models assembled for the event, with track point leader John Mollick turning the fastest lap in time trials of 20.496. Mollick, Daryl Charlier, and Michael Reft took the three qualifying heats, with the top two finishers from each making the Dash. Will Thomas won the Dash over Reft, and they would lead 26 starters to the green flag for the 40 laps of the 27th Annual Jook George Steel City Fall Classic. Following a complete restart, Reft moved into the early lead holding off Thomas. Fourth starting Daryl Charlier moved up to challenge, taking second from Thomas on lap 3. Third starting Mollick fell back to fourth, but passed Thomas for third on lap 10. Charlier moved in to challenge Reft for the lead, but his race would come to an end on lap 13 as his car rolled to a stop to bring out the yellow flag. Back to green, Mollick would challenge Reft for the lead, but he would roll to a stop to bring out the next caution period with 23 laps in. Late restarts with 36 and 37 laps complete would allow the competition a shot at the race leader, but Reft was up to every challenge as he added his name to the prestigious list of winners in the Jook George event. For Reft, it was his first victory of the season and his fourth in the division, and by far the biggest with his $4110 top prize. Second place went to eighth starting Justin Lamb, who was 1.969 seconds behind at the finish, and he used the finish to tighten the point race. Wayne Robertson advanced from 17th starting position to finish third, with Jason Knowles moving from 16th to fourth. Fifth went to Mike Pegher, Jr., as Steve Beatty, 22nd starting Jake Gunn, Thomas, Brian Knowles from 18th, and Bryce Davis rounded out the top ten. Special thanks goes out to Brandon Lockwich for his efforts of raising sponsorship to bolster the payoff, and to everybody that contributed to the event. The point race tightened considerably with one point night remaining. Mollick still holds the lead by three over Charlier, with Lamb four points behind Charlier, and Ben Policz in fourth just 15 points out of the lead.
Carl Bowser and Dan Kuriger led the 20 lap Falconi’s Moon Township Automotive Sprint Monster to the green flag. Bowser took the early lead, as third starting Jack Sodeman, Jr. spun at the bottom of turn four working the first lap, but was able to continue after losing several positions. Kuriger closed on Bowser, and got a nose inside of the leader on lap 6. But Bowser moved away after the brief challenge, leaving Kuriger to fend off a challenge from A.J. Flick once the leaders hit race traffic. Flick took second from Kuriger on lap 9, but Bowser had a good lead at this point. Bowser worked race traffic to perfection over the closing laps, as he went on to a 6.239 second victory. Bowser swept both sprint car features held at the track this season, giving him a career total of five, tying him with Danny Holtgraver for the most wins by an active sprint driver. He is still well behind the 16 of all time win leader Ed Lynch, Jr. and the seven of second all time winner Johnny Beaber. Behind Flick in second was Sye Lynch, who was the fastest qualifier earlier in the evening with a lap of 18.507. Kuriger was fourth, with Brandon Matus fifth. Darin Gallagher, Sodeman, Brent Matus, Rod George, and John Garvin, Jr. filled the top ten. Bowser and Garvin won heat races over the 19 car field.
Bob Schwartzmiller took the lead at the start of the 15 lap Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman feature event, after a first lap incident forced a complete restart. Schwartzmiller led through a lap 5 caution period, which would be the last one of the race. While Schwartzmiller controlled the restart, Todd Weldon made a strong challenge on the inside and took over the race lead on lap 6. Fifth starting Weldon would control the remaining distance to pick up his fifth win of the season and eighth of his career in the division. Schwartzmiller settled for second, 5.248 seconds behind at the finish. Dave McManus came home third, and can clinch the point championship by pulling onto the track in next week’s racing program. Ricky Steigerwald was fourth with Bill Robertson fifth. Heat winners were Steigerwald and Schwartzmiller.
Nick Ritchey captured his second feature win of the season in the third event this season for the RUSH Modifieds. Starting fourth, Ritchey moved to the lead when lap 1 was scored and led the entire 15 lap non-stop event. Rocky Kugel passed Kole Holden for second on lap 2 and tried to track down Ritchey, but finished 1.971 seconds behind at the checkered flag. Kyle Martell advanced from tenth starting position to finish third, ahead of Brian Schaffer and Holden. Heat race winners over the 11 car field were Kugel and Holden. The division will return for races on September 24 and October 1.
Despite an incident in the heat race that left his car without its passenger side door, it did not slow down Dave Sheriff as he topped the 12 lap feature Miley BP Car Wash Hobby Stocks for the fourth time this season. Sheriff took the lead at the start from second starting position, and was ahead of a lap 1 incident that collected five of the eight car starting field. All but heat race winner Joe Podolinsky and Karleee Kovacs were able to continue. Sheriff led the remaining distance to earn the victory, holding off a strong challenge from Casey Grumling. It was a big night for Grumling, who finished a close second. The rookie driver earned his third runner up finish this season, but more importantly, was able to take the division’s point lead when former leader Dale Tuche was towed off after having trouble on lap 5, and credited with a sixth place finish. Dan Black made his first start of the season in finishing third, over Jacob Wiser and Eric Goldberg. Grumling will lead by two points entering the final night of point racing.
Ben Anton had a big night by backing up last week’s first career victory in the Imperial Heights Garage Young Guns. In addition to that, he took the division point lead when point leader Michael Jackson was unable to start the feature. Anton started third, and passed Kayla McManus for the lead on lap 4 of the 6 lap event. McManus was second, with Justin Clark third. Anton will now lead the point race going into the last event by 14 points over Jackson.
Bill Fuchs made his first appearance a winning one, by topping a three car field of open Four Cylinders. Fuchs took the lead at the start and outdistanced the battle for second, where Jason Baker passed Michael Jackson for the position on lap 6.
Racing continues at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway on Saturday night, September 10, as the point racing for 2016 will come to a close on Diehl Automotive Night featuring Driver Autographs. Fans will be able to go down on the track and visit with the race teams that will bring their cars onto the front stretch. Racing action will be highlighted by the inaugural Willie White Memorial for the Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman, racing for $2055 to win in an unsanctioned race for the Penn Ohio Pro Stock Series. Track champions will be crowned for the Precise Racing Products RUSH Late Models, Miley BP Car Wash Hobby Stocks, and Imperial Heights Garage Young Guns, in addition to the Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman. The open Four Cylinders will also be on the card. For Saturday night’s racing program, the gates will open at 5:00, with warm-ups at 6:00 and racing at 7:00. Keep an eye on all developments during race nights on the track’s Twitter account at @PAMotorSpeedway including starting and finishing race lineups. The track is located west of the city of Pittsburgh, just south of the Noblestown exit of U.S. Route 22, or 170 Kelso Road in Imperial, PA, for GPS purposes. The track phone is 724-695-3363 on race days, or call 412-279-RACE. For complete information please visit the track website at www.ppms.com .
Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway results for Saturday, September 3, 2016.
Precise Racing Products RUSH Late Models
Feature – 1, 9R, Michael Reft. 2, 93X, Justin Lamb. 3, 20, Wayne Robertson. 4, 4, Jason Knowles. 5, RJ1, Mike Pegher, Jr. 6, B4, Steve Beatty. 7, 14G, Jake Gunn. 8, 9, Will Thomas. 9, 7B, Brian Knowles. 10, 94, Bryce Davis. 11, 75, Scott Schempp. 12, 60S, Tommy Schirnhofer. 13, 12S, Brian Swank. 14, 10, Zachary Kane. 15, 17M, Russ Matejka. 16, 27, Tony White. 17, 2M, Chuck Medved. 18, 7J, Jared Kane. 19, 111, Pete Wearing. 20, 27C, Russ Kolesar. 21, 11W, John Waters. 22, 14B, Ben Policz. 23, 60M, John Mollick. 24, 12C, Daryl Charlier. 25, 60B, Brandon Burgoon. 26, 09, Bill Kessler. DNS, 18, Chris Lander.
Fastest qualifier – 20.496 by John Mollick.
Heat 1 – 1, John Mollick. 2, Ben Policz. 3, Steve Beatty. 4, Tommy Schirnhofer. 5, Scott Schempp. 6, Jason Knowles. 7, Brandon Burgoon. 8, Jake Gunn. 9, Brian Swank.
Heat 2 – 1, Daryl Charlier. 2, Will Thomas. 3, Justin Lamb. 4, Bryce Davis. 5, Russ Kolesar. 6, Wayne Robertson. 7, Bill Kessler. 8, Jared Kane. 9, Zachary Kane.
Heat 3 – 1, Michael Reft. 2, Mike Pegher, Jr. 3, John Waters. 4, Russ Matejka. 5, Chuck Medved. 6, Brian Knowles. 7, Tony White. 8, Pete Wearing. DNS, 18, Chris Lander.
Dash – 1, Will Thomas. 2, Michael Reft. 3, John Mollick. 4, Daryl Charlier. 5, Ben Policz. 6, Mike Pegher, Jr.
410 Winged Sprints
Feature – 1, 10, Carl Bowser. 2, 2, A.J. Flick. 3, 24X, Sye Lynch. 4, 08, Dan Kuriger. 5, 13, Brandon Matus. 6, 12, Darin Gallagher. 7, 23JR, Jack Sodeman, Jr. 8, 33, Brent Matus. 9, 8, Rod George. 10, 51, John Garvin, Jr. 11, 40, George Hobaugh, Jr. 12, 27, Zach Morrow. 13, 76, Davey Jones. 14, 23, Darren Pifer. 15, 10J, C.J. Jones. 16, C1, Clay Riney. 17, 4W, Eric Williams. 18, 5, Bob McMillen. 19, 44, Joe McEwen.
Fastest qualifier – 18.507 by Sye Lynch.
Heat 1 – 1, Carl Bowser. 2, Dan Kuriger. 3, Jack Sodeman, Jr. 4, A.J. Flick. 5, Sye Lynch. 6, Darin Gallagher. 7, Brandon Matus. 8, Brent Matus. 9, Darren Pifer.
Heat 2 – 1, John Garvin, Jr. 2, George Hobaugh, Jr. 3, Joe McEwen. 4, Zach Morrow. 5, Rod George. 6, Eric Williams. 7, C.J. Jones. 8, Davey Jones. 9, Clay Riney. 10, Bob McMillan.
Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman
Feature – 1, 45JR, Todd Weldon. 2, 28S, Bob Schwartzmiller. 3, 114, Dave McManus. 4, 4S, Ricky Steigerwald. 5, 1B, Bill Robertson. 6, 10, Nick Kocuba. 7, 84, Steve D’Apolito. 8, 18, Vince Laboon. 9, 7, Eric Piotrowski. 10, 25, Mark Lee. 11, 81, Robert Betz, III. 12, 88, Dave Janas. 13, 36, A.J. Poljak. 14, 64K, Gary Koteles. 15, 96, Davy Lee.
Heat 1 – 1, Ricky Steigerwald. 2, Bill Robertson. 3, Dave McManus. 4, Todd Weldon. 5, Steve D’Apolito. 6, Gary Koteles. 7, Robert Betz, III. 8, Vince Laboon.
Heat 2 – 1, 28S, Bob Schwartzmiller. 2, 10, Nick Kocuba. 3, 36, A.J. Poljak. 4, 7, Eric Piotrowski. 5, 25, Mark Lee. 6, 88, Dave Janas. DNS, 96, Davy Lee.
Feature – 1, 77N, Nick Ritchey. 2, 83, Rocky Kugel. 3, 8, Kyle Martell. 4, 41, Brian Schaffer. 5, 2, Kole Holden. 6, 35, Steve Slater. 7, 14, Jeff Schaeffer, Jr. 8, 35W, Jeremy Weaver. 9, 17, Brandon Ritchey. 10, 28J, Jacob Jordan. 11, 4, Will Schaffer.
Heat 1 – 1, Rocky Kugel. 2, Jeff Schaeffer, Jr. 3, Brian Schaffer. 4, Jeremy Weaver. 5, Brandon Ritchey. 6, Steve Slater.
Heat 2 – 1, Kole Holden. 2, Nick Ritchey. 3, Will Schaffer. 4, Jacob Jordan. 5, Kyle Martell.
Miley BP Car Wash Hobby Stocks
Feature – 1, 8, Dave Sheriff. 2, 77X, Casey Grumling. 3, 33B, Dan Black. 4, OU2, Jacob Wiser. 5, 08, Eric Goldberg. 6, 310, Dale Tuche. 7, 55+1, Joe Podolinsky. 8, 221K, Karlee Kovacs.
Heat 1 – 1, Joe Podolinsky. 2, Dan Black. 3, Casey Grumling. 4, Dale Tuche. 5, Karlee Kovacs. 6, Jacob Wiser. 7, Dave Sheriff. 8, Eric Goldberg.
Imperial Heights Garage Young Guns
Feature – 1, 13, Ben Anton. 2, 14, Kayla McManus. 3, 02, Justin Clark. DNS, 89, Michael Jackson.
Feature – 1, 10, Bill Fuchs. 2, 1B, Jason Baker. 3, 64, Michael Jackson.
Saturday, September 10 – Diehl Automotive Night with Driver Autographs. The final night for points featuring the Willie White Memorial for Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman, $2055 to win unsanctioned race for the Penn Ohio Pro Stocks. Plus Precise Racing Products RUSH Late Models, Miley BP Car Wash Hobby Stocks, and Imperial Heights Garage Young Guns. Plus Open Four Cylinders.
Saturday, September 17 – Mini Chase Race, $1,000 to win RUSH Late Models, Sportsman using Penn Ohio Pro Stock rules, Open Hobby Stocks, Young Guns, and Open Four Cylinders.
Saturday, September 24 – Mini Chase Race, $1,000 to win RUSH Late Models, Sportsman using Penn Ohio Pro Stock rules, Open Hobby Stocks, Young Guns, and Open Four Cylinders, plus RUSH Modifieds.
Saturday, October 1 – Mini Chase Race, $1,000 to win RUSH Late Models, Sportsman using Penn Ohio Pro Stock rules, Open Hobby Stocks, Young Guns, and Open Four Cylinders, plus RUSH Modifieds.
Friday, October 7 – Qualifying events for the 28th Annual Pittsburgher 100 featuring the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Sweeney Chevrolet RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Marquee event, and the Sportsman/Pro Stock Showdown.
Saturday, October 8 – The 28th Annual Pittsburgher 100 featuring the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Sweeney Chevrolet RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Marquee event, and the Sportsman/Pro Stock Showdown.