RUSH Late Model Series
RUSH Late Model Series

RUSH Late Model Series



RUSH Late Model Series


By Mike Leone


(Marion Center, PA)...The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Dirt Late Model Flynn’s Tire/Gunter's Honey Touring Series was finally blessed with a beautiful race day on Saturday marking just the second rain-free one of the season after 10 scheduled events. Race #5 of the 2024 season attracted an all-time Chevrolet Performance Late Model record high car count at Marion Center with 29 including drivers from seven different states plus Ontario, Canada. Celebrating in the Landrum Performance Springs victory lane were Jeremy Wonderling for the RUSH Late Models and Joe Buccola with his career first Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sprint Car win in Sunbelt Rentals Weekly Series action.

Jeremy Wonderling came out on top of the 30-lap RUSH Late Model feature that saw three different leaders and four official lead changes as he fought off challenges by his brother Mike and local standout and fan favorite Joe Martin to become the first Flynn's Tire/Gunter's Honey Touring Series repeat winner of 2024. Last year, Jeremy Wonderling won the first ever Tour race at Marion Center and backed that up Saturday night with another $3,000 victory; he'll look for three straight when the Series returns on August 10.

"It took me about halfway through the race to remember how to drive this place," revealed the 44-year-old Wellsville, NY four-time Tour Champion. "That was why my brother (Mike) passed me, and I told myself I need to pick it up. I then started really turning it around the top and it started coming back to me. I wasn't even sure if I had the right tire on. I didn't feel as good as I should have been. I think I could have been better with the softer tire on. Joe (Martin) is always a fun competitor. We were sliding the shit out of each other pretty bad. He understands what's going on and I knew he'd slide me and turn back underneath me. Finally I had felt like I was enough ahead of him down the backstretch where he wouldn't be able to slide me."

After the Dave Poske's Performance Parts "Feel the RUSH" Four-Wide Salute, Jeremy Wonderling and Joe Martin led the 24-car starting field to green as they resumed their battle from one-year ago when Wonderling passed Martin on the final lap. Wonderling took off in the lead over Martin, Clate Copeman, Davin Kaiser, and Jared Miley. Miley slipped under Kaiser for fourth on lap two and went after Copeman. The two battled for third before the event's first caution when Cody Dawson spun with nine laps completed.

Fresh off a City Chevrolet Weekly Series win on Friday night at Dog Hollow Speedway, Ryan Montgomery, who started 12th, was on the move as he flew into third on lap 11 with seventh starting Mike Wonderling following in fourth. Up front, Martin pulled alongside Jeremy Wonderling for the lead on lap 11 before a caution for northern invaders Dusty Waters and Shane Crotty.

When racing resumed on lap 12, Mike Wonderling went third to first to lead; however, his lead would be short-lived as Jeremy regained the top spot one lap later on the outside. The Wonderling brothers battled hard racing side-by-side for the lead in the ensuing laps before contact was made on the backstretch on lap 17 sending Mike spinning across the track ending his bid for his first career Flynn's Tire/Gunter's Honey Touring Series victory.

The event's final caution occurred with 17 laps completed as the final 13 went green-to-checkered. Martin grabbed his first lead of the race on lap 18, but like Mike Wonderling, his lead was short-lived as Jeremy Wonderling made the winning move with a slide job on lap 19. The top three of Wonderling, Martin, and Montgomery pulled away from the pack on lap 21. Behind the lead trio, charging Kyle Zimmerman and Brandt Graham both were able to pass Kaiser on successive laps for fourth and fifth on lap 26s and 27 respectively.

Martin closed in slightly in the final laps, but wouldn't get close enough to attempt a bid at the lead as Wonderling’s 24th career Flynn’s Tire/Gunter’s Honey Touring Series victory came in his Close Racing Supply/Shuttleworth Auto Sales/Batavia Downs/955 Automotive/Penske Shocks by JDS/Swift Springs-sponsored #3J by 0.906 seconds.

Martin's runner-up was his season's best effort and earned $1,500 for car owner Tom Snyder in his third consecutive top five finish. "I got into Jeremy (Wonderling) at Tri-City a little bit so maybe I had one coming but felt like I got three there," explained the 39-year-old Punxsutawney, Pa. driver. "Then I got run over on the next restart. We can apologize about it, but it doesn't do me any good; I don't like racing like that. We did take a big step forward tonight however. We haven't raced much this year. This is a different car than we were winning races with last year so maybe we just need to do some different things. It was nice to come here. I know how I need to feel and we got that feeling tonight. I really think I was the best car, but the driver didn't get it done."

Montgomery, a seven-time winner on the Flynn's Tire/Gunter's Honey Touring Series, was third in his 2024 Tour season debut. Wonderling, Martin, and Montgomery also received a three-pack of Hermitage Wine Cellars premium products. Driving a throwback scheme for car owner Jonathan Stockdale's father Rod, 3C Graphix Rookie-of-the-Year candidate, Kyle Zimmerman, turned in his best performance of the season going 11th to 4th.

In his prior 36 career Tour starts over the past three years, Canadian Brandt Graham had never finished in the top 10 as his best finish was an 11th on two occasions last year. The third year Tour race had gotten off to a tough start this season failing to qualify for any of the features, but got in on Saturday night after Mike Laughard scratched. The son to fellow Tour regular, Craig Graham, then proceeded to race from 24th to 5th coming up just shy of overtaking Zimmerman at the finish for fourth! Brandt not only received the $50 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card, but also a spoiler from Ontime Body & Graphic.

Virginia racer, Davin Kaiser, who was the 2023 3C Graphix Futures Cup Champion, made his 2024 Flynn's Tire/Gunter's Honey Touring Series debut and finished a solid sixth. After four straight top three finishes to start the season, Brock Pinkerous failed to reach the podium for the first time in 2024 coming home seventh, but still maintains the points lead in the chase for the $20,000 championship. Brad Mesler was a season best eighth. After getting as high as third, Clate Copeman dropped to ninth at the finish in his 2024 Tour debut. Miley came back from a spin to complete the top 10.

Jeremy Wonderling set fast time overall in $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying with a lap of 16.384. Winning $25 FK Rod Ends heat races were Martin, Miley, and Copeman, while Ashton Briggs won the last chance B main. Wonderling then won his second Sunoco Dash of the season to earn a $100 Sunoco fuel card and also won another $100 fuel card in the random drawings as did Miley. Winning the $50 Sunoco fuel cards were four drivers that made their 2024 Tour debuts including Kaiser, Michael Norris, Lane Brock, and Cale Schwartzmiller.

Schwartzmiller also received a $50 gift certificate from Holley Performance Group for being the first feature non-qualifier. Winning the Landrum Performance Springs BOGO certificates were Kyle Zimmerman, Brad Mesler, Mike Laughard, Ben Easler, Ryan Montgomery.

The Flynn’s Tire/Gunter's Honey Touring Series will return to action during the "Firecracker 100" weekend with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Lernerville Speedway June 20-22 for the "Bill Emig Memorial" presented by Sunoco Race Fuels in conjunction with Joseph J. Olivia Attorney at Law paying $20,000 to-win! There will also be a $500 to-win D&V Jewelers Non-Qualifier. D&V will also present a championship diamond ring to the feature winner.

The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sprint Cars finally were able to complete just their second race of the season after losing five of the first six scheduled Sunbelt Rentals Weekly Series events. Third starting Joe Buccola charged by a slowing Blaze Myers with two laps to go then held off 24-time Series winner, Gale Ruth, Jr., for a popular first career RUSH Sprint Car win, worth $800.

"Oh this is awesome," expressed the jubilant and emotional 39-year-old Falconer, NY driver. "It's been a long time since I've won anything. I have to thank Todd Church- he's an awesome and smart dude, who puts a lot of time and effort into this. I have to thank his wife Deb, my father, and the whole family. This is a new car and so far, so good. I don't know what happened to Blaze (Myers) and not sure if we would have got him, but I'll take it!"

Myers, who has won eight races over the past three seasons, led the first 17 laps in search of his first win for new car owner Ted Hull. Myers though lost power on a restart on lap 18 allowing Buccola to charge into the lead. Buccola, who is entering his third year driving for Todd Church, had two prior top five finishes coming in 2022 with a career best fourth at Marion Center. It was also the first career RUSH Sprint Car victory for car owner Todd Church, who also fielded a car for his son Brad the three years prior. The victory came in the Kwik Fill/TLC Refrigeration/Buccola's Auto Service/Cuts for Mutts/Chad's Ring & Pinion-sponsored #5B.

Brent Rhebergen was third in just the second Sprint Car start for the former Super Late Model and UMP Modified standout, who is in his first year driving for Tim Engles. Zack Wilson was fourth. Fourteen-year-old Ricky Tucker III was fifth in his first career RUSH Sprint Car start for the former go-kart racer. John Mollick and Rhebergen won the heat races.

The Hovis RUSH Sprint Cars will be competing at Tri-City Raceway Park in Franklin, Pa. for the first time this season on Sunday (June 9) with a busy slate this upcoming week with an $800 to-win Sunbelt Rentals event on Wednesday at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio presented by Billy's Garage followed by a return to Sharon and Tri-City next Saturday and Sunday (June 15-16).

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire/Gunter's Honey Touring Series Race #5 (30 laps, $3,000 to-win): 1. JEREMY WONDERLING (3J) 2. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 3. Ryan Montgomery (Suppa 4s) 4. Kyle Zimmerman (Stockdale 31) 5. Brandt Graham (14) 6. Davin Kaiser (Beverlin 11) 7. Brock Pinkerous (555) 8. Brad Mesler (Sturdevant 87S) 9. Clate Copeman (15C) 10. Jared Miley (Deller 75) 11. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 12. Damian Bidwell (1/2-Pint) 13. Scott Stein (09) 14. Austin Allen (32) 15. Lane Brock (20B) 16. Kurt Stebbins (26) 17. Cody Dawson (36) 18. Mike Wonderling (18) 19. Ben Easler (02) 20. Colby Beighey (36) 21. Shane Crotty (Briggs 4) 22. Dusty Waters (14) 23. Ashton Briggs (11A) 24. Michael Norris (Dabecco N1). DNS: Mike Laughard (38L).

DNQ for the feature: Cale Schwartzmiller (28s), Andrew Koenig (33K), Craig Graham (98), Gus Dobnak (42).

Car Count: 29
Feature Margin of Victory: 0.906 seconds
Feature Lap Leaders: Jeremy Wonderling (1-11, 13-17, 19-30), Mike Wonderling (12), Joe Martin (18).
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Brandt Graham
Heritage Wine Cellars 3-Pack of Premium Products: Jeremy Wonderling, Joe Martin, Ryan Montgomery
Holley Performance Group “Nosed Out”: Cale Schwartzmiller
Landrum Performance Springs BOGO Certificates: Kyle Zimmerman, Brad Mesler, Mike Laughard, Ben Easler, Ryan Montgomery
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Brandt Graham (+19)
Precise Racing Products 5-Gallon Race Jug: Jeremy Wonderling
Sunoco Fuel Card Winners: Jared Miley ($100), Jeremy Wonderling ($100), Cale Schwartzmiller ($50), Davin Kaiser ($50), Michael Norris ($50), Lane Brock ($50).

FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying ($100 for fast time) (Track record 15.635 by Joe Martin on 6/10/23): 1. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:16.384[16]; 2. 75-Jared Miley, 00:16.433[6]; 3. 21J-Jim Rasey, 00:16.482[13]; 4. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:16.484[27]; 5. 11K-Davin Kaiser, 00:16.488[17]; 6. 15C-Clate Copeman, 00:16.493[10]; 7. 555-Brock Pinkerous, 00:16.538[22]; 8. 87S-Brad Mesler, 00:16.572[7]; 9. 1/2PT-Damian Bidwell, 00:16.628[14]; 10. 18-Mike Wonderling, 00:16.637[3]; 11. 33KA-Andrew Koenig, 00:16.653[12]; 12. 36-Cody Dawson, 00:16.657[4]; 13. 4C-Shane Crotty, 00:16.670[9]; 14. 36B-Colby Beighey, 00:16.691[25]; 15. 32A-Austin Allen, 00:16.693[2]; 16. 4S-Ryan Montgomery, 00:16.702[18]; 17. 09-Scott Stein, 00:16.725[11]; 18. 31-Kyle Zimmerman, 00:16.768[1]; 19. 14W-Dusty Waters, 00:16.780[20]; 20. 38L-Mike Laughard, 00:16.806[8]; 21. N1-Michael Norris, 00:16.819[19]; 22. 02-Benjamin Easler, 00:16.913[15]; 23. 11A-Ashton Briggs, 00:16.921[28]; 24. 20B-Lane Brock, 00:16.951[26]; 25. 26-Kurt Stebbins, 00:16.954[24]; 26. 28S-Cale Schwartzmiller, 00:16.956[5]; 27. 14-Brandt Graham, 00:17.104[23]; 28. 98-Craig Graham, 00:17.116[21]; 29. 42-Gus Dobnak, NT.

FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 10S-Joe Martin[2]; 2. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling[1]; 3. 18-Mike Wonderling[4]; 4. 555-Brock Pinkerous[3]; 5. 4S-Ryan Montgomery[6]; 6. 02-Benjamin Easler[8]; 7. 26-Kurt Stebbins[9]; 8. 4C-Shane Crotty[5]; 9. 14W-Dusty Waters[7]; 10. 98-Craig Graham[10].

FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 75-Jared Miley[1]; 2. 11K-Davin Kaiser[2]; 3. 87S-Brad Mesler[3]; 4. 38L-Mike Laughard[7]; 5. 09-Scott Stein[6]; 6. 36B-Colby Beighey[5]; 7. 11A-Ashton Briggs[8]; 8. 28S-Cale Schwartzmiller[9]; 9. 33KA-Andrew Koenig[4]. DNS: 42-Gus Dobnak.

FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 6 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 15C-Clate Copeman[2]; 2. 21J-Jim Rasey[1]; 3. 36-Cody Dawson[4]; 4. 31-Kyle Zimmerman[6]; 5. 1/2PT-Damian Bidwell[3]; 6. 32A-Austin Allen[5]; 7. N1-Michael Norris[7]; 8. 20B-Lane Brock[8]; 9. 14-Brandt Graham[9].

Last Chance B Main (10 laps, Top 6 transfer to A): 1. 11A-Ashton Briggs[2]; 2. 26-Kurt Stebbins[1]; 3. N1-Michael Norris[3]; 4. 20B-Lane Brock[6]; 5. 4C-Shane Crotty[4]; 6. 14W-Dusty Waters[7]; 7. 14-Brandt Graham[9]; 8. 28S-Cale Schwartzmiller[5]; 9. 33KA-Andrew Koenig[8]; 10. 98-Craig Graham[10]. DNS: 42-Gus Dobnak

Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 Sunoco fuel card to win): 1. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling[1]; 2. 10S-Joe Martin[2]; 3. 11K-Davin Kaiser[4]; 4. 15C-Clate Copeman[6]; 5. 75-Jared Miley[3]; 6. 21J-Jim Rasey[5]

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sprint Car Sunbelt Rentals Weekly Series Race #2 (20 laps, $800 to-win): 1. 5B-JOE BUCCOLA[3]; 2. 24-Gale Ruth Jr[5]; 3. 68-Brent Rhebergen[4]; 4. 5Z-Zack Wilson[10]; 5. 1T-Ricky Tucker III[11]; 6. 55-Luke Mulichak[12]; 7. 1E-Curt Emings[8]; 8. 23-Charlie Utsinger[9]; 9. 41-Blaze Myers[1]; 10. 43SR-Billy Myers[6]; 11. 17-Trent Marshall[7]; 12. 4J-John Mollick[2]

The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, Flynn's Tire, Gunter's Honey, Sunbelt Rentals, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Joseph J. Olivia Attorney at Law, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Landrum Performance Springs, 3C Graphix, Dave Poske's Performance Parts, Velocita-USA, Wieland Metal Services, Frankland Racing Supply, Dusted Steak Seasoning, Ontime Body & Graphic, Sherwood Wheels, D&V Jewelers, Dusted, Heritage Wine Cellars, Precise Racing Products, Wedge Motorsports, Racing Electronics, and Billy’s Garage.

E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300. The RUSH Late Model website is Like our Facebook page at and follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter) @RUSHLM.

Article Credit: Mike Leone

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