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(Hartford, OH)...The Pace Performance RUSH Dirt Late Model Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC finally was able to complete the inaugural "Bill Forney Memorial" on Saturday night at Sharon Speedway after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation in 2020 and rain on July 17 postponed the show six weeks. Thirty-three drivers from five different states competed in the first Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series event at Sharon in five years. The night was in remembrance of one, if not the greatest racer to ever wheel a Late Model in the region, who made famous the candy-striped #199. Forney passed away in 2019 at the age of 92.  The Canfield/Sharon Speedways Driver Reunion (1949-1973) was held with 33 drivers in attendance with approximately 125 at the pre-race dinner.

Chub Frank emerged victorious in the 30-lap "Bill Forney Memorial" with a last lap pass of Joe Martin in one of the best RUSH Late Model Tour events in recent memory. The race featured three different leaders, four lead changes not to mention numerous side-by-side and even three-wide battles for the lead between Frank, Martin, and early leader Michael Duritsky, Jr. Frank's first career Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series victory was worth $3,000 plus the $199 bonus from Bill Forney's children, Mike and Anita. 

"Any time you can win a memorial it's a big deal," acknowledged the 59-year-old Bear Lake, Pa. great. "I never raced against the man, but he's a big name around here. I'm glad to win it and I can hang this (big check) on the wall. I like this track. I was here last week for the World of Outlaws and didn't run as well as I'd have liked. I really wanted to run a crate here because they don't have as much motor and it works out better when the track is slick."

After winning the Sunoco Dash, Duritsky raced to the early lead as Frank and three-time Series champion Jeremy Wonderling passed Will Thomas III for second and third. Sixth starting John Waters passed David Pangrazio on the opening lap for fifth then Thomas for fourth on lap two. By lap six, Frank closed in on Duritsky as the top three pulled away, but the caution was displayed for Bill Henry, Jr., who slowed with six laps scored.

Back under green on lap seven, Pangrazio moved into fourth. All eyes began to shift to Joe Martin, who was running the top side of the speedway. Martin started eighth and cracked the top five on lap nine by passing Thomas. By lap 12 the top five of Duritsky, Frank, Wonderling, Pangrazio, and Martin began to distance themselves from the field. Martin drove around Pangrazio for fourth on lap 13 then did the same to Wonderling one lap later for third. Now Martin was on Frank and made the pass for second on lap 16. Duritsky then moved up to block Martin's challenges as Martin went to the bottom and the two raced side-by-side for the lead.

Frank didn't go away as he joined back into the fray as it was three-wide for the lead on lap 19! Frank would lead lap 20, but Duritsky wasn't about to lose his shot at his first career Tour win taking the lead back on lap 21. Heartbreak would hit Duritsky as contact was made with the slowing Matt Sipes, who was trying to get off the speedway, which caused a flat tire for Duritsky on lap 22. That gave Duritsky the TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night".

When racing resumed, Frank and Martin went as it to the finish. Frank continued to run the bottom, while Martin powered around the top. Finally on lap 27 Martin pulled even and led his first lap of the event on lap 28. The two raced side-by-side for the lead the rest of the distance. On the final lap, Martin changed course and shot to the bottom in turns three and four trying to block Frank's run; however, Martin washed across the track in turn four as Frank won the drag race to the checkered flag! Frank's fourth career Sharon victory came in his 1* sponsored by Briggs Transport, CJ Trucking, and Corry Rubber.

"I got the nose dragging and it was really messing up my entry," explained Frank. "It ended up being a good race. He (Martin) dropped down in that last corner and that was my only chance. If he'd have stayed on the top, he would have probably beaten me. I've raced him quite a bit and have all the respect in the world for those guys. This is tough; people don't realize it. You have to race a lot closer than you do with a Super Late Model. If you make a mistake, they'll pounce all over you. They are actually harder to drive because you have to make every lap almost perfect." 
Martin earned $1,500 for his runner-up finish, which was his best of the season with the Tour. Martin has now finished in the top six at 10 of the last 11 events to maintain the runner-up spot in Tour points. Martin just missed out on his first Tour win in nearly seven years to the day on August 30, 2014 at McKean County Raceway.

"I should have kept doing what I was doing but he's a hall of famer and I wanted to take the slide job away," revealed the Mayport, Pa. racer, who has five career Sharon wins. "I figured it was coming. If I would have done what I was doing, Chub probably would have left me a lane, and if not probably could have crossed him over. I watched the professionals too much and got to thinking too much. I just wish I had that last corner back. I'm sure he saw me up there and was thinking that's a long way around for these crate motors. I was thinking it too, but it was working. I could basically enter wide open, and get down there and take air off him. This is the real deal we're racing against; guys like Chub Frank and Kyle Hardy. Kyle doesn't get enough respect across the country. This place is awesome and one of the best places we go to. It was a little wetter than we expected, but come feature time you saw what it is most of the time."

Virginia's Kyle Hardy had never seen Sharon prior to Saturday night. After struggling in qualifying and his heat race, Hardy even backpedalled in the feature from his ninth starting spot. Hardy was running 11th on lap nine before charging forward to third place for his 11th podium finish in 12 races as he continues to lead the $12,000 to-win Tour points! 

"It wasn't pretty," acknowledged Hardy. "We fell back early as the car wasn't feeling right. It took for it to clean up around the bottom for me to get going. Not a bad night. Thankfully we didn't get tore up, and it's a good points night. It's fun racing with these guys. This is a great race track with awesome lightning; great smooth surface to race on. We'll be back in a couple week and know what not to do. We'll change a couple things and hopefully be better. I'd like to thank everyone for coming out to watch us. We couldn't do it without you, and thanks to RUSH for giving us a series to race at up here."

New York's Pangrazio had a strong fourth place for his second top five of the season in five starts; however, it was his best finish since a third on July 19, 2018 at Genesee Speedway. Cory Sines had an excellent run coming on late to finish fifth after starting 14th. For Sines it was his best career Tour finish in five years of trying beating his prior best of ninth on June 26 at Lernerville Speedway. 

Thomas and Wonderling dropped to sixth and seventh respectively. Tour regular Bud Watson, who has two Pace Weekly Series wins this season at Raceway 7, finally was able to crack the top 10 in a Tour race with an eighth place effort. After racing up to fourth, Waters faded to ninth. Josh Ferry suffered mechanical issues in qualifying, which forced him to miss his heat race and take a provisional. Ferry, a two-time Sharon Econo Mod winner, then went 25th to 10th to earn the $100 Precise Racing Products "Pedal Down" Hard Charger gift card. Duritsky battled back to 12th in the last nine laps after his flat tire, which also allowed him to win the $150 spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic. 

Making just his second career Tour start, 17-year-old Ashton Briggs led wire-to-wire to win the $200 Non-Qualifier. The Erie, Pa. rookie took the checkered flag first by a commanding 3.209 seconds in his Farmulated CBD/Findley Lake Landscape Supply/CFR Racing/Fredonia Chrysler Dodge Jeep/Briggs Transport/First National Bank/Monahan & Monahan-sponsored #11A over Big-Block Modified standout Jim Rasey, who started fourth. Briggs became the 50th different winner in 61 Non-Qualifier races run all-time! D.J. Krug went fifth to third in his first ever Sharon start. Jacob Peterson and Rob Coffaro rounded out the top five. 

Martin earned his first FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" fast qualifier $100 award with a lap of 16.933. Winning $25 FK Rod Ends heat races were Martin, Duritsky, Waters, and Wonderling. Henry and David Parker won the last chance B mains. Duritsky won his first Sunoco Dash of the season, which not only earned him a $100 Sunoco gift card, but also $100 cash in recognition of all of the drivers that ran the Emig Racing #1. Parker was the lucky recipient of the $100 Sunoco gift card random draw part of the "Fill'er up with Sunoco Bucks" program presented by Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto.

The Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series will be off Labor Day weekend then return to Sharon Speedway September 10-11 for the "Cider Jug 40" presented by Zarin Truck & Auto paying $4,000 to-win during the "Apple Festival Nationals". September will close out with the "Topless Nationals" weekend at Genesee Speedway paying $2,000 to-win on both September 24 and September 25. The Saturday show at Genesee is the traveling "Manufacturers Night" for eligible New York racers, which will push the 2021 "Manufacturers Nights" presented by MSD for Late Model racers to well over $42,000 in product giveaways!

Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series "Bill Forney Memorial" Race #12 (30 laps, $3,199 to-win): 1. CHUB FRANK (1*) 2. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 3. Kyle Hardy (99) 4. David Pangrazio (136) 5. Cory Sines (25s) 6. Will Thomas III (9) 7. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 8. Bud Watson (225) 9. John Waters (LeBarron 11) 10. Josh Ferry (33) 11. Matt Latta (27) 12. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 13. Andy Boozel (12B) 14. Breyton Santee (9) 15. J.J. Mazur (13) 16. Steve Dixon (65) 17. Jacob Gunn (14G) 18. Ryan Frazee (11F) 19. David Parker (2) 20. Logan Jaquay (99*) 21. Zach Kane (10) 22. Steve Hollabaugh (3) 23. Matt Sipes (25) 24. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. (3) 25. Billy Henry, Jr. (21*). (Note: Josh Ferry took a Tour provisional).
Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $200 to-win): 1. Ashton Briggs (11A) 2. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 3. D.J. Krug (83) 4. Jacob Peterson (112) 5. Rob Coffaro (24c) 6. Khole Wanzer (01W) 7. Wendell Pinckney (Cole 49). DNS: Colby Beighey (36B).
Car Count: 33
Feature Lap Leaders: Michael Duritsky, Jr. (1-19, 21), Joe Martin (28-29), Chub Frank (20, 30)
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Michael Duritsky, Jr.
Performance Bodies "Nosed Out": Ashton Briggs
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Josh Ferry (+15)
Precise Racing Products 5-Gallon Race Jug: Chub Frank
Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto $100 Sunoco Fuel Cards: David Parker & Michael Duritsky, Jr.
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Michael Duritsky, Jr.


By Mike Leone

(August 25, 2021) - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Forney was a fixture at both Canfield and Sharon Speedways.  Forney's racing prowess earned him the Late Model track championship at Sharon in 1964, and an unprecedented seven championships at Canfield (1959-1960, '61, '63, '65-66, '68) - a track that had a national reputation for tough as nails competition.  All totaled, Forney had hundreds of feature wins, many at these two tracks.  Forney was inducted into the inaugural Twin State Auto Racing Club's Hall of Fame in 2010, and is also a member of the Cloverleaf Speedway (Cleveland) Hall of Fame.  

"We're honored the Forney Family is allowing their father's memorial to be a RUSH event," stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig.  "We got to know Bill very well and he was certainly supportive of the RUSH concept and followed our Series closely right up until his passing.  I'm sure he'd be tickled to know that his memorial event was a RUSH Late Model show at Sharon.  Bill was a legend in local Late Model racing and is very deserving of a memorial race- one that we're proud to have under the RUSH banner.  Adding the Sharon/Canfield Speedway drivers reunion to this special night in Bill's honor is a perfect fit for the fans and I believe it will truly be a night to remember! We have to thank the many donors that helped us raise the purse up from the standard $2,000 to-win show to what it is (see donor list below)."

The Tour last appeared at the 3/8-mile showplace in Hartford, Ohio in 2016.  That was prior to the new red clay surface that has produced tremendous racing in recent years.  The RUSH Late Models ran weekly at Sharon from 2011-2014. After a four-year hiatus, Sharon hosted a Weekly Series special last year that saw Max Blair top a 22-car field.  Will Thomas III is the division's all-time winner with 13 victories, and will make his 2021 RUSH Tour debut Saturday.  The Tour returns to Sharon on September 10-11 during the "Apple Festival Nationals" for the $4,000 to-win "Cider Jug 40" presented by Zarin Truck & Auto.

"Our racers have been yearning to return to Sharon for several years," acknowledged Series Director Vicki Emig.  "Between COVID and rain, hopefully the third time is a charm on Saturday night. The competition level has really ascended since our last visit. There are so many racers that are anxious to compete at Sharon, and we can't wait to see the cars race on the red clay surface." 
In conjunction with the "Bill Forney Memorial" will be the Sharon/Canfield Speedways Drivers Reunion.  Drivers that competed on the dirt at these speedways from 1949-1973 were invited to the event free of charge and will enjoy a complimentary dinner in the pavilion prior to the event.  Special thanks to Jeff Teeters, Jeff Johnson, Steve Haefke, Joe Gabrielson, John Sandquist, Jr., and Wayne Tessean for their generous contributions to cover the cost of the complimentary meals for the retired drivers. The fathers of all these racers competed during this era.

Drivers/car owners that have confirmed their attendance include John Czoka, Tom Czoka, Jim Dandy, Sr., Don Downey, Skip Evans, Mike Forney, Butch Haefke, Tim Henrich, Jeep Iacubucci , Tom Jarrett, Bobby Johnson, Jamie Joyce, Dan Lewis, Sr., Terry May, Ed McGarry, Clair Mizner, Ron Novak, Jerry Postlethwait, Jerry Rydarowicz, John Sandquist, Michael Saverko, Tubby Tessean, Bob Williams, Wally Yeager, and Dave Yobe.

Virginia racer Kyle Hardy leads the RUSH Tour to Sharon with six victories including the most recent show on August 15 at Eriez Speedway as he topped a 46-car field for "Manufacturers Night". Hardy has a 77-point lead in the $12,000 to-win championship. Joe Martin, a former regular at Sharon when the division ran weekly, has worked his way up to second in points thanks to eight top six finishes in the last nine events. Defending and three-time Series champion, Jeremy Wonderling, has dropped to third in points with three wins. 

Michael Duritsky, Jr. and J.J. Mazur are fourth and fifth in points in search of their first career Tour wins. 2016 RUSH Tour champion John Waters is sixth, while Bud Watson and Ryan Frazee are tied for seventh.  Kyle Lukon and Logan Zarin complete the top 10.   
FK Rod Ends will award $100 for the fastest overall qualifier and pay $25 to each heat race winner. Precise Racing Products will award a $100 gift card for the "Pedal Down" Hard Charger that passes the most cars in the feature.  The TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night” will award three bottles of Xtreme6 Racing Brake Fluid valued at approximately $45 along with a certificate for a discount off any TBM Brakes purchase.  
The feature winner will receive a 5-Gallon Race Jug from Precise. Ontime Body & Graphic's "Spoiler Alert" will award a $150 spoiler kit to the 12th place finisher (note: if a driver has already won a spoiler this season, spoiler will be awarded to the next position). 
The Sunoco Dash winner will not only receive a $100 Sunoco gift card and earn the feature pole position, but also $100 cash in recognition of all of the drivers that ran the Bill Emig #1.  One driver will be randomly selected at the drivers meeting for a $100 Sunoco gift card thanks to the "Fill'er up with Sunoco Bucks" program presented by Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto. Also, Performance Bodies will award a $100 gift card to the first non-qualifier as part of the "Nosed Out" program.

Thank you to the following that financially contributed to the event to increase the purse: Forney Family (Anita Forney-Carson, Craig Carson, Colleen & Mike Forney along with grandchildren Jenn, Sarah, Taylor & Joshua), Ron Anderson, Jim Balentine, Sr/Balentine Racing Photos, Barris Truck Service, Mike Borawiec Family, BRE Racing/Dick Berry, Buccella Family, Mike Cicchillo, File's Auto Wrecking, Don Kromer, Jamie Joyce/Cathy Hanes, Terry May, Ed Miller, Molnar's Concessions, Lori Murphy, Postlethwait Family, Rocky's Body Shop, Christine Statler, Wertz Towing, Wilhelm Family, and Bob Williams Racing.

Sharon Feature Payoff: 1. $3,199 2. $1,500 3. $800 4. $600 5. $500 6. $475 7. $450 8. $425 9. $400 10. $350 11. $310  12. $300 13. $275 14. $270 15. $265 16. $260 17. $255 18-24. $250.
Non-Qualifier Payoff: 1. $200 2. $190 3. $185 4. $180 5. $175 6. $170 7. $165 8. $160 9. $155 10-24. $150. Tow $125.

You do not have to be a member of RUSH to compete only to receive Weekly and/or Tour points. The entry fee is $100. AMB/MyLaps transponders will be used; Westhold transponders will NOT work. Units are available to rent for $25. Driver radio channel will be 454.000.
Pits will be open throughout the afternoon with pit passes going on sale at 4 p.m. A drivers meeting will be held at 5:50 p.m. with warm-ups at approximately 6:15 followed by group qualifying and racing. Pit passes are $35.
Sharon Speedway is a 3/8-mile dirt track located on Custer-Orangeville Road in Hartford, Ohio near the intersection of Routes 7 & 305.  For more information, check out their website at www.sharonspeedway.com or call 330-772-5481.  Become a fan of Sharon Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sharonspeedway and follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sharonspdwy.

RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Pace Performance together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC 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, Born2Run Lubricants, Flynn's Tire & Auto Service, FK Rod Ends, 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, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Stop-Fyre, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage, CrateInsider.com, and Wedge Motorsports.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at info@rushracingseries.com and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300. The RUSH Late Model website is www.rushlatemodels.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.


(Hartford, OH)…After a weekend off, the Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet will head to Sharon Speedway this Saturday night (August 28) for a Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series event. Race #12 of the 2021 season will be the inaugural "Bill Forney Memorial" paying $3,199 to-win, and will also include the Canfield/Sharon Drivers Reunion (1949-1973) with dinner from 4-6 p.m. This will be a big night for RUSH as the RUSH Sprint Cars and RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will also be on the card. Warm-ups for the Late Models begin at approximately 6:15 p.m. followed by group qualifying and racing at 7. Event t-shirts will be on sale for $25.




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