Kyle Hardy Takes Second Checkered Flag Of RUSH “Battle Of The Bay” Friday Night At Potomac
Story By: MIKE LEONE / RUSH DIRT LATE MODEL SERIES – MECHANICSVILLE, PA – The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Dirt Late Model Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants crossed into Maryland on Friday night to Potomac Speedway for round three of the fifth annual “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek presented by 3C Graphix.
Unexpected light showers plagued the facility from late afternoon until early evening before skies cleared allowing the show to run as scheduled. Four new drivers brought the number to 46 different competitors in the first three nights of Speedweek.
Mid-Atlantic Late Model standout Kyle Hardy celebrated career win #100 after a charge from the seventh starting spot taking the lead on lap 12 from Trevor Collins and then kept him at bay throughout the remainder of the 30-lap feature. Hardy’s $3,000 victory was his second in three nights on the “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek and five for his career tying him with Logan Roberson for most all-time. The win also upped Hardy’s all-time win total to 10 on the Flynn’s Tire Touring Series for the 2021 champion.
“I used to sit in the stands as a kid and wonder if I could ever get a car in gear let along win 100 races,” acknowledged the 29-year-old Winchester, Virginia standout. “I’ve had an awesome teacher- my dad has taught me everything I know. It’s fun to do it with my parents and a lot of close friends. This almost brings tears to my eyes, but I have to be tough. A lot of these guys out here have had dads that raced and have them with them tonight. This is our family car. My mom and dad helped me put this thing together and it’s just been a dream to drive. Everyone on this car is a part of what makes it go fast. I’ve had a lot of opportunities, but it’s been a lot of hard work and it seems to be paying off week in and week out.”
“This is a dream come true to win any $3,000 show especially with a crate car and it’s good money for our area,” added Hardy. “I can’t thank Vicki (Emig) and Mike (Leone) enough for putting up this kind of money- it’s super awesome. I’ve raced Super Late Models every year since 2009 and started running these crates the last few years. We raced the RUSH Tour two years ago and what a fun year that was. This Series has good competitors and everyone races with respect. There was a lot of respect shown tonight throughout the top five and I gave respect also. Last night we struggled with the track being fast and not fitting our package, but tonight in the dry, slick it really showed.”
Bryce Davis used the outside to power into the lead at the start of the feature over Collins, Tyler Hoy, Russell Erwin, and Jeremy Pilkerton. Collins pulled even with Davis on lap two and the duo raced side-by-side for the lead until a caution for a spin by Ed Pope, Jr. Davis chose the outside for the double file restart, but this time it was Collins taking the lead from the inside. Hardy was on the move passing Hoy for fifth on lap six and then Pilkerton for fourth on the seventh circuit. Davis slowed on lap 10 and fell back to seventh before regaining power allowing Erwin to take over runner-up with Hardy now to third.
A caution for a flat tire by Jason Knowles brought out a caution with 10 laps scored. When racing resumed on lap 11, Hardy continued his progression to the front taking second with Pilkerton and Nick Davis also moving past Erwin for third and fourth respectively. Another caution for Kyle Sopaz and Travis Justice brought action to a halt with 11 laps scored. When green replaced yellow on lap 12, Hardy used the outside to power past Collins on the double file restart.
Hardy opened up some ground by the halfway point of the feature and had an advantage of 1.126 seconds over Collins when he caught lapped traffic on lap 21. Two more cautions slowed action on laps 22 and 25, while Nick Davis passed Pilkerton for third. Collins had one more shot alongside Hardy for the five-lap dash to the finish, but Hardy was too strong taking his Auto Glass Experts/Xceptional Wildlife/American Paint Company/Sommey Lace Racing/Anthony’s Pizza/Ingram Race Engines-sponsored #99 to victory by 1.289 seconds.
Collins was second for $1,500 for the third straight night as he broke the tie with Max Blair for the “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek points lead. “At least we’re consistent with three seconds in a row,” said the 24-year-old Seaford, Delaware racer. “When you come here with these drivers that’s an accomplishment in itself. I let him (Hardy) roll me on that one restart and get away. Kyle is a great driver and one of the best around here. We were good again tonight, but just didn’t have enough. I can’t thank everyone enough that makes this possible. We put a hole in the radiator during hot laps and had to change that in a hurry for qualifying. Hopefully we get a win tomorrow night (Winchester), but I’ll be alright with the title.”
Nick Davis turned in a career best third on the Tour and also received a spoiler kit from Ontime Body & Graphic. Pilkerton was fourth. Dale Hollidge made his first Tour start in nearly four years since running the 2019 “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek and came home fifth after getting by Erwin on lap 27. After getting as high as second on lap 10, Erwin dropped to sixth at the finish. Bryce Davis was seventh after leading the first three laps. For the second straight night, Austin Hubbard earned the $50 Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charge gift card this time going 16th to eighth. Hoy was ninth. 3C Graphix founder Matt Latta turned in his first top 10 of Speedweek in 10th.
2022 D&V Jewelers “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series Champion Jim Rasey led from green-to-checkered in the caution-free, eight-lap Non-Qualifier to earn $200 in the Jim Wrightsman-owned #21J. The 51-year-old Southington, Ohio Big-Block Modified veteran became the 66th different winner in 79 races run all-time! West Virginia teenager Ryan Hare was second for the second time in three nights. Canadian Brandt Graham, who won Thursday’s Non-Qualifier at Georgetown, was third. Sixteen-year-old rookie Jarrett Edwards was fourth in his first ever Tour start as Marc Berzowski completed the top five.
Hoy earned his first ever FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” fast qualifier award with a lap of 16.427 to earn $100. Winning $25 FK Rod Ends heat races were Hardy, Nick Davis, Bryce Davis, and Erwin. The twin last chance B mains were won by Pope and Cody Dawson. Collins won the Sunoco Dash for a $100 Sunoco fuel card. Also winning $100 Sunoco fuel cards through the random draws were Tour racers Dawson and Berzowski, while $50 Sunoco fuel cards went to Hollidge, Blair, Hoy, and Justice. Joe Martin, who has finished runner-up in the Flynn’s Tire Tour points each of the past three years, blew an engine running second in his heat race and was done for the night. Martin was selected as the TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night” recipient.
The Flynn’s Tire Touring Series will move on to Virginia’s Winchester Speedway on Saturday night (April 15) for round four of the fifth annual “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek presented by 3C Graphix for another $3,000 to-win event. Pit passes go on sale at 2 p.m., drivers meeting at 4:30 with warmups at 5.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model Flynn’s Tire Touring Series “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek presented by 3C Graphix Race #3 (30 laps, $3,000 to-win): 1. KYLE HARDY (99) 2. Trevor Collins (72) 3. Nick Davis (92) 4. Jeremy Pilkerton (8) 5. Dale Hollidge (Armel 15) 6. Russell Erwin (22) 7. Bryce Davis (94) 8. Austin Hubbard (Klink 49) 9. Tyler Hoy (71T) 10. Matt Latta (21) 11. Charlie Sandercock (57) 12. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 13. Max Blair (Briggs 1) 14. Garret Paugh (03) 15. Jason Knowles (4) 16. Travis Justice (23) 17. Kyle Sopaz (11) 18. Megan Mann (55) 19. Cody Dawson (36) 20. Ed Pope, Jr. (11) 21. Andy Michael (17x) 22. Chad Sines (15) 23. Chuck Bowie (14c) 24. Brock Pinkerous (555) 25. Ashton Briggs (11A). (Note: Ashton Briggs took a Tour provisional)
Non-Qualifier (8 laps, $200 to-win): 1. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 2. Ryan Hare (29) 3. Brandt Graham (14) 4. Jarrett Edwards (43) 5. Marc Berzowski (25M) 6. Craig Graham (98). DNS: Mike Wonderling (18), Matt Tepper (90), Joe Martin (Snyder 10s), Joe Brosseau (47B).
Car Count: 35
Feature Margin of Victory: 1.289 seconds
Feature Lap Leaders: Bryce Davis (1-3), Trevor Collins (4-11), Kyle Hardy (12-30)
Ontime Body & Graphic “Spoiler Alert” Spoiler Kit: Nick Davis
Performance Bodies “Nosed Out”: Jim Rasey
Precise Racing Products “Pedal Down” Hard Charger: Austin Hubbard (+8)
Sunoco Fuel Card Winners: Marc Berzowski ($100), Cody Dawson ($100), Dale Hollidge ($50), Travis Justice ($50), Tyler Hoy ($50), Max Blair ($50)
TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night”: Joe Martin
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Flight Qualifying (Track record 16.123 by Walker Arthur on 4/16/21) ($100 for fast time): 1. 71T-Tyler Hoy, 00:16.427; 2. 92-Nick Davis, 00:16.443; 3. 94-Bryce Davis, 00:16.488; 4. 22-Russell Erwin, 00:16.537; 5. 99-Kyle Hardy, 00:16.581; 6. 8-Jeremy Pilkerton, 00:16.610; 7. 72-Trevor Collins, 00:16.638; 8. 15A-Dale Hollidge, 00:16.657; 9. 10S-Joe Martin, 00:16.698; 10. 03-Garret Paugh, 00:16.705; 11. 111-Max Blair, 00:16.739; 12. 11S-Kyle Sopaz, 00:16.750; 13. 21L-Matt Latta, 00:16.759; 14. 555-Brock Pinkerous, 00:16.804; 15. 4-Jason Knowles, 00:16.812; 16. 15-Chad Sines, 00:16.847; 17. 11P-Ed Pope Jr, 00:16.860; 18. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling, 00:16.861; 19. 55-Megan Mann, 00:16.862; 20. 49K-Austin Hubbard, 00:16.869; 21. 57-Charlie Sandercock, 00:16.872; 22. 21J-Jim Rasey, 00:16.882; 23. 36-Cody Dawson, 00:16.887; 24. 18-Mike Wonderling, 00:16.925; 25. 43E-Jarrett Edwards, 00:16.933; 26. 14C-Chuck Bowie, 00:16.998; 27. 98-Craig Graham, 00:17.034; 28. 29-Ryan Hare, 00:17.107; 29. 11A-Ashton Briggs, 00:17.126; 30. 14-Brandt Graham, 00:17.169; 31. 90T-Matt Tepper, 00:17.318; 32. 17X-Andy Michael, 00:17.381; 33. 23J-Travis Justice, 00:17.788; 34. 25M-Marc Berzowski, 00:18.444; 35. 47B-Joe Brosseau-NT.
FK Rod Ends Heat 1 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 99-Kyle Hardy; 2. 71T-Tyler Hoy; 3. 21L-Matt Latta; 4. 57-Charlie Sandercock; 5. 23J-Travis Justice; 6. 11P-Ed Pope Jr; 7. 11A-Ashton Briggs; 8. 43E-Jarrett Edwards; 9. 10S-Joe Martin.
FK Rod Ends Heat 2 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 92-Nick Davis; 2. 8-Jeremy Pilkerton; 3. 03-Garret Paugh; 4. 3J-Jeremy Wonderling; 5. 555-Brock Pinkerous; 6. 14C-Chuck Bowie; 7. 21J-Jim Rasey; 8. 14-Brandt Graham; 9. 25M-Marc Berzowski.
FK Rod Ends Heat 3 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 94-Bryce Davis; 2. 72-Trevor Collins; 3. 111-Max Blair; 4. 4-Jason Knowles; 5. 55-Megan Mann; 6. 36-Cody Dawson; 7. 90T-Matt Tepper; 8. 98-Craig Graham. DNS: 47B-Joe Brosseau.
FK Rod Ends Heat 4 (8 laps, Top 5 transfer to A, $25 to-win): 1. 22-Russell Erwin; 2. 15A-Dale Hollidge; 3. 11S-Kyle Sopaz; 4. 49K-Austin Hubbard; 5. 15-Chad Sines; 6. 18-Mike Wonderling; 7. 29-Ryan Hare; 8. 17X-Andy Michael.
Last Chance B Main 1 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 11P-Ed Pope Jr; 2. 14C-Chuck Bowie; 3. 21J-Jim Rasey; 4. 11A-Ashton Briggs; 5. 14-Brandt Graham; 6. 43E-Jarrett Edwards; 7. 25M-Marc Berzowski. DNS: 10S-Joe Martin.
Last Chance B Main 2 (8 laps, Top 2 transfer to A): 1. 36-Cody Dawson; 2. 17X-Andy Michael; 3. 18-Mike Wonderling; 4. 29-Ryan Hare; 5. 98-Craig Graham; 6. 90T-Matt Tepper. DNS: 47B-Joe Brosseau.
Sunoco Dash (6 laps, $100 Sunoco fuel card to-win): 1. 72-Trevor Collins; 2. 94-Bryce Davis; 3. 71T-Tyler Hoy; 4. 22-Russell Erwin; 5. 8-Jeremy Pilkerton; 6. 15A-Dale Hollidge; 7. 99-Kyle Hardy; 8. 92-Nick Davis.