Montgomery rebounds at Sharon, wins RUSH event
HARTFORD, Ohio (May 26) — Ryan Montgomery of Fairmont, W.Va., turned around his recent bad luck with an impressive victory during Sunday’s 25-lap Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series feature at Sharon Speedway.
Montgomery came from fifth to pass Glenn Elliott of Finksburg, Md., then held off Elliott and Joe Martin of Mayport, Pa., for his first victory on the first-year Crate Late Model tour. The victory was worth $1,500 in the second leg of a the RUSH tour’s weekend doubleheader at Sharon’s 3/8-mile oval.
Martin settled for second with Elliott just behind in third. Rick Singleton of Huntingdon, Pa., and Matt Glanden of Denton, Md., finished fourth and fifth.
"This is a great comeback from yesterday," said the 16-year-old Montgomery, who was caught up in a hard crash during Saturday’s main event. "We were running up front yesterday then that whole deal happened. We've had that car out twice and it pretty much looked like that both times so we're going to park that car.
“We've had this car out six times and this is my third win! It's great to a turnaround. It's insane to know you can wreck yesterday and come back with whatever confidence you have and then win."
By virtue of winning the John Buzzard Memorial K&N Cold Air Induction Dash, Elliott raced into the lead over Futures Cup racer Clay Ruffo with Bobby Pifer III followed by Montgomery and eighth-starting Rick Singleton. On lap two, Pifer got high in turn three allowing Montgomery, Singleton, and seventh-starting Martin to advance to positions three through five respectively.
Montgomery and Singleton then went after Ruffo. Montgomery and Ruffo raced side-by-side on lap five with Montgomery nosing ahead. Montgomery faced a straightaway deficit as Elliott had checked out.
The battle was now on for third as Ruffo tried to fend off Singleton and Martin. Hard side-by-side racing was taking place on lap nine and ten before the event's first and only caution was displayed for Michael Lake, who went up in smoke with nine laps scored.
On the ensuing restart, Montgomery kept pace with Elliott. The duo ran side-by-side with Montgomery having the momentum off the top of turn four to lead lap 10. Elliott though wasn't going away as he raced back by Montgomery on the bottom of turn four to reclaim the lead on lap 11. The race for the lead continued side-by-side with Montgomery battling back to lead lap 12.
Meanwhile, Singleton and Martin had passed Ruffo for third and fourth respectively on the restart. Martin continued his march to the front getting by Singleton on lap 12 for third. The race for the lead never died as they continued to race side-by-side on laps 15 and 16 with Montgomery still maintaining his advantage with the momentum on the topside of the speedway.
The tight battle allowed Martin to close in on lap 17 making it a three-car race for the lead. Traffic loomed ahead with five laps to go. Montgomery caught the back-markers on lap 21 as Martin seized the opportunity to take second from Elliott.
The closing laps through lapped traffic were intense. Martin tried everything, but Montgomery made the right moves through lapped traffic to secure his second career Sharon Speedway win in the Jeff Montgomery-owned, T.J. Contracting, High Gear Speed Shop, Mountain State Plumbing, Central Supply, Frankland Rearends, Genesis Racing Shocks-sponsored No. 12 machine.
"I saw he was running the bottom and I saw there was some brown up top," Montgomery said. "I knew I was gaining on him when he caught those lapped cars and didn't know if he was slowing down or it was the lapped cars.
“That restart played out perfect. I thought I jumped him and the flagman was calling it back, but it ended up working out. I messed up one time off turn two and he got back under me and I thought it was over, but I came back again."
Martin's runner-up was his best run of the season moving him into fourth in the standings and also was second in the weekend's Wild Card points to earn an extra $400.
"For the way we have been running, I'm really happy," Martin, 28, said. "I have to thank Andrew Wylie. We've been working on this and I think once we get it figured out we're going to do really well. We're still struggling, but we were passing people tonight and Sharon is one of my favorite tracks.”
Coupled with his third place effort on Saturday and card draws both nights, Elliott garnered 207 points good enough to win the $500 Bill Emig Memorial Wild Card Weekend miniseries crown and take over the RUSH touring series points lead.
"I enjoy being here on the podium, but I just wish we would have been in the lead,” Elliott said. "That caution threw us off and we pretty much shredded the right rear tire and went backwards a little bit. We had fun here. For the second time being on the track, I cannot complain whatsoever. I have to congratulate Ryan. He had bad luck last night and sure deserved it tonight."
RUSH @ Sharon: (1) Ryan Montgomery, (2) Joe Martin, (3) Glenn Elliott, (4) Rick Singleton, (5) Matt Glanden, (6) Josh Holtgraver, (7) Lauren Longbrake, (8) Shaun Hooks, (9) Mike Pegher, Jr., (10) Josh Double, (11) Andrew Wylie, (12) Clay Ruffo, (13) John Over, (14) Jorden Peters, (15) Dennis Lunger, Jr., (16) Matt Latta, (17) Nico Dabecco, (18) Shane Weaver, 19) Rocky Kugel, (20) Butch Lambert, (21) Bobby Pifer III, (22) Chad Ruhlman, (23) Jamie Wrightsman, (24) Russell Baird, Jr., (25) Michael Lake. Heat winners (among 37 cars): Montgomery, Elliott, Glanden. Dash winner: Elliott. Consolation winner: Pegher.