From Mike Leone
John Mollick stole a first career win away from Brian Hartzell by taking the lead on lap 13 and led the rest of the way to win his first Hovis RUSH Sprint Car feature since his only win on July 27, 2019 at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway. The Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series win for Mollick was worth $600 as he became the sixth different winner of the season. Like the RUSH Late Models, the RUSH Sprint Car feature also went non-stop as the 20 lapper was timed in 6:58.698.
“Wow I can’t believe we just won on that race track,” expressed the 51-year-old Toronto, Ohio veteran. “It’s crazy. That’s not my style, my track, but we got the win tonight. This class is just getting tougher and tougher every year. Everyone is picking up their game, learning, learning. It’s a struggle to keep up. These young guys are coming up quick. I have to thank my guys Scott (Clever) and Rick (Antill); Scott owns the car and Rick works on it along with my wife, sponsors, and Jet for taking care of the engine for us.”
Hartzell was able to get by pole-sitter Zack Wilson on the start. Mollick, who started fourth, passed Joe Buccola on lap four for third then drove around Wilson for second off turn four on lap seven. Hartzell’s advantage was 1.127 second over Mollick by the time Mollick got to second. The advantage quickly shrunk as Mollick closed in on lap 11. The two raced side-by-side on lap 13 with Mollick using the outside off turn four for the winning move.
Hartzell stayed within striking distance until lap 17 when Mollick stretched out his advantage and that continued until the finish as he took the checkered flag first by a commanding 3.946 seconds in the Scott Clever-owned, Duda Cable Construction/Prox Power Washing/RV Coleman Trucking/Rae-Lyn Enterprises-sponsored #4J. Hartzell matched a career best finish in second. Rookie Wilson was a career best third as he continues to impress with no full size race car experience. Gale Ruth, Jr. was fifth.
Buccola had a career best RUSH Sprint Car finish in sixth as Andy Priest, Brandon Blackshear, Chad Ruhlman, Blaze Myers, and Zach Morrow completed the top 10. The 25 cars in competition set an all-time record high car count for the fifth year division beating the 24 from earlier this season at Sharon Speedway. Heat winners were Ruth, Ruhlman, and Wilson.
Hovis RUSH Sprint Car Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Race #15 (20 laps, $600 to-win): 1. JOHN MOLLICK (Clever 4J) 2. Brian Hartzell (69) 3. Zack Wilson (1) 4. Gale Ruth, Jr. (McConnell 24) 5. Joe Buccola (5B) 6. Andy Priest (Hull 41) 7. Brandon Blackshear (19) 8. Chad Ruhlman (Engles 68) 9. Blaze Myers (43Jr) 10. Zach Morrow (Mahoney/Eckart 9) 11. Ryan Fraley (12) 12. A.J. MacQuarrie (Hartzell 69) 13. Nolan Groves (Beedle 25) 14. Brian Cressley (62) 15. Ricky Tucker, Jr. (1T) 16. Tyler Newhart (57N) 17. Jeff Metsger (20) 18. Kevin Kaserman (13) 19. Brandon Shughart (29) 20. Charlie Utsinger (23) 21. Lacey Shuttleworth (15) 22. Jordan Hamilton (35) 23. Amelia Clay (12c) 24. Don Blaney (11). DNS: Trent Marshall (17).