By MIKE LEONE
PULASKI, PA – With the inaugural season for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sprint Car Series powered by Pace Performance less than four months away, Series Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone are excited to release the schedule of events to date for the 2018 Bonnell’s Rod Shop Weekly Series Championship. Currently 23 events at seven different speedways make up the inaugural slate of events with the possibility of a few more events to be added.
The RUSH Sprint Cars are traditional, non-wing Sprint Cars utilizing the cost-effective Pace Performance GM 602 Crate Sprint Car engine package developed by Pace’s Director of Circle Track Engine Development, Don Blackshear, $135 sealed, spec RUSH Bilstein Bandits Shocks, affordable spec Hoosier Tires, and RUSH “Visual” Methanol spec fuel produced by Insinger Performance, a Sunoco Race Fuel Distributor.
Lernerville Speedway came on to anchor the RUSH Sprint Cars with 10 events including the inaugural event part of the Sarver, Pa. track’s season opener on Friday, April 20. The RUSH Sprints will join with Tony Stewart’s All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars on May 4, Sprint Spectacular events on June 29 and August 31 along with the season ending “Steel City Stampede” October 12-13. Tentatively the inaugural “Manufacturers Night” presented by MSD Performance is slated for August 31.
In addition, the RUSH Sprint Cars will headline Lernerville’s new monthly “RK Virgilie Wednesday Night Can’t Wait For The Weekend Mayhem Series” beginning in May and will feature the “Wednesday Night Lightning Series”; five exciting non-wing Sprint Car events with a $3,000 point fund! These events will also count toward the Bonnell’s Rod Shop Weekly Series Championship.
“Dirt’s Monster Half-Mile” at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway will hold monthly Bonnell’s Rod Shop events from June through September. Three of the four events are paired with “410” Sprint Cars including the All Star event on July 21. The RUSH Late Models headline action at Pittsburgh on a weekly basis, and the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds make numerous appearances at the track.
Another big western Pa. half-mile to host the RUSH Sprint Cars is Tri-City Raceway Park. The Sunday night facility will again hold monthly specials-only programs. The RUSH Sprints have dates on June 17 and July 15.
Two northwestern Pennsylvania tracks and another right across the border that host weekly RUSH Late Model action have stepped up to offer events for the RUSH Sprint Cars. Eriez Speedway will be the first track outside of Lernerville to have the RUSH Sprint Cars, which will take place on Sunday, May 13. The Sunday night 1/4-mile bullring of Old Bradford Speedway hasn’t had a Sprint Car race of any kind in many years. That will change in 2018 with a pair of $600 to-win, $150 to-star events on May 20 and August 5. The RUSH Sprint Cars will again join up with the All Stars on June 9 at New Stateline Speedway then return on June 30 part of “Open Wheel Mania” as both events will pay $600 to-win, $150 to-start. Stateline is located almost right on the PA/NY border in Busti, NY.
The most recent announcement was that the RUSH Sprint Cars will be part of Genesee Speedway’s second annual “Topless Nationals” on September 15-16. The Batavia, NY 1/3-mile is one RUSH’s most successful weekly Late Model tracks as track promoter Jim Johnson has completed his second year at the helm. The RUSH Sprint Cars will run a complete show paying $800 to-win, $160 to-start each day with the overall top point driver receiving a $300 bonus from RUSH for the “Empire State Classic”. The last time full size Sprint Cars raced at Genesee was 2009 when “360” Sprint Cars were part of the weekly program.
“To have seven regional tracks to date commit to helping us put together a 23-event schedule before we’ve even officially turned a wheel on a RUSH Sprint Car means a lot to not only us, but the numerous racers who are already preparing to compete in the inaugural season,” expressed Emig. “We cannot thank our RUSH partner speedways enough. We’ve had talks with a few other speedways that may host an event or two, but we felt it was important to get this confirmed schedule of events out to the public now. I think the fans are really going to be surprised at what great racing the RUSH Sprint Cars produce. The cars that we tested at Lernerville turned times very comparable to our fastest 604 Late Model Touring cars at Lernerville events. Running them wingless is going to produce great side-by-side racing.”
All events in 2018 will be part of the $20,000+ Bonnell’s Rod Shop Weekly Series Championship that will pay $5,000 to-win down 20 spots. Like all of RUSH’s other divisions, drivers’ best 12 point finishes will be utilized. There will also be a “Futures Cup” Championship for eligible teenage racers and combined with the “Wednesday Night Lightning” Series will bring the 2018 championship point funds to over $23,700 (see breakdown below).
The GM 602 Sprint Car engine can be purchased directly at Pace Performance in Boardman, Ohio by calling 888-748-4655. Don Blackshear, a former RUSH Authorized Engine Rebuilder, is the director of Circle Track Operations at Pace. The printable color flyer with this information is available online at www.rushsprintcars.com/Sprint-Engine-Flyer.pdf. Know that financing options are available. You can also check out their website at www.paceperformance.com.
In addition, the engine can be purchased through RUSH’s Authorized Engine Rebuilders. The complete list with contact info can be found under the Engine tab on the website or directly at the following link www.rushsprintcars.com/engines.html.
2018 Sweeney RUSH Sprint Car Bonnell’s Rod Shop Weekly Series Schedule*
• Fri, April 20 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA)
• Fri, May 4 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA)
• Sun., May 13 Eriez Speedway (Erie, PA)
• Wed, May 16 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) – “Wednesday Night Lightning” Series Kickoff
• Sun, May 20 Old Bradford Speedway (Bradford, PA) – $600 to-win, $150 to-start
• Sat, May 26 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)
• Sat, June 9 New Stateline Speedway (Busti, NY) – $600 to-win, $150 to-start
• Sun, June 17 Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA)
• Wed, June 20 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) – “Wednesday Night Lightning” Series
• Fri, June 29 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA)
• Sat, June 30 New Stateline Speedway (Busti, NY) – $600 to-win, $150 to-start
• Sun, July 15 Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA)
• Wed, July 18 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) – “Wednesday Night Lightning” Series
• Sat, July 21 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)
• Sun, August 5 Old Bradford Speedway (Bradford, PA) – $600 to-win, $150 to-start
• Wed, August 15 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) – “Wednesday Night Lightning” Series
• Sat, August 25 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)
• Fri, August 31 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) – “Manufacturers Night” presented by MSD Performance
• Sat, September 15 Genesee Speedway (Batavia, NY) – “Empire State Classic” -$800 to-win, $160 to-start (3 p.m. start)
• Sun, September 16 Genesee Speedway (Batavia, NY) – “Empire State Classic” -$800 to-win, $160 to-start with a $300 bonus for top point car over the two days (3 p.m. start)
• Wed, September 19 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) – “Wednesday Night Lightning” Series Finale
• Sat, September 22 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)
• Fri-Sat, October 12-13 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) – “Steel City Stampede”
*Schedule is subject to change. Additional dates may be added.
2018 Bonnell’s Rod Shop Weekly Series Point Fund ($20,075): 1. $5,000 2. $2,500 3. $1,750 4. $1,500 5. $1,200 6. $1,000 7. $800 8. $750 9. $700 10. $650 11. $600 12. $500 13. $450 14. $425 15. $400 16. $390 17. $380 18. $370 19. $360 20. $350.
2018 “Wednesday Night Lightning” Series Point Fund ($3,000): 1. $1,000 2. $500 3. $350 4. $225 5. $200 6. $180 7. $150 8. $140 9. $130 10. $125.
2018 “Futures Cup” Point Fund ($650 minimum): 1. $300 2. $200 3. $100 4. $50.
2018 RUSH Sprint Car marketing partners include partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bonnell’s Rod Shop, Bilstein Shocks, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Earl’s Performance Plumbing, FK Rod Ends, Maxima Racing Oil, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Precise Racing Products, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Landrum Performance Spring, CrateInsider.com, RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at firstname.lastname@example.org and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300 and fax is 724-964-0604. The RUSH Sprint Car website is www.rushsprintcars.com. “Like” our Facebook page at ww.facebook.com/rushsprintcars and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSprints for the latest news and updates.