By MIKE LEONE
PULASKI, PA – The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series powered by Pace Performance is geared up for its richest season in history. The Series is proud to officially release its 17-event 2019 slate that features nine events paying $3,000 or more to win with increase in payoffs, new events such as the $10,000 to-win “Bill Emig Memorial” and back-to-back $4,000 to-win shows in Quebec, a return to MAVTV at Weedsport, “Manufacturers Nights” presented by MSD Performance plus the new “$500 Club” program.
All Sweeney Tour events will now pay a minimum of $2,000 to-win, $225 to-start with a $200 to-win non-qualifier, and guaranteed $125 tow money. All events will utilize the group qualifying format featuring $100 FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock Qualifying” and $25 to-win FK Rod End heat races.
The new “500 Club” will allow five drivers from the host speedway’s top 15 in points (or the closest nearby track if not at a weekly-sanctioned track) the ability to win an additional $100 cash bonus at Sweeney Touring Series events! The “500” Club will influx an additional $7,000 of available cash into the hands of RUSH “weekly” racers who participate in RUSH Touring events! The “$500 Club” will take place at all Sweeney Tour events with the exception of the Lernerville “Bill Emig Memorial” and at the Quebec events, which will have a separate promotion.
“Our 2019 Touring schedule is just incredible,” Series Director Vicki Emig. “To have more than 50% of this year’s schedule paying a minimum of $3,000 to-win highlighted of course by Lernerville’s $10,000 to win ‘Bill Emig Memorial’ in conjunction with the ‘Firecracker’ speaks volumes as to how far Crate Late Model racing has come throughout our region. Couple that with other exciting things like two Manufacturers Nights that will once again distribute over $50,000 of actual product to the racers, our nationally televised MAVTV Weedsport event, back-to back events in the French speaking province of Quebec, DirtonDirt.com coverage, and I’d say it’s going to be quite a year! All of the host speedways should be commended for their support of RUSH and our Touring Series.”
The 2019 slate will get underway with the second annual “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek, this year presented by Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, on April 17 and continue through the 20th. Speedweek will kick-off once again at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar with this year’s event being increased to $4,000 to-win for the inaugural “Raelyn Huffman Memorial” presented by RJ Poultry. Not only has the opening event been increased, but thanks to the promoters of Georgetown, Potomac, and Winchester, those events have now been increased to $3,000 to-win.
Besides the increase payoffs, there will again be a $3,000 point fund for the top 10 RUSH members in points over the four nights with $1,000 going to the champion thanks to Wehrs Machine. There will also be a $150 travel package for any Tour driver in the top 12 from 2018 that participates. Last year, saw car counts of 40 or more at all five events with 63 different drivers participating. Logan Roberson was the Speedweek champion after winning the Potomac and Winchester events for his first career Tour wins.
DIS has completed two successful seasons under the RUSH banner with increasing weekly car counts. Georgetown meanwhile is located just 20 miles from DIS, and promoter Brett Deyo will be entering his third season of having RUSH sanction his Crate Late Model racing. Friday and Saturday sister speedways, Potomac and Winchester, have led the tremendous growth of Crate Late Model racing in the Mid-Atlantic as both will embark on their sixth seasons under the RUSH banner with track owner Greg Gunter and general manager Denise Hollidge.
After a month off, the Sweeney Touring Series returns to Stateline Speedway for the third consecutive year for the “Bill Law Memorial” on May 18. The 2017 event was the first ever Tour event at the Busti, NY oval in the 10-year history of Crate Late Models in the Northeast as a big crowd watched a thriller as Jeremy Wonderling held off standout and track dominator Max Blair for the victory. Last year’s event was just as good as Damian Bidwell made a late race pass of Scott Gurdak for his first Tour win in more than three years. The event is held in memory of the late Bill Law, who pioneered the Crate Late Model concept in the Northeast as a car owner for several racers including his son Jon. Law’s grandson, Kyle Murray, carries on the family tradition as he currently competes in the RUSH Late Models.
The following night (Sunday, May 19), Eriez Speedway will host a “Marquee” event giving racers back-to-back $2,000 to-win shows nearby. Located just outside of Erie, Pa., this will be the first Tour race under the new ownership of Dave Alexander, who will host weekly Sunday night RUSH Late Model racing. There have been six RUSH Tour events completed all-time at Eriez and the Blairs have won all six with Max winning five and his father Rob one in a substitution role for Max.
For the third straight year, Outlaw and Genesee Speedway in New York have teamed up to host back-to-back $2,000 to-win “Marquee” Events on Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1. Outlaw’s show will again be dubbed as the “Gary Montgomery Memorial”. The last two Outlaw races have been tremendous with former BRP Can-Am racers Bryce Davis and Jeremy Wonderling winning in memory of Montgomery, while Jason Genco swept both Tour events last season at Genesee. Owner Tyler Siri has done a tremendous job at transforming Outlaw Speedway, while Genesee promoter Jim Johnson hosts a very successful Saturday night weekly program featuring the RUSH Late Models at the Genesee County Fairgrounds in Batavia.
The most anticipated Crate Late Model race in the history of the Northeast will take place at Lernerville Speedway June 20-22 as part of the track’s “Firecracker 100”. The event will feature the $10,000 to-win “Bill Emig Memorial”, which joins the Super Late Model crown jewel event for the World of Outlaws, which pays $30,000 to-win. This will be the richest Crate Late Model race in the 13-year history in the Northeast and is expected to attract racers from all over the East Coast and Canada. RUSH thanks the Tomson Family at Lernerville and the World of Outlaws for making this event possible as well the speedways for allowing their racers to compete in this historic event.
For the first time ever, Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway will host a trio of Sweeney Tour events. The first show will be on Saturday, June 29 as the “Manufacturers Night” presented by MSD Performance returns to the “Monster Half-Mile” for the first time since 2013. Not only will this be a $2,000 to-win show, but competing racers will share in the $40,000 of useful product giveaways. The “traveling” Manufacturers Night will move to the Mid-Atlantic in 2019 and will be held at Potomac Speedway on Sunday, May 26 in a Weekly Series special; the two MFG Night events combined are expected to award over $50,000 in usual product to RUSH racers.
Miley Motorsports, which features the RUSH Late Models as their headlining division on Saturday nights at PPMS, will also again host two of the major Tour events. For the third time, the “Jook George Steel City Classic” will be a Tour event. The “Jook George” will take place on Saturday, August 10 with the exact payoff TBA. Last year’s event attracted a record 51 cars and saw Jacob Hawkins take home $5,010 of the record payoff thanks to the extraordinary efforts by Branden Lockwich . For the fourth straight year, the Sweeney Tour will be part of the “Pittsburgher” with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series on October 4-5. Last year’s “Bill Hendren Memorial” increased to $4,000 to-win and also included a $1,000 to-win Pace Performance non-winners race on Friday night.
One of last year’s most anticipated events took place at Weedsport Speedway for their first ever RUSH-sanctioned event. John Waters won the $2,000 event that was televised by MAVTV, which was the first time ever Crate Late Models were televised nationally. Weedsport has been one of the most requested venues in recent years and once again this mid-week special on Tuesday, July 2 will allow all teams the ability to compete without conflicting with any other RUSH-sanctioned events.
A new and exciting weekend takes place on Friday and Saturday, July 12-13 as RUSH will have back-to-back $4,000 to-win, $400 to-start Tour events in US funds at Autodrome Granby and Le RPM Speedways. This “Quebec Invasion” will see RUSH head to the French-speaking province for the first time ever! It addition to this great payoff, 20 lucky drivers will win a $100 Sunoco fuel card to help with travel expenses. Both of these shows will be under the Platinum designation have attracted a lot of interest throughout the entire region. Thanks to so many of the Canadian and New York tracks for their willingness to allow their racers to compete in these events.
For the first time ever, Dog Hollow Speedway will host a Sweeney Tour event. The $2,000 to-win “Mole Bassaro Memorial” will take place on Friday, August 2, and will also include the RUSH Sportsman Modified Touring Series for the first time ever as well. The Northern Cambria, Pa. oval became RUSH weekly-sanctioned in 2018 for the first time, and will continue to be so featuring primarily Saturday night racing under promoter Dan Savino.
The season will once again conclude with the “Steel City Stampede” at Lernerville Speedway on October 18-19. Last year, Colton Flinner became the 10th different winner in as many “Steel City Stampedes” with his $2,000 victory. The Sarver, Pa. oval is a great partner with RUSH running the RUSH Pro Stocks weekly, along with events for the RUSH Sprint Cars and RUSH Sportsman Modifieds in addition to the previously mentioned $10,000 to-win “Bill Emig Memorial”.
The 2018 season saw 12 different winners in 17 Tour races. Car counts were up with an average of more than 32 per night. Jeremy Wonderling captured the $5,000 championship beating out Jason Genco. Both New York drivers will return to the Tour full-time in 2019. Between the new “$500 Club” and the Sunoco gift cards for the “Quebec Invasion”, an additional $9,000 will be influxed to RUSH racers as part of the Touring Series in 2019. Additional information on the Touring Series and other RUSH programs will be released throughout the offseason.
2019 Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series Schedule*
• Wed, April 17 Delaware International Speedway (Delmar, DE) – “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek (“Raelyn Huffman Memorial”)- $4,000 to-win (Marquee)
• Thr, April 19 Georgetown Speedway (Georgetown, DE) – “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek – $3,000 to-win (Marquee)
• Fri, April 20 Potomac Speedway (Mechanicsville, MD) – “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek – $3,000 to-win (Marquee)
• Sat, April 21 Winchester Speedway (Winchester, VA) – “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek – $3,000 to-win (Marquee)
• Saturday, May 18 Stateline Speedway (Busti, NY) – “Bill Law Memorial” – $2,000 to-win (Marquee)
• Sunday, May 19 Eriez Speedway (Erie, PA) – $2,000 to-win
• Friday, May 31 Outlaw Speedway (Dundee, NY) – “Gary Montgomery Memorial” – $2,000 to-win (Marquee)
• Saturday, June 1 Genesee Speedway (Batavia, NY) – $2,000 to-win (Marquee)
• Thr-Sat, June 20-22 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) – “Bill Emig Memorial” at the “Firecracker 100” – $10,000 to-win (Marquee) – rain date June 23
• Saturday, June 29 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA) -$40,000 “Manufacturers Night” presented by MSD Performance – $2,000 to-win (Marquee)
• Tuesday, July 2 Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY) – Televised by MAVTV/Speed Sport – $2,000 to-win (Marquee)
• Friday, July 12 Autodrome Granby Speedway (Granby, QC) – “Quebec Invasion” – $4,000 to-win, $400 to-start US (Platinum)
• Saturday, July 13 Le RPM Speedway (Saint-Marcel-de-Richelieu, QC) – “Quebec Invasion” – $4,000 to-win, $400 to-start US (Platinum)
• Friday, August 2 Dog Hollow Speedway (Northern Cambria, PA) – “Mole Bassaro Memorial” – $2,000 to-win (Marquee)
• Saturday, August 10 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA) – “Jook George Steel City Classic” – Payoff TBA (Marquee) – rain date August 11
• Fri & Sat, October 4-5 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA) – “Bill Hendren Memorial” at the “Pittsburgher” – $4,000 to-win (Marquee) – rain date October 6
• Fri & Sat, October 18-19 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) – “Steel City Stampede” – $2,000 to-win – rain date October 20
*Schedule is subject to change. Additional date(s) may be added.
RUSH Late Model Series is brought to you by Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC & Pace Performance along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Dynamic Drivelines, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Trailer-Alarms.com, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, CrateInsider.com, and Valley Fashions.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at email@example.com and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300 and fax is 724-964-0604. The RUSH Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.