By MIKE LEONE
WINCHESTER, VA – The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series powered by Pace Performance will kick-off the 2017 season this Saturday (April 22) at Virginia’s Winchester Speedway. Warm-ups are slated for 5:45 p.m. It will be Touring Series race #1 of 17 and will be a Marquee Event designation. Saturday’s event will be the only Sweeney Tour event for the season in the Mid-Atlantic.
For the first time in nearly two years, the cars and stars of the Sweeney RUSH Tour will converge at Winchester for a $2,000 to-win event. Past Tour winners at Winchester include Rick Singleton (2014), Walker Arthur (2015), and Allen Brannon (2015). Brannon in fact won the April 8 and 15 Sweeney Weekly Series races at Winchester this season, while Tyler Bare captured the March 25 opener. Thirty-two different racers have competed in the three Sweeney Weekly Series events to date with four of them being Tour racers prepping for Saturday including Eric Wilson, Jason Knowles, Greg Beach, and Dillan Stake.
Atop the $5,000 to-win Sweeney Weekly Series standings is Logan Roberson, a regular at both Potomac and Winchester Speedways. While he’s yet to win at Winchester this season, the 19-year-old Waynesboro, Virginia racer is one of the favorites for Saturday, and does have two wins this season at Potomac.
Eighteen drivers have already joined the Touring Series with more expected to join on Saturday. John Waters will return to defend his 2016 championship, the first of his career in RUSH. The Whitesville, NY driver battled for most of the season with fellow New Yorker, Bryce Davis, and overtook him in the points in the season finale after a DNF by Davis. Davis, the 2015 Pace Performance “Summer Chase” Champion, will set out on Saturday in hopes of his first Touring Series crown.
Northwestern Pennsylvania standout Chad Wright has made a commitment to follow the Tour for the first time in many years. While many of last year’s Touring regulars will return, new Touring Series members thus far for 2017 include Beach, Stake, Bobby Cossell IV, Bill Kessler, Hunter Hulley, Mike Franklin, Matt Bassaro, Jon Rivers, and Kyle Murray.
“We’re excited to return to Winchester on Saturday,” stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “We had originally planned to have an event there last year, but some scheduling conflicts nixed the possible event dates. Potomac and Winchester have been true success stories of RUSH and a testament to what a strong sanctioning body can do for the overall stability and growth of a division. Both speedways stayed the course over the initial three-year period under RUSH and the results have been phenomenal. They have always been very supportive of our decisions to keep Crate Late Models healthy and viable into the future. We constantly point to these two tracks as a success story and how being steadfast can payoff in the long run. We cannot thank track owner Greg Gunter and general manager Denise Hollidge enough.”
FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock Qualifying and Beat the Heat” will be utilized meaning the fastest qualifier will receive $100 and all heat race winners will earn $25. The K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash will be run paying a $100 K&N certificate to win, $50 K&N certificate for second with $25 cash for third and fourth place. The K&N Dash will also set the beginning of the 30-lap feature lineup for the top two finishers in the heat races if there are less than five heats or for the heat winners if there are five or more heats.
Precise Racing Products will award a $100 gift card for the “Pedal Down” Hard Charger that passes the most cars in the feature. The TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night” will award three bottles of Xtreme6 Racing Brake Fluid valued at approximately $45 along with a certificate for a discount off any TBM Brakes purchase.
RUSH Officials will choose the “Maxima Performance” Award for a driver that exhibits a performance worthy of such. The winner will receive a free case of either Maxima Semi-Syn High Performance Racing Oil or Maxima Performance Racing Oil of your choice. In addition, the winner will receive one can of SC-1 clear coat, one 16-oz bottle of Maxima Cool-Aide concentrate, one 32-oz quart of Maxima PSF power steering fluid, and a Maxima t-shirt. The value of this prize package is $170! Also, CrateInsider.com will award a $25 gift certificate to the driver that finishes last on the lead lap at the finish.
Feature payoff: 1. $2,000 2. $1,000 3. $650 4. $550 5. $470 6. $435 7. $410 8. $370 9. $340 10. $310 11. $280 12. $270 13. $260 14. $250 15. $240 16. $230 17. $220 18-24. $210.
Non-Qualifier payoff: 1. $175 2. $150 3. $140 4. $135 5. $130 6. $125 7. $120 8. $115 9. $110 10-24. $105. Tow $100.
You do not have to a member of RUSH to compete. The yellow Westhold transponders will be used. RACEceivers are always mandatory. There will be a $100 entry fee for the event. Pit passes are $30. Pit gates open at 3 p.m. Drivers meeting is scheduled for 5:20 p.m. with warm-ups at 5:45 followed by qualifying and racing.
Winchester Speedway is a high-banked 3/8-mile dirt track located just off Route 50 at 950 Airport Road Winchester, VA 22604. The track first opened in 1936 under the name of Airport Speedway. For more information, check out their website at www.winchestervaspeedway.com, “like” them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wincvaspeedway and “follow” them on Twitter @Wincvaspeedway.
RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Earl’s Performance Plumbing, Quick Fuel Technology, FK Rod Ends, Maxima Racing Oil, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Rocket Chassis, Landrum Performance Spring, CrateInsider.com, RockAuto.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.