By MIKE LEONE
PULASKI, PA – For the first time ever, the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series will sanction events in the “First State” as Delaware International Speedway in Delmar will be the newest Sweeney RUSH Late Model Weekly Series track beginning this season on Saturday nights. This will mark the furthest eastward progression of the Series as Delaware joins Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Virginia, Maryland, and Ontario, Canada in states and providences that will host RUSH-sanctioned events in 2017!
For over a decade, GM 602 crate engines ruled the state of Delaware in Crate Late Models; however, with the RUSH sanctioning blossoming in the Mid-Atlantic at Potomac and Winchester Speedway in recent years, the decision was made to have RUSH sanction all Crate Late Model events in 2017!
“To now have Delaware join Winchester and Potomac under the RUSH banner is a huge step in solidifying Crate Late Model racing under one banner throughout the Mid-Atlantic region,” acknowledged RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “Charlie Cathell’s Delaware International has been a prominent name in East Coast racing for many, many years and he’s done a tremendous job with his GM 602 Crate Late Model program. His decision to sanction with RUSH will now give RUSH racers another option to accumulate points toward our valuable championship programs, while at the same time allow their racers to compete under a standardized rules package and be part of a championship program.”
“Delaware is going to be a great partner to Potomac on Friday nights, and I have little doubt that this move is going to give other racers incentive to get involved in the division like we have seen over the past three years at Potomac and Winchester,” continued Emig.
RUSH member racers will be able to participate at Delaware on a weekly basis and be eligible for all of the programs including the Sweeney Weekly Series Championship, the Pace Performance “Summer Chase”, along with the Bilstein Bandits and the “Futures Cup” for those eligible racers. Member racers will battle for the “Track Pack Bonus” with $300 going to the driver that accumulates the most RUSH points at Delaware, $200 for second, $150 for third, $100 for fourth, and $50 for fifth. Contingency prizes will then be posted for those racers in sixth through eighth in the RUSH member points at Delaware. While membership is not mandatory to compete in any RUSH-sanctioned event, membership also include a $100,000 excess participant accident policy, which is over and above drivers’ health insurance and speedways’ participant accident policy.
A smooth transitional process will allow previous season’s Delaware GM 602 competitors to burn-off their 2016 previously legal tires through July 2, 2017; all other racers must utilize RUSH’s Hoosier USA25 and/or 55 stamped Crate Racin’ USA Tires.
The DIS Engine Seal will be recognized “only” at DIS throughout the 2017 season with the exception of the following three Delaware/Potomac/Winchester weekends- April 27-29, July 27-29, and August 10-12, where DIS engine seals will be permitted at Potomac and Winchester. DIS Engine Sealed racers wishing to compete at any other RUSH-sanctioned speedway must have their engine properly sealed under the RUSH sealing system clearly stated in the RUSH Technical Rules package. Stay tuned for an announcement on a RUSH Authorized Engine Rebuilder being named for Delaware area racers.
The Delaware Motorsports Complex that houses the U.S. 13 Dragway, Delaware International Speedway, and the U.S. 13 Kart Track is truly a family operation. Its origins with the Cathell family can be traced back to 1963 when the family purchased a parcel of farmland on the west side of US 13, about a mile north of Delmar. To their dismay they discovered that they only had enough room for a fifth-mile drag strip. The fifth-mile track did not allow enough distance for shutdown, so shortly thereafter, the Cathells purchased additional land and extended the track to a quarter-mile.
As interest in racing grew, the family business grew. A dirt track was built on the west side of the dragway and the grandstands were put on wheels and towed back and forth between the two facilities. The Delmarva Auto Racing Association leased and ran the track from 1965 to 1968. The following year, the track moved to its present location but was a third-mile complete with a figure eight. The Cathell family took over management of the track with the help of a staff of 50 to 75 locals, many of who are still with the family today. Over the years the speedway was expanded to its current half-mile configuration and the U.S. 13 Kart track was added to the south end of the facility.
The family is proud of the recognition from the Delaware Tourism Bureau as the eighth most popular attraction in Delaware and the second only to the beaches in Sussex County. Charlie Cathell was also recognized as “Promoter of the Year” in 2004 at the annual Promoters Workshop in Daytona, FL, as well as being inducted into the NHRA Northeast Division Hall of Fame.
For more information on Delaware International Speedway, check out their website at www.delawareracing.com. The track office number is 302-846-3911. You can like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DelawareRacing and follow them on Twitter @delawareracing.
RUSH Late Model 2016 marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, FK Rod Ends, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Rocket Chassis, Bobby Lake Motorsports High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, B.R.A.K.E.S., 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.