By Mike Leone

May 27, 2014             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Delevan, NY)…Fresh off the inaugural Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series season that saw the title chase go down to the closing laps of the feature last October at Lernerville Speedway with Mike Pegher, Jr. coming out on top over Ryan Montgomery, the long-awaited kickoff to the 2014 campaign will begin this Friday night (May 30) at western New York's Freedom Speedway.    

Freedom is back after a two-year hiatus from racing and has reopened under new management by promoter Troy Shuknecht.  Weather has really hampered Freedom throughout the month of May as only one event has been completed with Jeremy Wonderling making history as the first ever RUSH-sanctioned winner at the speedway; however, good weather is forecasted for this Friday night.  History will also be made Friday as the race will mark the first ever Crate Late Model tour event held at the 1/3-mile oval! 

"We're anxious to get the season underway," stated Co-Director Vicki Emig.  "The RUSH weekly-sanctioned tracks are all off to good starts with great car counts and lots of different winners.  We expect the same in our Sweeney Tour events.  We've worked hard with the promoters to present a strong schedule and listened to many of the concerns of the racers.  We're thankful Freedom has come on board as a weekly-sanctioned track and really excited they stepped up to hold the track's first ever Crate Late Model Tour event!" 

After losing out by just three points last year, Ryan Montgomery enters 2014 as the odds on favorite to win the Sweeney Tour Championship.  The 17-year-old tied Pegher with the Series' most wins with at five, but Freedom is a track that the Fairmont, West Virginia racer has yet to see.  Pegher meanwhile has moved on to more of a full-time schedule with the Super Late Models and anticipates only a limited number of starts in RUSH competition. 

Two Chads look to have a say in the title run.  They include Chad Ruhlman and Chad McClellan.  Ruhlman of Bemus Point, NY finished fifth in last year's title chase, and is off to a fast start with three wins and a runner-up in Sweeney Weekly Series action this year at nearby McKean County Raceway.  McClellan of Stoystown, PA won his first ever Crate Late Model Tour event last September at McKean and already has Sweeney Weekly Series wins at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex and Winchester Speedway. 

Dennis Lunger, Jr. is expected to compete for the title.  The Albion, Pa. driver has been very fast and consistent in Sweeney Weekly Series action as he has yet to finish worse than fifth in any of the seven events he's competed in including two wins at Sharon Speedway and one at Humberstone Speedway.  Lunger won the season finale at Lernerville and is the defending Sharon champion. 

Cody Dawson finished fourth in last year's Sweeney Tour standings.  Dawson improved greatly throughout the season and the Westover, Maryland racer will be back again looking to move up the standings.  The 19-year-old will have a teammate for several events throughout the year in standout Max Blair, who has one win this season at McKean. 

Finishing second to Wondering in the Freedom opener was John Waters.  John is one of the three Waters brothers that compete joining Dusty and Scott.  John raced in six of the final seven Sweeney Tour events in 2013 and recorded three top 10 finishes.  John is expected to battle for the 2014 championship.   

Look for drivers like Pittsburgh standouts Kyle Lukon, Jason Rider and Nico Dabecco along with Andrew Wylie, 13-year-old phenom Michael Lake, John Over, Dan Angelicchio, W.L. Stile, Ralph Morgan, Jr., Russell Baird, Robby Marhefka, Jeremy Adamik, John Imler, Josh Holtgraver, Jamie Brown, Adam Sixt, Jamie Wrightsman, Will Thomas III, Bob Kish, Jeff Dayman, Nolan Dalton, Rick Singleton, Pat Willar, and several others to participate in many of the Tour events this season.  Other "Futures Cup" racers like Reece Masiello, Jacob Burdette, and Matt Glanden have also joined Touring along with last year's champion Eric Wilson. 

Many of the season's contingency programs will begin on Friday night.  Precise Racing Products will award a $100 gift card for the "Pedal Down" Hard Charger that passes the most cars in the feature.  The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night” will award three bottles of Xtreme6 Racing Brake Fluid valued at approximately $45 along with a certificate good for either $50 off of a purchase of $100 or more or 20% off any The Brake Man purchase.   

The ARbodies "Nosed Out" will award a nose kit to the first driver that fails to qualify for the feature through the B main.  Driven Racing Oil's “Slick Move of the Night” winner will receive a bottle of Driven Racing Oil Race Wax, a can of Driven Racing Oil Speed Clean, and a certificate for $50 off a case of Driven XP Synthetic Racing Oil! 

Crate Innovations will present both the "Ignite" and "Performance Plus" Awards.  The feature winner will receive a carb spacer kit that includes one billet aluminum Accelerator-1, one upper and one lower spacer gasket, and four specifically designed washers used for installation, while the driver that finishes last on the lead lap will receive the Moroso Custom Fit Plug Wire Set, which are custom tailored for use with the Chevrolet Performance 602 and 604 circle track engines.   

Freedom Feature Payoff: 1. $1,200  2. $700  3. $500  4. $370  5. $350  6. $315  7. $300  8. $270  9. $260  10. $255  11. $230  12. $215  13. $205  14. $200  15. $175  16. $170  17. $165  18-24. $160.

Non-Qualifier: 1. $125  2. $100  3. $90  4. $85  5. $80  6. $75  7. $70  8. $65  9. $60  10-24. $55.  Tow $50. 

You do not have to be a RUSH member to compete in any RUSH-sanctioned event; only to receive points and the additional $100,000 of participant accident insurance.  There will be a $50 entry fee.  RACEceivers are mandatory.  Race time is 7 p.m. 

Freedom Speedway is located 40 miles southeast of Buffalo at 11099 Bixby Hill Road, Delevan, New York 14042.  For more information, check out their website at www.freedomspeedway.com or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/freedomspeedway.   

RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Bilstein Shocks, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Driven Racing Oil, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, High Gear Speed Shop, RainEater Wiper Blades, CrateInsider.com, Utsinger’s Towing, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at [email protected] 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.