By Mike Leone


May 14, 2015             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Thorold, ON)…After months of anticipation, the countdown is on for the inaugural "Canadian Victoria Day Classic" to be held this Monday, May 18 for the first ever Crate Late Model race at Merrittville Speedway part of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series' Insinger Performance/Sunoco Race Fuels Northern Touring Series.  The Thorold, Ontario showplace owned by legendary racer Pete Bicknell along with Randy Williamson will also feature the traditional DIRTcar "358" Modified Series event.


The $2,000 to-win RUSH event will be part of the new $4,000 to-win Insinger Performance/Sunoco Race Fuels Northern Tour and also offer points toward the combined $2,000 to-win Sweeney Tour Championship that could see one driver earn $10,000 by winning both the Northern and Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern regions! 


“We are very excited to host a RUSH Late Model event in 2015,” expressed Merrittville General Manager Erica Bicknell-Jones.  “We know the fans have been waiting for such an event.  The Bicknells and Williamsons look forward to working with the RUSH staff as we are very encouraged by the hard work and dedication that Vicki (Emig) and Mike (Leone) have put into the Series, and are looking forward to a win-win event for everyone.”


Merrittville has long been known for its tremendous Modified racing.  The DIRTcar “358” Series has become a traditional Victoria Day event at Merrittville.  Some of the best Modified racers in the country annually take part in this event; in fact, at last year’s event Super DIRTcar Big-Block Series “World Finals” winner Danny Johnson topped a star-studded top six that also included Chad Brachmann, Tim McCreadie, Mat Williamson, Ryan Susice, and Pete Bicknell himself.  It's already been confirmed that superstars Brett Hearn and Tim McCreadie will be in competition for the 44-lap $4,444 to-win feature.


The Crate Late Models debuted under the direction of Emig and Leone at nearby Sunday night facility, Humberstone Speedway, in 2011 and their fifth season is underway with Pennsylvania driver Dennis Lunger, Jr. a perfect for two-for-two.  The expansion of RUSH in Canada has also spread further north and east with the addition of Brighton (ON) Speedway on Saturday nights along with Friday night's Can-Am Motorsports Park located in upstate New York.  Several of these racers are expected to join the Tour Series regulars and others from western New York.


“I cannot express how thrilled we are to finally have the opportunity to bring the RUSH Late Model Tour to Merrittville,” stated Emig.  “We have an incredible base of Crate Late Models in the Northern part of our region, which of course includes competitors from nearby RUSH-sanctioned speedway Humberstone, which should provide a great field of cars.  To be able to be part of Merrittville's traditional Victoria Day DIRTcar 358 Mod event will provide a tremendous stage from which to showcase exciting door-to-door quality Crate Late Model racing in front of a packed grandstand!” 


While the event will be the debut of the new Insinger/Sunoco Race Fuels Northern Tour, already three excellent events have been completed on the Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Tour as 55 different drivers have already competed.  Max Blair has opened up a 21-point lead over Jason Knowles, who is new to the Tour in 2015, and Pennsylvania's Rick Singleton.  Blair has a win at Roaring Knob, a runner-up at Potomac, and a third place effort at Winchester.  New York's Brian Knowles and Ohio's Eric Wilson complete the top five. 


Monday's event will be part of the Bobby Lake Motorsports "Shock the Clock" and "Beat the Heat" Quick Cash Program.  For the third straight year, B.L.M. will offer $100 to the fastest qualifier and $25 to-win heat races in events that pay $2,000 or more to win! 


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 first two rows of the 30-lap feature both nights.  Blair also currently leads the K&N Dash points.


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!  


Monday is also one of the eight selected events for the ARbodies "Nosed Out" program.  The first non-qualifier will receive an ARbodies nose kit valued at nearly $260!  If enough cars are present, a non-qualifier event will be run.  Tony White was the 2014 "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series Champion.


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.


Bazell/Sunoco Southern Touring Series Points (Driver must be a Tour member to receive points): 1. Max Blair 294  2. Jason Knowles & Rick Singleton 273  4. Brian Knowles 266  5. Eric Wilson 255  6. John Waters 250  7. Kyle Lukon 246  8. Steve Lowery 234  9. Michael Lake 181  10. Chad McClellan 174  11. Rob Marhefka 168  12. Reese Masiello & Doug Gavette 158  14. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 140  15. Ryan Montgomery 98  16. Joe Martin 92  17. Randy Hall 89  18. Russell Baird, Jr. 81  19. Troy Shields 75  20. Nolan Dalton 72.


You do not have to be a member of RUSH to compete.  There is a $100 entry fee.  RACEceivers are required.  The red AMB transponders will be used.  Rentals are $15.  There will be a cash payout in American dollars at the end of the night.  Gates open at 4 p.m. with warm-ups at 6:30 followed by time trials at racing.


Merrittville Speedway is a 3/8-mile banked clay track located at 2731 Merrittville Highway, Thorold, Ontario, Canada, and is only 12 miles from the US border at Niagara Falls.  Racing enthusiasts in southern Ontario have been flocking to this summer time venue for 60 consecutive seasons, and it may very well be the Heart of Niagara’s best kept secret.  Check out www.merrittvillespeedway.com for more info.


RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, Bazell Race Fuels, MSD Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Crate Innovations Inc., Velocita-USA, 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 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.