By Mike Leone


January 22, 2015                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Winchester, VA)...Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone are proud to release details of the Series' first major, national event which will be held at Virginia's Winchester Speedway on Friday and Saturday, June 12 and 13.  The "Crate Racin' USA Late Model Nationals" will be an event crate racers from throughout the entire Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and beyond will be marking on their calendars as a must stop on their 2015 racing schedules. 


Several months of discussions with Mike Vaughn, founder of the sister NeSmith Series, and Winchester Speedway management were ongoing about the development of a prestigious Crate Late Model event to take place in the summer, as opposed to season's end.  Final details have been ironed out just in time to announce prior to NeSmith's "Winter Nationals", which will take place at Bubba's Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida January 28-31.


"It's no secret that many of the racers throughout the Northeast have been wanting a major event within our region for quite some time now," explained Emig.  "After visiting Winchester for the first time last March, I immediately felt that their location would give us the best opportunity to draw cars from the entire Northeast and Southeast to a somewhat central location.  With both RUSH and NeSmith's rules very similar, no other major Crate Late Model events scheduled in the summer, and the majority of other crate racing series throughout the east coast and beyond allowing the Hoosier Crate Racin' D21 & D55 Tires, I believe the scenario has been created for a very successful event!"


A great effort has been made to create a format that will entice all levels of Crate Late Model racers.  In lieu of a single $10,000 or more to-win payoff, monies will be distributed in a way so that all racers will be able to have a better opportunity at capturing their individual piece of the valuable purse and contingency awards.


Friday night will feature twin $1,000 to-win qualifying events that will be run in honor of the late Bill Hendren.  Time trials will determine the line-up of these events with the top 40 locked in with the remaining positions to be filled from last chance events.  The top 9 or 10 finishers from each qualifier (depending on car count) will be locked into Saturday's $6,000 to-win, $350 to-start marquee main event, with B mains also run on Saturday night to determine the other four or six starting positions.  The Hendren family will also distributed thousands of dollars of contingency awards that night which all racers will be eligible to receive.


Saturday's B mains will also determine the line-up for all non-feature transfering cars of the $1,500 to win "Battle of the Blue & the Gray" non-qualifiers event.  And if enough cars are on hand, a "C" feature for the remainder of the non-qualifiers would be run.


"We cannot thank track owner Greg Gunter and his manager Denise Hollidge enough for giving us the opportunity to present this national caliber Crate Late Model event at Winchester," expressed Leone.  "To have them step up and pay this very substantial purse structure in just their second year under the RUSH banner speaks volumes to their commitment to the Crate Late Model racing concept now and into the future.  We look forward to not only promoting this great event to our own racers, but beginning immediately at the four-night NeSmith 'Winter Nationals'.


“In just a short period of time we have formed a great relationship with RUSH, stated track owner Greg Gunter.  “Both Winchester and Potomac are perfect example of the results that speedways can achieve by aligning themselves with a knowledgeable and reputable sanctioning body such as RUSH.  In just our first year under the RUSH banner our average crate late model car count doubled at Winchester, increased at Potomac, and we expect even more cars to participate this season.  We are truly honored to be able to host the inaugural “Crate Racin’ USA Late Model Nationals” and look forward to working with RUSH officials for many years to come to build this as one of the most prestigious Crate Late Model races in the country.”             


The concept and formatting of the event is one that Emig created and experienced great success with throughout her tenure as owner/promoter at Mercer (PA) Raceway Park for the "Little Guy Nationals".  This event became the Northeast's premier annual race for Stock Cars that at its peak drew 122 cars, a car count number that still stands as a record today throughout that region.


"My goal with the 'Crate Racin US Late Model Nationals' is to have all crate racers, regardless of the level of their racing program, look forward to and want to participate in this great event," stated Emig.  "Obviously the $6,000 to-win A main is a substantial amount of money that is sure to turn the heads of some of the country's top crate teams.  The addition of Friday's twin $1,000 to-win 'Bill Hendren Memorial' qualifiers, the $1,500 to win 'Battle of the Blue and the Gray' non-qualifier, and the thousands of dollars of contingency product giveaways provide by the Hendren Family are all important pieces that I feel give all teams from throughout the entire North and  South incentive to participate.  The format provides for everyone to go home with some decent dollars."        


Series officials have also spoken to two additional respected Crate Late Model series in SECA, which is based out of the Carolinas, as well as Go Nuclear, a well-known Canadian/Northern New York series, both of which allow the Hoosier Crate Racin' D21 & D55 Tires, and received positive response about their cooperation in supporting the event.


The event will be run under the RUSH Technical Rules.  For more information on the event, contact the RUSH Office at 724-964-9300 or e-mail [email protected]  Drivers who have never competed in a RUSH-sanctioned event are urged to forward their email address immediately to the RUSH office to ensure that they directly receive additional details forthcoming on this exciting event.


Also, the "Mid-Atlantic States Classic" will return to Potomac and Winchester Speedways as $2,000 to-win Sweeney Tour events on Friday and Saturday, May 8-9.


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.  The track has been home to the Winchester 200, a major Super Late Model event, since 1963!  For more information, check out their website at www.winchestervaspeedway.com.


RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco 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., Moroso Performance Products, 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.