By Mike Leone


June 20, 2023             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Sarver, PA)...The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Dirt Late Model Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants is gearing up for its richest event of the season.  The "Bill Emig Memorial" presented by Sunoco Race Fuels with associate sponsorship from TBM Brakes will take place this Thursday through Saturday (June 22-24) at Lernerville Speedway paying $20,000 to-win!  In addition, the Big River Steel "Firecracker 100" event will feature the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in three complete shows with the Saturday finale again paying $50,000 to-win!  The event will broadcast live on FloRacing and Dirt.TV.


The RUSH Late Model Flynn's Tire Tour returns to the "Firecracker 100" weekend at Lernerville for the fifth consecutive year and for the second straight year paying $20,000-to-win, $600 to start!  The D&V Jewelers Non-Qualifier will pay $500 to-win.  Speaking of D&V Jewelers, the New Castle, Pa. company owed by race fans Doug and Valerie Hoover, will also present a championship diamond ring valued at $7,000 to the winner of the 50-lap "Bill Emig Memorial"!  That will increase the winner's amount to a minimum of $27,000 in cash and contingencies! 


In 2019, the "Bill Emig Memorial" presented by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply took place with the "Firecracker 100" at Lernerville for the first time and attracted 53 cars as Max Blair passed Ross Robinson with five laps to go for the victory.  In 2020, the status of the event was up in the air until about one week prior due to COVID-19 restrictions, but that didn't stop Blair, who won the caution-free 50 lapper for another $10,000 payday presented by Hovis.  In 2021, the Hovis-sponsored event continued its forward momentum as 54 cars were in competition, and saw Florida's Mark Whitener win his first RUSH event in his first attempt.  Whitener went back-to-back scoring the $20,000 victory in 2022 as an event record 56 cars were on hand from 10 different states plus Canada as the event was presented by Sunoco Race Fuels for the first time.


Sunoco Race Fuels is once again presenting the event.  Sunoco has been an important corporate marketing partner of the RUSH Racing Series as 2023 marks the 11th year of their longstanding, successful relationship.  Sunoco, the "Official Fuel" of RUSH, has fueled the Series over the past several years and offers their Sunoco E85R as an exciting cost-effective option for the RUSH Late Models.


In 2021, Sunoco increased their support of RUSH by presenting the Sunoco "Fill'er Up with Sunoco Bucks" at each Flynn's Tire Tour event, which saw $5,000 of Sunoco fuel cards awarded  to Tour participants.  This program increased to over $12,000 of Sunoco fuel cards distributed to Tour participants in 2022 and that continued for this season as well.  At Lernerville this week, two Tour drivers in the top 15 in points will win a $100 Sunoco gift card, while four other racers will win $50 gift cards.  The Sunoco Dash winner will also receive a $100 Sunoco gift card. 


Meanwhile, TBM Brakes (formerly known as The Brake Man) has been one of the longest standing marketing partners of RUSH providing contingency products throughout the Series' "Manufacturers Nights" presented by MSD Performance.  TBM Brakes, the "Official Brake System" of RUSH, has also presented the "Tough Brake of the Night" at Touring Series events for many years.  TBM Brakes will have a display setup in the pit area near the RUSH registration trailer and will be represented by Jason Smith.      


Thursday night's program will include warmups and $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying; Friday night will be highlighted by $25 FK Rod Ends heat races and the "John Buzzard Memorial" Sunoco Dash paying $100 cash and a $100 Sunoco fuel card; Saturday will see last chance B mains, the 50-lap feature, and the non-qualifier.  The rain date is Sunday (June 25). 


"We cannot thank the Tomson Family at Lernerville for believing in our program enough four years ago to include us as part of the Firecracker 100," continued Emig.  "Now to annually have the richest event for Crate Late Models in the Northeast in conjunction with the biggest Super Late Model race in the history of western Pennsylvania is beyond words; it's again going to be historic and I don't think anyone is going to want to miss it!"


The 2023 "Bill Emig Memorial" will be the 33rd annual event remembering the late car owner and father of RUSH Director Vicki Emig.  Over the years, the event has been held at Lernerville, Hickory, Mercer, and Tri-City Speedways. 


Bill Emig was a Semi-Late and Six-Cylinder Modified car owner from 1969 until his passing in 1990.  Emig had successful drivers pilot the #1 Ford such as Jim Becker, Bob Krauss, Donnie Martin, John Buzzard, Jerry Lesnak, Butch Haefke, and Lou Gentile.  In later years, Andy Priest, Jimmy Hawley, Frank Guidace, and Rodney Beltz drove Emig #1 Six-Cylinder and "358" Modified for Bill's daughter Vicki.


Emig's cars won over 300 feature events along with multiple track championships and several of Walt Wimer's prestigious Cavalcade Championships.  In 1986, his car was featured in a full color article in the special Christmas issue of Stock Car Racing magazine.  He was one of the original recipients of Lernerville Speedway's "Milestone in Racing" award in 1988.  Emig has also been inducted into both the Pittsburgh Circle Track Club and Twin-State Auto Racing Club Hall of Fames. 


"On a personal note, I wish my dad was here to witness what his love of racing has grown to- the RUSH Racing Series truly is his legacy," continued Emig.  "It was him who gave me my love of racing; always taking me with him and never leaving me home.  He passed away at just 54 and I remember planning his first memorial in 1992 that also took place at Lernerville, which paid $1000 to win.  He would have loved our racers and vice versa because he was such a character; and also greatly appreciated our sanctioned speedways and corporate marketing partners, all who have helped Mike (Leone) and I develop RUSH.  I know he will be smiling down when our racers pull into to their four-wide in his memory with $20,000 on the line for the winner!"    


The 2023 Flynn's Tire Touring Series Championship will again pay a point fund of more than $51,000 with $15,000 to the champion. Three-time Series Champion Jeremy Wonderling enters the weekend with three straight wins all occurring in western Pa.  Wonderling's five wins this season has propelled him to a 47-point lead over his brother Mike Wonderling, who is touring for the first time and is in search of his first career Series win.


Joe Martin, who has finished second in points each of the last three years, is third in points with one victory.  Thirteen-year-old Brock Pinkerous, who finished a career best second at Bradford followed up by a third at Marion Center, has worked his way into fourth in points just one-point ahead of Cody Dawson, who has two podium finishes in the last five events.  Sixth through 10th in points are Ashton Briggs, Jim Rasey, Brandt Graham, Craig Graham, and Marc Berzowski.  Fresh off a career best fourth place effort at Knox Raceway, Austin Hauser has jumped up to 11th in points. 


With the City Chevrolet Weekly Series event on May 19 raining out, the Lernerville provisional will go to the fastest qualifier that fails to qualify for the feature.  The Flynn's Tire Tour will return to Lernerville on Friday, July 22 for the $3,000 to-win "RUSH Summer Showcase" event and then for the finale on October 13-14 for the $3,500 to-win "Steel City Stampede".


Precise Racing Products will award a $50 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.   Ontime Body & Graphic's "Spoiler Alert" will award a spoiler kit to the 12th place finisher (note: if a driver has already won a spoiler this season, spoiler will be awarded to the next position).  Performance Bodies will award a $100 gift card to the first non-qualifier part of the "Nosed Out" program. 


"Bill Emig Memorial" Feature Payoff ($51,925): 1. $20,000  2. $7,000  3. $3,500  4. $3,000  5. $2,000  6. $1,500  7. $1,300  8. $1,200  9. $1,100  10. $1,000  11. $900  12. $800  13. $700  14. $650  15. $625  16. $620  17. $615  18. $610  19. $605  20-24. $600  (25-26. $600 provisionals).


Non-Qualifier Payoff: 1. $500  2. $300  3. $250  4. $240  5. $235  6. $230  7. $225  8. $220  9. $215  10. $210  11. $205  12-24. $200.  Anyone not starting a feature will receive $125.


Drivers do not have to be a member of RUSH to compete- only to receive Weekly and/or Tour points.  The entry fee for the event is $100.  AMB/MyLaps transponders will be used; Westhold transponders will NOT work.  Units are available to rent for the weekend for $25.  Driver radio channel will be 454.000.


RUSH registration and pre-race tech will begin by 2 p.m. on Thursday.  RUSH drivers meeting will be at 5:40 p.m. on Thursday with the pill draw closing at 6:15 p.m.  Lucas Oil warmups will begin at 6 p.m. followed by their qualifying then RUSH warmups.  Lucas Oil heat races will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday followed by RUSH group qualifying.  Racing will begin at 7:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday night as well.  A complete schedule of events is available at the following link: https://www.lernerville.com/downloads/get.aspx?i=832414


Lernerville is a 4/10-mile high-banked clay oval located 11 miles southeast of Butler, Pa. on Route 356 at 313 North Pike Road, Sarver, PA 16055.  Lernerville is just 30 miles northeast of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.  For more information, check out their website at www.lernerville.com or call 724-353-1511.


Sunoco has grown from its humble roots as a small oil company in Pittsburgh, PA, to one of the largest fuel distribution companies in the United States. Sunoco's rich, 130 plus-year heritage, legacy and reputation for innovation, and commitment to its local communities are foundational elements of this iconic American brand. Today, Sunoco distributes fuel to over 5,000 gas station locations in more than 30 states.  Sunoco LP (NYSE: SUN) is a master limited partnership.  SUN's general partner is owned by Energy Transfer Operating, L.P., a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET).  For more information, check out www.sunoco.com


TBM Brakes is an innovative designer and manufacturer of made-in-America brake systems and components for motorsport, street and fleet vehicles.  TBM Brakes engineering team has developed inspired and race-proven technology which has revolutionized the industry while setting the standard for high-performance and durability.

TBM Brakes was founded in 1993.  TBM Brakes brake systems and components have helped countless drivers and motorsports teams make their way to the winners circle.  Victories span across a wide range of regional and national race series and events from dirt to asphalt.  This industry-leading technology and durability is also available for street performance and fleet vehicles as well.
  TBM Brakes is headquartered in Bradenton, Florida.  For more information, check out their website at www.tbmbrakes.com or call 805-304-3051 and ask to Jason Smith.  Like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tbmbrakes and follow them on Twitter @TBMBrakes.


The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, Flynn's Tire, Sunbelt Rentals, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Bilstein Shocks, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Wieland Metal Services, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Sherwood Wheels, Precise Racing Products, Velocita-USA, Wedge Motorsports, 3C Graphix, D&V Jewelers, CrateInsider.com, and Terry Bowser Excavating.  


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.  The RUSH Late Model website is www.rushlatemodels.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.