By Mike Leone


October 20, 2015               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Sarver, PA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series is set for a huge season ending weekend (October 22-24) of racing at Lernerville Speedway.  The “Steel City Stampede” will include the $2,000 to-win “Gary Knollinger Memorial” for the Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels Southern Late Model Touring Series and an $800 to-win event for the RUSH Sportsman Modified Bicknell Racing Product Tour.  Thursday will be open practice beginning at 5 p.m.  Heat racing will get underway Friday at 7:05 p.m., while the program will conclude on Saturday beginning at 6.


This year’s “Steel City Stampede” will be the seventh edition of the growing event that includes nine of the region’s racing divisions all showcased in this end of the season blowout for the region.  There has yet to be a repeat winner in the Crate Late Models; past winners include Josh Holtgraver (2009), Butch Lambert (2010), Bryan Force (2011), Max Blair (2012), Dennis Lunger, Jr. (2013), and Chad Ruhlman (2014). 


After the twice rained out “Apple Festival Nationals,” which will now be concluded on April 16, 2016, the prestigious fifth annual “Gary Knollinger Memorial” will now be held at Lernerville for the first time ever!  The winner will also receive the coveted "Gary Knollinger Memorial" statue trophy along with one of the “Steel City Stampede DIRTcar Roundup” belt buckles!  Past “Gary Knollinger Memorial” winners include Max Blair, Joe Martin, and Ryan Montgomery, and Russell King.


“It’s an honor to again be able to hold a memorial for Gary,” expressed RUSH Co-Director Vicki Emig.  “Gary was a standout Crate Late Model racer from Triadelphia, West Virginia.  We, and many of the racers, became very close to Gary and his family when he was a fierce competitor before his tragic passing on Christmas 2010.  One of those racers was Joel Prosser, who will again me making the trip up from West Virginia to compete.  Due to the rainouts at Sharon, which was Gary’s favorite track, the Knollinger Family is looking forward to having Lernerville host this event at Lernerville for the first time.” 


Max Blair clinched the $4,000 Insinger/Sunoco Northern Touring Series Championship with his victory on October 10 at McKean County Raceway.  Blair will now look to close out the $10,000 championship sweep this weekend.  Blair also has clinched the $2,000 combined Tour championship and will look to add the $4,000 Bazell/Sunoco Southern Touring Series crown by simply attempting to race on Friday.


The Centerville, Pa. driver has yet to finish worse than sixth in any of the point events to date with nine victories including the last four and six of the last seven!  Blair leads Eric Wilson, who is coming off career best back-to-back runner-up finishes at Wayne County Speedway and McKean, by 72 points in the Southern Tour and Jason Knowles by 171 in the Combined Tour points.   The battle for second in the Southern points is a tight one with Wilson up just seven on Jason Knowles and 19 on Brian Knowles.  Currently Steve Lowery, John Waters, Kyle Lukon, Rob Marhefka, Michael Lake, Michael Duritsky, Jr., W.L. Stile, and Clay Ruffo round out the top 12 points paying positions.


Lernerville has hosted just two Sweeney RUSH events this year as Jared Miley topped a 21-car field on May 1 for the $700 Weekly Series win, while Ryan Montgomery beat a 38-car field on July 3 for the $1,200 Southern Tour win. 


The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will complete their second season this weekend.  Last year, Greg Martin won the inaugural “Steel City Stampede” event for the RUSH Mods.  Martin has already clinched his second straight $3,000 Bicknell Racing Products Weekly Series title; however, the inaugural Bicknell Tour title is still up for grabs as four drivers having a legitimate shot. 


Larry Kugel has been consistent with a pair of third place finishes and a fourth in addition to participating at Sharon before the rain out.  Kugel leads another veteran in Jerry Schaffer by just seven points.  Schaffer matched his season’s best overall finish at the last event at Tri-City with a runner-up.  “Futures Cup” Champion Kole Holden is third and just 10 points behind, while Chelsie Kriegisch sits fourth 22 back of the point lead.


Saturday’s feature will pay a record $800 to-win in addition to the prestigious “Steel City Stampede DIRTcar Roundup” belt buckle.  Adam Hilton is a perfect two-for-two this year winning the May 1 $350 Bicknell Weekly Series event and the July 17 $600 Bicknell Tour event.  Two other Bicknell Weekly Series events were unfortunately lost to rain.


The K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash will be run for the first four drivers that finish outside of the feature redraw spots for both divisions and will pay $100 K&N certificate to win, $50 K&N certificate for second with $25 cash going to the third and fourth place finishers.  


For both divisions, 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 in all events this weekend.


RUSH Officials will choose the "Maxima Performance" Award for a driver that exhibits a performance worthy of such for both divisions.  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!  


The driver that finishes last on the lead lap in both divisions will receive a $25 gift certificate from CrateInsider.com.  The first driver that fails to qualify for the Late Model feature will receive the ARbodies “Nosed Out” nose kit valued at $260.


For the Sportsman Modified Series, RUSH Officials will determine the Sherwood Racing Wheels "Man of Steel" award winner as one that bounced back from an earlier mishap to finish the event strongly.  The selected driver will receive a certificate for a free Sherwood Racing Wheel.


Late Model 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. 

Late Model 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.


Sportsman Modified Feature Payoff: 1. $800  2. $500  3. $350  4. $300  5. $250  6. $220  7. $180  8. $175  9. $170  10. $165  11. $160  12. $155  13. $150  14. $145  15. $140  16. $135  17. $130  18-24. $125.  Tow $60.


Bicknell Racing Products Sportsman Modified Touring Series Points (only Tour members receive points): 1. Larry Kugel 356  2. Jerry Schaffer 349  3. Kole Holden 346  4. Chelsie Kriegisch 334  5. Brandon Ritchey 316  6. Nick Ritchey 255  7. Kyle Martell 248  8. Will Schaffer 242  9. Jessica Kriegisch 173  10. Greg Martin 170  11. Justin Shea 165  12. Josh Deems 156  13. Jeremy Weaver 155  14. Jim Bryce 89  15. Jeff Hughes 87.


Bazell/Sunoco Southern Late Model Tour Points (Drivers must be Touring member to receive points): 1. Max Blair 924  2. Eric Wilson 852  3. Jason Knowles 845  4. Brian Knowles 833  5. Steve Lowery 698  6. John Waters 672  7. Kyle Lukon 491  8. Rob Marhefka 454  9. Michael Lake 410  10. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 352  11. W.L. Stile 317  12. Clay Ruffo 315  13. Rick Singleton 273  14. Ryan Montgomery 268  15. Ryan Markham 264  16. Troy Shields 230  17. Reese Masiello 228  18. Chad McClellan 174  19. Joe Martin 162  20. Doug Gavette 158  21. Russell Baird, Jr. 151  22. Randy Hall 89  23. Kyle Zimmerman 88  24. Andrew Wylie 81  25. Nolan Dalton 72  26. Cody Dawson 71  27. Josh Holtgraver & Will Thomas III 70.


Combined Northern/Southern Late Model Tour Points (Drivers must be Touring member to receive points): 1. Max Blair 1612  2. Jason Knowles 1441  3. Eric Wilson 1432  4. Brian Knowles 1424  5. John Waters 1292  6. Randy Hall 704  7. Steve Lowery 698  8. Bryce Davis 639  9. Kyle Lukon 587  10. Rob Marhefka 543  11. Ward Schell 484  12. W.L. Stile 471  13. Clay Ruffo 455  14. Joe Martin 414  15. Michael Lake 410  16. T.J. Downs 373  17. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 352  18. Kyle Zimmerman 341  19. Doug Gavette 316  20. Rick Singleton 273  21. Ryan Montgomery 268  22. Ryan Markham 264  23. Troy Shields 230  24. Reese Masiello & Andrew Wylie 228 26. Jamie Brown 223  27. Jon Rivers 221  28. Dennis Lunger, Jr. 190  29. Chad Wright 176  30. Chad McClellan 174  31. Jeff Dayman 163  32. Matt Harvey 159  33. Russell Baird, Jr. 151  34. Phil Potts 98  35. Adam Sixt 84  36. Nolan Dalton 72  37. Cody Dawson 71  38. Michael Mitchell, Josh Holtgraver & Will Thomas III 70.


You do not have to a member of RUSH to compete.  The red AMB transponders will be used.  RACEceivers will be mandatory.  The entry fee for the Late Models is $100.  The entry fee for the Sportsman Modifieds is $35. 


On Thursday, pits open at 3 p.m. with practice beginning at 5.  On Friday, pits open at 3 p.m. with heat races at 7:05.  On Saturday, pits open at noon with the remainder of the program getting underway at 6 p.m.  Three-day member pit passes are $55 or $65 for non-members.  Two-day member pit passes are $50 or $60 for non-members.


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 (office) or 724-353-1350 (track).


RUSH Late Model 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, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.


RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners: Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Bicknell Racing Products, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, MSD Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, VP Racing Fuels, FK Rod Ends, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Velocita-USA, Precise Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, K&N Filters, TBM Brakes, Lincoln Electric, CrateInsider.com, Rocket Racing, and B.R.A.K.E.S.


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.