By Mike Leone


October 10, 2017               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Sarver, PA)...The 2017 racing season for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model and the Sportsman Modified Touring Series powered by Pace Performance will come to a close this weekend at Lernerville Speedway for the annual "Steel City Stampede".  The RUSH Late Models will compete in a Sweeney Marquee Tour event, while the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will battle in a Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series event.  An open practice will be held Thursday night (October 12) with heat races for all divisions on Friday night followed by the last chance B mains, K&N Dashes, and features on Saturday.  Group qualifying for the RUSH Late Models will be at 7 p.m. on Friday with racing starting early at 5 on Saturday. 

The RUSH Late Models are coming off a very successful "Bill Hendren Memorial" event as part of the "Pittsburgher 100" at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway last weekend where Daryl Charlier came out on top over a 36-car field taking home the $2,500 payday.  Charlier became the season's ninth different winner in Touring competition.  Saturday's event will pay $2,000 to-win.


The $5,000 to-win championship battle has been tight all season long between Bryce Davis and John Waters; however, Davis has opened up a 14-point lead on the defending champion as he's set to earn his first career Tour championship.  Both drivers have a pair of wins in 2017.


Jeremy Wonderling closed in after a fourth place finish last Saturday night as he trails Waters by 14 points.  Brothers Jason and Brian Knowles are still fourth and fifth as the duo complete the all New York top five.  West Virginia's Brian Swank is much improved, and after finishing 13th in the 2016 points, the second year driver sits sixth currently.  Completing the top 12 points paying positions are Mike Pegher, Jr., J.J. Mazur, Tony White, Jamie Wrightsman, Kyle Murray, and Bruce Hordusky, Jr.


Back on June 30 at Lernerville, Russell King swept the night over the 32-car field setting fast time, winning his heat, K&N Dash, and the feature for the $2,000 payday.  Last Saturday night at Pittsburgh, King was in a spirited battle for the lead with Daryl Charlier before crashing out late. 


This year’s “Steel City Stampede” will be the ninth edition of this huge 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), Bryan Force (2010), Butch Lambert (2011), Max Blair (2012), Dennis Lunger, Jr. (2013), Chad Ruhlman (2014), Jacob Hawkins (2015), and John Mollick (2016).  There is a good chance there will be a ninth different winner with most of those racers not expected to be in competition.


Meanwhile, the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will join the "Steel City Stampede" for the fourth consecutive year.  Greg Martin won the inaugural race in 2014, while Nick Ritchey won his first ever at Lernerville in 2015.  Last year, Rocky Kugel topped what was at the time a record field of 29 cars, which included the Series' first ever last chance B main   The Sportsman Mods will complete their third season of Bicknell Touring Series competition and will be featured in an $800 to-win event.


Kyle Martell will capture his first Tour title by simply finishing 23rd or better on Saturday.  Martell has been very consistent with top seven finishes in all seven completed races including wins in the first two races at Thunder Mountain and Tri-City.  Kole Holden, who leads the Bicknell Weekly Series points, is second over Chas Wolbert, who won the last race at Tri-City.  Brandon Ritchey, A.J. Gillespie, Chelsie Kriegisch, Nick Ritchey, defending champion Brian Schaffer, Blaze Myers, and Shayne Izzo complete the top 10.


Meanwhile, the battle for the $3,000 Bicknell Weekly Series Championship is tight.  Kyle Holden has a five-point lead over Rocky Kugel; however, Kugel could win it outright by winning Saturday's feature or by finishing second if Holden doesn't win.  Wolbert is just two points behind Kugel in third and could advance to second, but has no chance of winning the title.  The top 20 in Bicknell Weekly Series points will receive point fund monies in addition to the "Futures Cup" drivers.  Jeremy Weaver, who won his first career feature last Saturday at Mercer Raceway Park, has clinched that title. 


Lernerville has already completed five RUSH Sportsman Modified races this season with Kugel winning three, while single victories have gone to Gillespie and Wolbert.  Gillespie's was his first career RUSH Sportsman Modified win and came in a $600 to-win Tour race on June 30. 


"This is always a great way to end our season," said RUSH Director Vicki Emig.  "Our Late Model racers are always excited to get the chance to compete at Lernerville.  The car counts have always been strong and the racing at Lernerville is always some of the best of the season.  We have to thank Lernerville for allowing our Sportsman Modifieds the opportunity to race there over the past four seasons.  It's been a great way to continue to grow this division, and we expect a large turnout this weekend."


FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock Qualifying and Beat the Heat" will be utilized on Friday night for the Late Models meaning the fastest qualifier will receive $100 and all heat race winners will earn $25.  The K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash will be run on Saturday night 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 beginning of the Late Model feature lineup for the top two finishers in the heat races if there are less than five heats or for the heat winners if there are five or more heats.  Meanwhile, the K&N Dash for the Mods will be run for the first four racers outside the redraw positions and will have the same payoff.


For both classes, 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 for both classes.


RUSH Officials will choose the "Maxima Performance" Award for a driver that exhibits a performance worthy of such in both the Late Models and Mods.  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!  


RUSH Series 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 each night.  The selected driver will receive a certificate for a free Sherwood Racing Wheel.  Also, will award a $25 gift certificate to the driver that finishes last on the lead lap at the finish of each feature.   The first non-qualifier in the Late Models will receive an ARbodies nosed kit valued at $260 for the "Nosed Out" contingency.


RUSH 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. 

RUSH 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.


RUSH 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.


2017 Sweeney Late Model Touring Series Points (Adjusted on Marquee/Platinum; only Tour members receive points): 1. Bryce Davis 958  2. John Waters 944  3. Jeremy Wonderling 930  4. Jason Knowles 880  5. Brian Knowles 868  6. Brian Swank 822  7. Mike Pegher, Jr. 688  8. J.J. Mazur 680  9. Tony White 620  10. Jamie Wrightsman 542  11. Kyle Murray 492  12. Bruce Hordusky, Jr. 471  13. Eric Wilson 447  14. Bill Kessler 442  15. Max Blair 396  16. Matt Latta 330  17. Chad Wright 320  18. D.J. Krug 220  19. Jon Rivers 171  20. John Mollick 163  21. Greg Beach 159  22. Hunter Hulley 144  23. Jared Kane 140  24. Kyle Zimmerman 90  25. Jamie Brown & Carl Shetler 81  27. Mike Franklin 70.


2017 Sportsman Modified Bicknell Touring Series points (only Touring members receive points): 1. Kyle Martell 658  2. Kole Holden 631  3. Chas Wolbert 626  4. Brandon Ritchey 623  5. Anthony Gillespie 615  6. Chelsie Kriegisch 612  7. Nick Ritchey 605  8. Brian Schaffer 602  9. Blaze Myers 560  10. Shayne Izzo 513  11. Jessica Kriegisch 512  12. Jeremy Weaver 509  13. Jacob Jordan 469  14. Billy Myers 402  15. Tiffany Williams 399  16. Preston Cope 398  17. David Kalb, Jr. 394  18. Justin Shea 371  19. Steve Slater 341 20. Jerry Schaffer 254  21. Jonathan Myers 249  22. Jordan Ehrenberg 235  23. Jessica Shea 143  24. Josh Seippel 78.


You do not have to a member of RUSH to compete.  The AMB/MyLaps transponders are required at Lernerville.  RACEceivers are always mandatory.  The entry fee is $100 for Late Models and $35 for Sportsman Modifieds.    There will be an open practice from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday night.  Registration and tech opens at 2 p.m. on Friday with group qualifying for the RUSH Late Models at 7:00.  Racing begins early on Saturday at 5 p.m.  Check out the following link for additional event details


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 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, Holley Performance Products, Earl's Performance Plumbing, Quick Fuel Technology, FK Rod Ends, Maxima Racing Oil, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Rocket Chassis, Landrum Performance Spring,,, and Valley Fashions.


RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Earl's Performance Plumbing, Quick Fuel Technology, FK Rod Ends, Maxima Racing Oil, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA,,, 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 Like our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.