By Mike Leone


January 23, 2015             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Edinburg, PA)…While the 2016 racing season is only a few months away, Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone put a final wrap on the 2015 racing season with the awards banquet and dinner on Saturday night at the Gatherings Banquet & Event Center in Edinburg, Pa.  Despite a blizzard off to the east, a record number of attendees filled the beautiful banquet hall as over $100,000 in cash and approximately $10,000 in contingencies were distributed to Sweeney RUSH Late Model, Sportsman Modified, and Pro Stock racers.  


Sweeney RUSH Late Models scheduled events at a record 23 different speedways in 2015 with some 350 different racers participating in either a weekly-sanctioned and/or touring series event!  Year two for the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified season saw six different speedways hold events with 29 different drivers competing.


Crowned 2015 Late Model champions were Max Blair-Bazell/Sunoco Southern Touring Series, Insinger/Sunoco Northern Touring Series, Combined Touring Series, and Sweeney Weekly Series, Bryce Davis-Pace Performance "Summer Chase", Charlie Sandercock-"Bilstein Bandits", Clinton Hersh-"Futures Cup", and Tony White-Wheelman Bonus Event Challenge Series.  In the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds it was Greg Martin-Bicknell Racing Products Weekly Series, Larry Kugel-Bicknell Touring Series, and Kole Holden-Bicknell "Futures Cup".  Justin Ramsay was the inaugural Sweeney RUSH Pro Stock Weekly Series champion.  All of the champions received their point fund monies, granite laser etched championship award plaques, and RUSH championship jackets!


Max Blair left Saturday's banquet as the Series' top point fund earner garnering a record $16,500!  The Centerville, Pa. 26-year-old swept all three Touring Series point funds for the $10,000 prize, added $5,000 for his second Sweeney Weekly Series Championship in three years, and $1,500 for a runner-up in the Pace Performance "Summer Chase".  Blair won nine of the 17 Touring Series events including an unprecedented four straight.  Blair also won earned the most points in the K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash Championship standings and earned K&N product.  


The second top earner was Charlie Sandercock at $8,250.  The 28-year-old Belleville, Ontario racer was a newcomer to RUSH with Brighton and Can-Am Speedways coming on board.  Sandercock won $5,000 for the inaugural "Bilstein Bandits" Late Model crown winning 15 feature events between the two tracks that also propelled him to a tie for third in the Sweeney Weekly Series and a third in the Pace "Summer Chase". 


Bryce Davis became a first time RUSH champion by capturing the Pace Performance "Summer Chase" crown.  The 24-year-old Hornell, New York racer led all eligible racers with 109.14 average point score from July through Labor Day, which equates to a near second place finish.  Davis earned $3,000 for the title and left the banquet with a check for $5,325.


Clinton Hersh shined in his second year of Crate Late Model racing.  The 16-year-old Somerset, Pa. driver won the $1,000 "Futures Cup" crown in addition to his third place point finish in the "Bilstein Bandits" and a tie for 28th in the Weekly Series brought his point fund total earnings $2,757.50.  It's also noted that the Hersh Family made it to the banquet despite being buried in three feet of snow and having to avoid the closed down PA Turnpike.


For the second straight year, Tony White of Aliquippa, Pa. was recognized for winning the “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series points for non-qualifier Late Model Touring Series events.  White received a championship plaque and jacket, $150 cash, and $100 K&N and Precise Racing Products certificates.  


Greg Martin had another stellar season traveling south to race with the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds to garner the $3,000 Bicknell Racing Products Weekly Series title for the second straight year.  The 34-year-old Wilson, New York driver won nine of his 15 starts and has yet to finish worse than third in any RUSH-sanctioned event in the two-year history.  He also became the inaugural Sharon Speedway champion and won the first ever Tour event in the first ever Sportsman Modified race at Expo Speedway.  He'd finish 10th in those points. 


Veteran racer Larry Kugel will go down in the history books as the first ever Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series Champion for the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.  The 64-year-old Crescent, Pa. driver was consistent to win the $600 title and added another $600 for his fifth place in the Bicknell Weekly Series points.


While rookie racer Kole Holden finished runner-up to Kugel in the Touring Series, he did one better in the Bicknell "Futures Cup" to earn that inaugural crown.  It was a tremendous season for the recently turned 17-year-old where he won three features at Sportsman's Speedway, which propelled him to a fourth place in the Bicknell Weekly Series. 


The Pro Stocks were added to RUSH's program to allow drivers that raced with GM 602 and 604 crate engines against the open cars the opportunity to compete for their own point fund.  A $5,250 point fund was posted for member racers' best 12 finishes at RUSH affiliated speedways.  Lernerville stepped up and offered a crate only race during the "Steel City Stampede" and going forward has committed to the crates 100%.  Collecting the inaugural championship was 28-year-old driver Justin Ramsay of Belleville, Ontario, Canada.  Ramsay won 10 features and the track championship at Brighton in addition to another win at Humberstone Speedway.    


The highlight of the program was the special awards ceremony.  The Series’ major sponsor, Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC/Pace Performance, was recognized with a special appreciation plaque for their continued support of the RUSH Late Model and Sportsman Modified programs in addition to the new RUSH Pro Stock division as the branding sponsor.


Eric Wilson and family were presented the prestigious Gary Knollinger Memorial “Golden Award”.  The Cortland, Ohio family's qualities reminded Series Officials much like the Knollinger Family.  Both have strong family values and had were very dedicated to following the touring series.  The Wilsons just finished their second full season touring.


The "Majestic" was awarded to Series Competition Director, Travis Harry.  The Franklin, Pa. resident took on a tall task taking the position when RUSH was formed in 2013.  Harry just completed his third season and has received nothing but praise for his knowledge and commitment from Series Officials, drivers, and speedways. 


The "Car Owner of the Year" Award was won by Terry Suppa.  The Warren, Pa. man owned two competitive cars in 2015 with drivers Randy Hall and Ward Schell.  Hall won 10 RUSH races and the track championship at Freedom, while finishing in the top eight of Weekly, Northern Touring, and "Summer Chase" points, while Schell captured a win at Eriez in route to 15th in the Weekly Series points along with eighth in the Northern Tour.


Jerry Schaffer received a "Special Appreciation Award" for his tremendous support of the RUSH Sportsman Modified division by fielding four teams and giving three rookie drivers, including his son Will and sisters Chelsie and Jessica Kriegisch, the opportunity to compete.  Schaffer noted the importance of giving back and how special family is as his father and son were both in attendance at the banquet meaning three generations of racers.


The "Miles Traveled" Late Model Award was given to Jason and Brian Knowles.  For the first time, the brother duo out of Corning, New York traveled to all of the Touring Series events racking up over 12,000 miles despite the closest track being two hours from home.  The Knowles received a K&N Cold Air Induction System valued up to $500 and $200 in Precise Racing Products gift cards.


The "Miles Traveled" Sportsman Modified Award was given to Kole Holden.  The rookie racer competed in more events than any other driver at 31 and made the weekly drive to Sharon Speedway from Tiona, Pa. 


Mike Ingram of Ingram Engines was awarded the inaugural Bill Hendren Memorial RUSH Engine Rebuilder of the Year.  The Kittanning, Pa. resident has rebuilt more engines in recent years than any other rebuilder in the system.  Ingram Engines also captured four feature wins at the prestigious "Steel City Stampede" at Lernerville last October. 


Velocita-USA provided 10 50% off certificates for giveaways for the Late Model, Sportsman Modified, and Pro Stock drivers in addition to one $500 off a custom drivers suit for a "Futures Cup" driver.  All winners are listed below.


Longtime Sharon Speedway announcer Jim Pollock emceed the affair and also previewed the upcoming 2016 season.  The Sweeney RUSH Late Models have added Path Valley Speedway Park in central Pa. and Genesee Speedway in Batavia, NY as weekly-sanctioned speedways.  The Touring Series schedules for both the Late Models and Sportsman Modifieds were released.  John and Christine Stivason photographed the event and the photo link will be posted as soon as it’s available. 


2015 Insinger Performance/Sunoco Race Fuels RUSH Late Model Northern Touring Series Top 12 Driver Points: 1. Max Blair 688  2. Bryce Davis 639  3. John Waters 620  4. Randy Hall 615  5. Jason Knowles 596  6. Brian Knowles 591  7. Eric Wilson 580  8. Ward Schell 484  9. T.J. Downs 373  10. Kyle Zimmerman 253  11. Joe Martin 252  12. Jamie Brown 223.


2015 Bazell/Sunoco Race Fuels RUSH Late Model Southern Touring Series Top 12 Driver Points: 1. Max Blair 1022  2. Eric Wilson 926  3. Jason Knowles 925  4. Brian Knowles 833  5. Steve Lowery 788  6. John Waters 672  7. Kyle Lukon 580  8. Rob Marhefka 539  9. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 436  10. Michael Lake 410  11. W.L. Stile 387  12. Clay Ruffo 385.


2015 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Model Weekly Series Top 40 Points: 1. Max Blair 1344  2. Randy Hall 1336  3. Damian Bidwell & Charlie Sandercock 1334  5. Dennis Lunger, Jr. 1327  6. John Waters 1322  7. Troy Shields 1314  8. Chris Fleming 1312  9. Josh Holtgraver 1309  10. Russell Baird, Jr. 1308  11. Phil Potts 1306  12. Matt Latta 1304  13. Charlie Duncan & Jason Genco 1302  15. Ward Schell 1296  16. Corey Earl 1294  17. Darin Henderson 1293  18. Daryl Charlie 1291  19. Bryce Davis 1287  20. Kyle Zimmerman & Kyle Sopaz 1286  22. Adam Sixt 1285  23. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. 1282  24. Steve Baldwin 1273  25. Ben Policz 1268  26. Kyle Lukon 1266  27. Ryan Markham 1263  28. Clinton Hersh & Eric Wilson 1254  30. Brandon Mowat 1251  31. Michael Reft 1248  32. Wyatt Scott 1243  33. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 1238  34. Tyler Rand 1235  35. Michael Lake & Justin Lamb 132  37. Scott Gurdak 1226  38. Ben Bowie 1223  39. Jamie Wrightsman 1222  40. Kris Eaton 1221.


2015 Pace Performance “Summer Chase” Late Model Top 10 Points: 1. Bryce Davis 109.14  2. Max Blair 108.93  3. Charlie Sandercock 108.62  4. Troy Shields 108.13  5. Chris Fleming 107.9  6. Damian Bidwell 106.77  7. Charlie Duncan 106.25  8. Randy Hall 105.68  9. Dennis Lunger, Jr. 105.43  10. Ben Policz 104.6.


2015 "Bilstein Bandits" Late Model Top 15 Points: 1. Charlie Sandercock 1334  2. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. 1282  3. Clinton Hersh 1254  4. Kris Eaton 1221  5. Bob Kish 1199  6. Paul Harriger 1180  7. Josh Stoica 1158  8. Harry Shipe, Jr. 1148  9. Alan Dellinger 1117  10. Clay Ruffo 987  11. Brian Lederhouse 832  12. W.L. Stile 824  13. Bobby Pifer III 717  14. Walter Nichols 613  15. Justin Lamb 569.


2015 Late Model “Futures Cup” Points: 1. Clinton Hersh 1254  2. Wyatt Scott 1243  3. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 1238  4. Jennae Piper 1183  5. Eli Mayhew 1096  6. Megan Mann.


2015 K&N “Cold Air Induction” Dash Late Model Champion: Max Blair


2015 “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series Late Model Champion: Tony White


2015 Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified Weekly Series Top 15 Points: 1. Greg Martin 1339  2. Nick Ritchey 1315  3. Rocky Kugel 1313  4. Kole Holden 1291  5. Larry Kugel 1275  6. Jerry Schaffer 1266  7. Kyle Martell 1242  8. Chelsie Kriegisch 1229  9. Brandon Ritchey 1224  10. Justin Shea 1207  11. Josh Deems 1205  12. Will Schaffer 1185  13. Jeremy Weaver 1178  14. Jessica Kriegisch 778  15. Jim Bryce 776.


2015 Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified Touring Series Top 10 Driver Points: 1. Larry Kugel 445  2. Kole Holden 438  3. Jerry Schaffer 436  4. Chelsie Kriegisch 418  5. Nick Ritchey 355  6. Kyle Martell 344  7. Will Schaffer 327  8. Brandon Ritchey 316  9. Jeremy Weaver 241  10. Greg Martin 240.


2015 Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modified "Futures Cup" Top 10 Points: 1. Kole Holden 1291  2. Kyle Martell 1242  3. Jeremy Weaver 1178  4. Jessica Kriegisch 778.


2015 K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash RUSH Sportsman Modified Champion: Rocky Kugel


2015 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Pro Stock Weekly Series Points: 1. Justin Ramsay 1343  2. Corey McPherson 1328  3. Doug Anderson 1327  4. Mike Franklin 1309  5. Terry Young 1355  6. Joey Zambotti III 1230  7. Aaron Easler 1198  8. Noah Brunnell 1101  9. Brandon Wearing 1084  10. Jonah Mutton 853  11. Pat Hanley 710  12. Steve D'Apolito 370  13. Ben Easler 193  14. Bill Henney 176.

Special Award Winners:

Gary Knollinger Memorial “Golden Award”: Eric Wilson

“Majestic Award”: Travis Harry

Car Owner of the Year: Terry Suppa

Special Appreciation Award: Jerry Schaffer

“Miles Traveled” Special Appreciation Late Model Award: Brian & Jason Knowles

“Miles Traveled” Special Appreciation Sportsman Modified Award: Kole Holden

Bill Hendren Memorial Engine Rebuilder of the Year: Ingram Engines


Precise Racing Products $100 Gift Cards: Tony White, Jason Knowles, Brian Knowles

K&N Cold Air Induction System: Brian & Jason Knowles

Velocita-USA 50% off a Custom Drivers Suit (Mods): Justin Shea, Jerry Schaffer, Kole Holden, Brandon Ritchey

Velocita-USA 50% off a Custom Drivers Suit (LM): Clinton Hersh, Paul Harriger, Eric Wilson, Dennis Lunger, Jr., Michael Duritsky, Jr.

Velocita-USA 50% off a Custom Drivers Suit (Stocks): Terry Young

Velocita-USA $500 off a Custom Drivers Suit: Jessica Kriegisch


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, Sunoco Race Fuels, MSD Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, 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.