By Mike Leone                       


(Ocala, FL)…While the 2014 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Dirt Late Model Series season is still a little more than two months away, several race teams are prepared to head south to compete with the NeSmith Series under the Crate Racin' USA banner at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida for five consecutive nights of action January 28-February 1. 


After practice on Monday, January 27, the following four nights will pay $2,000 to-win with the 50-lap, $3,000 to-win finale on Saturday, February 1.  This year's known RUSH contingent will include Mike Pegher, Jr., Will Thomas III, Kyle Lukon, Michael Lake, Paul Jablonski, and George Kowatic.  Ryan Montgomery was set to go; however, family work commitments have most likely nixed his trip.  RUSH will have one provisional each night with it going to the highest driver in 2013 Sweeney Tour points.


Pegher leads the contingent of Pennsylvania racers set to convene at BRP.  The Wexford, Pa. 28-year-old is coming off a tremendous 2013 that included nine feature wins with five coming in Sweeney Tour competition to propel him to the $5,000 championship for Lynn Geisler.  Pegher also finished second in the Sweeney Weekly Series standings and third in the Pace Performance "Summer Chase" to add another $4,000 to his take, which he received on January 18 at the awards banquet.  Pegher also enters competition at Bubba's with confidence as he recorded a $5,000 runner-up November 22 driving for Bobby Lake, whose car he'll again pilot in the Sunshine State.


Will Thomas is set to begin his third full season in Crate Late Models.  The former asphalt standout won the Sharon Speedway track championship in his first full season of dirt competition in 2012.  Last year, Thomas finished runner-up in points with five victories.  The 38-year-old Sharpsville, Pa. racer also tied for fifth in the Sweeney Weekly Series points.  With his confidence growing and his father's health improved, Thomas plans to hit the road more in 2014 in his Colonial Metals #9.


Another driver planning on doing more travel in 2014 is Kyle Lukon in the Lukon's Reb-Fab #1.  The 24-year-old Burgettstown, Pa. driver is coming off another strong season at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway where he won five features and the track championship.  Lukon won his first career Sweeney Tour feature on July 13 and also picked up the $500 Sunoco bonus for utilizing the 260 GT Plus!  Lukon finished eighth in the Sweeney Weekly standings and seventh in the Pace Summer Chase for an added $1,550. 


Michael Lake will be headed to BRP for the third time in the past year.  Last year during Speedweek, Lake became the youngest driver in the history of NeSmith to qualify for a feature event at the age of 11!  The 2013 season was a quite a year for the Uniontown, Pa. seventh grader winning seven features including the $2,000 Sweeney Tour at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex on Labor Day Weekend plus the $200 "Futures Cup" Trifecta finale at Roaring Knob.  In addition, Lake finished second in the "Futures Cup" points, 10th in the Sweeney Tour, and 13th in Sweeney Weekly!


Paul Jablonski will be making his first ever visit to BRP.  The 51-year-old Carnegie, Pa. resident was a regular at Pittsburgh in 2013 where he competed in all 24 events with 12 top 10 finishes including a pair of season best seventh place finishes.  Jablonski drives the Classic Landscaping #3, and was the 2012 winner of the Sweeney/Pace GM 604 engine giveaway at Sharon Speedway!


George Kowatic is another driver part of Bobby Lake Motorsports.  The 31-year-old Moon Township, Pa. resident made only a limited number of starts in 2013, but has had success in the past in Crate Late Model racing with a pair of victories at Sharon.


For more information on the events at BRP, check out or  


2013 RUSH marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, RainEater Wiper Blades, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, K1 RaceGear, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Wrisco Industries, High Gear Speed Shop, Utsinger’s Towing,, 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.