WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS; 2018 SWEENEY RUSH RACING SERIES WEEKLY DIRT TRACK CHAMPIONS CROWNED
By Doug Kennedy
October 23, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)...Other than a pair of late season events, the 2018 season for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance is completed and the Series is proud to announce that 17 different drivers at 19 different race tracks claimed their individual RUSH weekly-sanctioned championships. All told in 2018, the RUSH Racing Series sanctioned events at some 30 different speedways throughout the Northeast, Mid Atlantic and Ontario, Canada.
Capturing RUSH Late Model track championships were Brad Mesler (Bradford and McKean), Matt Hill (Delaware), Joe Moyer (Dog Hollow), Jason Genco (Eriez), Jason Parkhurst (Fulton), J.J. Mazur (Genesee), Chad Homan (Humberstone and Outlaw), Justin Lamb (Pittsburgh), Chuck Bowie (Potomac), Darrell Bossard (Raceway 7 and Stateline), Mike Franklin (Winchester). In addition, RUSH will award cash point fund monies to the top five member drivers at each track using RUSH's weekly point system. Those point standings are available under the Points link at www.rushlatemodels.com.
Capturing RUSH Sportsman Modified track championships were Chas Wolbert (Pittsburgh) and Garrett Krummert (Sharon).
Earning RUSH Pro Mod track championships were Chad Carlson (Bradford) and Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Stateline).
Corey McPherson won the track championship at Lernerville for the RUSH Pro Stocks, while Arnie Kent won the "Wednesday Night Lightning" crown at Lernerville for the RUSH Sprint Cars.
"The heart of the RUSH Racing Series has always been our weekly-sanctioned speedways," stated Series director Vicki Emig. "Our goal first and foremost is to ensure that their weekly RUSH programs are healthy, and we do so by providing them with a strong, consistent rules package, technical support, and of course our valuable championship cash point funds and contingency programs. We're lucky to have such a committed group of knowledgeable promoters that understand and support the RUSH concept of cost containment racing and its benefits for all concerned in the future."
In our Late Model program alone RUSH racers have the opportunity to compete in our National Weekly, Summer Chase, Track Pack, and Futures Cup programs without ever leaving their home track, various other similar concepts are also available to our other divisions.
At 29 years old, Wellesville, New York’s, Brad Mesler has been racing a RUSH Late Model for the last nine years. Mesler is also a repeat offender, having won the same two track titles (Bradford and McKean) last year. “The Series is pretty consistent and something to look forward to,” said Mesler. “It benefits guys that can’t always travel when you have the weekly and local track points. What you see with RUSH and the Late Models is what you get with all of their divisions. It’s run very professionally.”
Chad Homan has been racing Late Models for the past three years after moving over from the Big-Block Modifieds. The 36-year-old driver, who hails from Penfield, New York, won the track championship at Humberstone in 2017. “I think the Series is great with a bunch of places to race. It’s nice to go to different tracks and be on a level playing field. Things are growing up around here with increased car counts. I think the RUSH Series has a ton of potential.” Homan raced a Modified for 10 years, but finds the cost of a RUSH Late Model to be a lot less.
For 19 years, 34-year-old Darrell Bossard has been in some form of a race car. The Centerville, Pa. racer has a number of championships to his resume. He won Street Stock titles at Sportsman's, Raceway 7, and Tri-City as well a 2015 title at Eriez in a Super Late Model. Most recently he was the RUSH Late Model Champion in 2016 at Stateline and then captured a second title at Stateline. In addition, Bossard copped the first ever RUSH title at Raceway 7.
“I really like what RUSH is doing,” said Bossard. “The way that Vicki (Emig) and Mike (Leone) have put forth the extra stuff for the racers makes it worthwhile to go racing. I think RUSH will continue to grow. I already know a couple of guys who are moving up to Late Models from the Stock Car division. I think the RUSH Late Model deal will continue to get bigger because of the different tracks and with the travelling, people will continue to jump into it.”
Forty-seven year old Mike Franklin of Winchester, Virginia, has been racing for six years. Franklin won four track titles in the Street Stock division, and now this year, he has captured his first Late Model title at his home town track, Winchester. “I think RUSH is a great series. Manufacturers Night is great. I think that the crate deal is going to replace the Super Late Models and will become the premier series.”
Chuck Bowie of Welcome, Maryland was the last driver to win a RUSH track title in 2018 when he clinched the Potomac championship on October 6. “We moved to this series (RUSH) because we wanted to get away from the cheating,” said the 39-year-old. “It’s nice to have a series that keeps everybody straight. We’re glad what they give back to us on Manufacturers Night and the points fund. It’s only going to get bigger as the Supers and Limited Lates go away.”
Matt Hill of Georgetown, Delaware won the Delaware International Speedway track title this year. At 27 years old, he’s the youngest Late Model champion. In addition, Hill was fourth in RUSH's National Weekly Series standings and fifth in the Pace "Summer Chase" program. “It’s been great having RUSH on board and bringing more cars and bigger shows to run,” said Hill, who just won the season ending $1,250 to-win race at the Delmar oval on October 20. He particularly enjoys the four race, "Battle of the Bay" that happens at the beginning of the racing season. “I think it’s a great series with a great group of people running it that keep it going. I would rather run with RUSH than with any other series. I will definitely defend my title next year.”
Asheville, Pennsylvania’s Joe Moyer, captured the first ever Dog Hollow RUSH track championship this past season. The 46-year-old racer has been racing off and on for the last 29 years and this is his first championship ever. “RUSH is a very good series and very helpful,” said Moyer. “They are very thorough, particularly with their teching. The prizes and the contingencies are very helpful to the little guy like me who needs to get a few extra dollars.” Moyer was hoping to get out to some of the bigger races this past year, but things just didn’t work out. Hopefully, it will be something he can do next season.
Jason Genco of Frewsburg, NY won the Eriez track title for now the second time. He has also captured a championship at Stateline in the RUSH Late Models. Prior to getting into a Late Model, Genco raced a Street Stock for two years and a Modified for three other seasons. “It’s fantastic,” said Genco of the RUSH Series, who finished second in points his first season on the road with the Sweeney Touring Series in addition to second in the National Weekly Series and fourth in the "Summer Chase". “I don’t think there’s a better Crate Late Model Series anywhere. It’s only going to get stronger. Every year there are more and more cars joining the Series and oh by the way, the teching is great.”
The Fulton Speedway title was won by Jason Parkhurst of Volney, NY. The 37 year old racer has been racing for 15 years. He’s driven a Sportsman, a Pro Stock, and now the RUSH Late Model. This is Jason’s first ever championship. “It sure took me awhile to get one,” laughed Parkhurst, who turned in an impressive second place finish in his first ever Sweeney Tour start on July 3 at Weedsport. “I like how we travel to different tracks and of course the teching. They have a general set of rules up and down the coast.”
J.J. Mazur of Batavia, NY was on top of the points at Genesee at season’s end. This was only his third season in a RUSH Late Model and he has repeated as champion at Genesee over the last two seasons. Mazur also has finished ninth and seventh in points in the last two years on the Sweeney Tour.
“It’s a good Series and keeps everyone on the same page and gives the ordinary guy a shot, plus it’s economical,” said Mazur who is 36. “When we sold everything from our BRP Super Stock and got into a Crate Late Model, we started running back up front again. The future is great with the car counts going up.”
Justin Lamb of Coraopolis, Pa., won the RUSH Late Model championship at Pittsburgh for the second straight season. Lamb, who is 36, is now in his 11th year of racing, and even picked up a win for being a car owner as Keith Barbara won in a substitution role on September 29. Last year, Lamb also won the RUSH Bilstein Bandit championship.
“I think the Series is great because it gives people an affordable option to race a Late Model without spending $100,000," said Lamb. "If it wasn’t for RUSH I wouldn’t be doing this at all. I think the future of RUSH is going to be the weekly shows with the Super Lates just running specials. All of the divisions of RUSH will become the weekly shows.”
Chas Wolbert of Warren, Ohio won the RUSH Sportsman Mods track title at Pittsburgh this year. He is the youngest driver of all the track champions. The 24-year-old driver of the #c3 has been racing for 11 years, beginning his career with go-karts. Wolbert then moved to Dwarf Cars and Mod Lites with the 2018 season being his third in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. “This is my first real championship and it’s great,” said Wolbert. “The class has grown again this year. The competition gets bigger and better and you have to be on top of your game when you unload at the track. I look for the division to grow with different tracks involved. I will be back next year to defend my title.”
Thirty-year-old, Garrett Krummert has been racing for 20 years. The Ellwood City, Pa. racer claimed the title at Sharon Speedway in his first season of RUSH. In 2007, Krummert won the "358" Modified championship at Mercer. “They (RUSH) have the most races and they actually have teching,” said Krummert who also runs a Big-Block Modified and also competed in the Mod Lite and Super Late Model divisions. “There’s no rules with the Big Blocks and that’s why I like the teching. I think we’re four to five years away where Big Blocks won’t be around this area. Every year, she (Vicki) gets more drivers, more tracks, and more product sponsors and what racing series gives you free products once a year?”
Chad Carlson of Lakewood, NY won the RUSH Pro Mod title at Bradford this year in the track's second year of running the division weekly. At 54 years old, Chad has been racing for about 30 years. Overall, he has won five other track titles at Eriez and Stateline. Carlson has finished second in Sweeney Weekly Series points in both 2017 and 2018, worth $2,000 each year.
“Unbelievable...great, great”, is what Carlson said about the RUSH Series. “The pay is good and I like the rules. It keeps everyone in the same stuff. There’s about four to five new drivers coming in for next year so maybe we can travel to a few other tracks.”
Dennis Lunger, Jr. is a veteran racer who has competed in a Spectator Stock, an Outlaw Cadet, an E-Mod, a Super Late Model, RUSH Late Model, and most recently added a RUSH Pro Mod to his arsenal. The 50-year-old Albion, Pa. racer has won the E-Mod and RUSH Pro Mod championships at Stateline. Overall, he's won eight track tiles including two at Sharon, two at Raceway 7, two at Stateline, and two at Humberstone in addition to winning the $3,500 Sweeney Weekly Series title for the RUSH Pro Mods the last two seasons.
“I like the Series a lot,” said Lunger of the Pro-Mods. “It’s fantastic and the most economical class of anything. It’s just an affordable class and you can pick up a motor for $5,000. I just hope we can get more tracks involved.”
Corey McPherson won his fourth straight track title this season at Lernerville and sixth overall. The Gibsonia, Pa. driver also won track titles at the Sarver oval in the Stock division in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. McPherson lost the Sweeney RUSH Pro Stock Weekly Series Championship to Tyler Dietz after winning the crown in 2016 and 2017. In addition, McPherson won the 2014 RUSH Late Model championship at Pittsburgh driving the Bob Bentz #60.
“Just look at how they do their giveaways and prizes- it’s unheard of and just awesome,” said McPherson, who has been racing Stocks since 2009. “Each prize is well worth it. I think it’s a very competitive series. The tech guys are always looking thoroughly at all the cars and try to make it a fair series for all of the racers. I’ll probably continue crate racing because we have a pretty good program and it’s very affordable. I’m going to stay until I get some significant help from some major sponsor to move up to another division.”
Veteran Sprint Car driver, Arnie Kent of New Castle, Pa. won the inaugural "Wednesday Night Lightning" Series title for the RUSH Sprint Cars at Lernerville this past season. “I really enjoyed it,” said the 54-year-old racer who earned $1,000 for the five-race mini series title at Lernerville. “This is the most I raced in a while and I was able to go to a lot of tracks that I’ve never been to before. I think the Series will continue to grow and bring more people into the sport, and it's good to see it's bringing back veterans that haven't raced in awhile.”
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.