By Doug Kennedy & Mike Leone


June 10, 2019             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Sarver, PA)...The countdown has begun for what will be the richest ever Crate Late Model event ever in the history of the Northeast that being $10,000 to-win "Bill Emig Memorial" presented by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply.  The inaugural event for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series powered by Pace Performance will take place in conjunction with one of the country's crown jewel World of Outlaws Late Model events, the "Firecracker 100" at Lernerville Speedway June 20-22, and will showcase Crate Late Model racing in front of what is expected one of its largest audience ever.


Since the announcement in January, the event has created a continuous buzz throughout the entire East Coast.  Most recently, the event received  national exposure with a feature article in the May issue of Dirt Monthly Magazine as well other renowned publications.


To accommodate the event, the  majority of RUSH Late Model weekly-sanctioned speedways tracks will not be running the division in order to allow their drivers to support the event.  Series director Vicki Emig feels that the event has the potential to far exceed their record car count of 58 cars from 2016 at Tri-City Speedway for "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance as cars are expected to attend from a minimum of 11 states as well as Ontario, Canada.


"I really have to thank Lernerville and the Tomson Family as well as the World of Outlaws for giving us the opportunity to be part of the Firecracker 100," stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig.  "I don't think you can put a price on the exposure it will bring to RUSH, our Series sponsors, drivers, sanctioned speedways and Crate Late Model racing in general."


"Over 40 years ago my Dad pulled into the Lernerville pit area for the first time as a car owner, went on to forge a great relationship with Don Martin, and enjoyed great success at the speedway, but I don't think he ever could have imagined the importance and magnitude of this event that will be presented in his memory," continued Emig.  "It's his passion for our sport that drives me every day to make RUSH the very best it can be and make him proud of the legacy he left.  I don't think there could be a grander way to exemplify his love of racing than when the RUSH Late Models go four-wide that night for $10,000 to-win in his memory!"  


"I think this is a wonderful opportunity to enhance the Firecracker with the largest purse ever offered to Crate Late Model racers in the history of the Northeast," said Lernerville promoter Father Tm Tomson.  “With the addition of the RUSH Late Models to this longstanding premier event for the World of Outlaws Late Models, fans, racers, and sponsors will have the time of their life.  Come and camp, enjoy the races, take part in all of the entertainment, and have a terrific time!”


Max Blair of Centerville, Pa., a multi-time RUSH Champion and the Series' all-time leading Tour winner, feels it's a huge deal for Crate Late Model racing.  After winning the first two legs of the "Battle of the Bay" presented by Wehrs Machine & Racing Parts with over 50 cars each night, Blair stated that swing was the best stretch deal going for crate racing and brought out the best of the best.


"It's going to be huge," stated Blair, who has already won well over $13,000 in prize money in the five Tour events he's competed in to date this season.  "I don't even have a guess on car count; 60, 70, 80 who knows.  Hopefully the weather is good and it's a huge turnout so we can do it next year.  I've never been really good at Lernerville so hopefully we can get it dialed in."


Scott Gurdak, 60, who has been racing for 44 years has not been to Lernerville for a while, but knows how to get around there.   “We will have to fight off more than Max Blair in this race,” said the Bear Lake, Pa. driver on the "Bill Emig Memorial".  “It’s a good deal for everyone and a great thing to be able to be around the best and get a chance to race them.  It’s a big deal and a bigger deal for Crate Late Model racing and RUSH.”


New York's Brian Knowles as well as his brother Jason will both be part of the June event. “I’m really excited,” said Brian, who has run the Tour pretty much full-time for the last five years.  “There's going to be more than the usual competition.  There’s going to be a big crowd and people who have never seen Crate Late Model racing; they're going to be in for a treat!  And it's going to be a great way to promote RUSH.”


For 22 year old Michael Duritsky of Masontown, Pa., it’s a dream weekend.  “We always run good at Lernerville and that’s one of the big reasons I’m looking forward to it,” said Duritsky, who has competed in Crate Late Models for five years, and is coming off a Sweeney Weekly Series win on June 8 at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway.


"It’s going to be really special to race for all that money as well as with bigger name racers," added Duritsky, who is in his first year running the Tour full-time.  "For me it will pump me up making me want to do my best having so many eyes watching us with the huge crowd that is expected.  It makes you feel really important being pitted against the big guys, hang out with them and watch them race, it's going to be a good experience.”


“The weekend will definitely give RUSH more exposure and draw more attention to the RUSH  Series.  Vicki has been doing a great job getting bigger and bigger races for us!  Can’t wait for it, for sure,” said a very excited Duritsky.    


Bill Kessler, 57 of New Brighton, Pa., is a former Super Late Model driver who returned to racing just three years ago in a RUSH Crate Late Model says, "It will be the biggest thing I've ever been involved in.  I can't imagine two better events being brought together.  You're going to have the best of the best from the World of Outlaws as well as from RUSH and the world of Crate Late Model racing- it's going to be amazing.  I think the fans are going to love it!  It's going to take everything you got just to make the show."


Thirty-five year old Sam Pennacchio of Niagara Falls, Ontario is also really excited about the event.  “I’m definitely looking forward to the race with all the money on the line as well as racing with all the drivers who will be competing in the race,” said Pennacchio who  is also in his first year on the Tour.  “I’ve never been to Lernerville before and it’s another track that I've had on my bucket list.”


“It’s going to be huge exposure for RUSH,” Pennacchio said.  “It will give the Series and its drivers more exposure and put them in the eyes of the people who wouldn’t normally know about the RUSH Series or the drivers.”


"In my opinion, Lernerville is one of the top five dirt tracks in the country,” said 20-year-old Braeden Dillinger of Dawson, Pa., who like Duritsky and Pennacchio is following the Tour for the first time.  “Just the prestige of being part of the Firecracker and being there with so many big names and all the fans is really exciting.  I truly believe this will get more people interested in Crate Late Model racing.  It was a great idea to tie the two events  together.  It's going to get me pumped just knowing all those people are there, it's going to be good for everybody, the event in general, RUSH, the drivers and our sponsors, as well as the fans.”   


“For me, the only thing out there right now is Crate racing,” said John Mollick of Toronto, Ohio, who won a Sweeney Weekly Series race on June 1 at PPMS.  “The high priced race engines are cramping the Friday/Saturday night racers, but with RUSH, Vicki enforces the rules and guys know what they are running against and that they're not going to be out-dollared.  With the rules packages Vicki has in place in RUSH, it's the series to be involved with in the Northeast." 


Mollick has been competing in both the Late Model and Sprint Car divisions of RUSH.  “I’m a loyal customer,” he laughed.  "This event will defiantly give RUSH a ton of exposure and only help expand the Series.”


“It’s been on my calendar since we found out about the race,” said 17-year-old Kyle Murray of Delevan, NY, who is another Tour rookie and also a "Futures Cup" championship contender.  “There's going to be a lot of  eyes watching us, many people who don’t normally get to watch Crate Late Models.  It’s going to be a feeling that we don’t necessarily get on a weekly basis.  The adrenalin will be increased with all the drivers there and Lernerville's large grandstands filled.  RUSH is definitely growing with more and more cars coming to the Series and I believe this event will also help bring more big money racers to the Series in the future. ”


Unfortunately Bruce Hordusky, Jr. of Erie, Pa. will not be able to attend the event because of a wedding commitment.  “Otherwise, I would definitely be there,” said Hordusky.  “It's going to be a great opportunity for RUSH to gain some national exposure.” 


As for the competitiveness of the RUSH Series, Hordusky points to World of Outlaws driver, Chub Frank, who has recently also been racing a crate and has not been dominating at all with just one victory.  “That just shows you how competitive RUSH is and  I think it's going to be a great opportunity for fans to see just how competitive the RUSH Series is and the show they can put on!” 


Warm-ups and $100 FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying will take place on Thursday night (June 20) with the $25 FK Rod Ends heat races and the $100 "John Buzzard Memorial" dash on Friday night, and wrapping up on Saturday night with the last chance B mains, 50-lap $10,000 to-win feature, and the $400 to-win non-qualifier.


RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC & Pace Performance along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, FK Rod Ends, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Trailer-Alarms.com, Bonnell's Rod Shop, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, CrateInsider.com, 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 www.rushracingseries.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.