RUSH RACING SERIES LOADED WITH NUMEROUS NEW TALENTED YOUNG RACERS; ENSURING BRIGHT FUTURE FOR RUSH-SANCTIONED SPEEDWAYS
By Doug Kennedy
September 1, 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)...One of the most important goals of the Pace Performance RUSH Racing Series throughout the years has always to keep people racing via the true “cost containment” technical rules packages that are surrounded by outstanding championship programs.
RUSH's formula continues to prove successful as nearly 30 different speedways throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic have presented hundreds of exciting RUSH-sanctioned events in 2021 featuring numerous well-known veteran drivers as well as many in the prime of their careers. One of the most exciting and important factors that RUSH has created throughout the Series is a tremendous opportunity for young racers to be able to step into a full size race car at an affordable cost!
"It's just amazing to watch all of our young racers compete throughout the RUSH Series", stated Series Director Vicki Emig. "It's so satisfying to know that our concept is allowing their parents to be able to put them in a competitive full-size race car at such a young age. We've watched so many racers begin their careers with us, some who had never turned a lap in a race car, become some of our regions toughest competitors and race door-to-door with seasoned veterans as time went on; I don't think there is anything more gratifying than that!"
One of the developmental programs of RUSH is the "Futures Cup" Championship, a stand-alone program in each RUSH division that allows member teenage racers to compete for their own individual championships over and above all other RUSH programs. Drivers who are 18 or 19 cannot have more than year of experience in an equal or higher division to be eligible.
Eighteen-year old Zach Crawford of McDonald, Pa. got his start racing bicycles. He was part of the NBL which is now the USA BMX. In 2011, Crawford went to Tulsa for the Grand Nationals. A bad wreck ended his cycling career so his dad, Jim, got Zach into a 4 Cylinder to begin his auto racing career in 2020. “Over the winter my dad said if we’re going to get into this we should get into it the best way we can and that’s where the RUSH Late Model came in.” said Zach. “Dad owns the team, but I pitch in whenever I can.”
“I feel like it’s a great place to start,” Zach said of the RUSH Series. “They (RUSH) run the Series very well. I enjoy the ("Wheelman") non-qualifiers race as it gives drivers the chance who don’t qualify for the main event to be still be able to race in their own event that night. I’m hoping to get a better feel for the car and get a couple of wins under our belt in the future.”
Crawford currently works in his dad’s Sewickley based business, Crawford Auto Repair.
Kassidy Kamicker of Aliquippa, Pa., the 2020 RUSH Late Model "Wheelman Champion", is one of the female participants of RUSH. Kamicker, a graduate of Hopewell High School, started racing in go-karts at age 10, and moved up to the RUSH Late Models last year when she turned 17.
“I like the people that are involved with RUSH,” Kamicker said. “Everyone is nice and are always willing to help out. They’re really good at promoting their drivers. They put your name out there so others know who you are. I think the rules are good and I like how they do their different point funds. Last year, I won the Wheelman Championship and I got a nice granite plaque and jacket.”
Kamicker’s dad, Craig, and mom, Melanie, do the financial part of the race team. They are also fortunate to have seven other sponsors, On race day at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway, Kassidy has her mom, dad, Uncle Jay, her boyfriend John, and friends Joe and Brandy there at the track to help out.
She feels that her racing has improved dramatically over the last two years and plans on returning to competition in 2022 at PPMS, she may even venture to Lernerville and Sharon Speedways. She will be going to CCBC to major in business management and one day hopes to own a race shop.
Currently leading the RUSH Late Model "Futures Cup" is 19-year-old Logan Jaquay of Bear Lake, Pa., a sophomore and wrestler at Edinboro University. This is Logan’s first full season of racing with RUSH, who for 10 years previous raced go-karts.
Jaquay is part of the Briggs Transport operation and has had the opportunity to travel and work on the cars of both Boom Briggs and Chub Frank. Logan stated, "Both have been a great help to me, they've done it their wholes lives and know what I need, it's all worked out very well!"
Uncle Steve said, “Logan’s career is real promising. A lot of people comment that he’s just a natural behind the wheel. Go-Karts can be as tough as the Late Model."
“I had a car and knew I was going to be racing at Stateline and Eriez, both of which had a good thing going with RUSH then why not join," said Logan. “It has really worked out for us; I love the idea of having the same rules package so you can take your car to different tracks and be competitive. I also like the touring series.”
Seventeen-year-old Ashton Briggs is in his first season of racing a RUSH Late Model. Briggs, who resides in Erie, Pa, will be a senior this coming year at Erie McDowell and also works at Blue Beacon Truck Wash cleaning trucks and trailers and contributes his earnings to the race team.
Ashton, whose cousins are Chub Frank and Boom Briggs, as well as Logan Jaquay, began racing a go-kart at age seven and continued doing so for nine more seasons. He now competes with his RUSH Late Model at Eriez and Stateline along a one appearance at both Raceway 7 and Sharon. The team, which is financed by his dad Brodie and his mom Tricia.
As for RUSH, Tricia said, “I think it’s a great opportunity for these young drivers. It’s very professionally run. I just wish we would have known about it (Futures) Cup earlier. Either way, Vicki (Emig) has been so, so helpful.”
“I think RUSH is a good series that allows me to compete close to home,” added Ashton, who won the Non-Qualifier last Saturday at Sharon Speedway in just his second Touring Series start. “I really like the point funds and Manufacturers Night.” As for the help he gets from Chub and Boom, Ashton said, “Chub built and sets up my car and has helped me with many things from the beginning of my career; Boom gives me tips and other advice to help me. Everything is going pretty good right now with a couple of top 10’s and hopefully top 5’s will be coming soon.”
Philip Bubeck, at 18, is another young driver in the RUSH Late Model Series. He has been racing at PPMS for most of this season. Prior to the Late Model, Philip raced a Mini Wedge and a 4-Cylinder.
Philip works at a garage called B&J Performance for its two owners, Bill and April Tennant. “They own the car and I drive for them,” said Bubeck.
It’s a family affair for the Bubeck’s as Philip’s younger brother, Noah, also races at PPMS in a 4-Cylinder. His parents, Brian and Stephanie and his grandparents, Phil and Diane, are also involved. “That’s what makes things happen and fun with the whole family involved.”
Phil and Kyle Lukon also add to Philip’s racing prowess. “They help out with the set-up and how to drive the Late Model transitioning from the 4-Cylinder.”
Bob and Paula Quaigg also are a big help for Philip since they found the car that we bought. Both of the Quaiggs also help at the racetrack as well.
The driver from Collier, West Virginia likes the RUSH Series. “I think it’s awesome, and we like everything about RUSH," stated Bubeck. "I definitely want to travel around, but before that we want to get some more seat time”
Fifteen year old Ben Easler of Linesville, PA is one of six drivers competing in the "Futures Cup" for the Sportsman Modifieds. After spending six years in a Go-Kart, Ben switched to a Sportsman Mod for 2021.
“He won a feature in his 7th race,” said his dad, Jason. “He surprised everyone including himself.”
Their #02 racecar is leased from Russ King Racing. “Not only do we have RUSH, but we’ve had Rex King Jr., and even Rex, Sr., come and help us out as well. I thought my son was pretty good but putting him into good equipment justified my thought that he is a good racer.”
As for RUSH, Jason said, “It’s a good way for racers to compete for decent money. Racing costs a lot, but it’s the least expensive, most lucrative series around. It’s the best deal unless you have unlimited funds and the competition is great.”
“The RUSH Series has given us a variety of places to race and divisions is great,” said Ben. “In the beginning, I didn’t really know what I was doing so I would go to the bottom of the track and float along and hoped that would be okay. Now I have more car control and know what line to run and the confidence to go up top to pass cars.”
Besides his win and leading the "Futures Cup" points, Easler is 5th in overall Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Weekly Series points and in the top seven of both the Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble" and Hovis Touring Series points. He’s run a number of races at tracks like Tyler County, PPMS, Raceway 7, Sharon, and Lernerville. “The more tracks you hit, the better and quicker you learn,” said Jason.
Cole Edwards from Kennerdell, Pa. is in his first season of racing a RUSH Sportsman Modified. Prior to joining RUSH, Edwards raced a go-kart for three years. Cole won Flat Run Speedway's Outlaw Kart Championship. His father Jason finances the car, but Cole helps out when he can by giving his earnings from such jobs as grass cutting, power washing homes and monies he received from Christmas and Birthdays.
“He lives and breathes racing,” Jason said of his son. “The whole family does.” Now beginning in 8th grade 13 year old Cole Edwards has already begun to learn a lot about his car and the tracks he competes at. “Hopefully I become more competitive,” Edwards said. “I really like the competition in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds! There are a lot of good drivers that I get a chance to race against each week as well as learn from each week as well.”
Sixteen-year-old Lucas Canon of Sharpsville, Pa. is also in his first season in the RUSH Sportsman Modified division, but got a late start not making his debut until July 24. Canon has been racing mainly at Sharon with two appearances at Raceway 7.
Prior to this season, Lucas raced Go-Karts, winning two titles, one at Slippery Rock and the other at Good Hope in the Junior Clone and the Junior Predator Divisions. Lucas, who will be a sophomore at Sharpsville High School, works at Zero Error Racing where he machines parts for racecars.
His dad, Jim, raced Big-Blocks Modifieds and E-Mods from 1992 through 2007. He along with Lucas’s mom Michele, provide the financial support for their son. Jim also serves as Lucas’s crew chief, while Michelle provides all the moral support for Lucas. His sister, Muncie, helps with the tires and cleans the car, while his grandfather, Howard is part of his crew as well.
“I’ve always wanted to race a Modified,” said Lucas. “I like the RUSH series because it’s more affordable. RUSH is always on top of things, which makes things run smooth when we are at the track.”
“A lot of people I spoke with feel like this division is a real good deal for us and it’s affordable with the crate motor,” added Jim.
At 17 years of age, Cameron McFadden joined the Sportsman Modified Division this year as well. He will be a senior this coming fall at Northwestern High School. Like Edwards and Canon, Cameron raced Go-Karts since he was nine. During that stretch, he won seven features at Slippery Rock.
McFadden comes from a racing family as his stepfather, Wendell Pinckney and his stepbrother, William, have both raced a RUSH Late Model. Both Wendell and Cameron’s mom, Charlene, will provides the financial, moral, and race day support for their son. When they’re at the race track, Wendell is the crew chief and Charlene is part of the pit crew as well.
“I used to go to Sharon and Raceway 7 and I was intrigued by the Modified,” said Cameron, who lives in Albion, Pa. “My goal is to race and improve and eventually get into a Big-Block Modified.”
Said his mom, Charlene, “It’s been a learning experience for him. We’ve stressed seat time with him and how positive it is to finish races and get that experience under his belt no matter where he finishes.”
As for the Futures Cup, Charlene added, “We’re pleased with it. I like the fact that they are doing this for the young kids which helps them get the recognition that gives them the incentive to want to continue racing.”
Cameron’s racecar was built by his step dad from two other racecars. Wendell, who has spent 25 years in racing, also serves as Cameron’s crew chief. “He does everything with the race car,” said Cameron.
Dalton Gabriel of Ellwood City, Pa. is 15 years old. He currently competes in the RUSH Sportsman Modified division as well and is part of the "Futures Cup". Prior to the Modified, Dalton raced a Go-Kart when he was eight years old.
“It’s a good series,” said his dad Todd, regarding the RUSH Series. “She (Vicki) does a lot for the drivers with the manufacturers night and the points fund. It’s nice we can go to different tracks and it is cost-effective.”
“I like it (RUSH) because of the points fund and I like how they tech and have all the rules,” added Dalton. It’s more on the driver with everything else being equal. I just go out and try to pass as many cars as I can.”
“He’s getting more consistent and confident,” Todd said of Dalton. “He does all his own maintenance and the tires and I do the technical side. It’s only me, my wife (Jessica), and Dalton involved with the program.
“It’s been pretty good,” Dalton said of his 2021 season. “A few up and downs, but I’m getting better. I just want to be able to finish races.”
Nineteen-year-old, Jacob Rutana of Poland, Ohio, has split time in the racecar with this older brother, Doug (23) at Raceway 7 and Sharon; however, that has changed as the Rutanas recently purchased a second car for Doug.
For the last 12 years, David Rutana has operated Goodhope Speedway, a Kart track located in New Springfield, Ohio. The RUSH Karts are run at Good Hope as well. David, who also owns GSI Transportation Services, likes what he sees of RUSH. “I do like the Series. It is well organized and they are strict with the rules. I like that because it keeps the opportunity for those who just starting or switching divisions.”
“I like how they operate their points system, the rules, and manufacturers night,” added Ben. “I would absolutely do this again next year.”
“There’s good competition in the class,” said Jacob. “It’s a good entry level division to get into. I can also race at tracks that are relatively close to home like Raceway 7, Lernerville, and Sharon. I really enjoyed this season and learned a lot. We noticed our progression from starting at Sharon to our August race at Raceway 7. I will continue to work on my driving skills.”
RUSH Sprint Car driver Brian Cressley, 16 of Corry, Pa. began his racing career in go-karts winning track championships at both Stateline and Pittsfield . He also competed in UAS and won the national title. This is the Cressleys second year competing in the RUSH Sprint Car division as he finished second in the "Futures Cup" last season to Nolan Groves. While Brian runs a Sprint, his father Jerry, still races an adult Go-Kart when he’s not travelling with his son.
“It’s been a tremendous season for us,” Jerry said. “Our goal is not necessarily to win, but to move up close to the front. We’re aiming to improve track position. There are three types of racers; one, guys who are winning and up front; two, the middle group consists of drivers who are experienced but not necessarily winning and then there’s the third; beginners which is where Brian has been for the last two seasons. We are now sneaking towards the middle group and we hope to stay there for a while.”
“I’m starting to race with the guys who are running up front,” said Brian. “It’s been a learning curve this year.”
“It’s an easy way to get into a Sprint Car because there’s no way I could even think about a 410,” Jerry said of RUSH. “It evens the playing field with the shocks, motors, tires, and fuel. We can still get an edge by setting up the car. I like the way they are promoting it and getting more tracks involved.”
“This Series is a good deal,” said Brian. "There are good guys and I like all the tracks we go to, it’s just a lot of fun and a good Sprint Car series for beginners.”
Derek Peterson, who is 17, is part of a large group of new racers in the RUSH Pro Mod division. For the past three seasons, Derek’s father Tim has owned a RUSH Pro Mod for driver Vaughn Nystrom. This season, he added a second Pro Mod to his stable and named his son Derek as the driver.
As for Derek’s racing progression, Tim said, “He’s comes a long way from the beginning of the season. It was a little scary at first but now we are getting competitive with the added seat time.”
“I’ve been pretty good for my first year,” said Derek. “I’m getting better coming into the corners and just being faster. I like it (RUSH), and there is a really nice group of racers.”
Prior to this season, Derek raced in the 4-Cylinder Kids Class. Tim is also a current racer, driving a UMP Modified. He started in 2000 with a Street Stock and did that for five years before getting into an E-Mod. The car Derek is driving this season is a 2014 Shaw that Tim used to run before he rolled it at McKean County Raceway. It was sitting there for three years before Tim decided to get it fixed and turn it over to his son.
“The Pro Mod is a good class and I would rather get him started with the Modified and not develop bad habits,” said Tim. “It’s a different style of car that I want him to learn. I think this is an awesome series. I’ve been racing other series for many years and never received anything. It’s wonderful what RUSH does for the drivers with the sponsors, the points fund, and the Manufacturers Night giveaways.”
Seventeen-year-old Ian DeGolier of Bradford, Pa. is another first year racer in the RUSH Pro Mod Series. Before the Pro Mods, Ian raced in the Mini Stock Kid Division for three years, winning the Bradford track championship twice.
“I was looking forward to this year by jumping up a class and racing at McKean, my favorite track,” Ian said.
Ian’s dad, Todd, is very supportive of the RUSH Pro Mod Series. “I think it’s a great series. I like the fact that it’s a sanctioning body that you don’t have to worry about track rules and anybody cheating. I think it’s absolutely awesome.”
Pro Mod racer Tyler Sutton is 18 years old and lives in Jamestown, New York. He’s also entering his freshman year at Penn State Behrend where he wants to major in electrical engineering. “I’m looking to go to law school and become a patent attorney,” Tyler said. “I chose a local college so that I could continue my racing career.” Tyler co-owns the car with his dad, Chris, who also serves as the crew chief.
This is Tyler’s very first year of racing. “It started off a little rough but I’m finding some consistency nearing the end of the season,” said Tyler. “We’re going in the right direction.”
As for the RUSH Series, Tyler said, “It’s been thoroughly enjoyable. Vicki (Emig) has worked with me for the last few years to get my racing program going. It’s a perfect way to get into racing and it’s affordable. You don’t have to break the bank to get into it.” Tyler plans on doing the RUSH Pro Mods full-time for the 2022 season.
David Shagla and wife, Kelli, finance the RUSH Stock Car racing career of their 16-year-old son, Mikael Beaver of Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, Kelly’s son. Kelli actually raced a RUSH Kart last year and finished sixth in the adult points.
So far this season, Mikael has 10 wins between Stateline and Eriez Speedway along with a second and third place finish at Dog Hollow. Mikael raced the RUSH Go-Karts last year and finished 6th in points.
The racing operation is very much family oriented. Kelli’s husband races a Pro Stock. Her brother, Jay Groves, races the RUSH Kart Series, and his son Nolan (her nephew) races the RUSH Sprints. Her daughter, Halley Shagla races a 450 Quad. Her other daughter Raegon Beaver is in charge of the pits while David serves as the crew chief. “He’s the man with the plan,” said Kelli.
“We love it,” said Kelli of the RUSH Series. “We’re looking forward for a few more guys in the division next year. It’s a great starter class for somebody who’s just beginning and it’s affordable. Mike really likes the series and has every intention of coming back for next season,”
“I love the series because it’s all the same for the rules and cars,” said Mikael of RUSH. “It evens things out and it’s affordable.”
RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Pace Performance together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC 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, Born2Run Lubricants, Flynn's Tire & Auto Service, FK Rod Ends, 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, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Stop-Fyre, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage, CrateInsider.com, and Wedge Motorsports.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at [email protected] and mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300. The RUSH Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com. Like and follow the various RUSH divisions' Facebook and Twitter pages by searching each individual division's name