By Mike Leone


June 15, 2021               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Pulaski, PA)...The Pace Performance RUSH Dirt Late Model Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC is gearing up for several major Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series events  honoring hall of fame racing icons over the remainder of the 2021 season.  Up first is the "Bill Emig Memorial" presented by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply coming to Lernerville Speedway June 24-26.  Other future events include the "Jim Burns Tribute", "Herb Scott Memorial", "Bill Forney Memorial", "Jook George Steel City Classic", and the "Bill Hendren Memorial".


For the  third straight year, the "Bill Emig Memorial" will be part of the "Firecracker 100", a crown jewel in Super Late Model racing, sanctioned by the World of Outlaws.  Once again, $10,000 will be on the line for the RUSH Late Models marking it the richest Tour event of the season.  It is anticipated that Saturday's show will again be the highest fan attended event for Chevrolet Performance Crate Late Model racing in the nation. 


While each night will include a complete show for the World of Outlaws, Thursday night (June 24) will see practice and FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock" Qualifying for the RUSH Late Models, Friday night will include FK Rod Ends heat races and the Sunoco Dash, while Saturday night will include the last chance B mains, 50-lap feature, and the non-qualifier.  Max Blair has been victorious each of the last two years.  Additional information on the event can be found here: https://rushlatemodels.com/FirecrackerInfo2021.pdf


"On a personal note I honestly can't describe what it means to have the 'Bill Emig Memorial' at Lernerville where the inaugural event took place in 1991," added Emig.  "To have this event pay $10,000 to win, of course makes it even more meaningful.  As a car owner, my dad had a very long and storied history at Lernerville and I know he would be so proud to see that his love of racing and legacy continues on through this historic event.  I also have to thank longtime friend and business associate, Cliff Hovis, for bringing Hovis Auto & Truck Supply on as a major event sponsor."


One week later, the Tour is right back in action with a pair of events in western Pennsylvania including the first ever visit to Dog Hollow Speedway on Friday, July 2 in the "Jim Burns Tribute/David & James Burns Memorial" paying $3,000 to-win.  The richest RUSH Late Model race in the history of Dog Hollow will pay tribute to an area legend and his two late sons.  Jim was a top runner in the old Modified Coupe, Hardtop, Super and Late Model divisions picking up many wins on the Jennerstown and Latrobe circuit, and was inducted into the Jennerstown Speedway Hall of Fame.


The following night (July3), Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway will honor another local icon in Herb Scott.  Scott is one of the most well-known and respected drivers who ever raced in western Pa.  Ten times during his hall of fame career, Scott won the track championship at Heidelberg (1956-1960, 1962-1965, and 1967).  His first win came in his first year of racing at New Kensington Speedway in 1948.  His 500th win came at Lernerville, and his final feature win came at Schmucker’s Speedway in September of 1979.  He would win a total of 520 career features! 


The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled what was to be the inaugural "Bill Forney Memorial" at Sharon Speedway last year; however, the event will take place this year on July 17 at Sharon.  The event started at $2,199 to-win, but has increased due to contributions in memory of Bill Forney and is already expected to pay $3,199.  The event will also include a Canfield/Sharon Speedways driver reunion (1949-1973) as those racers will receive free admission and a complimentary dinner in addition to being recognized throughout the night.


Forney, one of, if not the greatest racer to ever wheel a Late Model in the region, passed away on August 10, 2019 at the age of 92.  Forney's racing prowess earned him the Late Model track championship at Sharon in 1964, and an unprecedented seven championships at Canfield (1959-1960, '61, '63, '65-66, '68) - a track that had a national reputation for tough as nails competition.   All totaled, Forney had hundreds of feature wins, many at these two tracks in his candy striped #199.


During this period was a rivalry rarely matched in the annals of stock car racing history lore- the legendary Bill Forney/Jim Bickerstaff battles.  The two drivers were the undisputed leaders of their craft, and their weekly donnybrooks on the quarter-mile bullrings attracted fans by the throngs.  Forney was inducted into the inaugural Twin State Auto Racing Club's Hall of Fame in 2010, and is also a member of the Cloverleaf Speedway (Cleveland) Hall of Fame.


Following the "Bill Forney Memorial", will be the prestigious "Jook George Steel City Classic" presented by Zarin Truck & Auto on August 7 at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway.  Starting in 2015, Branden Lockwich took up the effort to make the "Jook George Steel City Classic" the biggest race in the tri-state area for the RUSH Late Models.  The event has continued to grow in stature. 


William Thomas "Jook" George had a brief driving career himself, but as he turned to car owner he chose and had for most of his racing career the #10 and that was in honor of his racing hero, Lou Blaney, who drove his car on a couple occasions.  Other highlights of his career was being nominated as the Sportsman of the Year at PPMS, being nominated into the Pittsburgh Circle Track Hall of Fame, winning the track championship at PPMS in 1990 with John Beatty behind the wheel, and winning the Fall Classic in 1993 with Bill Yakin, also at PPMS.  His most dominant stretch as a car owner came in the late ‘70s when Earl Teeters was his driver.


Rounding out the memorial portion of the 2021 season for the Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Tour will be the two-day 11th annual "Bill Hendren Memorial" presented by FK Rod Ends in conjunction with Pro Fabrication on October 1 and 2 at Pittsburgh.  Last year's event expanded to two completed shows with $3,100 to-win, $275 to-start each night plus the "One to Remember" Non-Winners race presented by Pace Performance on Friday night.  Saturday's show is run with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series "Pittsburgher 100". 


In 2005, Bill Hendren, the patriarch of the Hendren family and founder of Hendren Racing Engines, had the foresight to begin building his affiliation with crate racing.  As many of his open engine customers looked to crate racing as an opportunity to continue racing Bill began offering free advice via the well know 4M.net message board.  As the concept grew throughout the country, his generosity and expertise was rewarded as many of those who had utilized his knowledge in the beginning utilized him as their engine rebuilder as their needs arose.  Bill passed away on March 19, 2011, but his legacy and dedication to crate racing lives on through his sons, Steve and Mike, as the Hendrens are recognized throughout the entire country as a leader in this specialized form of racing as they continue to operate Hendren Racing Engines. 


We would also be remiss if we didn't mention the RUSH Late Model Tour shows that honor Bill Law and Gary Montgomery annually.  This year's "Bill Law Memorial" took place on May 15 at Stateline Speedway and attracted a record 43 cars won by Jeremy Wonderling for the third time in four years.  Law was the first person to have a Crate Late Model in the region when the class debuted in 2007 in the Northeast.  Law had several drivers over the years behind the wheel of his #14 including Baldwin, Ward Schell, Rich Gardner, Jon Law, Curt VanPelt, David Scott, and Kyle Scott.  Today, Bill's grandson, Kyle Murray, is in his fifth year of RUSH Late Model competition with five career wins in Weekly Series action.


The "Gary Montgomery Memorial" unfortunately was rained out this year at Outlaw Speedway on May 28.  The event honors a man that was synonymous with racing all over the Upstate New York State Region.  After a long and courageous battle with cancer, Montgomery passed away in November 2016.  Montgomery had a very big presence wherever he went either as a top notch announcer, track manager, or series promoter.  Montgomery was Glenn Donnelly’s confidant at the DIRT Motorsports Organization and later went on to promote his own series, the BRP Can AM 360 Late Models, which is where many of today's top New York RUSH Late Model racers got their start.


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 snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300.  The RUSH Late Model website is www.rushlatemodels.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.