HOVIS RUSH SERIES TO WELCOME ANOTHER LARGE CLASS OF OVER 30 NEW RACERS IN 2023; EXCTING & VIABLE COST CONTAINMENT PROGRAMS SURROUNDED BY VALUABLE CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAMS CONTINUES TO ATTRACT RACERS
By Doug Kennedy
May 2, 2023
(Pulaski, PA)...With the 2023 season just underway in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Racing Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants, the Series looks forward to once again welcoming a large group of approximately 30 new racers to their ranks for the upcoming season. RUSH encompasses the Late Models, Sprint Cars, Sportsman Modifieds, Pro Mods and Stock Cars with competing racers ranging in age from 11 to their early 70's.
The Series has continued to grow and flourish with a concept that they have held steadfast on throughout the years; affordable, cost-containment technical rules packages surrounded by stringent rules enforcement and valuable championship programs. This combination seems to have hit its stride continuously producing strong car counts that will see a minimum of 26 different speedways utilize the RUSH programs this season.
"It's really very satisfying to see RUSH continue to maintain strong momentum and growth especially with the current economic conditions," stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig. "Our main goal with the RUSH concept has always been to simply 'keep people racing' for all concerned - our speedways, sponsors, fans, and of course our racers, and I think it's working!"
"I'm so glad that we were able to work with all of our partners over the past 16 years to develop all of the RUSH programs that are now in place," continued Emig. "We truly couldn't have done it without all of their support! It's exciting to see so many racers not only finding their way to RUSH, but continuing to produce all of that great wheel-to-wheel racing that we all expect every time they hit the speedway."
Over 14 new drivers will be part of the RUSH Late Models, and the division will see its largest class of "Futures Cup" racers in numerous years. Winchester, Virginia is the home of newcomer Davin Kaiser. At 16, it will be his first year in a RUSH Late Model. Last year he ran a Hobby Stock and won four features. So far Kaiser, who has taken over the ride of the Will and Ann Marie Beverlin-owned #11, has competed in all four of the RUSH events to date at Winchester and captured a very surprising second place in one of Winchester's opening feature events.
As for RUSH, his mom Holly said, “I think RUSH is great. Every time I have a question I can call and get the answer from them. He (Davin) has been in the garage since he was four. He learned the basics of the car before he drove one.”
"RUSH gives us local guys an opportunity to be part of something bigger through their various different programs," said Davin, who is a sophomore at James Wood High School. "I’m looking forward to getting some seat time and learning new things to continue my ascent in racing. I hope to finish in the top five in points at Winchester Speedway.”
The youngest new member to the RUSH Late Models is 13-year-old Brock Pinkerous of Ellenville, New York. Pinkerous has been racing since he was six years. He won 42 races in a Slingshot race car, from there he moved up to the Sportsman Modifieds where he won the STSS (Short Track Super Series) title. His dad, Paul, is the car owner and racing veteran Russ King has joined the team as crew chief. Brock, who is in seventh grade, adheres to a rigid and consistent schedule.
“We’re going to make every RUSH Touring race this year," Paul acknowledged. "Our goal is to be competitive and hopefully get some top five finishes as well as win one or two. He goes to school, then to baseball practice, the gym to workout, and then home to do his homework. Mentally, he is more committed than I’ve ever seen him before.”
“I think they do a real good job,” said Paul of the RUSH Series. “They do a great job of promoting their Series and drivers and the payouts are good. I also think the number of races they have is awesome.”
Frank Magill of Clairton, Pa. is 19 years of age began his career five years ago racing a 4-Cylinder car. His parents Frank and Kelly own the car, with Dad serving as crew chief, with himself and his little brother Tony working on the car, and mom being his #1 fan.
“This is my first full season in a RUSH Late Model,” said Magill. “I did race three RUSH events at the end of the season where I picked up a non-qualifier win at a RUSH Tour event. I like RUSH because the class is so competitive. My goal this year is to get as many wins as we can, I feel very confident going into this season.”
Fifteen year old Marshall O’Brian is yet another teenager joining the RUSH Late Model ranks. Marshall began his racing career at nine racing Go-Karts and then a 4-Cylinder car for three years. His parents Doug and Meghan own the Late Model.
“One of the reasons we chose RUSH is that their rules are the same everywhere,” said Doug. “You know what they are no matter where you choose to race even before you leave home. His goal for Marshall, who is in the 10th grade at Addison High School, is to gain as much experience as he possibly can this season. “The main goal for me is for him to drive the car at the end of the night onto the trailer,” Doug said, with tongue-in-cheek.
Thirty-one year old Darryll Hoon of Berlin Center, Ohio began his racing career three years ago in a Mod Lite. “I joined RUSH because of their sealed motor program, this puts it back into the driver's hands. I’ve been to some of the RUSH events and they are well put together, when it comes to the rules, there is no gray areas with RUSH, just black and white. I've been looking forward to this year since the end of last season. I have all my I’s dotted and my t’s crossed and I’m ready to go out and compete.”
Brian Huchko , who resides in Coraopolis, Pa, is one of the "older" new drivers to RUSH at 35. Brian has been racing since 2007 in a Hobby Stock where he won the title at Pittsburgh in 2010; from there he moved to a Pro Stock. He also raced an open wheel Modified. This will be his first season in a Late Model.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Huchko of RUSH. "To me, RUSH has saved racing. I spent $20,000 on a Pro Stock motor and comparing that to the RUSH Late Model Crate engine there is no doubt what I chose- it was a logical move. Our goal this year is to be as competitive as possible and finish in the top five every week.”
At 24 years old, RUSH Late Model driver Cody Koteles is entering his fourth year of racing. He spent two seasons in the Hobby Stock class at Pittsburgh winning multiple times before moving up to the Pro Stocks where he scored two wins at the track. Cody is a third generation driver following in his father, grandfather Drew, and his uncle Craig's footsteps.
“For the upcoming season I’m just going to try and learn to get better as a driver throughout the year,” said Cody. "RUSH is the best organization I’ve ever raced with and one of the top Chevrolet Performance crate engines series in the nation."
Another 35-year-old new to the RUSH Late Models is Huntingdon, Pa. resident Derrick Garner. This is his very first year of racing and he’s doing it in his self-owned race car. Derrick support system will come from his dad, Gary, cousin Eric, and friend, Roy. “I just want to run and get some valuable seat time,” said Derick. “I would like to get some top tens and maybe some top fives by season’s end. I just want to be consistent and try to get better each and every week, it's going to be a lot to learn.”
Garner is very satisfied with his choice of the RUSH Series to begin his career and glad that he will be part of the Series. “RUSH is a good Series, " said Garner, the payouts are good and the competition is stout.”
Lane Brock, 17 of Bruceton, West Virginia, will begin his fourth season in a Crate Late Model, but first with RUSH. He is expected to be a strong contender in the "Futures Cup" program, as well as in weekly competition. Both his parents help him weekly on the car with his Dad Rob serving as Lane’s crew chief while his mom takes care of other important things for him, especially safety items.
“I really like the they way they run stuff as they're very organized and really protect their drivers," explained Brock. "They're not out there like some other series who are there to get the glamour. We're just out there trying to do good and most importantly gain more experience at different tracks.”
Next up is a pair of Late Model drivers from Maryland in Bailey Tolson of Forest Hill and Jarrett Edwards of Mechanicsville. Edwards represents one of six teenagers who will be competing in the Late Model Series for the first time.
Edwards, who is 16, cut his racing teeth in a Go-Kart, competing for eight years. Now he moves to a Late Model for the first time. During those Go-Kart days, Jarrett twice won the Maxx Daddy Championships and was a one-time winner of the Maxxis National Championship. He has received a lot of help from former NASCAR driver, Hermie Sadler and Robin Bradshaw. His mom, Kim and dad, Jeff own the racecar, while his Uncle Stevie and grandfather, Pee Wee, raced. His dad and uncle, along with Nick Guy travel with Jarrett.
“I definitely like it,” said Edwards. “It will be a challenge and I’m excited to where it will lead. It’s a good series with stiff competition.”
At 18, Tristin Neiderer of Landisville, Pa. is looking forward to the upcoming season. His dad, Larry, has been racing a Super Late Model since 2015. With the exception of a few practice sessions, Tristin is competing in a Late Model for the very first time.
“I thanked Vicki (Emig) for everything,” said Larry. “RUSH is so professional. I like them checking on things and that usually doesn’t happen with other series. They are also very helpful. The expectations are not overly sterling since they are but a two-man crew, Larry and Tristin. “When I race, he doesn’t and when he does, I don’t."
Tristin is a senior at Hempfield Senior High School where he competes in lacrosse and plans on attending Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. Tristin recently suffered a injury while playing lacrosse so there will be no full-time schedule for 2023.
“It would be nice if we could ever race against each other,” said Tristin. “But we would have to borrow another trailer to get the second car to the track. I want to get a lot of laps and gain some valuable seat time. I need to get comfortable in the car, but the most important thing is to have fun, hopefully next season Dad and I can race against each other. ”
Two other drivers that will be competing in the RUSH Late Model Series for the first time as well will be Adam Nixon of Woodland, Pa. and another "Futures Cup" racer in 16-year-old Allen Clark of Moundsville, WV.
There will be at least five newcomers competing in the RUSH Sprint Car division this season. First up is 17-year-old Devon Deeter of Titusville, Pa., who will be driving for his parents Jarrod and Stephanie. “I’ve never been in a race car before, this will be my very first year," revealed Deeter. "I’ve always dreamed of racing an open wheel car and the RUSH Series has made that possible because their program helps control the cost of racing. My goals for my first season are to just get use to being on the speedway and have some fun out there!"
Hunter Exley, who is 23 years old and from Franklin, Pa., has been racing since he was eight years old. He spent his early years racing a Go-Kart then progressed into a a Pro Stock, the same type of car his dad raced for 15 years, winning track championships at both Tri-City and Sharon Speedways. In 2017, Hunter won his first Pro Stock feature and captured the prestigious Western Pennsylvania Rookie of the Year award, and two years later was the Penn Ohio Series Co-Champion. This year will be Hunter's first year in a Sprint Car; the car is owned by Larry Boyle.
“I'm looking to gain experience in a Sprint Car,” said Exley. “I think it will be fun, but certainly different from the Pro Stock. I’ve never driven an open wheel car before . We will be traveling to a lot of different tracks this season and I like that. RUSH is a great series- they’ve put a lot of time and effort into their program.”
Bolivar, New York is the home of 24-year-old Tyler Graves. He has been racing since he was nine driving a Go-Kart, during that time he won more than 250 features and three track championships. He's also raced 270cc Micro Sprints as well as "305" and "360" Sprint Cars. After a three-year hiatus, he will now climb back into a race car, but this time a non-wing Sprint Car.
“Wingless is going to be a new experience for me, but I’m looking forward to it," expressed Graves. “RUSH gives me the opportunity to race more and compete at different race tracks . This year we want wins and hopefully a championship; we’re coming here to win.”
At 48, Adam Siegel of Brookville, Pa. will be the eldest newcomer to the RUSH Sprint Cars. Siegel began his racing career in 1988 in a Six-Cylinder Modified and has raced Big-Block Modifieds "358" Small-Block Modifieds and even a RUSH Sportsman Modified throughout the years before having an interlude in the Army. Adam also loves Go-Kart racing, especially competing against his son Ethan, which he has done the last two years.
This year Adam decided to race a RUSH Sprint Car with his older brother Bobby owning the car. Bobby’s career goes way back when he raced against the Emig Six Cylinder Ford of Lou Gentile. “She’s (Vicki) has always been there,” said Siegel. “When she owned Mercer we went there; she always treated us well even when we had sub-par equipment.”
“RUSH provides us with exactly the kind of schedule we want,” continued Siegel. “It’s a perfect schedule for two old men who want to go racing and be able to go to tracks like Lernerville, Knox, and Marion Center, as well as Thunder Mountain Speedway a track that is a mere five minutes from Adam’s house. I’ve done a '410' Sprint a few times before and I respect that type of racing, but this year we're we’re going to focus on what we’re doing with RUSH in some pretty good equipment. By the end of the season I want to be on Gale’s (Ruth) bumper.”
The youngest newcomer to RUSH this season is 11-year-old, Logan Lockhart of Seneca, Pa., who will also be racing in the RUSH Sprint Car division. As for his age being a factor, Logan’s dad Joe, a former racer himself, said, “As long as they have the background, knowledge and seat time I’m okay with his or any other racer's age.”
Logan began racing Go-Karts when he was four years old where he compiled better than 60 feature wins; since then he has competed in various other Karting classes as well as Junior Sprints, Six-Cylinder Demo Derby events and two years as part of a Monster Truck Renegade tour..
“RUSH is a great in contrast with some of the other divisions out there financially speaking,” said Joe. "It's a great way to be able to race and compete. They also give the most back to their racers via product packages. Logan is really excited for the season to begin and get behind the wheel. He’s done a lot of the youth classes and been successful, so that’s why he's ready to try something new.”
Twelve-year-old Jackson Kristyak of Bristolville, Ohio is a new member of RUSH’s Sportsman Modified division. He’s in seventh grade at Bristol Junior High School and started his racing career five years ago in Go-Karts. His father, Rob is the car owner, and has been a very successful driver in the Modified ranks throughout the years, most recently in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. This year Rob will have the opportunity to race with and against his son.
“We weren’t comfortable with the tracks around here so we waited until he was old enough to get into a full-size car,” explained his mother Carrie. “I think it’s great and Rob really enjoys it. We’re comfortable with them (RUSH). It’s a very competitive class with lots of kids starting out their careers there."
"I'm excited but a little nervous racing against my son, but going with the family to have fun is what it’s all about," Rob added.
New to the RUSH Pro Mod Series is 37-year-old Josh Wilcox of Franklinville, New York. Josh started his racing career when he was 14 since then he has raced DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds and Econo Mods. He not only has numerous feature wins during his career, but three track championships, two at Bradford and one at Freedom.
“I like how RUSH equalizes the playing field and leave it up to the driver and the set-up,” said Wilcox. “I feel economically, it’s definitely one of the better classes to get into. Last year it was to finish races and gain experience, but this year, it is simply to win races."
Another youngster joining the RUSH Series is 13-year-old Cole Strickland of Jamestown, New York. His racing career began in a Go-Kart at the age of five and continued on until 12, and now at 13 will be joining the RUSH Stock Car Series, where it will be Cole’s first year in a full-size race car.
“I think the RUSH Stocks is a great class” said Cole’s dad, Jermin. “The class helps put a driver in a seat at an affordable cost and with the crate engine everyone is on the same playing field. I told him that when he learns the car, the winning will come.”
Yet another young teenager to sign up with the RUSH Stock Car Series is 15-year-old Caden Michael of Alleghany, New York. Michael is in the ninth grade at Ellicottville High School. For three seasons he raced a 4-Cylinder race car before deciding to join the RUSH Stock Cars.
Michael comes from a racing family as his father, Andy, has raced for 24 years. Andy raced a Street stock and then a RUSH Late Model for the last six seasons. He’s looking forward to this season when he and his son will be able to travel together to Freedom and Eriez Speedways. Caden will help out trying to secure sponsorship while Andy will take care of most of the team’s other needs.
“Vicki (Emig) promotes RUSH really well,” said Andy. "She also takes care of the drivers. I think the class is really good. It’s going to be a learning experience. Having Caden go from a front-wheel-drive car to a rear-wheel one will be challenging. I’m hoping he wins a race before the season ends."
William Baker, Jr. is really looking forward to joining the RUSH Stock Car division. The 27-year-old from Centerville, Pa. began racing front-wheel-drive cars for seven years. When his daughter arrived into this world, Baker decided that racing wouldn’t fit his schedule so for nine years he stayed away from racing. Once he decided to return to racing, his dad, William, bought the Street Stock for his son.
As for his goals for 2023, Baker said, “My buddy Zack Wilson races a RUSH Sprint Car and he loves it. We both love racing, but we couldn’t afford it until now with RUSH I think the RUSH Stock Cars are an awesome class; it's so affordable and they make it strict enough where people can’t cheat. I've wanted to do this my whole life and now I’m ready to go! I’ve always been known as a good driver, but just couldn’t afford to do it recently, and now I can with a RUSH Stock Car!”
Forty-nine year old, Brian Dwyer and 39-year-old Adam Kellogg share three things; they hail from Waterford, PA, help with the track preparation at Eriez Speedway, and will be running a Stock Car in the RUSH Series for 2023. Dwyer began racing Go-Karts when he was 18 years old.
“Adam and I have been involved with racing so that’s why we are trying to get the Stock Car series to grow,” said Dwyer. “I would like to get more cars involved. “I want to get more racing experience for myself. His two-car stable will include the #43 Richard Petty replica and an orange and yellow racecar for Adam that will symbolize Dwyer’s two companies, Dwyer Plumbing & Excavating and Erie Aggregates.
“This is my favorite series and I want to see it grow and that’s why I’m running two cars this year,” continued Dwyer. “Vicki (Emig) does a great job for the drivers and I hear that from a number of other drivers.”
At 39, Adam Kellogg has all of eight racing laps under his belt. “I got them late last year when a driver didn’t show up so went I went out and raced,” said Kellogg. “He (Dwyer) own both the cars. I’m not a professional driver behind the wheel, I just want to go out and have some fun-that’s what it’s all about. I think the Series is a good one and would like to see it grow. To me, I think it could be a very good entry level division.”
Residing in Erie, Pa. is 15-year-old Alex Bush, a freshman at Harbor Creek High School, who will be in a full-size race car for the first time this season, that being a RUSH Stock Car. He began his racing career in a Go-Kart in 2012. His sister Emmie is no stranger to RUSH as she competed in a RUSH Kart for two years.
"The concept and ideas are certainly there and we're looking forward to supporting the class as the good definitely outweighs the bad," stated Brian Bush, a former Stock Car racer himself. "My expectations for Alex are for him to be successful and comfortable transitioning from a Go-Kart to a full-size car and come away with some equipment left at the end of the season."
As things begin roll for 2023 season it's plain to see the RUSH Racing Series is also achieving its goal; simply to 'keep people racing'!
The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, Flynn's Tire, Sunbelt Rentals, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Bilstein Shocks, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Wieland Metal Services, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Sherwood Wheels, Precise Racing Products, Velocita-USA, Novus Home Mortgage Hermitage, Wedge Motorsports, 3C Graphix, D&V Jewelers, CrateInsider.com, and Terry Bowser Excavating.
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.