JENNERSTOWN TO BE THE FLAGSHIP SPEEDWAY FOR THE NEW SWEENEY RUSH ASPHALT RACING SERIES; SET TO LAUNCH IN 2017
By Mike Leone
October 13, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Jennerstown, PA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance is pleased to announce it will be expanding its sanction to asphalt racing in 2017 with Pennsylvania's Jennerstown Speedway as the new Series' flagship facility.
Jennerstown, a 1/2-mile asphalt oval, features Late Models, Modifieds, and Street Stocks, which are predominately crate engine powered, along with chargers and the Fast N Furious 4's divisions on Saturday nights. RUSH currently sanctions Crate Late Models, Sportsman Modifieds, Pro Stocks and most recently Pro/E-Mods at approximately 25 dirt tracks throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Canada. Jennerstown will be the first track to sanction under the new Sweeney RUSH Asphalt Racing Series banner, and Series officials look forward to working with Jennerstown personnel to begin laying a strong foundation for exciting and technically sound asphalt racing into the future throughout the region.
Jennerstown has been flourishing in recent seasons with impressive crowds and increasing car counts under the leadership of its six owners and current management team who took control of the speedway in the spring of 2015. In order to continue this forward momentum, Jennerstown officials felt it was imperative to take the next step in ensuring that their crate engine divisions were properly maintained; thus, the RUSH sanction will offer its renowned brand featuring its technical procedures, sealing system, and panel of authorized engine rebuilders to Jennerstown's crate engine competitors beginning in 2017.
"The addition of Jennerstown to the RUSH Racing Series is truly a groundbreaking moment in our continued efforts to grow crate engine racing throughout the Northeast," stated RUSH Series Director, Vicki Emig. "I cannot tell you how many times over the years I have been approached to bring the RUSH brand and what it stands for to asphalt racing. I'm a strong believer in "everything in its time and place" and feel confident that with our strong teching and rebuilder programs we are ready to begin this new and exciting chapter of RUSH with Jennerstown Speedway as our flagship facility in the world of asphalt racing. I don't think we could be working with a more dedicated and visionary group of people to begin making an important difference in competitive and technically-sound asphalt racing."
Throughout the offseason, all GM crate engine competitors that raced at Jennerstown in 2016 season in the Late Model, Street Stock, and Modified division, along with any new racers that may be building or purchasing a crate engine car during the offseason, will be required to have their engines verified for legality before competing at the speedway in 2017. The verification process will begin on November 1, 2016.
GM Crate engines, both GM 602 and GM 604s, must have the original GM sealing bolts or be properly sealed by a RUSH Authorized Rebuilder with RUSH seals. Competitors will be able to choose from over 20 rebuilders that are currently authorized by RUSH to assist them with this process. RUSH will verify only GM crate engines. Ford competitors should contact Jennerstown Engine Technologies or Ingram Engines to verify their engines; both of which can also assist in the verification of GM crate engines and have been part of the RUSH Rebuilder system for numerous years.
"The entire RUSH Racing Series is surrounded by respect and integrity," said general manager Billy Hribar. "When the opportunity presented itself to join forces with RUSH and be at the forefront of securing the stability of economical asphalt racing in the region; the decision was obvious."
"We are very excited for our fans and race teams that Jennerstown will be the first asphalt track operating under the RUSH Asphalt Racing Series banner," continued Hribar. "It is such a strong and proven system that has been nationally recognized for controlling the economics of racing while providing some of the stiffest competition and we have no doubts our own Jennerstown drivers will hit the expectations of the quality of racing that is associated with the other RUSH labels."
As with all RUSH-sanctioned speedways, RUSH officials will then be responsible for supporting and assisting track tech personal in the proper management of their crate engine divisions and most importantly also conducting their own official Series tech visits to Jennerstown. The technical rules packages for the divisions outside of the sealing process/bolts will be very similar to what competitors have been accustomed to in the past, but will now included all of the requirements for engines set forth in the GM Circle Track Crate Engine Technical Manual (Part #88958668).
The same strict penalties currently utilized and proven successful throughout the entire RUSH system for not complying with these specifications will be enforced throughout the new RUSH Asphalt Racing Series. The complete rule packages will be released shortly after the Jennerstown Banquet, which will be held on Friday, November 11 at the Ramada Inn in Greensburg, Pa.
An informational meeting will be open to all interested parties on Saturday, October 29 at 1:00 p.m. at the Jennerstown VFD Social Hall at 1536 Pitt St., Jennerstown, PA 15547. Jennerstown and RUSH Officials, along with a representative from Sweeney's Pace Performance will be on hand to answer all questions that racers may have.
The RUSH Asphalt Racing Series website is under development at www.rushasphaltseries.com. You can like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushasphaltseries and the follow us on Twitter @RUSHAsphalt.
Jennerstown Speedway is located 10 miles north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the intersection of Routes 30 and 985 at 206 Somerset Street in Jennerstown, Pa. Jennerstown is one of the oldest short-track facilities in the United States, has undergone a number of transformations leading up to today’s state-of-the-art motorsports complex. Constructed in the late 1920’s as a flat half-mile dirt oval, the Jenners Fairgrounds, as the speedway was then known, played host to ‘big car’ racing (forerunners to the sprint cars of today) during the 1930s. Following World War II a smaller, lighted quarter-mile dirt oval was built inside the larger track in 1953.
The half-mile oval was rebuilt in the mid-1960s. A major modernization project took place in 1967 when local businessmen John Frambaugh, Sam Turrillo,Bill Philson, John Philson, Doc Whiney, Harry Horne and Piney Lasky purchased the grounds and completely rebuilt the track into one of the fastest half-mile dirt ovals in the nation. For the next 20-seasons Jennerstown was known for its winged open wheel sprint car and dirt late model action.
In 1987, Lasky made the decision to move Jennerstown to the next level by paving the track and bringing asphalt racing back to western PA for the first time since the famed Heidelberg Raceway was sold for development in 1973. Lasky also upgraded the grandstand and concession areas, affiliated the track with NASCAR, and brought major sanctioned events to the Somerset County speed plant. Lasky died unexpectedly in 1994, passing the torch to his son, Stanley Jr., who ran the operation for the next five seasons, before selling to former speedway late model champion Steve Peles and Hooters Restaurants founder, Bob Brooks, in 2000.
After three seasons at the helm, Peles and Brooks sold the track to Dave Wheeler, who initiated an immediate upgrade in operations. Wheeler repaved the oval in 2004 with a $350,000 polymer-based racing surface.
For more information, check out their website at www.jennerstown.org. Like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jennerstownspeedwaycomplex. The track's phone number is 814-703-8009.
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.