SWEENEY RUSH SERIES ANNOUNCES 2 KEY STAFF ADDITIONS; TRAVIS HARRY APPOINTED COMPETITION DIRECTOR; RICH YEAGER NAMED PIT STEWARD
By Mike Leone
March 18, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)…Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone have announced the addition of two key personnel to its staff. Travis Harry has been appointed Competition Director to oversee all technical aspects of the Series, while Rich Yeager has been named Touring Series Pit Steward.
Harry will be head of tech inspection at all 26 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series events beginning with the opening event on Friday, April 19 at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in addition to overseeing all inspection being done on a weekly basis at the weekly-sanctioned speedways.
Harry will be fully-backed and supported by Crate Racin’ USA partner NeSmith Racing Series and their technical department led by Competition Director Tim Sims. Sims will be assisting during the opening Touring weekend, which also includes a first ever Crate Late Model race at Hagerstown (MD) Speedway on Saturday, April 20. Sims will also be present and assist Harry at several other events throughout the upcoming season.
Harry and/or other technical staff members will be making random visits to Sweeney Chevrolet Buick Weekly Series events at tracks like Allegheny Mountain, Bradford, McKean, Lernerville, Pittsburgh, Roaring Knob, Sharon Sportsman’s, The Rock – Allegany County, and any other speedways that sign on.
Harry, of Reno, PA, has been around racing his entire life. He began working at his father’s business, Les Frickshun Products, in his early teens, and went on to graduate from the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) in 2004. Harry has built engines for a variety of motorsports including circle track racing, drag racing, and truck and tractor pulling. Harry can be contacted during the day at 814-676-9997 or on his cell phone after 5 p.m. at 814-758-5737. E-mail can be sent to [email protected].
“When we announced the formation of RUSH, a lot of the concerns and immediate questions were about our teching program,” explained Emig. “While we understood their concerns, we have always been pro-active in our teching programs during my 11+ years at Mercer and during our development of Crate Late Model racing in the Northeast. We weren’t going to make a rash decision to just to say we had a tech inspector especially when the NeSmith Series was handling tech questions in the interim and was fully prepared to assist us as long as we needed.”
“In addition to being well-qualified and having a good personality, it was important that our Competition Director not be an authorize engine builder during his tenure with the Series,” continued Emig. “I believe that Travis has the ability to handle this position with proficiency, and together with Tim’s additional experience and knowledge, we have structured this department correctly.”
The second key addition is Rich Yeager, who will join the Series as Pit Steward for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series events. The Little Valley, NY resident’s love for racing began at age seven. Years later he assisted his father, who was Pit Steward at Bradford Speedway in the mid-1970s, and then was a crew member for Super Late Model driver Dave Lundgren in the 1990s.
Yeager brings a wealth of experience and expertise in various aspects to the Series. For 25 years he was VP of Lending with Olean Area Federal Credit Union, and most recently was one of the four partners at McKean County Raceway (2006-2012). Yeager was responsible for all financial aspects at the race track, was Race Director on race day, and designed the successful Ultimate Race Fans concept for all “Fall Classic” events.
Yeager developed a race night lineup program for McKean and other series that will be used to add more professionalism to the Touring events. He’ll be in charge of that program on race night in addition to various pit steward roles and other important functions.
“I can’t tell you how excited we are to have Rich with us,” stated Leone. “I always enjoyed working with Rich during his tenure at McKean and was always impressed by his knowledge and professionalism. He’s a big believer of our Series and was integral when McKean was one of the four original speedways to bring on the Crate Late Models in 2007. A lot of the racers and staff are already familiar with Rich so I think he’ll be a natural fit for our Series. I know he’ll keep the pits under control and really looking forward to being able to use his system for our Series.”
Harry and Yeager join an impressive staff that has well over 100 years of experience in motorsports operations. Emig, who has been recognized nationally for her promoting and marketing skills, owned and operated Mercer Raceway Park for over 11 years, and has been an intricate part of the development of Crate Late Model Racing in the Northeast over the past seven years. Fellow director Leone is entering his 20th year in the industry through speedway and series public relation roles, race directing, and much more.
Todd Beichner of Shippenville, PA will serve as the RUSH official flagman at Touring events. Beichner brings over 10 years of flagging experience at various speedways and series and has become one of the region’s most respected flagmen. His son Tyler, who has also worked at Mercer, Sharon and Lernerville Speedways, will assist in various capacities at Touring events including focusing on increasing the Series’ social media presence.
Franklin, Pennsylvania’s Brian Spaid will serve as the “Official Touring Series Announcer”. Spaid has spent the last 26 years in the motorsports industry. He’s announced and done the PR work at Canandaigua, Sharon, and most recently Tri-City Speedway from 1998-2010. He also spent many years assisting with the television production of the nationally syndicated auto racing show “This Week on DIRT” as well as Super DIRT Week.
Longtime motorsports columnist Matt Wertz of Canfield, Ohio will be the editor of RUSH’s new monthly newsletter set to launch soon. Wertz will focus on showcasing RUSH-sanctioned speedways and weekly drivers. He’ll be assisted by Spaid and Leone.
2013 RUSH weekly-sanctioned speedways include Allegheny Mountain Raceway (Kane, PA), Bradford (PA) Speedway, McKean County Raceway (East Smethport, PA), Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA), Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex (Markleysburg, PA), Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH), and The Rock – Allegany County Speedway (Cumberland, MD).
2013 RUSH marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Precise Racing Products, The Brake Man, K1 RaceGear, K&N Filters, and Wrisco Aluminum.
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.