By Mike Leone


December 8, 2014                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Pulaski, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series held its second annual Authorized Engine Rebuilder/Repair Facility Seminar on Saturday at the Gatherings Banquet & Event Center in Edinburg, Pa.  Attendance to this year’s seminar was "mandated" for those facilities authorized to rebuild or repair engines for the RUSH Series on both the Late Model and Sportsman Modified side.  Eighteen different engine facilities along with six speedways were represented as attendees came from six states including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Alabama along with Ontario, Canada. 


The seminar started at 11 a.m. and continued until 4 p.m.  Sweeney RUSH Series Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone organized the meeting; however, a five-person panel led the seminar including RUSH Competition Director Travis Harry, NeSmith Racing Series Competition Director Tim Sims along with leading authorized engine rebuilders Brad Hibbard, Steve Hendren, and Mike Ingram. 


The first half of the meeting was a discussion on the rebuilders hand guide and sealing process, while part two included discussions on teching and teardown procedures focusing around the mandated GM 604 and 602 crate engines.  Many engine parts, both legal and illegal, were used as exhibits.


Topics of discussion also included awareness of responsibilities of the authorized rebuilders to the Series and its racers,  the utilization of networking amongst their rebuilder peers and Series officials, and the importance of understanding and staying true to the GM Technical Manual.  Sims stated, “If GM didn’t take the time to do it, you shouldn’t either"  And also added, "Engine rebuilders need to be a tech man before putting his name on it.”  Hibbard and Hendren both reiterated, “We (as engine rebuilders) aren’t here to make the engine better than its original intent and design from GM, only to ensure that it remains within the critical specs that GM has provided as their standard.”  


“There is no question that that the integrity of any healthy crate racing series lies in its teching and rebuild/repair programs," stated Emig.  "With that said, we felt the time had come to mandate attendance of  those  authorized to rebuild or repair GM crate engines that will be running throughout our region; we feel we owe that to our sanctioned speedways and racers.  This is just another service that we offer as part of the RUSH Racing Series.  We have to thank everyone that took time out of their busy schedules to attend.  In fact, Steve Damon of Steve’s Auto Machine said it was the first time in seven years he’s taken a day off from his shop!" 


"We're all a team, from the racers to the Series officials, to the Authorized Rebuild/Repair Facilities," agreed both Sims, and RUSH competition director Travis Harry.  "It's great that we can all gather in one location to review things to ensure that everyone stays on the same page.  Those interested in becoming newly authorized rebuilders had the opportunity to interact with some of those that have be involved for several years in a much more relaxed environment than at the race track and gave us as competition directors the opportunity to speak face-to-face with those we that we talk to throughout the year."   


Fifteen of the previous 19 RUSH Authorized Rebuild/Repair Facilities attended, the other four have been removed from our list, with three additional in attendance that have shown interest in becoming a RUSH Authorized Facility in the future. 


Engine facilities represented included the following: 955 Automotive, B.A.P. Racing Engines, Blackshear Racing Engines, B.R. Machineworks, Broughers Machine Shop, Campbell’s Engines, C.J. Rombold Engine, Craiger Race Engines, Cresap Auto Machine, Empson Automotive, Hendren Racing Engines, Ingram Engines, Jennerstown Engine Technologies, Luke’s Auto Machine, Race 1, R.A.W. Power, RPM Racing Engines, and  Steve’s Auto Machine.


"I was pleased to attend the RUSH Rebuilders Seminar," stated Sims, who traveled in from Alabama.  "From the beginning, RUSH and NeSmith announced a strong alliance to each other.  I think it is important that the rebuilders and racers see that the two top crate racing series in North America continue to work on a daily basis on the specific issues that affect our unique part of the racing industry, and to make crate racing the absolute best it can be for all concerned.  Already the relationship that has been forged  between our two series has proven to be one that can set the standard throughout the country as a model for strong, viable, healthy crate racing."          


National  press coverage is expected as notable attendees included Mike Lysakowski, who was covering the event for Area Auto Racing News, along with North Carolina’s Kate Dillon of CrateInsider.com.


Speedway promoter and tech officials were invited to attend though a separate meeting will be held in the spring prior to the 2015 racing season.  Several speedways were still represented included Freedom Motorsports Park, Jennerstown Speedway, Merrittville Speedway, Motordrome Speedway, Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway, and Sharon Speedway.  Also, three representative of Bicknell Racing Products including co-owner Pete Bicknell were on hand.


The next event for the Sweeney RUSH Series will be the annual awards banquet and dinner on Saturday, January 17, also held at Gatherings Banquet Center.  Ticket order forms will be mailed out and are available on our website.  


2014 RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Bilstein Shocks, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Driven Racing Oil, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, Utsinger’s Towing, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.

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.