By Mike Leone


February 2, 2016                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Pulaski, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series is set to begin its fourth year of operations heading into the 2016 season.  Series Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone are proud to release the 2016 Touring Series schedule, which will feature 18 events as part of the new Touring Series program announced last fall.


The 2016 Touring Series will feature 12 premier Marquee Events paying a minimum of $2,000 to-win that are primarily centrally located within the region on weekends utilizing a group qualifying format featuring $100 Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock Qualifying” and $25 to-win heat races.  In addition, another six "optional" Platinum Events are scheduled paying a minimum of $1,500 to-win.  Additional incentive packages for supporting Touring member racers will also be part of the Touring program.  (See below for additional information.)


"Each year we analyze our Touring program," acknowledged RUSH Co-Director Vicki Emig.  "Last year we made some changes based on the size of the region by splitting into a northern and southern tour, but in essence the same drivers supported the events with the exception of a few in each region.  This year we've taken suggestions we've received over the years and have come up with a schedule and program that we feel is feasible for more racers to participate.  We eliminated the lower $1,200 to-win shows and have a strong core of Marquee events all on the weekend that pay $2,000 or more to-win with qualifying."


The season will actually kickoff unofficially with the 2015 make-up “Apple Festival Nationals” at Sharon Speedway on Saturday, April 16.  The twice rained out night two show will see Charlie Duncan lead the field to green for the $2,000 to-win feature.  This will be a non-point tour event; however, will offer Sweeney Weekly Series points.  New cars are permitted to tag the feature or run a B main depending on car count.


The new 2016 Touring Series program will officially get underway six nights later at Sharon when RUSH joins up with the first ever Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at the Hartford, Ohio oval.  This will be the first of two Tour events coupled with Lucas Oil in 2016.  The opener will be a Marquee event paying $2,000 to-win, and a second Marquee event will take place at Sharon in the fall for the sixth annual “Gary Knollinger Memorial” in conjunction with the annual “Apple Festival Nationals” on Friday and Saturday, September 16-17.


This year’s two Canadian events have been combined into one weekend, which should be a plus for everyone.  Humberstone Speedway’s annual “Canadian National Late Model Championship” will again pay $2,000 to-win on Sunday, May 22 followed up by Merrittville Speedway on Monday the 23rd for their Victoria Day celebration also paying $2,000 to-win.  The two Ontario tracks are just 20 minutes apart not far from Niagara Falls.  The Merrittville show will be designated as a Platinum event due to it being on a Monday. 


After two successful tour events in their first season under RUSH, Eriez Speedway will return to the schedule with a pair of Marquee $2,000 to-win Sweeney Tour events on Sunday, May 29 and Sunday, August 24.  Track owners Bobby and Kathy Rohrer have worked hard at their Erie, Pa. facility and maintain a quality and a successful weekly Sunday program that also includes the RUSH Late Models.


Bob Reis is set to begin his second year promoting Freedom Motorsports Park.  Reis continues to make improvements at the Delevan, New York oval.  He’ll host the second annual “Ron Baker Memorial” on Friday, June 3- this year paying $1,500 to-win.  Baker was a longtime driver and car owner most recently fielding cars for RUSH racer Ward Schell before his passing two years ago. 


The following night on June 4 a Marquee event comes to Orrville, Ohio’s Wayne County Speedway as RUSH joins up with Tony Stewart’s All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars.  The $2,000 event will be the richest Crate Late Model event ever at Wayne County as the track led by Jason and Kristin Flory will be in the midst of their second season under the Sweeney Weekly Series banner.


Tri-City Raceway Park will continue its support of RUSH during its special event slate hosting a pair of $2,000 to-win Marquee events.  The Franklin, Pa. oval will again host the “Bill Emig Memorial” on Sunday, June 19 then will hold the popular $30,000+ Manufacturers Night for the first time ever on Sunday, August 14. 


The RUSH Late Models always turn out in big numbers for the Sweeney Tour events at Lernerville Speedway.  Last year, a Northeast Crate Late Model record 54 cars were on hand for “Steel City Stampede”.  The Sarver, Pa. oval will have a pair of $2,000 to-win Marquee events on Friday, July 1 and then again for the “Steel City Stampede” on October 14-15.


The RUSH Late Models are expected to be part of the traditional racing program at Expo Speedway during the Trumbull County Fair on Wednesday, July 13.  The big 5/8-mile oval in Cortland, Ohio always offers a unique challenge to racers and this event is tentatively expected to pay $1,500 to-win as a Platinum event. 


Two days later history will be made at Ransomville Speedway when the first ever Crate Late Model race will be held at the New York oval on Friday, July 15.  Nearby Freedom will not host their weekly program of RUSH Late Models on this night allowing their competitors to race in this $2,000 to-win Marquee event as Crate Late Model racing continues to grow throughout New York and Ontario.


McKean County Raceway will be hosting numerous special events throughout the 2016 season under promoter Chris Zuver.  RUSH will again be part of the annual McKean County Fair race on Thursday, August 18 paying $1,500 to-win.  A second $1,500 to-win Platinum event will be held at the East Smethport, Pa. track during the annual “Fall Classic” on Saturday, October 1. 


RUSH will team up with Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series for the second and final time of 2016 as part of “The Pittsburgher” on Friday and Saturday, October 7-8 at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway with the season’s richest event paying $2,500 to-win for the "Bill Hendren Memorial".  The Imperial, Pa. “Monster Half-Mile” will continue to host weekly Saturday night Sweeney RUSH Late Model Weekly Series action.


One additional Platinum event will be added to make 18 events.  Membership is $125 or $225 for both Touring and Weekly.  Membership includes $100,000 of excess participant accident insurance over and above one’s personal health insurance and track’s insurance. 


Drivers will be able to use a maximum of one of the Platinum Events as a substitution race for a missed Marquee Event.  Drivers will also be able to use up to a maximum of three Platinum Events to replace their worst Marquee Event finishes.  If a driver uses one of the Platinum Events as a substitution for a Marquee Event, he or she will then only be able to use up to two additional Platinum Events to replace their worst Marquee Event finishes.


While the top 12 drivers in 2016 Touring Series points will earn point fund monies, RUSH will guarantee a minimum of $250 in point fund monies to an additional eight drivers with perfect attendance (12 Marquee Events or 11 Marquee Events and 1 Platinum Event).  This means possibly 20 drivers could earn Touring Series point fund monies!


A Loyalty Program will also be included.  For every four consecutive Marquee Events attended, Touring member drivers will receive a free $100 entry fee at their next event.  This will be an additional $300 to those drivers that have perfect attendance.  Touring drivers that have perfect attendance for the season (12 Marquee Events or 11 Marquee Events and 1 Platinum Event) will also be guaranteed to win a valuable contingency prize(s) at the season ending awards banquet.  Special contingency product drawings will also be held for drivers during the season for drivers that are part of the Loyalty Program.


2016 Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series Schedule*


·         Sat, April 16  Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) - 2015 Apple Fest Make-up - $2,000 to-win (non-point)


·         Fri, April 22  Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) - Season Opener - $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


·         Sun, May 22  Humberstone Speedway (Port Colborne, ON) - "Canadian Late Model Nationals" - $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


·         Mon, May 23  Merrittville Speedway (Thorold, ON) - "Victoria Day Celebration" - $2,000 to-win (Platinum)


·         Sun, May 29  Eriez Speedway (Erie, PA) - $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


·         Fri, June 3  Freedom Motorsports Park (Delevan, NY) - "Ron Baker Memorial" - $1,500 to-win (Platinum)


·         Sat, June 4  Wayne County Speedway (Orrville, OH) - $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


·         Sun, June 19  Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA) - "Bill Emig Memorial"- $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


·         Fri, July 1  Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) - $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


·         Wed, July 13  Expo Speedway (Cortland, OH) - "Trumbull County Fair" - $1,500 to-win (Platinum)


·         Fri, July 15  Ransomville Speedway (Ransomville, NY) - $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


·         Sun, July 24  Eriez Speedway (Erie, PA) - $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


·         Sun, Aug 14  Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA) - "Manufacturers Night" - $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


·         Thr, Aug 18  McKean County Raceway (East Smethport, PA) - McKean County Fair - $1,500 to-win (Platinum)


·         Fri-Sat, Sept 16-17  Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) - "Apple Festival Nationals" – “Gary Knollinger Memorial” - $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


·         Sat, Oct 1 McKean County Raceway (East Smethport, PA) - "Fall Classic" - $1,500 to-win (Platinum)


·         Fri-Sat, Oct 7-8     Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA) - "Pittsburgher" - "Bill Hendren Memorial" - $2,500 to-win (Marquee)


·         Fri-Sat, Oct 14-15 Lernerville Speedway - "Steel City Stampede" - $2,000 to-win (Marquee)


*Schedule is subject to change. Additional date(s) may be added.


RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, 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.