By Doug Kennedy


July 9, 2015


(Pulaski, PA)…Nothing goes more hand in hand in racing than sponsorships.  From race car sponsorships, to track sponsorships, to series sponsorships; and the latter is where the RUSH Racing Series has excelled in acquiring since its inception.  Throughout 2015, RUSH will distribute over $85,000 in actual product to its racers through the support of numerous national and regional manufacturers.


The Series branding and most visible sponsor is Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC/Pace Performance.  They have been the title sponsor of the Series led by Vicki Emig and Mike Leone since 2011 and now involved with all three series, Late Models, Sportsman Modifieds, and Pro Stocks.  The Boardman, Ohio dealership of both new and used cars, along with their performance side Pace Performance is one of the top crate engine dealers in the country.


“We were looking to expand our brand to a larger area in both our wholesale department at Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC and our performance division of Pace Performance,” said Sweeney Parts Manager, Matt Fullerton.  “The RUSH Series has grown very rapidly and in turn helped us expand our business also.” 


As title sponsor, Sweeney gives the series an operating budget that helps get RUSH moving to all its events each year.  “We will do three engine giveaway this year, a GM 604 to the RUSH Late Models that was just recently won by Ohio's Ryan Markham, a GM 602 for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and a GM 604 in conjunction with the new RUSH Pro Stock Series at Lernerville Speedway.   These promotional events are a great way to build excitement for both the fans and drivers alike,” said Fullerton. 


“It’s a perfect fit with the business we’re in.  We love the grass roots racing and are glad that we can help with its growth,” continued Fullerton.  “This has been a great arrangement that has helped get our brand out to so many different people.  We have become more of a regional company over the years thanks to our affiliation with RUSH.”   


“We cannot stress it enough that the Sweeney Chevrolet GMC Buick RUSH Racing Series would be just a shell of itself without the overwhelming support of our corporate sponsors,” stated Emig.  “Our relationship with Sweeney/Pace and our representative Matt Fullerton continues grow as has RUSH- they are truly the foundation from which we have been able to have the confidence to move forward in our continued goal of developing crate racing.  Blending in the second layer of so many reputable product manufactures simply seals the deal that not only provides a professionally run series to our racers, but also provides them with as much other support, i.e. product, etc. that can be beneficial to their racing programs.”     


“We’ve been involved since day one with Vicki (Emig),” said Brett Neupert, Manager of Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic and Precise Racing Products.  “We know she is a good promoter and puts her heart and soul into everything she promotes.  It’s more than her business, it's her passion.”


Neupert went onto say how he really appreciates the consistency that the series delivers.  “She’s never satisfied with just creating something, but is always trying to make it bigger and better for her sanctioned tracks and their drivers.”


Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic is the official distributor of the RUSH Hoosier spec tires.  “We’ve aligned ourselves with RUSH’s contingency sponsors to help grow the entire racing economy in the area,” said Neupert.


He also added how the RUSH Series has provided valuable exposure. “We work with a lot of sanctioning bodies and RUSH is one of the best in giving us a tremendous amount of exposure.  As long as she stays with Hoosier we’ll continue to support RUSH.”


Besides being the official tire of both the RUSH Late Model and Modified Series, Precise Racing Products presents the “Pedal Down” Hard Charger program for both series.


“We were familiar with her (Vicki) and had worked with her at her track (Mercer Raceway Park), and were very impressed on how she runs things,” said Terry Thompson, Senior Sales Manager for Sunoco Performance Products.  “We were very confident the Series was going to be successful and we were excited to have the opportunity to work with her again.”


“Her goals of keeping racing affordable are spot on, “added Joe Skotnicki, Sales Manager of Insinger Performance/Sunoco.  “Keep the racers racing and satisfied with our products and we will continue to head down the road with the RUSH Series.”


“It’s a grassroots Series,” said Thompson.  “Grassroots racing and supporting racing is part of our heritage.  The profit we make from fuels is a drop in the bucket compared to Sunoco overall, but what it does give us is a budget to continue to support and be part of racing.” 


This is now Sunoco’s third season of being the “Official Fuel” of the RUSH Late Models.  Their presence is also visible in the Northern and Southern Late Model Touring Series co presenting the Series with their distributors Insinger Performance and Bazell Race Fuels.   


Jones Racing Products based out of Ottsville, Pennsylvania specializes in belt drives, power steering pumps and pulleys, and crankshaft pulleys.  Three times this year, one for each series, Jones Racing Products will donate a belt drive system and a water pump.    


Jones Racing Products, the official “Belt Drive System” of the RUSH Racing Series manufactures all of its products at its Pennsylvania facility. 


“Prior to us joining the RUSH Series in 2015, we had been following the racing of the Series for a few years,” said Jones Racing Products President, C.J. Jones.  “We liked their focus on crate racing and it brought us the opportunity to bring the technology of our crate belt drive systems to the forefront of a series that puts the racer first and that intrigued us.” 


“We like the coverage area of the Series, both the touring level as well as the weekly-sanctioned speedways, which both stretch across a number of states and Canada,” said Jones.  “We like their drive and dedication to the crate engine and promoting crate racing. “They really know how to take care of their sponsors and are always open to new ideas and opportunities for promotions.” 


Sylvan Easler of Alternative Power Sources, a Gibsonia, Pennsylvania based company that has been dealing in generators since 1995 said, “I think the RUSH Series is a great entry level into Late Model racing.”


Alternative Power provides RUSH with a generator to utilize at their events and also contributes a generator to Manufacturers Night, one of the events most valuable prizes.     “I think the RUSH Series is helping racing so I want to help RUSH,” said Easler.


“We learned of the Series through a third party connection, Mike Vaughn of the NeSmith Racing Series.  After reviewing what the RUSH Series was doing, we thought it would be a good fit for our marketing program,” said Roy Dies of ARbodies, who provides the Series with 15 nose kits to giveaway to Late Model teams in part through the “Nosed Out” contingency program as well as Manufacturers Night.


“I like the fact that they cover such a broad geographical area with their tour which introduces our products to a wide range of racers,” continued Dies, whose company is based out of Greenbrier, Tennessee.  ARbodies is a source for asphalt and dirt race car bodies and accessories.  “I think that the visibility is great.  Anytime you can surround yourself with professional people that have your best interest in mind, you know your marketing dollars are being well spent,” said Dies.


Maxima Racing Oil has been based out of Santee, California since 1979 and is a manufacturer of high performance lubricants and additives. Three years ago, the Performance Automotive Division was made available to distribution and engines builders and racers.


Gene Jones of Maxima said, “We were looking for more involvement in the Northeast with racers and engine builders. Vicki (Emig) and the crew at RUSH introduced us to engine builders and racers.  As a result, we have a couple of prominent engine builders and racers now using and recommending our products.  They have an interest in helping to bring the best products available to the racers and help manufacturers like Maxima Racing Oil grow with them.” 


Maxima is the “Official Oil” of both the Late Model and Modified Series.  This is their first year with RUSH and with tremendous help from Emig, Maxima was able to find a distributorship (Precise) in the Pennsylvania and Maryland areas


“Bilstein is unique because we deliver world class performance for a Saturday night price.”  Those were the words of Jim Hiland of motorsport sales for Bilstein Shocks.  The company has been involved with the RUSH Series since 2014 when they sponsored the Bob Williams/Alan Dellinger car. 


Bilstein’s warehouse and motorsports shop is located in the heart of NASCAR country, Mooresville, North Carolina while Hiland makes Unadilla, Georgia his home.   


“I’m excited about the RUSH program in general because it brings the grass roots element back into the sport with regards to cost containment,” said Hiland.  “I hate to see shocks pricing people out of racing.   The way Vicki is doing the RUSH thing, it gives people the opportunity to continue to race.”   


Bilstein, which has been in operation since 1954, is the “Official Shock” of both the Late Model and Modified division of the RUSH Series, but is only required to be used in the Modified class.


“It’s a good visibility for us because it’s given us the opportunity to prove that a $135 shock can compete heads up with a shock that costs five to ten times more money,” said Hiland.  “We are concerned about the longevity of the sport and wanted to make sure there was a  series available where somebody doesn’t want to spend five figures every year and wants to race competitively for less than that and race on a level playing field.”   


Randy Cotteleer, President and owner of TBM Brakes located in Camarillo, California, likes the RUSH Series because he believes that sponsoring a grassroots series is good for the growth of the sport.


“I like the fact that RUSH is catering to growing the sport with a lower cost series that allows racers to compete at a high level without incurring the costs of some of the higher budgeted racing series.” 


MSD Ignition of El Paso, Texas, a 45-year-old company specializes in developing, manufacturing, and testing ignition controls, distributors, ignition coils and coil packs, spark plug wires, and a host of other performance accessories.  MSD is the “Official Ignition” of both the Late Model and Modified Series.


“As the Official Ignition of RUSH, we strive to provide top quality ignition parts at an affordable price, “said Philip Chacon. “The RUSH Racing Series is a great example of a series that focuses on the grassroots racer giving them exactly what they want….RACING.”


“MSD and RUSH is a win-win combination.  Not only do we get to support hundreds of racers throughout the Northeast, but we gain great exposure as a company with everything RUSH provides in the way of advertising and racer awareness.”


Director of Operations of TBM Brakes, Jason Smith, talked about the company’s involvement since 2013.  “Vicki and Warren (Gilliland), the previous owner, got together and started talking and hit it off because she had a passion for growing the series and he had a passion for growing the company and it seemed like a good fit.”


TBM is currently involved in sponsoring the “Tough Brake of the Night” program that awards the driver who had things go wrong on a particular race night at all touring events for the Late Model and Sportsman Modified Series and is a contributor at both Series’ Manufacturers Night.  The “Tough Brake” driver receives three bottles of brake fluid and a 20% gift certificate on all other TBM products. “I think it’s a chance to showcase our product to up and coming racers,” said Cotteleer. 


“They’re doing such a great job of promoting the series,” said Smith.  “It’s definitely helping us branch out and moving our name around-it’s just a great series.” 


Bobby Lake of High Gear Speed Shop and proud grandfather of 14-year-old Late Model racer, Michael Lake, presents $100 to the fastest qualifier and $25 to each heat race winner, no matter how many there are, at each Late Model qualifying event and also provides certificates throughout the racing season.  His two on-track promotions are known as “Shock the Clock” and “Beat the Heat”. 


“Vicki and I were talking a few years back about sponsorships and I felt like maybe we should do something to help my business somewhat,” said the Smithfield, Pennsylvania based operation that specializes in selling a complete line of Warrior race cars.  “I thought it was good money to invest in.  Once you get your name out there, it helps a lot.”


Two and half years ago, Bobby bought the business from Doug Horton and besides the Warrior race cars, sells anything dealing with racing parts. 


Joe Beyea who heads up Genoa, New York’s Beyea Headers has been part of the RUSH Series since 2013.  The company, which manufactures custom headers, modified exhausts, and mufflers is a major contributor in both series for Manufacturers Night and for contingency awards for the season ending banquet.


“We got involved because of the exposure to the racing community,” said Beyea.  “It keeps our name visible to a large base of racers and fans.”  He also believes in the same goals that the series has and that is to develop more racers.  “It’s a well led series with good rule enforcement,” said Beyea.   


For better than 30 years, FK Rod Ends based in Southington, Connecticut has dealt in precision rod ends and spherical bearings.  FK Rod Ends is a major contributor to both series on Manufacturers Night.


“RUSH is the best series we deal with,” said Maria.  “They always give us exactly what is promised.” 


Keeping the series consistent and honest is something Maria loves about the Series.  “We are proud to be back again this season working with RUSH,” said Maria. “It has definitely helped our company grow.  She (Vicki) takes that extra step to keep her drivers safe and happy and runs a series with respect to its sponsors as well.  RUSH is the “Real Deal”. 


Peter Bicknell of Bicknell Racing Products is one of the most well-known Modified drivers and car builders in the Northern Hemisphere.  His feelings for the RUSH racing series are deep founded. 


“The RUSH Series is great because they run a good tight ship and are getting the younger generation into the sport,” said Bicknell.  “We are always continuing involvement in the sport and try and help all the racers and series that we can.  Our sport needs the help and sponsorship from as many companies as possible.  We are fighting a hard battle to keep racers and fans.”


Bicknell also realizes the importance that the RUSH Series can bring by giving him and his company valuable exposure.  “RUSH is great for Bicknell Racing Products by getting our name out constantly via weekly write ups and traveling to many other tracks and different areas that we could never get to ourselves on a weekly basis.” 


Sherwood Racing Products’ co-owner, Lee Sherwood, had this to say regarding his company’s involvement as a title sponsor for the RUSH Racing Series, “It seemed like a good opportunity to get our name out there.  We definitely have a product that the teams can use and I expect it will pay off for us.” 


The Sherwood Wheel is the “Official Wheel” of the Sportsman Modified Series.  At each touring event this season, Sherwood will donate one wheel.  The 25 year old business is based ou*t of Owego, New York.


There are a host of other Series title sponsors as well. That list includes K&N Filters of Riverside, California, manufacturers of air filters, air intake systems, oil filters, and other performance parts.  They are the Dash presenter for all touring events for both the RUSH Late Models and Modifieds, and will distribute approximately $10,000 of product to RUSH racers and fans this year.


Lincoln Electric out of Cleveland, Ohio is involved in producing welding equipment, welding wire, and electrodes.  They serve as a major contributor for both Series’ Manufacturers Night and will post a welder and utility cart valued at $700 to each series.


Velocita-USA produces custom driving suits.  During the season, the Clemmons, North Carolina based company is a major contributor for both Series’ Manufacturers Night and for the season ending awards banquet.   Velocita-USA provides a suit for each Series’ Manufacturers Night valued at $1,000 each along with some 11 certificates for either 50% off a custom suit or $500 off a custom suite. develops relationships with series directors, promoters, suppliers, and drivers throughout the Crate racing industry.  They provide the source to gather, organize, and provide information to be shared in order to grow.  Throughout the racing season, will contribute product certificates at various Manufacturers and Contingency Nights.  Recently, stepped up to provide a $25 gift certificate for driver finishing last on the lead lap in Touring events.


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


RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners: Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Bicknell Racing Products, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, MSD Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, VP Racing Fuels, FK Rod Ends, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Velocita-USA, Precise Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, K&N Filters, TBM Brakes, Lincoln Electric, Rocket Racing, and B.R.A.K.E.S.


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 Like our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.