RUSH ALIGNS WITH DIRTCAR TO ANNOUNCE FORMATION OF SPORTSMAN MODIFIED DIVISION PRESENTED BY SWEENEY FOR 2014; LERNERVILLE, SHARON, PPMS & AMP COMMIT TO MULTIPLE EVENTS; OTHERS ON BOARD
By Mike Leone
October 4, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)…It’s been a successful year for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series and with the inaugural season set to wrap up in about a month, RUSH Series Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone are thrilled to announce that a Sportsman Modified class will be added under the Series umbrella for the 2014 season! Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC in Boardman, Ohio will back the GM 602 Crate Engine division, which will share specifications with DIRTcar’s Sportsman Modified division, as sanctioned by DIRTcar throughout the Northeast.
Five regional speedways have already announced their commitment to each host multiple events in 2014 including Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA), Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH), Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA), America’s Motorsports Park (Clearfield, PA), and Bradford (PA) Speedway. Through the support of these four speedways alone, it is expected that the inaugural schedule will be comprised of over 35 events, a combination of weekly and touring shows.
McKean County Raceway (East Smethport, PA), which is located in the northern most part of the region, has also expressed a desire to schedule possible two events. Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex, a great partner of RUSH, would consider participating if feasible. Other regional speedways are also expected to be added to this list. Speedways are urged to contact the RUSH office if interested in becoming part of this program.
“We believe the time is right for the development of the Sportsman Modified division in the eastern Ohio and western and central Pennsylvania region,” stated RUSH Series Co-Director Vicki Emig. “The division has flourished throughout the Northeast and East Coast and we expect the same here in time. Not only does the area need an affordable Modified division, but a feeder division for the DIRTcar Big-Block Modified class.”
The RUSH Sportsman Modified division will mirror the RUSH Late Model Series very closely and will bring many of the same important pieces that have already proven to be very successful to the Late Model division to the Sportsman Modifieds. Foremost, the implementation of strong rules enforcement and teching procedures that are keys to preserving the integrity of a crate-motored division will be put in place. The experience of both current RUSH Late Model Competition Director Travis Harry and DIRTcar’s Competition Director Joe Skotnicki will be brought to the table.
A minimum of a $10,000 regional cash point fund has been guaranteed for RUSH member racers. In addition, one lucky racer will win a brand new GM 602 engine in a promotion to be announced, additional contingency programs, and a preferred starting spot in a B Main Qualifier at Super DIRT Week XLIII in 2014 will also be part of the program. As the Series progresses, individual “Touring” and “Weekly” point funds will be established along with the addition of a popular “Futures Cup” program for the teenage racers. All three of these programs have already proved successful with the RUSH Late Models Series.
The rules package will model DIRTcar’s, but just as in the Late Models with the NeSmith Series, RUSH will have the freedom to make adjustments and changes as we see fit for our region. One exception is the requirement of a $135 Bilstein “sealed” shock program with three selections and a more minimal selection of Hoosier tire compound choices. Sweeney currently offers the GM 602 motor at the cost of $3,149. The partnership will allow the Series to work together toward mutually beneficial events and promotions in the future. The entire rules package along with the eligibility requirements can be found at www.rushsportsmanmods.com.
Precise Racing Products has offered a 5% discount on all racing parts (excluding the sealed Bilstein shock, fuel, and tires) for the entire 2014 season to all RUSH Sportsman Modified member drivers. The Membership form is on the website. More exciting discount and promotional programs are expected to be offered from other companies in the weeks to come.
Two regional informational meetings have been scheduled. The first will be on Saturday, October 26, during the weekend of the "Steel City Stampede" at 12 PM at Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic, 110 South Pike Road, Sarver, PA; the second will be at the Hyde Fire Hall, 1622 Washington Ave., Hyde, PA (near Clearfield) on Wednesday, October 30 at 7 PM.
“The Northeast Modified division has been a traditional part of racing in the western Pa. area since the coupes back in the 1950s,” said RUSH Series Co-Director Mike Leone. “We certainly don’t want to see the class die out and feel the Sportsman division can rekindle the growth and sustainability into the future. There are a lot of Modifieds just sitting and we feel this will give people the incentive to get back into racing or an affordable option to start racing.”
Sharon and Lernerville Speedways are the region’s only weekly Big-Block Modified facilities. Pittsburgh has hosted a few Big-Block Modified events in recent years, and the Miley Family is a big proponent of crate racing. Each facility will run approximately six events or more in 2014 with every effort being made to ensure racers at least one event per weekend.
America’s Motorsports Park, formerly known as Hidden Valley Speedway and Gamblers Speedway, was once a prominent home of “358” Modified racing in the 1990s and 2000s. AMP concluded its first season under the ownership of Jeff Taylor, who has brought the facility back to life. The former NFL player and Sprint Car racer is a big fan of open wheel cars and is excited about the prospects of the class and has already committed to running the class bi-weekly.
In a late development, Bradford Speedway is also very excited about the concept and owner/promoter Jeff Andrulonis has already begun talks with Taylor to work together and develop a schedule of events between the two speedways.
RUSH Series Directors believe that through the support and partnership of regional speedways, a strong alliance with DIRTcar, valuable point fund and contingency programs, and a credible technical inspection program, a strong foundation has been laid for racers from throughout the region to take part and enjoy the excitement of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modified division.
RUSH welcomes all interested speedways and potential new sponsors to contact the Series office at 724-964-9300. Drivers can also contact the RUSH office with any questions they may have.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at [email protected] and mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Those on social media can like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rushsportsmanmods and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSportMods.