By Jim Zufall (RUSH Staff Series Spotlight)


March 13, 2014


(Pulaski, PA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series with its Late Model and Sportsman Modified divisions has begun a partnership with Brian Mathieson and Tracy Snyder to form the RUSH Memorial Cup Karting Series.


The Mathiesons, like so many others in this country, suffered a loss in their family when their son Blaise was lost to stillbirth in 2011. Two years after this tragedy, Brian and his wife Nicki held the inaugural Blaise Mathieson Memorial Kart Race at Goodhope Speedway in New Springfield, Ohio.  Mathieson explained how this event helped other families suffering similar circumstances. “The race benefitted the Makenna's Hugs Foundation that raises money for families who lose children to stillbirth, sudden infant death and early gestational loss.”


The success of the event impressed Mathieson and Snyder and they immediately felt they could do more.  That’s where the Sweeney RUSH Dirt Late Model and Sportsman Modified Series stepped in. “I can't tell you how pleased I was when Brian and Nicki  contacted us about the possibility of lending the RUSH name to this great Karting Series,” said RUSH Co-Director Vicki Emig.  “I knew immediately after speaking to him that we needed to support their efforts.  “As RUSH continues to grow, it's important to use our resources and relationships to not only benefit the racing community, but others in general that may not be as fortunate as we are.”


With the backing of RUSH, the series has expanded to benefit other organizations as well. “Now the series has branched out to include Make-A-Wish, B.R.A.K.E.S. and the Wounded Warriors Project as well as some other foundations still to be determined,” explains Mathieson.


Along with the Sweeney RUSH Dirt Late Model and Sportsman Modified Series, the new kart racing series has backing from a number of sponsors including Wooley Hollow Racing, Brocious Lumber, Daves Metal Roofs, PMI, Harshman Racing Engines, Krug Tire Preps, Burris Tire, Slack Racing Chassis and VSI Racing.  Mathieson and Snyder hope that with this level of support, the RUSH Memorial Cup Karting Series can go a long way toward helping a number of organizations that are doing good work in the community.


So how does it all work?  The RUSH Memorial Cup Karting Series will compete at seven different karting tracks in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.  The Series takes two classes to each event.  A Junior Class for 10-14 year olds and a Senior Class for 15 years of age and up. These two races each night are the Memorial Cup events and drivers will earn points in each of those two classes.  The tracks will also run their same program as usual.  If the track has 10 classes on its own then there will be 12 classes on the night of a RUSH Memorial Cup event.  The races are separate from the other classes running that night.


And the incentive for kart racers to participate in the Memorial Cup Series? Mathieson explained, “We have the highest guaranteed payout of any series in the region for karts. $250 to-win Senior Class and $100 to-win Junior Class; plus plaques to the top three of each event.”


There is already a buzz among the Karting community about the Series.  Senior Clone 350 racer Matt Bernard is one of them. "As racers we check out our schedules to see what the upcoming season brings.  We are highly anticipating on having the opportunity to race for the RUSH Memorial Cup Series.  From the B.R.A.K.E.S. Foundation, Wounded Warriors Project and the Makenna's Hugs Foundation, we look forward to bringing awareness to these foundations and fans of the RUSH Memorial Cup Series.”


Junior Blue Plate Clone racer Isaac Caretti agrees, "I think this will be an awesome series this year not only because of the great racing we are going to have, but mainly the fact that it will bring some great attention to some great causes that are in need of support.”


As for the connection between a Crate Late Model and Sportsman Modified Series and a charity karting series, Emig sees it as a great fit. “We are very aware that most of our ‘Futures Cup’ racers and several others have come directly out of karts into RUSH Late Models, so once again the RUSH Memorial Cup Karting Series is a natural fit, as is the B.R.A.K.E.S. program.  I know all of our racers will be great proponents of this program and become awesome mentors of these young kart racers.  To know that each and every one of the RUSH Memorial Cup events will benefit a charitable cause is amazing.  The reality is that it is truly an honor for both Mike (Leone) and myself to be able assist Brian and his crew in an way possible to make this concept a huge success.”


The RUSH Memorial Cup Kart Series has released a preliminary schedule for the 2014 season. Listed below are the dates, tracks and particular charity or foundation that will benefit from that day’s racing:


May 24     Race 1 Motor Speedway (Dubois, PA) - Wounded Warriors
June 14     Goodhope Speedway  (New Springfield, OH) - B.RA.K.E.S.
July 5       Flat Run Speedway (Morrisdale, PA) - Make-A-Wish
July 26     Fairmont Raceway (Fairmont, WV) - B.RA.K.E.S.
Aug 16     Blairsville Speedway (Blairsville, PA) - Makenna's Hugs 

Aug 30     MWR Raceway (Columbus, PA) - TBA
Sept 14     Slippery Rock Raceway ( Slippery Rock, PA) - TBA
Oct 11      Blairsville Speedway (Blairsville, PA) - B.RA.K.E.S.


For more information on the RUSH Memorial Cup Karting Series, contact Brian Mathieson at 724-977-3728 or Tracy Snyder at 814-590-7749 or 814-938-3965.  E-mail to [email protected]

The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series operates the RUSH Late Model and RUSH Sportsman Modified divisions.  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 pages at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and www.facebook.com/rushsportsmanmods, and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM and @RUSHSportMods.