RUSH LATE MODEL WEEKLY RACERS TO SHARE $35,000 IN "TRACK PACK" CHAMPIONSHIP MONIES OVER & ABOVE NATIONAL WEEKLY SERIES MONIES; $2500 AWARDED TO TOP 6 MEMBER DRIVERS AT EACH WEEKLY-SANCTIONED SPEEDWAY
By Doug Kennedy
January 11, 2022 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)...Once again, the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Racing Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants lies on the cutting edge of racing innovations when it comes to promotions. The Late Model "Track Pack" program actually debuted in 2016; however, expanded by more than 300% cash wise this past season going from $800 per RUSH weekly-sanctioned track to $2,500. Overall, the "Track Pack" will award $35,000 to drivers in the top six drivers in the RUSH member points at the 14 weekly-sanctioned speedways this Saturday night at the 2021 RUSH Racing Series Awards Banquet.
RUSH uses the National Weekly Series point system for all events scheduled at weekly-sanctioned speedways during the year. To be eligible, the speedway must be RUSH Weekly Sanctioned. The payoff breakdown is $1,000 for the champion, $500 for second, $400 for third, $300 for fourth, $200 for fifth, and $100 for sixth. This is in addition to any monies drivers win through the National Weekly Series and Futures Cup Championships.
"The strength of RUSH has always laid within our weekly tracks and racers who support them," stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig. "As RUSH has grown we could have easily increased our National Weekly Championship program, which is already very substantial, but we felt it was important to spread the dollars out to more of our racers. By laying in the $2500 into our individual RUSH-sanctioned tracks a lot more racers can look forward to receiving a check from the 'Track Pack' at the end of the season."
The 2021 RUSH Weekly-sanctioned speedways were Bradford, Delaware International, Dog Hollow, Eriez, Fulton, Genesee, The Hill, McKean County, Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway, Potomac, Raceway 7, Stateline, Winchester, and Woodhull. Six states are also covered; New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.
The only driver to win multiple "Track Pack" point titles was Steve Dixon, who won at Bradford and McKean. Other champions included Matt Hill (Delaware), Michael Duritsky, Jr. (Dog Hollow), Jason Genco (Eriez), Chad Homan (Fulton), Jimmy Johnson (Genesee), Steve LeBarron (The Hill), Daryl Charlier (Pittsburgh), Jeremy Pilkerton (Potomac), Breyton Santee (Raceway 7), Scott Gurdak (Stateline), Levi Crowl (Winchester), and Brian Knowles (Woodhull).
“I was lucky enough to be able to pull off the two championships at Bradford and McKean,” said Dixon, the 41-year-old from Smethport, Pa. “I think it’s a great deal (Track Pack). It gives drivers who can’t travel to stay interested racing at their local tracks. A lot of guys can’t afford to go out on road. Personally, I can’t travel a lot because of my work and the 'Track Pack' keeps me interested with the RUSH program. That $2,000 is going to go a long way towards helping me out for 2022.”
Dixon, who also competes in the RUSH Pro Mods, works at Close Racing as a welder and fabricator for the last 14 years. Between both classes, Dixon will take home $3,750 in Weekly Series point fund monies. As far as RUSH overall, Dixon said, “It’s given a lot of people the opportunity to race a Late Model style of car that they couldn’t without RUSH. RUSH has put everyone on the same page so you can race wherever you want at a variety of tracks from New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.”
Thirty-one year old Matt Hill of Georgetown, has owned his home track of Delaware International Speedway, where he has won the track championships six times. Hill won three times at Delaware and added a pair of RUSH Weekly Series special victories at Georgetown in 2021. Hill, who has been with RUSH since 2016 likes the "Track Pack" program. “It really helps out with different opportunities to win. That additional money is put to good use with the rising costs in tires and fuel.”
“She (Vicki) does an outstanding job,” added Hill, who works at the family owned business, Lynch’s Towing, one that Matt hopes to own one of these days. “We love running with RUSH. She always is thinking what is best for the racers. She gets a lot of sponsorships that help the racers in the long run.”
Michael Duritsky, Jr. of Masontown, Pa. was the "Track Pack" champion at Dog Hollow Speedway, while still being able to finish fourth in the Flynn's Touring Series points. “It’s a really good thing,” said the 24-year-old. It certainly helped us with travel for the upcoming season. It’s good to have some extra incentives besides just winning. It gives you more to work for.”
“The pay is good and there’s not a ton of travelling involved so you can hit a number of tracks in a short period of time,” added Duritsky of the RUSH Weekly program. “It gives drivers who don’t have a lot of money or can't travel the opportunity to run with the big guys and compete.”
Jason Genco of Frewsburg, New York has now won the Eriez "Track Pack" championship three times. He also captured the track championship at Stateline as well, while finishing fifth in the "Track Pack" points there. Winning the "Track Pack" program was also special for Genco. “It helps getting new tires and freshen our equipment over the winter,” said the 39-year-old. “We pay attention to it all season long and try to get as many points as possible. Every little bit helps.”
“It’s a great Series,” said Genco of his feelings towards RUSH. “The biggest thing is what they give back to the racers with products and the points fund. I don’t think there’s a better Crate Late Model Series anywhere. Every year there are more and more cars joining the Series and it’s only going to get stronger.”
Chad Homan of Penfield, New York has been racing RUSH Late Models for the past six seasons. The 39-year-old Homan won the track championship this year at Fulton Speedway and is now a two-time "Track Pack" titlist at the central New York track. Homan hopes to run a number of touring shows for 2022.
“It’s a really good deal and gives you added incentive to run well," stated Homan, who also tied for fifth in the National Weekly Series points with Genco. “I like RUSH because we are able to go pretty much anywhere and have the same rules packages. It allows us to race at a lot of different places and I think that’s great.”
Daryl Charlier was the "Track Pack" champion at Pittsburgh this past season. Charlier likes the program. “It’s an awesome deal,” said the 38-year-old who resides in Bulger, Pa. “It’s hard for local tracks to come up with extra money so programs like this helps generate additional funds."
Charlier, who owns and operates Three Rivers Karting for his day job in the Pittsburgh area, loves RUSH overall. “It’s a great Series. I know that if it wasn’t for RUSH, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be racing right now. RUSH gave me the opportunity to race in a cost-effective series. It’s certainly allowed my career to grow and it has got me back to where I will be able to race a Super Late Model for someone else for this upcoming season.”
Twenty-two year old, Jeremy Pilkerton of Loveville, MD was the "Track Pack" Champion at Potomac Speedway for 2021. “I think it’s a really good incentive for racers to run at their weekly tracks,” Pilkerton said. “It’s another incentive to win additional money besides just racing for points.”
Pilkerton has won two championships at Potomac. “I think RUSH is a great series that allows for a lot of different drivers to be competitive. A lot of Super Late Model drivers have come to the RUSH Series. So you know if you can compete against these guys, then you should be able to compete at any level. It’s also a good way to get your name out there on a larger scale rather than just your local tracks.”
Breyton Santee of Conneaut, Ohio won the "Track Pack" at Raceway 7 and finished fourth at Eriez. “I really like the Track Pack program because it gives drivers who can’t follow a regular series or go to multiple tracks to get some extra money in their pockets.
At 24 years old, Santee plans to run the weekly series at Eriez, Stateline, and Raceway 7. He will also race at places like Lernerville and Sharon in their special events. “RUSH definitely helps the lower budgeted teams,” Santee said of the overall Series. When he’s not racing, Santee works as a mechanic at Kuhnle Brothers Trucking that is located in Newbury, Ohio.
Steve LeBarron of Troupsburg, New York, was the "Track Pack" and track champion at The Hill Speedway where he won three races; however, he also finished third in "Track Pack" points at both Woodhull and McKean. At 42 years of age, Steve works at Troups Creek Automotive as an equipment operator, mechanic, and whatever else is deemed necessary for his father, who also owns the #11 RUSH Late Model driven by John Waters. This was LeBarron’s second consecutive track championship at The Hill. He also has a pair of championships at Woodhull.
As for the Track Pack program, LeBarron said, “I think it’s good. It gives us a reason to stick with the tracks and it helps keep the car counts up.” LeBarron also like the RUSH Series, something he’s been a part of for the last six seasons. “It’s the rules enforcements. As long as we have somebody watching and keeping it right, it makes for a lot more fun,”
Sixty-three year old Scott Gurdak lives in Bear Lake, PA and is the neighbor of Late Model icon, Chub Frank. Gurdak has been racing since 1975 in a variety of divisions and has accumulated eight track championships over that time as well, including this past season at Stateline. Frank has and continues to help Gurdak update his cars. “Every car that comes from Chub is fast,” said Gurdak.
Gurdak won the "Track Pack" at Stateline, finished second in points at Eriez, and also finished 14th in the National Weekly Series standings driving a car owned by his sister Lori Hollabaugh. When he’s not racing, Gurdak works as an operator for Lindy Paving.
“They (RUSH) have a tremendous deal,” stated Gurdak, who also competes in the RUSH Pro Mods for his brother Stacy. “It’s an awesome deal for what we pay for membership. Vicki and Mike (Leone) do an awesome job and I hope they continue to do it. The RUSH Series is paying more now than Super Late Model races. I’m certainly going to continue to follow the series. When I can’t scare the person next to me then that will be the time when I will retire.”
Brian Knowles of the Knowles racing family, won his second track title at Woodhull, this past season, but first as a "Track Pack" Champion. “It’s a great idea,” said the 42-year-old of the Track Pack program. “I kind of wish there’s was a mulligan involved because of the home track schedule and my work schedule.
Brian has six track championships and was most proud when he, his dad, Larry, and his younger brother, Jason, all won titles at Woodhull. In 2020, Jason won the track title at Woodhull, while Brian finished second. This past season, Brian was able to win nine of 17 races he ran. Brian also tied for third with Levi Crowl in the National Weekly Series Championship as each driver will receive $2,250.
Knowles, who works as a construction manager for the family owned Doug Gross Construction, really likes the RUSH deal overall. “It’s been great,” said the Corning, New York veteran RUSH Late Model racer. “I’ve run a few other series and it’s definitely the premier series to run. Vicki and Mike are great and very personable. It makes it easy to run the series when you can communicate with the people who run it, whether it’s good or bad. They’re not hiding in a trailer or some other place. I think the biggest thing for RUSH is their uniting of the tracks with the same rules packages.”
At 21 years of age, Levi Crowl of Hagerstown, Maryland finished second in Winchester track points to Scott Sweeney, Jr., but won the $1,000 "Track Pack" program. Crowl’s racing career began at the age of five in a Quarter Midget. He’s been in a Late Model since 2015.
"The Track Pack is definitely nice and adds some funds at the end of the year that can be put to good use for the next season,” stated Crowl. “I think RUSH is doing everything right. The pay has come a long way and I really like how they keep up with the points and other statistics. They have found a good way to allow the non-travelling guys to get something out of it as well. Overall, they do a lot of nice things for all of us.”
At 30 years old, Jimmy Johnson (not former NASCAR champion, Jimmie Johnson) finished second to Bill Holmes for the Genesee track championship; however, won the $1,000 "Track Pack" title. “I love it,” said Johnson of the program. “It’s awesome and I try to get guys to sign up for it. You race at your local track for $1,000 and guys are crazy if they don’t sign up. There’s no reason not to because it’s a big benefit. RUSH is great for the sport. Every year Vicki and Mike do something more to help the sport. They help everyone from the touring guys to the weekly guys who can’t travel.”
Johnson attended the University of Buffalo and earned his BS in Business and Marketing. He currently works for his father, Jim, as a mechanic at his business, Johnson Automotive, located in Batavia, New York. “I would like to buy it in a few years from now,” Johnson said.
The family sold Genesee Speedway to Kurt and Bonnie Stebbins after this past season after having it for the last six years. Genesee will continue under the RUSH fold as a weekly-sanctioned Saturday night track and will also host three Flynn's Tire Touring Series events in 2022.
The "Track Pack" will return in 2022 with one small caveat. While all events at each weekly-sanctioned track will continue to count; however, each member driver's worst point score will be excluded, which could include a missed event (example: If Track A completes 10 events, points will be based on best 9 point scores; if Track B completes 15 events, points will be based on best 14 point scores.)
The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage, Stop-Fyre, CrateInsider.com, and Wedge Motorsports.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at [email protected] and mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300. The RUSH Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com. Like our various Facebook and Twitter pages by searching for the appropriate RUSH Series.