By Mike Leone
(Pulaski, PA)…The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sprint Car Series powered by Pace Performance will head to New York this weekend for the first time during the 2019 season. Three Bonnell’s Rod Shop Weekly Series special events are on tap as the expanded “Empire State Classic” will feature the first ever appearance at Ransomville Speedway on Friday night (September 13) followed by back-to-back events at Genesee Speedway on Saturday and Sunday (September 14-15) part of the track’s “Topless Nationals”. A points fund has also been put in place thanks to CNC Specialties, Intense Fab & Design, and Pace Performance.
The “Empire State Classic” debuted in 2018 at Genesee Speedway for their second annual “Topless Nationals”. Sixteen Sprint Car teams from four different states made the trip to the Batavia, New York 1/3-mile oval by traveling between two and six hours. It marked the first time full-size Sprint Cars raced at Genesee since 2009 when winged “360s” were part of the track’s weekly program! Chad Ruhlman swept both events last year in route to the $5,000 inaugural Bonnell’s Rod Shop Championship.
This year’s “Empire State Classic” has been expanded to three nights thanks to the addition of Ransomville Speedway on Friday night. The Chevrolet Performance 602 crate engine-powered non-wing Sprints on RUSH Visual Methanol, spec Hoosier Tires, and $140 sealed/spec Bilstein Shocks will then join back up for Genesee’s “Topless Nationals” for two nights once again on Saturday and Sunday. All three nights will pay $800 to-win, $160 to-start (complete payoff posted below).
The “Empire State Classic” points fund has also been expanded to five paying positions ($300, $200, $150, $100, $75) thanks to CNC Specialties in Apollo, Pa. owned by the Woodhall Family, Intense Fab and Design in Brookfield, Ohio owned by former Sprint Car racer Doug Kekich, along with Pace Performance in Boardman, Ohio part of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC banner and branding sponsor of RUSH.
“We are really looking forward to this weekend,” stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “Our racers really enjoyed last year’s two-day show at Genesee, and it was great to have Ransomville contact us to be part of this weekend. Ransomville has held a couple RUSH Late Model shows in the past, but this will be the first time we’ll showcase our Sprints on their racey track and to a new audience. The fans really enjoyed the Sprints last year returning to Genesee for the first time in nine years. They are a perfect fit for their topless-themed weekend. Track promoter Jim Johnson has run our RUSH Late Models on a weekly basis each of his four years promoting the fairgrounds oval and they are a big part of this weekend as well.”
Brian Woodhall, in his first full year of RUSH, leads the $5,000 to-win Bonnell’s Weekly Series points by just two over Zach Morrow. Woodhall picked up his first career RUSH win at Sharon Speedway in June; meanwhile, Morrow has two wins (Pittsburgh & Lernerville) and three runner-up finishes in his last five races to close the gap. Former RUSH Sportsman Modified “Futures Cup” Champion and two-time winner, Jeremy Weaver, is in his first year in a Sprint Car and is third in points in search of his first Sprint win as is fourth place points man, Brandon Blackshear, another Sprint rookie. Brandon’s brother Brad, who won his first Sprint race on June 30 at Bradford, is fifth in points. Defending champion, Chad Ruhlman, leads the way with eight victories, while his son Kevin leads the “Futures Cup” standings.
Feature Payoff: 1. $800 2. $400 3. $300 4. $250 5. $225 6. $220 7. $210 8. $200 9. $190 10. $185 11. $180 12. $175 13. $170 14-18. $165 19-24. $160. Tow $75.
Points Fund*: 1. $300 2. $200 3. $150 4. $100 5. $75 (*Note: at least two of the events must be completed for the points fund to be paid)
On Friday at Ransomville, pit gates open at 5 p.m. with warm-ups at 6:45 and racing at 7:15. Pit passes are $32. On Saturday and Sunday at Genesee, pit passes go on sale at 3 p.m. with warm-ups at 4 and racing at 5. Pit passes are $40 each night or $75 for a two-day pass. One-way driver radios are mandatory each night with the 454.000 channel. The AMB/MyLaps transponders will be used each night.
2019 Bonnell’s Rod Shop Weekly Series Points: 1. Brian Woodhall (8B) 1282 2. Zach Morrow (27M) 1280 3. Jeremy Weaver (41) 1240 4. Brandon Blackshear (10) 1209 5. Brad Blackshear (19) 1200 6. Chad Ruhlman (87R) 1179 7. Brian Hartzell (69) 1156 8. Matt Sherlock III (55) 1150 9. Kevin Ruhlman (23) 1132 10. Andy Feil (9J) 1100 11. Arnie Kent (18) 1000 12. Steve Pedley (21) 960 13. Dave Hawkins (27) 960 14. Shawn Smith (36) 908 15. Tyler Powell (35) 764 16. John Mollick (4J) 763 17. Brandon Hawkins (27H) 676 18. Nolan Groves (25) 663 19. Brian Ruhlman (49) 637 20. Scott Hawkins (37) 577 21. Brad Church (40) 576 22. Ryan Fraley (12) 387 23. Frank Wilson, Jr. (13) 374 24. Phil Thornton (36T) 284 25. Greg Beach (33x) 282 26. Jim Kurpakus (72B) 90 27. Scott Dean (77) 0.
Ransomville Speedway is a 3/8-mile dirt track located at 2315 Braley Road, Ransomville, NY 14131. For information, check out their website at www.ransomvillespeedway.com, like them on Facebook by searching Ransomville Speedway or follow them on Twitter @Ransomville.
Genesee Speedway is located off Route 5 at the Genesee County Fairgrounds at 5056 E Main Street Rd, Batavia, NY 14020. For more information, check out their website at genesee-speedway.com and like them on Facebook by searching Genesee Speedway.
RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC & Pace Performance along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, FK Rod Ends, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Trailer-Alarms.com, Bonnell’s Rod Shop, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, CrateInsider.com, and Valley Fashions.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at firstname.lastname@example.org 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/rushsprintcars and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSprints