By Mike Leone
January 27, 2021)(Pulaski, PA)…While rain and the COVID-19 pandemic did its best to disrupt the growth and development of the Pace Performance RUSH Sprint Car Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC over the past two years, the Series is primed and ready for its biggest season to date in 2021. Year number four will see numerous new racers join the previous RUSH contingent to battle for the $20,000+ Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship point fund in 37 events at 11 speedways across four states that will in the end award $5,000 to the champion! As the car count and competitiveness of the division has increased and evolved, so has the payoffs and special event concepts for the division.
After racing for $400 to-win, $100 to-start for regular events in the first three years of existence, the RUSH Sprint Cars will now compete for a minimum $600 to-win, $150 to-start with several other special events utilizing the $800 or $1,000 to-win payoff structures in 2021! In fact, eight $1,000 to-win, $175 to-start shows featuring four weekends of back-to-back events highlight the schedule!
“We cannot express how excited we are for the 2021 season,” stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “Honestly at the conclusion of 2020, I never would have believed we would be releasing a schedule such as this for 2021; it really is amazing and a tribute to our partners who share our same vision for the division that have helped set a strong foundation for the RUSH Sprint Cars into the future. This year will see our highest influx of new racers, and with this exciting schedule of higher paying events the division as a whole is defiantly moving to the next level.”
Sharon Speedway will be again be the home base for the RUSH Sprints with a minimum of 11 events including for the first time ever with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars on May 22 as well as a pair of events with the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars on June 15 and July 11. The RUSH Sprints will also compete alongside the All Stars at Lernerville on April 30 and Tri-City Raceway Park on May 2 in the first of several appearances at the Franklin, Pa. half-mile. DIRTVision will carry the May 22 event live as well as the “Steel Stampede” at Lernerville, while Flo Sports will show the RUSH Sprints on all of the All Star nights. Lernerville TV will broadcast the additional events live at Lernerville.
One of the new weekends to the schedule will be McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa. and Bradford (PA) Speedway on Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20. The tracks, which are both located in McKean County, are separated by just 15 miles and will host $1,000 to-win, $175 to-start events! The RUSH Sprints have not appeared at McKean since their only visit in 2017, while Bradford has hosted the Series three times, but not since 2019.
The “Legends Remembered” Series will feature back-to-back weekends of $1,000 to-win, $175 to-start events on August 27-28 and September 4-5. Lernerville and Sharon will make up the Friday-Saturday double on the first weekend, while a venue to be announced will host back-to-back events on Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend. These tracks, which are in the heart of the RUSH region and part of the storied history of non-wing Sprint Car racing in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, will be part of a first of its kind series of events and promotions that the fans are surely not going to want to miss! Details on these very special events will be released in coming weeks.
A fourth back-to-back weekend of $1,000 to-win, $175 to-start events will take place at Genesee Speedway in Batavia, NY on September 24-25. After COVID wiped out the weekend in 2020, this will be the third annual “Empire State Classic” for the RUSH Sprints at Genesee as part of the track’s “Topless Nationals” weekend; however, past shows were $800 to-win.
The RUSH Sprint Cars will make their first ever appearances at Pennsylvania’s Dog Hollow and Latrobe Speedways this summer; each track will host a pair of events with each of their second shows paying $800 to-win, $160 to-start. Also returning to the RUSH schedule will be events at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, WV, Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway, and Raceway 7 in Conneaut, Ohio. Tyler County will host a pair of events including the Series’ 2021 opener on April 10, while the “Monster Half-Mile” at PPMS continues their strong support of the Series with six events.
The 2021 “Manufacturers Night” presented by MSD Performance will again feature thousands of dollars of valuable product giveaways to RUSH Sprint Car racers at a date and location to be announced.
The 2021 season will be an interesting one to say the least. After taking a year off, Chad Ruhlman- the 2018 and 2019 champion, will return to the RUSH Sprints driving for a new team owned by Tim Engles. Engles was a former “410” Sprint Car and Big-Block Modified racer before becoming a well known E-Mod car owner in recent years.
In 2020, Jeremy Weaver won the Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship for car owner Ted Hull. With Weaver moving on, Hull has tabbed Sprint Car great Rod George to drive the #41. The Kittanning, Pa. driver owns more than 100 career “410” Sprint wins in addition to numerous track championships and has been inducted into several regional hall of fames.
Another driver back for his first full season since 2018 when he finished second in points is Gale Ruth, Jr. The Pleasantville, Pa. third generation racer made some starts last year for Scott Clever before getting chosen late in the year for the full-time ride in the McConnell Family #24. Ruth, who has six career RUSH Sprint wins including the 2020 finale at Lernerville, will be one of the favorites to contend for the $5,000 championship.
While the majority of the 2020 RUSH Sprint Car drivers will return for competition, a bevy of at least 14 new racers will join the Series for their first full year of competition. This group includes 2018 RUSH Sportsman Modified “Futures Cup” Champion Blaze Myers, former Big-Block Modified standout Bill Watson, Mike Mathieson- a veteran of several area divisions but never Sprint Cars, father-daughter combination of Calvin and Amelia Clay, Ohio drivers Bob Bland, Mike Hover, and Kevin Kaserman, along with rookie Phil Young, Scott Dean, and Jordan Hamilton- the brother of RUSH Late Model racer Eric Hamilton.
Ohio driver Tyler Newhart, who made some starts in Frank Wilson’s #13, started his own team at the end of 2020 and is ready for his first full season. Eastern Pennsylvania racer, Jeff Metsger, has purchased a RUSH Sprint Car and will make several visits. And just before the release of this press release, RUSH has gotten word of at least two other new teams expected for competition in 2021. With the addition of all of these new drivers and teams, the base of RUSH Sprint Car racers throughout the region is approximately 40!
2021 Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Point Fund ($20,075): 1. $5,000 2. $2,500 3. $1,750 4. $1,500 5. $1,200 6. $1,000 7. $800 8. $750 9. $700 10. $650 11. $600 12. $500 13. $450 14. $425 15. $400 16. $390 17. $380 18. $370 19. $360 20. $350.
2021 “Futures Cup” Point Fund: 1. $300 2. $200 3. $100 4. $50.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Sprint Car Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Schedule*
Note: All shows are $600 to-win, $150 to-start unless otherwise specified.
Saturday, April 10 Tyler County Speedway
Friday, April 30 Lernerville Speedway (with All Star Sprints)
Sunday, May 2 Tri-City Raceway Park (with All Star Sprints)
Saturday, May 8 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway
Saturday, May 15 Tyler County Speedway
Saturday, May 22 Sharon Speedway (with World of Outlaws Sprints)
Saturday, May 29 Sharon Speedway
Saturday, June 5 Sharon Speedway
Sunday, June 6 Tri-City Raceway Park
Saturday, June 12 Latrobe Speedway
Tuesday, June 15 Sharon Speedway (with All Star Sprints)
Saturday, June 19 McKean County Raceway ($1,000 to-win)
Sunday, June 20 Bradford Speedway ($1,000 to-win)
Friday, June 25 Raceway 7
Saturday, June 26 Sharon Speedway
Friday, July 2 Dog Hollow Speedway
Saturday, July 3 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway
Sunday, July 11 Sharon Speedway (with All Star Sprints)
Saturday, July 17 Sharon Speedway
Sunday, July 18 Tri-City Raceway Park
Friday, July 23 Lernerville Speedway
Saturday, July 24 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway
Saturday, July 31 Sharon Speedway
Saturday, August 7 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway
Saturday, August 14 Sharon Speedway
Friday, August 20 Dog Hollow Speedway ($800 to-win)
Friday, August 27 Lernerville Speedway “Legends Remembered” ($1,000 to-win)
Saturday, August 28 Sharon Speedway “Legends Remembered” ($1,000 to-win)
Saturday, September 4 TBA “Legends Remembered” ($1,000 to-win)
Sunday, September 5 TBA “Legends Remembered” ($1,000 to-win)
Friday, September 10 Sharon Speedway
Saturday, September 18 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway
Friday, September 24 Genesee Speedway ($1,000 to-win)
Saturday, September 25 Genesee Speedway ($1,000 to-win) (rain date 9/26)
Friday, October 8 Latrobe Speedway ($800 to-win)
Saturday, October 9 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway
Friday-Saturday, October 15-16 Lernerville Speedway ($800 to-win) (rain date 10/17)
*Schedule is subject to change. Additional dates may be added.
RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Pace Performance together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC 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, Born2Run Lubricants, Flynn’s Tire, 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, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage, CrateInsider.com, Vahlco Wheels, and Wedge Motorsports.
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. The RUSH Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushsprintcars and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSprints.