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By Mike Leone 

(Pulaski, PA)…While the start of the inaugural season is more than two months away for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series, more than a dozen Northeast Crate Late Model racers are making final preparations to head south in a little over a week to compete in the five-night “Bubba Army Winter Nationals” for the NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series January 29-February 2 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL.

When the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series was announced two month ago, one of benefits was the alignment with southern stalwart, NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series. Both Series will be under the Crate Racin’ USA banner as it expands and further benefits and unites Crate Late Model racing in the nation!

While Bubba Raceway Park recently hosted the eighth annual $10,000 to-win NeSmith “World Championship” on December 1, B.R.P. will now for the first time host the “Winter Nationals”. All five nights will be full programs with $2,000 to-win the first four nights and $3,000 to-win on the Saturday finale. There will also be a $10,000 cash point fund as well as an additional $10,000 in contingencies for the top 30 in points for the week-long “Winter Nationals”!

“Mike and I could not be more pleased with the large group of RUSH drivers that will be participating in the Winter Nationals,” stated Emig. “This event is going to be a great first step in the alignment of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Models and NeSmith Series and how they will be able to compete together with relative ease in major events into the future.” 

Doug Horton, who has been a big proponent of the new RUSH Series, will lead the Northeast contingent. The Bruceton Mills, WV standout has won numerous races in the Sunshine State. In 2010, he won five out of six starts at East Bay Speedway Park including the $10,000 “World Championship”. In the 2008 “World Championship”, Horton finished runner-up to Super Late Model star Jimmy Owens.

Horton’s protégé, Ryan Montgomery, will be starting his third year of Crate Late Model racing. The 2011 “Futures Cup” Champion is a 15-year-old from Fairmont, WV. Montgomery has won big crate races in the past at the now RUSH-sanctioned tracks of Sharon Speedway and McKean County Raceway. Montgomery’s #12 is expected to be one of the top contenders for the 2013 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Touring Series Championship. 

One of the nation’s top Crate Late Model racers is Mike Pegher, Jr. The Wexford, Pa. racer will head south where he’s made quite a few successful trips in recent years to compete with various different sanctioning bodies and is always a threat to win. In 2010, Pegher won a $6,000 race at Mercer Raceway Park and $5,000 at Eldora Speedway. In 2011, he captured $30,000 at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, TN. Pegher will again be behind the wheel of the Lynn Geisler-owned #1C in many of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Tour events in addition to competing in Geisler’s Super Late Model.

Making the trip with Pegher is the #2 of Andrew Satterlee. The Rochester Mills, Pa. up and coming racer has won numerous features in the Northeast at several tracks in recent years, and is the son of former Super Late Model star Dave Satterlee. 

While he was a spectator and assisted Horton and Montgomery at the 2012 “World Championship” at B.R.P., John Over will take his always-sharp #K2 down to compete this time. The Uniontown, Pa. veteran is excited for the upcoming 2013 season, and was the 2010 and 2011 Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex champion before going on the road last season. 

Fresh off his 2012 Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex Championship, Nolan Dalton will represent the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH contingent at Bubba’s. The 48-year-old Morgantown, WV native has been a standout racer over the years throughout the Ohio Valley, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions in Super Late Models and E-Mods in his #D2. Dalton recently made the switch to Crate Late Models and has been a front-runner from the get-go. 

In 2011, Wayne Robertson made the successful transition from the Super Stocks to Crate Late Models after winning the BRP CanAm Series title in 2010. Though the Corning, NY racer currently lives northeast of the hotbed of Crate Late Model racing in the region, Robertson has made the most of his limited starts with victories at several speedways including a $1,750 score at the “Fall Classic” at McKean County Raceway in 2011 and a $3,000 victory last August in the first ever crate race at the nearby Black Rock Speedway. Robertson has a knack for being fast wherever he travels, and is looking forward to making his first trip south to FL to compete at Bubba’s. 

Michael Lake was also a spectator at last month’s “World Championship”, but this time, like Over, will be competing on the track driving his grandfather’s Bobby Lake Motorsports #27 entry. The sixth grader at Albert-Gallatin in Uniontown, Pa. is coming off a strong rookie season at Roaring Knob where he recorded eight top 10 finishes, a heat win, and the $500 B feature win on October 21. Lake will be running for the 2013 RUSH “Futures Cup” Championship.

Four Canadian racers will be making the long tow south! Former Super Late Model racer, Darren Peters and his son Jorden will be entering their third year of Crate Late Model racing. Darren was the 2011 Humberstone Speedway Champion, while Jorden was last year’s champion winning the first two race of his career! The Peters look to many several trips to the states to run in 2013 and Jorden will be a contender for the “Futures Cup”.

Greg Belyea of Frankford, Ontario was a five-time winner at Brighton Speedway in 2012 and finished third in points, while 11th place Brighton Speedway point man Dave McDonald of Brighton. Both racers will join the Peters in their trek from the “Great White North”. 

Super Late Model and Steel-Block standout, Walker Arthur, has picked up a Crate for his arsenal in 2013 and will get it started at Bubba’s. The Forest, Virginia racer expects to make several Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series starts including the “Battle Down the National Pike” and “Mid-Atlantic Triple Crown” weekends. 

Arthur won a pair of $10,000 races in 2012 at the “Fall Classic” at Natural Bridge Speedway and the “Victory Gang Junction” event at County Line Raceway. He was the 2010 and 2011 Steel-Block Bandit Champion, won the 2009 Natural Bridge and Eastside Speedways Two-Track Challenge, and was the 2008 Virginia Motor Speedway Champion.

An open practice will be held on Monday, January 28. For more information on the “Winter Nationals”, check or

E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at 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 Like our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.