December 16, 2014
(By Mike Leone)

(Thorold, ON)…Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone are excited to announce that Merrittville Speedway will host its first Sweeney Tour event on Monday, May 18. The history-making first ever Crate Late Model event will be held on the Canadian Victoria Day holiday at the Thorold, Ontario showplace owned by legendary racer Pete Bicknell along with Randy Williamson.

The $2,000 to-win event will be part of the new $4,000 to-win Sweeney Northern Tour and also offer points toward the combined Sweeney Tour Championship that could see one driver earn $10,000 by winning both regions! RUSH will join the DIRTcar “358” Modified Series for the first time ever in this blockbuster Canadian holiday event!

“We are very excited to host a RUSH Late Model event in 2015,” expressed Merrittville General Manager Erica Bicknell-Jones. “We know the fans have been waiting for such an event. The Bicknells and Williamsons look forward to working with the RUSH staff as we are very encouraged by the hard work and dedication that Vicki and Mike have put into the Series, and are looking forward to a win-win event for everyone.”

Merrittville has long been known for its tremendous Modified racing. The DIRTcar “358” Series has become a traditional Victoria Day event at Merrittville. Some of the best Modified racers in the country annually take part in this event; in fact, at last year’s event Super DIRTcar Big-Block Series “World Finals” winner Danny Johnson topped a star-studded top six that also included Chad Brachmann, Tim McCreadie, Mat Williamson, Ryan Susice, and Pete Bicknell himself.

The Crate Late Models debuted under the direction of Emig and Leone at nearby Humberstone Speedway in 2011 and just finished up their fourth season. The Sweeney RUSH Late Models will be back at Humberstone weekly on Sunday nights in 2015. The Port Colborne, Ontario facility is located 17 miles south of Merrittville. Humberstone is expected to offer an increased Sweeney RUSH Late Model purse event the night before Merrittville then will host its annual Sweeney Tour event on Sunday, July 19.

“I cannot express how thrilled we are to finally have the opportunity to bring the RUSH Late Model Tour to Merrittville,” stated Emig. “We have an incredible base of Crate Late Models in the Northern part of our region, which of course includes competitors from nearby RUSH-sanctioned speedway Humberstone, which should provide a great field of cars. To be able to be part of Merrittville’s traditional Victoria Day 100-lap DIRTcar 358 Mod event will provide a tremendous stage from which to showcase exciting door-to-door quality Crate Late Model racing in front of a packed grandstand!”

Stars from the Northern part of the RUSH region like 2014 Sweeney Tour runner-up and last year’s Humberstone Tour winner John Waters, McKean “Fall Classic” Sweeney Tour winner Bryce Davis, Woodhull Sweeney Tour winner Wayne Robertson, Humberstone champion Paul Grigsby, Freedom champion Adam Sixt, Humberstone standouts Jorden Peters, Tim Gillespie, Luke Carleton, Jeff Dayman, and others such as Brian and Jason Knowles, Dusty Waters will be anxiously looking forward to this event. Many other Canadian and New York racers are expected.

Pennsylvania racer Dennis Lunger, Jr. is no stranger traveling to Ontario as he was a three-time Sweeney RUSH Weekly Series winner in 2014 at Humberstone. Another Pennsylvania standout, Max Blair, won the first two Sweeney Tour events ever held in Humberstone back in 2011 and 2012. Blair, the 2013 Sweeney Weekly Series & Summer Chase Champion, is teamed up again in 2015 with Cody Dawson, who finished sixth in the 2014 Sweeney Tour Championship.

Although 2015 will see the RUSH touring series split into a Northern and Southern region due to the overall expanse of the region, several RUSH racers are expected to travel the overall touring schedule in pursuit of the bonus monies that have been posted bonus, such as 2014 Touring champion Ryan Montgomery, John Waters, former Futures Cup champion Eric Wilson, Jason Rider, and others that have expressed interest.

“The paring of the DIRTcar and RUSH Touring events with two totally different types of racing at the same venue is sure to be a show fans won’t want to miss,” Leone. “Crate Late Model racing has really grown over the past five years throughout western New York and southern Ontario. And having Merrittville host a RUSH Touring event at one of their biggest events of the year is sure to help continue this process and we cannot thank the Bicknells and Williamsons enough for giving us this opportunity.”

Besides Humberstone, the next nearest Sweeney RUSH Late Model Weekly Series track to Merrittville is Freedom Motorsports Park located about 70 miles to the southeast in Delevan, New York. Freedom operates on Friday nights and will host a Sweeney Tour event on Friday, June 5.

Merrittville Speedway is a 3/8-mile banked clay track located at 2731 Merrittville Highway, Thorold, Ontario, Canada, and is only 12 miles from the US border at Niagara Falls. Racing enthusiasts in southern Ontario have been flocking to this summer time venue for 60 consecutive seasons, and it may very well be the Heart of Niagara’s best kept secret. Check out for more info.

2014 RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Bilstein Shocks, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Driven Racing Oil, Crate Innovations Inc., Moroso Performance Products, Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop,, Utsinger’s Towing, B.R.A.K.E.S.,, and Valley Fashions.

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.