November 18, 2014
By Mike Leone
(Pulaski, PA)…Thanks to a half-dozen speedways, the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modifieds had a schedule of events scattered throughout western Pa. and eastern Ohio for the inaugural 2014 season. In October, Sharon Speedway made a huge announcement that the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will have a weekly Saturday night home at the Hartford, Ohio oval in 2015. And now today, RUSH Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone are thrilled to announce that Sportsman’s Speedway in Knox, Pa. has come aboard to run the RUSH Sportsman Mods on a weekly basis on Sunday nights! Both Speedways have signed three-year contracts to have the cars part of their weekly program beginning in 2015 through at least 2017!

The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds feature Northeast-style center steer Modified cars utilizing GM 602 crate engines ($3,250) with the popular spec “sealed” Bilstein Shocks ($135) on steel wheels and spec Hoosier Tires.

“We have to thank Jim and Louise Colwell for believing in our program and signing a three-year contract to insure the racers that the division isn’t going anywhere,” stated Emig. “This is not only a boost to our Series and racers, but to the Modified division as a whole in western Pa. and eastern Ohio. It’s no secret that Modified racing in our region has dwindled in recent years, but the creation of the RUSH Sportsman Mod division in 2014 rekindled an interest in this type of racing and saw a good handful of both new and former Modified racers participate in the inaugural season of the class. The commitment of Sharon and Sportsman’s coming on board as weekly speedways is the key piece that we were waiting for and is sure to spur the growth even more and secure a strong foundation for this affordable Modified option for years to come!”

Sportsman’s events will be part of the $10,000+ Weekly Series point fund for member racers as well as the “Futures Cup” program that will debut in 2015 for eligible teenage racers. RUSH is also planning a small Touring Series, much like the popular Sweeney RUSH Late Models, at speedways throughout the region. Sportsman’s will also be the site of the 2015 “Manufacturers Night”. This event has been popular with the Late Model division and has grown to over $30,000 in prizes, while a similar night debuted for the Modifieds in 2014 and offered over $5,000 in prizes with random drawings to the racers. This event, like the Late Model one, is expected to grown each year.

Drivers do not have to join RUSH to compete; however, RUSH member racers will be eligible for point funds, the $100,000 excess participant accident insurance (over and above one’s health insurance and track’s insurance limits), discounted pit passes at all Lernerville Speedway events, as well as other perks.

Sportsman’s Speedway opened in 1973 and over the years featured most all of the regional divisions including the “410” Sprint Cars, Super Late Models, and Big-Block Modifieds. Sportsman’s has long established itself as a Sunday night entertainment venue and has been a favorite for families to enjoy its relaxing environment with its noted grassy hillside and unobstructed viewing. Racers have always enjoyed the smooth and racey surface with no fencing or walls in turns one and two or the backstretch.

Sportsman’s, like other facilities throughout the region has seen its Modified divisions tail off. The Big-Block Modified, Six-Cylinder, and the former Sportsman Modified division were all dropped years ago before being replaced by the “358” small-block division; however, unfortunately that division too has experienced dwindling car counts of less than 10 on most nights throughout the past few seasons.

“The Modified division has been very sentimental for me,” expressed Jim Colwell. “The Modifieds have had a long history at the speedway and have been popular with the both the fans as well as my family. My brother Sam, who built and operated the speedway until his passing, was a Modified Coupe racer himself so the division holds a soft spot for me. However, I’ve come to realize that it’s time to become proactive and bring the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds to Sportsman’s weekly in 2015 and into the foreseeable future. It’ll be great to team up with Sharon so the racers have two tracks to run at weekly and hopefully offer a stable class for many years to come.”

In 2015, Sportsman’s will feature the “305” Sprint Cars, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, a Stock Car division, and front-wheel-drive four-cylinder Mini Stocks at “the fast third-mile”. Sportsman’s will also alternate a fifth division including Vintage Modifieds, Micro Sprints, Mod Lites, Econo Mods, and other classes to be determined. Sportsman’s typically has an open practice the first Sunday of May with racing beginning the following Sunday at 5 p.m.

Sportsman’s “358” Modified drivers will be eligible to compete in 2015 in the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds provided they are not competing full-time (10 or more races) with the Big-Block Modifieds or “358” Modifieds elsewhere.

Sportsman’s is located at 54 Colwell Drive, Knox, PA 16232 (Huckleberry Ridge/Curllsville Road just off of Route 208 in Elk City between Knox and Shippenville, Pa.) For more information, check out their website at or call 814-797-1621.

Those interested in taking part in the division are urged to e-mail and/or call the RUSH Office at 724-964-9300. A Modified classified page is available on our website at

Thanks to the following 2014 marketing partners: Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, VP Racing Fuels, FK Rod Ends, AERO Race Wheels, Velocita-USA, Driven Racing Oil, Precise Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Rocket Racing, and B.R.A.K.E.S.

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 Sportsman Modified website is Those on social media can like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSportMods.