TENTATIVE 2014 SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED FOR SWEENEY RUSH SPORTSMAN MODIFIED SERIES; AT LEAST 9 DIFFERENT SPEEDWAYS TO TAKE PART IN INAUGURAL SEASON
By Mike Leone
(Pulaski, PA)…Three months after the announcement that the new Sportsman Modified division would be launched in 2014 under the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Series banner, directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone are thrilled to release a tentative schedule of events. At least nine different speedways will host a sanctioned event in 2014! The historic debut will take place on Saturday, April 26 at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio.
The RUSH Sportsman Modified features GM 602 crate engines ($3,149 through Sweeney’s Pace Performance), spec Hoosier Tires on steel wheels, and affordable and long-lasting Bilstein “sealed” shocks ($135). RUSH has formed a strong alliance with DIRTcar to build and develop the Sportsman Modified class throughout RUSH’s region.
Currently there are only two weekends from April 26 through the end of October where no events are scheduled, and that could change. Additionally, Tour events will be incorporated into the schedule once plans are finalized with the speedways. Also, a “Manufacturers Night” with a minimum of $5,000 of product being awarded to the racers to be held at a date and location to be announced.
A minimum $10,000 point fund has been established for member racers. Member drivers competing for the championship should know that it is not necessary to compete in this entire schedule of events. Drivers best finishes will be used to determine the point standings. The specific number of best finishes that will be utilized to determine the points will be announced when everything is finalized.
Besides the opener, Sharon will host the division on at least five other occasions. The tentative Sweeney/Pace Performance GM 602 engine giveaway is tentatively slated for Saturday, August 2 where one lucky racer will win a brand new engine! Sharon is still finalizing their schedule as the division will be part of the two-day “Apple Festival Nationals” at a date to be announced. Two other dates are possibilities that currently isn’t included on the schedule.
America’s Motorsports Park will run the class basically bi-weekly starting on Saturday, May 3 and continuing through August 23. Track owner Jeff Taylor, a former Sprint Car racer, is excited about the prospects of adding an open wheel class. The Clearfield, Pa. speedway was once home of a strong bed of “358” Modifieds when it was called Hidden Valley and Gamblers.
The much-anticipated debut at Lernerville Speedway will take place on Friday, May 9 with the All Star Sprints. RUSH will have a doubleheader on July 4 as the Sweeney Late Model Tour will also be on hand in the Bill Emig Memorial. Other shows include July 18 for VP Racing Fuel Night, “Autumnmotive Fest” on Saturday, September 6 and finally as part of the “Steel City Stampede” on October 24-25 for the Series finale.
Though not typically known for Modifieds over the years, Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway is a strong believer in crate engine programs and thus have offered their full support of the Series. Pittsburgh’s tentative dates include May 24, June 14, July 12, July 26, August 9, and August 30. The July 12 night will be another RUSH doubleheader with the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Tour.
Raceway 7 promoter Dan McDonald is a staunch supporter of the class and is looking forward to its growth. It’s been awhile since a Northeast-style Modified division has hit the track at the Conneaut, Ohio oval, but that will change on Friday, June 6 with an encore performance scheduled for August 22.
Two weeks after the initial Raceway 7, another northern facility in Eriez Speedway will host an event on Sunday, June 22. The Erie, Pa. track has annually featured the DIRTcar Big-Block Modified BRP Tour, and now the sister RUSH Sportsman division will have their shot.
Bradford (PA) Speedway joined in the inaugural season of RUSH Late Models this past season and will return in 2014. Track owner Jeff Andrulonis loves the Modified division from his childhood days. At this time, Andrulonis has at least three shows booked in the fall and will monitor the growth to see if additional dates can be added.
And finally, Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex will host its first ever Northeast-style Modified race during the weekend of October 3-4 for another RUSH Late Model/Sportsman Modified doubleheader! The scenic Markleysburg, Pa. oval will be a real treat for racers who have never participated at the 3/8-mile oval.
A ninth different speedway is expected to not only host an event, but one of the Sweeney Tour events. Once everything is finalized in the coming weeks, that event will be released.
“Though it’s still tentative and a few items have to be finalized, we wanted to release this schedule to the public,” stated Emig. “We’ve had a lot of people asking plus it’s important for people to see these speedways are 100% behind the program. Considering it’s only been a few months, we’ve had tremendous response and know the class will only grow as time goes on. We have to thank everyone for their overwhelming support to launch this much-needed class.”
2014 Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified Tentative Schedule*
4/26 Sharon Speedway
5/3 America’s Motorsports Park
5/9 Lernerville Speedway
5/17 America’s Motorsports Park
5/24 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway
5/31 Sharon Speedway & America’s Motorsports Park
6/6 Raceway 7
6/14 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway & America’s Motorsports Park
6/22 Eriez Speedway
6/28 Sharon Speedway & American’s Motorsports Park
7/4 Lernerville Speedway
7/12 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway & America’s Motorsports Park
7/26 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway & America’s Motorsports Park
8/2 Sharon Speedway
8/9 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway & America’s Motorsports Park
8/22 Raceway 7
8/23 America’s Motorsports Park
8/30 Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway
9/6 Lernerville Speedway
9/27 Bradford Speedway
10/3-4 Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex
10/18 Bradford Speedway
10/24-25 Lernerville Speedway
Speedways wishing to host events should contact the RUSH Office at 724-964-9300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014 membership forms are available online under the membership link at www.rushsportsmanmods.com. Membership cost is $125, which makes driver eligible for the Series point fund, $100,000 of additional excess participant accident insurance over and above driver’s health insurance and/or speedway’s policy, as well as additional perks.
Both Precise Racing Products and Big Daddy’s Speed Center have offered a 5% discount on all racing parts (excluding the sealed Bilstein shock, fuel, and tires) for the entire 2014 season to all RUSH Sportsman Modified member drivers!
2014 RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, VP Racing Fuels, FK Rod Ends, and Precise Racing Products.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at email@example.com 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 www.rushsportsmanmods.com. Those on social media can like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rushsportsmanmods and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSportMods.