(Pulaski, PA)…When the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series was announced in mid-November, one of the attributes was the alignment with southern stalwart NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series under the Crate Racin’ USA banner. One of the goals is to unite and further develop Crate Late Model racing throughout the nation.

Three Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH teams quickly took advantage and participated in the $10,000 to-win World Championship at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL November 30-December 1. Two months later, a dozen Northeast teams made the trek to Ocala for the first ever NeSmith Speedweek at Bubba Raceway Park January 29-February 2. Those dozen racers were part of 72 different drivers from 12 different states and Canada that participated in the five-night Speedweek! The average car count was over 61 per night with a high of 67 on Tuesday night!

Speedway owner and radio personality, “Bubba the Love Sponge”, has already booked the ninth annual $10,000 Chevrolet Performance World Championship for November 29-30. The Speedweek will again return as part of the 2014 “Winter Nationals” and NeSmith has announced that it will award two RUSH provisionals at each event for racers that finish in the top 15 of the 2013 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series points!

The top 15 in this year’s Speedweek points shared in a $10,000 cash point fund sponsored by RockAuto.com and Racecar Engineering with each of those racers receiving at least $500! Positions 16th through 30th in points were also eligible for the $10,000 of contingencies posted with a minimum value of $500 per prize!

“What a tremendous week it was for both Series and our racers,” stated RUSH Co-Director Vicki Emig. “The competition level was as high as you’re going to get in Crate Late Model racing. It was great to see how competitive our Northeast racers were even though the results didn’t always show how strong some of their efforts were. The strong showing and the fact that NeSmith will be offering our Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Tour two provisionals next year is just the start of big things between our Series.”

Northport, AL racer Ronny Lee Hollingsworth was the standout during Speedweek winning three of the five features and added the $2,000 Speedweek crown bringing his total earnings to $8,825. Kyle Bronson and Late Model legend Ronnie Johnson added wins as well with Johnson’s coming in the $3,000 finale.

Leading the Northeast contingent was Flyin’ Ryan Montgomery. The 15-year-old Fairmont, WV racer, who is starting his third year of Crate Late Model racing, was impressive throughout Speedweek. After missing the feature by one spot on Tuesday night, Montgomery qualified for the features the rest of the week with finishes of 6th, 8th, 11th, and 15th, which earned him eighth in the overall points! The 2011 “Futures Cup” Champion is ready to contend for the 2013 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Touring Series Championship!

Though he may be a relative unknown to many in the Northeast, Walker Arthur may be changing that in 2013 as he expects to hit some of the high paying Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series events. The Forest, VA racer was the 2010 and 2011 Steel-Block Bandits Champion and won a pair of $10,000 to-win Super Late Model races last season. Arthur had an up and down Speedweek with a 16th, 2nd, DNQ, 26th, and a third to earn him 12th in points.

No stranger to Florida, Doug Horton not only competed in the Nosbisch #11, but helped many of the Northeast teams prepare for their first appearance at Bubba Raceway Park. The Bruceton Mills, WV veteran qualified for four of the five features with a fourth as his best showing on Thursday night. That was good enough to earn him 15th in points and the last cash paying position.

After spectating at the World Championship, John Over decided to take his #K2 south. The Uniontown, PA 52-year-old racer qualified for the feature three of the first four nights. The fourth night saw him turn in a Speedweek best seventh, and he carried that momentum into Saturday where he set fast time in his group and sat on the pole of the first heat. That was where his good fortunes ended. Over’s transmission broke after qualifying, and while he was able to borrow one for the heat race, his luck continued south as he broke a right front shock during the event.

The 2013 Speedweek certainly wasn’t what Northeast standout Mike Pegher, Jr. had hoped for with a best finish of 19th. After struggling to find speed the first two nights and failing to qualify for either feature, Pegher was able to qualify for the feature in each of the final three nights. The 26-year-old Wexford, PA driver had two six place runs going before a flat tire one night and an accident the other night ended his nights prematurely. He was a heat race winner on Friday night and earned the pole position of the feature, and on Saturday night was fastest in his group qualifying to earn a heat race pole.

Canadian Darren Peters turned some heads during Speedweek making three of the five features and saving the best for last with a fifth place run after starting 13th in the 50-lap finale! The 2011 Humberstone Speedway Champion set fast time in his group on Friday night and also won his heat race.

Darren’s son Jorden didn’t have as much luck as he failed to qualify for all of the features, but the 16-year-old was able to gain valuable experience. Jorden was third fastest in Monday’s practice with 65 cars on hand. On Thursday night, Jorden missed the feature by one in both his B main and the last chance race. On Saturday, he was second fastest in his group qualifying. The Peters will now prepare for the 2013 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series opener at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex on Friday, April 19 before heading on down to Hagerstown on Saturday night.

Andrew Satterlee made his first trip to the Sunshine State and was able to qualify for two of the five features with a 9th and a 23rd. By finishing in the top 30 in points, Satterlee was a lucky recipient of a set of Hoosier Crate Racin’ USA Tires valued at $600! The Marion Center, PA driver made the trip down with his good friend Mike Pegher.

One driver that got a lot of attention was 11-year-old Michael Lake. The goal of the sixth grade student at Albert Gallatin in Uniontown, Pa. was to qualify for one of the features during Speedweek in his grandfather’s Bobby Lake Motorsports #27. Lake got that out of the way on the first night when he finished second in his B main and went on for a 22nd place finish to become the youngest driver to ever qualify for a NeSmith feature. Though he didn’t qualify for another feature the rest of the week, Lake held his own, kept his car in one piece, and impressed a lot of people with his maturity and car control. Lake will be gunning for the 2013 “Futures Cup” title.

Morgantown, WV veteran Nolan Dalton took his #D2 south. The results weren’t what the 48-year-old had hoped for as he was only able to qualify for Wednesday’s feature. Dalton charged from seventh to second in his heat to earn the eighth starting position and was as high as fourth before being credited with 26th after completing only eight laps.

Two other Canadians, Greg Belyea and David McDonald, made the long 23-hour trek down from the “Great White North” to compete. Belyea, a five-time Brighton Speedway 2012 winner, raced his way forward in his B main on the final night to qualify for his only feature where he’d finish 25th. McDonald wasn’t able to qualify for any of the features.

2013 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick RUSH weekly-sanctioned speedways include Allegheny Mountain Raceway (Kane, PA), Bradford (PA) Speedway, McKean County Raceway (East Smethport, PA), Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA), Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex (Markleysburg, PA), Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH), and The Rock – Allegany County Speedway (Cumberland, MD).

2013 marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Precise Racing Products, K1 RaceGear, K&N Motorsports, The Brake Man, Wrisco Aluminum, and RockAuto.com.

E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at info@rushracingseries.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 Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushlatemodels and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.