RUSH Late Model Series
RUSH Late Model Series

RUSH Late Model Series



RUSH Late Model Series


By Mike Leone


(Sarver, PA)...The Pace Performance RUSH Racing Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC will have a tripleheader of action this weekend (October 14-16) at Lernerville Speedway for the "Steel City Stampede". The Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants RUSH Late Model Tour finale will lead the way along with the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sportsman Modified Touring Series, and the RUSH Sprint Cars in an Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series special. The event will be broadcast live on LernervilleTV.

Practice will be held Thursday night (October 14) with heat races for all divisions on Friday night followed by the conclusion of the events on Saturday. Group qualifying for the RUSH Late Models will be at 7 p.m. on Friday followed by racing at 7:30. On Saturday, racing will begin early at 4 p.m. The Chevrolet Performance 602 RUSH Sportsman Modified engine drawing presented by Waterstone Mortgage will take place on Saturday. The rain date is Sunday.

"This is always a great way to end our season," stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig. "The RUSH championships annually comes down to this event. Our Late Model racers are always excited to get the chance to compete at Lernerville. The car counts have always been strong and the racing at Lernerville is always some of the best of the season. The Sportsman Modifieds have been given the opportunity to race numerous times over the past eight seasons at Lernerville. Lernerville was a very important part of getting our RUSH Sprint division off the ground in 2018, and their races this year at the track have been tremendous. And we can't wait to award one lucky RUSH Sportsman Modified racer with the richest giveaway in the history of our Series with a $9,000 complete Chevrolet Performance 602 Crate Engine package thanks to sponsor Waterstone Mortgage."

This year’s “Steel City Stampede” will be the 13th edition of this huge event that includes many of the region’s racing divisions all showcased in this end of the season blowout. There has only been one repeat RUSH Late Model winner and it took until 2019 to happen; past winners include Josh Holtgraver (2009), Bryan Force (2010), Butch Lambert (2011), Max Blair (2012, 2019 & 2020), Dennis Lunger, Jr. (2013), Chad Ruhlman (2014), Jacob Hawkins (2015), John Mollick (2016), John Waters (2017), and Colton Flinner (2018). With the majority of those racers not expected to be in competition, there's a high likelihood of a new winner.

Saturday's event will pay $2,000 to-win. There will also be a $200 to-win, $150 to-start non-qualifier. FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock Qualifying and Beat the Heat" will be utilized on Friday night for the Late Models meaning the fastest qualifier will receive $100 and all heat race winners will earn $25. The pole position Sunoco Dash and last chance B main(s) will kickoff Saturday's program.

Virginia's Kyle Hardy, the $5,000 Pace National Weekly Series Championship, leads the Tour back to Lernerville for the second time in 2021 and will clinch the $12,000 title this weekend. Hardy, who has seven wins and an impressive 14 podium finishes in 16 races, has a 53-point lead on the surging Joe Martin. After starting the season off with three finishes outside the top 10 in the first six races, Martin has come on strong with 10 straight top six finishes. Martin has also rattled off five straight podium finishes including his first Tour win in seven years at the September 11 Sharon event. Three-time champion, Jeremy Wonderling, is third in points as his bid for four straight titles will be unsuccessful. After a stretch of three wins in six races between May 15 and July 3, Wonderling has been shutout of victory lane since.

Michael Duritsky, Jr. is fourth in points with four top five and eight top 10 finishes. Duritsky won his first career Lernerville race on July 23 as part of the "RUSH Summer Showcase", which was a Pace Weekly Series special. Bud Watson, Ryan Frazee, John Waters, J.J. Mazur, Kyle Lukon, and Logan Zarin round out the top 10 in points.

Meanwhile, the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will join the "Steel City Stampede" for the eighth consecutive year in an $800 to-win event. Greg Martin won the inaugural race in 2014, while Nick Ritchey won his first ever at Lernerville in 2015. Rocky Kugel topped what was at the time in 2016 was a record field of 29 cars. Steve Slater won the 2017 show, while teen Blaze Myers scored a popular first Tour win in 2018 after coming out of the B main to also win the "Futures Cup" title. In 2019, Eric Gabany was victorious, while last year Chas Wolbert capped off his championship season by becoming the seventh different "Steel City Stampede" winner in as many years! Will there be an eighth different winner this year!?

The RUSH Sportsman Mods have made one visit this season to Lernerville on July 23 for the "RUSH Summer Showcase" when Wolbert topped a 25-car field. Wolbert has already clinched his second straight Hovis Weekly Series title worth $3,500. Tony Tatgenhorst currently leads the Hovis Tour points by nine over J.C. Boyer with Rob Kristyak just one-point back. Wolbert and Kole Holden are tied for fourth in points.

On Saturday, one lucky RUSH Sportsman Modified racer will win a Chevrolet Performance 602 Sportsman Modified crate engine package giveaway (carb-to-pan) valued at nearly $9,000 from Pace Performance. This will be the most valuable product to ever be given away in the history of the RUSH Racing Series! Thank you to Sara Cipriano at Waterstone Mortgage for making this possible. Other RUSH corporate marketing partners who joined with Waterstone Mortgage and Pace Performance to complete the Chevrolet Performance 602 "race ready" engine package are the following: Holley Performance Products Inc, MSD Performance, Schoenfeld Headers, and Jones Racing Products as well as 955 Automotive, Ingram Engines and Race 1. Over $32,000 in product giveaways has been posted to RUSH Sportsman Modified racers in 2021!

To be eligible, drivers had to be a RUSH member and not compete in a non-RUSH sanctioned Sportsman Modified event the same night as a completed RUSH-sanctioned event in 2021. Eligible drivers that competed in 25-49% of total completed RUSH events receive 1 chance for the engine giveaway; eligible drivers that competed in 50-74% of total completed RUSH events receive 4 chances; eligible drivers that competed in 75-99% of total completed RUSH events receive 8 chances. Any driver that would have had perfect attendance would have received 10 chances.

The following are the 25 eligible drivers for the engine giveaway: JC Boyer, Ben Easler, Kole Holden, Jacob Jordan, Justin Shea, and Chas Wolbert with eight chances; Ayden Cipriano, Cole Edwards, Jordan Ehrenberg, Chelsie Kriegisch, Rob Kristyak, Kyle Martell, Cameron McFadden, Greg Porter, Dave Price, Brandon Ritchey, and Tony Tatgenhorst with four chances; Brandon Albert, Lucas Canon, Amelia Clay, Preston Cope, Josh Ehrenberg, Gary Haupt, Garrett Krummert, and Jacob Wolfe with one chance. Selected driver does not have to be present to win.

The RUSH Sprints will wrap up their fourth season racing for $800 to-win. Chad Ruhlman has won both races at Lernerville this year including the July 23 show, which matched a record with 22 cars in competition. Ruhlman, who was the 2018 and 2019 Weekly Series Champion, trails Gale Ruth, Jr. by three points in the $5,000 to-win Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship. Ruhlman must win and Ruth finish third or worse in order to win his third championship. Blaze Myers, Rod George, and John Mollick are third through fifth in points.

Precise Racing Products will award a $100 gift card for the "Pedal Down" Hard Charger that passes the most cars in the Late Model and Sportsman Modified feature. The TBM Brakes “Tough Brake of the Night” will award three bottles of Xtreme6 Racing Brake Fluid valued at approximately $45 in both the Late Models and Sportsman Modifieds.

The Late Model and Sportsman Modified feature winner each night will receive a 5-Gallon Race Jug from Precise. Ontime Body & Graphic's "Spoiler Alert" will award a $150 spoiler kit to the 17th place Late Model finisher (note: if a driver has already won a spoiler this season, spoiler will be awarded to the next position).

One Late Model driver will be randomly selected each night at the drivers meeting for a $100 Sunoco gift card thanks to the "Fill'er up with Sunoco Bucks" program presented by Sunoco and Zarin Truck & Auto. Also, Performance Bodies will award a $100 gift card to the first Late Model non-qualifier part of the "Nosed Out" program. Sherwood Wheels will award a steel wheel to the Sportsman Modified "Man of Steel" recipient.

RUSH Late Model Feature Payoff: 1. $2,000 2. $1,000 3. $650 4. $550 5. $470 6. $435 7. $410 8. $370 9. $340 10. $310 11. $280 12. $270 13. $260 14. $250 15. $240 16. $235 17. $230 18-24. $225.

RUSH Late Model Non-Qualifier Payoff: 1. $200 2. $190 3. $185 4. $180 5. $175 6. $170 7. $165 8. $160 9. $155 10-24. $150. Tow $125.

RUSH Sportsman Modified Feature Payoff: 1. $800 2. $500 3. $350 4. $300 5. $250 6. $220 7. $180 8. $175 9. $170 10. $165 11. $160 12. $155 13. $150 14. $145 15. $140 16. $135 17. $130 18-24. $125. Tow $75.

RUSH Sprint Car Feature Payoff: 1. $800 2. $400 3. $300 4. $250 5. $225 6. $220 7. $210 8. $200 9. $190 10. $185 11. $180 12. $175 13. $170 14-18. $165 19-24. $160. Tow $75.

The AMB/MyLaps transponders are required for all divisions. Driver radios are always mandatory; channel 454.000. The entry fee is $100 for Late Models and $35 for the Sportsman Modifieds. There will be an open practice from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday night. Registration will open at 3 p.m. on Thursday and 2 p.m. on Friday. There will be a drivers meeting on Friday at 6:20 p.m. with group qualifying for the RUSH Late Models at 7:00 followed by heat races. Racing begins early on Saturday at 4 p.m. Check out the following link for additional "Steel City Stampede" event details:

Lernerville is a 4/10-mile high-banked clay oval located 11 miles southeast of Butler, Pa. on Route 356 at 313 North Pike Road, Sarver, PA 16055. Lernerville is just 30 miles northeast of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. For more information, check out their website at or call 724-353-1511.

RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Pace Performance together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, Born2Run Lubricants, Flynn's Tire & Auto Service, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Stop-Fyre, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage,, and Wedge Motorsports.

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. The RUSH Racing Series website is Like our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.

Article Credit: Mike Leone

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