RUSH announces changes to eligibility for Sportsman Mods in 2019; Nightly “Wheelman” Bonus Event for Non-Winners added to Sharon program with point fund
By Mike Leone
October 4, 2018
(Pulaski, PA)…As the 2018 season draws to a conclusion for the fifth year Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modified Series powered by Pace Performance, the Series has already begun to look ahead to 2019. The 2019 season will see a couple changes with no eligibility restrictions in place for local racers, and the addition of a nightly “Wheelman” Bonus Event at Sharon Speedway sponsored by Wedge Motorsports, C&R Tire, and others to be announced with a separate points fund for RUSH member racers that have never won a feature in their career.
The 2018 season saw some of the RUSH Sportsman Modified eligibility requirements loosened for regional racers allowing full eligibility to “358” Small-Block Modified racers and allowing more of the Big-Block Modified racers the ability to compete. For the 2019 season, all western Pa. and eastern Ohio-based racers will have the ability to compete in the division. The current eligibility requirements for racers outside of the region will remain.
“This has been an evolving process with the changing dynamics in local racing,” explained RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “When we started the Sportsman Modified class in 2014, there were two tracks running 358 Modifieds weekly and two tracks running Big-Block Modifieds full-time plus several other tracks running events. This past season there were only a few races for 358 Modifieds, Lernerville was the only track running the big blocks on a weekly basis, and the amount of other tracks hosting open Modified events decreased in number. Some of these racers simply want the ability to race more. Also, it’s no secret the RUSH Sportsman Modified division has come a long way since the early years with the quality and competitiveness of the class.”
With the above said, RUSH has worked with Sharon Speedway to create the “Wheelman” Bonus Event sponsored by Wedge Motorsports, C&R Tire, and others to be announced, which will be run on a nightly basis. This will afford drivers that have never won a feature event before the opportunity for additional track time and extra purse money, while at the same time compete for their own championship title. Eligibility is open to any driver that has never won a feature event in a full-size race car, excluding Mini Stocks.
The event will pay $75 to win (see complete payoff below) and will be a limited number of laps based on car count per night. RUSH will provide the separate points fund for RUSH members that will pay five positions with the “Wheelman” Champion receiving $300. The event lineup will be determined based on an invert four of eligible drivers from the night’s regular heat race results. The winning driver can start no better than sixth the following event, 12th for two straight wins, and the tail for three or more consecutive wins. If a driver wins a regular feature event, he or she will no longer be eligible to participate in the program.
“The RUSH Sportsman Modified division has been instrumental in allowing drivers from various backgrounds the ability to compete in this very exciting division in an affordable way,” added Emig. “The car counts continue to grow each year at Sharon as well as at Pittsburgh, who runs the class every opportunity they can. We felt by basing this program at the division’s home track, it’ll be a positive way to help sustain future growth for racers with less experience. These racers now have the opportunity to qualify for the Sharon’s regular night’s feature event as well as race in the added Wheelman event. Sharon will still offer a free pit pass for the following week for drivers that fail to qualify for the night’s regular feature in addition to tow money.”
In the inaugural 2014 season, Sharon averaged 10.6 RUSH Sportsman Modifieds per night. That average grew to 14.3 in 2015 and really jumped in 2016 to 22.5 per night. The 2017 season saw more growth with 23.9 per night and even more this past season at 26.8 per night. An all-time division record 38 cars turned out for “Manufacturers Night” presented by MSD Performance on August 25. Only two times in the past three years has the car count dropped below 20 and not since August 12, 2017.
“Wheelman” Bonus Event Payoff*: 1. $75 2. $60 3. $50 4. $40 5. $35 6. $30 7. $25 8. $20. (*Note: payoff is in addition to feature money. Drivers not qualifying for the feature will be guaranteed $50 tow money and free pit pass with the ability to win up to $75; however will not receive these amounts over and above tow money.)
Sharon Speedway is owned by the Blaney, Weller, and Kirila Families and is a 3/8-mile dirt track located on Custer-Orangeville Road in Hartford, Ohio near the intersection of Routes 7 & 305. For more information, check out the website at www.sharonspeedway.com or call 330-772-5481. Become a fan of Sharon Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sharonspeedway and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sharonspdwy.
RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Earl’s Performance Plumbing, Quick Fuel Technology, FK Rod Ends, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Dynamic Drivelines, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Schwartzmiller Ground Maintenance,CrateInsider.com, RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
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 Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com.