Potomac & Winchester renew w/ RUSH LM; Winchester to open Sweeney Tour on 4/22
POTOMAC & WINCHESTER SPEEDWAYS RENEW AS SWEENEY RUSH SANCTIONED LATE MODEL WEEKLY TRACKS AS CAR COUNTS CONTINUE TO GROW; WINCHESTER TO KICKOFF 2017 TOURING SEASON WITH $2000 TO WIN "MARQUEE" EVENT
By Mike Leone
December 5, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)... After three years of continued growth, the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series is proud to announce that both Potomac and Winchester Speedways will renew as weekly-sanctioned speedways for the upcoming 2017 seasons. Potomac features Friday night racing in Budds Creek, Maryland, while Virginia's Winchester hosts Saturday night racing. Winchester is slated to kickoff the 2017 Sweeney Touring Series season with a $2,000 to-win "Marquee" event on Saturday, April 22.
Track owner Greg Gunter and general manager Denise Hollidge added a Crate Late Model class to their programs in 2013, and in 2014 made the decision to become RUSH-sanctioned and car counts began to grow. After only single digit car counts as a non-sanctioned track in 2013, both tracks began to experience growth. In 2014, the first year of the RUSH sanction, Potomac averaged 12 cars and Winchester 18 for weekly races, 2015 saw the car count jump to 15 at Potomac and 21 at Winchester, and for the third straight year average weekly counts grew in 2016 to 18 at Potomac and 22 at Winchester. And impressively, Potomac never had less than 16 cars at an event in 2016.
"Potomac and Winchester Speedways have been true success stories of RUSH and a testament to what a strong sanctioning body can do for the overall stability and growth of a division," stated Series Director Vicki Emig. "Both speedways stayed the course over the initial three-year period under RUSH and the results have been phenomenal. They have always been very supportive of our decisions to keep Crate Late Models healthy and viable into the future, a great example was their 100% support of the Sunoco spec fuel implementation this past season. They know we're just one call away from assisting any issues they may have of keeping on top of the division. We constantly point to these two tracks as a success story and how being steadfast can payoff in the long run."
The Potomac and Winchester racers also did quite well in the various Sweeney Weekly Series programs. Kris Eaton led the way capturing the $5,000 Bilstein Bandits Championship by utilizing the $135 spec, sealed shocks and added another $600 in Sweeney Weekly Series monies. Logan Roberson finished third in the Sweeney Weekly Series points for $2,500, added $550 from the Pace Performance "Summer Chase", and another $300 for winning the RUSH member points at Winchester. Mike Franklin was another racer on the "Bilstein Bandits" Shocks; he'll receive $1,290 through the RUSH point funds. Darin Henderson will receive $800 at the upcoming awards banquet on January 21. Timmy Booth, John Imler, Steve Lowery, Jeff Pilkerton, and Ben Bowie also earned cash point funds.
"We are really looking forward to further the growth of this very organized class that has provided us some of the best races we have seen at each speedway," expressed Hollidge. "The action is great for our fans to watch."
Just after receiving the news that both Winchester and Potomac would continue their RUSH sanction for Crate Late Models, Series Directors received news that Winchester will also host the kickoff event for the 2017 Sweeney Touring Series. The $2,000 to win "Marquee" event is expected to draw a great car count as the Series best Touring drivers travel into Winchester to do battle with the deep bed of quality RUSH racers that have developed throughout the Southernmost part of the region.
"I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the field of 25 RUSH Late Models that rolled out onto the speedway one night last summer when competition director Travis Harry and I showed up for a surprise tech visit at Winchester," added Emig. "To mix in our 12-14 core Touring racers with the Winchester/Potomac racers set on defending their home turf is no doubt going to set the stage for one of the most hotly contested battles of the season."
The Sweeney Touring Series has made three prior visits to Winchester. In 2014, Rick Singleton won the first ever event at the track over a 27-car field. Two events were held in 2015 with Walker Arthur beating a 34-car field in May then one month later, Allen Brannon won his first career RUSH victory topping 42 cars. Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, no events were run in 2016.
Once again in 2017, RUSH member racers will be able to participate at Potomac and Winchester and be eligible for all of the programs including the Sweeney Weekly Series Championship, the Pace Performance “Summer Chase”, along with the Bilstein Bandits and the “Futures Cup” for those eligible racers. Member racers will battle for the "Track Pack Bonus" with $300 going to the driver that accumulates the most RUSH points at each track, $200 to second, $150 for third, $100 for fourth, and $50 for fifth. Contingency prizes will then be posted for those racers in sixth through eighth in the RUSH member points at each track. While membership is not mandatory to compete in any RUSH-sanctioned event, membership also include a $100,000 excess participant accident policy, which is over and above drivers’ health insurance and speedways’ participant accident policy.
Potomac Speedway is a high-banked 3/8-mile dirt track located on Route 234 at 27963 Budds Creek Road, Mechanicsville, MD 20659. The track first opened in 1973, and is located about an hour south of Washington D.C and Baltimore. For information, check out their website at www.potomacspeedway.com or call 301-481-8855.
Winchester Speedway is also a high-banked 3/8-mile dirt track located just off Route 50 at 950 Airport Road Winchester, VA 22604. The track first opened in 1936 under the name of Airport Speedway. The track has been home to the Winchester 200, a major Super Late Model event, since 1963! For more information, check out their website at www.winchestervaspeedway.com or call 301-481-8855.
RUSH Late Model 2016 marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, FK Rod Ends, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Rocket Chassis, Bobby Lake Motorsports High Gear Speed Shop, CrateInsider.com, B.R.A.K.E.S., RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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