Sunday, May 12, 2019


Mallard and Canada goose conservation measures implemented in upcoming seasons

Pennsylvania’s 2019-20 migratory game bird seasons have been set.  
Annual migratory game bird seasons are selected by states from frameworks established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Game Commission selections were made after reviewing last year’s season results, population survey data and public input.
There are three significant changes to Pennsylvania waterfowl seasons this year, said Game Management Division Chief Ian Gregg.
Two of these changes were required by USFWS season frameworks, Gregg said. They are a reduced daily bag limit for mallards, and a reduced regular season length and bag limit for Canada geese in the Atlantic Population Hunting Zone.
The third change, a North Zone duck season with fewer days in late October and early November and more days in late November and early December, was selected by the Game Commission in response to public comments, Gregg noted.
Other migratory game bird seasons are similar to those in recent years. However, some starting and ending dates are about a week later than in 2018-19 to ensure seasons align with holidays and hunting seasons for other game.

Waterfowl season highlights
Restrictions implemented for mallards and Atlantic Population (AP) Canada geese are necessary to offset recent population declines, said Game Commission waterfowl biologist Jeremy Stempka.
Mallards throughout the northeastern United States have experienced a slow, steady population decline for the past 20 years, Stempka explained. AP Canada goose numbers have dropped more abruptly over the past two years.
Consequently, the Atlantic Flyway Council recommended and the USFWS approved 2019-20 regulatory changes to reverse these population declines.
“AP Canada geese experienced a near-total reproductive failure in 2018, due to an extremely late spring on their northern Quebec breeding grounds,” Stempka explained. “The best available data indicate recent harvest levels for these species were not sustainable.”
The daily mallard limit throughout the Atlantic Flyway has been lowered from four daily (no more than two hens) to two daily (no more than one hen).
For AP geese, in those areas of the flyway designated as AP harvest zones – including southeastern Pennsylvania, the length of the regular season has been decreased from 50 to 30 days and daily bag limits have been reduced; in Pennsylvania’s AP Zone, the daily limit decreases from 3 to 2.
Goose-banding data collected annually by the Game Commission helped waterfowl managers align goose season restrictions to those times and areas where significant numbers of AP geese are present, Stempka emphasized.
“We know few or no migrant geese are found anywhere in Pennsylvania during the September season, or in areas outside southeastern Pennsylvania during regular seasons in late fall and winter,” Stempka explained. “That’s why the statewide September seasons and regular seasons in most of Pennsylvania remain similar to previous years, providing recreational opportunity and population control of resident geese.”
Some September goose season restrictions continue in localized areas of Pennsylvania to maintain stability of resident goose populations on the Pymatuning and Middle Creek Wildlife Management areas. In a portion of western Crawford County, the September Canada goose season will run Sept. 2-14, and the daily bag limit will be one goose.
This shorter season applies to the area south of state Route 198 from the Ohio state line to intersection of state Route 18, state Route 18 south to state Route 618; state Route 618 south to U.S. Route 6; U.S. Route 6 east to U.S. Route 322/state Route 18; U.S. Route 322/state Route 18 west to the intersection of state Route 3013; and state Route 3013 south to the Crawford-Mercer county line.
The season on State Game Lands 214 remains closed.
In the rest of the Southern James Bay Population Zone in northwestern Pennsylvania, the season remains Sept. 2-25 with a daily bag limit of one goose. These bag-limit restrictions do not apply to youth participating in the youth waterfowl hunting days, when regular-season regulations apply. Hunters should carefully consult the maps and descriptions at to determine which specific regulations are applicable to the area they plan to hunt.
Special regulations also remain in place for the September Canada goose season in a portion of southeastern Pennsylvania. In the area of Lancaster and Lebanon counties north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) and east of state Route 501 to state Route 419; south of state Route 419 to Lebanon-Berks county line; west of Lebanon-Berks county line to state Route 1053 (also known as Peartown Road and Greenville Road); and west of state Route 1053 to Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76), the daily bag limit is one goose, with a possession limit of three geese. This restriction does not apply to youth participating in the youth waterfowl hunting days, when regular season regulations apply.
The controlled hunting areas at the Game Commission’s Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon and Lancaster counties, as well as all of State Game Lands 46, will remain closed to September goose hunting.
In the remainder of Pennsylvania (Resident Population Zone and most of the Atlantic Population Zone), the September Canada goose season runs Sept. 2-25 with a daily bag limit of eight Canada geese, and a possession limit of 24. Statewide shooting hours during the September goose season are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, except on Sept. 14 when the season overlaps with the statewide youth waterfowl hunting day and shooting hours end at sunset.
It is unlawful to hunt waterfowl on or near managed dove fields, some of which are located on State Game Lands and will be active during the month of September. These fields will generally be posted with signage to allow waterfowl hunters to identify them and avoid hunting in the vicinity.
The change in the North Zone duck season structure provides season dates more similar to those used prior to 2012.
“In 2012, we shifted days in the North Zone from late November and early December to late October and early November based on data from the Game Commission’s 2011 waterfowl hunter survey, showing a preference for more hunting days in the early fall,” explained Gregg. “However, we’ve heard from an increasing number of hunters at the annual Waterfowl Symposium and through other public comments that in recent warm autumns, the North Zone season dates have not aligned with greatest availability of migrating ducks.
Preliminary analysis of available data on waterfowl migration patterns appears to confirm that on average, more ducks are available in the North Zone later in the fall. Therefore, while recognizing there is no way to guarantee the season dates will fit the weather patterns in any given year, we can up the odds for good hunting conditions by making this season change for 2019-20.”
In addition to the three major changes to waterfowl seasons, federal frameworks have reduced season length for Atlantic brant, and daily bag limit for northern pintails in 2019-20, Stempka said.
“Brant and pintails are not frequently harvested in Pennsylvania, but hunters should be aware of the changes for this year so that they can remain in compliance with season dates and bag limits in the event they do encounter these uncommon species when afield.”
Similar to past years, there will be a statewide youth waterfowl hunting day in mid-September (Sept. 14) and a second youth day varying by duck zone. The second day in the Lake Erie Zone will be Oct. 19; in the Northwest Zone, Dec. 21; in the North Zone, Jan. 18; and in the South Zone, Jan. 25.
Youngsters participating in the youth days must be accompanied by an adult, who may assist the youth in calling, duck identification and other aspects of the hunt. During those hunts, youth can harvest ducks, Canada geese, mergansers, coots and gallinules. Licensed adults can harvest Canada geese if there is a general Canada goose season open in the area being hunted.
On youth waterfowl days occurring when there is a general Canada goose season open, youth and adults have the same daily limit for Canada geese in the area being hunted. On youth waterfowl days occurring when there is not a general Canada goose season open, accompanying adults may not harvest Canada geese, and the bag limit for youth hunters is the same as in the regular season for the area being hunted. Bag limits for ducks, mergansers, coots and gallinules also are consistent with the limits for the regular season. 
Pennsylvania’s youth days will not be expanded to include other categories of hunters this year.
To hunt waterfowl, in addition to a regular Pennsylvania hunting license, persons 16 and older must have a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly referred to as a “Duck Stamp.” It must be signed in ink across its face and possessed while hunting.
A temporary, electronic Federal Duck Stamp (eDuck) may be purchased online through the Pennsylvania Automated License System, and is valid for 45 days from date of purchase to hunt migratory waterfowl within Pennsylvania and other states that have approved its validity. The eDuck stamp may be printed out or downloaded onto a mobile device, and must be carried while hunting waterfowl.
Within 45 days of purchasing an eDuck stamp, a physical Duck Stamp will be mailed to the purchaser, at which time it should be signed and carried afield while hunting.
Regardless of age, all hunters must have a Pennsylvania Migratory Game Bird License to hunt waterfowl and other migratory birds, including doves, woodcock, coots, gallinules, rails and snipe. All migratory game bird hunters in the United States are required to complete a Harvest Information Program survey when they purchase a state migratory game bird license. The survey information is then forwarded to the USFWS.
“By answering questions when purchasing a new hunting license, hunters help improve survey efficiency and the quality of information used to track the harvest of migratory birds for management purposes,” Stempka said.
To participate in light goose conservation hunts, hunters will need to obtain a light goose conservation season permit, in addition to their other required licenses, and file a mandatory report of harvest/participation. Permits will be available in the Pennsylvania Automated Licensing System in late 2019.
Hunters must use non-toxic shot while hunting ducks, geese or coots in Pennsylvania. The use of any sort of artificial substance or product as bait or an attractant is prohibited.

Webless Migratory Game Bird Seasons
Sept. 2 will mark the beginning of dove season statewide. The first segment of the season will run through Nov. 29. It will then re-open on Dec. 21 and run through Jan. 4. Hunting  hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset throughout the entire dove season.
For both dove-season segments, the daily bag limit is 15, and the possession limit is 45.
Pennsylvania’s woodcock and common snipe seasons also have two segments. For both species, the first segment opens on Oct. 19 and closes on Nov. 29, and the second segment opens on Dec. 16 and runs through Dec. 24. Daily limits are three woodcock and eight snipe, with possession limits three times the respective daily bag limits.
Virginia and sora rail hunting will run from Sept. 2 to Nov. 21. Bag limits, singly or combined, are three daily and nine in possession. The season for king and clapper rails remains closed.
Hunting for gallinules also runs from Sept. 2 to Nov. 21, and the bag limits are three daily and nine in possession.
Migratory game bird hunters, including those afield for doves and woodcock, are required to obtain and carry a Pennsylvania migratory game bird license ($3.90 for residents, $6.90 for nonresidents), as well as a general hunting, combination or lifetime license.
Hunting hours for woodcock, snipe, rails, and gallinules are one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.

Federal regulations posted on Game Commission’s website
            In addition to posting the migratory game bird seasons on its website, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has posted a synopsis of federal regulations that govern migratory game bird and waterfowl seasons to assist hunters in finding answers to questions.
To review the information, go to, put your cursor on “Hunt/Trap” in the menu bar at the top of the page, click on “Hunting,” scroll down and click on “Waterfowl Hunting and Conservation,” then scroll down and click on “Federal Waterfowl Regulations” in the “Waterfowl Hunting Regulations” section.
Additional information can be found on the USFWS website,, where a complete version of the federal regulations (50 CFR Part 20) is posted. When state law differs from the federal law, hunters must comply with the more restrictive law.

Hunters encouraged to report banded birds
Migratory game bird hunters who harvest banded ducks, geese, doves and woodcock are encouraged to report them online at
Telephone reporting has been eliminated by the federal Bird Banding Laboratory due to cost and data-quality concerns, said Stempka. Hunters encountering older bands inscribed with the 1-800-327-BAND telephone number can still report them, but will need to use to do so. Callers to the 1-800 number will receive a recorded message directing them to the website.
Hunters will be requested to provide information on where, when and what species of migratory birds were taken, in addition to the band number. This information is crucial to the successful management of migratory birds. 
Stempka also stressed that reporting leg-bands helps the Game Commission and the USFWS learn more about migratory bird movements, and survival and harvest rates, which are critical to population management and setting of hunting regulations. Each year, nearly 380,000 ducks and geese and 30,000 mourning doves are banded across the United States and Canada. Last year, over 6,000 migratory game birds, including more than 5,000 waterfowl, were banded in Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania continues to monitor migratory game bird populations in cooperation with other wildlife management agencies across North America,” Stempka explained. “Information provided by hunters is essential to manage migratory game bird populations and support sustainable hunting opportunities through time. By reporting the recovery of a leg-band, hunters not only assist in managing the resource, but also have an opportunity to learn interesting facts about the bird they harvested.”
Stempka noted that modern band-reporting systems have produced big dividends. Under the old reporting system, used until the mid-1990s, only about one-third of recovered banded birds were reported by hunters. Since initiation of the online and toll-free methods, band reporting rates have improved to more than 70 percent. This has greatly improved migratory bird management while reducing monitoring costs.


North Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 12-26, and Nov. 19 – Jan. 11. 
South Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 19-26, and Nov. 19 - Jan. 18.
Northwest Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 12-Dec. 14, and Dec. 27-Jan. 1. 
Lake Erie Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 28-Jan. 4.

Total Duck Bag Limits: 6 daily, 18 in possession of any species, except for the following restrictions: daily limit may not include more than 2 mallards including 1 hen mallard, 2 scaup, 2 black ducks, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail, 1 mottled duck, 1 fulvous whistling duck, 4 eiders, 4 long-tailed ducks, and 4 scoters.  Possession limits are three times the daily limits.

Mergansers: 5 daily, 15 in possession (not more than 2 hooded mergansers daily, 6 hooded in possession).

Coots: 15 daily, 45 in possession.


Resident Population Goose Zone (RP)
All of Pennsylvania except for the Southern James Bay Population and the Atlantic Population zone. Sept. 2-25 (8-goose daily bag limit); and Oct. 26-Nov. 29, Dec. 16-Jan. 18, and Jan. 31-Feb. 22 (5-goose daily bag limit in latter 3 segments).

Southern James Bay Population Zone (SJBP)
The area north of I-80 and west of I-79 including in the city of Erie west of Bay Front Parkway to and including the Lake Erie Duck zone (Lake Erie, Presque Isle and the area within 150 yards of Lake Erie Shoreline). Sept. 2-25 (except in a portion of western Crawford County defined under the “Waterfowl season highlights” section in this news release; 1-goose daily bag limit for entire zone); and Oct. 12-Nov. 29 and Dec. 16-Jan. 25 (3-goose daily bag limit in latter 2 segments).

Atlantic Population Zone (AP)
The area east of SR 97 from Maryland State Line to the intersection of SR 194, east of SR 194 to intersection of US Route 30, south of US Route 30 to SR 441, east of SR 441 to SR 743, east of SR 743 to intersection of I-81, east of I-81 to intersection of I-80, south of I-80 to New Jersey state line. Sept. 2-25 (8-goose daily bag limit); and Nov. 19-29 and Dec. 27-Jan. 18 (2-goose daily bag limit in latter two segments).
Exception: Areas outside of the controlled goose hunting areas at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and State Game Lands 46 in Lebanon-Lancaster counties have a daily limit of one, and a possession limit of three during the regular Canada goose season. Areas inside the goose hunting areas at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and State Game Lands 46 have a season limit of one. 

BRANT (All Zones): Oct. 26-Nov. 29. 2 daily, 6 in possession.

LIGHT GEESE (Snow Geese and Ross’ Geese):
            Atlantic Population Zone:
Regular: Oct. 1-Jan. 25, 25 daily, no possession limit.
               Conservation Hunt: Jan. 27 – April 24; 25 daily, no possession limit.
            Southern James Bay Population Zone:
Regular: Oct. 1-Jan. 25; 25 daily, no possession limit.
Conservation Hunt: Jan. 27 – April 24; 25 daily, no possession limit.

Resident Population Zone:
Regular: Oct. 22-Feb. 22; 25 daily, no possession limit.
Conservation Hunt: Feb. 24 – April 24; 25 daily, no possession limit.


JUNIOR WATERFOWL HUNTING DAYS: Statewide: Sept. 14; also in Lake Erie Zone, Oct. 19; in Northwest Zone, Dec. 21; in North Zone, Jan. 18; and in South Zone, Jan. 25. Open to licensed junior hunters ages 12-16, when properly accompanied, for ducks, mergansers, gallinules and coots, and Canada goose as permitted. Same daily bag limits as regular season. Hunting hours to close at sunset.

DOVES: Sept. 2-Nov. 29, and Dec. 21-Jan. 4. 15 daily, 45 in possession.

WOODCOCK: Oct. 19-Nov. 29, and Dec. 16-24. 3 daily, 9 in possession.

COMMON SNIPE: Oct. 19-Nov. 29, and Dec. 16-24. 8 daily, 24 in possession.

GALLINULES: Sept. 2-Nov. 21. 3 daily, 9 in possession.

VIRGINIA AND SORA RAILS: Sept. 2-Nov. 21. Bag limits singly or in the aggregate; 3 daily, 9 in possession.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

RUSH Racing Series 7/8/18 weekend recap

(Pulaski, PA)...Once again dry weather prevailed over the Independence Day week that stretched throughout the weekend allowing all of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance speedways to complete their races. Some new winners made their way to victory lane, while drivers like Max Blair, Chad Homan, Charlie Sandercock, John Waters, and Darrell Bossard continued their winning ways in the Late Model ranks.

It all started back on Tuesday on the eve of Independence Day as Weedsport Speedway hosted their first ever RUSH Late Model Touring Series event. John Waters picked up the $2,000 win- his first of the season over Jason Parkhurst and Charlie Sandercock. The race will be televised on MAVTV on August 23 at 7 and 10 p.m. Thanks to presenting sponsor Sunoco Race Fuels distributed by Insinger Performance, segment sponsors Alternative Power Sources, Close Racing Supply, and, in-car camera sponsor Pace Performance, speed short wall camera sponsor Three Rivers Karting, and drone sponsor Dirt Late Model Magazine for making the broadcast possible.
In other Tuesday night action, Jamie Sutphin scored his second win of the 2018 campaign at Potomac Speedway in Southern Maryland. Sutphin ran a perfect 25 lap race to take the win over Ben Bowie in his season debut, Darren Alvey, Ronnie Martin Jr. and Matt Glanden. Potomac returns to its regular Friday night action this week.
Dog Hollow Speedway joined in on the Tuesday racing as Dave Airgood Jr. picked up his first RUSH win traveling down to the Strongstown, Pa oval from West Middlesex, Pa. It was Airgood's second overall win of the season as he also won at Raceway 7. Collin Burke was a career best second as Mike Duritsky, Mike Laughard and Troy Shields completed the top five. The RUSH Late Models return to action at Dog Hollow this Saturday night.
Completing the Independence Day Eve action was McKean County Raceway was Max Blair made his second start of the season at the East Smethport, Pa. oval and remained perfect scoring the victory. Damian Bidwell was second for the second time in the past three races. Brad Mesler recorded his fifth podium finish in six starts this season at McKean. Paul Grigsby was fourth for the fourth time in the past five races. Joe Watson was a season best fifth. McKean was off this past Saturday night but returns to action this Saturday night.
LaFargeville, New York's Can-Am Speedway played host to their second RUSH Late Model Weekly Series event of the season last Friday night. Charlie Sandercock took the 20-lap feature win over Bret Belden, Chris Fleming, Kyle Sopaz and Dale Caswell. It was Sandercock's second $700 Can-Am win this season. Two more RUSH Late Model races remain on Can-Am's schedule. One on July 27th and one on September 7th.
Friday night, Darrell Bossard picked up the win at Raceway 7 to bolster his point lead in the RUSH Late Model division at the Conneaut, Ohio speedway. Bossard took his second straight win and fourth in six races over Matt Latta, Kyle Zimmerman, Breyton Santee and Dave Airgood. Another five division racing program is scheduled for this Friday night at Raceway 7.
At Outlaw Speedway on Friday night, Chad Homan scored his third straight win and fourth of the season at the Dundee, NY oval in RUSH Weekly racing action. Brian Knowles, Jamie Freeman and Zach Weich rounded out the field. Outlaw is off this Friday night, but will resume on July 20 with the rescheduled "Gary Montgomery Memorial" $2,000 to-win Sweeney Tour race.
The RUSH Pro Stocks are always the last race of the night at Sarver, Pennsylvania's Lernerville Speedway. And very often it is the best race of the night. Friday night was one of those nights as Tyler Dietz and multi-time champion Corey McPherson dueled it out for the final several laps of the RUSH Pro Stock feature. In the end, it was Dietz pulling out the win, holding off McPherson, who charged back through the field after an early race spin. Joey Zambotti, Mark Sanders and Ryan Moyer rounded out the top five. Lernerville continues the second half of their season this Friday night.
The RUSH family of racetracks kept rolling through the weekend, and on Saturday it was a RUSH doubleheader at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway in Suburban Pittsburgh. In a highly emotional win, Chelsie Kriegisch picked up her first career PPMS win and her first since her mother's passing. Kriegisch took the lead on a late race pass of Brian Schaffer and went on to hold off the class of the RUSH Sportsman Modified division, including Chas Wolbert, Kole Holden and Rocky Kugel. The victory was Chelsie's second of her career in RUSH and joined her sister Jessica as PPMS winners.
The RUSH Late Models were in action as well on Saturday at PPMS and another first-time winner was in victory lane. Colby Beighey picked up his first career win, holding off past champions John Mollick and Justin Lamb. Ron Hall and Josh Stoica were fourth and fifth. The RUSH Late Models and Sportsman Mods return to PPMS this Saturday night as a companion races to the Super Late Models in the Red Miley Rumble.
Saturday night at Winchester Speedway in Virginia, Logan Roberson collected his third win of the season in the 20-lap RUSH Late Model feature topping a big field of 27 cars! Roberson shot to the lead from his front row starting spot and held off challenges from point leader Mike Franklin. "With the track the way it was here tonight, I knew I had to get to the front first." Roberson stated. "I knew Mike was back there and it was a lot of fun racing as hard as we did." Jakob Piper, Tanner Kerr and Transtan Stoner trailed at the finish. The RUSH Late Models return to Winchester on Saturday July 21st.
Saturday night at Fulton Speedway, point leader Kevan Cook took hold of the lead in the 20- lap RUSH Late Model feature event on lap six, passing pole sitter Jason Occhino. A yellow on the 17th lap would bunch up the field and give a few other drivers a shot at Cook, but he went basically unchallenged for the final three laps for his third win of the season. Jason Parkhurst, Bret Belden, Chris Fleming and Dale Caswell came home second through fifth. Racing continues this Saturday at Fulton.
Saturday at Delaware International Speedway it was Matt Hill putting on a show stealing the lead away from rookie Chace Biron on the 12th circuit of the 15-lap feature event for the RUSH Late Models. Hill put on a high side clinic passing for the lead and holding off Biron, Sparky White, Billy Thompson, and Joe Warren for his first DIS win of the season. The RUSH Late Models will be back in action at Delaware this Saturday along with a special appearance by the URC Sprints.
Max Blair picked up the win at Busti, New York's Stateline Speedway on Saturday night. Fighting off a good cast of 25 skilled competitors and a number of restarts, Blair went on to victory over Darrell Bossard, Andy Boozel, Kyle Murray, and Jeremy "Mr Excitement" Wonderling. It was just the second RUSH Late Model event of the season at Stateline and Blair is a perfect two-for-two.
In the RUSH Pro Mods, Dennis Lunger Jr. bested Jason Covey, Chad Carlson, Scott Gurdak and Matt Harvey. Like Blair, Lunger remains perfect as the defending Sweeney Weekly Series Champion has scored all three wins. Stateline resumes racing this Saturday for the RUSH Late Models.
In RUSH Asphalt Series racing action at Jennerstown Speedway, Barry Awtey picked up his fourth win of the season in RUSH Asphalt Late Model action. Awtey was followed across the line by Mike Himminger, Joe Maruca, Teddy Gibala and Zane Farrell. In the Modifieds Adam Kostelnik scored his first win of the season over Gary Scott, Matt Smith, Anthony Aiello and Mike Carlson. Finally, in the asphalt Street Stock division, Jeremy Shaffer took the checkers over Angie Kimberly, Josh Coughenour, Lauren Butler and Zack Torodo. This Saturday at Jennerstown, it's a very special night with all divisions in competition for Bill Awtey Tribute Night.
Sunday night north of the border in Port Colborne, Ontario, Chad Homan used a lap 13 restart to grab the lead from Rob Pietz and hold on for the win at Humberstone Speedway. Homan's third checkered flag of the season came over Jeff Dayman, Sam Pennacchio, Rob Pietz and Tim Gillespie. Homan has yet to finish worse than second in the five Sweeney Weekly Series events this season at the track. Racing action gets underway again this Sunday at Humberstone with "Autograph and Super Hero Night!"
After completing just one show in May and one in June, the RUSH Late Models were able to get back-to-back events at Eriez Speedway in to open the month of July. Jason Genco was able to end Max Blair's three-race win streak as he picked up his first win of the season. Kyle Zimmerman was third. Andy Boozel was fourth in his season debut as Scott Gurdak completed the top five. The RUSH Late Models return this Sunday looking to complete their third straight event.
Bradford Speedway celebrated Christmas in July, and it was Jeff Hoffman getting his first checkered flag of the season in the RUSH Late Model division. Hoffman came across the line ahead of Andy Michael, Kyle Murray, Brad Mesler and Ward Schell. In RUSH Pro Mod action, Dennis Lunger picked up his second win in three tries with Chad Carlson, Jeremy Wonderling, William Deming and Richard Hemphill making up the top five. Racing action returns to Bradford with a Five Star program this Sunday.
Also on Sunday, Skyline Raceway Park in Cortland, NY held their first ever RUSH-sanctioned event. After winning $2,000 in the first ever RUSH-sanctioned event the Tuesday before at Weedsport, John Waters earned $1,000 for the Skyline victory at another new NY venue. Fulton Saturday night winner, Kevan Cook, was 2nd. Brian Knowles, Chris Fleming, and Aaron Jacobs completed the top five. A second $1,000 to-win Sweeney Weekly Series event will be held on Sunday, August 26.
Genesee Speedway was off this past weekend, but will have the RUSH Late Models back in action on Saturday night. Sharon Speedway had the "Lou Blaney Memorial" last Saturday for the All Star Sprints and Big-Block Modifieds. They are off this weekend due to the Trumbull County Fair, but will return to action on July 21 with the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.
The RUSH Sprint Cars had last weekend off. They will be at Tri-City Raceway Park this Sunday for a $500 to-win event in their second and final appearance and will be with the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds in a $600 to-win Bicknell Touring Series event. The RUSH Sprints will then be at Lernerville on Wednesday for the third "Wednesday Night Lightning" event.
RUSH Late Model marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, 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, 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, Pancho's Racing Products, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Landrum Performance Spring, Schwartzmiller Ground Maintenance, Close Racing Supply,,, and Valley Fashions.
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,,, Valley Fashions, Dirt Late Model Magazine, and Three Rivers Karting.

July 11, 2018 

(By Jim Zufall & Mike Leone)  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


With a major loss at the Olympus Rally in Washington State, Subaru Rally Team USA defending champion David Higgins will be looking for a victory at the 42nd Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally® (STPR®) on Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2 in Wellsboro. 

STPR® is round three of the seven events that form the 2018 American Rally Association Championship.

Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew of Subaru Rally Team USA took first place overall in the three-day Oregon Trail Rally, round one of the ARA Championship series. They were in their Vermont SportsCar-prepared 2018 Subaru WRX STI. The rally was April 20-22 near Mt. Hood in Oregon. 

This was the seventh time in the last eight years that Higgins and Drew won the Oregon Trail Rally, the perfect start for their 2018 campaign to earn their seventh championship together while driving for Subaru. “I’m happy to get the win and it was great to be back in my Subaru again,” said Higgins at the podium.

The expected tight battle at Oregon Trail between Higgins and Drew against former Subaru World Rally Team star driver Chris Atkinson and his veteran co-driver Stéphane Prévot was short lived. A mechanical issue sidelined Atkinson and Prévot for a portion of Saturday’s stages. Although out of the running for an overall result, they returned for Sunday’s stages and were the fastest on six of eight stages, as Atkinson grew more comfortable with his Subaru. Atkinson has been competing in Rallycross for Subaru for the past two years. The Oregon Trail Rally was his first stage rally event.
In round two of the ARA, the May 19 and 20 Olympus Rally in the forests of Shelton, Washington, Higgins and Drew were sidelined both days; on day one with a flat tire and a broken alternator and on day two with a drivetrain issue. Claiming first overall in the Washington event were Patrik Sandell and Per Almkvist, also of Subaru Rally Team USA. This was the first stage rally for Sandell who normally races the 600hp #18 Subaru WRX STI in rallycross circuits for Subaru.

In ARA point standings, Jeff Seehorn and Karen Jankowski of Spokane, Washington put on a flawless performance to take second place overall and first in the Limited 4wd class in ARA round two. Because they also took second place overall in the Oregon Trail Rally in April, the Olympus Rally win propels them into the lead of the ARA National Championship Series, ahead of Higgins and Drew.

Higgins and Sandell are now tied with one win apiece. Higgins will be competing at STPR®; Sandell won’t and neither will Seehorn and Jankowski. If Higgins takes STPR®, he could regain first place in the series. But, that may be thwarted as he and Drew will once again be pitted against Subaru’s team of Atkinson and Prévot. This early contest for the championship brings Wellsboro into the international auto racing spotlight.

Returning to STPR® to challenge Subaru will be Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan of New York City in their 2011 Ford Fiesta. At last year’s STPR®, McKenna was in third place when he hit a tree. 

Currently, 41 teams are entered in STPR® 2018. Twenty-nine will compete in both the Sherwood Forest and Finger Lakes regional rallies and one entry, Seamus Burke is entered in the two regional rallies and the STPR® national rally; and 11 teams are entered in the national rally only. The number of entrants will continue to change right up until the rally begins. 

STPR®, promoted by the Finger Lakes STPR® Motorsports LLC committee, is chaired by Meridith Croucher, from Newark, N.Y. She heads this unique rally committee that organizes STPR® with members based in both Wellsboro, Pa. and Rochester, N.Y.  Croucher reports that with the sport of performance rally grabbing a national foothold in North America, the area of North Central Pennsylvania and Western New York has become known as the cradle of rally civilization.

“This is the 42nd consecutive annual running of STPR®, making it the longest continuous motorsports event in Pennsylvania,” Ms. Croucher said. “The number of competitors in this sport ebbs and flows. We have seen an uptick in entries in other events that I hope will translate into the same for STPR®. The International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, NY, a motorsports museum, recently received the archives from previous STPR®s. We are told there is quite a bit of interest in our historic materials,” she said.

“With thousands of people coming to Wellsboro and the Tioga County area to participate in the rally, and thousands more coming to spectate, this event brings millions of dollars into the area’s economy and supports the other events and attractions that are important to North Central Pennsylvania,” said Ms. Croucher, whose organization also put on the recent Waste Management Winter RallySprint this past February.
She pointed out that Waste Management and other sponsors make the event truly accessible to the public. “Our event sponsor, Waste Management, hosts our Friday competitive stages on their company property, and realizes the goodwill in the community that being associated with this kind of an event brings to their company reputation. Combined with Citizens & Northern Bank, an original sponsor of STPR® when the event began in 1977, and Subaru of America, we have a good selection of regional and national support,” said Ms. Croucher.

She also noted, that unlike other types of racing, STPR® offers activities for all kinds of fans and everyone in the family.
“STPR® has become a very popular family event, especially with the Tioga County Fairground stages in Whitneyville, where kids can get up close to the rally cars, meet the drivers, enjoy some refreshments, and then watch the cars battle on a closed course for competitive times and a chance to win,” she said. “Others like to go into the woods and watch the cars, view the cars on display on The Green in Wellsboro, or watch the teams work on their cars at service areas during the event on Saturday,” she said.

The Fairgrounds stages cost $5 per person, Children under 12 free for admission each day (with a $5 donation per car to a local church youth organization for parking), with event tickets on sale in advance at the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce (info at 570-724-1926).
With the infusion of millions of dollars to local area businesses rivaling a national convention, a good blend of internationally-known drivers and local competitors, and the American Rally Association championship points chase all highlight the arrival of STPR® to the state forests near the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Waste Management, Citizens & Northern Bank; Subaru of America; Wellsboro Chamber return
With title sponsor Waste Management back for its eighth year, along with the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce, which has participated in the event in Wellsboro since its inception in 1977, and the sponsorship from Subaru and Citizens & Northern Bank, the STPR® Committee is able to offer both accessibility and community support to both competitors and fans. Besides the 400 volunteers who work the rally – many of whom come in from out of town and use local services - another estimated 10,000 people come to the Wellsboro area either as spectators or workers for the various teams and their sponsors.
Waste Management also hosts the opening stages of the rally on its expansive grounds just outside Wellsboro in Antrim in Duncan Township on Friday afternoon, June 1. Admission for the spectator area at Waste Management is $7, and tickets are available only at the gate. Details are on the event website at, or at the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce 570-724-1926.

American Rally Association – different kind of sanctioning body
A sanctioning body, the group that organizes the championship points, creates and enforces the rules, regulates the safety of the event, and insures the rally for liability risks, is a very important part of the weekend. For the second year in a row, STPR® decided to team with the recently-formed American Rally Association (ARA). A member-driven organization dedicated to the sport of Stage Rally, the American Rally Association provides a transparent, inclusive, and growing sanctioning body to competitors throughout America. A 501 (c)(3) non-profit and wholly owned subsidiary of the United States Auto Club (USAC), ARA is led by seasoned Stage Rally professionals who work hand-in-hand with an experienced board of directors to deliver a framework for safety, competition, promotion, and education for all aspects of the sport. The common goal of our members, volunteers, and organization is a thriving Stage Rally program in America.
What is STPR and Performance Rally?
The Finger Lakes Region of the Sports Car Club of America first conducted the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally in 1977 with the assistance of other sports car clubs in the Rochester, N.Y area. Members of these clubs (Triumph Touring Club, Corvair Owners Club, MG Car Club and others) had experience with previous performance events such as the Snowblower and Lunar Lunge which ran out of Rochester as early as 1965 and were part of the M.O.N.Y. series (Michigan, Ohio and New York), the forerunner of the SCCA ProRally series.

In the United States, performance rally teams have a driver and co-driver (navigator) for each car, and the competitors race in stages on closed public roads, trying to get from the beginning to the end of each stage as fast as they can. Unlike other forms of motorsports, no practice is allowed and teams only have one chance to review the course at the public speed limit before the event. In competition, the navigator barks out the route instructions while the driver proceeds through forest, desert, and logging roads at events around the country sometimes at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour. Varying performance modifications are made to compact and subcompact sports cars depending on which rally class they entered. The cars all have to be street legal to drive on public roads between racing stages. The sight of these cars, running at speed through the woods to beat the clock, makes exciting spectating for the fans that come out to watch performance rally.

STPR® was the last of the great endurance events on the national schedule maintaining the one day format and designed with a high stage/transit mileage ratio and, thanks to the outstanding cooperation of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), some of the best and most demanding roads in the country. With the addition of the Waste Management stages and the Tioga County Fairgrounds, this rally went to two days in 2008.

The Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally is a National Championship Rally of approximately 259 miles in length with approximately 125 miles of competitive stage miles.

Within the overall event, there are two regional rallies.
The Sherwood Forest Rally includes Stages 1 to 6 and is approximately 46 stage miles. The Finger Lakes Rally includes stages 7 to 15 and is approximately 77 stage miles. Stages 3 and 4 on Friday, June 1 and Stages 14 and 15 on Saturday, June 2, are closed course Super Special Stages at the Tioga County Fairgrounds at 2258 Charleston Road, Wellsboro, PA 16901. Combined, the two nights at the Fairgrounds attract between 2,000 and 3,000 people. Rally Headquarters are once again located at the Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville, which is just off Route 6 on Charleston Road midway between Wellsboro and Mansfield. 

Friday afternoon, June 1, the start of the rally will be from the Pearl Street side of The Green, a park in downtown Wellsboro.  Saturday morning’s start, as always, will be on Main Street in front of The Green.

In 2008, STPR® changed to a two-day format to better utilize new competitive content, and give spectators more daylight viewing options. The Super Special Stages at the Tioga County Fairgrounds will once again run once on Friday evening and again on Saturday evening. In all, STPR® has six spectator locations to show the sport to maximum advantage in all its exciting aspects to the public and media.

Rally Information
An event schedule, maps and directions to the spectator areas, entry list and other rally information will be available from the digital STPR 2018 Spectator Guide, which can be downloaded at starting Memorial Day Monday, May 28.

Starting Thursday, May 31, a complete rally program, including driver biographies, stage descriptions, and other information will be available for $5 at the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce office at 114 Main Street, Wellsboro, on The Green during the parc exposés  on Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2 and at Friday’s Waste Management spectator area in Antrim as well as the Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville.
Twitter:  (@stpr_rally) #stpr18
Instagram:  (stpr_rally)
Web site (entry list, spectator information, volunteer info, press notes, schedule, results):
Live event track and sanctioning body app:

(Subject to change – all times are approximate - see the latest schedule at
10:30 a.m. - Spectator area opens for Waste Management stages at 782 Antrim Road in Duncan Township — $7 per person admission to the Waste Management spectator area

11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. — Parc Exposé at The Green in Wellsboro.

  2:01 p.m. — First car leaves the Green in Wellsboro as the Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally Phase 1 and Sherwood Forest Rally Begin.
  2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. —Stages 1 and 2 action at the Waste Management spectator area — $7 per person admission to the Waste Management spectator area.

  6:00 p.m. Spectator area opens at Tioga Fairgrounds - $5 per person admission to the Super Special Stage and $5 per car donation for parking

  7:00 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. —Super Special Stages 3 and 4 at the Tioga County Fairgrounds  - $5 per person admission to the Super Special Stage and $5 per car donation for parking.

  8:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. - Parc Exposé at The Green in Wellsboro

  8:45 a.m. — Parade of Flags at the Green in Wellsboro

  9:10 a.m. — Singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Green

  9:46 a.m. — First car leaves the Green in Wellsboro as Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally Phase 2 begins and Sherwood Forest Regional Rally continues. 

10:25 a.m. — Stage  5 (Asaph) action at the Asaph Picnic Area spectator point (all stages times indicate first car passing)

11:06 a.m. — Stage  6 (Deadman) action at the Colton Point spectator point.

11:32 a.m. — Stage  7 (Thompson) action at the Wilson Point spectator point.

12:00 noon to 1:15 p.m.—Service at Germania

12:30 p.m. — Stage  8 (Lebo 1) action at the Twelve Mile spectator point.

12:50 p.m. — Finger Lakes Regional Rally begins at Germania Service Tech.

  1:58 p.m. — Stage  9 (Randall 1) No spectator area.

  2:39 p.m. — Stage10 (Cedar) action at the Wilson Point spectator point.

  2:55 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. — Service at Germania

  4:28 p.m. — Stage 11 (Lebo 2) action at the Twelve Mile spectator point.

  4:56 p.m. — Stage 12 (Randall 2) No spectator area. 

  5:33 p.m. — Stage 13 (Mine Hole) No spectator area.

  6:50 p.m.—  Parc Exposé at the Tioga County Fairgrounds.

  8:20 p.m. — Super Special Stages 14 and 15 at the Tioga County Fairgrounds begin — $5 per person admission to the Super Special Stage and $5 per car donation for parking. 

  9:45 p.m. — Podium and champagne spray for the winners at the Tioga County Fairgrounds.

It takes 400 volunteers doing a wide range of tasks to put on the Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally each year. Those interested in volunteering at this year's Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally can pre-register online now at

People who volunteer do not need to do "everything" but can select work that fits into their own schedules. They can also sign up to work with family and friends just by indicating that on their volunteer registration form. "It's a great way to watch the rally up close, meet fellow rally enthusiasts and be part of a team that has brought STPR® to Wellsboro since 1977," said David Avery,  volunteer registrar.
STPR® is one of America's best-known rally events, regularly drawing top rally teams from the United States, Canada and abroad who enjoy putting their skills to the test.

On Thursday, May 31 volunteers will help set up the Special Stages and hang banners at rally headquarters - the Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville, near Wellsboro and put up banners on each stage of the rally. They will also assist with teardown on Sunday, June 3
Those who are not sure what job they would like to take on, can go to, click on "Volunteers" and then under "Preregistration" click on "job descriptions" at the bottom of the box. Click on each job description to see what is involved. Job descriptions include: stage marshal, course marshal, stage start/finish, service area setup, Reece, worker registration/merchandise, competitor registration, media/press assistant, fairgrounds setup, car management on The Green, crossing guards, course setup/bannering, radio communications - net control, radio communications - field, medical, car controls - fairgrounds, sales - tickets, sales - spectator guides, hospitality, cleanup and safety cars/heavy sweep.

To register, visit, click on the "volunteer" button and fill out the no-cost American Rally Association volunteer license form and the STPR online registration form.  Volunteers are asked to bring a printed copy of their USAC confirmation email to the fairgrounds when they sign in as a volunteer on Wednesday night, May 30 between 7 and 9 p.m.; Thursday, May 31 between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.; Friday, June 1, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.; and Saturday, June 2 at 7:30 a.m. for those signing up for Saturday only.  That's when they will be given their assignments, IDs, T-shirts and goodie bags.

Questions? Email David Avery at  for more information about volunteering.

STPR® SPECTATOR INFORMATION The 42nd Annual Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally will be on private and state roads in Tioga and Potter counties Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2.
STPR® - the oldest, continuously running motorsport event in Pennsylvania - is Round 3 of the 2018 American Rally Association (ARA) National Championship.
The Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville, near Wellsboro, serves as STPR® headquarters.
Free parc exposés will be on The Green, a park in downtown Wellsboro. The first parc exposé will be on Friday, June 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the start of the Waste Management stages from the Pearl Street side of The Green. The second will be on Saturday, June 2 from 8 to 9:45 a.m. with the start of the stages on forestry roads from Main Street in front of The Green. A parc exposé will also be held at the fairgrounds Saturday night beginning at 6:50 p.m.
The rally cars will be flagged off from The Green in one-minute intervals starting at 2:01 p.m. on Friday, June 1 as STPR®  begins with stages 1 and 2 on Waste Management roads in Antrim in Duncan Township. Spectators can watch the cars running the Waste Management stages at the Antrim spectator area from 2:30 to 6 p.m.; tickets will be sold for $7 at the gate only. Food and portable toilets will be available at Antrim. Friday will end with Super Special Stages 3 and 4 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Tioga County Fairgrounds.
On Saturday, June 2, the first car will leave The Green at 9:46 a.m. followed by competing cars in one-minute intervals as the contest continues on state forestry roads. Viewing is free at the six spectator areas. They include: Asaph Picnic Area (Stage 5) at 10:25 a.m.; Colton Point at Deadman (Stage 6) at 11:06 a.m.; Wilson Point  at Thompson (Stage 7) at 11:32 a.m.; Twelve Mile at Lebo 1 (Stage 8) at 12:30 p.m.;  Wilson Point at Cedar (Stage 10) at 2:39 p.m.; and  Twelve Mile at Lebo 2 (Stage 11) at 4:28 p.m. The winner will be determined during Super Special Stages 14 and 15 that will begin around 8:20 p.m. at the Tioga County Fairgrounds. 
The Friday and Saturday Super Special Stages are run on a RallyCross-style course at the fairgrounds where two cars begin at the same time and race not only the clock, but also each other. Event tickets are on sale in advance at the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce. For information, call 570-724-1926 or stop in at 114 Main Street in Wellsboro. 
Admission to the Friday and Saturday Super Special Stages is $5 per person with a $5 per car donation for parking. Children under 12 are admitted free at both Super Special Stages and at the Antrim spectator area.
"STPR® has become a very popular family event, especially with the Tioga County Fairground stages in Whitneyville, where kids can get up close to the rally cars, meet the drivers, enjoy some refreshments, and then watch the cars battle on a closed course for competitive times and a chance to win,” said Meridith Croucher, chair of the Finger Lakes STPR® Motorsports LLC committee. “Others like to go into the woods and watch the cars, view the cars on display on The Green in Wellsboro, or watch the teams work on their cars at service areas during the event on Saturday,” she said.
An event schedule, maps and directions to the spectator areas, entry list and other rally information will be available from the digital STPR® 2018 Spectator Guide, which can be downloaded at starting Monday, May 28.
The printed STPR®  2018 Spectator Guide, which includes the same information as the digital version, will be available for $5 at the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce office at 114 Main Street in Wellsboro and the Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville starting Thursday, May 31 as well as on The Green during the June 1 and 2 parc exposés and at the June 1 Waste Management spectator area in Antrim.
For more information, visit or call the chamber at 570-724-1926.

Friday, May 18, 2018


(Sarver, PA)...Fifteen months ago it was merely a concept, but on Wednesday night, May 16 after three rain outs the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sprint Car Series powered by Pace Performance finally hit the clay at the renowned Lernerville Speedway for the first ever Bonnell's Rod Shop Weekly Series event.
When all was said and done, Arnie Kent will go down in the history books as the first ever winner in the new RUSH Series. The New Castle, Pa. veteran racer may have led all 20 laps, but had to hold off a furious charge by fifth starting Gale Ruth, Jr. and young Dalton Daniels.
Kent's margin of victory in his Equipment Rentals-sponsored #18 was by a mere 0.139 of a second! The 53-year-old now takes the early lead in both the $5,000 to-win Bonnell's Rod Shop Weekly Series and $1,000 to-win "Wednesday Night Lightning" Championship point funds! Ironically the victory was Kent's first ever at Lernerville despite competing at the track on and off for 20 years in the "410" Sprint division.
Fun, competitive, and great side-by-side racing were the words uttered the most by racers and spectators. The concept exceeded all expectations despite being the first night of racing for all the drivers. These traditional non-wing Sprint Cars feature the Chevrolet Performance 602 crate engine ($5,179 base or $7,850 for the complete dressed package), $135 sealed/spec Bilstein Shocks, affordable spec Hoosier Tires, and the new RUSH "Visual" Methanol. One of the racers even commented that he couldn't believe he only used four gallons of methanol for the 20-lap feature!
The fastest lap of the night was turned in the feature by Ruth with at 16.794 faster than the RUSH Late Models with Chevrolet Performance 604 crate engines have ever turned during qualifying at Lernerville. The fastest laps by the majority of the competitors stayed consistent all night and were all within two to three tenths of each other.     
 "We really couldn't have asked for anything more," stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig. "We knew these cars would put on great racing, but I don't think any of us expected what we witnessed out of the box on Wednesday. The veterans and youngsters were mixing it up, and no one broke away in any of the races. There was only one caution all night and no one got lapped. It was event three-wide on the first lap of the first heat! To have the entire field in both heat races separated by less than a straightaway, and to have three cars racing for the win on the final lap with the margin of victory just over a tenth of a second was incredible."
Despite threatening weather and work duties for a few racers, 12 cars turned out for the inaugural event with several more expected in the coming weeks. The field was made up of veteran "410" racers like Kent, Ruth, Mike Lutz, and Joe McEwen, veteran Micro Sprint racer Dave Hawkins and his son Scott. Young Tyler Powell, who competed in Mini Stocks and E-Mods, along with former Stock Car racer Shawn Smith. Then you had Daniels, Zach Morrow, and Darin Gallagher, who have raced in various Sprint Car classes over their young racing careers. And finally Steve Cousins, who is a raw racing rookie, but certainly had no fear.
After two excellent, competitive non-stop heat races won by Kent and McEwen, the feature saw Kent jump out to the early lead after passing Daniels on the opening lap. The only caution of the night was for Darin Gallagher, who stopped after contact and losing his brakes with two laps completed.
When racing resumed, the fifth starting Ruth took over third. By lap five, Kent, Ruth, and Daniels opened up some ground from the rest of the field. Ruth worked his way by Daniels for second on lap six. Ruth went after Kent and was all over the leader for the duration as Daniels watched just behind in third. Ruth tried everything, but was unable to make the pass as he settled for second over Daniels. Dave Hawkins beat his son Scott across the line for fourth.  
Other drivers expected to join the RUSH ranks in the near future include Chad Ruhlman, Brandon Hawkins, Brad Blackshear, Steve Pedley, Jim Kurpakus, Frank Wilson, Jr., Tom Kirkpatrick, and Brian Mathieson.
It was also great to not only see a lot of current "410" Sprint racers helping out the RUSH Sprint drivers, but also racing greats like Jack Sodeman, Jr., Andy Lutz, Mark Cassella, Jack Pears, and Don Gamble all taking in the action.
"There's numerous people we'd be remiss not to mention," continued Emig. "First the 10 tracks that came on board to give us 27 events this season- especially Lernerville, which became our anchor track with 10 events including these Wednesday night shows. Our great sponsors like Sweeneys and Pace Performance along with Bonnell's Rod Shop that helped increase the point funds. Then we have people like Don Blackshear of Pace, Neil Cowman of Hoosier, Jim Hiland of Bilstein, and Bruce Insinger of Insinger Performance that all got together and through testing came up with this tremendous, cost-containment division. We continually get calls and messages from people that are looking at getting into the RUSH Sprint Cars. We feel this division has the potential to grow faster and bigger than our others."
RUSH Sprint Car feature finish (20 laps):1. ARNIE KENT (18) 2. Gale Ruth, Jr. (Culver 1c) 3. Dalton Daniels (23) 4. Dave Hawkins (27) 5. Scott Hawkins (37) 6. Joe McEwen (Mahoney/Eckert 9J) 7. Shawn Smith (36) 8. Tyler Powell (35) 9. Mike Lutz (86) 10. Zach Morrow (27) 11. Steve Cousins (56) 12. Darin Gallagher (12).
The RUSH Sprint Cars will be at Old Bradford Speedway on Sunday (May 20) for a $600 to-win, $150 to-start Bonnell's Rod Shop Weekly Series special event. Next Saturday (May 26), they'll make their debut at the "Monster Half-Mile" at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway. The next "Wednesday Night Lightning" event for the Sprints at Lernerville will be on June 20 as part of the RK Virgile "Wednesday Night Can't Wait For The Weekend Mayhem Series".
RUSH Sprint Car marketing partners include partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bonnell's Rod Shop, Bilstein Shocks, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, Frankland Racing Supply, Earl's Performance Plumbing, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Precise Racing Products, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Pancho's Racing Products, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Landrum Performance Spring,, and Valley Fashions.
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 and fax is 724-964-0604. The RUSH Racing Series website is Like our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @RUSHLM.
May 17, 2018(By Mike Leone)