JVB Bank

JVB Bank

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Test 2

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Citizens & Northern Corporation (“C&N”) (NASDAQ: CZNC) announced its most recent dividend declaration and its unaudited, consolidated financial results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2017.

Dividend DeclaredC&N’s Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.26 per share. The dividend is payable on May 12, 2017 to shareholders of record as of May 1, 2017. Declaration of the dividend was made at the April 20, 2017 meeting of C&N’s Board of Directors.

First Quarter 2017 Unaudited Financial Results
Earnings per basic and diluted common share were $0.28 in the first quarter 2017, as compared to $0.35 per share in the fourth quarter 2016 and $0.29 per share in the first quarter 2016. The annualized return on average assets for the first quarter 2017 was 1.11%, and the annualized return on average equity was 7.38%. Earnings for the first quarter 2017 included an estimated $0.01 per common share after-tax benefit from realized gains on available-for-sale securities, as compared to an estimated $0.02 per share after-tax benefit from securities gains in the first quarter 2016. Highlights related to C&N’s earnings results for the comparative periods are presented below.
First Quarter 2017 as Compared to Fourth Quarter 2016
Net income totaled $3,434,000 in the first quarter 2017, down from $4,231,000 in the fourth quarter 2016.

Significant variances were as follows:
 • Total noninterest expenses in the first quarter 2017 increased $740,000 (8.6%) over the fourth quarter 2016 amount. Pensions and other employee benefits expense was $312,000 higher in the first quarter 2017 as compared to the fourth quarter 2016, as payroll taxes and similar expenses increased, consistent with the normal pattern of such costs being highest in the beginning of the calendar year. Other operating expenses were $281,000 higher in the first quarter 2017 as compared to the fourth quarter 2016. Within other operating expense, charitable donations increased $152,000, including donations totaling $150,000 under a state program that resulted in a credit to be applied against Pennsylvania Bank Shares Tax of $135,000. Also within other operating expense, loan collection expenses increased $110,000, net losses and expenses on other real estate properties increased $52,000 and education and training expenses decreased $35,000. Salaries and wages increased $158,000 (4.3%) in the first quarter 2017 as compared to the fourth quarter 2016, reflecting merit-based pay increases for a portion of the employee base as well as the effects of fourth quarter 2016 reductions in restricted stock and incentive bonus expense based on updated year-end 2016 estimates.

• The provision for loan losses totaled $452,000 in the first quarter 2017 as compared to a credit (reduction in expense) of $3,000 in the fourth quarter 2016. Net charge-offs totaled $181,000 in the first quarter 2017, and total specific allowances on impaired loans increased $207,000 to $881,000 at March 31, 2017 from $674,000 at December 31, 2016. The net increase in specific allowances in the first quarter 2017 included an increase in the allowance related to one real estate secured commercial loan relationship of $225,000. At March 31, 2017, total loans outstanding associated with this relationship amounted to $3,278,000, and the related allowance was $753,000. The small credit for loan losses in the fourth quarter 2016 included the effect of an excess of $55,000 of recoveries on previously charged-off loans over the amount of current charge-offs as well as a net reduction of $11,000 in specific allowances required on impaired loans.

• Noninterest revenue totaled $3,864,000 in the first quarter 2017, down $167,000 (4.1%) from the fourth quarter 2016 total. Net gains from sales of residential mortgage loans totaled $166,000 in the first quarter 2017, which was $164,000 lower than the fourth quarter 2016 total, consistent with C&N’s historical experience of a lower volume of mortgage loan sales in the winter months. Service charges on deposit accounts totaled $1,084,000 in the first quarter 2017, down $88,000 from the fourth quarter amount, consistent with C&N’s typical seasonal trends and also reflecting an ongoing pattern of fewer consumer overdrafts throughout the market area. Other operating income totaled $458,000 in the first quarter 2017, up $113,000 from the fourth quarter 2016 amount. The increase in other operating income resulted mainly from an increase in revenue from tax credit programs, including the tax credits associated with the charitable donations described above.

• The income tax provision was $984,000 in the first quarter 2017, down from $1,500,000 in the fourth quarter 2016, primarily as a result of lower pre-tax income. First Quarter 2017 as Compared to First Quarter 2016
Net income for the first quarter 2017 was $139,000 (3.9%) lower than the first quarter 2016 amount.

Significant variances were as follows:
 • Net interest income increased $126,000 (1.3%), in the first quarter 2017 as compared to the first quarter 2016. The net interest margin was 3.78% for the first quarter 2017 as compared to 3.81% for the first quarter 2016. Average total loans outstanding were higher by $57.7 million (8.2%) in the first quarter 2017 as compared to the first quarter 2016, while average total available-for-sale securities were lower by $22.4 million. Average total deposits were $22.6 million (2.4%) higher in the first quarter 2017 as compared to the first quarter 2016.

• The first quarter 2017 provision for loan losses was $84,000 higher than the first quarter 2016 amount.
The $452,000 provision in the first quarter 2017 included $388,000 related to the change in total specific allowances on impaired loans, as adjusted for net charge-offs during the period and a $64,000 increase in the collectively determined allowance for loan losses, mainly due to loan growth. In the first quarter 2016, the $368,000 provision included $82,000 related to the change in total specific allowances on impaired loans, as adjusted for net charge-offs during the period and a $286,000 increase in the collectively determined allowance for loan losses. The increase in the collectively determined allowance in the first quarter 2016 included the effects of loan growth, increased qualitative factors associated with residential mortgage loans and an increased net charge-off experience factor for commercial loans.

• Noninterest revenue increased $174,000 (4.7%) in the first quarter 2017 over the first quarter 2016 amount. Other operating income increased $87,000, including an increase of $50,000 in revenue from tax credits. Interchange revenue from debit card transactions increased $57,000 (12.3%), reflecting benefits from a consulting project in 2016 that identified opportunities for improvements in card-related volumes and processing. Loan servicing fees, net, increased $50,000, as the fair value of mortgage servicing rights decreased by $30,000 in the first quarter 2017 as compared to a reduction of $71,000 in the first quarter 2016. Trust and Financial Management Group revenue increased $36,000 (3.1%), in part due to market valuation increases. Service charges on deposit accounts decreased $54,000 (4.7%), as revenue from consumer overdrafts declined due to lower volume.

• Realized gains on available-for-sale securities totaled $145,000 in the first quarter 2017, down from $383,000 in the first quarter 2016.

• Total noninterest expenses increased $226,000 (2.5%) in the first quarter 2017 over the first quarter 2016 amount. Other operating expense increased $169,000, including increases of $89,000 in loan collection expenses and $42,000 in losses and expenses associated with other real estate. Pensions and other employee benefits expense increased $93,000, including the effect of higher health care expenses on C&N’s partially self-insured plan. Automated teller machine and interchange expense increased $45,000, including costs associated with issuing new debit cards with EMV functionality. Software subscriptions increased $39,000, including costs associated with new applications as well as annual licensing increases.
Professional fees expense decreased $62,000, including a reduction in information technology and sales and service -related consulting. FDIC assessments expense decreased $48,000, reflecting a lower
assessment level.

• The first quarter 2017 provision for income tax of $984,000, or 22.3% of pre-tax earnings, was $109,000 lower than the first quarter 2016 tax provision of $1,093,000, or 23.4% of pre-tax income. The lower effective tax in the first quarter 2017 resulted primarily from lower pre-tax earnings.

Other Information:
Changes in other unaudited financial information are as follows:

• Total assets amounted to $1,233,924,000 at March 31, 2017, as compared to $1,242,292,000 at December 31, 2016 and $1,216,544,000 at March 31, 2016.

• Net loans outstanding (excluding mortgage loans held for sale) were $753,277,000 at March 31, 2017, up from $743,362,000 at December 31, 2016 and up 8.6% from $693,994,000 at March 31, 2016. In comparing outstanding balances at March 31, 2017 and 2016, total residential mortgage loans increased $38.0 million, or 9.8%, and total commercial loans increased $19.5 million, or 6.4%. At March 31, 2017, the outstanding balance of commercial loan participations with other financial entities was $43.6 million, down slightly from $43.9 million at March 31, 2016.

• The outstanding balance of residential mortgages originated by C&N and sold to third parties, with servicing retained, totaled $164,291,000 at March 31, 2017, up from $163,296,000 at December 31, 2016 and $153,778,000 at March 31, 2016.

• Total nonperforming assets as a percentage of total assets was 1.28% at March 31, 2017 as compared to 1.43% at December 31, 2016 and 1.36% at March 31, 2016. The balance of loans subject to troubled debt restructurings (TDRs) was $4.8 million lower at March 31, 2017 as compared to December 31, 2016, mainly due to removal of one commercial relationship from TDR status. Loans to this borrower are performing as agreed based on a modification agreement entered into in 2016.

• Deposits and repo sweep accounts totaled $986,495,000 at March 31, 2017, down from $989,018,000 at December 31, 2016, and up 2.4% from $962,989,000 at March 31, 2016.

• Total shareholders’ equity was $187,350,000 at March 31, 2017 as compared to $186,008,000 at December 31, 2016 and $188,310,000 at March 31, 2016. Tangible common equity as a percentage of tangible assets was 14.35% at March 31, 2017 as compared to 14.64% a year earlier. Within shareholders’ equity, the portion of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) related to available-for-sale securities was in a loss position of ($630,000) at March 31, 2017 and ($949,000) at December 31, 2016 as compared to a gain position of $5,347,000
at March 31, 2016. The decrease in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) was caused by increases in interest rates, which resulted in a decrease in the fair value of available-for-sale securities.

• Assets under management by C&N’s Trust and Financial Management Group amounted to $880,979,000 at March 31, 2017, up from $879,844,000 at December 31, 2016, and up 6.6% from $826,470,000 a year earlier.

Citizens & Northern Corporation is the parent company of Citizens & Northern Bank, a local, independent community bank providing complete financial, investment and insurance services through 26 full service offices throughout Tioga, Bradford, Sullivan, Lycoming, Potter, Cameron and McKean counties in Pennsylvania and in Canisteo and South Hornell, New York. C&N’s most recently opened location, in Elmira, New York, offers commercial, residential and consumer lending services. C&N can be found on the worldwide web at www.cnbankpa.com. The Company’s stock is listed on NASDAQ Capital Market Securities under the symbol CZNC.

Safe Harbor Statement: Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this release are forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainty, including without limitation, the following: changes in monetary and fiscal policies of the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Government, particularly related to changes in interest rates; changes in general economic conditions; legislative or regulatory changes; downturn in demand for loan, deposit and other financial services in the Corporation’s market area; increased competition from other banks and non-bank providers of financial services; technological changes and increased technology-related costs; changes in management’s assessment of realization of securities and other assets; and changes in accounting principles, or the application of generally accepted accounting principles. Citizens & Northern disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bradford Little Theatre Announces Open Registration for 2nd Annual Kids Summer Theatre Camp

Bradford Little Theatre Announces Open Registration for 2nd Annual Kids Summer Theatre Camp Local children and teens performed "How To Eat Like A Child" at Bradford Little Theatre's Kids Summer Theatre Camp last year. Bradford Little Theatre proudly announces open registration for their highly anticipated 2nd annual summer kids theatre camp. The camp is accepting 24 children, going into first grade through age 17. 

 The participants will perform in the final show of the theatre’s 20th season “We Are Monsters.” The hilarious musical, which was written by Denver Casado and Betina Hershey, follows human kids into a monster cabaret filled with unique monster characters. The humans adventure to uncover vegetarian vampires and rock-star werewolves - soon realizing that these monster share many similar interests and problems as humans do. The monsters and humans soon discover the meaning of friendship and celebrating the things that make each of us different and unique. This year’s camp will be co-directed by Hannah Leposa, who directed last year’s camp, and Mandi Droney. 

Leposa is a sophomore music major at Messiah College and Droney is a freshman math co-op engineering major at Clarion University. “I wanted to pick a show that built upon what was taught at camp last year, but also a show that I could use to teach the fundamentals to new campers,” Leposa said. “The kids do not need any prior experience to participate.” “Seeing the passion building in the children last year, and seeing them change and learn, and seeing how theatre could become something for them like it was for me through my youth, really made me want to return to direct the camp again,” Leposa added. “I have always been the performer, so this is a new experience for me,” Droney said. “I am really looking forward to passing my love of theatre on to little kids.” 

Registration for the “We Are Monsters” camp is open to the first 24 applicants on a first come, first serve basis. After the initial 24 spots are filled, remaining applicants will be put on a waiting list. All money collected will be returned if your child is wait-listed and a spot does not open up. The registration form is available for download at www.bradfordlittletheatre.org. All registration forms are due by June 15th, without exception. Forms can be sent to Bradford Little Theatre, ATTN: Monster Camp, P.O. Box 255, Bradford, PA 16701. 

A separate registration form is required for each child. A deposit of $20 is due with each registration form. More than one registration form can be mailed in the same envelope and the $20 deposits can be combined into a single check. By registering you are committing your child to a 2 1/2 week theatre camp beginning on July 6th. Camp will be held Monday thru Friday from 10am to ­ 3pm. All participants are expected to attend the camp every day as well as bring a bagged lunch. The show will be held on July 21st and 22nd at 7:00pm, your child will need to be there by 5:00, and July 24th at 2:00pm, your child will need to be there at noon. An “Orientation/Casting Day” will be held on June 25th from 4­-6pm which both you and your child need to attend. 

You will receive a list of all the materials needed for camp at the Orientation meeting. You are also promising to pay the full camp fee of $100 for the first child and $60 for each additional child (less deposit) on Orientation/Casting Day. Any child not paid in full by June 25th will not be casted and your deposit will be forfeited. You will be contacted by June 20th to confirm that your child was accepted into the camp or put on the waitlist. 

If your child registers to participate and cannot end up doing the camp for any reason you will be fully refunded and your child’s spot will be passed along to the next person on the waiting list, as long as that notice is received by June 15th. “We are also looking for adults to volunteer to help with the camp,” Leposa added. “Volunteers will help watch the campers and help them with their sets and costumes.” Anyone interested in helping with the show please contact Bradford Little Theatre at contact@bradfordlittletheatre.org or call Chelsea at 814-598-9956. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


April 18, 2017(By Mike Leone)

(Winchester, VA)...The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series powered by Pace Performance will kick-off the 2017 season this Saturday (April 22) at Virginia's Winchester Speedway.  Warm-ups are slated for 5:45 p.m.  It will be Touring Series race #1 of 17 and will be a Marquee Event designation.  Saturday's event will be the only Sweeney Tour event for the season in the Mid-Atlantic. 
For the first time in nearly two years, the cars and stars of the Sweeney RUSH Tour will converge at Winchester for a $2,000 to-win event.  Past Tour winners at Winchester include Rick Singleton (2014), Walker Arthur (2015), and Allen Brannon (2015).  Brannon in fact won the April 8 and 15 Sweeney Weekly Series races at Winchester this season, while Tyler Bare captured the March 25 opener.  Thirty-two different racers have competed in the three Sweeney Weekly Series events to date with four of them being Tour racers prepping for Saturday including Eric Wilson, Jason Knowles, Greg Beach, and Dillan Stake. 
Atop the $5,000 to-win Sweeney Weekly Series standings is Logan Roberson, a regular at both Potomac and Winchester Speedways.  While he's yet to win at Winchester this season, the 19-year-old Waynesboro, Virginia racer is one of the favorites for Saturday, and does have two wins this season at Potomac.
Eighteen drivers have already joined the Touring Series with more expected to join on Saturday.  John Waters will return to defend his 2016 championship, the first of his career in RUSH.  The Whitesville, NY driver battled for most of the season with fellow New Yorker, Bryce Davis, and overtook him in the points in the season finale after a DNF by Davis.  Davis, the 2015 Pace Performance "Summer Chase" Champion, will set out on Saturday in hopes of his first Touring Series crown. 
Northwestern Pennsylvania standout Chad Wright has made a commitment to follow the Tour for the first time in many years.  While many of last year's Touring regulars will return, new Touring Series members thus far for 2017 include Beach, Stake, Bobby Cossell IV, Bill Kessler, Hunter Hulley, Mike Franklin, Matt Bassaro, Jon Rivers, and Kyle Murray.
"We're excited to return to Winchester on Saturday," stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig.  "We had originally planned to have an event there last year, but some scheduling conflicts nixed the possible event dates.  Potomac and Winchester 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.  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.  We constantly point to these two tracks as a success story and how being steadfast can payoff in the long run.  We cannot thank track owner Greg Gunter and general manager Denise Hollidge enough."
FK Rod Ends "Shock the Clock Qualifying and Beat the Heat" will be utilized meaning the fastest qualifier will receive $100 and all heat race winners will earn $25.  The K&N "Cold Air Induction" Dash will be run paying a $100 K&N certificate to win, $50 K&N certificate for second with $25 cash for third and fourth place.  The K&N Dash will also set the beginning of the 30-lap feature lineup for the top two finishers in the heat races if there are less than five heats or for the heat winners if there are five or more heats. 
Precise Racing Products will award a $100 gift card for the "Pedal Down" Hard Charger that passes the most cars in the feature.  The TBM Brakes "Tough Brake of the Night" will award three bottles of Xtreme6 Racing Brake Fluid valued at approximately $45 along with a certificate for a discount off any TBM Brakes purchase.  
RUSH Officials will choose the "Maxima Performance" Award for a driver that exhibits a performance worthy of such.  The winner will receive a free case of either Maxima Semi-Syn High Performance Racing Oil or Maxima Performance Racing Oil of your choice.  In addition, the winner will receive one can of SC-1 clear coat, one 16-oz bottle of Maxima Cool-Aide concentrate, one 32-oz quart of Maxima PSF power steering fluid, and a Maxima t-shirt.  The value of this prize package is $170!  Also, CrateInsider.com will award a $25 gift certificate to the driver that finishes last on the lead lap at the finish. 
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. $230  17. $220  18-24. $210. 

Non-Qualifier payoff: 1. $175  2. $150  3. $140  4. $135  5. $130  6. $125  7. $120  8. $115  9. $110  10-24. $105.  Tow $100.
You do not have to a member of RUSH to compete.  The yellow Westhold transponders will be used.  RACEceivers are always mandatory.  There will be a $100 entry fee for the event.  Pit passes are $30.  Pit gates open at 3 p.m.  Drivers meeting is scheduled for 5:20 p.m. with warm-ups at 5:45 followed by qualifying and racing.    
Winchester Speedway is 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.  For more information, check out their website at www.winchestervaspeedway.com, "like" them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wincvaspeedway and "follow" them on Twitter @Wincvaspeedway.
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, Maxima Racing Oil, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Classic Ink USA, Rocket Chassis, Landrum Performance Spring, CrateInsider.com, RockAuto.com, and Valley Fashions.
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.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Straub Brewery Launches First of Three New 2017 Craft Beer Samplers

Straub Brewery Launches
First of Three New 2017 Craft Beer Samplers 

St. Marys, PA – Throughout March and April, Straub Brewery is launching the first of its three 2017 craft beer samplers as part of the new “Peter Straub Signature Brews” series. Adventure Series 1 will feature four of Straub’s popular craft beer styles: Wild*Boy Hopped Lager (IPL)Tight Lines Ale (Kölsch)Boulder Bock (Mailbock), and Ridge Top Runner (Vienna)

The limited-release Adventure Series 1 is available throughout Pennsylvania while supplies last in 12-packs, which include three bottles of each of these traditional German-style beers, as well as limited draft at your local tavern. 

“This new series celebrates our 145-year-old legacy as a craft brewer and the Fiercely Independent spirit of the PA Wilds region that Straub Brewery has called home since the 1870s,” said Straub Brewery President and CEO William Brock. “These beers embody the best of what life has to offer; and pay tribute to the people and the incredible places where we work, live, and play.”

The “Peter Straub Signature Brews” series of three Adventure Packs honors Straub Brewery Founder Peter Straub, who left Germany at age 19 and travelled to the U.S. in search of the American Dream with only a few coins sewn into his jacket and a recipe for beer. Seven generations and 145 years later, Peter’s courageous and adventurous pursuit of living life to the fullest endures in every Honestly Fresh™ and Fiercely Independent™ craft beer produced by his historic American Legacy Brewery™. 

The names of the 12 craft beers in the “Peter Straub Signature Brews” series are inspired by the vast outdoor activities and destinations in the 12 ½ counties of Straub Brewery’s home region, which is known as the Pennsylvania Wilds™. This area boasts 2.1 million acres of public land and is one the largest blocks of green between New York City and Chicago with over 50 million people who live within a 6-hour drive of this region. 

As a nod to this unique combination of heritage, home, and award-winning flavor, each craft beer bottle label in the “Peter Straub Signature Brews” series displays both Peter Straub’s autograph and a destination-specific GPS coordinate to help drinkers and explorers alike kick-off their next adventure into the great wide open of the PA Wilds™ or wherever their hearts may lead them.

In addition to the new Adventure Series 1, Adventure Series 2 (styles to be featured: Dunkel, Helles, Hefeweizen, and Oktoberfest) will be released in late summer/early fall to coincide with Oktoberfest celebrations and autumn road trips, and Adventure Series 3 (styles to be featured: Dobbelbock, Pilsner, Altbier, and 1872 Lager—a pre-Prohibition-style Lager) will be released in late fall/early winter in time for the holiday party season.
Adventure Series 1 Features:

Wild*Boy Hopped Lager (IPL)
Named after the popular Wild Boy Run stream and back road in the PA Wilds™ region, Wild*Boy Hopped Lager honors the adventurous drive of Fiercely Independent™ beer drinkers everywhere. This India-style Pale Lager combines traditional IPA malts and American hops with Straub Brewery’s 145-year cold-conditioned lager brewing legacy. The blend of hops provides citrus, spice, and floral aromas, and a refreshing grapefruit taste. Straub Brewery’s lager yeast and cold conditioning provide the clean, refreshing, lager finish. 

Because of its popularity, Wild*Boy Hopped Lager is also offered solo as a year-round craft beer by Straub Brewery.

Wild*Boy Hopped Lager pairs well with: steak; turkey; pork roast; scrambled eggs; white garlic pizza; deep-fried veggies; snacks, such as vegetable chips, popcorn, and cashews; and pecan pie. 

Straub Brewmaster Vince Assetta: “Wild*Boy Hopped Lager is the creation of modern American craft brewing and our 145 years of lager brewing traditions. This beer is packed with big bold flavors that naturally embolden the Fiercely Independent attitude that is so at home here in the wilds of Pennsylvania.”

Tight Lines Ale (Kölsch)
A medal-winner at the 2016 World Beer Cup, Tight Lines Ale pays tribute to the thousands of miles of trout streams, lakes, and recreational waterways flowing through the PA Wilds™ region, and the people who enjoy them. Tight Lines Ale calls to mind popular places like Pine Creek, First Fork, Tionesta Creek, Cedar Run, East Branch of the Clarion, Slate Run, and Freeman Run— where generations of Fiercely Independent™ outdoor enthusiasts have fished, relaxed, and partied. 

Tight Lines Ale also extends accolades to the past generations of leadership who had the foresight to ensure that these legendary streams were secured as public waters open to everyone for all time. 

This Kölsch-style all-malt ale is Straub Brewery’s take on the classic style from the Cologne brewing tradition. Its light and refreshing profile nicely complements the renewing spirit of spring and early summer. 

Tight Lines Ale pairs well with: freshwater trout and walleye; fresh fruits and salads; grilled veggies, chicken, and burgers; kabobs; French toast; and fruity desserts. 

Straub Brewmaster Vince Assetta: “There are not many better feelings than having a nice trout pulling hard on the end of your fly line, except maybe popping the top off an ice-cold Tight Lines Ale! Come fishing season, you can count on finding some Tight Lines Ales in my cooler. I’ll also let you in on a little secret: the GPS coordinates on the Tight Lines Ale label will lead you to one of my favorite fishing spots in the PA Wilds.”

Boulder Bock (Maibock)
Boulder Bock is offered in recognition of the countless trails, scenic views, hills, mountains, and natural formations located throughout the PA Wilds™ region. It speaks to the adventure seekers everywhere, who like to hike, climb, hunt, or simply find that certain kind of satisfaction from experiencing the natural prominence of the northern Pennsylvania wilderness. 

Whether it’s Hyner Point, Denton Hill, Rim Rock, Jake’s Rock, Bilger’s Rock, Thunder Mountain Trail, Mount Tom, or the iconic Pine Creek Gorge of the PA Grand Canyon, Boulder Bock embodies the indomitable spirit of the PA Wilds™ and the millions of Fiercely Independent™ residents and tourists who enjoy it annually.

Brewed with a unique combination of German and American ingredients, this Maibock-style all-malt, pale-colored bock lager is a traditional spring release—"Mai" is German for May. 

Boulder Bock pairs well with: spring stews and soups; seafood, such as lobster, seasoned shrimp, and crab cakes; grilled cheese sandwiches; turkey, chicken, or veggie subs; spaghetti and meatballs; brunch omelets, and vanilla desserts. 

Straub Brewmaster Vince Assetta: “Boulder Bock’s rich malty flavor, balanced by the European-style hop character, is perfect for welcoming spring to north-central Pennsylvania, or wherever you call home.”

Ridge Top Runner (Vienna)
Ridge Top Runner is named in respect to the thousands of acres of lush and pristine forests, state parks, and untouched game lands within the PA Wilds™ region. It also pays homage to the rich history of the logging industry in the region and the Fiercely Independent™ people who worked in the woods building the infrastructure and establishing our communities. 

Annually, tens of thousands of locals and tourists from across Pennsylvania and the country cruise through these areas to picnic, hike, hunt, sightsee, and enjoy the best of what nature has to offer. Destinations like the Allegheny National Forest, Hearts Content, PA Grand Canyon, Devil’s Elbow, Buzzard Swamp, and Ole Bull State Park are places where fun and fresh air are seamless complements to the smooth, malty notes of Ridge Top Runner. 

This Vienna-style all-malt, amber lager is Straub Brewery’s take on the classic style from Viennese and Munich brewing traditions. It is a balanced beer, with just enough flavor and aroma to please a wide range of drinkers. 

Ridge Top Runner pairs well with: hot wings; grilled kabobs; baked ham; stuffed pork chops; salmon and tuna; hot dogs and burgers; pizza; tacos; and chocolate desserts. 

Straub Brewmaster Vince Assetta: “Ridge Top Runner is first and last a balanced and symmetrical beer. The pale amber color is followed by a mild and malty initial taste, and then just enough hop character to keep you going back for more. Extremely smooth and drinkable, be sure to share this Vienna lager with your friends who appreciate great lager beers.

About Straub Brewery

Straub Brewery, Inc. is an international award-winning brewery founded in 1872 by German immigrant Peter Straub, who, at age 19, left his family and homeland in search of the American Dream. Today, Straub Brewery is an American Legacy Brewery™. 
Located in St. Marys, PA, Straub Brewery is one of the oldest and most historic breweries in the United States, and is still owned and operated by its founding family, now into its sixth and seventh generations. Fodor’s Travel named Straub Brewery one of the “5 Best Places in America to Drink American Beer.” 
Straub Brewery produces Straub American Lager, Straub American Light Lager, Straub American Amber Lager, Wild*Boy Hopped Lager (India Pale Lager), and 1872 (Pre-Prohibition Lager), as well as the “Peter Straub Signature Brews” series of craft beer styles, such as Kölsch Ale, Vienna Lager, Dunkel, Helles, Doppelbock, Maibock, Altbier, Oktoberfest, Pilsner, and Hefeweizen. 
Straub Brewery has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Gold (Straub Dunkel) and Silver (Straub American Amber Lager) medals from the 2017 Best of Craft Beer Awards; Gold (Straub American Lager) and Bronze (Straub American Light Lager) medals from the 2016 U.S. Open Beer Championship; Bronze medal (Straub Kölsch Ale) from the 2016 World Beer Cup; a Silver medal (Straub Dunkel) and three Bronze medals (Straub Amber Lager, Straub Doppelbock, and Straub 1872 Lager) from the 2016 Raise A Glass Competition; the 2016 “Leadership in Reusable Packaging” Award from the Pennsylvania Resource Council for its 16-ounce Straub American Lager returnable package; and a 2015 “Brewer Partner of the Year” Award from the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
Recently, Straub Brewery was a filming location for the 10th Anniversary season of the popular FIREBALL RUN adventure-travel TV series, which will air in 2017.
For more information and to connect with Straub Brewery on social media, please visit: www.StraubBeer.com.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


January 25, 2017(By Doug Kennedy)

(Pulaski, PA)...A while back, we showcased drivers who are currently racing in the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series powered by Pace Performance, who have fathers who have raced or in some cases, are still racing.  One family we neglected to include could perhaps be one of the most successful and that is the Wonderling Family.  There's three brothers, Jeremy and Mike Wonderling of Wellsville, NY, and Brady Wonderling of Scio, NY and their dad, Mike.  The two towns are a mere miles apart.    

During the 2016 season, the three brothers won a total of 12 RUSH-sanctioned races.  The breakdown of those wins were Jeremy with nine (3 at Bradford, 3 at Freedom, 2 at McKean, and 1 at Genesee), Brady with two wins at Genesee and Mikey with a win at Bradford.  Jeremy also won two non sanctioned races at Little Valley Speedway giving him a total of 11 for the 2016 season!  
The boys' mentor is non other than their dad, Mike Wonderling, who at 64, raced Late Models beginning in 1980.  Besides helping his sons with their racing programs, Mike also had the opportunity to race against each and every one of his sons during his illustrious career.  All of their resumes are quite impressive.
Jeremy won a 360 Late Model title at Little Valley in 2011 before switching over to a Crate Late Model in 2014.  At 36 years of age, Jeremy, the youngest of the racing brothers and the most successful, first began racing IMCA Modifieds in 1998.  He did that for three seasons before moving to then what was called Super Stocks in 2001. Twice he won points championships at both Little Valley (2011 and 2013) and Outlaw Speedway (2007 and 2008).  The cars were then called 360 Late Models and the Series that he followed was the BRP Series, where he is the all-time leader in feature wins. His career feature win total is approaching 100.  Jeremy's initial reaction to the Crate Late Model as compared to the 360 Late Model is that the Crates are more responsive.    
Being able to race against his brothers is very important for Jeremy.  He looks back to a race at Little Valley in June of 2016 when he was in the lead with his two brothers, Mikey and Brady, in hot pursuit.  Jeremy, who led from the start of the race, would win with Brady finishing second , and Mikey fourth.  At one point in the race, the Wonderlings were at the top of the leader board with Jeremy leading, Mikey second, and Brady third, but that has happened on a number of other occasions as well.   Upon conclusion of that race, Jeremy was thrilled with the victory, but was happier that he gets the opportunity to race against his two brothers on a regular basis. 
There were two other occasions in 2016 that had Jeremy and Brady hook up with a one-two finish. In the May 28th Enlisted Club Warrior race at Genesee, Brady had the lead, only to lose it to his younger brother with 10 laps to go.  In yet another 2016 race at Freedom, Jeremy was once again able to pass Brady for the win.    
There a couple of races that Jeremy puts at the top of his racing list.  Winning a Sweeney RUSH Touring Series race at McKean County Raceway this past August 18 during the Fair is very special for him, but the proudest moment came back in 2008 when he was able to win the "Brock Young Memorial" race at McKean.  Young, who was a very close friend of Jeremy's, had died in a car accident.    "His dad and brother were there so it was a very special win for me," said Jeremy. 
Brother Mikey, who is the oldest at 43, has helped his younger brother on numerous occasions.  Jeremy talks about a race at Little Valley this past season when he borrowed a spare motor from his older brother and went onto beat him in the race that evening.   "Last year, I borrowed his spare motor for a half season or better and it really helped.  Sometimes he took it back because I was beating him with it," said Jeremy. 
For 2017, Jeremy will be driving a brand new GRT since he sold last year's car to Mikey.  Living right next door to each other, Jeremy and Mikey are able to spend a lot of time with each other and share a lot of racing ideas.   "Being that close, we are able to help each other out on a number of occasions," said Jeremy.    
For the last two seasons, all three brothers competed in the RUSH Late Model Series.  Jeremy drives the #3J, Mikey, the #18, and middle son, Brady, who is 40, drives the #z1.  Competing against each other is mostly a thrill, but let's just say that there are times that aren't so good either.
"At times, it's pretty good and at other times, not so good," said Jeremy.  "But I have a lot of fun racing against them."
"For the most part it works out, but we've had our nights," said Mikey.
"All three of us have had our battles where each other didn't feel the other guy did the right thing, but two days later we're back at the race shop sharing information," said Brady.  "If we're all up front and I can't pass them, then I'm cheering them on to win.  I want to win as much as they do because it is a very competitive sport."
One of Mikey's racing highlights is also winning the "Brock Young Memorial" race at Woodhull Raceway in 2014.  Like his younger brother, Young was also a dear friend of Mikey's.
In this past season, there was one race in particular that Mikey remembers that included all three brothers.  "We were running one-two-three, at the end of a race at Woodhull," said Mikey.  The final finish was Brady, Jeremy, and Mikey.  "We've had numerous one-two finishes as well."
For his career, Mikey has won the 360 Late Model title at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee, NY in 2010 and the BRP championship in 2014.  His racing career began in 1998 in a Sportsman car. After spending one year with that, he moved to a 360 Late Model and drove that until getting into a Crate Late Model in 2015.  He figures he has somewhere around 15 career feature wins.     
Brady's racing career began with a Modified.  From there he spent two seasons in the BRP Super Stock Series before moving into a Super Late Model.  He, like Mikey, got into a RUSH Crate Late Model in 2015. 
During his Super Late Model days, Brady had some good runs with the MACS and STARS Series.  "I ran a number of World of Outlaw races and always made the show," said Brady.  In December of 2005, Brady and one of his friends decided to head South for 5 months and raced in Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and the Carolinas.  "At one race at Columbus, Mississippi, I was seventh fastest out of 105 cars," said Brady.
Brady also remembers a race at Outlaw when he won a BRP race in Jeremy's back-up car.  "He was running his main car and I passed him with a few laps to go," said Brady. 
"He kind of pushed him out of the way," said their dad, Mike.  In all, Brady has won somewhere around 30 features during his career. 
For 2017, Brady will be running a brand new Ed Carley Rocket, while Mikey and Jeremy will be running the GRT.  "We've always had good equipment," said Brady.  "It may not be the best, but it's as good as most of what everyone else has."
All of the three boys pretty much run their own racing operations so financing is always a major consideration.  However, all three get support from The Store, a local gas and grocery store, and have some other small sponsors as well.  Jeremy's include Terry Prince Contracting, while Mikey has Evingham Auto Sales and Mike Mesler Garage. 
As for their driving styles, it's pretty much a consensus amongst the Wonderlings that Jeremy is the most aggressive and will take the most chances. Both Brady and Mikey are more conservative, but as Jeremy explained they will be aggressive when it's needed.
"He's wide open," said Mikey of his youngest brother. 
"Brady and Mikey are more conservative," said their dad.  "He (Mikey) thinks more about how much it's going to cost to fix a race car if he wrecks it.  For Jeremy, he knows that he will have to work harder the next week if he wrecks it." 
"I've had the most success with the most features wins because I'm probably more dedicated than they are," said Jeremy of his brothers.
"He takes more chances," added Brady. 
Besides mom and dad, the Wonderling boys get a lot of support from their families.  Jeremy gets his from his wife Abigail and their 8 year old son, Carson.
"I love it," said Abigail of Jeremy's racing.  "He's very dedicated to it.  He does a lot of work by himself and doesn't mind doing the dirty work to be successful in racing." 

Mikey's wife is Michelle and he has a 24-year-old step son, Cody.  Brady is married to Stacia and has three step kids, Tyler, Brooke, and Jessie and 8 year old Jadyn. 
The real leader of the Wonderlings is the 64-year-old Mike. After a few seasons of racing a 360 Late Model, Mike moved into a Super Late and stayed there until 2007 when Crate Late Models debuted in the North.  After driving for a few seasons in different series than his kids, Mike sold his car and trailer and was intent on just following the careers of his boys and not race at all.
However that changed when Jeremy called him up and said that he had found a really good race car.  "I was working in Kentucky at the time as a service technician for Air Preheater," said Mike.  "He said that as long as you're going to watch us race every week, you might as well have a racecar.  That was in 2009 so I came home for Easter, got the car right, and raced it for the next five years." 
As for racing against his kids, Mike said, "I had more fun doing that than when I was racing by myself.  At times, when they were leading the race or up front, I just got distracted thinking about what they were doing."
Racing against dad was also special for the boys.  "That was the highlight of my career being able to race against him for 15 years," said Brady of his time spent with the Super Lates.  "Dad was great in his time.  When I first got into Late Model racing, he was in the front and I was in the back, but that eventually changed."
"It was a lot of fun," said Mikey.  "I remember a BRP race at McKean.  I was running second to him for 28 laps and passed him with 2 laps to go to win.  That was a lot of fun." 
"There are a lot of memories I have of racing with him going side-by-side," said Jeremy.  "He cared more about what we were doing than what he was doing." 
Mike retired in 2014 on a good note, winning the Freedom track championship with seven feature wins.  He also won 5 other championships and has nearly 100 career feature wins.   A few years ago, Mike took all of his winning trophies down to Allegheny Mountain Speedway.  When a young kid won a race, promoter John Layfield, who refurbished them, gave them to the winning kid.  Now he just follows his sons with his wife, Deborah.  They will take their motor home to the tracks and if it's too far, they'll just stay the night. 
 "I miss the driving and the excitement of racing," said Mike of his retirement.  "I don't miss all the work.  People don't see the work that is involved.  It takes one to two nights to clean up the car and that's if you didn't wreck it.  The older you get, it feels like a lot more work."
"I'm more impressed with my dad because he has done stuff in a race car that I've never seen anyone else do," said Jeremy.    
Business-wise, the Wonderling boys are all into the logging business.  Jeremy and Brady are loggers, while Mike hauls the logs.  Jeremy has been logging since he was 18, buying his own equipment when he was 21.  He actually works for his uncle, Charlie, at Baldwin's Forest Products, situated in Bolivar, New York.   
"He picks the most dangerous things-logging and racing," said Jeremy's wife, Abigail. 
Second son Brady, is the one who actually got his younger brother into the logging business.  There are times, although not regularly, that they end up working together.  Brady is a self employed logger who contracts a lot with Two Rivers Timber Company, located in Addison, NY.  He's been working in the logging business since he was 12 years old.   
Mikey is the one who hauls the logs. "I went to the service for four years when I got out of high school and then started doing the logging right after."
As for the RUSH Series, Mike said, "I think it's a pretty good series. They're doing a good job, especially with the teching.  I'm sure no one gets away with anything."
"I like the series," said Jeremy. "I especially like the rule enforcements and the teching and Manufacturer's Night is definitely a big thing."
Brady said, "(RUSH Series Director) Vicki (Emig) does a real good job.  Everyone would like to get paid more, but the tracks have to be able to afford us as well." 
"I think it's a good thing," said Mikey.  'I don't follow the whole series because of time and money.  If you spend the same amount of money as you win, it doesn't make sense to run the whole series.  "Every year, I say I'm going to follow the entire series and then we have a bad race or wreck and I end up not running the entire series.  But the competition level in that series is pretty stiff.  It's really the only class option for me because I can't afford a Super Late."
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 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.

Saturday, December 17, 2016



December 17, 2016(By Doug Kennedy)

(Pulaski, PA)...No sport can lay claim to having more relatives, whether it be brother to brother, father to son, uncle to nephew, or any other relationship than what is seen throughout the world of auto racing. On a national level, you have the Unsers, the Andrettis, the Earnhardts, the Pettys, and the Rahals; just to name a few.  Can we say it's nepotism at its finest.
But for now we turn our attention to the local scene and highlight some of the father-son combos that are part of the premier division of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance- the Late Models.
We would be remiss if we didn't mention the most well documented father-son duo, Max and Rob Blair, whose success is like none other; however, in this we highlight a large group of drivers who currently compete in the RUSH Late Model division that maybe don't receive as much notoriety, but have dads that have previously raced and are right by their side.  And for some, the dads are still racing even competing against their sons. 
In most cases, the sons, who follow their father's footsteps, have racing careers which develop at an early age due mainly to the exposure they get with their father's careers.  And those that choose to follow that same career path usually develop a bond that only a father and son can experience.  They have the help, support, and more importantly the experience that these racing fathers can lend.
"Racing has brought my dad and I closer together because we both love doing what we do," said 19-year-old Logan Roberson of Waynesboro, Virginia, who captured the RUSH track championships at both Potomac and Winchester Speedways.  "He teaches me a lot as far as racing goes and to have respect for others."
Roberson's father, Greg, continues to race driving for car owner Mike Smiley.  His two rides are a Super Late Model and a Steel Block.  Since the Robersons have four cars in their shop, which includes three MastersBilts with two of the being Steel Blocks, Logan gets the opportunity, at times, to race against his dad. 
"I think it's a blast racing with him because he has way more experience and I can learn from him and it helps me become a better racer."
The driver of the #17 is now in his third season of RUSH Late Model racing and really likes the class.  "I think it's a phenomenal series that is heading in the right direction and on target to take over the entire East Coast.  It's great with the car counts and the rules and gives you something to look forward to.  The Series makes you want to come to the track and race because of all the support RUSH gives to its racers."
Logan, however, can't thank his parents enough for getting him to where he is in his racing career.  "My dad and mom have supported every move I've made," said Logan.  "They give me everything they can for me to be successful in life and I can't thank them enough." 
Damian Bidwell's father, Keith was a racer in the Sportsman's/E-Mod class at McKean County Raceway.   He was quite successful with his two-car operation that had Brent Rhebergen and Alan Dellinger driving his second car.  His last year of racing was his son's first year.  "He gave up racing so I could get started," said Damian.
"He doesn't get to spend time at the racetrack anymore because of his work," said Damian, "but when he's home he's in the garage working of the car to get it ready.  "We have always wanted to put a Modified together so I could run it because he said I would love driving them.  Now that the crate class is growing for the Modifieds, maybe we will put one together to run in the future."
At one time, Damian was part of the Rob/Max Blair race team, but left because he felt he wasn't going to get the necessary information when he's racing against them every weekend.  This past season, Bidwell finished second in weekly points to none other than Max Blair.
Thirty-seven year-old, Brian Knowles, and his 35-year-old brother, Jason, have a lot to be thankful for with regards to their racing father, Larry.  Both Brian and Jason grew up working in the racing shop of their father which helped pique their racing interests.   Brian was 15 when he started racing and Jason was 16. 
"Dad has been a mentor to me," said Brian, who hails from Corning, New York.  "With his racing resume, you listen to what he says.  His work ethic is to go to the track and be 100% ready."
"We have a very strong bond between us," said Brian, the driver of the #7.  "We work together, go to dinner together, go to auctions together, we're just best friends.  And we work together everyday so we better get along."
"Racing seems to keep us together and tight," said Jason, who hails from Addison, New York.  "He's (dad) been a huge help- if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be able to do what I do."
Larry, the patriarch, was a longtime racer who had a very successful career.  "Growing up, I really never had a driver hero," said Brian, "because when I was crewing for dad, he was that guy.  He was the guy to beat at the track and it's hard to be that guy every week." 
Larry, who is currently 65 years old, retired from full-time racing in 2011, but occasionally, has got back into a racecar since then.  The elder Knowles won a number of track championships and performed his skills not only on the dirt, but on the asphalt as well.  For a five-year period, all three Knowles raced against each other in the Super Stock class.
Being a divorced dad, Larry had his boys on the weekend and that's when he raced.  "They loved being at the racetrack and around racecars," said Larry.  "It was a natural for my boys to be around when I started in the early '90s.  I got addicted to racing because of my dad.  They were at the track and helped me in the shop.  When they got older, they just wanted to race."
The Knowles all work at Don Gross Construction, a company that does residential and commercial construction.  Larry, who started out as a partner, is now the sole owner of the business.  The company is broken up into four divisions; site work, waste management, equipment sales and rental, and heavy transport that also involves snow removal. 
The Knowles also get the opportunity to race against each other on a weekly basis.  "Some nights it's awesome, other nights it's a headache," said Brian of racing against his brother.  RUSH is definitely the reason we participate.  It's the only series that frees up the racer and allows us to concentrate our funding in other areas because of the Manufacturers Nights and the giveaways."
"I enjoy doing it," said Jason, the driver of the #4.  "I guess the biggest thing is that some days you kind of wish he could be in a different class or I could be in a different class.  Both of us are really competitive.  It's very racer friend," said Jason Knowles. "What they put out is very helpful to the drivers."
Incidentally the Knowles finished three and four in the Touring Series points, with younger brother, Jason, coming out on top.  Jason also captured the inaugural Outlaw Speedway track championship, ironically over his Brian by 16 points.
Late Model driver Daryl Charlier of Midway, Pa. has been racing for 14 years.  "I'm not sure if I can tell the difference between our relationship on and off the track," said Daryl of his dad Dale.  "To me it feels like the same place.
Like his son, Dale was an E-Mod racer and still competes at times.  The pair had a number of opportunities over a two-year period to race against each other in a Modified at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway.
"That was a blast," said Daryl.  "There was always constant discussion in the shop as to who would beat who the following week.  I feel it was even more entertaining for our friends and family.  I would say that 99% of my racing knowledge has come from him," said Daryl.  "He was able to setup a car just by watching me go around the track.  I feel that as a local driver, I was able to accomplish a lot.  When I wanted to race, I had to work for it." 
Wyatt Scott has been climbing the racing ladder and according to dad David, he's really into it.  This past season, Wyatt finished sixth in RUSH Late Model points at Stateline Speedway and also captured the $1,000 "Futures Cup" title.
"I feel I have the best mentor in the sport that anyone could have," said 18-year-old Wyatt of his dad.  He's won everything that he's raced and someone I really look up to.  I think I learn something every time I talk to him.  He's a genius."
The 46-year-old "Slow Ride" continues to race an E-Mod and a Super Late Model for two different car owners.  He will occasionally compete in a few races in the RUSH Late Model Division as well, where he will race against his son.  Jim and Jen Scott, Dave's parents, are the co-owners of Stateline Speedway.
Twenty-year-old Late Model driver Eric Wilson became known as "The Shark" because of his prowess racing Go-Karts in his younger days.  His dad, Chris, competed in Semi Late Models and occasionally Late Models during his racing days and captured the Raceway 7 Semi-Late championship in 1984.
Even though, he began his Go-Kart racing career when he was seven, his dad encouraged him to pursue other interests besides racing.  While in high school, Eric excelled in baseball, basketball, and soccer.  "Once he (Eric) got better in racing, the more we committed to move him in that direction."
Three generations of Wilsons have raced:  Grandfather Dale, Father Chris, his twin brother, Mike, and now son Eric. Dale provides the team's motors, while Eric's dad, Chris, is responsible for everything else that includes the fabricating and chassis set-up. 
"Since he used to race, he understands the challenges I face as a driver," said Eric of his dad.  "He's also sacrificed a lot and has worked overtime to help fund the team.  He's put me in good equipment, but he's taught me how to appreciate it.  He's my biggest fan but also my biggest critic."
The RUSH racing series is the perfect series for someone in my position," said Eric Wilson.  "It's an affordable way of racing but it's also extremely competitive."
Seventeen-year-old Clinton Hersh of Somerset, Pa. competed for the first time this past season in the RUSH Late Model Touring Series where he finished 12th in points.  Last season, Clinton won the Futures Cup title and had a pair of wins at Roaring Knob.  This season, he added a victory at Dog Hollow.  His dad, Tony, used to race Street Stocks at Thunder Valley and asphalt cars at Jennerstown.
"Clinton and I have a good relationship," said Tony.  "I try to help him by showing him how to work on the cars and teach him how to set them up for different tracks." 
As mentioned earlier, Jim Johnson, Sr. promotes Genesee Speedway which prompted him to cut back on his racing schedule for 2017.  Both his son, Jimmy, Jr. and his daughter, Sarah, competed at Genesee this past season.  Jimmy finished fourth in Late Model points while Sarah took home fifth place in the Sportsman Modified class.  Besides racing, Jimmy also helps out at the track and works on both Late Models and his sister's Modified.  Incidentally, Jim, Sr. finished 21st in points with a victory to his credit.
"I try to teach both my kids when they started racing that control meant more than speed," said Jim, Sr.  "The smoother they were, the faster they would be.  Off the track, I have told him (Jimmy, Jr.) that he needs four hours of maintenance for every 10 minutes of fun."   He also says that the goal of both of his kids is to win the track championship.
Humberstone Speedway regular Tim Gillespie is carrying on his father, Brian's footsteps.  Brian began racing a '40 flathead Mercury at Humberstone in 1960 and even towed from Canada to Woodhull, NY once in 1974 with a towbar!  Tim began in Go-Karts and eventually moved up to Street Stocks and even built an IMCA Modified together with his father racing at tracks such as Freedom, Eriez, and Woodhull.  After breaking his leg badly in 2010 and suffering from prostate cancer, Brian gave up racing.
"I'm lucky to have him crew chief for me and still help build my RUSH Late Model bodies," explained Tim.  "Sometimes there's a quiet ride home from the track, but mostly all good times which I wouldn't trade for the world.  He loved the father-son picture Vicki (Emig) took of us at Merrittville and has starred at it for a long time.  It is those moments that make racing most enjoyable."
"Eighteen-year-old Colton Ledingham of Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada grew up in a shop with race cars," said his dad Rob Ledingham.  Rob was a racer himself, having competed for 35 years in a number of divisions.   For a period of time, Rob drove the Late Model, while Colton drove in the Truck division.  After Colton spent some time in the Late Model in practice, Rob knew that he was going to be out and his son would be in.  
The Ledingham are a three generation low budget racing operation which makes it so special and fun when they can compete.  Colton has only raced at Humberstone, Merrittville, and Ohsweken, but that could change this year as the team plans on travelling.  Currently, Colton is attending college and majoring in Automotive Engineering.
"He's not only my son, but my best friend as well," said Rob of Colton.  Rob's racing philosophy is simple:  If you can't fix it, don't understand it, or don't work on it, then you're not driving it.
Another Humberstone father-son tandem is Ridgeway, Ontario's Merv and Ken Winfield.  Ken has been a regular in the RUSH Late Model division at Humberstone since 2012.  Merv was a former Six-Cylinder Modified racer at Humberstone competing against Tim Gillespie's father, and now helps his son in the pits every Sunday night.
With his home track being Eriez Speedway, 29-year-old Bruce Hordusky, Jr. went on the road for the first time ever and finished seventh in points in the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series this past season.  Because of racing, Bruce has had the luxury of having both his dad, Bruce, Sr., and his grandfather, George, being with him on nights and weekends.
Bruce, Sr. has won multiple track championships at Raceway 7 and also has a Stateline-Eriez Circuit championship.  He is fourth in all time Late Model wins at Raceway 7 and is in the top five in wins at Eriez as well.
"My dad has been a great influence on my racing career," said Bruce, Jr.  "It's such an advantage for me to have his knowledge and his experience as a mentor and a crew chief.  I owe everything I have in my career to him.  He was so fun to watch in a 50 or 100 lap event when the racetrack was slick and tire management was critical."
As for the RUSH Series, Bruce Hordusky, Jr. said, "Competing against guys like Max Blair, John Waters, Bryce Davis, and Will Thomas has made my racing program better.  It's great to race under a consistent and fair rules package.  It's been a pleasure for our team to compete with RUSH weekly and I'm proud to support it."
Thirty-four year-old Kyle Zimmerman of Albion, Pa. had the advantage of having a father who spent 35 years in racing.  Keith raced Sportsman, Thunder Cars, and Late Models at various tracks with Lernerville Speedway being his home track.
At 12 years of age, Kyle put his first racecar together, and at 16 became his dad's crew chief.  However, with the rising costs associated with racing, Keith was forced to sell his Late Model motor and retire from racing in 2006.
Kyle's own racing program didn't begin until he was 21, but by 2010 he won the Mercer Raceway championship and the Eriez title a year later.  In 2014, he won championships at both Eriez and Raceway 7. 
As for his father Keith, "He's the mastermind of my racing program," said Kyle, who is very technically oriented. "He is just a wealth of knowledge.  If I can have it my way, I'll be racing and I'm sure my dad won't be far away.  It's something we both love and enjoy doing it together.  Besides, I've been doing this so long I have no idea what normal people do all summer.  The RUSH Series has really been the key to growing the sport in this region and the reason I'm able to race today." 
Twenty-six year-old Jamie Wrightsman of Cortland, Ohio didn't start racing until he was 20.  His career started racing school buses at Expo Speedway before racing full-time in 2010 at Sharon Speedway in the Mini Stock division.  His dad, Jim, started racing in 1979 in a Stock before moving to a Modified and a Limited Late Model.  He raced three nights a week, pulling double duty on many nights, at Raceway 7, Tri-City, and Sharon. 
As for his dad and the help he gives, Jamie said, "Without his help, there would be no way I could be able to race.  He spends countless hours in the garage fixing something or just getting the car ready to go for next week.  We butt heads on certain things...in the end, it all works out, sometimes with me saying I told you so.  I see myself racing with RUSH for years to come...it's an excellent program."
Twenty-seven year-old Brad Mesler of Wellsville, NY began racing Go-Karts against his dad, Bill, when he was 11 years old.  Bill got into a Late Model after his son had, but one thing he always wanted was to beat his son.  Brad remembers back to a night at Bradford when the two of them were coming to the checkered flag and racing for second and ended up in the infield with both cars tore up.
"He was my dad and a friend for life and racing brought a way for me to compete against him," said Brad.
Forty-five year-old Matt Aber of Wooster, Ohio competes at Wayne County Speedway.  His dad, Blaine, has been racing for 51 years.  Blaine has eight track championships to his credit.  He is actually Matt's step dad, but he's raised Matt since he was six years old after the death of his real father. 
"He taught me a lot about life and racing," said Matt of his dad.  "He is my go to guy for everything.  We're more like best friends these days.  At the track, he gives me suggestions, sometimes good, sometimes bad and are each other's biggest fans."
Another driver who has the luxury of having their dad race as well is Mike Duritsky, Jr. of Masontown, Pa., whose dad, Mike, raced Street Stocks.  The younger Duritsky competed against his father in the Stocks before moving up to the Late Models in 2015 where he finished third in the "Futures Cup" points.
2016 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, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, TBM Brakes, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Velocita-USA, 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 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.