RUSH LM Tour announces 23-event slate with record $43,000 point fund for 2021


By Mike Leone

March 23, 2021

(Pulaski, PA)
...The Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC is proud to release its 2021 Touring Series schedule of events. The richest season in Series history will include 23 events at 15 different speedways in six states boasting a record $43,000 point fund presented by new marketing partners Flynn's Tire and Born2Run Lubricants! Jeremy Wonderling enters the season in search of his fourth straight championship!

The 2021 Touring Series point fund has more than doubled from the pre-pandemic point fund to a whopping $43,000 in potential payoff for the top 20 point earners! The 2021 champion will receive $12,000- the highest of any Chevrolet Performance Crate Engine Series in the country with $1,200 going to 10th place! While the 10 positions are guaranteed, RUSH has also extended potential payoffs to an additional 10 racers. RUSH will pay $1,000 to Tour members in positions 11-15 in points that compete in 75% of the total Tour events, and $500 to Tour members in positions 16-20 in points that compete in 75% of the total Tour events.

"After coming off our richest Touring slate which resulted in our highest average car count in history in 2019 we were all geared up for 2020 when the pandemic hit," acknowledged Emig. "In 2019, the schedule of events went to a different level and that translated into an average of more than 38 cars for our events, often exceeding 40 plus cars and over 50 on three different occasions. Despite a reduced schedule of events in 2020, the average car count was still 38+. With that said we felt it was time to substantially increase our point fund," continued Emig. "We look forward to our 2021 champion earning a record $12,000 as we have to thank Flynn's Tire and Born2Run for coming on board to help increase the point fund to $43,000! Our slate of substantial paying Tour events combined with our richest ever Tour point fund is definitely going to create an awesome situation for both RUSH fans and Crate Late Model racers throughout the region!"

The 2021 schedule will get underway with the third annual "Battle of the Bay" Mid-Atlantic Speedweek April 14-17, which saw drivers from eight states and Canada compete in 2019. The Speedweek will kick-off once again at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar on Wednesday night for the second annual Raelyn Huffman Memorial paying a minimum $3500 to-win followed up by events at Georgetown, Potomac, and Winchester Speedways that will each pay $3000 to-win.

Besides the increase in to the standard Tour payoffs on the line each night, there will again be a $3,000 point fund for the top 10 RUSH members in points over the four nights with $1,000 going to the champion. There will also be a $150 travel package for any Tour driver in the top 12 from 2020 that participates in at least the opening event. Prior to COVID-19 wiping out last year's "Battle of the Bay", seven of the eight scheduled events have been completed all-time with a minimum of 40 cars at all events. In 2019, the 53 cars at Delaware set a "Battle of the Bay" record. Max Blair topped 2018 champion, Logan Roberson, to win the 2019 "Battle of the Bay" crown.

After a month off, the Touring Series returns to Stateline Speedway for the fourth year for the "Bill Law Memorial" on May 15. The 2017 event was the first ever Tour event at the Busti, NY oval in the 10-year history of Crate Late Models in the Northeast as a big crowd watched a thriller as Jeremy Wonderling held off standout and track dominator Max Blair for the victory. The 2018 event was just as good as Damian Bidwell made a late race pass of Scott Gurdak for his first Tour win in more than three years. And in 2019, Wonderling again held off Blair and withstood a mid-race rain delay to top a record Stateline field of 33 cars.

The following night, Eriez Speedway will host a Marquee event giving racers back-to-back $2,000 to-win shows within just a 40-mile distance. Located just outside of Erie, Pa., this will be year number three of ownership for Dave Alexander, who will again host weekly Sunday night RUSH Late Model racing. There have been seven RUSH Tour events completed all-time at Eriez and the Blairs have won all seven with Max winning six and his father Rob one.

For the fourth straight year, Outlaw and Genesee Speedways in New York have teamed up to host back-to-back $2,000 to-win "Marquee" Events on Friday and Saturday, May 28-29 with Bradford Speedway right across the border in Pennsylvania joining in this year on Sunday night.

Outlaw's show will again be dubbed as the "Gary Montgomery Memorial". The last three Outlaw races have been tremendous as former BRP Can-Am racers Bryce Davis (2017) and Wonderling (2018-2019) winning in memory of BRP Series founder Montgomery. Wonderling then ended Jason Genco's two straight Genesee Tour wins, which was part of his three-race win streak in 2019.

The RUSH Late Model Tour is again honored to join up with the World of Outlaws Late Models for the "Firecracker 100" weekend June 24-26 at Lernerville Speedway. This crown-jewel for Super Late Models will also showcase RUSH in the running of the "Bill Emig Memorial" presented by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply. The Saturday night program will feature a 50-lap $10,000 to-win main event- the richest event on the 2021 slate.

The Independence Day holiday weekend will feature a pair of events in western Pa. For the first time ever, the RUSH Late Models will make a stop at Dog Hollow Speedway on Friday night (July 2) with $3,000 on the line. The new promotional team of Mark McClellan and Kyle Smith, Sr. have taken over the Northern Cambria track and will run the RUSH Late Models on a weekly basis. Then on Saturday night, the RUSH Late Models will make their first of four appearance at the "Monster Half-Mile" at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway for the annual Herb Scott Memorial.

The return to Sharon Speedway on Saturday, July 17 has long been anticipated by drivers throughout the region. The RUSH Late Model Tour last appeared at the showplace in 2016, which was prior to the new red clay surface that has produced tremendous racing in recent years. The RUSH Late Models ran weekly at Sharon from 2011-2014. Will Thomas is the division's all-time winner with 13 victories, and will be returning to the RUSH ranks in 2021. The Sharon event will be the inaugural "Bill Forney Memorial" paying a minimum of $2199 to-win, but is expected to grow with contributions.

For the fifth time, the "Jook George Steel City Classic" at PPMS will be a Tour event. The "Jook George" will take place on Saturday, August 7 with the exact payoff of this prestigious event to be announced. The 2018 event attracted a record 51 cars and saw Jacob Hawkins take home $5010. The 2019 event saw Kyle Lukon leave PPMS with a RUSH event record $11,610 payday thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Branden Lockwich. And even with the pandemic setting back fundraising efforts, Lockwich was still able to award Michael Norris with a $7200 payday last season. Zarin Truck & Auto has been the presenting sponsor.

Eriez Speedway will host the annual "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance on Sunday, August 15 for their second Tour race of 2021. The last time Eriez hosted Manufacturers Night was 2015 and attracted 47 cars, which is also the average car count for the event over the 9-year history since the MFG Night debuted. Over $30,000 of valuable and useful products is typically distributed to competing racers.

For many years, the RUSH Late Model Tour was a staple at Sharon's "Apple Festival Nationals". After a four-year absence, the RUSH Late Models returned to the show as a Weekly Series event in 2020. Now Sharon will welcome back the Tour with one of the season's richest events. The "Cider Jug 40" presented by Zarin Truck & Auto will pay $4000 to-win.

For the first time in Series history, Genesee Speedway will play host to back-to-back Tour events on September 24-25 with $2,000 to-win each night for the Topless Nationals. The Saturday show will be the "Traveling Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance with product giveaways for regional racers in the New York area.

For the sixth straight year, the Tour will be part of the Pittsburgher 100 with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series on October 1-2. The Bill Hendren Memorial has been increasing in stature every year as last season was the first time to offer complete shows each night with $3,000 on the line. Not only has the feature purse increased, but so has the "One to Remember" Non-Winners race along with the Non-Qualifier.

Another track hosting their first ever RUSH Tour event in 2021 is Latrobe Speedway. The half-mile western Pennsylvania speed plant will welcome in RUSH on Friday, October 8 for night one of the "Fall Fest" bringing back a tradition from the defunct Challenger Raceway.

And as what been an annual tradition since RUSH's inception, the "Steel City Stampede" will bring down the curtain on the Touring Series season on October 15-16. This year’s “Steel City Stampede” will be the 13th edition of this huge event that includes most of the region’s racing divisions.

2021 Touring Series Point Fund presented by Flynn's Tire & Born2Run Lubricants ($43,000): 1. $12,000 2. $6,000 3. $4,000 4. $3,000 5. $2,500 6. $2,000 7. $1,800 8. $1,600 9. $1,400 10. $1,200 11-15. $1,000* 16-20. $500*. *Drivers/Owners in positions 11-20 in points MUST compete in 75% of the total Tour events to receive point fund monies.

Click here for printable 2021 RUSH Late Model Touring Series presented by Flynn's Tire & Born2Run Lubricants Schedule*