Story By: MIKE LEONE / RUSH KARTING SERIES – PULASKI, PA – After 13 years of developing and directing crate engine auto racing on dirt and asphalt throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Canada, Vicki Emig and Mike Leone are pleased to announce the addition of the RUSH Karting Series under the growing Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series powered by Pace Performance umbrella.
The program, in conjunction with Hoosier Racing Tire, will debut in 2020 with four different classes of karts for participants in cage and flat karts with weekly championship point funds. The following four western Pennsylvania speedways have already committed to launching the program in various capacities: Blanket Hill Speedway, Lockhart Motorsports Park, Shaffer Speedway, and Slippery Rock Raceway.
The same structured, cost-containment concept that has flourished on the dirt in the RUSH Late Model, Sprint Car, Sportsman Modified, Pro Mod, and Pro Stock divisions along with four classes on the asphalt will now be brought to the world of Go-Kart racing. The RUSH Karting Series technical rules package will feature a RUSH Kart sealed engine (212 cc) that will be available at Precise Racing Products (Sarver, Pa.) and select distributors, spec Hoosier slick racing tires with no tire treatment permitted, and RUSH 91 spec fuel. The complete 2020 rules package will be released soon.
The four classes for 2020 will include an Amateur/Rookie for five to seven year olds or eight year olds with no experience, a Jr 1 for kids 8-11 years of age, a Jr 2 for kids 12-15 years of age, and an Adult Flat class for those 16 and older. Speedways have the option of not only choosing which classes to run at their facility, but also if they wish to run each individual children’s class as a flat or cage cart; the track’s selections will be announced soon.
All classes will compete for separate Weekly Series Championships that will exceed $8,500 in 2020 (note: there will be just one point fund for each of the children’s classes whether it’s flat or cage for the first year). The championship programs are expected to exceed $12,000 in 2021 with the addition of the Adult Cage class.
Member drivers will receive a $100,000 excess participant accident insurance policy in addition to being eligible for “Manufacturers Night” that has seen several hundreds of thousands of dollars of valuable product awarded to RUSH racers throughout the years. Continuous promotion and marketing of Series’ drivers and sanctioned speedways, as well as strong technical support will also be part of RUSH Karting Series package.
“Over the past few years we’ve been approached by several people in various capacities of karting about the possibility of getting involved in kart racing,” acknowledged Emig. “The main points of discussion ranged from the expense and other more serious concerns associated with tire treating and fuel additives, as well as a desire to have a proven sealed engine program. RUSH has successfully addressed all of these elements for many years in our big car programs resulting in strong weekly car counts and exciting wheel-to-wheel racing at our sanctioned speedways. I believe the RUSH Karting Series can achieve the very same success in a very short period of time and we’re really excited to be able to offer the RUSH program to karting enthusiast across the country.”
“The RUSH Karting Series technical rules package, championship programs, and promotional efforts will very closely mirror our big car division’s templates,” added Emig. “We’re not afraid to start from zero, be patient, and let the program develop to its full potential; we’ve done it before. We’ve seen our big car programs grow from an original $10,000 point fund to what now exceeds over $250,000 of a cash and valuable product that will be awarded to RUSH racers for their efforts in 2020. There’s no reason the RUSH Karting program cannot grow and flourish in the same way in the future! We’d be remiss if we didn’t sincerely thank the regional karting promoters who have opened their doors in 2020 to set the foundation for the future of the RUSH Karting Series.”
“Hoosier Tire is excited to partner with the RUSH Karting Series that will feature spec Hoosier slick racing tires,” stated Hoosier Racing Tire’s Oval Kart Product Manager Chad Wright. “Vicki and Mike have always been successful with all of their endeavors with the RUSH Racing Series, and we can’t wait to watch their success in karting. It’s been a great partnership throughout the years with their big car programs and we’re really looking forward to joining their efforts in the world of karting!”
After several years of dormancy, Blanket Hill Speedway will reopen in 2020 with new promoters Phil and Shannon Thornton. Phil has competed in the RUSH Sprint Car division the last two years. Blanket Hill has been a popular destination for small cars and karts for decades and the excitement of the facility located off Route 422 in Kittanning, Pa.
Lockhart Motorsports Park is slated to open in 2020 as a premier state-of-the-art karting complex located in the heart of Seneca, Pa. Owner Joe Lockhart has raced himself and owned cars for various big car divisions over the years in addition to his son racing go-karts and Jr. Sprints.
Shaffer Speedway has been a popular attraction for racers on Wednesday nights for the last 10 years. The Aliquippa, Pa. track is owned by Sprint Car great Tim Shaffer, a four-time All Star champion, winner of the 2010 Knoxville Nationals, and the 2018 $100,000 Sprint Car World Championship Mansfield victor.
The popular Slippery Rock Raceway has groomed racers for decades kick-starting the careers of many big car racers in the region. The Sunday afternoon facility located between Routes 108 and 173 in Slippery Rock, Pa. has been operated by Mike McFeaters for the past 33 years.
An informational meeting open to the general public will be held on Sunday, January 5, 2020 at 1 p.m. at Smokin’ Toad’s BBQ at 110 South Pike Road, Sarver, PA 16055, which is located on Route 356 in front of Precise Racing Products.