Rush Late Model Tour Doubleheader Weekend At Pittsburgh & Eriez Speedways

Story By: MIKE LEONE / RUSH RACING SERIES – PULASKI, PA – The Pace Performance RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC is set to resume action this weekend with a doubleheader.

Saturday night (July 18) will be at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway for the annual “Herb Scott Memorial” followed by Sunday night (July 19) at Eriez Speedway. The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Sportsman Modifieds will be on the card both nights in addition to Friday night at Raceway 7, while the Equipment Rental Options Sprint Cars will race at Eriez for $500 to-win. On Saturday, warm-ups begin at 6 p.m. with heat races at 7, while Eriez will get underway on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

“The Pittsburgh Tour events are always some of our best and most exciting races of the year,” acknowledged RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “Pittsburgh has been a great partner over the years not only on our Late Model side by running them weekly and typically scheduling several Tour events, but also runs our Sportsman Mods and Sprint Cars any chance they get. The weather looks good so hopefully everyone comes out and supports Pittsburgh for the first of three Tour races there this year.”

Saturday’s 30-lap “Herb Scott Memorial” feature will pay $2,110 to-win ($110 bonus from Cleetus Motorsports), $225 to-start with a $200 to-win non-qualifier. Currently, the “Jook George Steel City Classic” on August 8 (rain date August 9) and the “Bill Hendren Memorial” on October 2-3 will each pay a minimum of $5,010 to-win, $325 to-start for the Pace Touring Series.

Herb Scott is one of the most well-known and respected driver who ever raced in western Pa. His side-by-side battles with Joe Mihalic were nothing short of legendary. Ten times during his hall of fame career, Scott won the track championship at Heidelberg (1956-1960, 1962-1965, and 1967). His first win came in his first year of racing at New Kensington Speedway in 1948. His 500th win came at Lernerville Speedway, and his final feature win came at Schmucker’s Speedway in September of 1979. He would go on to win a total of 520 career features!

Last year, Kyle Lukon swept the three Pittsburgh RUSH Late Model Tour events, which nearly propelled him to the Series title as he came up just one-point shy of Jeremy Wonderling. Those three wins were worth a staggering $18,800 much in part thanks to the efforts of “Jook George Steel City Classic” event coordinator Branden Lockwich and Steve Hendren for his father Bill’s memorial. Ironically, Lukon’s win last year on July 20 at Pittsburgh ended his six-year winless drought with the Series.

Lukon’s three wins last year moved him to the top of the all-time Tour win list at Pittsburgh with four. Other Tour winners at Pittsburgh include Ryan Montgomery with three, Daryl Charlier two, and single victories to Colton Flinner, John Mollick, Mike Pegher, Jr., and Jacob Hawkins.

The Tour then heads north up I-79 to Eriez Speedway for a $2,000 to-win event on Sunday evening. Eriez is under the second year of ownership by the Alexander Family. Sunday was to be the second appearances of the season at Eriez for the Tour; however, COVID-19 cancelled the May event. Sunday was also supposed to be “Manufactures Night”; however, due to the pandemic, all product will be awarded in 2020 through the Pace Weekly Championship Series standings with the champion getting first pick down the line.

“We have to thank the Alexander Family for their continued support of RUSH,” stated Emig. “Eriez has a great field of RUSH Late Models every Sunday night. The Tour races are always very competitive with so many quality weekly competitors. Sunday is a great way to showcase three of our RUSH classes. It’s been three years since our Sportsman Modifieds have raced at Eriez. The Sprint Cars have raced once each of the last two years and we’re appreciative Eriez has given them two opportunities to compete in 2020.”

The Late Model Tour has made seven visits over the past five seasons to Eriez with the Blairs winning all seven as Max has six wins and his father, Rob, one in a substitution role at the May 2016 event.

RUSH was of course part of the “Firecracker 100” for the second straight year featuring the “Bill Emig Memorial” presented by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply June 25-27. And for the second straight year it was Max Blair taking home the $10,000 top honors. Last year, Blair made only eight Tour starts, but collected $25,500 in those races! Blair is the five-time National Weekly Series Champion. Currently, defending and two-time Tour Champion, Jeremy Wonderling, leads the Pace National Weekly Series Championship.

With the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the start of the season, Pittsburgh has completed only two event this season. On June 20, Christian Schneider picked up a Pace Weekly Series victory, while Keith Barbara won last Saturday night in his debut. Eriez meanwhile has completed more events, at five, than any other RUSH track in 2020. Eriez has averaged over 23 cars per night. Blair and Chub Frank each have a pair of victories, while Darrell Bossard was also victorious.

30-Lap Late Model Feature Payoff: 1. $2,000 ($2,110 at PPMS) 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. $235 17. $230 18-24 $225.

Late Model Non-Qualifier Payoff: 1. $200 2. $190 3. $185 4. $180 5. $175 6. $170 7. $165 8. $160 9. $155 10-24. $150. Tow $125.

FK Rod Ends “Shock the Clock” Qualifying will pay $100 for the fastest qualifier and $25 heat races will take place each night for the Late Models.

The pits will be open all afternoon on Saturday with the drivers meeting scheduled for 5:35 p.m., warm-ups at 6 followed by qualifying and then racing at 7. On Sunday, pits open at 3:30 p.m. with the drivers meeting scheduled for 5:35. RUSH Late Model Qualifying will begin around 6:30 p.m.

For the Late Models, you do not have to be a member of RUSH to compete only to receive Weekly and/or Tour points. The Late Model entry fee each night is $100. AMB/MyLaps transponders will be used at Pittsburgh, while both the AMB/MyLaps and Westhold transponders will work at Eriez. Units are available to rent. Driver radio will be channel 454.000.

For Pittsburgh, masks MUST be worn at the gates, concession stands, restrooms, gift shop, and are highly encouraged in the pits and stands. Social distance six feet apart. Families may sit together. Please give everyone their required space. Stand six feet apart at concessions and restrooms. Please be patient and wait your turn, we all want short track racing to continue!