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Raabe: Airborne Title Defense

PLATTSBURGH – Alexandria, ON native, Chris Raabe will look to defend his 2017 Egglefield Ford 358-Modified championship this season at Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh.

Last season, Raabe posted phenomenal numbers at Airborne by winning 6 races in 12 point counting events. He also finished in the top five in every start, which was more than enough to solidify the 2017 crown. His consistency throughout the season allowed a very comfortable margin of victory, 84 points to be exact, over the second-place point finisher, Mike Perrotte. Raabe also had two non-point event starts in 2017 at Airborne.

"Airborne’s transition to dirt went pretty smoothly,” Raabe said. “I believe you’re going to see even more Quebec participation in the Modified and Sportsman divisions this year.”

Last season, Raabe was a regular on Friday at the Mohawk International Raceway and at Cornwall Motor Speedway on Sunday nights. Away from Airborne, he had 32 starts with his #01 machine. In those 32 starts, he collected 3 wins, 14 top five finishes and 27 top ten finishes. Two of his 48 starts last season came during a Super DIRTcar Series event. Raabe competed in the Big Block Modified events at Airborne and Mohawk with his Small Block Modified. At Cornwall, Raabe was knocking on the door of cracking into the top five before a steering issue forced him to retire just beyond the halfway point of the race. Raabe ran inside the top ten for much of the event at Airborne before the Big Blocks overpowered his Small Block, as he settled for position twelve.

“Right now, we plan on running weekly at Airborne on Saturdays and Cornwall on Sundays,” Raabe said. “Our schedule is always tentative and we certainly like to move around and challenge new venues as a team.”

Raabe also followed the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series last season. Raabe finished second in the standings behind Steve Bernard. At Super DIRT Week, Raabe was the only Airborne regular to qualify for the 358-Modified event. He began the week by time trialing as the tenth quickest car out of 56 that took time. From there he moved onto a twin-25 event where he posted a fifth-place finish behind Peter Britten, Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen and Brett Hearn. From there he moved onto the 150-lap main event where he finished eleventh in a midday race that saw very little passing.

“As far as the 358 tour goes, we will hit the early shows to start and see where that takes us,” Raabe noted.

Prior to the 2017 season, Raabe and his team set their goal, the “Drive for 150.” On July 16, that was checked off the list for the 01 team. The number 150 stood for the number of open wheeled Modified wins in his career. He is now beyond 150 and headed for 200. Raabe and his team have established themselves as one of the top 358-Modified teams in the northeast.

“Preparation, attention to detail, good equipment, micromanagement and demanding perfection from all involved are all key performance factors that we’ve utilized to meet the demands brought on by racing,” Raabe explained. “Our team is meticulous with trying to stay up to speed with new technology.”


"Professor" Branham Files First Entry for Devil's Bowl Speedway Vermont 200

For Immediate Release

WEST HAVEN, Vt. – One of the most highly anticipated stock car events in the Northeast is already building its driver roster, as entry forms are already flying in for September's historic "Vermont 200 Weekend" at Devil's Bowl Speedway.  Longtime competitor Bucko "The Professor" Branham has earned the distinction as the first driver to file an official entry for the event.

The Plattsburgh, N.Y., native will drive his familiar No. 20 AHI Imaging/Bud Light-sponsored Bicknell car in the Sportsman Modified division, as he attempts to qualify for the 30-car, 200-lap, $10,000-to-win main event.  Branham owns four track championships at Airborne Park Speedway in his hometown, but he has also tasted success at Devil's Bowl with wins on the former asphalt track in 2014 and 2015.  He returned to dirt racing for the first time in over 25 years last summer and won a Sportsman feature at Airborne.

Branham admitted that he's looking forward to the Vermont 200 so much that he filled out the entry form and mailed it to the Devil's Bowl office within minutes of it hitting his email inbox on Thursday afternoon.

"I'm excited for that race, so I figured I might as well get the entry part done now and save the money and the time at the pit gate later," he laughed.

One aspect of the Vermont 200 that has drivers and fans talking is that any driver will be allowed to compete, regardless of experience level.  Branham said that he has heard rumors of a handful of Big Block Modified drivers who are interested in racing at the event, but he's not intimidated at the prospect.

"The way I see it, it's just another guy out there," Branham said.  "I've raced against the best on asphalt – guys like Brian Hoar and Joey Pole – and I'm not worried about the dirt guys.  I figure there'll be about 100 cars the way people are talking, so I'm going to be realistic – I've got to make the show first and worry about winning after."

Vermont 200 Weekend entry forms are available on the Devil's Bowl Speedway website at, or by emailing  Drivers who register by September 1 will save 33% on entry fees.


Over $54,000 Posted for Devil's Bowl Speedway Vermont 200 Weekend

Discount entry forms now available

For Immediate Release

WEST HAVEN, Vt. – The biggest dirt track stock car event in Devil's Bowl Speedway history is taking shape, and the total weekend payout is setting records across the Northeast.  The "Vermont 200 Weekend" event on September 15-16 will offer in excess of $54,000 in total prize money, with more than $37,000 posted for the first-of-its-kind, 200-lap Sportsman Modified race.

The Vermont 200 is the longest, richest race ever created for Sportsman Modifieds, as the open-wheel, center-seat, Chevrolet "602 crate" engine cars will run for an all-time record $10,000 winner's share.  Big money extends though the field, as the runner-up earns $3,000, fifth place is worth $1,000, 10th place takes $500, and 30th place grabs $300.  In addition, a whopping $10,300 will be available in lap leader bonus money.

Traditionally a support division at most tracks in the Northeast, Sportsman cars the popular headline class at Devil's Bowl.  The Vermont 200 – like all events at Devil's Bowl Speedway – is open to drivers of all experience levels, though the cars are required to follow the budget-minded restrictions of the Sportsman Modified division.

"The Sportsman teams deserve the spotlight," Devil's Bowl promoter Mike Bruno said.  "They put on great racing and have the best car count at just about every dirt track in the region.  We're proud to call Devil's Bowl the 'Home of the Sportsman Modifieds' and we're beyond excited to make history at the Vermont 200."

The Vermont 200 is a one-day race event for the Sportsman division, with all qualifying and main events run on Sunday, September 16.  An optional practice session will be held on Saturday, September 15, along with the second annual "Ron Casey Memorial Shootout" for drivers who have not won a feature race in 2018.

Also on the two-day racing schedule are the King of Dirt Racing Series Pro Stocks with the "Carl Vladyka Memorial" championship finale, $1,000-to-win, 50-lap races for Devil's Bowl's Super Stock and Mini Stock divisions, and the first-ever "money race" for the 500cc Mini Sprint division at Devil's Bowl.

Camping and parking are free and open on Friday at noon, and the Speedway's annual pig roast barbeque and bonfire party will be held on Saturday night.

Entry forms are now available to download or print on the Devil's Bowl Speedway website at, or by emailing  Pre-entries received on or before September 1 are just $50 for Sportsman Modifieds and $20 for support classes (excluding KOD Pro Stocks); late entries will be $75 for Sportsman driver and $30 for the support divisions.


Biggest Year Yet Planned For Airborne Park Speedway

PLATTSBURGH – The 2018 season at Airborne Park Speedway will return the same five regular racing divisions, with one of them receiving a name change. The 358-Modifieds, Sportsman, Mini-Mods and Strictly Stocks will return under the same name, with the Renegade division being replaced with the title of Super Stocks.

The World of Outlaw Sprint Car Series highlights the 2018 season as the premier event. This event will have the greatest magnitude of any event run in the speedway’s existence. Drivers from across the United States and Canada will venture to the 4/10th mile for the event that will payout over $52,000 in purse money on Wednesday, July 25. The series competes throughout the United States and the event at Airborne is the furthest in the northeast they will travel.

In addition, the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds will invade the speedway for the second consecutive season. They will be in action just six days after the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars on Tuesday, July 31. The top names of Matt Sheppard, Brett Hearn, Billy Decker and Max McLaughlin are signed up for a full season with the Super DIRTcar Series and will do battle for over $33,000 is purse money.

The Empire Super Sprints will appear twice in 2018. A popular hit last season, they return and expect even bigger and better car counts than last season. They set the fastest lap times at Airborne during the 2017 season. The Fall Finale will include over $16,000 in purse money for the American/Canadian Sprint Car Clash in September.

DIRTcar also has regional touring series that will stop at Airborne in 2018. The DIRTcar Sportsman Series and Pro Stock Series have a following throughout the northeast and into Canada.

Airborne Park Speedway and Mohawk Raceway will have a five race Sportsman Series this season. Two events will be run at Airborne on May 26 and August 11, with the other three being held at Mohawk on July 20, August 31 and September 14. Each race will be a 50-lap distance.

Opening day is scheduled for April 28 with a post time of 6 p.m. All five of the regular racing divisions will be in action with the DIRTcar Sportsman Series headlining the card. A strong field of Sportsman drivers out of the Province of Quebec are expected as Quebec tracks are not scheduled to race that early in the season.

Pre-season events on the schedule include a car show at the Champlain Centre Mall in Plattsburgh on Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15. Drivers will be on hand to meet with fans and display their cars for the upcoming season. The following weekend will be an open practice with a time to be announced at a later date.

With a year under our belt, we expect our product to get bigger and better and to see another increase in cars and our fan base. With the addition of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, our exposure to the racing community throughout the east coast will increase and the return of the DIRTcar Series and Empire Super Sprints will continue to impress our current fan base. Whether you are a regular or a part-time visitor, we look forward to seeing you at Airborne Park Speedway in 2018.


Bridgeport 602 Crate/Sportsman 'Crate-Lock' Program Up & Running

Track Also Announces Huge Point Fund Increase

Bridgeport, NJ - The dyno shops are ready and want your engine!  All the necessary steps have been completed that will allow drivers to participate in the newly designed 2018 'Crate-Lock' program for the Bridgeport Speedway 602 Crate Sportsman division.  'We appreciate everyone's questions, comments, eagerness, and most of all patience, as we assembled Bridgeport's new Crate-Lock program,' offered track-owner Brian Ramey.  "Our objective behind this program is to put forth the least cost to the drivers for the most level playing field.  We've also added a considerable amount of money to this year's Stewart Stainless Supply 602 Crate Sportsman 2018 point fund that we feel will be very attractive to our competitors," added Ramey.  

Last year's track champion earned a respectable $1,000 for their year-long efforts, while the top 10 drivers finished 'in the money'.  This year, Bridgeport's champion will receive DOUBLE last year's winnings thanks to Stewart Stainless (now $2,000) and NOW the top 20 will take home $$$ for their yearly efforts!  The unprecedented point fund breaks down as follows: 1)$2,000, 2)$1,000, 3)$800, 4)$600, 5)$550, 6)$500, 7)$450, 8)$400, 9)$350, 10)$250 and 11-20 $200 thus practically doubling last year's take home $$$.  Along with the healthy 'regular' season point fund, Bridgeport's 602 Crate Sportsman class will see plenty of $$$ distributed through the 'Pre Season' and 'Poker Series' point funds as well.  Throw in the lucrative American Racer Cup point fund and one driver could win well over $5,000 for their 2018 efforts!!!

Below are all the dyno centers with their addresses and contacts.  All competitors are required to contact the approved dyno center of their choice and 'prove' their legality.  There is also a 'Hardship' form located on under 'competitor info/forms'.  GM has also extended a $250 rebate through the month of February when a new 602 engine is purchased.  
Primary Dyno & Service Centers
Rob Mahler
99 Clifton Ave.  Unit #16
Collingdale, PA  19023

Mark Bitner
Old Olden Ave
Trenton, NJ  08610

Bob Schweibenz
1610 Route 50
Tuckahoe, NJ  08270

Secondary Dyno Centers
Mike Ingram
448 Troy Hill Rd
Kittanning, PA  16201

Jason Leindecker
51 N. 3rd St
Coopersburg, PA  18036

Dan Fiedler
Bethesda Rd
Georgetown, DE  19947


Thunder Mountain Announces $1,000 to win Crate 602 Sportsman Weekly, Raised Modified Purse


CENTER LISLE, NY – The tagline of the ‘Southern Tier’s Saturday leader’ is even more appropriate for 2018 at Thunder Mountain Speedway.

The Spoonhower family has rejuvenated the three-eighths-mile Empire State oval since reopening the three-eighths-mile track in 2014. Facility improvements – including the construction of a massive tower building – have been widespread and continuous work on the track surface has produced tire-wear-friendly and racy conditions.

Last week, two key announcements were made for the upcoming season.

In an unprecedented move, the Crate 602 Sportsman division at Thunder Mountain will race for $1,000 to win every week! This puts Thunder Mountain in the spotlight as the highest-paying weekly facility for Crate 602 Sportsman in the Northeast.  Green money is a very strong $100 and a B-Main will be run to allow all teams to leave with money in their pocket.

“We wanted to set our track apart,” Thunder Mountain promoter Karl Spoonhower said. “The Crate division is huge in New York and has grown at our track. They put on one of the best shows every week. We’re raising the bar for the division by making this move.”

The Modified division is also the recipient of a raise. Every Saturday night, the headline division will battle for a boosted $1,500 to win, up from $1,200 in previous years. Green money is the highest in the area at $175.

A number of specials will feature larger payouts for the Modified division including the April 28 Season Opener, May 27 Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco ‘Lighting on the Mountain’ paying $5,000 to win, June 30 Red White & Blue Special, July 22 Wade Decker Memorial and Sept. 15 King of the Mountain.

An open practice will kick off 2018 activities on April 21 with the Season Opener set for seven days later, April 28.

Racing will continue every Saturday night through September 15 with the exception of July 28 when there is a one-week hiatus for the Broome County Fair.

Three Sunday events are on the schedule: the ‘Lightning on the Mountain’ May 27, Wade Decker Memorial July 22 and a special Labor Day eve program on Sept. 2

All divisions will return for 2018: Modifieds, Open Sportsman, Crate 602 Sportsman, Rookie Sportsman, Street Stock, IMCA-Modified, 600 Modified and Four Cylinders.

The Modified, Open Sportsman and Crate 602 Sportsman divisions will all be eligible for benefits from the American Racer Cup presented by Sunoco including tire giveaways and other perks.

The Street Stocks will be featured in an unprecedented 100-lap race on Sept. 8.

After a year away, Scorpion Security Products presents the return of the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) 360 Sprint Cars on Saturday, May 19.


By Mike Leone
December 29, 2017

(Pulaski, PA)...While the 2017 season will officially wrap up with the awards banquet on January 20 at Gatherings Banquet & Event Center, Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modified Series Directors have been busy planning for the upcoming 2018 racing season.  The fifth season of operations currently has 30 events between Bicknell Racing Products Weekly and Tour Series shows scheduled at five different speedways.  There's the possibility of a couple additional events to be added.

Sharon Speedway will once again be the anchor home track for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.  While the Mods will compete in most of the Saturday night "Steel Valley Thunder" weekly events for 2018, this year they have been added to the Friday, April 20 season opener with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series along with the traditional Ohio Speedweek event with the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars on Tuesday, June 19.  Two Bicknell Tour events are scheduled at the Hartford, Ohio 3/8-mile; one on June 23 part of "Manufacturers Nights" presented by MSD Performance along with the "Apple Festival Nationals".  Details of the September 7-8 event have yet to be finalized.

The growth of the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds is evident through Sharon's average car counts over the years.  In the 2014 inaugural season, Sharon averaged 10.6 cars per night.  The 2015 season saw the division officially added to the weekly program and increased to 14.3 cars per night.  A huge growth took place in 2016 as the average soared to 22.5 per night.  This past season saw another increase with an average of 23.9 per night.  Impressively over the past two seasons, the car count was under 20 only one time each season.

Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway continues to be a big supporter of the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.  "Dirt's Monster Half-Mile" will host the class eight times on Saturday nights including four of the five Saturday nights in September.  Six events were completed in 2017 at PPMS with five different winners.  Sharon Speedway champion, Kole Holden, was the only repeat winner, while Rocky Kugel, Chas Wolbert, Jessica Kriegisch, and Justin Shea were also victorious.

Tri-City Raceway Park is another western Pennsylvania big half-mile track.  Tri-City again has three shows for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds planned, but this year all three (May 13, June 17 & July 15) will be Bicknell Tour designations for the first time.

A Bicknell Tour event is again expected at Expo Speedway as part of the opening night of racing at the Trumbull County Fair on Wednesday, July 11.  Expo was the site of the first ever Tour event in 2015 when Greg Martin picked up the victory and would go on to win the inaugural title.  Chelsie Kriegisch made history in 2016 becoming the first female to win a Tour event in the history of crate racing in the Northeast, first female to win in the 46-year history of Expo Speedway, and first female to win a RUSH Sportsman Modified event.  This past season saw Kugel victorious.

The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will again be part of Lernerville Speedway's "Modified Mania" on Friday, July 20 then will close out the year once again with the "Steel City Stampede".  The exciting 2017 event saw Kugel charge through the field to finish second on the final lap to overtake Holden to win the $3,000 Bicknell Weekly Series Championship, while 2016 "Futures Cup" Champion, Kyle Martell, secured his first Bicknell Touring Series Championship.

Ohio Intra Express of Niles, Ohio will present the "Shock the Clock" award at selected Touring Series events in 2018.  The fastest qualifier during warm-up groups will receive $100 cash and a presentation check.  On these nights, the Sportsman Modifieds will mimic the RUSH Late Model Touring Series format with qualifying times setting the heat race lineups and the top two finishers of each heat race will redraw for the K&N Dash starting line-up that will determine the beginning rows of the feature.  All of other cars will be straight up on heat race or B main finish.  At this time, the format will be used at the three Tri-City events and "Manufacturers Night" at Sharon.

In October, the Series announced changes to the eligibility requirements.  All western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio "358" Small-Block Modified drivers will be eligible to participate in the class, and changes have been made to allow more of the regional Big-Block Modified drivers to be eligible for the entire season as well.  The change in eligibility will now allow local Big-Block Modified racers that did not finish in the top five in Big-Block Modified points at any speedway or touring series in the previous season the ability to compete provided they did not win four or more features in one of the past two years (2016 or 2017).  Obviously, all drivers must have 100% RUSH Sportsman Modified legal cars to compete.

"We're very proud of our Sportsman Modified division," stated RUSH Director Vicki Emig.  "The class has grown each year in numbers and competitiveness, and we expect another bump in participation and quality of competition in 2018.  It's going to be exciting to see veteran racers Alan Dellinger and Rob Kristyak who entered the class in the final events of 2017, along with newcomers Garrett Krummert and Tony Tatgenhorst mix it up with our veteran Sportsman Modified racers, including many young guns who are beginning to make their mark in Modified racing such as Kyle Holden, Kyle Martell, the Kriegisch sisters and many more.  We have to thank all of the participating speedways for continuing their belief in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds and partnering with us to continue the growth and stability of  the class for Modified enthusiast throughout the region."

2018 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modified Schedule*

Fri, April 20 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) - With Lucas Oil Late Models

Sat, April 28 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, May 5 Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)

Sat, May 12 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sun, May 13 Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA) - Touring event

Sat, May 19 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, May 26 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, June 2 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, June 9 Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)

Sat, June 17 Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA) - Touring event

Tue, June 19 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) - With All Star Sprints (Ohio Speedweek)

Sat, June 23 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) - Touring event for "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance

Sat, June 30 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, July 7 Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)

Wed, July 11 Expo Speedway (Cortland, OH) - Touring event for Trumbull County Fair

Sat, July 14 Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)

Sun, July 15 Tri-City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA) - Touring event

Fri, July 20 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) - "Modified Mania"

Sat, July 21 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, July 28 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, August 4 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, August 11 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, August 18 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, August 25 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)

Sat, September 1 Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)

Fri-Sat, September 7-8 Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) - Touring event for "Apple Festival Nationals" (details TBA)

Sat, September 15 Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)

Sat, September 22 Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)

Sat, September 29 Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway (Imperial, PA)

Fri-Sat, October 12-13 Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA) - Touring event for "Steel City Stampede"


Short Track Super Series Announces Expanded Sportsman Program for 2018

MILLSBORO, DE – The Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco has announced an expanded Sportsman program for the 2018 season.

Three separate STSS Sportsman champions will be crowned in '18, each guaranteed $1,000 for their efforts. The STSS Open Sportsman program returns for its third season, while Crate 602 Sportsman will be featured for the first time in North and South Regions.

Each of the three Sportsman programs offer five dates for competitors. A point fund will be offered for drivers with perfect attendance in each program.

The North Region of the Crate 602 Sportsman series features two visits to Thunder Mountain Speedway in Center Lisle, N.Y. (May 27 and Sept. 2), while Afton (N.Y.) Motorsports Park hosts two dates (July 25 and the championship event Oct. 7) and a single visit is planned for Woodhull (N.Y.) Raceway on Aug. 8.

The Crate 602 South Region gets underway on Saturday, March 17 at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway, one of three stops at the historic Sussex County track (Aug. 28 and Oct. 27 – championship event). Single events are planned for Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway (April 29) and Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, Del. (May 24).

The STSS Open Sportsman series launches at Big Diamond Speedway in Minersville, Pa., on June 5 and visits Accord (N.Y.) Speedway on July 3, Thunder Mountain Sept. 16, the paved Bethel (N.Y.) Motor Speedway on Sept. 30 and Afton (N.Y.) Motorsports Park on Oct. 6 for the championship event.

All STSS Sportsman races will pay a minimum of $1,000 to win and $100 to take the green flag.

Complete series information will be available prior to Motorsports 2018 in Oaks, Pa., Jan. 19-21.



KIRKWOOD, NY...For the second consecutive year Kyle Rohner outshined the competition on his way to winning the 67 lap "Great Crate Race" at Five Mile Point Speedway.   The victory was worth $3,000 and completed the 67th consecutive year of racing at the speedway.  Dylan Cecce was the $1,000 Street Stock winner with Tom Groover winning the Factory Stock event.  Kenny Underwood not only won the $1,000 FWD Four Cylinder race he also locked up the "Fantastic Five Front Wheel Drive Four Cylinder" Championship in the process.

Garett Rushlow and Jim Housworth led the twenty-four car Crate Sportsman starting field to the green for the 67 lap season finale.  Rushlow darted out to the early lead but Housworth wasn't wasting time as he worked past on lap 3 and quickly opened up his advantage.  The third and fourth starting spots were comprised of Kyle Rohner and Tom Collins, Jr.  Rohner was the 2016 and 2017 Five Mile Point Speedway Track Champion and Collins, the opening day winner at the speedway.  The duo put on a fantastic driving display as they quickly converged on Rushlow for the second position.

The key to an extra distance race at Five Mile Point Speedway is keeping the car straight and patience.  Housworth was showing he wasn't waiting for the second and third place cars during the early going as he widened his advantage.  The first caution of the race flew on lap 13 for a spinning Fred Christ.  Housworth was still the race leader for the restart with Collins, Rohner, Rushlow and Matt Cole riding in the top five.   When racing resumed Housworth continued as the race leader but now he had to contend with both Collins and Rohner.  On lap 14 Collins went to the inside of Housworth as Rohner waited patiently to make his move.  A caution on lap 17 would slow that battle for the moment.
When the green flew again Housworth was still the race leader but now had Rohner in second with Collins third and Rushlow and now Dale Welty in fifth place.  Another caution on lap 22 slowed the action again but on the restart the racing went to another level.  Housworth maintained his lead on the restart but now Collins made a serious bid on the inside for the race lead.  Meanwhile Rohner wasn't content to watch as he split the middle making for a three-wide battle for the race lead to the delight of the fans.  Collins was scored as the race leader on lap 25 as the battle continued three-wide lap after lap.  Back to back cautions on lap 28 again slowed the great action.  This restart found Collins as the race leader with Rohner in second, Housworth now third, Welty fourth and Rushlow fifth.

Collins raced back out to the lead when the action went back to green and Welty made quick work of Housworth to take over third.  On lap 31 Rohner worked to the outside of Collins and made his move for the race lead.   The move worked as Rohner took over the race lead.  Collins ran in second with Welty third.  A caution on lap 38 again restacked the field but the race would go green for the fifteen circuits without any change within the top five.  Alex Yankowski ran just outside of the top five most of the race and continued to keep an on that race battle among the top five as the next caution flew on lap 54.  When racing went back to green the top six were unchanged, but the complexity of the race was about to change.

On lap 57 the caution flew as Rushlow slowed with a flat tire at the same time George Sanford also slowed with a tire going down.  During the same caution race officials informed Yankowski that he had a soft right rear but Yankowski was now solidly in the top five and opted to stay on the track.  On the restart, Welty slowed with a tire going down and now Yankowski had no choice but to also pit.  At this point Todd Hayward was in the fourth position with Steve Babicek running in fourth.  The top three of Rohner, Collins and Housworth all worked hard as they lead portions of the race and all in attendance were wondering if they could go the distance.

The green flew again and the top five remained intact as the caution flew again on lap 62.  This time it was sixth place runner Jeff Bubari losing the battle to tire attrition.   Rohner meanwhile was trying to conserve his tires but Collins was not allowing him to take it easy as they maintained their battle for the race lead.  Lap 65 saw the final caution of the race as Housworth saw his great drive derailed with a soft tire.  Fifth place runner Babicek also pitted on the same lap.  When the green flew again Rohner would be able to hold off Collins for the "Great Crate Race" title.  Hayward came across the line in third with Welty charging back to fourth and Fred Christ having his best career FMP run in fifth.  Unfortunately, Hayward was disqualified in post-race inspection with an illegal carburetor.  This moved Crate Sportsman rookie Blaine Klinger up to fifth at the finish.  Klinger, had only a handful of Sportsman starts prior the race after running in the Slingshot division for most of the season.  Sanford charged back to sixth with Rushlow, Yankowski, Housworth and Schilling finishing in the top ten.
SPORTSMAN OFFICIAL FEATURE FINISH (67):  KYLE ROHNER ($3,000), Tom Collins, Dale Welty, Fred Christ, Blaine Klinger, George Sanford, Garett Rushlow, Alex Yankowski, Jim Housworth, Dave Schilling, Moose Gulley, Nick Branning, Steve Babicek, Jeff Bubari, Dave Dubois, Marshall Balzer, Leo Fotopoulos Jr., Matt Cole, Joe Guastella Jr., Nick Guererri, T.J. Frost, Devon Zona, Stacy Jackson.  DQ – Todd Hayward – Gamblers Bonus:  Kyle Rohner ($110), Marshall Balzer ($110).


October 23, 2017

By Mike Leone


(Pulaski, PA)...With the successful 2017 racing season now completed, the fourth for the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modified Series powered by Pace Performance, Series Directors have made a decision to alter the driver eligibility requirements for the division for the 2018 season.  All western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio "358" Modified drivers will be eligible to participate in the class, and changes have been made to allow more of the regional Big-Block Modified drivers to be eligible for the entire season as well (see below).

"Due to the changing dynamics of Modified racing in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio we had to take a look at our driver eligibility rule that's been in place since the inception of the division," explained RUSH Director Vicki Emig.  "Modified racing, both 358s and big blocks, is in a different place than it was when we announced the launch of this class at the end of the 2013 season.  We're very proud of the development of the Sportsman Modified division; our racers have come a long way since the first couple years.  Our goal with RUSH in general is, and always has been, to keep racers racing by providing an affordable option."  

"Throughout the season we've received a lot of feedback from several of our own racers as well as 358 racers, and some big-block drivers expressing a desire for us to make changes to the eligibility rules," continued Emig.   "Some of these racers have inquired due to financial reasons, but several due to the decreasing number of scheduled events for open Modified racing.  At the end of the year, we had standouts Alan Dellinger and Rob Kristyak get a head start on 2018 by joining the class; however, they were eligible per the 2017 rules."

The change in eligibility will only be effective for locally based western Pa. and eastern Ohio racers in the "358" Small-Block Modified and Big-Block Modified divisions.  There will be no changes made to the current eligibility requirements for drivers in other headlining divisions locally nor for Modified drivers outside the western Pa./eastern Ohio area.

As stated, all "358" Small-Block Modified drivers from the local area will be permitted to race in the RUSH Sportsman Modified division in 2018.  The change in eligibility will now allow local Big-Block Modified racers that did not finish in the top five in Big-Block Modified points at any speedway or touring series in the previous season the ability to compete provided they did not win four or more features in one of the past two years (2016 or 2017).  Obviously, all drivers must have 100% RUSH Sportsman Modified legal cars to compete.


Eastern States Weekend
Eastern States Sportsman Feature Finish, 50 Laps:
1. Jesse Leiby, 2. Jimmy Johnson, 3. Mel Schrufer, 4. Corey Cormier, 5. Joe Conklin, 6. Cole Hentschel, 7. Connor Otten, 8. Tommy Vigh Jr., 9. Matt Shultz, 10. Kyle Rohner, 11. Bobby DeLeon, 12. Dan Morgiewicz, 13. Joe Bonetti, 14. John Stangle, 15. Bobby Flood, 16. Tyler Boniface, 17. Jared LaBagh, 18. Joey Bruning, 19. Michael Sabia, 20. Jeff Hulseapple, 21. Anthony Falanga, 22. Austin Smith, 23. Fred Proctor, 24. Nick Plumstead, 25. Howie Finch, 26. Billy Eggers Jr., 27. Cody Hunt, 28. Shane Jablonka, 29. Tyler Pirone, 30. Greg Sleight.





































































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