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JOSH SAWYER WINS FIRST EVER FEATURE IN CRATE SPORTSMAN 30 LAP SPECIAL AT THE WOODHULL RACEWAY

(Woodhull, NY) In only his second year of racing at the Woodhull Raceway, Josh Sawyer proved to everyone why he was the 2013 rookie of the year in NAPA Crate Sportsman division. Sawyer, who drew the pole position, led the entire 30 lap main event where no one seemed close to touching him in the beginning of the race. Then on lap 23, a caution flag was thrown as AJ Costly lost control of his car going off the back stretch. Which allowed the 2012 track champion AJ Potrzebowski, and the 2013 track champion, Chris Daugherty to start right behind Sawyer. Then on the restart, Sawyer got a great start coming off of corner number 4 and the Potrzebowski and Daugherty simply could not catch him and Josh Sawyer, of Beaver Dams, New York found himself in victory lane for the first time in his racing career.

Sawyer, who finished 13th, on opening night in 2013 said in his interview; “we put a lot of new changes into the car, so we didn't  exactly know what was going to happen, but obviously we did something right, this year with a win.” Aj Potrzebowski, who took the 2013 year off from racing, finished in the runner up as he started in the 13th position. Chris Daugherty finished 3rd, followed by Casey Pavlick, and Josh Keesey rounded out the top 5. Josh Sawyer has also automatically qualified himself for the GRIT Series event that will be at the Woodhull Raceway in September.

In the S&W Awards and Photos 360 Late Models, it was John Waters picking up his first feature of 2014. Waters was rarely contested in the 25 lap A main. Glen Writenour, the 2103 division, exited the race on lap number 16 as he was running in the top five a majority of time prior to having motor troubles. Bruce Miller, finished in the runner up spot, followed by Steve Lebarron, Adam Depuy and Jared Hill rounded out the top five.

Crate Sportsman Feature: JOSH SAWYER (1) A.J. Potrzebowski, Chris Daugherty, Casey Pavlick, Josh Keesey, Russell Morseman, Art Goodier, John Hargrave, Corey Costa, Adam Ashcroft, Mike Jackson, Steve Hartman Sr, Brandon Martin, Ryan Tracy, Aj Costly, Tim Gild, Brett Buono, Mike Buchanan, Brandon Butler, Zack Carey, Chris Clark, Bobby Peoples, Ray Smith, Dillon Groover

Cars: 29
Heats: Russ Morseman, Chris Daugherty, Steve Hartman Sr.
Cons: Casey Pavlick

360 Late Models Feature: JOHN WATERS (1) Bruce Miller, Steve Lebarron, Adam Dapuy, Jared Hill, Carl Hughes, Jay McConnell, Rick Loucks, Cecil Lebarron, Mick Seeley, Glen Writenour, Josh Smith, Jason McGregor

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KRUMMEL GRIT TOUGH AT OCFS

Brian Krummel Defends Home Turf In GRIT Series Opener

April 7, 2014 By Rob Hazer (Middletown, NY) – Finally after a long brutally cold winter the Crate Sportsman drivers saw some heat on the hard clay at Orange County Fair Speedway. Young gun Connor Cleveland was blazing his own trail Sunday, but an unstoppable fire for victory burned in the right foot of Brian Krummel who took home the Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels season opening Hard Clay Lid Lifter victory.
 
When the long anticipated green flag flew on the 25 Lap GRIT Racing Series Hard Clay Lid Lifter it was Albany-Saratoga Speedway regular Connor Cleveland taking the lead in his Cleveland Brothers Landscaping number 09 Teo Pro Car. A very tough running 83 of Chris Stevens who impressed many in his heat settled into second, while early on it was the Affordable Painting 27R of Andrew Reeves moving fast.

First yellow flew on lap 11 when inadvertent contact with the right rear tire of the Mullen Roofing 9 of Jesse Leiby sent the New Jersey Asphalt Terminal 33H of Matt Hitchcock hard into the turn 2 wall. Leiby would change a flat and return, while Hitchcock was done for the day.
 
On the restart a familiar face started to make moves towards the front. The Superior Remodeling 44 of Brian Krummel started 9th and was pressuring for a top five spot with the West End Towing 79 of Rocky Warner just ahead.
 
Yellow flag flew for the second time when a multi-car accident in turn 4 collected Derrick McGrew’s 23H, the 716 of Corey Lowitt, the 54H of Kurtis Hohensheldt, the 57 of Anthony Stockman, the 14 of John Virgilio, and the 67G of Eric Giguere. Hohensheldt who had an inspiring run in his heat finishing 2nd was done for the day along with Virgilio.
 
Double file starts all the way until the end made things interesting and benefited those who could master the restart. When the green flag flew again Krummel made the best of it and moved into 3rd position shuffling Stevens to the outside lane. Revees was left to battle with Warner for 4th, while Cleveland continued to lead by about 10 car lengths.
 
A late race yellow set up another race changing restart, which saw Krummel continue his charge to the front by taking over the 2nd position and set his sights on Cleveland for the lead. Warner followed a path through to the 3rd position sending Reeves back to 4th. All eyes were glued on the Krummel 44, as each lap he closed in on the Cleveland 09.
 
On lap 20 Krummel made a big run off turn 2 getting under Cleveland for the lead heading into turn 3. From that point on it was a done deal, as Krummel pulled away to the win in the Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels Hard Clay Lid Lifter victory. Krummel was followed to the checkers by Cleveland, Warner, Reeves, Stevens, John Illanovsky, LJ Lombardo, Dave Marcuccilli, Ivan Joslin, and Brian Pessalono rounding out the top 10.
 
“This is awesome,” shouted Krummel as he climbed from his car in victory lane.
 
“I saw guys slow up on the bottom in turn 2 and I was able to go around them and carry my momentum,” Krummel Continued.
 
OCFS NOTES: It was a solid first outing for 2014 for the GRIT Racing Series. Kurtis Hohensheldt has never raced at OCFS before, but managed to qualify in a redraw spot in his heat with a job well done. Matt Hitchcock took a spill in turn 2 and banged up his knee a little, but vows with spirit he’ll be back on the GRIT Tour at Glen Ridge. Young gun Connor Cleveland almost pulled off a monumental win before settling in for a solid 2nd place finish. He led the Capital Region racers who had four drivers in the top 10 including Rocky Warner (3rd), Ivan Joslin (9th), and Brian Pessalano (10th). Speaking of the Dodson Construction 24p of Brian Pessolano, they showed GRIT by changing a motor in the hotel parking lot after blowing their primary crate during practice Saturday. OCFS regulars defended home turf with 3 drivers in the top 5 including Brian Krummel (1st), Andrew Reeves (4th), and Chris Stevens (5th).

The next stop on the Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels tour is the Fastest ¼ Mile On Dirt, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park in Fultonville, NY on May 11, 2014. Don’t forget to visit us online at www.gritracingseries.com, or www.facebook.com/gritracingseries, or on Twitter at @GRIT_Racing.

Feature Results (25 Laps): BRIAN KRUMMEL, Connor Cleveland, Rocky Warner, Andrew Reeves, Chris Stevens. John Illanovsky, L.J. Lombardo, Dave Marcuccilli, Ivan Joslin, Brian Pessalono, Troy Arnold, John Scarborough, Jessie Leiby, Eric Giguere, Dave Constantino, Derrick McGrew, Anthony Stockman, Corey Lowitt, Scott Duell, John Virgilio, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Alan Houghtaling, Frank Venezia, Matt Hitchcock, Dion Naples.
 
Did Not Qualify: Dave Hinsch, Mike Traver, Mike Folchetti, Jay Papp, Jim Introne, Ray Zemken, Danny Cronk, Rich Ricci III, John Corry, Tim Barone, Nick Plumstead, Otto Bracattsch.
 
Heat 1 Results: Chris Stevens, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Connor Cleveland, Alan Houghtailing, Dion Naples, Troy Arnold, Scott Duell, Rich Ricci III, Jessie Leiby, Nick Plumstead.

Heat 2 Results: LJ Lombardo, Ivan Joslin, Dave Constantino, Corey Lowitt, Brian Pessolano, Danny Cronk, John Corry, Tim Barone, Otto Bracattsch.
 
Heat 3 Results: Adrew Reeves, Derrick McGrew, Dave Marcuccilli, Eric Giguere, Anthony Stockman, Mike Folchetti, Jay Papp, Ray Zemken, Jim Introne.
 
Heat 4 Results: Rocky Warner, Brian Krummel, Johnny Illanovsky, John Virgilio, John Scarborough, Frank Venezia, Matt Hitchcock, Dave Hinsch, Mike Traver.
 
Consi #1 Results: Troy Arnold, Jessie Leiby, Scott Duell, Danny Cronk, Rich Ricci III, John Corry, Tim Barone.
 
Consi #2 Results: Frank Venezia, Matt Hitchcock, Dave Hinsch, Mike Traver, Mike Folchetti, Jay Papp, Jim Introne, Ray Zemken.

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Warner To Call The Great Race Place Home On Friday Nights

For Immediate Release
April 5th, 2014

MALTA, NY - The Albany-Saratoga Speedway is two weeks away from officially dropping the green flag on the 2014 racing season. When that green flag waves a face that is very familiar to Capital District race fans will be in the Sportsman division starting field as a track regular for the first time.

Rocky Warner, of Gloversville, will be calling the Great Race Place home this season. The many time feature winner brings his talented Ray Sefrin owned team to the fast four tenths of a mile oval in search of feature wins and a possible track championship.

“I don’t know,” Warner said of his title hopes. “It will be tough but I wouldn’t throw my name out the window. It is kind of tough to go against guys like Jeremy (Pitts), Derrick (McGrew) and Scott Duell who have been running there every week. It is their playground and to go in there and take away their money will be tough. We are looking forward to running at Albany-Saratoga; I think we are going to be a contender.”

The team will be bringing a car that has proven itself in big events each week, a car that has already reached victory lane.

“We are going to run the car that we ran and won with at Weedsport last fall,” Warner said. Warner won the Super DIRTcar Series event at the Weedsport Speedway last October, an event that was a part of Super DIRT Week. With the dominance of Albany-Saratoga drivers during this past season’s Super DIRT Week events, it is only fitting that Warner brings this car to the Great Race Place.

Warner has made limited Sportsman, Pro Stock and Street Stock starts at Albany-Saratoga during his career. He has one career Sportsman feature win at the track. That win came on August 3rd, 2012.

“I think it is going to be a good year for us,” Warner said. “We have won a Sportsman race there so we do have some experience there. To start with we will be a little behind in the ball game compared to the guys who have raced there weekly but we will catch up soon.”

With the team making the 45 minute tow east each week, the question remains what brings the veteran driver to Albany-Saratoga on a weekly basis?

“I like Albany-Saratoga and our sponsors and car owner wants us to be there on Friday nights,” Warner said. “There is a lot of prestige at Albany-Saratoga, the fan base is large and there are a lot of sponsor opportunities.”

As he has for the better part of a decade, Warner will be driving for car owner Ray Sefrin and the West End Towing and Repair team.

“He does an awesome job and gives us everything we need to get the job done,” Warner said of his car owner. “I will not be lacking any equipment; it will be in my hands.”

For the 2014 season Warner will be sponsored by West End Towing and Repair, RCT Roofing, Catalytic Recovery, Wendy’s Restaurants of Johnstown and Watertown, Fox Shocks, Yurkewecz Auto Sales, JSB Fabrication, NAPA Auto Parts of Johnstown and Gloversville and many others.

“I have to thank Ray and all of our sponsors,” Warner said. “There are a lot of people who help out, it is a group effort.”

The Albany-Saratoga is scheduled to open its gates on Sunday April 13th for a practice session. The season opener is scheduled for Friday evening April 18th.  For more information on the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, including the full 2014 schedule please visit the track website at www.albany-saratogaspeedway.com.

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BLACK ROCK SPEEDWAY TO NOW BE CALLED YATES COUNTY SPEEDWAY AS NEW ERA BEGINS AT THE DUNDEE, NEW YORK OVAL

DUNDEE, NY…When it was recently announced that Dan Harpell was taking over as the new Promoter of Black Rock Speedway, he promised some big announcements.  What is certain to be the biggest is the renaming of the track to Yates County Speedway.  The 4/10ths mile clay oval in Dundee, New York will open for the 2014 racing season on May 2nd with practices being held on April 18th and 25th.

“You only get one chance to make a first impression”, said Harpell.  “We are letting everyone know that big things are happening and it starts with a new beginning, thus the new name Yates County Speedway”, he added.

“My goal was to embrace the community as a whole.  The Black Rock name didn’t identify with the community.  With the name now being Yates County Speedway and with the inclusion of Dundee, New York in the logo, we are reaching out to the surrounding area and yet bringing focus to its location in Dundee”, said Harpell.

With the new name and logo comes sweeping changes in signage, literature, social media, marketing material and more.  A new Facebook page is now up under the Yates County Speedway name.  Fans and drivers are encouraged to check it out.  Website changes are forthcoming.

“We promised an exciting new beginning and we are well on our way”, said Harpell.  “We still have several more announcements coming soon, including the release of the final schedule”, he added.

The 2014 schedule is currently being finalized and should be released very soon for the all new Yates County Speedway.  The season will start with a bang with an appearance by the CRSA Sprint Cars on Friday, May 2nd.  Practice sessions will be held on Friday, April 18th and 25th.
 
For more information check out our Facebook page at Yates County Speedway.  You can email us at yatescountyspeedway@yahoo.com or call 607-595-4100 during the week.

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FONDA & FIVE MILE SWEETEN THE POT

Guaranteed Starting Spots On The Line

March 24, 2014 By Rob Hazer (Fonda, NY) – On May 24, 2014 the Modified division at Fonda Speedway will race in memory of a dirt track legend, Lou Lazzaro. The memorial event promoted by Matt Noles and Melissa Lazzaro in conjunction with Fonda Speedway is a rather sweet deal paying $4,444 to win with multiple bonuses thrown in. In honor of the legend the sweetness doesn’t stop when the checkered flag falls on the Modified race, as a guaranteed starting spot is up for grabs during the Crate Sportsman feature.

The 602 Sportsman feature winner on May 24th will be guaranteed to start either 4th, 14th, or 24th during the Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels event on Mohawk Valley Weekend in September.

“We wanted to do something to something to honor Lou’s number 4 when our series made its trip to Fonda Speedway. When MiMi asked how we could do that, I came up with an idea she was instantly a fan of. I think the 602 Sportsman winner on May 24th will be a fan of it also. We’re happy to have the GRIT Series a part of such a special night to so many and we thank Matt Noles, Melissa, and Matt DeLorenzo for letting us be a part Lou’s night that honors a legend,” said Rob Hazer, GRIT Racing Series Competition Director.

The Lou Lazzaro Memorial night will give one 602 Sportsman driver a guaranteed starting spot during Mohawk Valley Weekend in September and honor one of the winningest drivers in track history at the same time. The GRIT Racing Series didn’t stop there, as a guaranteed starting spot for the Slobberknocker season finale at Five Mile Point in November is on the agenda as well.

On Sunday April 13, 2014 the RoC (Race Of Champions) Dirt Modified tour will converge on the Five Mile Point Speedway in Kirkwood New York to determine the 2013 Modified champion in a 100 lap slugfest worth $5,555 to win. It’s a weee bit of a rain delay, but the time has come to decide who is going to title town. Currently Stewart Friesen holds the 2013 RoC Dirt Modified point lead over Matt Sheppard, Bobby Varin, and Mike Mahaney. What does this info have to do with the Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels?

The promoter of Five Mile Point Andy Harpell is offering GRIT Racing Series 602 Crate Sportsman competitors an opportunity to earn a guaranteed starting spot at the Slobberknocker season finale in November. On Sunday April 13th there will be a $1,00 to win Crate Sportsman race that accompanies the RoC Modified event. The winner of that $1,000 to win Crate Sportsman event on Sunday April 13th will be a guaranteed starter in the Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels season finale Slobberknocker in November.

“When Andy mentioned this idea my response was ABSOLUTELY! It’s a great idea and gives the Crate Sportsman drivers a chance to earn a guaranteed spot in our big 40 Lap season ending Slobberknocker,” said Rob Hazer, GRIT Racing Series competition director.

“It’s a great opportunity for the Crate Sportsman teams to get dialed in before the first GRIT Racing Series event at Five Mile Point in July,” said Andrew Harpell, Promoter of Five Mile Point and RoC Series.

Circle the date April 13th on the calendar Crate Sportsman drivers, as Andy Harpell is offering a $1,000 to win event and giving away a guaranteed starting spot in the Dig Safely New York GRIT Racing Series Powered By VP Racing Fuels season ending Slobberknocker.

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DAN HARPELL REACHES AGREEMENT TO TAKE OVER AS PROMOTER AT BLACK ROCK SPEEDWAY

DUNDEE, NY…After a few weeks of negotiations, Dan Harpell has reached an agreement to take over as the Promoter of Black Rock Speedway in Dundee, New York.  Harpell will lease the facility to conduct motorsports events, replacing Dean Hoag, who has owned and operated the track for the past nine years.

Harpell, who has spent his entire life in motorsports, signed a letter of intent with Hoag on March 21st to take over as Promoter of the Yates County oval.  The final lease agreement is scheduled to be finalized this week.

“I am really excited to be the new Promoter at Black Rock Speedway”, said Harpell.  The deal came together rather quickly.  “Dean approached me at the Southern Tier Speedworld car show that I promoted at the Oakdale Mall a few weeks ago.  He asked me if I had any interest in leasing the track from him as he was looking to get out”, said Harpell.  “We have talked for the past few weeks and worked out the details and it all just made a lot of sense to me.  It’s no secret that I have really missed promoting races since I stepped down at Five Mile Point after the 2003 season.  This is a great opportunity get back into promoting a sport that I am very passionate about”, he added.

Harpell, whose grandparents Irv and Anna Heath built Five Mile Point Speedway in Kirkwood, New York, was that tracks Promoter for 15 years before stepping down after the 2003 season.  His brother Andrew is the current owner of the quarter mile oval, which begins its 64th consecutive year of auto racing on April 6th.

After graduating from Brockport State with a degree in Sports Management, Harpell did an internship with the then New Jersey Nets of the NBA.  He then served as Director of Marketing and Public Relations for DIRT Motorsports in the mid 1980’s.  He did Public Relations work for Fulton Speedway during the formulative years of the “Victoria 200” and also worked for Gater Racing News.  He is no stranger to Black Rock as he served as Race Director and Public Relations Director for two years at the Dundee oval in the late 1980’s.  Harpell leased the facility in 2012 to run the “RoC at the Rock” Race of Champions Dirt Modified Series event.

In addition to his promotional duties, Harpell has been at the controls of the grader for the past 25 years at Five Mile Point.  In recent years he has also been the Race Director at Penn Can Speedway (Susquehanna, PA) and has done the track prep at the Utica Rome Speedway (Vernon, NY).  He will continue his work at Five Mile and Utica Rome but will not be able to return to Penn Can because they too are a Friday night track.  “I am really excited about the challenge of taking over as Promoter of Black Rock Speedway”, said Harpell.  I have been in the racing business for 30 years and bring a wealth of experience to the table.  I am confident that I will bring a high level of excitement to Black Rock for both the fans and drivers alike.  We have a lot to get done in a short period of time to get ready.  I can’t wait to get started”, he added.

Harpell will have the help of his three sons Tyler, Tanner and Tucker to not only get the track up and running, but throughout the entire season as well.  All three have been running equipment since they were old enough to see over the steering wheel.  Tyler will be one of the two track announcers this year, a position that he has held in recent years at Five Mile Point and Penn Can.  Tanner and Tucker are both racers but will focus their attention at Black Rock to track prep, which they also do at Five Mile and Utica Rome.

The new revised 2014 schedule will be out soon with some exciting changes and additions to what Dean Hoag had released at the recent car shows.  Rules that were already set for the 2014 season will remain in place.  “It’s a little late to be making wholesale changes to the classes and the schedule”, said Harpell.  “We will tweak a few things for now and then evaluate everything at the end of the season to see what changes, if any, will be made for the 2015 season”, he added.

The track will host two weeks of practice on April 18th and 25th before the official Grand Opening on Friday, May 2nd featuring a full show of the weekly classes along with a visit by the CRSA Sprint Cars.  “We want to hold a couple of practice sessions so we can get a handle on what the track surface will need, to be ready for a full night of racing”, said Harpell.

Harpell will also look at ways to expedite the lines at the concession stands to better serve the customers.  “We will take a look at every aspect of the operation, both on and off the track, and make changes when and where necessary to give everyone a high quality night of entertainment”, said Harpell.

Fans and drivers can expect several more exciting announcements to be released in the next few weeks.  “We obviously are getting a late start and have a lot to get done.  Having said that, we already have a lot of things in place and I am confident that everyone will be happy with the news that will be coming out in the next few weeks”, said Harpell.

Harpell can currently be reached for questions by email at dharpmotorsports@yahoo.com or by phone at 607-595-4100.  Get ready for an exciting 2014 racing season at Black Rock Speedway as new Promoter Dan Harpell embarks on a new era at the Yates County oval. 
 
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Chapman’s Can Am Motorsports Park Releases Action Packed 2014 Schedule; Several Major Events Lined up During 40th Anniversary Season

By Craig Revelle – Finish Line Web Design

March 20, 2014

The 2014 racing season at Chapman’s Can Am Motorsports Park is just around the corner, and now that the 2014 schedule has been released, local race teams are working hard getting their cars ready for a new season.  There will be plenty of big events in 2014 for all of our weekly classes, and an increase in purse for our Sportsman and Pro Street divisions are aimed at bringing in stronger car counts throughout the season.  The increase in the Sportsman division purse will include $100 for taking the green and more money added to finishing positions in the middle and tail of the finishing order.

Opening night at Chapman’s Can Am Motorsports Park is set for Friday, April 18th.  All of our weekly divisions will be in action on opening night including the Dig Safely NY, Whitesboro Plow Shop of Watertown Sportsman division, the Massey’s Furniture Barn, Whitesboro Plow Shop of Watertown Pro Street division, the Bear World, SUNY Canton, Whitesboro Plow Shop of Watertown Pro Late Model division, the Audio Arsenal, Whitesboro Plow Shop of Watertown Thunder Car division and the Audio Arsenal, Whitesboro Plow Shop of Watertown Thunder Stock class.

The Empire Super Sprints will make their way to Chapman’s Can Am Motorsports Park on two occasions in 2014.  They will battle it out on the fast Can Am half mile on Friday, April 25th, and again on Friday, July 4th.  Both events will pay $2000 to win.  The new Grit Series for the Sportsman division will also have two stops at Can Am in 2014.  They will take center stage on Tuesday, June 24th and again on Friday, September 5th.

The most talked about show of 2014 so far is the SUNY Canton Can Am Summer Slam set for Friday, July 18th.  The Go Nuclear Late Model Series is on the schedule with a 30 lap, $1000 to win show along with the first annual Sara Martin Memorial Race that will pay $1500 to win in their 40 lap main event.  There will also be a $500 halfway leader bonus, plus several other lucrative contingency awards and lap sponsorship money that has been collected.

New this year at Chapman’s Can Am Motorsports Park will be the Thunder in the 1000 Islands Series presented by Deline’s Auto Body and VP Race Fuels.  There will be five race nights in 2014 that will make up this special series, with a separate point fund and prizes for each division.  The Sportsman, Pro Street, Mod Lites, Thunder Cars and Thunder Stocks will all compete for extra money during these series races.  These races will take place on April 25th, June 24th, July 4th, September 5th and September 12th.

Chapman’s Can Am Motorsports Park welcomes Dave Ferrell, Kevin Rerrick and Rob Oliver to the Can Am tech team in 2014.  They will join Lloyd Larmon throughout the season with a tech program that will work closely with Brewrton and Fulton Speedway’s tech department to ensure an equal playing field in all divisons.  Can Am is also excited to welcome back a familiar voice in 2014 as John Burr rejoins the Chapman’s Can Am Motorsports Park family as announcer along with Rob Thackston.

Back by popular demand in 2014 is the Night of Fire & Destruction Monster Truck Show.  The 3rd annual event will take place on Friday, August 1st and Saturday August 2nd and will feature 5 Monster Trucks, a thrill show plus fireworks and an Enduro on Friday and Demolition Derby to conclude the Saturday program.

For more information regarding the 2014 racing season at Chapman's Can-Am Motorsports Park, including sponsorship and ticket information, as well as VIP Tower Rooms please visit our website at www.canammotorsports.com or contact the track office at (315) 778- 3407.

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GROWING FIELD OF RACERS SET TO BECOME INAUGURAL CLASS OF SWEENEY RUSH SPORTSMAN MODIFIED RACERS IN 2014; 16 CONFIRMED PARTICIPANTS

March 17, 2014

 (By Mike Leone)  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Pulaski, PA)...With spring now in focus and the 2014 racing season drawing near, Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Racing Series Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone are greatly anticipating the debut of the new Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified division. The first event will take place on Saturday, April 26 at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio as member racers will begin to battle for a point fund of over $10,000. As the season draws closer, more and more racers will be taking part in the inaugural season.

"We're really excited to hear the continual excitement and initial growth of the Sportsman Modifieds," stated Emig. "It's great to see several third generation racers now being able to race and other racers finding a division they can afford to compete in. To have approximately 16 new Sportsman Modified racers confirmed is more then we could have hoped for at this early stage of development for the division. I know that someday we'll look back at this group and remember that they helped build the foundation for affordable Modified racing throughout our region into the future.    

The Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified division is giving youngsters with Modified racing in their blood the ability to participate affordability. Three of those third generation racers will be beginning their careers this season including Michael Kristyak, Billy Schaffer, and Chris Habbyshaw.

The 15-year-old Kristyak of Mercer, Pa. is the son of Marty and grandson of Mike- both veteran racers of Mercer Raceway Park. Michael will be acquiring a DIRTcar Sportsman-legal 1996 Bicknell that recently competed at the Syracuse mile. Marty sees the division as something he can afford for his son. Michael will carry the famed #404 and has several relatives racing including his cousin Max and uncle Gary Smoker in the "358s" and cousin Rob in the big blocks.

Like the Kristyaks, the Schaffer Family has had a long and storied racing history throughout the region and now another Schaffer is expected to get his start. Jerry Schaffer, who has experience in all of the region's Modified divisions, will be using his red  #4 to compete in this new Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified series.  Jerry explained, "The plan is for me to run a race or so then turn it over to my son Billy, who is a rookie. We think that this division will work great for him.  To place older drivers that are near the end of their racing careers against the young, exciting and unpredictable rookies should get exciting!"

The 28-year-old Habbyshaw of Mercer, Pa. has grown up at the races crewing for his father Skip, who began his racing career in 1998 after crewing on several Modifieds. Skip's father raced at Mercer in the 1960s and 1970s. Now the third generation, Chris, will be able to try his skills in the division he grew up loving.

"I first heard about the new RUSH Sportsman through my son, who had read about it and told me to look it up," explained Skip. "We talked about it and decided to put one together. We had a chassis that was wrecked and needed repairs, but had enough spare parts to put one together. I have real good friend that race Sportsman in New York and always wished that we had that here. The rules package makes it more economical for the average working man. I like the low cost crate engine and shock rule. I believe it will get some guys that could not afford to race back on the track."

Warren, Ohio's J.C. Boyer is a second generation driver ready to resume his racing career this season. J.C's father John was a regular competitor for many years in the Big-Block Modified division at Sharon Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park. J.C. meanwhile got his start in 2011 when Sharon began running the Crate Late Models on a weekly basis. J.C. though went into the Army and hasn't competed since. The RUSH Sportsman Modified division is now giving him an affordable option to go back to racing.

Leading the list when it comes to Modified experience are Jeremy Paup and Adam Siegel. The 30-year-old Paup of Reno, Pa. is the step-son of the great Le Myers. Paup was the 2004 Mercer Raceway Park "Horizon Award" winner improving on his rookie season of racing in 2003 when he jumped into the Big-Block Modified division. Paup has since raced off and on since due to the high costs of fielding a Big-Block Modified. While Paup still hopes to run some of the BRP Tour Big-Block events, the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will give him an affordable opportunity to compete again.

Siegel of Brookville, Pa. meanwhile was always a low-budget Modified racer and always got everything he could out of his big blocks. Siegel excelled at Sportsman's Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park with his #91 and also had good runs at other speedways throughout the region. Siegel, who hasn't raced a full season since 2008, was one of the first racers that committed, and in fact went to work on his car that very first weekend after it was announced last October. Adam's brother Bobby has raced in various divisions over the years especially the Micro Sprints and Mini Stocks and presently is in the process of purchasing a race-ready Sportsman Modified to go racing.

Like Siegel, Rocky Kugel was one of the first drivers to commit to the new division last fall. The 37-year-old East Liverpool, Ohio driver has several years of experience in E-Mods and most recently with the RUSH Late Models. While his father Larry is one of the region's winningnest E-Mod drivers, the center-sitting Northeast-style Modifieds will be an all-new learning experience for Rocky, who is up for the new challenge. Kugel sees it as a much more affordable way to race with the $135 Bilstein "sealed" shocks and GM 602 crate engine.

Another Sweeney RUSH Late Model racer making the move over to the Sportsman Modifieds is Jeremy Zufall. The 31-year-old Greensburg, Pa. worked his way up the ranks at Dog Hollow Speedway and most recently was a semi-regular at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex. Zufall has proudly carried Joy Mining sponsorship and has taken his car to Joy events all over the region and even into Tennessee. The Modified class will be an all-new experience for Zufall.

Jorden Eck is another racer with a Late Model background. His father Doug has been a mainstay in the Super Late Models all over the region. Jordan teamed with father in 2012 in the Super Late Models before purchasing a GM 604 crate to run at Stateline at the end of the season, which he continued through 2013.

"Although 2013 was an improvement, I still didn't feel comfortable in the Late Model chassis enough to pursue that route," explained the Corry, Pa. youngster. "I have always been drawn to the Mods and when this rule package was introduced, specifically the 602 because of affordability, I couldn't wait to find a car and start preparing. I have logged a lot of miles acquiring parts and been on the phone with Bicknell tech support quite frequently, but everyone has been great to work with and I have already met some great people."

Two drivers moving over from the Stock Car division are Adam Ashcroft and Jamie Duncan. Ashcroft dominated the Stock division at McKean County Raceway winning the championship and the track's "Drive of the Year" with a used GM 604 engine. The 31-year-old Arcade, New York driver is looking for a new challenge and really likes the rules package of the new Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.

Duncan meanwhile finally captured his first career win last year at Sharon Speedway on July 20 after 10 years of trying. The longtime competitor's green #67J has been a fixture in the Stock Car division at Sharon Speedway, and the soon to be 49-year-old will now be behind the wheel of a Modified for the first time in his career!

Ken Moy, Jr. is the classic example of a driver that loves the Modified division, but has struggled to be able to compete in the headlining big-block division. The 35-year-old Cortland, Ohio driver began his career in the Stock Car division in 1997 and continued racing it through 1999. He then moved into the Big-Block Modified division and has competed off and on ever since. Just recently, Moy sold all of his big-block components upgrading from an older Teo to a newer Bicknell chassis.

"I am definitely in support of the division and will hope to at least attend events at Sharon Speedway and Raceway 7," explained Moy, who plans on purchasing a GM 602 in the next coming weeks. "My reasons to continue in racing are one, I love it, and two, I want to use it to raise awareness of kidney disease in honor of my three-year old daughter Mary, who has stage 3 chronic kidney disease possibly facing dialysis and kidney transplants in the future."

"It is my goal to heighten awareness of the seriousness of kidney disease and the impact it has on people locally and as a nation," continued Moy. "I want to advocate for the importance of donating organs and especially kidneys with thousands waiting for a kidney. My family and I are praying and being faithful that Mary will not advance through the stages of kidney disease, but still ask support from everyone we reach. "

Walt Tutak, Jr. has spent the past several seasons competing in the "305" Sprint Car division. While his father Walt, Sr. has tried to organize efforts and continuity amongst the "305" Sprints, the Kittanning, Pa. driver has always admired the RUSH Late Model program and teching procedures. After a recent call to the RUSH Office, Tutak went and picked up a race-ready Sportsman Modified.

Jeff Stuchel has been racing off and on for the past 20 years or so. The Apollo, Pa. driver has tried his hand at many divisions like "410" Sprint Cars, Big-Block and "358" Modifieds. He was a regular racer at his nearby and now defunct Challenger Raceway in Indiana, Pa. before moving around to several other speedways. After a several season hiatus, Stuchel will be back behind the wheel in the new Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.

Rick Thompson is coming off the asphalt racing scene into the dirt world. The 40-year-old Erie, Pa. driver was planning on racing an E-Mod in 2014 until the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modified deal came along. Thompson is planning on hitting the road and traveling to the different venues hosting Sportsman events this season.

Several other regional racers have expressed interest or their intent to race with the Sweeney RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Also, RUSH has received a lot of interest from New York racers that are planning on making the trip down to race periodically as several have stated they've always wanted to race at some of the facilities that will be hosting events. These drivers include Mark Chiddy, Dave Conant, James Henry, Adam Hilton, Scott Lee, Greg Martin, Cody McPherson, and Bill Willard.

2014 membership forms are available online under the membership link at www.rushsportsmanmods.com. Membership cost is $125, which makes driver eligible for the $10,000+ Series point fund, $100,000 of additional excess participant accident insurance over and above driver's health insurance and/or speedway's policy, as well as additional perks. 

Both Precise Racing Products and Big Daddy's Speed Center have offered a 5% discount on all racing parts (excluding the sealed Bilstein shock, fuel, and tires) for the entire 2014 season to all RUSH Sportsman Modified member drivers! 

2014 RUSH Sportsman Modified marketing partners include Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, VP Racing Fuels, FK Rod Ends, Precise Racing Products, and B.R.A.K.E.S.

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 Sportsman Modified website is www.rushsportsmanmods.com.  Those on social media can like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rushsportsmanmods and follow us on Twitter @RUSHSportMods.

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First Annual Thunder in the 1000 Islands Motorsports Expo & Trade Show Set for March 22nd & 23rd at Clayton Recreation Park Arena

By Craig Revelle

March 15, 2014


After attending the Gater Racing News Motorsports Expo in Syracuse last weekend, Chapman’s Can Am Motorpsorts Park officials will host their own expo and trade show next weekend at the Clayton Recreation Park Arena on Saturday, March 22nd and Sunday March 23rd.  The car show will have plenty of new race cars on display from Can Am and other area tracks, and many vendors will be set up throughout the weekend.

The first annual Thunder in the 1000 Islands Motorsports Expo & Trade show is presented by Watertown Auto Sales & Drive America.  The show will open to exhibitors and vendors on Friday March 21st from 2pm to 8pm.  The doors will swing open to the general public at 10am on Saturday, March 22nd and will run through 8pm Saturday night.  The final day of the show on Sunday, March 23rd will run from 11am to 5pm.  General admission is just $5 with children age 10 and under admitted FREE.

“We will have plenty to offer over the course of the weekend.  We have plenty of confirmed vendors for the weekend, and we will have our 2014 schedule cars available”, says track General Manager Chip Burdick.  “We will also have a go kart demonstration from Slack Karts on Saturday at 2pm.

If you are interested in putting your car on display, or becoming a vendor for the weekend, please contact the track office at the phone number below.  The car show is open to all forms of race cars and even hot rods.  Even if you do not race at Can Am, you are welcome to bring your car and show off your sponsors at this event.

“We are excited to bring this event back to our area”, adds Burdick.  “It has been several years since we had a show like this in our own backyard.  “Hopefully everyone will support this, and we can keep it going for years to come”.

For more information regarding the Thunder in the 1000 Islands Motorsports Expo & Trade show, or the 2014 racing season at Chapman's Can-Am Motorsports Park, including sponsorship and ticket information please visit our website at www.canammotorsports.com or contact the track office at (315) 778- 3407.

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Chapman’s Can Am Motorsports Rewards 2013 Competitors at Annual Awards Banquet; More Than $10000 Handed Out in Cash & Prizes

By Craig Revelle

March 5, 2014

Although the 2014 season is just over a month away, Chapman’s Can Am Motorsports Park had some unfinished business remaining from 2013, as they honored their champions and top finishers at the annual awards banquet at the Ramada Inn on Arsenal St. in Watertown, New York. More than $10,000 in cash and point fund money was handed out during the evening to racers thanks to the generous Can Am sponsors.

“We really have to thank our great sponsors for all of their help in contributing to the point fund”, says track owner Tiger Chapman. “Norm Dunn of Number One Speed was instrumental in getting a lot of the bonus cash from selling tires in 2013 racing season that was handed out tonight, and he and Tiger donated several items themselves”. A tower room was given away a $1,200 value, a season pit pass, along with a drum of VP Racing Fuels was given away.

In addition to the awards being given out, track General Manager Chip Burdick addressed the approximately 150 banquet attendees and discussed changes for the upcoming season. They announced that the regular weekly Sportsman purse will now be $600 to win, and they will increase the payout throughout the field with $100 to start each Sportsman Modified feature in 2014. $500 has been added to the overall weekly Sportsman purse.

“We listened to the fans and racers and have adjusted the purses. The bigger paying races are less to win in 2014 but the extra money is being put in the middle and back of the purses”, says Burdick.  “There will be an increase in the Pro Street as well”.

For the 2014 racing season along with a good point fund money and tire money, every driver in each of the different divisions that qualify for point fund money at the end of the 2014 racing season will be in a drawing to win a free season pit passes for the following season.

Chapman also addressed the crowd, saying that Can Am will work with Brewerton and Fulton Speedway and will increase tech during the 2014 season and beyond. Crate motors will be teched, and winning motors could be subject to dyno testing at the Gypsum Racing shop if deemed necessary.

It was also announced that the Friday, July 18th events will consist of the first annual Sara Martin Memorial Race. Several Pro Street Drivers donated their point fund earnings to the event and plans are already in the works to make this a very lucrative event for the Pro Street racers in honor of Sara Martin, wife of competitor Rob Martin.

Be sure to visit the Can Am Motorsports booth at the Gater Motorsports Expo at the New York State Fairgrounds this weekend as the 2014 schedule will be available.  The 1st annual Thunder in the 1000 Islands Car Show at the Clayton Recreation Park Arena will be March 22nd and March 23rd.

For more information regarding the 2014 racing season at Chapman's Can-Am Motorsports Park, including sponsorship and ticket information please visit our website at www.canammotorsports.com or contact the track office at (315) 778- 3407.

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