SUCCESSFUL 2021 RUSH RACING SERIES SEASON COMPLETED AS CHAMPIONS & TOP RACERS FROM 6 TO 66 HONORED AT AWARDS BANQUET; RECORD $166,000+ IN POINT FUND MONIES DISTRIBUTED
By Mike Leone
January 15, 2022 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Edinburg, PA)…While the 2022 racing season is only a few months away, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Racing Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants Directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone put a final wrap on the 2021 racing season with the annual awards banquet and dinner on Saturday night at the Gatherings Banquet & Event Center. A record number of attendees filled the beautiful banquet hall as a record $166,000+ in cash was distributed to RUSH Late Model, Sprint Car, Sportsman Modified, Pro Mod, Stock Car, and Kart racers. Drivers from the ages of 5 to 66 years of age were recognized. All told well over $315,000 in point fund monies and useful product contingencies were distributed to RUSH racers throughout the 2021 season.
The Pace Performance RUSH Late Models had events at 22 different speedways in 2022 with over 300 different racers participating in either a weekly-sanctioned and/or tour events. The non-wing Pace Performance RUSH Sprint Cars completed year number four with growing car counts and more participation. Year eight for the Pace Performance Sportsman Modified season continued to feature the highest weekly car counts of any Modified division in the region. The Pace Performance RUSH Pro Mods wrapped up year number six already and had their highest car count averages and broke their record high car count twice. The Pace Performance RUSH Stock Cars completed their inaugural season with weekly events at Dog Hollow, Stateline, and Eriez Speedways. And the second year for the RUSH Karting Series saw growing car counts for all four classes.
Congrats to the following 2021 RUSH Champions: Kyle Hardy (Late Model Tour & Weekly), Kassidy Kamicker (Late Model "Futures Cup"), Khole Wanzer (Late Model "Wheelman"), Chad Ruhlman (Sprint Car Weekly), Brian Cressley (Sprint Car "Futures Cup"), Chas Wolbert (Sportsman Mod Weekly), Tony Tatgenhorst (Sportsman Mod Tour), Brandon Ritchey (Sportsman Mod "Route 7 Rumble"), Ben Easler (Sportsman Mod "Futures Cup"), Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Pro Mod Weekly), Ian Golier (Pro Mod "Futures Cup"), Jeremy Zufall (Stock Car Weekly), Mikael Beaver (Stock Car "Futures Cup), Jay Groves (Adult Kart), Cody Rickard (Jr-2 Kart), Ryan Chase (Jr-1 Kart), and Bexley Smith (Amateur Kart).
All of the champions received their point fund monies, laser etched championship marble awards, large championship checks thanks to Ontime Body & Graphic, and embroidered RUSH championship jackets. Also, all 14 Late Model "Track Pack" Champions received $1,000 as each RUSH weekly-sanctioned track's top six member racers split $2,500.
In his first year of RUSH, Kyle Hardy left the awards banquet with a record $17,000! The Stephens City, Virginia ace won eight features in route the $12,000 Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Touring Series Championship, while ending Jeremy Wonderling's run of three straight titles. Hardy added another 11 Weekly Series victories to capture the $5,000 National Weekly Series crown by just one-point over 2020 champion, Jeremy Wonderling. All told, Hardy finished on the podium in 29 of the 32 races he competed in!
Second year RUSH racer, Kassidy Kamicker, became the first female "Futures Cup" Champion in the history RUSH. The 18-year-old Aliquippa, Pa. driver also finished second in the "Track Pack" points at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway and left the banquet with $1,000 in point fund monies one year after winning the "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series Championship and a 10th in the Touring Series points.
Speaking of the "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series, Khole Wanzer became the 13th different champion in 14 years! The Waterford, Pa. driver won $200 non-qualifier events at both Eriez and Stateline Speedways, his first career checkered flags, in route to the $300 title.
For the third time in four years, Chad Ruhlman earned the $5,000 RUSH Sprint Car Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship. After winning the first two championships in his own #87R, Chad took 2020 off to focus on his son Kevin's RUSH Sprint Car exploits. The Erie, Pa. driver returned to RUSH Sprint Car racing in 2021; however, this time driving the #68 for longtime car owner Tim Engles- a former "410" Sprint Car racer in 1980s. Ruhlman won nine times upping his all-time career win total to 34, and led the division with 20 top 5s. Ruhlman ended up tying Gale Ruth, Jr., who also won nine features, for the title, but won the tiebreaker. Ruhlman was also the 2014 RUSH Late Model National Weekly Series Champion.
After finishing second in the 2020 RUSH Sprint Car "Futures Cup" points to Nolan Groves, 16-year-old Brian Cressley did one position better to capture the 2021 crown. Cressley recorded eight top 10s including a career best fifth and his first heat race win in the Tri-City Raceway Park finale.
For the second straight year, Chas Wolbert nailed down the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sportsman Modified Championship. The Warren, Ohio racer won 13 times and finished outside the podium on only three occasions. Wolbert upped his all-time division leading win total to 46 and earned a record $3,500 for the title. Wolbert announced he'll be moving up to the Big-Block Modifieds in 2022.
Tony Tatgenhorst used consistency to win his first championship. The Columbiana, Ohio driver failed to finish worse than fourth in any of the RUSH Sportsman Modified Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Touring Series events. Tatgenhorst outgained Wolbert by 12 points for the $800 championship. It was an emotional first title for Tatgenhorst, whose father passed away three days following the Lernerville finale.
Another driver using consistency to win a championship was Brandon Ritchey. The Seneca, Pa. racer didn't win a feature event, but failed to finish worse than 11th in any of the Raceway 7 and Sharon Speedway RUSH Sportsman Modified races as he earned the $1,000 "Route 7 Rumble" Series Championship presented by Wedge Motorsports. Ritchey had seven top 5 finishes in the Series of events including a season best third on June 11 at Raceway 7, where he also won the track title.
Ben Easler became the fourth different RUSH Sportsman Modified Champion in 2021. The Linesville, Pa. driver, who didn't turn 15 until September 1, captured the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply "Futures Cup" Championship. Easler finished fourth in his big car debut at Sharon, was third two races later, and then won his first career race at Raceway 7 just days later. A football injury cut his season one-month short, but still finished fourth in the Hovis Weekly Series Championship.
Former RUSH Late Model competitor, Dennis Lunger, Jr., captured an unprecedented fifth straight RUSH title doing it in the Pace Performance Pro Mods! The 53-year-old Albion, Pa. driver won seven times at Stateline, four in five starts at McKean, and twice at Bradford. He had 20 top 5s in 23 starts for the $3,500 championship. Lunger said he'll be back in 2022 to try and win six titles in a row.
Fifteen-year-old rookie Ian DeGolier was the RUSH Pro Mod "Futures Cup" Champion. The Bradford, Pa. driver had 10 top 10s in 17 starts at Bradford and McKean. DeGolier had a career best sixth on June 6 at Bradford where he also finished sixth in track points.
Former RUSH Sportsman Modified racer, Jeremy Zufall, returned to the RUSH ranks in 2021 competing in the new Pace Performance RUSH Stock Car division. The Mt. Pleasant, Pa. resident won eight times at Dog Hollow and made the long trip up to Eriez Speedway on May 30 and picked up the victory. Zufall earned $2,000 for the inaugural championship.
Sixteen-year-old Mini Stock graduate, Mikael Beaver, a fourth generation racer, not only finished second in the RUSH Stock Weekly Series points, but also picked up the "Futures Cup" crown. The Sugar Grove, Pa. driver won seven times at Eriez and three at Stateline!
The highlight of the banquet was the special awards ceremony. Ryan Frazee and his family were awarded the prestigious Legacy Award. The 18-year-old Addison, Pa. driver completed his third year on the RUSH Late Model Tour, but did it this year without his father Rick, who passed away just three weeks before the season started. Ryan also drove the toter and trailer to the races and helped his mom Jamie run their trucking business. Ryan, who is assisted on his race car by his sisters Julie and Jenna, has finished in the top six in Tour points each of the last three years. All four accepted their award.
Two Majestic Awards were doled out. The first went to longtime official and 20-year friend Bill Bauer. Bauer formerly worked at Mercer Raceway Park when Emig was the owner driving two hours every week from Somerset, Pa. Over the years, Bauer's duties with RUSH has included lining up cars, being the pit steward, doing safety inspections, traveling to weekly events to assist in tech, working trade shows, and more. This year however, Bauer continued to work with RUSH and manage Dog Hollow Speedway despite living in Florence, Kentucky as he'd make 700-mile roundtrips weekly. Bauer will continue those roles in 2022.
The second Majestic was awarded to Kevin Kaserman. The 40-year-old fulfilled his dream to run a Sprint Car debuting in the RUSH non-wing division. Kaserman, who lives 40 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio in Middlefield hooks up with his parents in Massillon, which is nearly an hour and a half south before heading east to the races. And what was most impressive was his mother Sue has been confined to a wheelchair and walker for the last three decades due to rheumatoid arthritis. Kevin and his father Rick make sure Sue is settled into the grandstands at each event.
Chelsie Kriegisch was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award. Kriegisch won her third career RUSH Sportsman Modified feature in 2021, which was all-time race #200 in the division. The victory propelled Kriegisch to the Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway track championship as she became the first female track champion in the history of RUSH. Kriegisch is still the only female winner in the 50+ year storied history of Expo Speedway, and the only female driver to win a RUSH Tour event in history! The 27-year-old from Ellwood City, PA has now run 153 RUSH Sportsman Modified races, which is most in the history of the division, and is one of only two drivers to compete all eight years in the division.
Kyle Hardy captured the annual Miles Traveled Award. Hardy completed his first season of RUSH by running the entire Late Model Touring Series despite living in Linden, Virginia. Hardy had never seen several of the tracks on the Tour and adapted well. All told, Hardy won 32 features with 18 of them RUSH-sanctioned in 2021, which came in four different cars amongst Super Late Models, RUSH Late Models, and Limited Late Models.
RUSH Series announcer, Brian Spaid, emceed the affair and also previewed the upcoming 2022 season, which will be a historic season. The Flynn's Tire RUSH Late Model Touring Series point fund will see another 25% increase with $15,000 going to the champion as all events will pay a minimum of $3,000 to-win. Lernerville Speedway General Manager, Mike Lysakowski, photographed the event and also previewed the $20,000 to-win "Bill Emig Memorial" for the RUSH Late Model Tour and detailed RUSH's presence at the Sarver, Pa. oval.
The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will race weekly at Sharon, bi-weekly at Raceway 7 in addition to other events throughout the region. The RUSH Sprint Cars will see a similar schedule with additional higher paying races at Knox Raceway. The RUSH Pro Mods will be back weekly at Stateline and Bradford Speedways along with events at McKean County Raceway and Genesee Speedway. The second year for the RUSH Stock Cars will again see weekly action at Dog Hollow, Stateline, and Eriez Speedways. And the third year for the RUSH Karting Series is anticipated to see additional growth. All divisions will continue to have a "Manufacturers Night" presented by MSD Performance.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Flynn's Tire/Born2Run Lubricants Touring Series Top 10 Driver Points: 1. KYLE HARDY 1542 2. Joe Martin 1483 3. Jeremy Wonderling 1439 4. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 1389 5. Bud Watson 1272 6. Ryan Frazee 1254 7. John Waters 1107 8. J.J. Mazur 1097 9. Kyle Lukon 936 10. Logan Zarin 834.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Weekly Series Top 40 Points: 1. KYLE HARDY 1343 2. Jeremy Wonderling 1342 3. Brian Knowles & Levi Crowl 1328 5. Jason Genco & Chad Homan 1324 7. Joe Martin 1322 8. Bill Holmes 1318 9. Darrell Bossard & Steve Dixon 1314 11. Breyton Santee & Daryl Charlier 1312 13. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 1311 14. Scott Gurdak 1308 15. Chris Fleming 1292 16. J.J. Mazur 1291 17. Devin Brannon 1289 18. Jeremy Pilkerton 1288 19. John Waters 1286 20. Jimmy Johnson & Doug Ricotta 1282 22. Jason Knowles 1281 23. Bud Watson 1277 24. Zach Morrow 1269 25. Matt Hill 1268 26. Steve LeBarron 1261 27. Kurt Stebbins 1257 28. Megan Mann 1254 29. Bret Belden 1252 30. Matt Latta & David Parker 1251 32. Cory Sines 1247 33. Brad Smith 1241 34. Billy Henry, Jr. & Darin Horton 1239 36. Kyle Lukon 1237 37. Joe Long 1236 38. Chub Frank 1235 39. Jon Rivers 1231 40. Austin Hauser 1229.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Late Model “Futures Cup” Points: 1. KASSIDY KAMICKER 1177 2. Logan Jaquay 1147 3. Zach Crawford 975.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Late Model “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series Champion: KHOLE WANZER 382.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Late Model $1,000 "Track Pack" Champions: Steve Dixon (Bradford & McKean), Matt Hill (Delaware), Michael Duritsky, Jr. (Dog Hollow), Jason Genco (Eriez), Chad Homan (Fulton), Jimmy Johnson (Genesee), Steve LeBarron (The Hill), Daryl Charlier (Pittsburgh), Jeremy Pilkerton (Potomac), Breyton Santee (Raceway 7), Scott Gurdak (Stateline), Levi Crowl (Winchester) & Brian Knowles (Woodhull).
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Sprint Car Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Top 20 Points: 1. CHAD RUHLMAN 1336. 2. Gale Ruth, Jr. 1336 3. Blaze Myers 1296 4. John Mollick 1284 5. Rod George 1282 6. Nolan Groves & Arnie Kent 1277 8. Tyler Newhart 1226 9. Brian Hartzell 1217 10. Brian Cressley 1187 11. A.J. MacQuarrie 1186 12. Ricky Tucker, Jr. 1174 13. Kevin Kaserman 1119 14. Brandon Shughart 1071 15. Brad Church 1068 16. Amelia Clay 1052 17. Gale Ruth 920 18. Kevin Ruhlman 887 19. Zach Morrow 799 20. Brad Blackshear 745.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Sprint Car "Futures Cup" Champion: BRIAN CRESSLEY 1187.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Sportsman Modified Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Weekly Series Top 20 Points: 1. CHAS WOLBERT 1340 2. Justin Shea 1307 3. Tony Tatgenhorst 1296 4. Ben Easler 1273 5. Rob Kristyak 1268 6. Kole Holden 1266 7. Brandon Ritchey 1246 8. Kyle Martell 1231 9. J.C. Boyer 1224 10. Jordan Ehrenberg 1219 11. Preston Cope 1217 12. Chelsie Kriegisch 1207 13. Jacob Jordan 1200 14. Greg Porter 1193 15. Ayden Cipriano 1187 16. Cole Edwards 1157 17. Dave Price 1138 18. Dalton Gabriel 1110 19. Cameron McFadden 1101 20. Jacob Wolfe 1048.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Sportsman Modified Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Touring Series Top 10 Driver Points: 1. TONY TATGENHORST 380 2. Chas Wolbert & Rob Kristyak 368 4. J.C. Boyer 367 5. Kole Holden 359 6. Greg Porter 335 7. Dave Price 321 8. Ayden Cipriano 254 9. Jordan Ehrenberg 250 10. Jacob Jordan 249.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Sportsman Modified Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble Series" Top 8 Points: 1. BRANDON RITCHEY 1443 2. Rob Kristyak 1434 3. Kole Holden 1431 4. Chas Wolbert 1367 5. Greg Porter 1345 6. Kyle Martell 1311 7. Ben Easler 1271 8. Dave Price 1195.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Sportsman Modified Hovis Auto & Truck Supply "Futures Cup" Points: 1. BEN EASLER 1273 2. Cole Edwards 1157 3. Dalton Gabriel 1110 4. Cameron McFadden 1101 5. Jacob Rutana 849 6. Lucas Canon 700.
2021 Pace Performance GMC RUSH Pro Mod Weekly Series Points: 1. DENNIS LUNGER, JR. 1344 2. Adam Ashcroft 1321 3. Al Brewer 1319 4. Steve Dixon 1317 5. Mike Eschrich 1300 6. C.J. Irons 1295 7. Greg Johnson 1286 8. Duane Powers, Jr. 1216 9. Chad Ramsey, Jr. 1203 10. Vaughn Nystrom 1189 11. Ian DeGolier 1175 12. Tyler Sutton 1164 13. Stu Rickard 1044 14. Wayne Mohawk 1033 15. Derek Peterson 1031 16. Scott Gurdak 988 17. Tyler Carlin 959 18. Brian Mohawk 843 19. Victor Earle, Jr. 802 20. Jarrod Silvis 782.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Pro Mod "Futures Cup" Points: 1. IAN DEGOLIER 1175 2. Tyler Sutton 1164 3. Derek Peterson 1031.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Stock Car Weekly Series Points: 1. JEREMY ZUFALL 1225 2. Mikael Beaver 1210 3. Bob Torquato 1209 4. Tim Laughard 508.
2021 Pace Performance RUSH Stock Car "Futures Cup" Points: 1. MIKAEL BEAVER 1210.
2021 RUSH Karting Series Adult Top 10 Points: 1. JAY GROVES 1252 2. Jill Rickard 1238 3. Cody Schauers 1215 4. Ken Hultin 1210 5. Morgan Curry 1208 6. Nathan Dickerson 1206 7. Alex Johnson 1187 8. Scott Seekins 1181 9. Mike Freeman 1178 10. Jay Curry 1102.
2021 RUSH Karting Series Jr-2 Points: 1. CODY RICKARD 1223 2. Wyatt Long 1218 3. Julian Hultin 1217.
2021 RUSH Karting Series Jr-1 Points: 1. RYAN CHASE 1223 2. Alexa Reed 1205 3. Ethan Arnone 1010.
2021 RUSH Karting Series Amateur/Rookie Points: 1. BEXLEY SMITH 1220 2. Emmie Bush 1209.
2021 Special Award Winners:
Legacy: Ryan Frazee Family
Majestic: Bill Bauer & Kevin Kaserman
Outstanding Achievement: Chelsie Kriegisch
Miles Traveled: Kyle Hardy
The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Wrisco Industries, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Zarin Truck & Automotive, Sherwood Wheels, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, Lincoln Electric, Velocita-USA, Waterstone Mortgage Hermitage, Stop-Fyre, CrateInsider.com, and Wedge Motorsports.
E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at [email protected] and mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300. The RUSH Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com. Like our various Facebook and Twitter pages by searching for the appropriate RUSH Series.