HOVIS RUSH STOCK CARS- PUTTING THE "STOCK" BACK INTO STOCK CAR RACING; ERIEZ & FREEDOM TO MOVE FORWARD WITH DIVISION IN 2024; MORE VENUES TO BE CONTACTED TO HOST FUTURE EVENTS
By Doug Kennedy
October 12, 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Pulaski, PA)...All good things come to those that wait, and although the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Stock Car division presented by Born2Run Lubricants had a bit slower start than what other RUSH divisions experienced at their inceptions, it appears the RUSH Stocks are poised to begin their ascent in numbers throughout the region moving into the 2024 season!
The RUSH Stock Cars debuted in 2021. The RUSH Stocks look like "stock cars" resembling Monte Carlos and are powered by Chevrolet Performance 602 crate engines on sealed/spec Bilstein Shocks, RUSH 91 pump fuel, and Hoosier spec tires. Those four key "cost containment" elements have already proved very successful in the RUSH Sportsman Modified and Sprint Car divisions, both of which continue to have strong forward momentum with great car counts and extremely competitive racing.
Estimated current cost for a complete Chevrolet Performance 602 engine package, carb to pan, range from $7,500 (used) to $10,000 (new), racers who competed in the class this year estimate they have $12,000-$16,000 in their complete cars.
"We probably couldn't have chosen a worse time to introduce the RUSH Stock Car division to the region," acknowledged RUSH Director Vicki Emig. "The world was just coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and there was still a lot of uncertainty in the world; this of course stunted the growth of the division at the beginning. Fast forward just a couple years and thankfully things seem to have returned to a bit of normalcy, just enough in fact to allow our RUSH Stock Cars to set their roots for what I believe will now be a exciting and bright future."
"Although this season only saw eight different cars compete on a regular basis at Eriez Speedway, it allowed them to finally compete together as a division instead of amongst other stock cars with open engines," added Emig. "I knew this was exactly what we needed because by doing so fans and other potential RUSH Stock Car racers were able to experience the tremendous wheel-to-wheel competitiveness of the division that we're used to seeing throughout all RUSH classes. The fans have also really loved the 'return to their roots' stock car appearance featuring the '88 Monte Carlo body style."
"Showcasing the attributes of the division on the speedway, as well as our continued promotion of the extremely affordable cost of a RUSH Stock Car package really helped spark interest in the division throughout the summer as we've received numerous inquiries about the division and know of additional RUSH Stock Cars already being built for the 2024 season! It's a great entry level division, but as we see across the board with all of our RUSH classes drivers of various age and skill level are able to race very competitively against each other because of our stringent technical rules."
"I'll be reaching out to all of our RUSH partner promoters in the near future in hopes that they will take a second look at the division for 2024," continued Emig. "If the division is not something they feel they are able to run on a weekly basis perhaps they can schedule a handful of events throughout 2024, which will be just the push we need to take the RUSH Stock Car division to the next level. With what we've been hearing, I think we could easily have 15-20 cars in the region next season. Scheduling additional events with our RUSH partner speedways will obviously create more excitement and help keep the division moving in a forward direction!"
Dave Alexander is the owner/promoter of Eriez Speedway. The 59-year-old Waterford, Pa. resident was one of the first to host the Stock Car division and has held steadfast in his belief that this type of stock car division is needed. He has run the division over the past three seasons and looks forward to its continued growth into the future.
“We wanted to start a new Stock Car division that is more reasonably priced- a class that can provide a step towards learning about racing or give drivers an affordable option to continue to compete in a Stock Car, and the RUSH Stock Car division hit that mark for us," Alexander went on to say.
As for RUSH’s involvement with the Stock division, Alexander said, “I don’t think people realize the benefits RUSH gives to all their classes, which includes the RUSH Stock Car $2,000 to-win 15-position Championship program as well as a Manufacturers Night- all told RUSH Stock Car racers will receive well of over $10,000 in cash and valuable product for their efforts this year and I know that number will grow as does the division. She (Vicki) promotes over and above and it shows as car counts in all RUSH classes continue to increase. With RUSH's efforts and guidance to grow the RUSH Stock Cars their future is bright”
"When Vicki and I first discussed the division I told her if you’re willing to do it then we were in,” Alexander stated. “Racers are their own worst enemy- they complain about costs and then go out and spend more money, the RUSH concept puts a check on that, which in turn balances out the competition throughout all of their divisions. The RUSH Stock Cars will be no different.”
Bob Reis, who has promoted Freedom Motorsports Park over the past nine seasons, picked up the RUSH Stock Car division this year. "Stock Cars are becoming quite an expensive situation,” said the 54-year-old Reis of his own 'open' Stock Car division. “The RUSH Stock Cars on the other hand takes the car back to what a Street Stock should be, which is exactly what needs to be done; Stock Cars should not look like Late Models. The RUSH Stock Cars are a much more affordable Stock Car package and it had to be done to keep a true stock car type division alive into the future. We've been wanting to do something like this for quite awhile.”
"This was the initial year for RUSH to have their Stock division at Freedom Motorsports Park," explained Reis. “If somebody wants to go full body racing, the RUSH Stock Cars is the Series to get into. It’s going to take a while, but I know the car counts will increase. I already hear through the grapevine that there are cars being built right now for next year. We plan to run the RUSH Stock on all scheduled events next season ”
At 43 years of age, Tommy Fox of Kennedy, New York, has been involved with racing for the majority of his life. In conjunction with his duties at Stateline Speedway as tech inspector, he was recently named the RUSH Stock Car Competition director.
Fox raced Spectator Stocks from 1997-2001, E-Mods 2002-2003, and then throughout an 11-year period (2004-2014) became a force in 'open' Stock Car racing in the region winning two championships at Eriez and one each at Raceway 7 and Stateline Speedway. Stock Cars are near and dear to Fox and he will bring a wealth of knowledge to the RUSH Stock Car division.
As for the current status of the Stock Car division, "I think it’s the last chance for a true Stock Car division in this area to survive, hopefully the division will bring back the old-style stock car. RUSH's very defined and affordable technical rules package will be a great benefit. I'm really hoping both the speedways and potential racers for the division will embrace the division to help it grow! I believe it's the only path right now for young racers and many others interested in a stock car type car to be able to get into racing."
At 75 years old, Roy Anderson of Winchester, Virginia, a Hoosier Tire distributor for the past 31 years, very successfully raced Stock Cars from 1971-1999. He now builds Stock Cars out of his ARC (Anderson Race Cars) shop. Anderson also has two grandsons and his son-in-law that all compete in the RUSH Late Model division.
“I try to build racecars that look like a Monte Carlo, which will be the RUSH mandated body style beginning in 2024,” said Anderson. “We want people in the stands to say how good that Monte Carlo looks, and we don't believe in making guys make their Street Stocks look like a Late Model."
Anderson says that Stock Car racing is very big in the Midwest, but has struggled somewhat throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Innovations create expenses according to Anderson. “The RUSH concept has always had the right idea about cutting the costs, especially with the high dollar motors; in RUSH everyone runs the same cars. They've got the right idea with the RUSH Stock Car division to help keep stocks car racing alive for racers who choose this style of car and be able to afford to race. Everyone surely has to understand that there are many more poor racers than rich racers; you can only race what your budget allows, but sometimes racers end up spending more than their budgets, which in the end is not a positive for anyone."
"RUSH definitely has the correct idea as to how to provide a 'cost containment' Stock Car Series, it's most comprehensive set of Stock Car rules I've ever seen" acknowledged Anderson. "Vicki is a very hard worker and it's unbelievable how the different RUSH divisions have helped get people not only back into racing, but keep people racing!”
Mark Matthews, who is the current flagman for Eriez Speedway, pit steward at Stateline Speedway and promoter for the past 11 years at Stateline Karts, brings a very unique perspective to the RUSH Stock Car division. Three of the drivers currently competing in the RUSH Stocks, Cody Rickard, Alex Bush, and Cole Strickland, all graduated from Karts into the RUSH Stock Cars. Matthews has watched a number of his Karting competitors make a smooth transition into RUSH divisions throughout the years.
“As everybody knows, racing has become so expensive,” said the 64-year-old Matthews. “Right now one of the cheapest ways to go racing that allows almost anyone to compete is the RUSH Stock Car division. In the RUSH Stocks, you can get a whole car for what the cost of a motor would be for a Late Model. I think this class has the potential to grow quicker than any other class that RUSH has ever started."
Andy Michael, who hails from Allegany, New York, has competed in the RUSH Late Model division for 10 years and followed the entire Flynn's Tire Touring Series in 2022, now concentrates mostly on his 15-year-old son Kaden's career. Andy built Kaden's car and Kaden captured the 2023 RUSH Stock Car "Futures Cup" Championship in addition to finishing fourth in the Weekly Series points standings.
“I think it’s a great Series but it will take some time to come along,” said Andy Michael. “The Chevrolet Performance 602 crate engine package as well as the sealed/spec Bilstein shock package are both important factors in the affordability of the division. Overall the class is a very reasonable division to race in cost wise. I think the future of the Series looks good if the tracks stay the course, the longer they stick with it the more car counts will increase.”
Andy has built two RUSH Stock Cars so far, which includes the one he built for Kaden. He estimates he has less than $15,000 in Kaden's entire car.
Brian Bush, who makes his home in Harbor Creek, Pa., raced Stock Cars for eight year from 2004 through 2011. Son Alex is a graduate of the RUSH Kart program and now competes in the RUSH Stock Car division.
“I feel the class will continue to grow," said Alex Bush. "I feel very comfortable in my car and feel like I can work on it myself, my goal is to win the RUSH Stock Car Championship at some point."
“I think people are really looking forward to watching the Series grow,” said Alex's Father Brian Bush. “Right now we have only one track in our immediate are to race at, Eriez on Sundays, but know eventually we will have the options of racing on Friday and Saturdays throughout the region. Overall, the class serves its purpose for having entry level rear wheel cars and I know the Series will continue to grow.”
In closing Emig states, "Every RUSH division we have today started at one time with zero cars and through the strong support of our RUSH sanctioned speedways, corporate marketing partners, and of course RUSH racers, all are extremely healthy and still moving forward. The RUSH Stock Cars will be no different, as it can capitalize on utilizing all of the same concepts that we have put in place to providing true "cost containment" technical rules packages to simply "keep people racing"!
Those interested in the RUSH Stock Car division can call the office at 724-964-9300, e-mail [email protected] or contact us through our RUSH Stock Car Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushstockcars. The tentative 2024 RUSH Stock Car Rules are available at the following link: https://rushstockcars.com/2024%20Stock%20Car%20Rules.pdf. The 2024 RUSH Stock Car informational package is available at the following link: https://rushstockcars.com/Informational%20Sheet%202024%20Stocks.pdf
The RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply together with Born2Run Lubricants along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, Flynn's Tire, Sunbelt Rentals, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, FK Rod Ends, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Bilstein Shocks, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Wieland Metal Services, Frankland Racing Supply, Landrum Performance Spring, Ontime Body & Graphic, Sherwood Wheels, Precise Racing Products, Velocita-USA, Wedge Motorsports, 3C Graphix, D&V Jewelers, CrateInsider.com, and Terry Bowser Excavating.
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 and fax is 724-964-0604. The RUSH Racing Series website is www.rushracingseries.com. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rushstockcars and follow us on Twitter @RUSHStockCars.