By Mike Leone


January 20, 2024             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Edinburg, PA)…While the 2024 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 2023 racing season with the annual awards banquet and dinner on Saturday night at the Gatherings Banquet & Event Center.  Attendees from seven states and Ontario, Canada filled the beautiful banquet hall on a bitterly cold and snowy evening as $170,000+ in cash was distributed to RUSH Late Model, Sprint Car, Sportsman Modified, Pro Mod, and Stock Car racers.  All told well over $325,000 in point fund monies and useful product contingencies were distributed to RUSH racers throughout the 2023 season.


The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Models had events at 22 different speedways in 2023 with over 300 different racers participating in either a weekly-sanctioned and/or tour events.  The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sprint Cars completed year number six with growing car counts and more participation than ever.  Year 10 for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Sportsman Modified season continued to feature the highest weekly car counts of any Modified division in the region.  The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Pro Mods wrapped up year number eight with excellent car counts at the five tracks that hosted events.  The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Stock Cars completed their third season with weekly events at Eriez Speedways and Freedom Motorsports Park for the first time as car count record highs were established at Eriez.


Congrats to the following 2023 RUSH Champions: Jeremy Wonderling (Late Model Tour & Weekly), Davin Kaiser (Late Model "Futures Cup"), Brandt Graham (Late Model "Wheelman"), Chad Ruhlman (Sprint Car Weekly), Devon Deeter (Sprint Car "Futures Cup"), Ayden Cipriano (Sportsman Mod Weekly), Ben Easler (Sportsman Mod "Route 7 Rumble"), Lucas Canon (Sportsman Mod "Futures Cup"), Steve Dixon (Pro Mod Weekly), Brendan Warner (Pro Mod "Futures Cup"), Cody Rickard (Stock Car Weekly), and Kaden Michael (Stock Car "Futures Cup). 


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 City Chevrolet "Track Pack" Champions received $1,000 as each RUSH weekly-sanctioned track's top six member racers split $2,500.  D&V Jewelers provided beautiful custom designed sterling silver RUSH crosses for the Futures Cup Champions  as well as a special sterling silver pendant for the D&V "Wheelman" Champion!


Jeremy Wonderling left the banquet as the top point fund money recipient at $20,300!  The Wellsville, New York standout won a career best eight Flynn's Tire Touring Series features in route to his fourth title in the past six years; however, this one was the richest at $15,0000!  The 43-year-old had 14 top 5s and 17 top 10s in 21 races.  Joe Martin finished runner-up in points for the unprecedented fourth straight year behind the wheel of Tom Snyder's #10s.  Wonderling added another eight Weekly Series victories to earn his third City Chevrolet National Weekly Series title in the past four years!


Davin Kaiser made the move from Hobby Stocks to RUSH Late Models in 2023 getting the call to drive the Almost Home Motorsports entry owned by Will and Anne Marie Beverlin and captured the $500 Futures Cup Championship.  It didn't take long for Kaiser to adapt to a Late Model as he finished second in his second race against a strong 22-car field on March 26 at Winchester!  From April 29 through the remainder of the season he never finished outside the top 10, which included his first career win on July 29.  For the season at Winchester, Kaiser recorded 9 top 5s and 13 top 10s in 15 starts! 


Second year Flynn's Tire Touring Series racer, Brandt Graham, was the D&V Jewelers "Wheelman" Bonus Event Challenge Series Champion.  The 25-year-old Orono, Ontario, Canadian made eight Non-Qualifier event starts winning at Georgetown and Lernerville along with a third at both Potomac and Pittsburgh to outgain his father Craig by 21 points. 


2014 RUSH Late Model National Weekly Series Champion, Chad Ruhlman, captured his fifth RUSH Sprint Car Sunbelt Rentals Weekly Series Championship in as many tries.  The Erie, Pa. driver won the first two titles in his own #87R then took 2020 off to help start his son Kevin's career.  Ruhlman returned to competition in 2021 driving for Tim Engles, which began his run of three straight $5,000 championships.  The 46-year-old led the way with eight victories as he's now won at least eight features all five seasons of competition.  More impressively, Chad upped his all-time Series leading win total to a milestone 50.  Ruhlman will be taking 2024 off and will turn the seat of the Engles #68 over to Brent Rhebergen, a veteran of UMP Modified and Super Late Model racing.


Seventeen-year-old rookie racer, Devon Deeter, held his own throughout the season and kept his nose clean to win the RUSH Sprint Car Futures Cup title.  The Titusville, Pa. racer recorded a season best 12th on back-to-back events at Marion Center and Lernerville. 


Ayden Cipriano won his first RUSH Sportsman Modified Weekly Series Championship, worth $3,500.  The 2020 Futures Cup Champion won out of the box on opening night at Raceway 7, made it two-in-a row the following week, then swept the Memorial Day weekend at Sharon and Pittsburgh for four wins in the first five races!  Cipriano ended the season with seven victories, which tied Kole Holden for tops in the division.  The 17-year-old Hermitage, Pa. racer had an impressive 17 top 5s in 21 races.  Ayden also finished second in the "Route 7 Rumble" Series- missing out on the championship by just two points.


For the second straight year, Ben Easler copped the $1,000 Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble" Series title for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, which accounts for all races at Raceway 7 and Sharon Speedway.  The 17-year-old Linesville, Pa. driver won twice at Sharon and just once at Raceway 7, but it was his consistency that was the difference.  Easler finished second an impressive seven times and finished outside the top four on only three occasions!  Easler announced he will be moving up to the RUSH Late Models in 2024 teaming up with the Latta Brothers and will run the Flynn's Tire Touring Series chasing after the 3C Graphix Rookie-of-the-Year.


Lucas Canon became the third different 17-year-old RUSH Sportsman Modified Champion in 2023.  The Sharpsville, Pa. resident has improved each year going from 26th in Weekly Series points in 2021 to 15th in 2022 and now 11th in 2023.  Canon earned a career best third at Pittsburgh where he had two other top five finishes, and ended the season with 10 top 10s in 13 starts.


Former RUSH Late Model standout, Steve Dixon, began competing in the RUSH Pro Mod division in 2017 and had finished in the top five in points in four of those seasons, but had never gotten over the hump to a championship as Dennis Lunger, Jr. had won six straight titles.  That changed in 2023 as Dixon had a tremendous season.  After a pair of runner-up finishes to start the season at Stateline, Dixon rattled off six straight wins between Bradford, Freedom, and Stateline!  That set the stage for a $3,500 championship run as Dixon was never really challenged.  The 43-year-old Smethport, Pa. standout led the way with 14 victories as he won at all five tracks that hosted the RUSH Pro Mods in 2023.  Impressively he finished on the podium 27 times in 32 nights!  Dixon announced he will be taking 2024 off and with Lunger not expected to compete, will leave the RUSH Pro Mod class wide open.


The Sophomore season of racing for Brendan Warner saw the Bradford, Pa. resident record 14 top 6 finishes to win the RUSH Pro Mod Futures Cup.  Though he failed to win a feature, the 17-year-old was on the podium five times including a runner-up at both Stateline and McKean.  Warner has finished seventh in Weekly Series points both years of competition, and will be transitioning to the RUSH Late Models in the near future.


Two years ago, Cody Rickard was standing up front at the awards banquet as the RUSH Karting Jr-2 Champion.  Last year at the banquet, Rickard came forward as the RUSH Stock Car Futures Cup Champion.  And now for the third straight year, Rickard is a RUSH Champion...this time in the Stock Car Weekly Series for $2,000!  The recently turned 16-year-old started off fast winning on opening night at Eriez and added three other wins throughout the season at the track.  The Jamestown, NY driver, who also competed part-time in a RUSH Pro Mod, had an impressive 12 podium finishes in 15 RUSH Stock Car races! 


While his father Andy is a veteran RUSH Late Model competitor, 15-year-old Kaden Michael has begun to make a name for himself.  Kaden was the only driver to compete in every RUSH Stock Car race in 2023!  The Allegany, NY racer won four of the five races at Freedom and won his first career Eriez race on July 23 to propel him to the Futures Cup crown.


The highlight of the banquet was the special awards ceremony.  The prestigious Legacy Award was won by RUSH Late Model racer Jeremy Wonderling, who has competed in RUSH every year since its inception.  Wonderling has now won four Flynn's Tire Touring Series titles in seven years of trying in addition to three City Chevrolet National Weekly Series Championships.  His 22 Touring Series wins is second all-time and have come at 13 different speedways.


Brock Pinkerous was selected as the recipient for the Horizon Award.  Despite only running a few Late Model races in 2022, this 13-year-old hit the Touring Series full-time in 2023.  Pinkerous finished fourth in points qualifying for every feature except the opener.  He had a four top 5s and seven top 10 finishes.  In City Chevrolet Weekly Series action, Pinkerous won the opener at Stateline over a 35-car field to become the youngest winner in the track's storied history and had a pair of third place finishes in his only appearances at Raceway 7, which helped him to finish second in the Futures Cup.


Longtime official Mike Rininger was presented the first Majestic Award.  Rininger has worked with Emig and Leone in Chevrolet Performance Crate Engine racing since 2011.  He travels from his home in Jerome, Pa., which is between two and five hours to the majority of the race events.  Rininger is the Series flagman for Late Model Touring Series events, but has worked in registration, lineups, transponder rentals, and has handled many other tasks with the Series. 


Also, Marty Czekala received an Employee Appreciate Award for his efforts in growing RUSH's social media over the last two years as 2023 saw more than two million reaches.  Czekala became popular with the racers and fans for his FK Rod Ends "In the Spotlight" features and coverage at Flynn's Tire Touring Series events.


The second Majestic Award was won by Brian Hartzell.  Hartzell returned to racing in 2019 to the RUSH Sprint Car class after a long hiatus.  Hartzell has competed in more RUSH Sprint Car races than any other driver since that time and also added a second car to his BubbaBuilt Motorsports team in 2020 with good friend A.J. MacQuarrie driving for him.  Sugar diabetes hampered his efforts this past season and ultimately has forced him to call it a career for the driver that got his start in racing in a "360" Sprint Car during Emig's early years of ownership at Mercer Raceway Park.


The Miles Traveled Award went to Cody Dawson.  The Laurel, Delaware driver return to the Late Model Touring Series full-time in 2023 for the first time since 2014.  Dawson competed in every event, which after the "Battle of the Bay", saw him have to travel at least six hours one-way to every trip.  Dawson did it on the road most nights with just his sister and young nephew and sometimes his girlfriend.


Kole Holden was chosen for the Outstanding Achievement Award.  Since his rookie 2015 season when he won the Futures Cup, Holden has competed in 232 of the 235 RUSH Sportsman Modified races run.  He's had perfect attendance in seven of those nine seasons despite residing in Tiona, Pa., which is two hours or more from the majority of the races.  His seven wins in 2023 was a personal best and moved him into a tie for second on the all-time win list.


RUSH Series announcer, Brian Spaid, emceed the affair and also previewed the upcoming 2024 season with details to be released soon, while Mike Lysakowski photographed the event.  Stay tuned to all of the RUSH Series social media channels and websites for the latest news.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model Flynn's Tire Touring Series Top 10 Driver Points: 1. JEREMY WONDERLING 1714  2. Joe Martin 1641  3. Mike Wonderling 1584  4. Brock Pinkerous 1493  5. Cody Dawson 1490  6. Ashton Briggs 1443  7. Jim Rasey 1432  8. Craig Graham 1362  9. Brandt Graham 1358  10. Austin Hauser 1326.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model City Chevrolet National Weekly Series Top 40 Points: 1. JEREMY WONDERLING 1344  2. Jason Genco 1334  3. David Pangrazio 1325  4. Breyton Santee 1322  5. Brandon Burgoon 1320  6. Austin Allen 1312  7. Chad Homan 1309  8. Joe Martin 1306  9. Brett Marlatt 1301  10. Bryce Davis 1300  11. Jason Knowles 1299  12. Mike Franklin, Brian Knowles & David Parker 1298  15. Mike Wonderling 1290  16. Matt Sipes 1286  17. Brad Mesler 1283  18. Doug Ricotta 1282  19. Cole Petrelle 1279  20. Steve LeBarron 1275  21. Josh Ferry 1274  22. Kurt Stebbins 1271  23. Tyler Hoy 1269  24. Billy Henry, Jr. 1267  25. Ben Policz 1266  26. Andy Michael 1263  27. Davin Kaiser 1262  28. Austin Hauser 1258  29. Michael Duritsky, Jr. 1255  30. Bill Holmes III 1254  31. Scott Gurdak & John Waters 1250  33. Paul Grigsby 1249  34. Brock Pinkerous 1248  35. Travis Campbell 1247  36. Jeremiah Marshall 1246  37. Jon Rivers 1245  38. Randy Hall 1242  39. Ward Schell 1234  40. Kyle Zimmerman 1232.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model “Futures Cup” Top 5 Points: 1. DAVIN KAISER 1262  2. Brock Pinkerous 1248  3. Frank Magill 1207  4. George Casto III 1197  5. Marshall O'Brian 1162.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model D&V Jewelers “Wheelman” Bonus Event Challenge Series Champion: 1. BRANDT GRAHAM 747.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model $1,000 City Chevrolet "Track Pack" Champions: Brad Mesler (Bradford), Trevor Collins (Delaware/Georgetown), Breyton Santee (Eriez & Raceway 7), Paul Grigsby (Freedom), Chad Homan (Genesee), Joe Martin (Marion Center), Brandon Burgoon (Pittsburgh), Ed Pope III (Potomac), Alan Chapman (Skyline), Jason Genco (Stateline), Brandon Weigle (Tyler County), Mike Franklin (Winchester) & Austin Allen (Woodhull).


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sprint Car Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Top 20 Points: 1. CHAD RUHLMAN 1192  2. Blaze Myers 1178  3. John Mollick 1172  4. Gale Ruth, Jr. 1127  5. Arnie Kent 1115  6. Zack Wilson 1099  7. Brian Cressley 1077  8. Brian Hartzell 1066  9. Ricky Tucker, Jr. 1044  10. Jeff Metsger 1034  11. A.J. MacQuarrie & Charlie Utsinger 1018  13. Joe Buccola 988  14. Trent Marshall 990  15. Devon Deeter 963  16. Brandon Shughart 960  17. Kevin Ruhlman 957  18. Kevin Kaserman 934  19. Amelia Clay 702  20. Lacey Shuttleworth 696.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sprint Car "Futures Cup" Champion: 1. DEVON DEETER 963.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sportsman Modified Weekly Series Points: 1. AYDEN CIPRIANO 1325  2. Ben Easler 1314  3. Kole Holden 1296  4. JC Boyer 1293  5. Doug Rutana 1249  6. Jacob Rutana & Rob Kristyak 1221  8. Bill Cunningham 1216  9. Chelsie Kriegisch 1204  10. Jacob Jordan 1180  11. Lucas Canon 1177  12. Dalton Gabriel 1175  13. Jacob Wolfe 1038  14. Jackson Kristyak 895  15. Cole Edwards 480. 


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sportsman Modified Wedge Motorsports "Route 7 Rumble Series" Top 8 Points: 1. BEN EASLER 1509  2. Ayden Cipriano 1507  3. Kole Holden & JC Boyer 1486  5. Jacob Rutana 1333  6. Doug Rutana 1332  7. Bill Cunningham 1327  8. Rob Kristyak 1008.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Sportsman Modified "Futures Cup" Points: 1. LUCAS CANON 1177  2. Dalton Gabriel 1175  3. Jackson Kristyak 895.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply GMC RUSH Pro Mod Weekly Series Top 20 Points: 1. STEVE DIXON 1344  2. Zain Harvey 1317  3. Dennis Lunger, Jr. 1316  4. Al Brewer 1313  5. Critter Hemphill 1286  6. Tyler Oakes 1282  7. Brendan Warner 1273  8. Josh Wilcox 1264  9. John Woodward, Jr. 1240  10. Chad Ramsey, Jr. 1232  11. Ian DeGolier 1211  12. Nick Arnold 1203  13. Tim Schram 1191  14. Vaughn Nystrom 1176  15. Derek Austin 1171  16. Derek Peterson 1170  17. Cameron Sherwood 1169  18. Tyler Sutton 1159  19. Ryan Sanders 1114  20. Damian Bidwell 1086.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Pro Mod "Futures Cup" Top 3 Points: 1. BRENDAN WARNER 1273  2. Chad Ramsey, Jr. 1232  3. Cameron Sherwood 1169.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Stock Car Weekly Series Points: 1. CODY RICKARD 1259  2. Lane Reinwald 1248  3. William Baker, Jr. 1243  4. Kaden Michael 1235  5. Alex Bush 1217  6. Cole Strickland 1203  7. Brian Dwyer 699.


2023 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Stock Car "Futures Cup" Points: 1. KADEN MICHAEL 1235  2. Alex Bush 1217  3. Cole Strickland 1203.

2023 Special Award Winners:

Legacy: Jeremy Wonderling

Majestic: Mike Rininger & Brian Hartzell

Horizon: Brock Pinkerous

Outstanding Achievement: Kole Holden

Miles Traveled: Cody Dawson

Employee Appreciation: Marty Czekala


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, 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, 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. The RUSH Racing Series website is Like our various Facebook and Twitter pages by searching for the appropriate RUSH Series.