By Doug Kennedy


February 18, 2021                 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Pulaski, PA)... Note: This is part two of the two-part story on the high influx of new racers to the Pace Performance RUSH Racing Series together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC.  Part one was on the new Late Model and Sprint Car drivers and is available at the following link  Also, the new group of RUSH Stock Car and Karting drivers will be featured in individual separate stories at a later date.


RUSH's main objective has always been to keep people racing with true "cost containment" technical rules packages surrounded by valuable championship programs; the combination seems to be working as the Series continues to attract an extremely diversified group of racers whose numbers exceed well over 600 throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and 2021 will be no different.


Drivers who have been racing all their lives, those that are getting in a race car for the very first time or those with various levels of experience and background, have found a home with RUSH; and age doesn't seem to be a factor either as competitors range in age from early teens through the 60s.  From rookies to hall of famers, RUSH is fitting the bill and achieving their number one goal of "keeping people racing".


There will be at least five new drivers this season in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds with four of them competing for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply "Futures Cup" Championship.  Twenty-five-year-old Josh Ehrenberg of New Castle, Pennsylvania is the elder statesman of the group.  Ehrenberg started racing Mini Stocks when he was 14.  Since then he's done some hit and miss racing, but for 2021 will compete in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds joining his older brother Jordan, who has raced a Sportsman Mod for the past few years. Ive been around the RUSH Sportsman Mods crewing for my brother so I thought why not build a car and join it, Ehrenberg said. 


I think Vicki has something going, Ehrenberg said.  Its a great Series.  If you dont have the money to build a big-block, you can buy a crate motor thats a lot cheaper and be able to compete.


Josh is looking forward to racing against his big brother this year.  Im going to love it, he said.  Hell probably beat me but Im looking forward to racing against him anyway!  A lot of my car this year is because of him. When he upgraded his car, I ended buying his old parts. 


Cole Edwards of Kennerdell, Pa. will also be a first year driver in the Sportsman Mod division, and one of at least four drivers battling for the 2021 "Futures Cup" crown.  Prior to joining the Sportsman Mods, Cole raced a Go-Kart for three years.  Cole also won the track championship at Flat Rock Speedway in his second year of Go-Kart racing in the Outlaw Kart division. 


Financially his father Jason will fund the racing operation, but Cole does what he can to help with the cost by mowing grass and power washing homes.  He saves whatever he makes from work and Christmas and birthday presents to put back into the racing operation, Jason said of his son.  Cole lives and breathes racing.  He and I are building the car right now.


As for RUSH, Jason said, So far I love it.  I have several friends in it and thats how we got into it.  Its the affordability that we really like.  I think its a great series for the younger drivers that are coming into the sport and progressing forward.  I think hes going to do very well.  One thing is that he accomplished his goal and that was to get into a Modified.  Now its on him to make sure it works. 


Fifteen-year-old Lucas Canon of Sharpsville, Pennsylvania will be racing a RUSH Sportsman Mod for the very first time, and also competing for the Hovis "Futures Cup" crown.  For the last four years, Lucas raced Go-Karts and won two championships last year at Slippery Rock and Good Hope in the Junior Clone and Junior Predator divisions.   Lucas, who is a freshman at Sharpsville High School, has been working for the last year at Zero Error Racing where he machines parts for racecars.


This year will be a true family affair for the Canon family.  Lucas' father Jim, who raced Big-Block Modifieds and E-Mods from 1992 through 2007, will be the financial support along with Lucas' mother, Michele.  Jim will also serve as the crew chief while Michele will be there as well to lend her support.  Lucas sister, Muncie, will help with the tires and clean the car, while grandfather Howard will be part of the pit crew as well.


The Canons purchased the Sportsman Mod last September from Jordan Little.  Its one of the things we wanted to try," said Michele.  Were really looking forward to it.


Lucas added, Ive always wanted to race a Modified.  I cant wait to get the season started.


Its a fresh deal for us, said Jim.  A lot of the people that I talked with feel like its a real good deal for us and its affordable with the crate motor.


Cameron McFadden will be yet another RUSH Sportsman Modified Hovis "Futures Cup" contenders in 2021.  At 16 years of age and a junior at Northwestern High School, McFadden has been racing a Go-Kart since he was nine years old.  During that time, he was able to win seven features racing at Slippery Rock.


McFadden comes from a racing family as his stepfather, Wendell Pinckney, and his stepbrother, William Pinckney, have both raced a RUSH Late Model. They both said that they really liked the Series and in particular, all the different tracks they were able to race, said McFadden, who lives in Albion, Pa. This year, Wendell will race a Super Late Model at Eriez and Stateline, while William will campaign an E-Mod at Raceway 7.  


Wendell and his mother, Darlene, will both be involved with Cameron's racing program.  Wendell will provide the financing and be with his son on race day as will his mother, who will provide moral and physical support.  So far, my step dad and I are putting the Modified together, Cameron said. 


Im just excited to get started and finally get into a bigger car, said McFadden.  I used to go to Sharon and Raceway 7 and I was intrigued by the Modified.  I hope to race and improve and eventually get into a Big-Block Modified. 


Eighteen- year-old Jolene Smith hopes to get at least a half dozen races under her belt in her first year of racing a Sportsman Mod.  The reason for so few races is that she is stationed at boot camp at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. 


Jolene will be there until the beginning of March and then she will go to another base for tech school, said her father, Don.  She is learning to do aircraft hydraulics.  Even when she comes back she will have weekend obligations to her base. 


Jolene raced a Go-Kart for four years before making the step up to a Modified.   Don and Jerry Schaffer, who they bought the Modified from, will finance Jolenes racing operation.


As for RUSH, Don said, I know quite a few drivers that run it.  Its a good thing with the limitations they put on things.  Huge money doesnt necessarily mean success.  The way its organized it keeps a level playing field.


There will be at least nine new drivers in the RUSH Pro Mod Series.  First up is 20-year-old Timothy Eastman of Delevan, New York.  His only season of racing came in 2019 when he campaigned a Street Stock.  Eastman didnt race in 2020 because of COVID.  Racing in the Pro Mod series is something Timothy always wanted to do. His dad, Andrew, also raced Modifieds at Freedom.


When I found out the Pro Mods were racing at Freedom, I went out and bought one, Eastman said.  His plans are to run weekly at Freedom and McKean County Raceway and mix in some races at Stateline Speedway.  Financially this racing thing is all on me.  I think its a great opportunity for any driver to get in.  Its affordable and evens out the playing field for everyone.  Im looking forward to the season and even being a rookie, I feel optimistic.


Brett Ritter got a late start in his racing life beginning only last season with a RUSH Late Model for some races at tracks like Woodhull, Bradford, and Genesee.


Im very anxious for the season to start, said the 45-year-old of Belfast, New York.  Bretts uncle, Al Brewer, is still racing for his 51st consecutive year.  A good friend, Tim Schram, is also still racing.  To go wheel-to-wheel with those is what gets me excited- its like a dream come true.  I like the RUSH Series and hope to see it grow even more.


Forty-two-year-old Victor Earle, Jr. is a third generation driver.  His father, Victor Sr., raced at Stateline from the late 1980s through the early 2000s, while his uncle Dan and grandfather Albert raced on the asphalt in Vermont and New Hampshire.  Earle has driven a Pro Stock off and on and now will be joining the RUSH Pro Mods for his rookie season.


"It was a family thing, Earle said.  We consider ourselves to be Earle Family Motorsports.  I grew up watching dad race.


Earle bought his first car in 2012 and raced at Stateline and Eriez in the Pro Stock class.  In 2014, he raced a Street Stock at McKean and then in 2017 raced a Pro Stock at Stateline, Eriez, McKean, and Genesee, eventually selling the car at the end of the season.  Now after a three-year layoff, hes back racing in a Pro Mod.


The Pro Mod seems like the perfect fit for us with the rules and its easy on the pocketbook, Earle said. Were actually buying an E-Mod from a guy in Texas and meeting him in Nashville.  Were trying to get the team together so we can race this year. 


It helps that Earle lives 10 minutes from McKean and five minutes from Bradford.  RUSH definitely has a good foothold in this area. Having a championship points fund, the insurance, the contingency prizes, and the payouts I think makes for a great thing.  Its budget racing at its best.


Another addition to the RUSH Pro Mod Series is the Ingalls Family of Belmont, New York.  The family includes Dean and his son Matt.  Dean will be the driver this year.


Ive been begging him for 10 years to get back into racing and he finally has, Matt said of his dad, who is 57 years old.


During his racing days, Dean raced a Sportsman Mod, a Super Stock, and a Limited Late Model up until the early 2000s.


The car is all his, but I will help him put it together, Matt said. The Pro Mods are probably one of my favorites to watch.  It seems like your local average driver can race because it is not overly expensive.  RUSH has done a good job with these Crate Series and Im really looking forward to this season. 


Mike Eschrich of Mt. Jewett, Pennsylvania will be part of the RUSH Pro Mod Series for 2021.  Prior to that, Eschrich raced a Hobby Stock for 10 years and an E-Mod since 2008.


I think theres lots of opportunities for the Series to be good for all the racers, particularly with the points fund, said the 44-year-old Eschrich.  RUSH is organized and are good at getting races for the drivers.  Other drivers who have been in the series are really happy with it.  I dont think Ive ever been more excited for a season to begin, Eschrich continued.  With McKean 15 minutes from the house opening with the Pro Mod class, it made sense for me to do it. 


Thirty-year-old Tyler Carlin of Belmont, New York will be racing a RUSH Pro Mod for the first time in 2021. He hopes to run the RUSH Weekly Series at Bradford, but that all depends on the availability he will have with his work schedule.  Tyler works as a Construction Inspector for National Fuel.  The company is located in Buffalo, but Tyler works out of the Erie office.


Carlin began his career at eight years old in a Go-Kart.  He then progressed to a Mini Stock when he was 14. Upon graduation, he enrolled at University of Northwestern Ohio to major in motorsports.  He raced on the school motorsports team and had an internship as a mechanic on Andy Hillenburgs ARCA team.


His stepfather, Tim Schram, had some extra cars that Tyler drove for the Northeast Sportsman Modified division and then a Street Stock for a few other times.  I finally got enough money to put my own team together, Carlin said.


The Pro Mod seems affordable compared to the Late Models, Carlin said. Im going to try it out and see if I like it more than the Sportsman Mods.  I really like the rules package.  


Sixteen year old Derek Peterson will be another new driver to race in the RUSH Pro Mod Series for 2021.  For the last three years, his father, Tim, has owned a RUSH Pro Mod for Vaughn Nystrom.  Now this year, he will add a second Pro Mod for his son, Derek. 


Im excited about it, said Tim about his son.  Hes never been in a Mod so Im a little nervous.  The Pro Mod is a good class and I would rather get him started with the Modified and not develop bad habits.  Its a different style of car that I would rather have him learn.  Our goal was to eventually get him into a Mod.  Derek raced a 4-Cylinder kids class prior to this season.


Tim is also a current racer, driving a UMP Modified.  He started in 2000 racing a Street Stock for five years before getting into an E-Mod.  The car Derek will drive this season is a 2014 Shaw that Tim used to run before rolling it at McKean.  Its been sitting there for three years so I just re-did the whole thing and it will be the car Derek will drive this season.


I think its an awesome series for the drivers, Tim said of RUSH.  I cant believe what Vicki and Mike (Leone) do at the end of the year with all the giveaways.  Ive been running other series for many years and never received anything.  I think its wonderful what they do for the drivers with sponsors, the points fund, and the giveaways.  The stuff they gives away is phenomenal.  I also think that the car counts will continue to grow.  


I think the RUSH Series is pretty cool with the sponsors, Derek said. Vaughn (Nystrom) really enjoys it.  My goal this year is to get the feel of that style of car- Im excited about doing it.    


Ian DeGolier of Bradford, Pennsylvania will be entering his first season with the RUSH Pro Mod series.  At 15, Ian raced Mini Stocks kid division for three years, winning the track championship twice at Bradford.  He will also be a contender for the 2021 "Futures Cup" Championship. 


"Im looking forward to this year by jumping up a class and racing at McKean County, my favorite track, said Ian.   


This is his first year in a Modified and his dad, Todd, is very positive about his son being in the RUSH Series. I think its a great Series.  I like the fact that its a sanctioning body that you dont have to worry about track rules and anybody cheating.  I think its absolutely awesome.


Also set to participate in 2021 in the RUSH Pro Mods is Dwayne Powers; however, no information was available at press time.


With the introduction of the new RUSH Stock Car division at Dog Hollow, Stateline, and Eriez Speedways, an additional 12-15 drivers are also expected to join the RUSH ranks along with new racers in the RUSH Karting Series that will begin its second season this year.  A special story will feature these new RUSH racers nearer to the beginning of their individual seasons.


In conclusion RUSH's objective of "keeping people racing" seems to be right on point and flourishing, as an enthusiastic new group of racers join the RUSH ranks in 2021, and look forward to an exciting season full of excitement and valuable opportunities!


RUSH Racing Series is brought to you by Pace Performance together with Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC along with the support of Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Bazell Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, MSD Performance, Holley Performance Products, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply, Born2Run Lubricants, Flynn's Tire, FK Rod Ends, Wehrs Machine & Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Jones Racing Products, TBM Brakes, Performance Bodies & Parts, Racing Electronics, Dirt Defender, 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,, Vahlco Wheels, and Wedge Motorsports.


E-mail can be sent to the RUSH Racing Series at [email protected] and snail mail to 4368 Route 422, Pulaski, PA 16143. Office phone is 724-964-9300.  The RUSH Racing Series website is Like our various Facebook page and Twitter accounts by searching for the appropriate divisions.