Story By: MIKE LEONE / RUSH RACING SERIES – PULASKI, PA – The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Late Model Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants will kick-off its Flynn’s Tire Touring Series schedule of events April 13-16 for the “Battle of the Bay Speedweek.
For the first time, the highly anticipated four-night swing through the Mid-Atlantic will be presented by 3C Graphix. The Meadville, Pennsylvania company co-founded by veteran RUSH Late Model racer, Matt Latta, will also award custom wraps during 2022 for the “Manufacturers Nights” presented by MSD Performance; one each to a RUSH Late Model and RUSH Sportsman Modified team.
The Speedweek will kick-off once again at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar on Wednesday night (April 13) followed up by just 20 miles up the road to Georgetown Speedway, also in the First State, on Thursday night. Action shifts southwest to Potomac Speedway in southern Maryland on Friday night before heading north into Virginia for the finale at Winchester Speedway on Saturday night. In addition to each event paying $3,000 to-win, there will also be a $3,000 point fund for the top 10 drivers in cumulative points with $1,000 going to the champion.
“We are excited to get the season started at the ‘Battle of the Bay,’ and as a company, we are excited to have the ability to support the RUSH Series,” stated Latta. “We hope to be able to make this an annual sponsorship. As a racer, my team has benefitted many times from the Manufacturers Nights that Vicki (Emig) and Mike (Leone) have built over the years. It is great marketing for the companies as well and great help to the teams by winning valuable prizes.”
Over the three-year “Battle of the Bay” history, 10 events have been completed and car counts have ranged between 40-53 with an average of over 45 cars per event! Kyle Hardy, who swept last year’s three events, along with Max Blair and Logan Roberson each have three “Battle of the Bay” wins, while Ross Robinson has a single victory. There has yet to be a repeat “Battle of the Bay” Champion as Roberson won in 2018, Blair in 2019, and Hardy in 2021.
Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling the 2020 “Battle of the Bay”, only two other events have been cancelled with rain outs at Potomac in 2019 and Delaware in 2021. Delaware will now look to complete their first “Battle of the Bay” event since 2019 when Blair won for the second straight year.
One year after more than doubling from the pre-pandemic Flynn’s Touring Series point fund, the 2022 season will see another 25% increase with a whopping $51,400 in potential payoff for the top 20 point earners! The 2022 Flynn’s Tire Tour Champion will receive a record $15,000- the highest of any Chevrolet Performance Crate Engine Series in the country. Each of the top 10 positions have been increased with $7,500 for second, $5,000 for third on down to $1,500 for 10th place! The minimum Tour event payoff has increased from $2,000 to-win to $3,000 to-win with each position seeing an increase.
3C Graphix “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek Point Fund ($3,000*): 1. $1,000 2. $500 3. $350 4. $225 5. $200 6. $180 7. $150 8. $140 9. $130 10. $125. (*A minimum of three events must be completed for full point fund. If only two events are completed, point fund will be reduced by 50%. No point fund if only one event is completed. Drivers must be a member of RUSH to be eligible for point fund monies.)
Last year, 3C Graphix awarded a wrap to the RUSH Late Model “Manufacturers Night”, which was won by Hardy. Hardy utilized the wrap in a throwback #99 scheme to his father Mike at the season finale at Lernerville Speedway’s “Steel City Stampede” when he not only won the feature, but clinched the Tour championship. The 3C Graphix RUSH Sportsman Modified wrap was won by Jim Bryce. For this coming season, 3C Graphix will again award a wrap at the RUSH Late Model “Manufacturers Night” on July 10 at Eriez Speedway and one at the RUSH Sportsman Modified “Manufactures Night” on a night TBA.
“We were thrilled when Matt called us last year to have 3C participate in the Manufacturers Nights,” explained RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “The throwback wrap he did for Kyle Hardy at the Steel City Stampede that depicted his Father Mike’s car drew a lot of attention and was a real hit, especially when Kyle surprised his father Mike. For 3C to step up and present our Battle of the Bay” is tremendous; it’s great to see a RUSH racer support his fellow RUSH racers in this way.”
Latta, who is 29, is set for his 12th year of running RUSH Late Models. This past season saw the Conneaut Lake, Pa. driver win a pair of features at his home track, Raceway 7. Latta also won two features and the track championship at Raceway 7 in 2020 and finished in a tie for 10th in the National Weekly Series points. In 2019, Latta won six features at Raceway 7 and tied for sixth in the National Weekly Series standings. Latta picked up a RUSH Late Model Tour victory at Sharon Speedway on April 16, 2016.