Story By: MIKE LEONE / RUSH RACING SERIES – PULASKI, PA – The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Racing Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants is excited to announce that Blanket Hill Speedway, which is located just off US 422 in Kittanning, Pa., will host several events for the RUSH Sprint Cars and RUSH Sportsman Modifieds on what will be a newly widened track during the upcoming season. These events are thought to be the first big car racers at the track in approximately 50 years!
It is expected that the RUSH Sprint Cars will make monthly Sunday appearances beginning in May with a possible Saturday event in the fall as part of the Sunbelt Rentals Weekly Series; a few RUSH Sportsman Modified Weekly Series events are also expected to be added. Dates will be released in the near future.
Blanket Hill was formerly a 1/4-mile dirt and asphalt speedway that ran big cars during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Drivers such as Bob Wearing, Lou Blaney, Ralph Quarterson, Gus Linder, Henry Jacoby, Dick Swartzlander, and many other standouts competed at Blanket Hill. In modern years, Blanket Hill has been home for go-kart and small car racing on the former 1/8-mile and current 1/5-mile track.
Phil Thornton, a former RUSH Sprint Car racer, and his wife Shannon, took over Blanket Hill in 2019 and held its first race in 2020 after sitting idle for nearly eight years. Since then, the Thorntons have made continuous improvements including the smooth red clay surface. While several racers have tested their big cars on the 1/5-mile in recent years, big cars haven’t raced competitively at the track since the mid 1970s. To accommodate the big cars, the Thorntons will be widening the speedway and making other improvements.
“Being able to bring big car racing back to the historic Blanket Hill Speedway via RUSH is really exciting,” expressed RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “We really appreciate the Thorntons wanting to utilize RUSH to do so. RUSH has been able to attract so many young teenage racers into our various classes due to the cost-containment aspect of our Series; most of which have come out of karts and small cars.”
“Tracks like Blanket Hill have been an excellent pipeline for young racers to transition into RUSH and we feel what the Thorntons are doing will really further the opportunity,” added Emig. “This situation is very unique as Blanket Hill racers will have an opportunity to witness their next possible step in their racing careers at the very same speedway they are currently racing at!”
The RUSH Sprint Cars will kick off their seventh season of racing in the chase for the $5,000 Sunbelt Rentals Weekly Series championship on April 6 at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway. Blanket Hill will become the 18th different speedway to host a RUSH Sprint Car event all-time, but first ever in Armstrong County, Pa.
The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds meanwhile will also open their season on April 6 in the “Steel City Stampede” make-up event at Lernerville Speedway before moving on to Pittsburgh on April 27. Blanket Hill will become the 13th different speedway to host a RUSH Sportsman Modified event all-time, and also the first in Armstrong County.