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PROCTOR, W. Va. – Talk about “eating dirt” and racing cars and you have the perfect recipe for fun and excitement enjoyed by Ronald Rush, vice president and chief financial officer for the $172 million Bayer Employees Federal Credit Union, here. “Sure, it’s kind of a family affair since my dad comes along every weekend and is part of my pit crew,” said Rush describing the thrills he gets from driving the late-model “dirt cars” around the quarter-mile Tyler County Speedway, a popular clay track near his home. Rush says he hasn’t won many trophies over the 14 years he and his family have been racing “considering the competition is pretty tough and we haven’t invested in the most expensive models.” Besides, he adds, it’s a hobby that “requires deep pockets.” But Rush, his dad and older brother, Don, have owned five cars “and we’ve built two of them.” A couple of the cars he’s owned have been “experimental cars,” he says with some performing better than others. Rush is the racer, his father, Delbert – a retired trucker – is the mechanic and his brother, Don, is the welder and engineer “who sets up the dynamics.” On the weekends the family gathers first for the qualifying time trials and then if eligible for the final 24-lap course. For Rush, racing dirt cars “is just as exhilarating as riding the roller coaster-it gets into your blood.” The Bayer EFCU executive fell in love with the sport as a kid on the family farm in Sisterville. There have been a few wrecks over the years but “never anything serious and I’ve not been hurt,” he said. There’s always plenty of action at a dirt race but remember, he said, the cars he drives – like his present souped-up Grand Prix Pontiac -are lighter at 2,200 pounds as compared to the 3,500 weight in NASCAR races. But for Rush, “the thrills are there.” [email protected]

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