5th place for Rodgers at Roseville by Will Rodgers

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Will Rodgers entered the Toyota/NAPA 150 presented by TriCo Welding Supplies on a high note after earning his 10th career top 10 in NASCAR (8 in K&N West, 2 in K&N East). In his last NKNPSW start, Will earned a 3rd place finish at the Meridian Speedway in Boise, Idaho, and looked to riding the wave of momentum even further in the Northern California hillside. This was Will’s first time racing at the 1/3rd mile at the Placer County Fairgrounds.
In the first practice session, Will and his Jefferson Pitts Racing team showed lots of promise. They fought a lack of drive off, or oversteer, what have you, but had considerable speed and ended up 4th. During the second practice, the team made some slight adjustments which gained time on the leaders, but still remained in 4th position. In qualifying, Will earned yet another top 5 starting spot with a 5th place run.
Throughout the race, Will fought near the front (consistently in the top 5 all night). The first half of the race definitely seemed to be his strong suit, as he easily picked off cars one or two at a time. Running as high as 3rd, Will set his sights on the leaders, and was actually running faster laps at one point. As the tires began to wear off, the lack of grip became harder and harder to overcome. Will ultimately slipped back to 5th, but held on to a severely loose (oversteer prone) car to earn another solid top 5. 
“I would like to thank my sponsor Solvang Brewing Company and Jefferson Pitts Racing for everything they do for us, they get us to the racetrack and without them, I wouldn’t be able to chase my dream. Also, I have to thank all the awesome fans who continually support me. This season has been a huge success so far and I’m looking forward to the finale in a few week’s time at Kern County Raceway Park.” Will noted after another promising run.

Top 3 finish at Meridian Speedway for Rodgers by Will Rodgers

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After fighting back from a mid-race spin and surviving a frantic late-race overtime finish, Will Rodgers wound up leaving Meridian Speedway with a podium finish. 

Saturday started off with a pair of practice sessions, in which Will and the Jefferson Pitts Racing team searched hard for the right handling on the No.7 machine. After some tweaks and changes, they felt they had the car right for qualifying. Will went out in one of the later groups and posted a solid lap time, earning the seventh starting position for the event. 

The green flag for Saturday evening’s K&N Pro Series West race dropped just shortly after 8:30PM. Will spent a majority of the first part of the race battling around sixth and seventh position. But as the race continued on, Will began to find more speed. He worked his way up to fourth on a restart, and seemed to have his eyes set on the race leaders. But a few laps later, Will got loose entering Turn 3 underneath another car and spun out. Will managed not to hit anything as the caution quickly came out.

The spin forced Will to go to the back of the field, and getting back towards the front wouldn’t be an easy task. But Will proved that it could be done, as he quickly and swiftly worked his way back into the Top-5. 

As the conclusion of the race neared, Will continued to gain spots. With just under 10 laps to go, Will found himself racing up in the third position. A late race caution came out with 5 laps to go, setting up an opportunity for Will to get another shot at the leaders. But on the overtime finish, Will found himself in a frantic battle for the top spots. After two contact-filled laps, the checkered flag flew and Will crossed the finish line fourth. However, due to a post-race penalty for one of the other competitors, Will’s finish position was moved up to P3 - a podium finish. 

The P3 finish was Will’s tenth top-10 finish and eighth top-5 finish in the NASCAR K&N West Series this season. Will remained fourth in the championship standings, but he is now only one point behind third place.

Win #2 in the East for Will Rodgers by Will Rodgers

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Just over a month after capturing his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series win, Will Rodgers put on another masterful clinic and wheeled his way to an impressive victory this weekend.

On Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park - NJMP, Will and the No.7 Jefferson Pitts Racing team battled through some early practice issues to qualify P2 for the afternoon's JustDrive.com 125. As the green flag flew, it didn't take long for Will to capture the lead. On Lap 5 the No.7 Ford shot out to the front of the pack, but the competition wasn't about to let Will run away with an easy victory. Todd Gilliland put up a big fight, grabbing the lead a couple times on restarts - but Will never let him out of his sights. When it came down to go-time, Will got up on the wheel and snagged the lead away. 

As the checkered flag flew, Will crossed the finish line first - further etching his name down as one of the best up-and-coming young talents in the sport. 

"What an awesome day," said Will post-race. "I gotta thank all my guys at JPR for all they do. We had a really fast car and I'm just really glad that we were able to get it done today."

Will was accompanied by a large amount of family and friends in Victory Lane as he celebrated the win. In total, Will led a race high of 42 of the 55 laps in the event. In his two K&N East victories at Watkins Glen and NJMP combined, Will led over 55% of the laps.

4th Place at Douglas County for Will Rodgers by Will Rodgers

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Will Rodgers and the whole Solvang Brewing Company Jefferson Pitts Racing crew entered Douglas County while riding a wave of momentum dating all the way back to Iowa in July. Fresh off of a 2nd place run at Evergreen (Wa.), Will was just one single point out of 3rd place in the championship standings. However, nobody expected this race to be an “easy” one by any stretch of their imagination, and boy were they right. 

Short tracks are admittedly not Will’s forté, and the fact that he had never even seen the Douglas County Speedway before the race weekend added on a little extra challenge. Nevertheless, the team definitely knew their way around the 3/8’s mile bullring, with their history dating all the way back to 2002, where the West Series first made their return to the lone NASCAR sanctioned track in Oregon. Along with that, the JPR bunch earned a pair of top 10 finishes at the track last year, so their package was certainly a success. 

In the two practice sessions, Will’s main goal was to find a rhythm for the track on old tires, and the team decided it would be better to not practice a mock-qualifying run. He ended the two sessions in seventh and ninth, respectively. Before qualifying started, the team was looking for a top 10 starting position, but Will placed one step better and knocked down a solid 5th place. 

As the race rolled around, Will aimed to chip away at the competition little by little. He rode in 5th for roughly the first 1/3’rd of the race, and then made his way up to 4th. Since there was no halfway break for this race, the team had no way of adjusting on the car, leaving Will to use what he started the race with. The final 75 laps went caution free, proving it very difficult to manage tires and improve position at the same time. Little by little, the #7 Solvang Brewing Company Ford inched forward, but just couldn’t reach the podium. In the end, Will and the JPR team settled for a 4th place finish. 

As the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West heads to the closing stages of the season, Will currently sits 4th in points, just a mere 2 points out of 3rd. The series next heads to Meridian, Idaho for round 12 of 14 of the season, the NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208.

2nd Place Finish for Will Rodgers at Evergreen Speedway by Will Rodgers

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Will Rodgers and the Jefferson Pitts Racing Solvang Brewing Co #7 team entered Evergreen hot off of a big win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Watkins Glen, Will’s first in his first start. Meanwhile, in the West Series’ last outing in Iowa, Will finished a hard fought 8th place finish after battling back from a flat tire late in the race. Naturally, the team was looking to go for back to back great finishes as the series heads into the championship stretch. 

Will went into Evergreen with some previous experience in the 2016 race, so he had a feeling how challenging the track was. Throughout Friday’s and Saturday’s practices, the team fought a lack of grip coming off of the corners, which forced Rodgers to change his driving style. However, when it came time to qualify, Will stepped up his game significantly to start a very respectable 4th place. 

In the race, Will quickly jumped up to the 3rd position and began to save his tires. Evergreen is notorious for shredding tires, so a key to success is keeping them under the car. He came onto the radio and asked crew chief Jeff Jefferson to fix a tight condition in the center of the corner during the halfway break and the crew went to work. Rodgers started the 2nd half of the race in 3rd, but quickly moved up to 2nd place. The 2nd half almost went completely caution free, however a late race incident involving JPR teammate Tayler Riddle and Derek Kraus brought out the lone caution of the second half, setting the field up for an overtime finish. On the restart, Will moved to the inside for the race lead, but couldn’t find enough rear grip to complete the pass. He ended up in 2nd place, and made some significant points on 3rd place in the championship. 

Will looks to continue this string of momentum in a weeks’ time at the Douglas County Speedway in Southern Oregon. Thank you to all of our supporters and fans. #KNWest

Winners at Watkins Glen International - 1st K&N East Start by Will Rodgers

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Nearly 6 weeks after finishing second to Kevin Harvick at Sonoma, Will Rodgers knocked the monkey off his back and drove the No.7 Solvang Brewing Company Ford to the win on Friday at Watkins Glen International!

Will started on the front row for Friday's race and never looked back. He kept the Jefferson Pitts Racing machine inside the top-3 for the entire race, and when adversity struck one of his biggest competitors - Will pounced. The No.7 took over the race lead with 10 laps to go, and despite some late race drama - Will was able to hang onto the lead and he crossed the finish line first. Friday's win marked Will's first career NASCAR K&N victory, and the second straight K&N road course win for Jefferson Pitts Racing. 

After capturing the checkered flag, Will drove into Victory Lane where he was greeted with high fives and congratulations from family, friends, and NASCAR. Monster Energy Cup star Kevin Harvick even made a stop by in Victory Lane to congratulate Will on his win.

"We fired off the truck really well," Will said after the race. "I knew we were going to have a really good piece for the race. It was just a matter of making the right moves at the right time.

Friday's race will be televised on Wednesday, August 9th at 6PM on NBCSN. Don't forget to tune in to watch Will take the checkered flag!

8th Place Finish for Will Rodgers at Iowa in Adversity Stricken Race by Will Rodgers

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After an eventful 150 laps of action-packed racing on Friday night at Iowa Speedway, Will Rodgers was able to bring home a solid eighth place finish. 

Will's day started off with two practice sessions, in which himself and the Jefferson Pitts Racing team were able to steadily make gains on the speed and handling of the car. In the afternoon qualifying session, Will went out in the second group and wound up 18th on the starting grid. 

As the green flag waved for the Casey's General Store 150, Will began to make his way through the field. The Solvang Brewing Company No.27 Ford was a little slow on the first couple laps of a run, but as the race went on Will continued to find speed and rhythm and really began to gain ground. By the halfway break on Lap 75, Will had moved all the way up to sixth place. As the latter half of the race began to go by, Will continued to battle for spots inside the Top-10. But bad luck struck with about 15 laps to go, as Will came on the radio saying he felt like he had a flat tire. The caution flag came out not long after for a separate incident on track, and Will was able to bring the car down pit road for fresh new tires. 

Throughout an exciting last 10 laps, Will drove the wheels of the car, passing competitors left and right to try and salvage the best finish he could. As the checkered flag flew, Will wound up eighth on the scoreboard - an awesome end to a rollercoaster night in Iowa.

 

Runner Up Position for Will Rodgers against Cup Champion, Kevin Harvick by Will Rodgers

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Will Rodgers brings home the No.7 Solvang Brewing Company Jefferson Pitts Racing in the runner up position. 

The day started off with Rodgers capturing his first ever pole and would then continue that success by leading a career high, 26 laps. After a couple late race cautions, Rodgers would then battle NASCAR Cup Series Champion, Kevin Harvick for the top spot. The two would continue swapping the race lead. Despite catching Harvick, Rodgers ran out of time and scored a career best, second place finish.

"For some funny reason, I had a feeling as far back as four weeks ago that it was going to be me and Kevin coming into turn 11 on the last lap," Rodgers said. "And sure enough, there we were. He ran a really good race, I learned a lot from him. We were able to lead some laps there in the beginning. It doesn't feel too bad to finish second today."

Will Scores First Careen NASCAR Pole Position at Sonoma Raceway by Will Rodgers

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SONOMA, Calif -- Will Rodgers will lead the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West field, which includes some of stock car racing's best, to the green flag Saturday afternoon in his home state.

The 22-year-old Murrieta, California, native posted a time of 1:17.949 seconds (91.906 mph) around the 12-turn road course, to score his first career K&N Pro Series West 21 Means 21 Pole Award. The lap came in his second of two circuits in his No. 7 Solvang Brewing Company Ford, and was less than one mph off the track record set by Kyle Larson in 2014.

Rodgers' best start this season was third at California's Kern County Raceway Park and Orange Show Speedway, with his best finish occuring at Kern County where he crossed the finish line in third.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kevin Harvick and Daniel Suarez will roll off in sixth and seventh, respectively, while points leader Todd Gilliland will start eighth. Gilliland's Bill McAnally Racing teammate and winner of the previous event at Colorado National Speedway, Chris Eggleston, will start ninth with Julia Landauer rounding out the top 10.

The Carneros 200 is scheduled to go green at 1:30 p.m. PT from Sonoma Raceway.

2017 UTV World Championships - Hercules Tires by Will Rodgers

2017 UTV WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS RACE REPORT

Laughlin, Nevada., April 15, 2017 --Will Rodgers and GMH Motorsports overcame a solid starting position and a minor last lap incident with another car to bring the Hercules Tires Polaris RZR to the checkered flag in the second position at the 2017 UTV World Championships.

The finish on Saturday continues Rodgers’ current streak of five Top-5 finishes thus far in 2017 crossing between NASCAR and UTV.

A three-year absence from UTV off-road racing proved not to be a challenge for the young 22-year old. Rodgers demonstrated in a private test held on the morning of race day that he had what it took to get it done in the World Championships event.

Drawing 11th in line on the fourth row would be a setback for Rodgers which he quickly remedied by driving into the top 3 within the first four corners.

The no.117 would continue to run up through the field as by the second lap, Rodgers had gapped the third place car by thirty seconds within the first sixteen miles.

“Within the first mile I knew we had a good car that could compete with the best. It was just a matter of keeping it together and battling lap traffic through the thick dust," said Rodgers. "At times you couldn’t see further than 20 feet ahead of your bumper, but I knew if I hesitated, it would mean less of a chance for a podium finish. On the first lap I passed 12 cars, one of which was racing legend, Robby Gordon. I was pretty stoked about that!"

Approaching the final sixteen miles of Saturday’s fourty-eight mile event, driver Will Rodgers was shaping up to finish a strong second place. When suddenly in the last couple miles of the race, with dust being so thick, he clipped another car that was stopped in a corner. Luckily the incident caused only minor damage and Rodgers would be able to continue to bring home the no.117 Hercules Tires Polaris RZR second in the Sportsman 1000 class.

“The final lap was a bit hectic for me still battling through lap traffic. The dust never died down and unfortunately led to me clipping another competitor who had slowed on course because of the lack of visibility. Thankfully we managed to keep going and run as fast as possible to the finish. I am very proud of what we accomplished this weekend. Being out of a UTV for 3 years gave me doubts before the start but once we were off, everything I had learned about this type of racing came back. I am ecstatic about the way my Hercules Tires performed on this car and that treacherous of a course. The Terra Trac M/T’s had never been proven at this level of competition but blew everyone’s expectations out of the water with our results! A very big thank you goes out to Hercules Tires, Solvang Brewing Co., GMH Motorsports, Diego Alvarado and Noah Gragson for all the help and support this weekend. I can’t wait to get back in a UTV sometime soon!"

Photo Credit goes to Rusty Baptist

#HerculesTires

WILL RODGERS RETURNING TO OFF-ROAD RACING FOR THE UTV WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP by Will Rodgers

The Polaris RZR UTV World Championship powered by Monster Energy has quickly grown into the largest UTV race in the world. As a result, the entry list has become a who’s-who in off-road Utility Terrain Vehicle racing. The latest entrant is none other than 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Rookie of the Year contender, Will Rodgers.

Will Rodgers will be piloting the No. 117 Polaris RZR backed by Hercules Tire in his first trip to Laughlin, Nevada for the Saturday, April 15, 2017 World Championship event.

"I am very excited to be competing in the 2017 UTV World Championships with the support of Hercules Tire! It’s been some time since I last raced a Polaris UTV. However, I feel with my recent experiences in professional sports car racing and NASCAR that I will be competitive immediately. Our goal for the race is to not only to prove we are capable of winning behind the wheel but also share with the Off-Road market that Hercules Tires are up to the task as well. I am confident in the tire they have provided me."

Even after the transition to stock cars Rodgers continues to show his support for the UTV industry by racing when he can. Hercules Tire noticed this in the young 22-year old driver and will be making history at this year’s event with driver, Will Rodgers.

If you cannot make it to the track, fans can still watch Will Rodgers battle UTV racing’s best at the Laughlin World Championships on UTVunderground’s YouTube channel.

Polaris RZR UTV World Championship powered by Monster Energy event is FREE to the public.

Irwindale Race 2 RECAP by Will Rodgers

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Will Rodgers rallied through the field last Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway bringing the No. 7 Craft Beer Racing Ford Fusion home in the fifth position after starting 9th. For the first time in series history a touring NASCAR division would see its first ever double header event. With that in mind, the final and second race of the night would be grid based off of qualifying from race one. Rodgers and the no.7 team steadily worked their way to the top-5 and by the halfway point was sitting 6th on the score sheet. As the pack spread out, Rodgers was left battling car no.33 during the second half of the event and was working on a pass when the caution flew with just 6 laps to go.

The caution would set up the final restart of the night with just three laps to go. On that start, Rodgers wasted no time using up his Goodyear Eagles, picking off two cars in one lap. Those passes with two to go would allow Rodgers to finish fifth in the second race of the doubleheader. Rodgers is one of only three drivers in the series thus far to accomplish four top-5 wins in the first four races of the season. 

Irwindale Race 1 RECAP by Will Rodgers

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Irwindale,CA -- Will Rodgers and the No.7 Craft Beer Racing team had a solid start to the day qualifying ninth on the charts for race one of Saturday nights doubleheader. The final race weekend of the Inaugural NAPA 500 Challenge saw driver Will Rodgers in the hunt yet again for the cash bonus coming off of his career-best third place run in Bakersfield. Rodgers would work his way from ninth to fifth by the halfway point in the 100 lap race. A battle would ensure2 against the Sunrise Ford teammates for much of the race. On the final laps, Will would duke it out with car no.9 and an exciting battle would ensue that saw Rodgers on the winning end by a mere two thousands of a second allowing him to finish fifth in race 1. The finish is Rodgers' third consecutive top-5 in the three races run in 2017.

Bakersfield Race RECAP by Will Rodgers

Bakersfield, CA. – Coming off an impressive debut with new team Jefferson Pitts Racing, the bar was set for the second race of the season at Kern County.  Rodgers kicked off the race weekend on a high note by qualifying a career best third for the NAPA Auto Parts 150. The Hawai'i native spent a majority of the first part of the event battling with Michael Self.  Rodgers was able to keep his car clean and was in P5 at the halfway point of the race.

Under the caution, Rodgers made the call for his team to try and free up the No. 7 Craft Beer Racing Ford. The adjustments wound up helping as once the race got back underway, Rodgers was able to make up his lost positions. 

The No.7 Ford was running solidly inside the top-3 for a majority of the second part of the race. The caution flag flew late in the event on Lap 144, setting up a restart with less than 5 to go. Rodgers lined up on the inside lane in the second row and was able to get a great restart that didn't last for long. The caution flag came out quickly on the first Overtime attempt, which lined the field up for another restart. Rodgers was able to maintain his position on his restart, racking up a career best third place finish. 

The next stop on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West is tomorrow night at the Irwindale Speedway where Rodgers and his JPR team hope to continue their strong start to the 2017 season.

Tucson Speedway Recap by Will Rodgers

Starting the race in 8th, Rodgers would get shuffled back to 10th. After an early segment yellow, Will battled his way back up to fourth to finish segment 1 of the 150 lap race. 
During the mid-race break, Rodgers took on four new tires, a track bar adjustment and repaired a steering issue. 
With a great restart, Rodgers managed to stay within the top-3 and continued to reel in the leaders. Caution after caution, the restarts in the front got wild. Leaders Chris Eggleston and Todd Gilliland closely followed by Rodgers began to gap the field. With 15 laps to go, a quick yellow came out for the no.38 car, once again stacking the field. For the final restart Will was lined up on the bottom, not his preferred line. Thus allowing a battle to ensure between Will, no.9 and the no.19 car. 
In the closing laps, Zane Smith and Derek Kraus ran two and three wide with Rodgers. Coming to the checkered flag, Will made a great move to the inside of the no.19 to capture his first top-5 finish in only his fourth ever start on an oval. "I had an incredible first race experience with this Jefferson Pitts Racing team in the no.7 Craft Beer Racing Ford" says driver, Will Rodgers. "I look forward to applying what I learned at Kern County Raceway for round 2. I would really like to thank everyone who has supported me thus far and can't wait to see how the season pans out." "I would also like to congratulate my team mate, Garret Archer on his 3rd place finish. Go team JPR!" #NASCAR #KNWest

JEFFERSON PITTS RACING SIGNS WILL RODGERS by Will Rodgers

Naches, WA. (March 14,2017) --

Naches, WA. March 14, 2017 - 22-year old Will Rodgers, sponsored in part by Craft Beer Racing, has partnered with Jefferson Pitts Racing to pilot the No.7 car for the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season.

Rodgers, a Native of Solvang, Ca, will begin his highly anticipated quest to compete for the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro West Championship this week (March 18th) in the season opener being held in Tucson, Az. Rodgers made his stock car racing debut in 2016 qualifying 9th place at Sonoma. He proceeded to earn four top ten finishes in just his first six races.

“I have been working so hard, I can’t believe that the season is finally here,” says Rodgers. “I’m very excited to get this season started. Teaming up with Jefferson Pitts Racing is just what I need to advance my career behind the wheel on the track.”

Rodgers has been working equally hard off of the racetrack during the off-season to secure his new sponsorship and business venture, Craft Beer Racing, Inc. “We are very excited to introduce Craft Beer Racing to NASCAR and to have developed the sponsorship model for promoting local craft beer breweries within the regions we race.”

Craft Beer Racing, Inc. was founded in 2015 and is the brainchild of Solvang Brewing Co., Solvang Ca. Craft Beer Racing (CBR) has developed a platform for regional and national Craft Beer industries to participate and benefit from the valuable exposure NASCAR has to offer. CBR offers the opportunity for all Craft Beer entities to join as a collective for the industry and gain more exposure in their particular regions. " The goal is to enroll a large number of the 3000+ North American craft breweries and their affiliates as member-sponsors highlighting regional Breweries in cities where NASCAR K&N races. Individually, most craft beer professionals can’t afford brand awareness exposure at this level, but collectively they can," Says Rodgers.

Rodgers and the No. 7 Craft Beer Racing team will race under the Jefferson Pitts Racing banner with Crew Chief and Owner, Jeff Jefferson. Jefferson transitions from a two-year stint as crew chief of JPR's No. 27 entry where he guided the team to 23 Top-10’s, 15 top-5’s and a victory with driver, Gracin Raz.

“We have new cars built for this season, and we are looking forward to having Will (Rodgers) on board,” said team owner Jeff Jefferson. “He has a lot of talent and has impressed us with what he can do on-track when put in the right equipment.”

ABOUT SOLVANG BREWING COMPANY

Established in 2010, Solvang Brewing Company (http://www.solvangbrewing.com) consists of its original brewery-restaurant in Solvang Ca. and a second production brewing facility with a restaurant in Lompoc Ca. Solvang Brewing Co. is the proud brewer of several national and international medal-winning beers.

 

Solvang Brewing Co.'s original home, Solvang Ca., is the largest Danish settlement in the USA. One of the companies founding members is from Danish stock who settled there in 1910. 2017 finds Solvang Brewing Co. on a strong growth pattern with big plans for the future. S

Solvang Brewing Company: http://www.solvangbrewing.com .

For more information of driver, Will Rodgers, please visit: http://willrodgersracing.com/, or contact Will Rodgers Business Manager, Brent Brush at brentbrush@gmail.com.