Bristol Motor Speedway
Notes: DIRTcar brings PPMS under its umbrella
UMP DIRTcar Racing's presence in western Pennsylvania doubles to two tracks in 2009 with the addition of Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway as a sanctioned track, PPMS and World Racing Group officials announced March 30. Beginning with the half-mile oval's April 11 season opener, drivers in four divisions can earn points toward the prestigious national and regional DIRTcar Racing titles and enjoy benefits of being part of the nation's largest short-track sanctioning body.
The news is especially big for Super Late Model teams in western Pennsylvania. With PPMS joining nearby Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., to create two nights of weekly action under the DIRTcar Racing banner, full-fender racers in the Pittsburgh area will realize greatly increased chances of grabbing a portion of the organization's $200,000-plus Super Late Model points fund.
“We were looking for a way to put our competitors in more of a national spotlight and joining the DIRTcar Racing program was a perfect fit for us,” said Ben Miley of Miley Motorsports, the longtime promoters of PPMS. “Working with Lernerville Speedway, now drivers in this area will have a much better shot at winning some of that DIRTcar Racing points-fund money and receiving national recognition."
Lernerville Speedway general manager Gary Risch Jr., meanwhile, expressed plenty of optimism about working with PPMS officials in 2009 and beyond. “I'm excited that the drivers from the western Pennsylvania area will have an opportunity to get a bigger share of the national and regional points funds,” said Risch. “Having Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway come on board with DIRTcar Racing is great news for the teams and fans in this area.”
To further align the tracks, Lernerville will allow the spec engine Late Models that run at PPMS to compete at the Sarver, Pa., track under the same rules.
The addition DIRTcar racing at PPMS also brings the track's Crate Late Model division under the sanctioning body. — Kevin Kovac
KENTUCKY TRIPLEHEADER COMING UP: Only a few Late Model events have been held in Kentucky in 2009, but central Kentucky drivers will get a chance to race three times April 3-5 between Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City and Lake Cumberland Speedway in Burnside. The three races provide a potential for one driver to win more than $8,000. Ponderosa begins the action with the $2,000-to-win Spring 30 on Friday night, following by the $4,000-to-win Estes-Pena Memorial on Saturday. Lake Cumberland runs Sunday afternoon with a $2,009-to-win season-opening event for the 29th Anniversary race. — From track reports
MIDWAY COMES UP WITH APRIL RAINOUT PLAN: Midway Speedway in Crooksville, Ohio, plans on running on Friday nights throughout 2009 starting on April 3, but the track has announced that it will race Sunday on weekends when Friday rains out during April. To make sure racing doesn't go too late on those potential Sunday races, pit gates open at 1:30 p.m. with hot laps at 4 p.m. — From track reports
THREE TENNESSEE TRACKS FORM PARTNERSHIP: Three east Tennessee tracks have united to form the Tennessee Thunder Dirt Racing Association, an organization encouraging cooperation among local tracks for scheduling, rules and purses. Crossville Raceway, Wartburg Speedway and Mountain Raceway Park in Maryville are charter members of the organization founded by Brad Byrd, who also operates the Tennessee Thunder DirtCar Series for Super Late Models. TTDRA tracks will crown east Tennessee weekly champions in steel-head Late Model, street stock, mini stock and front-wheel drive divisions. — From series reports
ODDS AND ENDS: Quincy (Ill.) Raceway promoter Tony Rhinberger added Paul Holtschlag as a partner in track operations. Holtschlag will work to promoter some non-racing special entertainment events, including concerts. ... Midway Speedway in Crooksville, and Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va., are offering a $500 bonus to the Super Late Model driver with the best combined finishes at April 24-25 topless events at the tracks. Midway pays $2,500 to win on Friday while Tyler County pays $4,000 to the winner Saturday. ... Cedar Lake (Wis.) Speedway is admitting children 10 and under free in 2009 for regular-season events. ... Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica, Va., offers a family package for weekly events that admits two adults and two children (12 andï¿½ under) for $20. ... Rocky Top Raceway in Coal Grove, Ohio, has scheduled its first special event for 2009 on April 24. The Buckeye Nationals pay $4,000 to the winner.