PULASKI, Penn. – Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway (PPMS) is one of the seven weekly-sanctioned Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model-sanctioned speedways set to get things underway in the coming weeks.
PPMS will kick-off their 2013 season on April 6 and continue weekly racing through Oct. 12. For the first time ever, PPMS will run four afternoon shows during the month of April with racing at 2 p.m. before switching to nighttime racing in May.
PPMS is located just minutes from downtown Pittsburgh outside of Imperial, Pa., where the Pro (Crate) Late Models will not only run under the RUSH banner this season, but is one of several speedways that have inked a three-year contract with the new sanctioning body.
“PPMS made the decision to join the RUSH Weekly Racing Series program and we’re impressed with what’s already been taking place so far,” said promoter Matt Miley. “PPMS has supported the Crate Motor concept for many years. We know how hard Vicki Emig and Mike Leone work, and we believe the RUSH series has the pieces in place to take Crate Racing to the next level in our region. We’re really proud to be able to host the Saturday night Speedweek stop in addition to the big Manufacturers Night both as touring events.”
Six years after the closure of Heidelberg Speedway in Pittsburgh in 1973, PPMS was born. Most of the old Heidelberg facilities were relocated to PPMS in addition to the famous “Pittsburgher,” which is coming up on 25 years now at its new home. In recent years, PPMS has become pro-active with new events and promotions bringing back 410 sprints, big-block modifieds and ARDC midgets along with figure 8 races, monster truck shows, concerts, petting zoos, free admission nights and more.
The “Sizzler” was a popular series of increased purse events started in 2012 for Crate Late Models at PPMS. This year there are four such events including two that are part of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series with the other two not conflicting with a Touring Series event.
The first Sizzler is set for June 1 followed by the July 13 “Cross the Borders” Speedweek Touring event. The next Sizzler is the prestigious “Jook George Memorial” annual event on Aug. 3. The finale in the mini Sizzler series of events will take place on Aug. 31. Not only will this be a Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series event paying $1,500 to-win, but it’ll also be the $30,000 “Manufacturers Night” with quality prizes for every competing racer.
Pittsburgh’s weekly RUSH member racers will be able to take part in all of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Model programs.
Drivers will be able to accumulate their best 15 finishes (two per week) throughout the season as part of the $25,000+ Sweeney “Weekly Series Championship” that will pay $5,000 to-win down 30 positions.
Come July, the top 10 Sweeney RUSH Weekly members in PPMS points under the RUSH system will move on to the $10,000+ Pace Performance “Summer Chase.” Drivers can race as many times as they want from July through Labor Day at not only PPMS, but any RUSH-sanctioned event. Drivers’ average points (minimum eight events) will determine the $3,000 champion that will pay down 10 positions.
Any RUSH member under the age of 18 will also be eligible for the $3,000 “Futures Cup” program. Those 18 and 19 cannot have more than one full season of competition in Crate Late Models or any other higher division. These racers can compete at PPMS and at any other RUSH-sanctioned event to accumulate points. Drivers’ Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC “Weekly Series” points will be added to three stand-alone “Futures Cup” events that will be announced.
“It meant a lot to us when Pittsburgh chose to sanction their Pro Late Models under RUSH,” expressed Vicki Emig. “In reality, the Mileys were one of the first speedways in our area to spearhead the concept of more affordable Late Model racing with their spec-engine/602 Crate Late Model program. This was before any Crate Late Model sanctioning body came to our region. We look forward to working with them through their alignment with RUSH to continue forward progress and development in a vision they have had for many years.”
It addition to PPMS’ Precise RUSH Late Models that will be competing for a minimum of $700 to-win weekly, the speedway will also campaign the Diehl of Robinson Super Late Models, Sunoco Sportsman (Stocks), Miley BP Hobby Stocks, and the Imperial Heights Young Guns. After the afternoon April events, racing will begin at 7 p.m. beginning in May and all events will carry a Sunday rain date.
One event that has gotten fans and racers excited is the return of the “Pittsburgher” as a major, national Super Late Model event for its 25th anniversary. The two-day affair will be held on Oct. 11-12 with $10,000 to-win for the NDRL/ULMS Late Models on Friday night with a whopping $25,000 to-win on Saturday night commemorating the Silvery Anniversary of the event for the NDRL “Kings of Dirt.”
And lastly, a new event on Saturday, June 15 will be the inaugural Herb Scott Memorial featuring a $4,000 to-win Super Late Model race and a $1,200 to-win Renegade Modified race. The event will be part of the inaugural ICON Memorial Tour Late Model Speedweek that features four races in as many days in three different states with a separate $5,000 point fund.
The late Scott was a legend of nearby Wexford, Pa., with over 500 features wins, 10 Heidelberg championships, and 10 Pittsburgh Racing Association Championships to his credit.