The sixth annual Firecracker 100 weekend for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series returned Thursday to Lernerville Speedway. The three-day event ends Saturday with the $30,000 to-win Firecracker 100.
In 2011, the Firecracker 100 sparked a war of words between eventual winner Jimmy Mars and former winner Scott Bloomquist.
Bloomquist, from Mooresburg, Tenn., finished second, one spot behind Mars in a hotly contested battle.
He launched a protest against Mars accusing the Menomonie, Wis., native of chemically treating his right-front and left-rear tires for a performance advantage.
Mars' equipment cleared detailed laboratory testing and Mars passed a polygraph/lie detector test.
Mars is the only two-time winner of the Firecracker.
"It's a cool race and we enjoy going out there," said Mars.
"It's just one of them events that's pretty fun. You can pass anywhere on the track, and it's just a pretty cool atmosphere for not only the racers, but also the race fans. There's a lot of activities going on there, it's just a good time all the way around."
National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame driver Lynn Geisler, of Cranberry, announced that he will not be competing in the Firecracker 100 this weekend to allow Crate Late Model standout Mike Pegher Jr. to drive the number 1C Super Late Model in his first Firecracker 100.
Geisler has five championships and 108 wins at Lernerville Speedway. Pegher has worked his way from the Sportsmen ranks into the Super Late Model.
"Mike and all of his crew have worked hard all year," Geisler said.
"They've earned the right to run the Firecracker and probably a lot more throughout the rest of the year."
Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway will not feature a race Saturday. Action at the Monster Half-Mile returns in earnest at 6 p.m. Sunday with the first visit from the Midwest All-Star Sprint Cars.
The 21-lap feature event will pay $3,000 to the winner and should garner interest from many local sprint car competitors including previous PPMS winner Danny Holtgraver and third-generation sprint car racer Brandon Matus.
Holtgraver and Matus got the attention of the sprint car world when the duo earned victories in the highly competitive Ohio Sprint Speedweek featuring the All-Star Circuit of Champion Sprint Cars.
Ed Lynch, Jr. and Carl Bowser are among the local racers expected to compete, along with Midwest Series' regulars Rob Chaney, Cole Duncan and Danny Smith.
Also on the card at PPMS will be the Super Late Models, Pro-Late Models, Late Model Sportsman, Hobby Stocks and Young Guns which will follow sprint car qualifying.
Today, Motordrome Speedway in Smithton features Half Price Fireworks Friday including a 50-lap Enduro event along with four divisions in action ... In other news from PPMS, John Flinner returned to action Saturday in dominating fashion by winning both his qualifying race along with the DIRTcar Super Late Model feature in the 48c campaigned by John Johnson and Bob Castelveter. Flinner, the 2005 track champion, has recorded 30 Super Late Model feature wins at the Monster Half-Mile... Saturday; Pittsburgh Raceway Park in New Alexandria features the second annual Carl Schodde/Bob Butter Memorial Stock/Super Stock event along with racing in all classes... A formal dedication ceremony to unveil an official state historical marker commemorating the former Heidelberg Raceway and Sports Arena is scheduled for 2 p.m. July 15 at the northeast corner of the former Raceway property at the intersection of Washington Pike [Pennsylvania Route 50] and Greentree Road in Heidelberg.
DJ Johnson: DJ1360rpm@aol.com. First Published June 29, 2012 12:00 AM