Johnson: 24th Pittsburgher opens today at PA Motor Speedway

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The 24th edition of the Pittsburgher at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway near Imperial will kickoff today

with qualifying in a group format - a move to save time - and preliminary events for the UFo Super Late Models, 410 Sprint Cars, Pro-Late Models and Late Model Sportsman cars.

The Mod Tour competitors will use their Series' heat race format to qualify for Saturday's main event, and there also will be a King of the Hill Event for the Big Block Modifieds.

On Saturday, the UFo Super Late Models will be showcased in a 53-lap feature with $10,000 going to the winner along with features for all divisions.

Last year, the UFo Super Late Model portion of the Pittsburgher was won by Keith Barbara of South Park. Barbara, a past champion at PPMS has three wins this season at PPMS and has been most impressive in the closing laps of feature events.

Look for the veteran driver to have competition from Steve Baker, Dave and Mike Johnson along with Jared Miley and Gregg Satterlee. All are regional drivers who will be in the running for the late model win at the Pittsburgher.

The 410 Sprint Cars return for the Black Jack 21 Series, a 30-lap, $3,000 to win event with Ed Lynch one of the favorites. The Apollo drive dominated the last time the 410's visited PPMS.

The Mod Tour event will be a 30-lap feature paying $3,000 to win.

Chad Brachmann of Wheatfield, N.Y., is the defending champion of the Big Block Modified event.

Also added to this year's two-day event will be the rescheduled Jook George Memorial Classic, a 40-lap feature which pays $2,500 to the winner.

Racing starts at 7 p.m. both nights at PPMS with Sunday as the rain date.

Nostalgia Nat's return

The PID-Keystone Nostalgia Nationals return to Pittsburgh Raceway Park on Saturday in New Alexandria.

The reunion event started in 1997 and is dedicated to the memories local drag racers have for the former Pittsburgh International Dragway in South Fayette and Keystone Raceway Park now PRP in New Alexandria.

Back to the day of four-speed transmissions and car models that were recognizable, this event will feature AA Supercharged Gassers, a car cruise, a car show and a special "Hot Rod" eliminator race.

Legendary local drag racers will be signing autographs along with Bill Truby's massive photo collection from PID and Keystone.

The Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit also will be on hand along with the Pro-Stick, United Manual Transmission Racers, Tri-State Stock and Super Stock Series and more all beginning at 10 a.m. with time trials. Admission is $10, Seniors 65 and over $5, children 10 and under free.


Motordrome Speedway in Smithton closed out their 2012 racing season with Greensburg resident, Steve Black, winning the fifth annual running of "The Piney." Not since the inaugural "Piney Lasky Memorial," which Neil Brown of Acme won, has a local racer won the biggest and most prestigious event of the year at the Westmoreland County oval. ... Lernerville Speedway lost the annual Autumn-Motive Fest Sportsman Spectacular to rain and rescheduled the event for Saturday, without the Sportsman/Stock Spectacular portion of the event, which has a conflict with races at Sharon Speedway and PPMS. Lernerville will have a 100-lap Enduro along with the Back to School Bus races, bike races for children, a Powder Puff race, the Senior Series, Figures 8s and a demolition derby.


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