Local auto racing: Joint effort produces extra fund

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Motordrome Speedway in Smithton, Westmoreland County, and Jennerstown Speedway in Someset County are working together this weekend to present the Keystone Cup for the Super Late Models.

Both tracks are featuring long distance races this weekend for the pavement late models with the Trupar America 100 tonight at Motordrome, while Jennerstown hosts a 75-lap feature Saturday.

“We got together with Jennerstown Speedway to create the Keystone Cup,” said Todd Melfi, owner of Motordrome Speedway. “We wanted to show the drivers that the two tracks are working together to create an additional point fund for this weekend.”

Points will be awarded to the top three competitors at each race, which will determine the winner of the Keystone Cup, who will receive a $500 bonus along with a trophy.

“It’s the biggest event of our season,” said Melfi. “We are expecting a strong field of competitors. Besides the racers that compete each Friday, Mark Cottone [former track champion] and Jayme Beck [second in points at Jennerstown] are expected to compete along with several Ohio drivers and even a few drivers from New York.”

Along with the 100-lap event for the Super Late Models, there will be feature events for Motordrome’s other four divisions and a prerace concert as part of Fan Fest from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. On Saturday, Jennerstown Speedway will open the gates at 6 p.m. with racing to begin at 7:10 p.m.

Rain halts Nitro Jam

Torrential rain Saturday stopped the racing at the IHRA Nitro Jam at Pittsburgh Raceway Park, but not before Jason Rupert was crowned the 2014 IHRA Nitro Funny Car Champion. Rupert earned the title when Mark Sanders, second in Funny Car points, failed to qualify for the event on Friday evening.

Sportsman competitors will complete the event for an IHRA Ironman trophy later this season at PRP.

One racer did receive an IHRA Ironman Saturday when 10-year old, Sabrina Duche of West Mifflin won the Junior Dragster event. A fifth-grade student at West Mifflin Area Middle School, Duche won her very first Ironman, a feat that her father, Dale, has yet to accomplish.

Jet car owner and driver Elaine Larsen knows something about winning races and what it takes for a female to win a mostly male dominated sport.

“Can she appreciate it? Let me tell you, the look on that little girl’s face, it just wasn’t her winning it,” Larsen said. “It was her mom, her dad, her brother, it was everyone that supported her. It’s never any one person that wins, it’s always a group effort.”


Lernerville Speedway turns back the clock today with Nostalgia Night at 7:30 p.m. Race cars from years gone by will be on display along with drivers signing autographs. All four divisions will be in action at the Sarver oval. … On Saturday, Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway will host the Penn-Ohio Stock Car Series along with the Vintage Modifieds. All divisions will be in action at 7 p.m. The Herb Scott Memorial for the Super Late Models has been rescheduled to Sunday, Sept. 14th as part of the Pittsburgher weekend. … Mercer Raceway Park presents the Paul “Putsy” Kekich Memorial for the 410 Sprint Cars on Saturday, and on Sunday, its Round 2 of Smackdown for the modifieds. … Wednesday’s qualifier for the Knoxville Nationals was postponed due to rain. Tim Shaffer, the 2010 Knoxville Nationals Champion and the lone local racer scheduled to qualify Wednesday will now get a shot today. Thursday’s qualifiers include Ed Lynch Jr., Danny Holtgraver and Dale Blaney. … The 54th Knoxville Nationals is scheduled for 9 p.m. Saturday.

DJ Johnson: DJ1360rpm@aol.com.

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