Local auto racing: Summer Sizzler kicks off busy weekend

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Motordrome Speedway in Smithton, Westmoreland County, holds its first extended distance event tonight with the Summer Sizzler 100 for the NASCAR Late Models.

Todd Melfi, the new owner of Motordrome Speedway expects the field of late models to be between 14 and 16.

“We didn’t do a pre-registration for this event,” Melfi said. “We left it open for guys to come and register on-site. I’d be surprised if there were less than 14 [cars] and pleasantly surprised if more than 16 show up. We had 10 late models last week; guys came out to shake down their cars for the Summer Sizzler.”

Garry Wiltrout, the 2013 track champion has dominated the Late Model division with three wins this season. Wiltrout’s teammate, Bobby Henry was awarded a win several weeks ago when Wiltrout was disqualified for unapproved engine parts. Glen Gault Jr., who has won multiple times at Motordrome in 2013 including a 100-lap special event, took the feature win last week at the Smithton oval.

Veteran pavement racer Colt James from North Carolina isn’t expected to compete today due to a wrecked race car but plans on making the trip later this season.

All other divisions will run features only tonight with qualifying for the Summer Sizzler 100 to get underway at 7 p.m.

A complete schedule of the events today can be found at www.motordrome.com.

A Monster weekend at PPMS

Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway has a huge weekend planned with different shows Saturday and Sunday.

PPMS’s weekly Action Event has been replaced Saturday with the yearly visit by Monster Mania featuring the monster trucks.

Six of the giant 4x4 trucks will be putting on a show at the Monster Half-Mile unlike any monster truck show held indoors.

According to promoter Matt Miley, you are in for a treat.

“If you like an indoor monster truck show, you will love the outdoor venue. The speed, sound and height of the jumps is unbelievable. The freestyle is wide-open craziness,” Miley said.

Scheduled to appear at Monster Mania are Big Foot, Raminator, Rap Attack, Backdraft, Crazy Train and Aftershock.

In addition to the jumps and the speed spectators associate with these machines, the fans will be able to enjoy a ride in the bed of a monster truck beginning at 3 p.m. and then a Pit Party from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Monster truck racing begins at 6 p.m.

Dirt track racing returns Sunday to PPMS at 6 p.m. with the RUSH Dirt Late Model Series and the Steel City 100.

The event for the Crate Late Models will pay $4,000 to the winner, which will attract local competitors as well as regulars on the RUSH Tour traveling series.

Chad McClellan of Stoystown, leads Josh Holtgraver of Pittsburgh by two points in the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Model Tour, while Holtgraver leads the points at PPMS over Justin Lamb and Cody McPherson.

Defending PPMS RUSH Pro Late Model Champion Kyle Lukon has joined the touring series this year, but after crashing at Freedom Speedway in Delevan, N.Y., it appears that Lukon is doubtful to challenge McClellan and Holtgraver at the Monster Half-Mile.


It’s Fire, Police and EMS Night at Lernerville Speedway at 7:30 p.m. today with four divisions in action. Ed Lynch Jr., picked up the 109th career feature win at Lernerville, tying Lynn Geisler, a Cranberry native, for third on the all-time win list behind Bob Wearing Sr. (179) and Lou Blaney (118). … Pittsburgh Raceway Park, the IHRA drag strip in New Alexandria, has a test and tune scheduled along with a gamblers race at 1 p.m. Saturday. … Mercer Raceway Park will be in action at 7 p.m. Saturday with five divisions along with the Crate Late Models.

DJ Johnson: DJ1360rpm@aol.com.

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