Local auto racing: New Nitro format, but same fun

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Pittsburgh Raceway Park in New Alexandria will play host to the IHRA Nitro Jam, Aug 1-2, and the event will take on a different look. New ownership of the International Hot Rod Association led to changes to the Nitro Jam's format, which now is more focused on championship drag racing.

"Pittsburgh fans have seen IHRA Nitro Jam drag racing before, but they have never seen it quite like this," said Scott Gardner, the IHRA Motorsports president. "The IHRA is excited to bring the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series back to Pittsburgh for two days of championship drag racing.

"This will be one of the biggest events ever at Pittsburgh Raceway Park, and we are thrilled to be able to give the fans such an important and exciting race."

In Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car competition, Mike McIntire Jr., of Chesterfield, Ohio, is looking forward to racing the family's MacAttack Camaro Funny Car at PRP for the first time. The rookie funny car pilot took over driving from his father, Mike Sr., this season. Not only does the 29-year-old already have a win in the third race of his driving career, but McIntire also is third in IHRA points, only 46 behind "Mr. Explosive" Mark Sanders.

"The Pittsburgh race is huge for us," McIntire said. "We've won there before [Mike Sr., in 2011] and being what we consider a home track, there will be many friends and family in attendance for us to have a home-field advantage."

Another pro team that considers PRP its home track is that of Bob and Cathy Floch, who own the Bullet Bob Fuel Altered that currently is in the second spot in the Fuel Altered point standings.

"Our driver, Don Blackshear, has done a great job for us this year," Bob Floch said. "Being from Cortland, Ohio, we aren't far from PRP and we have a bunch of friends and family coming to PRP to support us."

Also appearing will be the Mountain Motor Pro Stock, Nitro Harley Motorcycles and for the first time at PRP, four Jet Dragsters driven by women that will run in eliminations. Go to www.nitrojam.com for more information on Pittsburgh Nitro Jam or www.pittsburghracewaypark.com.


Fab Four racing action returns to Lernerville Speedway at 7:30 p.m. today as the points chase comes down to the final five weeks. Carl Bowser leads the DIRTcar Sprint Cars while Alex Ferree leads the Super Late Model. Rex King Jr., leads his father, Rex Sr., in the Big Block Modifieds by 10 points and Jim Fosnaught leads the DIRTcar Sportsman field. ... Motordrome Speedway, the NASCAR weekly racing series oval in Smithton, Westmoreland County, presents Speeding to a Cure to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. AJ Poljack won the 30-lap stock-car feature Friday and remains undefeated. ... Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway has rescheduled the Herb Scott Memorial for the Super Late Models to 7 p.m. Aug. 2. PPMS will feature all divisions at 7 p.m. Saturday along with a hot dog-eating contest. ... Mercer Raceway Park has a doubleheader this weekend with all divisions in action Saturday on Racing for a Cure Night, which benefits the American Cancer Society. Sunday, it's the rescheduled Smackdown!, part II, a race between the 358 Modifieds and the BRP Big Block Modifieds. Racing begins at 7 p.m. both nights. ... Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio, will present the sixth Annual Lou Blaney Memorial featuring the 410 Sprint Cars in a $5,000 to-win feature Wednesday and the BRP Big Block Modifieds in a $2,000 to-win event. Lou Blaney, a former standout in sprint car and Big Block Modifieds is the father of NASCAR driver Dave Blaney and four-time All Star champ, Dale Blaney. Go to www.sharonspeedway.com for more information.

DJ Johnson: DJ1360rpm@aol.com.

First Published July 24, 2014 8:00 PM

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