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DIRTcar Big-Blocks Invade Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway

Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway
Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway

Pittsburgh, PAApril 22, 2009 — By Lou Long, BRP Modified Tour PR

Officials of Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and The Modified Tour, Inc. are pleased to announce the return of the mighty DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds to Dirt’s Monster Half Mile.

The event will be held on Saturday, May 23 and it will be the first leg of a big holiday extravaganza for the BRP/Hoosier Race Tires Modified Tour. The Modifieds will close out the Memorial Day weekend at Tri-City (PA) Speedway on Sunday.

“We are extremely excited to have the Modified Tour coming to Pittsburgh,” said track spokesman Matt Miley. “It has been more than twenty years since the Modifieds last turned an official lap at the track.”

Modified Tour President Ray Baselj added, “This will be a great program for the fans, it should be a real treat for them to see our Big-Blocks on the region’s biggest track. The speeds should be tremendous and the competition intense.”

The race will be a full point program for the Modified Tour and it will also provide important points towards the DIRTcar Western Regional title. In addition to the enhanced purse that is customary for the ground-pounding Big-Blocks when on tour, the drivers will battle to earn a guaranteed starting position for the big DIRTcar/Modified Tour challenge coming up in September at Lernerville (PA) Speedway. The winner of the race at PPMS will be guaranteed the 13th starting spot at Lernerville. “We want to thank Lernerville’s Gary Risch, Jr. for providing that extra incentive,” Miley added.

The Modifieds were a part of the regular program at PPMS for about a year and a half during the 1987 and 1988 seasons. In addition, the track hosted four specials in prior years.

The list of winners at PPMS in the Modified division is short, but it reads like a Who’s Who of Western Pennsylvania racing. The venerated Bob Wearing leads the way with a baker’s dozen (13) victories. Racin’ Ralph Spithaler is tied with Bob Wearing, Jr. for second on the all-time list with four wins apiece. Other notables who have driven Big-Block Modifieds into victory lane at PPMS include legendary drivers like Lou Blaney (3 wins, including the last Modified race held at PPMS), Deek Scott and Ed Lynch, Sr. with one win each.

Current Modified Tour driver and former series champion Dave Murdick owns a pair of wins at the track and will certainly be a contender on May 23. Dave’s father, Carl Murdick, will probably ink the date onto his racing calendar, too, as he celebrates his golden anniversary in racing.

Other top Mod Tour drivers such as defending champs Brian Swartzlander and Rex King will be ready for the challenge. Beaver County’s own Kevin Bolland, who once defeated the DIRTcar pros at a neutral venue (The Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway) would like nothing more than to best his peers on one of the area’s neutral sites.

Del Rougeux, Jr., a popular driver with the younger fans and a former track champion at Sharon (OH) Speedway and Tri-City (PA) Speedway, has already committed to the event. Up and coming drivers such as Jeremiah Shingledecker and Rex King, Jr. are likely entries.

So, hold the date for one of the region’s biggest events at one of its top facilities. The Mods are coming back to PPMS!

The BRP Modified Tour ’09 would like to thank the following series sponsors: Bicknell Racing Products, Hoosier Race Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Bilstein Shocks, Keizer Racing Wheels, Ray’s Racing Collectibles, Approved Toilet Rental, Hall’s Safety Equipment, Engles Trucking, Big Daddy’s Speed Center, King Brothers Feed and Supply, Oyler Action Photos, McCool’s Signs and Graphics, Hometown Pharmacy, Wedge Motorsports, Motorsports World, and Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP.

The Modified Tour, Inc. racing series is a non-profit organization established to give the V-8 Modifieds in the Western Pennsylvania area the opportunity to compete for higher purses and for a seasonal point fund. Started in 1998 by Tim Engles, Lon and Pam Baker, and Randy Myers, the Modified Tour has had great success at bringing the local cars together at the area racetracks.

For additional information, please contact:
Lou Long, PR Director, Modified Tour, Inc. (412-760-9755), or Matt Miley, PPMS (412-279-7223).