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Motor sports notebook: PPMS unveils busy schedule

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Thomas Zuck
Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:06 a.m.

Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, one of two area dirt tracks, will kick off its 2013 season with a month of Saturday afternoon races beginning April 6. There also will be a practice session from 2 to 5 p.m. March 30.

Night racing will begin May 4.

The first special show of the year — Modisaures X, featuring the BRP Modified Tour — is May 25. Monster Trucks take over the speedway June 8; B.O.S.S. 410 Wingless Sprints will visit June 22 and 30.

The annual PENNational for Super Late Models is July 13 — part of the four-night RUSH Late Models Speedweek. The Red Miley Rumble, with the added attraction of the 410 Sprints, is Aug. 17. On Aug. 24, the ARDC Midgets will be added to a regular show.

The biggest event on the PPMS calendar is the 25th annual Pittsburgher 100 for Super Late Models. The $25,000-to-win Pittsburgher highlights a two-day show Oct. 11-12.

Sharon Speedway

The track, located in Ohio, will open its season Saturday with the Springduro 150 coupled with an open practice session. The Bill Emig Memorial is May 25-26, and the Lou Blaney Memorial on Aug. 20 will be headlined by NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Dave Blaney racing in 410 Sprints.

Sharon is also part of the All Star Circuit of Champions Ohio Sprint Speedweek from June 21-29. Speedweek will start at Attica Raceway Park and conclude at Fremont Speedway. Sharon's date for Speedweek is June 25. The Apple Festival Nationals King Memorial is Sept. 13-14, highlighted by the BRP Big Block Modifieds.

The season ends Oct. 5 with the final of three Super Late Model specials featuring a $3,000-to-win feature.

FASTRAK versus RUSH Late Models

While there has been a split among the Crate Late Model community, there will be FASTRAK and RUSH Late Model races in the area. FASTRAK's first local race will be March 30 at Mercer Raceway Park as part of Chiller Thriller. There will be another race at Mercer on July 6.

Other races within an easy drive include May 11 and June 16 events at West Virginia Motor Speedway; May 23-26 at Tyler County Speedway in West Virginia; June 21, July 26 and Aug. 23 at Raceway 7 in Conneaut, Ohio; and June 23, July 28 and Sept. 6 at Erie Speedway.

RUSH races will take place at Lernerville, Roaring Knob, Sharon Speedway, Hagerstown Speedway, Allegany County (Md.) Speedway, Expo Speedway, McKean County Speedway, Bradford Speedway and PPMS. The first race for the RUSH Late Models will be held April 19 at Roaring Knob. There is a two-day show May 25-26 at Sharon Speedway for the Bill Emig Memorial.

The RUSH Late Models have an interesting four-night speedweek, beginning July 10 at Expo Speedway in Ohio and concludes July 13 at PPMS. In between, there are races at McKean County Raceway and Bradford Speedway.

The series will stretch its season into October, with The Ultimate at Hesston Speedway on Oct. 11-12, Oct. 18-19 at Roaring Knob and then as part of Lernerville's Steel City Stampede on Oct. 24-26.

National Dirt Racing League

It's tough for a small regional touring series to carve a niche for itself in racing's increasingly difficult economic situation, but that is just what the National Dirt Racing League is attempting to do.

Formed this winter the NDRL will try to fill holes in the schedules left by the big touring groups — most notably the Lucas Oil and World of Outlaws — with some attractive Super Late Model shows. The first show is scheduled for March 29 at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky, a $20,000-to-win show.

Thomas Zuck is a freelance writer.

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