Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Pennsylvania's dirt track scene still vibrant after all these years

University Park, Pa. (August 25, 2009) – All members of the Perigo family have racecar driving in their blood. They can taste victory in the grit that kicks up on the track. They stick together as a team, with each person assigned a different responsibility. Dirt track racing spans three generations in this family from Somerset County. And they have spent countless hours over the past several decades fine-tuning their skills, and simply tuning up their cars.

For more than 100 years, regular folks have challenged each other on the dusty dirt racetracks in Pennsylvania – to see who can maneuver the turns and accelerate through the straightaways faster than the other drivers. "Dirt Track Memories," a new documentary from Penn State Public Broadcasting, will introduce you to the Perigo family. It will also steer you down memory lane as the drivers approach victory lane.

"I found dirt track to be very exciting not only on the track, but the people involved in it. Most of the racers are families and friends who have been racing for years," Charlie Gudeman, Penn State Public Broadcasting senior producer-director, said. " The fans are also great. They look forward to the racing every week. They are very loyal to the favorite drivers and the tracks."

The show will air on WPSU-TV in the Altoona/Johnstown/State College media market on Tuesday, September 8 at 8 p.m. as part of the September pledge drive. It will re-air several times throughout the fall months. The show will also air on Pennsylvania’s seven other public television stations over the next few months. Check local listings for dates and times.

Back in the old days, racing was much simpler and relatively inexpensive. It also was part of the social life of many small towns. Once or twice a week, the local racetrack would come to life with the sound of roaring engines, the aroma of fuel and rubber, and the competition of dirt track auto racing. The crowds came to root for their favorite car or driver. It may have been a friend or a family member, but no matter who it was, the same passion existed in the stands as on the track and in the pits.

"Dirt Track Memories" features drivers who reminisce about the old days and historians who provide the background of dirt track auto racing in the commonwealth. The program includes lots of vintage footage and interviews with the thrill-seekers who lived to tell the stories!

"The noise, the crowds, the racing teams, and mud flying at you are just part of what makes local Pennsylvania racing so much fun." Gudeman said.

WPSU serves central Pennsylvania with programming, educational services and community outreach. Its public media services produce, acquire and distribute programs that address local interests and reflect the diverse cultural, political, geographic and demographic characteristics of an audience within central Pennsylvania.

Mercer Raceway Park announces blockbuster 9/12/09 event‏

By Mike Leone


Mercer, PA.The region's most historical Sprint Car event is drawing near. The "Western PA Sprint Championship" is returning to Mercer Raceway Park on Saturday, September 12. The event, which already also includes the FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series, has just gotten even bigger! Mercer Raceway Park is thrilled to announce that the Big-Block Modifieds, whose roots date back to the early coupe days in the 1950s, have been added making this a true blockbuster event featuring the three top classes of cars all on the same night!

"The Western PA Sprint Championship has been a long-standing traditional event at Mercer," described 11th year owner Vicki Emig. "Last year we decided to include a FASTRAK Late Model Touring Series event on this night, but unfortunately the show was rained out. Following on the heels of the successful Bill Emig Memorial and BRP Tour events, we decided to bring the Big-Block Modifieds back once again and include an increased purse event for our Mini Stocks. This event will now take on even more prominence featuring four divisions that have deep roots at Mercer."

The Western PA Sprint Championship dates back to 1966 at Mercer and has seen drivers like Jan Opperman, Kenny Weld, Lynn Paxton, Bobby Allen, Ralph Quarterson, Lou Blaney, Johnny Beaber, Buddy Cochran, Ed Lynch, Jr., and Brian Ellenberger victorious.a who's who of Sprint Car racing. The 1978 event was sanctioned by the World of Outlaws and the 1981 and 1982 shows carried the All Stars sanction.

This year's event will be the richest non-sanctioned race of the season at Mercer with $2,000 on the line. The Sprint Car counts have been very strong all season long averaging nearly a full field and 75 different cars competing this season. Just last Saturday night, Carl Bowser topped a 30-car field for the $1,500 win and another strong contingent will be expected with no other regional Sprint Car races the entire weekend.

What can you say about the Big-Block Modifieds!? The ground-pounders have thrilled fans for over 50 years at The Park with racers like Ralph Quarterson, Lou Blaney, Yip Robinson, Vic George, Ed Schaffer, and many others. Today, Tommy Kristyak carries 105 wins on his resume at Mercer and will be joined by hard chargers Andy Priest and Steve Young, who have 39 and 26 Modified wins respectively. This event will again pay $1,500 for the 25-lap feature and is expected to draw in many regional Big-Block and Small-Block Modified standouts.

The Big-Block Modifieds have put on some tremendous racing in their three events this season with three different winners in Rex King, Jeremiah Shingledecker, and Del Rougeux, Jr. Car counts have been excellent with 36 and 37 at the BRP Tour events respectively and a total of 35 different competitors over the two nights the Bill Emig Memorial was scheduled.

"While the Big-Block Modifieds is the billing, I am confident that our Mercer 358 small blocks can win on any given occasion," stated Emig. "They have fought tooth and nail in all of the big-block events dating back to last season. In fact, they won all three heats on both the Bill Emig Memorial Nights and the B main along with capturing four of the top six spots in the feature. The size of our track is so conducive to good, hard Modified racing at its best."

The FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series is in its third year of existence and keeps getting stronger and stronger with over 150 competing teams in the region alone. Drivers like David Scott, Mike Blose, Max Blair, Mike Pegher, Jr., Bobby Powell, Gary Knollinger, Tom Snyder, Jr., and others are some of the toughest FASTRAK competitors in the country! They'll all be at Mercer on September 12 along with a bevy of other racers as the 2009 Touring Series slate heads into the homestretch through the month of September before wrapping up three weeks later with Night 1 of the Grand Nationals right back at Mercer. Touring events this season have averaged over 30 cars with seven different winners in 11 events. The 25-lap feature will pay $1,200 to-win.

Not to be outdone, the Mini Stocks will round out this blockbuster program; and rightfully so as their history dates back into the 1970s and their rebirth at Mercer has been strong with 52 different cars competing this season. Fresh off two excellent features with a total of only two cautions and 27 cars competing last Saturday night, the purse has been upped for this event. With the recent announcement of a starting field of up to 30 cars, the 15-lap feature on the 12th will pay down 15 spots with $100 going to the victor.

"I'm so proud of our Mini Stock division," explained Emig. "They are fierce competitors on the track and the best of friends off the track. The camaraderie amongst the group is so evident in the Leland Haylett Memorial. They are a loyal group of racers and this will be their final tune-up before their first ever two complete shows at the Little Guy Nationals two weeks later."

Not to be forgotten is the fact that September 12 will be the final night of points for the Luxaire Heating & Cooling Sprint Cars, 4 Your Car Connection FASTRAK Late Models, and the M&D Paving Mini Stocks as it's just a little more incentive on the line in this classic Mercer Raceway Park event!

The Big-Block Modifieds will fill the void left by the open Stock Cars and Mod Lites that have big events for their divisions during the weekend. The Stock Cars will be competing in their biggest event of the season at Lernerville Speedway as part of their "Autumotive Fest" and the Mod Lites at Merrittville Speedway in the prestigious "Rose Webber Memorial" and also at Lernerville the night before.

"At the beginning of the season these were open dates for both of the divisions," explained Emig. "The Rose Webber ended up moving back a week due to the calendar change and Lernerville had to change the date of their Automotive Fest due to a conflict with their concert. Many of our racers annually compete in these events and felt it was in the best interest of all parties to release these divisions on this night. The previously scheduled Ken Carbone Memorial for the open Stock Cars will now move to the Friday night of the Little Guy Nationals. We know many of you are still awaiting news on some changes to our Little Guy Nationals and that will be released very soon."

This blockbuster event featuring the three top divisions will remain a fan-friendly admission price of just $15 for adults and $35 for a Family Pass!

Mercer Raceway Park is a 3/8-mile dirt track located minutes from both Interstate 79 and 80 just off Route 19 on Fairground Road in Mercer, Pa. Dirt track racing and quality family entertainment are presented weekly late March through early October. The office in New Bedford, Pa. is open year-round late mornings and after 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call the office at 724-964-9300 or the track on race day at 724-662-1310. Check out our website at www.mercerracewaypark.com for the latest. Text the word "MERCER" to 29222 for race event and special family and discounted promotions

Monday, August 24, 2009

Millstream Press Release

For Immediate Release!!

Dean Miracle who is the Waynesfield Raceway Park promoter, and Greg Rowe who ownes Findlay, Ohio's Millstream Speedway, have formed a partnership to re-open Millstream Speedway and run several races during the remainer of this 2009 racing season.

Millstream Speedway will be racing on Sunday August 30th, 2009. Winged 410 Sprint Cars, 305 Sprint Cars, and the Limaland/Eldora type Stock Cars against the V-8 Attica/Fremont type trucks will be the 3 different racing classes on the schedule. The 410 Sprints will race for $3000 to win. The 305 Sprints winner will be paid $800. The stocks/trucks will be racing for $400 to win.

The partners are currently working on a schedule for a race to be run on Sunday Sept 20th, and 2 other possible races to be held during the month of Oct, 2009. Millstream Speedway has only run a few races in the last year after the track set idol for over 8 years. The Findlay, Ohio area racers and fans have shown that they want to see Millstream Speedway in action again. Dean Miracle and Greg Rowe have gotten together to give these racing people what they have been asking for. Watch for further information about Millstream Speedway racing action to be release as soon as the schedule in confirmed.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Understanding the Basics of Racing Insurance

In the quest for cheap car insurance, race car owners and drivers usually come out on the short end of the stick. Insurance companies are in the business of assessing risk and racing has risk written all over it. While the primary goal in any insurance situation for the customer is to find affordable premiums, in a high risk behavior like racing, you also want to make sure that you, your family, and your equipment are adequately protected. This is difficult in the face of multiple policies and overlapping benefits. As a "standard" rule of thumb, two types of basic coverage apply to racing situations, track held policies and driver/owner held policies.

Race sponsors and/or track managers take out policies that cover:

• Injuries to spectators.
• Damage to the track, viewing stands, and other associated buildings.
• Parking lot incidents.
• Some liability for employees other than drivers.

Whether these policies are maintained annually or are taken out per event depends entirely on the size and budget of the given venue.

Owners and drivers must address coverage gaps pertaining to both the vehicle and the driver (if the owner and driver are not the same person.) Multiple policies are generally needed for:

• Storage of the car, privately and at the track.
• Transportation of the car and associated equipment.
• Liability coverage for damage to others cars and injuries to other drivers.
• Medical policy for the driver.
• Potentially medical policies for team members.

Medical coverage will be over and above the given person’s individual health care coverage and intended to augment protection for high risk behavior. Drivers will have to evaluate the overlapping policies that apply to their sport and figure out what benefits are already in place on which they can draw and how those benefits should be strengthened to fit their individual circumstances. For instance, the National Hot Rod Association carries General Participant Accident and Liability coverage for members at national events that includes:

• $15,000 accidental death
• $20,000 accidental dismemberment
• $15,000 excess medical benefits (over any other insurance or self-insurance, federal, state, or other governmental plan or law)
• $400 a week disability payments for 52 weeks

Such benefits must be plugged into calculations of individual health care coverage. Private policies typically carry disclaimers about lowering benefit levels for high-risk behaviors. Drivers should anticipate the need to take out extra "high risk" coverage. Don’t assume basic track coverage will be sufficient.

Due to the large number of variables involved from one situation to the next, insurance companies take these insurance scenarios on on a case-by-case basis. In figuring out their individual need, drivers must consider not just the high cost of medical care, but also benefits to their families in the event of their death or those that will cover living expenses during an extended recovery period.

Above all, plan on working with an insurance professional you trust to walk you through the complexities of these unique coverage situations. Don’t neglect to look at benefits that may be available to you through memberships in given associations and at specific racing venues. Do not rule out additional coverage issued for single events in instances where track policies are insufficient. There is one hard and fast rule, more coverage is always best.