Third PPMS Pro-Late Model Title
Ten Drivers Visit Victory Lane in Weekly Racing Action
PITTSBURGH, PA — 2013 was a year of change for the Precise Racing Products Pro-Late Model Division at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway as the FASTRAK sanction that had flown over the division for several years was replaced by the RUSH banner. In addition, two time and defending divisional champion Colton Flinner announced that he would not be defending his championship in 2013 opting rather to travel to various facilities throughout the tri-state area in preparation to his move to the Super Late Model Division.
The change in sanctioning bodies meant that the competitors had to switch the brand of tires that would be used in competition at PPMS; but Kyle Lukon wasted little time in establishing himself as the “Top Dog” in the division as he was the victor in the first two Pro-Late main events of the season. The Duquesne University graduate would go on to score three additional wins, including the first ever Sweeney Chevrolet RUSH Touring Event that was held on July 13th, en-route to scoring his third divisional title at the Imperial, PA speedway.
Lukon may have had the “hot setup” in first half of the season but third generation racer Tommy Schirnhofer certainly mastered the “Monster Half Mile” during the second portion of the 2013 racing season. Schirnhofer’s winning streak began on June 22 and the Dormont, PA resident also defeated the RUSH Touring Series regulars on August 31st, when they made their second visit of the season. Schirnhofer also scored wins on July 6th, September 7th and September 14th to match Lukon in the season win total with five.
The Monster trucks invaded PPMS on June 9th and on that evening the division’s lone new winner of the year also graced victory lane as Hookstown, PA resident Ron Hall scored the win. Just two weeks after suffering a blown engine Hall led the entire distance of the 20 lap main event to capture his first ever feature win.
As stated earlier defending divisional champion Colton Flinner was not a weekly competitor at “Dirt’s Monster Half Mile” but he did pick up the victory when the 24th Annual Jook George Memorial Classic was held on August 3rd. Flinner also scored two additional wins, the first on May4th and the other on August 24th. The third generation driver made the move to Super Late Model competition during the 25th edition of the NDRL sanctioned Pittsburgher and will be one of the new faces in the Super Late Division in 2014.
Two other competitors, Mike Pegher, Jr. and Josh Holtgraver, each scored two victories this past season. Pegher, Jr. scored his first win on April 27th, which was also the final afternoon event of the season and came back to score his second checkered flag on July 27th. Holtgraver showed marked improvement in the second half of the season and would score his first victory on August 10th. He also scored an impressive win on September 28th; after spinning on the initial start, the West View, PA driver was forced to start the 20 lap main event at the tail. Holtgraver patiently worked his way through the field and claimed the win over Mark Moats, Jr.
Other drivers who scored lone wins this past season included Joe Martin, Andrew Wylie, Laura Lukon and Nick Dabecco.
As we look forward to 2014 the RUSH sanction will return and Kyle Lukon appears to be poised to defend his third Pro-Late title. Several top drivers such as Mark Moats, Jr., Justin Lamb, Steve Beatty and Michael Reft were winless in 2013 but are expected to be back in action in 2014 and also challenging for the top spot. Youngsters like Jake Gunn and Dusty Curry and veterans Chuck Medved, Bryant Hank and Tony White showed improvement when they were in action at the speedway this season and it is anticipated that they will be back with us next year.
The three and four wide racing action that the PPMS surface provides is sure to offer even more exciting Pro-Late Model action in 2014 so join us as the season kicks off on Saturday, April 5th.