October 2, 2014
By Matt Miley
Miley Motor Sports

Pleasant Surprises still do happen in our Sport!…September 27 Renegade Sprint Series at PPMS!

1,2,3,4,5,6 wide they paraded around the Monster for the INAGURAL Steel City “Renegade Sprint Monster” run at Dirt’s Monster Half Mile. Thirty one Renegade Sprint cars showed up to see if they could slay the the Monster, more than anyone anticipated. PPMS Sprint Car Racing history was rewritten September 27, 2014. It was only fitting that the, “Apollo Rocket” Ed Lynch JR, the first 140 mph+ man a few seasons back would be the first to destroy the track record at a new average speed of 146.896, 15.317 seconds around the Monster .625 mile oval! Well that didn’t last long and in the end Randy Hannagan became the fastest man in PPMS HISTORY, HE NIPPED Tim Shaffer’s 15.183 with a 15.182, a sign of how close things would be the balance of the evening. Hannagan toured the Monster Half Mile (actually .625 mile) at a breathtaking average speed of 148.202 MPH. The Renegade drivers made it look easy, up on the wheel, flat out flying around the semi banked 90 feet wide sweeping cornered Monster in their lane of their choice. Time trials had just ended and we had already seen a show of speed and talent for the ages.

The preliminaries, heat winners Philo, Jacobs, Spithaler, Helms, B winner -Matus, Dash-Holtgraver, Hannagan, Haudenschild, George, Harble, Lynch! You have to live under a racing rock not to know these household Sprint Car Names, even this 46 year fendered Car chaser could not help but know those names! Some cagey veterans, some youngsters in the sport carrying on the family tradition…it was marvelous! They were at the monster ready for battle and that’s exactly what they did, battle and real FAST!

One of the reasons we (Miley Motor Sports) had to stop and reflect on the inaugural Renegade Sprint Monster at PPMS is because it was more than just a great race, it was a great event, with drivers and series officials treating racers, fans, track owners, and home track officials with more respect than I’ve witnessed in quite some time. We ALL worked together and very hard to make the event happen in a short timeframe and it was worth every second. The racers all sported K&N hats (they cared for our sponsor) as they graciously signed autographs for every fan that wanted one, and in they end the podium finishers to a man THANKED the fans for coming, thanked the track crew for a great multi-groove surface, thanked the event organizers for making it happen. THANK YOU RENEGADE TEAMS!

The inaugural Renegade Sprint Monster:
Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway is an older facility, so not everything’s perfect, we have a to do list bigger than the Monster that never ends as the PPMS sits in the middle of 225 acres. However, a few things were near perfect, the smooth, wide, multi groove racing surface and the Renegade Sprint Teams that put on a show that left the grouchy old Monster smiling!

An obvious concern of Sprint Cars is fuel mileage at a track the size of PPMS, so we thought we had to forgo the coveted only at the Monster 6 wide parade lap…it’s been done with the Late Models at the Pittsburgher. Renegade Race Director, Larry Helms didn’t get that message, when he snapped the field into a perfect 6 wide, 4 rows deep, everyone in the place knew we were in for a special treat, it was game on, the Renegades had come to play in the Steel City and they were playing for keeps. Fans were smiling wider than a butchers dog as not 2, not 4, but 6 wide Sprint Cars roared by and gave them a wave. It was a sight to behold…the race was better.

Randy Hannagan took off like a jackrabbit with Holtgraver in pursuit. Meanwhile, Wilson methodically used the bottom lane of the Monster to reel everyone in from the 7 hole! The trio racing 3 wide at over 140 MPH was a sight to see…you just don’t see Sprint cars going that fast racing so close, so much. The trio ran up on lapped traffic with about 7 to go setting us up for a barnburner. The caution came out for a spin which gave Wilson the clean air he needed to sail to victory over the final laps. Holtgraver squeaked by Hannagan as the trio ended up on the podium. Kenemah, Haudneschild, Matus, Wagner, Lynch Jr, Duncan, and Shaffer from the tail followed. Who? Yep even long time late model folks at Miley Motor Sports know those names! Great names, a few national, a few regional, a few local, all stars in our book. Thank You.

So we have come full circle. Pleasant Surprises still do happen in our Sport!…September 27 Renegade Sprint Series at PPMS! Forty six years Miley Motor Sports has been at this game, the Renegades made us feel like we have 46 more left…very refreshing, plan on seeing them at PPMS in 2015!

Notes: Not everything was perfect, we started late which is rare and a NO NO. We had some other growing pains, but nothing that can’t be corrected for 2015. The event was a pleasure to host and watch, a lot of folks seemed to have the same opinion. Renegades gave away 4 bikes, 2 TVs & a driver autographed helmet! We can’t thank the Renegade Teams enough, class act, good luck with the series. Join us for the 2015 Renegade Sprint Monster, where the only surprises are good ones!