Media Contact: Judy Gower 724-853-7223

PITTSBURGH, PA...Pitttsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway hosted its 14th Annual Awards Banquet Saturday, January 18th at the Bradley House in Baldwin.

Awards and point fund money were presented to the track champions as well as the top ten point finishers in the QPI Tools Late Models, Advance Auto Parts Limited Late Models, E-Modifieds, and Isiminger's Pennzoil Pure Stocks. The top ten in the Amateur Strictly Stock Division received trophies for their accomplishments during the 2002 racing season.

First year Late Model driver, Al Atallah, not only claimed the track crown in the hotly contested Late Model division, but also was declared the 2002 Late Model Rookie of the Year. He and car owner Phil Lukon were also the recipients of the prestigious Rocket Chassis Award, a new 2003 Rocket Chassis. In addition, Atallah received his champion's ring from Miley Motorsports; and Mark Gracy, president of QPI tools, presented Atallah with a custom QPI Tools black leather racing jacket.

Also receiving beautiful champion's rings were Pete Loria - Advance Auto Parts Limited Late Model Track Champion, Wayne Tessean - E-modified Champion, and Stacie White, the point champion in the Isiminger's Pennzoil Pure Stock Division.

Collecting well-deserved Rookie of the Year honors along with Atallah were Neal Isiminger in the Advance Auto Parts Limited Late Models, Daryl Charlier in the E-modifieds, and picking up the Isiminger's Pennzoil Pure Stock Rookie award was John Cain.

Monarch Oil Hard Charger of the Year Awards were presented to Bill Adler, Lou Bradich, Gary Cellone, Wayne Tessean, Shawn Bryan, Craig Kamicker, and Tony Capo.

The annual Sportsman of the Year Award was presented to PPMS flagman Greg Wheeling. Wheeling, undoubtedly one of the best flagman in the business today, reluctantly decided to step down from the PPMS flagstand after the conclusion of the 2002 racing season. Wheeling exemplified unwavering dedication to his position and always put the safety of the drivers first and foremost during his 14 year tenure at PPMS.

The "Sponsor's Award" in the QPI Tools Late Model division was presented by Mark Gracy to Dave Wade. The criteria for consideration to receiving this award was based on how the driver represented HIS sponsor both off and on the track. QPI Tools also joined forces with Imperial Heights Garage and  Jody Halbedl, creator of "The Racing Web" (www.racingweb.com) to sponsor the Racers for Tots "People's Choice Award". When the fans votes were tallied, Brian Laraway edged out Tony Musolino for the Favorite Driver Award. Laraway received a QPI Tools custom leather jacket and a commemorative plaque . A monetary donation of nearly $2400 was presented to Racers for Tots.

The 2003 season is scheduled to open Saturday, March 29 with weekly racing in the Late Models, Limited Late Models, E-modifieds, Pure Stocks, Amateur Stocks, and the new Dirt Diva division. A demolition derby will be held after the racing program on May 31, June 28, July 26 and August 30. The Penn National 100 for the Late Models is slated for July 12, and the popular Twin 20 Late Model specials will be on the racing card four times in 2003. Special events are planned for the E-modifieds, Limited Late Models, and the Pure Stocks as well. The touring Mid-Atlantic Championship Series (MACS) returns to PPMS on August 2nd for the Silver Anniversary "Nick Garin Memorial" special event. The "15th Annual Pittsburgher 100" will be sanctioned again by the Renegade DirtCar Racing Series, and it will take place the third weekend in September to bring down the curtain on the 2003 racing season at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.

The tentative 2003 racing schedule is available by visiting the PPMS web site at www.ppms.com, or you can call the business office at 724-853-RACE (7223) for additional information on the upcoming season at Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway.