There is no shying away from the fact that there is ample excitement heading into the 2024 racing season at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. PPMS is collaborating with three top regional touring series’ to awaken “Dirt’s Monster Half Mile” from its winter slumber with the “Pot of Gold 75”.
The Saturday, March 16th opener will feature the Jay’s Automotive ULMS Racing Series, returning for the first time since June of 2017. The demand to bring more super late model racing back to PPMS has been duly noted by Blair Cress Jr., who enters his first full season as the newly christened owner of the speedway. “We want to be able to give our fans what they are asking for,” explains Cress. “We are confident in the product that Trevor Zuvor and ULMS has to offer our local and regional fan-base. We are just as excited as the fans and the drivers to host them again.” $4,000 is on the line for the super late models with a respectable $500 to start the 30 lap feature event. With this being the season opening event for the ULMS Late Models, a sizable field of cars is anticipated.
Joining ULMS in kicking off their season will be the Ti22 Performance FAST on Dirt 410 Sprint Cars, who are co-headlining this opening day event. This will be the first time in the speedway’s history that both series will join together on the same show. Aaron Fry’s promotion has been a heavily discussed topic throughout this offseason with the whirlwind that the national and regional sprint car scene has become. One thing that has been consistent, though, is the quality of entertainment that the FAST series has provided spectators over these past couple of seasons. “The sprint cars bring value to any show that they are included on,” states Cress. “Having FAST featured right alongside ULMS will provide a unique show for our fans.” The FAST series drivers will also contend for a $4,000 to win prize with a guaranteed $400 to start the 20 lap feature.
The SCDRA Northeast sport compacts will attempt to steal the spotlight from both FAST and ULMS as they join the half-mile dirt oval for the first time in the history of their series. “The inaugural Sport Compact Shootout in 2022 was the best race of our entire season,” claims speedway announcer Tyler Harris. “The second running of the event in 2023 was just as strong of a show. The decision to ask Rob Williams to bring his series to PPMS was made easy after seeing the following that SCDRA Northeast has and the quality of show that the four cylinders have to offer.” SCDRA Northeast competitors will challenge the hometown Crawford Auto Repair open four cylinder weekly drivers at their home track for 25 circuits in a $2,500 to win battle.
Weather is always a guessing game in the early spring months and was strongly taken into consideration when planning for this event. “We know that social media can get information out quickly,” explains Cress. ” If the weather looks as though it will not cooperate, then we have the plans and the means to adapt on-the-fly.” If this event is unable to be run on the designated March 16th date, each division will be rescheduled individually. The “Pot of Gold 75” will then become a three-race series, spanning across three separately scheduled events. Rescheduled dates will be coordinated between both the speedway and each respective series to fit the needs of both entities.
A special start time is slated for 12PM for this event, with pit gates opening at 9AM and grandstand gates opening at 11AM. A special opening ceremony will begin following hot lap warm-up’s and qualifying. Racing will immediately follow. More information regarding this event will be delivered in the coming months including ticket pricing, streaming information and more.
Weekly racing will return to PPMS the following week on Saturday, March 23rd with the Rohrich Automotive RUSH Late Models, Penn-Ohio Pro Stocks, PPMS Hobby Stocks, Crawford Auto Repair Open Four Cylinders and the All Ways Safe Flagging and Traffic Control Young Guns. This event will also carry a special early afternoon start time.
Stay up to date with Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway by following @pamotorspeedway on most social media platforms. More information about PPMS is available at ppms.com. Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway is a ½-mile dirt track with a GPS address of 170 Kelso Rd, Imperial PA 15126, which is located just off the Noblestown exit on Routes 22/30.