Racing at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 12, showcased some of the best drivers around in the Tri State Championship Sweeney Chevrolet/Pace Performance GM 604 GM Engine Giveaway RUSH Tour Sizzler, with Fairmont, WV’s Ryan Montgomery taking the win, and Robbie Marhefka walking away with the brand new engine. Keith Barbara took the checkered flag in the Diehl of Robinson Super Late Model feature. The night also featured the 410 Winged Sprints, with Jack Sodeman winning the race by a comfortable margin. Bill Robertson earned his second victory of the season at PPMS in the Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman division, and Joe Podolinsky and Karlee Kovacs repeated their winning ways in the Miley BP Car Wash Hobby Stock and Imperial Heights Garage Young Guns features.
The evening started with 37 Rush Crate Late Model drivers vying for position in 4 separate heat races; Ryan Montgomery, Justin Lamb, Ben Policz and Andrew Wylie each finished first in their race. Two BMain races followed shortly thereafter, with drivers jockeying for the final spots in the main event later in the evening. Joe Martin of Mayport, PA took the top spot in the first BMain and local driver Daryl Charlier was the winner in the second BMain. A four lap dash had drivers John Waters, Nico Dabecco, Steve Beatty and newly married Laura (Lukon) Pastorak battling it out for position in the feature. The Rush Crate Late Model feature showcased 26 drivers in the 25 lap main event. Seventeen year old Ryan Montgomery started on the pole and never looked back, earning the win – his 5th victory in his last 6 appearances at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. He was followed by Andrew Wylie, Russ Kolesar, Nico Dabecco and Chad McClelland. A non-qualifier race was also held for drivers that did not make the feature, and Eric Wilson of Cortland, OH was the winner.
Keith Barbara of South Park had a questionable start when he advanced a number of positions at the beginning of the Diehl of Robinson Super Late Model feature but was able to hold on and avoid a 2 position penalty to earn his first victory of the season at PPMS. Alex Ferree, last week’s feature winner, experienced car trouble and took his car to the pits early in the feature, and his dad, Ed Ferree soon followed, also plagued by car trouble. Brandon Burgoon, John Mollick, Steve Baker and Colton Flinner rounded out the top five. Barbara and Alex Ferree each won in the heats.
The winged 410 Sprint cars made a return appearance this night also, with Jack Sodeman earning the win. Brandon Matus was in pursuit the entire feature but couldn’t quite catch the leader. They were followed by Carl Bowser, Mike Lutz and Adam Kekich. The heats were won by Brandon Spithaler and Brent Matus.
After the Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman feature event, Bill Robertson dedicated his second victory of the season to his mom, who passed away earlier in the week. Robertson started 5th and worked his way through the pack to take the lead on lap 11. Christian Schneider, who started last, also made his way through the pack but couldn’t catch the leader and ended up finishing second. Vince Laboon, Nick Kocuba and Jake Simmons followed. Schneider and Simmons won the heats.
Oakdale’s Joe Podolinsky returned to victory lane again to claim another win in the Miley BP Car Wash Hobby Stock feature event. Dave Sheriff, Steve Pyeritz and Hannah Ramsey followed. Podolinsky also won the heat race.
Karlee Kovacs continues to impress each week, earning her second career victory in as many weeks in the Imperial Heights Garage Young Gun feature event. Karlee started at the back of the pack in the field of eight cars and shot to the front by lap two, passing Devin Black, who just could not catch Karlee. The rest of the cars battled for position in some great racing behind the leaders. David Ostrander, O.B. Huff and Michael Jackson followed Kovacs and Black at the end, with Marc Simmons, Jonathan Miller and Jarrett Sugar rounding out the field.