OAKS, PA – The No. 112 Kenny Weld-built Dirt-Track Modified which Gary Balough drove to victory in 1980’s Schaefer 125 at Super DIRT Week IX is one of the most-significant racing cars that ever competed on the old 1-mile track at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.

So, with that pedigree in place, the so-called “Batmobile” will be a major attraction at the 31st edition of the Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2016 Fueled by Sunoco Race Fuels and Distributed by Insinger Performance Race Car and Trade Show here at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center from January 22-24 when tribute is paid to the 123-year history (1903-2015) of auto racing on the “Moody Mile.”

Undoubtedly the most-unusual Dirt-Track Modified Stock Car that was ever created, in one fell-swoop this unique car – which is a permanent fixture at the Dirt Museum & Hall of Fame, in Weedsport, New York – changed the sport forever. And it is the reason why for the past 35 years we have had the Dirt-Track Modifieds that we know of today.

Looking back, however, it must be remembered that this car’s story was written at a time when untethered ingenuity was not only encouraged but expected to be accomplished by a handful of people who were always searching for that extra competitive edge.

Built when the DIRT Motorsports Rule Book only listed minimum requirements, this “famed or infamous” Modified was created after Weld consulted a variety of “out-of-the-box sources” in an effort to assemble something that was much-more effective on the race track than anything else that had ever been seen. And when it was first seen at the Fairgrounds it certainly raised more than one eye brow and generated a variety of complaints; a situation that got even greater after Balough took the car out onto the race track.

But what Weld brought to Syracuse was not unexpected by DIRT Motorsports officials as the man behind the project went the extra mile to see that what he and his co-creators – open-wheel race-car builder and metal fabricator Don Brown, former Northeast Modified driver and 1970 Daytona 500 winner Pete Hamilton and master engine-builder Mario Rossi – were doing was not going to be a waste of their time and efforts.

For in this regard, Weld – who was a talented Sprint Car and Dirt-Track Modified Stock Car driver – provided an all-expense-paid trip to his shop in Kansas City, Missouri, for DIRT Inspector Don Buschbascher to examine the car a week before the activities at the Fairgrounds were to begin. And because of the way that the DIRT Rules were then written Buschbascher could do nothing after his examination but tell Weld his car would be approved for competition.

Identified on its entry blank as a Lincoln Town Car Mark X/1 that was entered by Prime Time Racing of Opa Locka, Florida, the shiny-black Modified with red accents and gold numerals had as one of its more striking features a large, high roof that doubled as an aerodynamic wing.

The stunning aluminum-bodied racer was powered by a Ron Hutter-built Big-Block Chevy engine with one 4-barrel carburetor and it also featured: wide louvered side pods flanking its center-oriented driver’s compartment that helped to cool its relocated radiator; a deck lid with a Continental-style tire cover that resembled the rear wing on a rear-engined USAC Championship Car; and, ground-effects side skits that gave the car a very low profile.

In no uncertain terms, this was a very unique piece and Balough – who was a three-time winner (1976-1978) of Super DIRT Week’s headline event – showed just how much above the rest of the entries his ride was when, while running at less than full throttle during Thursday time trials, he won the pole with a 31.957-second lap at a speed of 112.853 mph.

To put things into their proper prospective, Balough’s solo run bettered Kenny Brightbill’s two-year-old track record by more than two seconds. And to add more fuel to an already-burning fire it was 1.246-seconds faster than the lap-time posted by outside-pole sitter Sammy Beavers (33.302 mph at 108.433 mph) who was driving the same Tony Ferraiuolo-owned purple and white No. 73 Chevy-powered AMC Gremlin that Balough drove the year before.

As expected, time trials opened-up an unprecedented storm of protest. Not only was Balough’s car in question but he had not raced at all that summer in the-then CRC-sponsored Super DIRT Series; the qualifying events that led up to the October events at the Fairgrounds. So on the Saturday morning before his big race DIRT founder Glenn Donnelly addressed all of that.

“We don’t want to see ground-effects cars in short-track racing,” Donnelly said. “All of our rules are geared for minimums. No track that I know of has maximum limits.

“I’m sure you’ll see a big change in our rules next season pertaining to maximums and ground effects. Our basic rules are half-mile-track rules and that’s how we’d like to stay.”

Then Donnelly added, “We don’t like to see anyone from the outside come in . . . and then have this happen.”

Of course, by this time there was nothing anyone could do about things, although some teams tried to take what Weld and Co. had created and adapt those changes to their own cars.

In a kind-of “trial-by-error” brand of engineering, crewmembers added a variety of fabricated aluminum panels to the roofs of their “traditional Dirt-Track Modifieds” in an effort to get the same kind of results that Weld got with the high-and-wide roof on his one-off entry. While the Gremlin bodies of eventual second-through-fourth-place finishers Buzzie Reutimann (in Vince Valero’s No. 60), Frank Cozze (in his Grant King-built No. 44) and Geoff Bodine (in his Bill Taylor-prepared No. 99B) – plus the Pinto of ninth-place finisher Brightbill (No. 19) – were aerodynamically widened in an interesting fashion.

Despite the fact that no one knew how much Balough was “playing with his competition” while he led laps 1-72 and 100-125, Cozze and his “modified Modified” were able to lead laps 74-81 and two-time (1972 & 1973) Super DIRT Week Champion Reutimann took charge in his “reworked red racer” from laps 82-99. And to complete the lap-count picture, Ed Lynch Sr. led lap 73 under caution with his “regular” No. 88 Gremlin when Balough made his pit stop for gas.

But while these overnight body changes may have made some difference to the cars in question, the bespectacled Weld later identified what he felt was his car’s real secret to success and that was a sealed forced-air or ram-air induction system behind its Lincoln grille that was estimated to be 70 percent as effective as a turbocharger when the car got to the end of one of the track’s long straightaways.

One of the cries against the “Batmobile” was that “it cost too much” and unknowing persons named any figure that they wished in this regard. However, when Balough was eventually asked about such things he did admit that the car cost $25,000-$30,000 ($76,000-$92,000 in today’s money) to build.

But really, the only people who knew if that expense – and the month-and-a-half of 12-14 hour-days that it took to build the car after all of Weld’s study and research – was worth it was Weld and the car’s sponsors (Booth’s Towing Service and Kansas City’s Lakeside Speedway) as Balough’s first-place drive earned the team $26,557 ($81,302.50).

In an interesting side note to Super DIRT Week IX, the fifth-place finisher in the 200-kilometer race was Ken Brenn Jr. in the “unaltered” yellow No. 24 Chevy-powered Grant King-built Gremlin that was also subject to some controversy when introduced in 1977 after Ken Brenn Sr. had the famed Indianapolis race-car builder put together something that was new and different.

Brenn Sr. and King’s ideas, though, were more attuned to improving on the current style of Dirt-Track Modifieds, so any hullabaloo created by the car that was “First In Class” at Syracuse in 1980 and the car that won the whole thing was very small by comparison.

When asked about the car that he drove to his historic victory and the aerodynamic principles that Weld used when he designed it, Balough just responded, “Air is free.”

Yet, while the “Batmobile” was quickly ruled to be illegal for competition anywhere after its dominating Super DIRT Week triumph, racers today continue working within the rules that were so established because of this extraordinary car to develop and further improve on the resultant breed of Dirt-Track Modified Stock Cars.

And, in large part because of that situation, the legendary No. 112 “Batmobile” remains as one of the most noteworthy and influential Dirt-Track Modified Stock Cars in motorsports history.

The late 1960s was a time when Drag Racing’s popular “doorslammers” were at a cross roads.

In one camp, the development of Pro Stock was just getting started by those who favored racing production-based cars with high-tech, carbureted, gasoline-burning V-8 engines. While another group modified their OEM cars with stripped-down interiors, full roll cages, chassis adjustments and big racing slicks and they powered their so-called Funny Cars with nitromethane-enhanced alcohol-burning V-8 engines that had fuel-injection, superchargers and individual headers.

And one of the best known of this later assemblage was the “Frantic Ford” 1969½ Mustang Mach I that quickly became a contender for top honors all up and down the East Coast.

The yellow and black Nostalgia Funny Car that is seen at Motorsports 2016, however, is a contemporary recreation of the original racer and it is owned and driven by Rocky Pirrone from Philadelphia. Additional financial assistance and marketing for the project was provided by Al Liebmann while Bill Ellershaw and Bobby Toth are part of the crew.

The history of this car, though, actually dates back to the 1960s AA/Fuel Dragster team of drivers Norm Weekly and Ron Rivero, owner Jim Fox and crewmember Dennis Holding.

Known as the “Frantic Four,” this popular Southern California-based operation won the 1966 & 1967 NASCAR Drag Racing Division Top Fuel Championship and the famous 1968 March Meet in Bakersfield, California, with Rivero handling its wheel-standing, supercharged-and-fuel-injected Chrysler Hemi-powered “red rail.”

Then Fox moved to Broomall, Pennsylvania, and began fielding a Mustang Funny Car with sponsorship from K & G Speed Associates and he tagged his entry the “Frantic Ford.” But what makes Pirrone’s version of the car so notable is that as a nine-year-old he helped with the between-round maintenance on the mid-1970s car and his father Joe built its transmission.

First seen in 2013, the modern “Frantic Ford” has all of the latest safety equipment so it is legal to run at any National Hot Rod Association or International Hot Rod Association track. And its 120-inch-wheelbased, wide-style chassis and period-correct, elongated fiberglass body (the mold was taken from Gas Ronda’s original 1969 Ford Mustang) were each built by Steve Grunewald and Dale Smith at Coyote Composites in Jupiter, Florida.

Under the hood, the car is powered by a nitro-fed 426-cubic-inch Chrysler Hemi V-8 engine with Enderle Bug Catcher fuel injection and a GMC 6-71 supercharger. Additional equipment includes: a 2-speed Lenco transmission by Boss Hydro; M&H Racemaster Tires; real 1970s-era magnesium rear wheels; dual drag chutes by DJ Safety; and, a 9-inch Ford rear end.

Simply stated, the “Frantic Ford” is the best of old and new technology and on the drag strip Pirrone’s driving efforts show quarter-mile runs in 6.50 seconds at 220 mph.

Motorsports Appearances

[vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”7596″ img_size=”large” style=”vc_box_border” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Richard Petty” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:22px|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]The King” is returning to the Motorsports Race Car and Trade Show. After a 30 year absence Richard Petty, the winningest driver in the history of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, will be appearing at the hugely popular Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2017 Race Car and Trade Show Fueled by Sunoco Distributed By Insinger Performance which takes place at Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA January 20-22, 2017.

Winner of 200 Cup races, the last one at the 1984 Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway with then President Ronald Reagan in attendance, Petty continues to be one of the most popular figures in motorsports.

Now a NASCAR Sprint Cup car owner, fielding the Smithfield Foods Ford for Aric Almirola and Goody’s Powder Ford for Brian Scott, Petty is presently involved in a yearlong celebration of his 80th birthday which will conclude on his actual birthday, July 2, 2017.

During the peak of his career Petty was able to do something that most likely will never happen again and that was in 1967 when he drove to victory in 27 Cup races, 10 of them in a row. That car will be one of two of Petty’s famous race cars on display all three days of the show.
Petty will be doing an interview in front of the fans talking about his long career in motorsports and will be signing autographs, free of cost to ticketholders. Richard has one of the most artful autographs of any sports figure and it is very much sought after.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”7597″ img_size=”large” style=”vc_box_border” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Jeff Hammond” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:22px|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Oswald%3A300%2Cregular%2C700|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

OAKS, PA – One of the most successful and popular racers in the history of the United States Auto Club, Dave Darland, will be a big part of The Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2016 Fueled by Sunoco Race Fuels and Distributed by Insinger Performance Race Car and Trade Show set for Friday, January 22 through Sunday, January 24th. The show fills 250,000 square feet of the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA with motorsports displays and over 200 race cars of all kinds.

Named by fans “The People’s Champ” Darland has enjoyed an outstanding career. Back in August he won his 100th USAC career victory taking a Sprint car win at Amsoil Speedway in Wisconsin. Darland is one of just five drivers that have been able to win championships in USAC sanctioned Sprint, Midget and Silver Crown divisions. Darland is currently third in the Amsoil USAC National Sprint standings and has four wins to his credit during the season which will be ending shortly.

The popular Midwesterner will be involved in autograph sessions on both Friday and Saturday during the three day show. In addition Darland will have his book, “The People’s Champ: A Racing Life” available at the show in the Coastal 181 display. The book, penned by well-known journalist Bones Bourcier, has received rave reviews and Darland will be autographing copies during the show. In addition the popular racer will be interviewed in the stage area on Saturday along with the author.

Publisher Coastal 181 will have a large selection of their motorsports books available at their display during the show.

Darland and Bourcier will be joining a long list of personalities and racers during the show. Unique at the 31st annual edition of the show is the fact the all personalities and racers participate in autograph sessions with no extra charge once the admission ticket has been purchased.

Included in the show will be more than 600 exhibitor booths offering products and services for the racers along with items of interest for fans including a huge array of collectibles. Many speedways and sanctioning organizations will be offering information on their events planned for the 2016 season with several using the show to release their schedules.

More than 200 motorsports vehicles representing drag racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup and everything in between including dirt track racers, motorcycles and more will be on display throughout the show. Race teams looking to gain great exposure for their team and sponsors are invited to contact Tim Hogue at 609.888.3618 to have their race car included.

Exhibit space, very limited, remains available and information, including a color show brochure, can be had at motorsports@aarn.com or telephone 609.888.3618.

The very classy Crowne Plaza Valley Forge will serve as the host hotel and will again offer a discounted rate. The hotel is located just 7.5 miles from the Expo Center and is within walking distance of the popular King of Prussia Mall, the nation’s second largest retail complex with over 350 stores and close to 100 restaurants.

Again this year the Saturday night post show gathering will continue and will be held in one of the large ballrooms at the hotel with music by DJ Sound and Lighting and bar specials from show sponsor Miller Lite.

For information on the show check in at www.aarn.com.

12003221_10153557999257969_8970750294318855001_nOAKS, PA October 29, 2015 . . . The great memories of the New York State Fairgrounds “Moody Mile” will be a huge part of The Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2016 fueled by Sunoco Race Fuels and Distributed by Insinger Performance Race Car and Trade Show set for Friday, January 22 thru Sunday, January, 24th.

The 31st edition of the popular motorsports trade show will take place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA which is easy to reach and offers thousands of free parking spaces convenient to show attendees.

Each year a special reunion area is set aside in the 250,000 square foot show area and features an expanded display space and special autograph sessions. In 2016 the New York State Fairgrounds “Moody Mile” will be featured as the 100-year history of racing at the legendary facility is remembered.

With the last event on the “Moody Mile” just recently completed and the facility scheduled to be home to other attractions in the future, show attendees will have the opportunity to relive some of the history making auto racing events that took place there.

During the course of the three day show attendees will be able to see, up close, a display of the noted race cars that took part in the races, not only during the popular Super DIRT Week, but down through the track’s entire history. And there would be a great amount of memorabilia on display.

Autograph sessions are being planned, featuring many past competitors and a winner or two, which will take place on both Friday and Saturday nights of the show. Buzzie Reutimann, the winner of the first two Schaefer 100s held as part of Super DIRT Week in 1972 and 193, has confirmed his plans to attend the weekend event.

Those interested in having their race car, those having competed at the “Moody Mile”, on display or drivers that have raced on the “Moody Mile” that would like to be a part of this very special reunion and autograph session should be in touch with show organizer Len Sammons at lhs@aarn.com.

As the dates of the show move closer there will be many more details released.

Included in the show, in addition to the memories of the “Moody Mile”, will be just about everything imaginable in motorsports with more than 600 exhibitor booths offering products and services for the racers along with items of interest for fans including a huge array of collectibles.

Many speedways and sanctioning organizations will be offering information on their events planned for the 2016 season with several using the show to release their schedules.

Fans will have the opportunity to meet many well-known racers and personalities at the show and collect autographs FREE.

More than 200 motorsports vehicles representing drag racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup and everything in between including dirt track racers, motorcycles and more will be on display throughout the show. Race teams looking to gain great exposure for their team and sponsors are invited to contact Danny Sammons at 609.888.3618 to have their race car included.

Exhibit space, very limited, remains available and information, including a color show brochure, can be had at motorsports@aarn.com or telephone 609.888.3618.

The very classy Crowne Plaza Valley Forge will serve as the host hotel and will again offer a discounted rate. The hotel is located just 7.5 miles from the Expo Center and is within walking distance of the popular King of Prussia Mall, the nation’s second largest retail complex with over 350 stores and close to 100 restaurants.

Again this year the Saturday night post show gathering will continue and will be held in one of the large ballrooms at the hotel with music by DJ Sound and Lighting and bar specials from show sponsor Miller Lite.

For information on the show check in at www.aarn.com.

TRENTON, NJ – Save the date of January 22, 23 and 24, 2016! That Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 31st Annual Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2016 Race Car and Trade Show fueled by Sunoco Race Fuels and distributed by Insinger Performance will once again fill the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.

With the completion of the very successful PPB Motorsports 2015 event this past January and no plans for changes to the floor plan, Len Sammons Productions is currently working on completing the 2016 Exhibitor Information package.

The show will once again feature just about everything there is to be seen that relates to motorsports. The 2015 event featured over 250 race cars, including showcase vehicles from Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon.

Exhibitors from this past January’s event should look for that package to arrive at their doorstep in the coming weeks and will have the opportunity to renew their same space for 2016 show until Friday, May 1, 2015.

Those wishing to reserve their same booths are encouraged to contact Tim Hogue at 609-888-3618 or via e-mail at tim@aarn.com.

Starting on May 4, the floor plan will be open to the public!

For information on the show, check in at www.aarn.com.

10844772_10205059453782801_1831774171_oShelby Harper a 22 year old beauty from Milford, N.J, who is a bodybuilder, is a hair stylist and races 600cc Micro Sprints, was named Ms. Motorsports 2015 Saturday night at the 30th Annual Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2015 Presented by Sunoco Race Fuels Distributed by Insinger Performance Race Car & Trade Show held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa Friday through Sunday.

Shelby pledged to be an active Ms. Motorsports. “This year is the opportunity of a lifetime. I go to the races all the time and to represent the Motorsports Show will be a great honor.”

Dylanne Hodge, 21 of Oriskany Falls, N.Y. was first runner-up in the pageant and becomes Ms. Area Auto Racing News for 2005.

A ‘Fans Choice’ Swimsuit competition, distinct from the overall contest, was won by Cait Ross.

The pageant was presented by Oliver Construction Enterprises

In pre pageant ceremonies, Keith Rocco, Matt Sheppard, Ricky Elliot, Dale Blaney and Tyler Walton were honored by Area Auto Racing News as the Northeast Winningest Drivers in 2014

Rocco, with 31 wins, was the overall Winningest Driver. Rocco also won the most Asphalt Modified and most Asphalt Late Model features last season. Sheppard claimed the greatest number of Dirt Modified checkered flags, Elliott was the most prolific Dirt Late Model winner Blaney top open cockpit victor and Walton claimed the greatest number of 600cc Micro Sprint tallies.

Rocco, Elliott and Walton were on stage to receive their laurels from Cassi Pinder, Ms. Motorsports 2014. Sheppard and Blaney were unable to be present to receive their awards though Sheppard sent a message of acceptance.

On Sunday, Jayden Gursky, 11, and Hannah Kormann, 4, were named Little Ms. Motorsports and Tiny Ms. Motorsports.

Best Booth Awards were received by Gary Mondschein for Best Open Cockpit display, Mike Geroni for Best Appearing Drag Car, Raymond Boissoneau for Best Appearing Vintage Open Cockpit Car, Kutztown Action Track USA for Best Speedway or Club display, Lehigh Valley Quarter Midget Racing Association for Best Quarter Midget Display, Tri State Racing Memorabilia for Best Vintage Display, Teo Pro Cars for Best Commercial Display, Guy Germano’s 4 Star Lettering Modified for Best Appearing Modified, Ray Evernham’s restored Jerry Cook Modified for Best Appearing Vintage Stock Car and Kevin Nouse for Best Appearing Open Cockpit car. More than 200 race cars representing all forms of the sport were on display.

Ed Whitehouse, a loyal employee of Len Sammons Motorsports Productions who was present at each of the 30 prior Motorsports Shows, was presented the Joey Pratt Award Of Excellence. The award has been presented for the past several years in honor of the late Joe Pratt, who served as Show Manager for many years prior to his passing.

Andy Bachetti won an afternoon electric indoor go kart celebrity race run on the new-for-2015 oval kart track.

The 2015 PPB Motorsports Racecar & Trade Show completed its 30th annual presentation on Sunday.

The 2016 PPB Motorsports Racecar & Trade Show is set for January 9, 10, 11, 2016.

JANUARY 19-21

2018

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