|PITTSBURGH’S PENNSYLVANIA MOTOR SPEEDWAY |
PPMS TRACK CHAMPIONS HONORED AT 15TH ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET
IMPERIAL, PA - Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway hosted its fifteenth Annual Awards Banquet Saturday, January 17th at the Bradley House in Baldwin. In addition to the special, custom-designed Champion’s rings for each of the five track title holders, awards and point fund money were presented to all of the top ten point finishers in the Late Models, Advance Auto Parts Limited Late Models, E-Modifieds, Isiminger’s Pennzoil Pure Stocks, and the Amateur Strictly Stocks.
For the second straight year, the Late Model Division track title went to Al Atallah. The talented Bridgeville driver progressed from a successful effort in the Pure Stock Division, that included one title and twelve feature wins, to the Limited Late Model Division where he won five features. In 2002, Atallah accepted the ride in the Phil Lukon owned #84 Late Model, and he went on to claim not only the Late Model “Rookie of the Year” honors, but also captured the Late Model Division title. Proving his Cinderella rookie season in the late models was no fluke, Atallah and Lukon teamed up again in 2003 and collected five wins and enough points during the season to secure the title and place them at the Champion’s table for the second consecutive year.
After several seasons of competing mainly in the open-wheel E-Modifieds, West Mifflin’s Scott Gunn made the commitment to run Limited Late Models for the 2003 season. Quickly adapting to the fendered machines, Gunn made his presence known to his fellow competitors by notching seven feature wins and claiming his first ever division title. Youngstown Ohio’s Wayne Tessean successfully defended his E-Modified track title for the second time. Along with his back-to-back 2002 and 2003 championships, Tessean accomplished the same feat in 1998 and 1999. The highly competitive Pure Stocks saw a multitude of winners throughout the season, but Darryl Robison’s consistency and four feature wins helped the Beaver Falls pilot garner his first-ever Pure Stock track championship. For the second straight year, Pittsburgh’s Bill Robertson claimed the division championship title in the Amateur Strictly Stocks.
Monarch Oil Hard Charger of the Year Awards were presented to: Al Atallah, Scott Gunn, Wayne Tessean, Darryl Robison, Frankie Schneider and Bill Robertson. Tony Musolino and Erick Markle were the recipients of the 2003 “Rookie of the Year” awards. For the second straight year, Al Atallah and Phil Lukon were awarded the Mark Richards Racing/Rocket Chassis for being the late model driver/owner combination running a Rocket Chassis who finished highest in the points standings. Pete Loria presented the “Racers for Tots” Appreciation Award to Ben Miley who accepted it on behalf of the Miley family and Miley Motorsports.
The prestigious 15th Annual “Sportsman of the Year” Award was presented to Danny Isiminger for his longtime support and significant contributions to the betterment of racing at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway. The Isiminger family has been division sponsors for the past four years, and Danny is well-known and respected around the speedway for always “stepping up to the plate” when help is needed whether it be for an event, or to help a special cause such as “Racers for Tots”, or to simply quietly come to the aid of a racer who may have encountered some unfortunate bad luck. Danny’s Sportsman Award was long over-due, and was met with a well-deserved standing ovation.
The 2004 season is scheduled to take the green flag at Dirt’s Monster Half Mile on Saturday April 3 with weekly racing in the Late Models, Limited Late Models, E-Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Amateur Strictly Stocks. The tentative 2004 Racing Schedule has been posted on our web site at www.ppms.com, or you can contact the business office for further information on the upcoming season by calling 724-853-7223.