• Tag Archives Pittsburgh Nitro Jam
  • Championships can be clinched this weekend at IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals


    With only three races remaining in the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series season, championship points are at a premium.

    And that couldn’t be any more true than at this weekend’s pivotal stop at Pittsburgh Raceway Park as the stars of the IHRA return to the Steel City for the fourth annual IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports this Friday and Saturday.


    Jason Rupert can clinch the IHRA Funny Car championship this weekend

    Following a compelling race at Cordova Dragway Park two weeks ago that saw first-time winners in every professional category except one, fans and drivers are buzzing as the IHRA returns to the track this weekend with only three events remaining.

    “We saw an exceptional race at Cordova earlier this month and that has created a lot of attention on the IHRA and the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. After what we saw in Illinois, I would expect similar results this weekend in Pittsburgh with another superior lineup heading to Pennsylvania,” said Scott Gardner, President of IHRA Motorsports. “I expect, with only a few races left, the competition and intensity will be at an all-time high which should make for an extremely compelling race this weekend.”

    Adding to the racing excitement itself, two unique variables will play a key role at this weekend’s event at Pittsburgh Raceway Park – track length and the crunch being placed on IHRA’s Nitro Funny Car teams.

    First up, Pittsburgh Raceway Park will host IHRA’s only event not contested on the quarter-mile this season. For safety reasons, the IHRA Pittsburgh Nationals will be shortened to 1,000 feet for all nitro classes creating an extra challenge for IHRA teams. While 320 less feet doesn’t sound like a lot, it could play a major role in the final outcomes with some teams better suited to shorter attacks.

    The second variable is the Nitro Funny Car schedule. With one less event on the schedule than all of the other pro classes, the IHRA Pittsburgh Nationals will serve as the next-to-last race of the season for Nitro Funny Car competitors, meaning championships can be clinched this weekend.


    One of the closest battles this season has taken place in Nitro Harley

    Breakout star Jason Rupert in the Bays and Rupert “Black Plague” ’69 Camaro can clinch his first IHRA Nitro Funny Car championship this weekend with a strong performance at the Pittsburgh Nationals as he holds a commanding 177-point lead over second place Mark Sanders. With four national event victories and a trip to the final round at every national event entered except one, Rupert can seal his first IHRA title and fourth career Nitro Funny Car championship in Pittsburgh.

    But it won’t be an easy task. Fellow 2014 national event winners John Hale in the “Mike Burkhart” tribute Camaro and Mike McIntire in the “McAttack” Camaro will join IHRA record holder and multi-time Pittsburgh winner Peter Gallen in trying add another Ironman to their collection. They will be joined in Pittsburgh by Sanders, Tim Boychuk, Bruce Litton, Mike Smith, Ronny Young, Greg Jacobsmeyer, Gary Kraus, John Crimmins and more.

    The remaining professional classes still face three races, giving them extra time to lock up their respective championships.

    One of the closest battles of 2014 is in Nitro Harley as Canadian Mike Scott sits just 15 points ahead of Louisiana native Randal Andras and a little over 100 points clear of fourth place Mark Cox. Multi-time IHRA champion Jay Turner sits in the middle in third. Scott leads the quartet with three wins this season, though he hasn’t hoisted an Ironman trophy since early June. Cox has two wins, while Andras has one.

    In Pro Stock, Oklahoma’s Cary Goforth leads the championship standings by 32 points over John DeFlorian. Goforth and DeFlorian began the season as the class of the field, but have not visited the winner’s circle since early April. They will look to regain momentum this weekend.


    Black Diamond Motorsports and Goforth Racing will continue their battle in Pittsburgh this weekend with both teams gunning for the title

    Goforth teammate Todd Hoerner sits third in the championship standings, followed by Kevin Bealko and Pete Berner. Dean Goforth is the most recent winner in the class, winning the Summer Nationals at Cordova earlier this month.

    Rounding out the pro classes are Nitro Altered and Jet Dragster as Ron Maroney brings a healthy lead in the AA/FA category in the “Blind Faith” machine over Don Blackshear in “Bullet Bob.” In Jet Dragster, Elaine Larsen leads the all-female lineup, just ahead of Dawn Perdue. 20-year-old Kat Moller, fourth in points, won her first career race last weekend in Cordova giving all four girls at the top of the standings a win this season.

    The 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports will take place this Friday and Saturday at Pittsburgh Raceway Park. Tickets can be purchased online at www.nitrojam.com or at the gate on the day of the show. For more information, visit www.nitrojam.com or call Pittsburgh Raceway Park at (724) 668-7600.

  • Gallen gets a special win in front of packed Pittsburgh house

    NEW ALEXANDRIA, Pa. (June 2, 2012) – It was a special night for Peter Gallen.

    Not only did Gallen get a big win over longtime IHRA legend Dale Pulde in front of a packed house at his home Pennsylvania track, but Gallen had extra motivation in the form of a little boy from the Pittsburgh area named Isaiah. Isaiah is suffering from a terminal illness and is enrolled in a special program that is near and dear to Gallen’s heart. Called Designing 4 Hope, the charity adorns the side of Gallen’s “Poverty Stricken” ’77 Monza and is a driving force behind Gallen’s racing operations.

    AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car winner Peter Gallen

    And with Isaiah standing on the starting line cheering him on, Gallen powered to his first victory of the year and his 16th career win in AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car in front of a capacity crowd at the second annual Pittsburgh Nitro Jam at Pittsburgh Raceway Park, a win he dedicated to Isaiah and his family in victory lane.

    “Having Isaiah and his mother here tonight was very special,” Gallen said. “We will be presenting Isaiah and his mother with the trophy and making this a big night for him. To help a kid that has had it rough in life and may not have long left on this earth is very rewarding for us as a team. It was definitely a bonus for us to have him here with us. He is definitely our good luck charm.”

    Other pro winners from the Pittsburgh Nitro Jam were Bill Evans in Pro Fuel, Ron Maroney in Fuel Altered and Jay Turner in Nitro Harley.

    Sportsman winners during Saturday’ Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL race and Tournament of Champions qualifier were Scott Wasko (Columbia Station, Ohio) in Top Sportsman, Kevin Romeo (Hounastown, Pa.) in Top Dragster, Pete D’Agnolo (Rochester, N.Y.) in Super Stock, Michael Beard (Seagrove, N.C.) in Stock, Scott Campbell (Avonmore, Pa.) in Quick Rod, Will Hinkston (Fuquay Varina, N.C.) in Super Rod and Skip Saddler (Erie, Pa.) in Hot Rod.

    Pro Fuel Dragster winner Bill Evans

    Gallen’s victory was perhaps his sweetest yet. Not only did he visit victory lane in his home state of Pennsylvania and do so front of a few special guests, but he defeated three-time IHRA champion Dale Pulde to get that win.

    Pulde, returning to the wheel of the legendary “War Eagle” Trans Am after an extended illness, is one of the most respected figures in the sport and the battle between new guard and old guard, east and west and about a dozen other storylines came to fruition in the staging lanes at Pittsburgh Raceway Park.

    Pulde had low elapsed time of the opening round in his win over Mike McIntire, but it was Gallen that would ultimately have the last laugh.

    In one of the best finals of the year Pulde pulled a slight advantage on the tree, but Gallen countered with the quickest and fastest lap of the weekend. With the car inches from the outside retaining wall, Gallen kept in the throttle and blasted to a 5.058, 224.55 on the 1,000 foot track to Pulde’s 5.246, 212.06 to give the defending Funny Car champ his first win of 2012 and a special Ironman he collected against one of the all-time greats of the sport.

    AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car runner-up Dale Pulde

    “We were talking prior to the round about how long some of Dale’s crew guys have been around the sport and this team. So I told them that with all of the cumulative experience of his team I should get a head start or something,” Gallen said with a laugh. “Of course, he wanted no part of that. Honestly, he is a legend so it does give me gratification getting this win and taking out a left coast car.”

    In the consolation round McIntire defeated Troy Martin in the “Chi-Town Hustler” machine.

    In the remaining nitro classes it was more of the same as all three winners continued long winning streaks.

    Florida native Bill Evans continued perhaps the longest streak of the season as he visited the final round for the seventh time in seven races, collecting four wins during that span. On Saturday Evans defeated Kristen Dennis in round one with low ET of the night and then took down Robin Samsel in the final. Evans ran a 4.563, 256.26 in the final while Samsel went up in smoke soon after stabbing the throttle.

    In the consolation round Dennis defeated Cherissa Smallwood.

    Nitro Harley winner Jay Turner (far lane)

    With the win Evans becomes the first driver of the year to reach 200 points and has already all but sewn up his second Pro Fuel title.

    In Nitro Harley Jay turner continued the longest consecutive winning streak with his fifth victory in a row over Jake Stordeur. Turner had two dominating rounds to keep his streak alive, blowing by a smoking Mike Scott in round one and then blasting to a 5.459, 202.16 in the final to easily get by Stordeur.

    In the consolation pairing Steve Dorn defeated Mike Scott.

    Arizona native Ron Maroney wrapped up the nitro winners from the Pittsburgh Nitro Jam as he defeated rookie Kyle Hough in the final. Maroney won round one with a less than stellar pass over Ron Hope, but got his act together in the final with a 5.057, 216.35 to defeat Hough who ran a 5.600, 168.10. The win was Maroney’s fifth of the year.

    In the consolation round Tom Padilla defeated Ron Hope.

    Next up for the Nitro Jam tour is a trip to the recently renovated Rocky Mountain Raceways in Salt Lake City, Utah for the NAPA Auto Parts Nitro Jam presented by Cricket Wireless and Good Vibrations Motorsports the weekend of June 29-30.

    About Feld Motor Sports
    Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is the world leader in specialized arena and stadium-based motor sports entertainment. Feld Motor Sports, Inc. productions include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy® Supercross, IHRA® Nitro Jam®, AMA Arenacross Series, Nuclear Cowboyz℠ and Thunder Jam. Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is a division of Feld Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment. For more information on Feld Entertainment, visit www.feldentertainment.com.