The PPB Motorsports Show this weekend, January 21-22, 2022 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, will showcase auto racing in all its forms and all its glory.
Masks for show visitors are recommended, but vaccinations are not required. Due to Covid-19 there will be no autograph street, but there will be many autographs and photo opportunities throughout both days of the show.
Nearly 200 race cars, representing all motorsports, will be on display in the huge showroom. Many never-before-seen and vintage race cars will fill the building.
One of the highlights of the annual show is the recognition of a speedway and the legacy it carries in the sport.
Penn National Speedway, in Grantville, PA, first opened for racing on July 17, 1971 (Jim Keppley won the Modified feature) and just 25 years later, on September 1, 1996, it closed.
In those 25 years of auto racing, Modified Stock Cars, Sprint Cars, Super Sportsman and Late Models have raced hard on the big half mile. Many of the drivers who competed in Penn National will be on hand to greet Motorsports Show attendees and some of the restored races they’ve driven will be on display.
Galen Koller and the Reading Stock Car Association Historical Society have done an exceptional job organizing the exhibit, interviews, and driver and car appearances. After all, Penn National was fashioned in the image of the Reading Fairgrounds and built under the supervision of Lindy Vicari, Reading’s larger-than-life promoter. For the first two years of Penn National’s existence, 1971 and 1972, the track ran on Saturday nights, while the Reading Fairgrounds race on Friday and Sunday nights,
Among the Modified drivers who raced at Penn National Race Course expected to appear over the weekend are two-time Penn National Modified Champion (1993, 1994 (Kenny Brightbill, Bobby Braxton, Kerry Meitzler, Duane Howard (1990), Kenny Hatt, Lee Brisen, Fred Rahmer (1983), Paul Lotier (1981), Terry Reimert, Rob Breitenstein and John Kozak.
Winged Sportsman racer Rich Eichelberger and Street Stock racer Joe Vaccaro are all expected to pose for photos and sign autographs.
Vintage race cars that have raced at Penn National that will appear on the track’s memorial display include the No. 37 Modified, piloted by Bruce Young, the No. 74 Modified, driven by Bobby Braxton, formerly owned by Frank Wiechecki and now owned by Lowell Sutton, the late Freddy Adam’s No. owned by Tom Orth, and one of Glenn Hyndman’s No. 126 Sportsman Modifieds that won many wins by Billy Pauch and now owned by Wyatt Jacobus.
Three Sportsman Modifieds piloted by the late Ronnie Tobias will pay tribute to the much admired racer. Dianne Tobias’ No. 555, Mabel Fidler’s No. 100 and Davey Wenger’s No. 17 will all be on display in pristine condition.
Two other Sportsman Modifieds, a No. 24 driven and still owned by Russ Delp, Jr., and a No. 42, driven by the late Diz Dean (Royce Renfro) and now owned by Mike Grim, will also take center stage in the Penn National Exhibit.
Other vintage cars on the stand include the Lynn Paxton powered Bops Aluminum No. 1 410 Sprint of Amber Miller and Butch Krieser’s No. 17 Winged Super Sportsman by Bill Fenicle.
Past promoters who planned to participate in interviews include Debbie Tobias Lotier, who ran the races with her family and took over in the immediate aftermath of the death of her father Dick Tobias, and Bobby Gerhart, Jr. , which ushered in the Richard Carlino. promotional era at Penn National.
Several former Penn National employees will be in attendance, including Galen Koller, Tom Orth, Earl and Carol Stufflet, Darrell Herman, Fred Gift, Marie Gift, Bev and Lee Brisen, Alan Carter, Cindy Phillips, Jeff Fry, Fred Cutler, and Bill Latterman .
Remnants of the half-mile track originally called Penn National Race Course are still visible. The Milestone Horse Track, which opened on August 30, 1972, still hosts horse races,
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course opened on February 12, 2008 and table games began on July 13, 2010. More than 2,450 slot machines ranging in value from one cent to $100, and over 56 table games are available to guests.
Georgetown, Del. Dirt Modified Champion Ryan Watt will feature a brand new Ronnie Robert’s No. 14w debuting in the Bob Hilbert Sportswear booth at the show. Next to his car is a Sportsman Modified which this season will be driven by his teenage son Logan.
Davey Sammons will return to his trusty number 79 this year. He will also showcase a sharp looking Pioneer Pole Buildings sponsored race car in the Hilbert display.
The Pioneer Pole Buildings display will feature several cars, including a brand new Billy Pauch No. 1 and a Freddie Rahmer No. 51 410 Sprint car. Lincoln Speedway track champion Freddie Rahmer will be Pioneer sponsored No. 51 410 Winged Sprint Car. Jonathan Swanson will be USAC East Coast No. 17J Wingless Sprint Car as part of the exhibit. All Pioneer drivers attending the show, including Sammons, will be signing autographs on the Pioneer display on Saturday.
Bob Dauernheim of Flemington, New Jersey will have his Team 608 Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah 300 mph AA/Gas Lakester streamliner on the show. The car is powered by a 582-cubic-inch Chevrolet big-block engine producing 1,150 horsepower, powered by Don Biglow.
Rusty Smith will feature two of Frankie Schneider’s most successful race cars at the show. The famous No. 2 red and white coach has been fully restored, while Schneider’s “Old Bess” coupe is in fine condition.
Lenny Swider will be Howie Cronce No. 9 Falcon dirt Modified on the show show. The restoration of this car was well documented in the pages of the Area Auto Racing News and it is a must see in person.
Look for 360 Sprint car star Davey Franek of Montage, NJ to have his ever-beautiful No. 28 on the show.
Aqua-Duck Water Transport returns to sponsor the ever-popular Ms. Motorsports Pageant to be held this year on Friday evenings in the larger D-Hall. Cash prizes again go to the top three, with the winner receiving $1500 and a poster deal. Applications are currently available online at the event website.
And there’s so much more to see and do during the exciting two days of show activity.
The show’s hours of operation are on Fridays from 2pm to 9pm and on Saturdays from 11am to 7pm.
The latest show information can be found on the show website www.motorsportstradeshow.com