The PPB Motorsports Show this weekend, January 21-22, 2022, inside the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, will showcase auto racing in all its forms and glory.
Masks for spectators are recommended but no vaccinations are required. Due to Covid-19, there will not be an autograph aisle in place, but there will be plenty of autograph and photo opportunities throughout the two days of the show.
Nearly 200 racing cars, representing all motorsports, will be on display in the huge exhibition area. Many new and old racing cars will fill the building.
Among 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, Pennsylvania first opened 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 motor racing, Modified Stock Cars, Sprint Cars, Super Sportsmans and Late Models have raced the big half mile hard. Many of the drivers who raced at Penn National will be on hand to welcome Motorsports Show attendees and many of the restored races they have raced in will be on display.
Galen Koller and the Reading Stock Car Association Historical Society did an exceptional job of organizing the display, interviews and appearances of the drivers and cars. Penn National, after all, was fashioned in the image of Reading Fairgrounds and built under the supervision of Lindy Vicari, Reading’s larger-than-life developer. For the first two years of Penn National’s existence, 1971 and 1972, the track ran on Saturday nights with Reading Fairgrounds racing on Friday and Sunday nights,
Among the modified drivers who raced at the Penn National Race Course who are 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 raced at Penn National and will appear in the track’s memorabilia display include Modified #37 driven by Bruce Young, Modified #74 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 Sportsman Modifieds #126 led to many victories by Billy Pauch and now owned by Wyatt Jacobus.
Three Sportsman Modifieds driven by the late Ronnie Tobias will pay tribute to the much admired driver. #555 owned by Dianne Tobias, #100 owned by Mabel Fidler and #17 owned by Davey Wenger will all be on display in pristine condition.
Two other Sportsman Modifieds, a #24 driven and still owned by Russ Delp, Jr., and a #42, driven by the late Diz Dean (Royce Renfro) and now owned by Mike Grim will also be front and center. of the Penn National Exposition.
Other vintage cars on the stand include the Lynn Paxton driven, Boops Aluminum #1410 Sprint owned by Amber Miller and Butch Krieser’s #17 Winged Super Sportsman owned by Bill Fenicle.
Former promoters planning to participate in interviews include Debbie Tobias Lotier, who ran the races with her family and took over executive operations immediately after the death of her father Dick Tobias, and Bobby Gerhart, Jr., who inaugurated the Richard Carlino promotional era at Penn National.
Several former Penn National staff 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 that was originally called the Penn National Race Course can still be seen. The racecourse of the mile opened on August 30, 1972 still organizes live horse races,
The Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course opened on February 12, 2008, and on July 13, 2010 table games began operating. Over 2,450 slot machines, ranging in value from pennies to $100, and over 56 table games are available to patrons.
Georgetown, Delaware Dirt Modified champ Ryan Watt will debut an all new Ronnie Robert #14w in the Bob Hilbert Sportswear booth at the show. Right next to his car will be a Sportsman Modified which will be driven by his teenage son Logan this season.
Davey Sammons will return to his familiar number 79 this year. He will also debut a racing car sponsored by Pioneer Pole Buildings in the Hilbert exhibit.
At the Pioneer Pole Buildings exhibit there will be several cars including a brand new Billy Pauch No. 1 and a Freddie Rahmer No. 51 410 Sprint. Lincoln Speedway track champion Freddie Rahmer will display his Pioneer-sponsored #51 410 Sprint car. Jonathan Swanson will have his USAC East Coast No. 17J wingless Sprint car on display, among other things. All Pioneer riders at the show, including Sammons, will be signing autographs at the Pioneer stand on Saturday.
Bob Dauernheim of Flemington, New Jersey will have his Team 608 Bonneville Salt Flats in the Utah 300 mph AA/Gas Lakester streamer at the show. The car is powered by a 582 cubic inch Chevrolet big block engine that produces 1,150 horsepower driven by Don Biglow.
Rusty Smith will display two of Frankie Schneider’s most successful racing cars at the show. The famous red and white n°2 carriage has been fully restored while Schneider’s ‘Old Bess’ coupe has remained in beautiful barn condition.
Lenny Swider will have his Howie Cronce No. 9 Falcon Dirt Modified on display at the show. The restoration of this car has been well documented in the pages of Area Auto Racing News and it is to be seen in person.
Look for 360 Sprint car star Davey Franek of Montage, NJ to have his ever-handsome No. 28 at the show.
Aqua-Duck Water Transport returns as sponsor of the ever-popular Ms. Motorsports Pageant to be held on Friday night this year in the larger D-Hall. Cash prizes will again go to the top three, with the winner receiving $1,500 and a poster contract. Applications are currently available online at the event website.
And there’s so much more to see and do over the two excitement-filled days of show activity.
Exhibit hours will run from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
The latest show information can be found on the show website www.motorsportstradeshow.com