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Thread: Prp night of fire 3 day event and the future

  1. #1
    Member MASTER JOURNEYMAN
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    Prp night of fire 3 day event and the future

    I am just one racer who's home track has been pittsburgh raceway park (formally keystone raceway) since the 1960's. I have seen many changes over the years, but the changes made by the tedesco family, and now with greg miller as general manager has been incredible!! Only racers that have been around a long time know how the new owner's and manager have made prp one of the best safe places to race in this area, and on the east coast.

    The older guys remember the bad surface with 3 inch cracks, the short track when 125 mph required a chute, no sand and gravel emergency stopping area, no catch fence and mound, and the complete transition of the pits with real paving roads, the moving of the starting line, the new bleachers, electricity, and on and on.

    The last great effort was to repair a bad track surface that was only discovered after the 2014 racing season had started.

    Being in the asphalt business for 17 years, i knew that task was going to be tough and expensive because of timing. It could not have come at a worse time. It did not give the track owners and manager many options. But instead of just doing a patch job the track team went all out including adding the expensive drainage that has been needed for a long time.

    We racers have no idea how tough this operation is to run, manage, make safe, and pay for! What we are good at is bitching!!! As an old fart, i always bitched when the time slips were light and i could not easily read them.

    I plan not to bitch as much in the future, because i what my home track to be around until i die, which may not be that far down the road.

    Go to some other tracks in the area and you will be back saying thanks to the tedesco's and to the greg miller team.

    I plan to say thanks more to the great track crew guys who get little to no recognition for their efforts to keep the track safe from "our" oil & water downs and the dirt rocks and car parts that keep falling of our cars. Also running as smooth as they can with the ("which way do i go racers") we sometimes have. Also i thank the announcers who keep us tuned into what is going on.

    And lastly i have to say a big thanks to carmen for the best track food on the east coast, and i have been to most of them in my 69 years. We italians know good food!!!

    So thank you "prp team" for what you have given us racer!

    Jack tortorete (t-1818)

  2. #2
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
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    Jack, everything you've said about PRP is true. But the one thing that bothers me about the track is the foot dragging on getting rid of the metal guard rails and replacing them with concrete barriers. I know it would be a very expensive endeavor, but we've all seen over the years cars getting over the rails and some of them like Pete Ignatovic's rail jumping could have caused injuries or worse. I've been in contact with Scooter Peaco, who is the so-called Director of Competition, with the IHRA about this since PRP is the only track on the entire Nitro Jam series to have metal rails. Peaco in so many words told me to mind my own business and not to contact him or anyone on his staff about it. The metal rails were fine in the past, but the cars of today are quicker and faster and the track is behind the times as far as providing safety for it's spectators.

  3. #3
    Member MASTER JOURNEYMAN
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    Andamo,

    Thanks for your reply. I, as do many racers agree with you, that guard rails are not the safest method to prevent a car from leaving the track racing surface. I also know the track owners, the Tedesco's, and the track manager, Greg Miller, would install concrete if there was any chance they could.

    As I said, I have raced at this track since the 60's. I have no direct interest in this track other then, i consider it my "home" track. Over those many years I have never seen anyone put more money into this track then the present owners and track manager. They are die hard racer's themselves, and have made many safety improvements including the newest under drainage and track paving.

    Yes, they may have made improvements that are not direct to the racing, but we all enjoy those improvements, these improvements all support the facility as a business, which is what it needs to be. Because it is does not make money it will not exist much longer, like the other tracks in our area disappeared.

    I am sure everyone remembers PID and of course "Mercer" if you want to talk about safety issues look at how those tracks were. They raced fuel funny cars and aa/fuel roadsters their!!!

    As a 69 year old racer, I would like to have 6 foot high concrete, with safer barriers in front like NASCAR, but our sport does not generate the income to have that kind of improvement. So I understand, when the owners have the money "PRP will get concrete

    In the mean time as I hit the 1000 foot, I squeeze my checks, put my hand on the chute lever, and say thank God I still have a place to race!!

    P.S. Have you ever hit a concrete wall? As a racer, I like the steel guard rails better. How many people have seen cars go over the concrete walls at major events?

    We participate in a dangerous sport, but a sport with a good safety record. Do bicyclist change their safety harnesses every two years, whether needed or not like, drag racers??

    Don't worry be happy!

    Jt
    Last edited by jtortorete; 07-21-2014 at 10:04 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MASTER BUILDER
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    Jack, you're right about the Tedesco's putting money in PRP and everyone in the racing community needs to thank them for that. You mention the difference about hitting a concrete wall the steel rails and the steel rails being a easier ''hit'' The difference is that the steel rails have a tendency to bend with the hit and launch a race car over the rails. We already have the safety items in place to protect the drivers in case the car hits a concrete barrier. But we need to be able to contain that car to keep it within the 2 barriers and have it scrub off the energy there rather than getting into the stands or cars on the lower return road. I also know that the cost of the barriers is a huge outlay for the track, but on the other hand if a car gets into the spectators and lives are lost, I think you can say goodbye to the track.
    We have to remember that PID and all the other tracks of that time had steel rails which were state-of-the-art for those times. But now cars are so much quicker and faster we need to get the tracks into the 21st century. As far as Mercer, well we all know Mercer is Mercer and they raced there up until a few years ago without any type of fencing. Luck plays a big part in this sport and Alex sure had his share of luck.


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