Date: 5/26/2010 12:36:06 AM

It is not unusual to see the names of Murdick and King atop the point standings of the BRP/Hoosier Tire Modified Tour. After all, Dave Murdick is a former Champion (2001) and he was leading the series points when the Big Block Modifieds last appeared at Dirt's Monster Half Mile. Rex King, Sr. (2005, 2006 and 2009) and Russell King (2007) are former Champions, as well. However, what is different this time around is that the driver tied with Murdick is Rex King, Jr. Cooter, as he is affectionately called, is off to a great start with the Modified Tour in 2010 and he would like nothing better than to claim sole possession of the points lead at the conclusion of Saturday's action.
Murdick opened the Modified Tour season with a big win at Lernerville Speedway last Friday. To do so, he had to survive a skirmish with a lapped car and withstand the charges of King Jr. and Brian Swartzlander over the final nine laps of the race. When the Modifieds last raced at PPMS in September, Murdick crashed on the frontstretch, destroying his 2007 Troyer chassied car. Remarkably, he will be back at PPMS with the same car Saturday. Murdick and company rebuilt the car over the winter and brought it up to 2010 specifications. The way it sailed around the top of Lernerville after the near disaster may be a signal to all that the bad luck he encountered at PPMS last year is behind him.
Although King Jr. took second spot in Friday's feature, his dominating win in a heat race tied him with Murdick in the Mod Tour's seasonal points. King Jr. is driving a 2010 Bicknell chassis. At Lernerville, his car used Late Model set-ups supplied by older brother Russell, who is now competing with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. Maybe the same tricks will bring Cooter that elusive first win.
Murdick and King Jr. will face a tough field Saturday. Among the certain entries will be Jeremiah Shingledecker, the defending champion and current point leader at Tri-City Speedway, and his new teammate, Chris Haines. Shingledecker is undefeated at Tri-City so far this year. His final win came after a breathtaking battle with Rex King, Sr., who has yet to tame the Monster. Haines already has has a pair of top fives to his credit at Tri-City and has been impressive in his first season in a Modified. Brad Rapp, who is now sporting a Big Block under the hood of his bright orange Modified, will join consistent vets Mike Turner and Dean Pearson. J.R. McGinley, Gary Smoker and Mark Frankhouser will lead the Small Block Brigade. If the track slicks off, watch these fellows come to the front! Indeed, despite tacky conditions Friday night, Frankhouser passed thirteen cars on his way to a top ten finish. Also expected at PPMS will be three-time Champion Brian Swartzlander (1998, 1999, 2008), winner of the fall show in 2009.
Rejoining the Mod Tour will be New Brighton's Kevin Bolland. Revin Kevin passed up the opener at Lernerville to visit friends in Las Vegas. Ed Lynch, Jr. drove Bolland's potent Modified to a sixth place finish, showing that the 777 will be ready for action. Bolland took the win in Modisaurus X last season.
"We are really looking forward to the return of the Big Blocks to PPMS," said Modified Tour President Lou Long. "Our guys get excited about racing there and they want to get the bragging rights for taming the Monster."

The Modified Tour, Inc. would like to thank the 2010 series sponsors:  Bicknell Racing Products; Hoosier Racing Tire Corp.; Sunoco Racing Fuel - Bazell Oil Co., Inc.; World Racing Group - DIRTcar; Approved Toilet Rentals, Inc.; Behrent’s Speed Center, Inc.; Bert Transmission; Big Daddy's Speed Center Inc.; Engles Trucking Services, Inc.; Bilstein Shocks – Fastline Performance; Fast Axle, LLC; Frankland Racing Supply; ISC Racers Tape; Hall's Safety Equipment Corp.; Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG); Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Inc.; King Brothers; Kirkey Racing Fabrication Inc.; Landrum Spring; McCool's Signs and Graphics; Motorsports World; Oyler Photos & More; Pennsylvania Army National Guard; Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP; Preist Enterprises, Inc.; Pro Shocks; RaceQuip; Ray's Racing Collectibles; Red Bear Hand Cleaner; Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants; Slippery Rock Sportswear; Smokey's; SpeedBear Fasteners; Turbo Start Batteries; Ultra-Shield Race Products; Valken Wheels; Wedge Motorsports, LLC; Winters Performance Products Inc.; and Wrisco Industries Inc.

The Modified Tour, Inc. racing series is a non-profit organization established in 1998 to give the V-8 Modifieds in the Western Pennsylvania area the opportunity to compete for higher purses and for a seasonal point fund.  It has had great success at bringing the local cars together at tracks throughout the tri-state area and in expanding the profile for this exciting brand of motorsports.

For more information about The BRP/Hoosier Tire Modified Tour, check the website at

Return-to-Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway