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Maple Grove Raceway hosts Musclepalooza races and car show

Six-year-old Ricky Boyer has crates of cars at home, a collection of his beloved Hot Wheels and Matchbox toys that he’s memorized from frequent play.

But on Saturday he got to see the life-sized versions of those vehicles at Maple Grove Raceway in Brecknock Township, where Musclepalooza — an event featuring races and a car show — was held for the first time.

Boyer and his family witnessed up close from Maple Grove’s bleachers how powerful and loud those real hot rods and dragsters were, and they could smell the burning rubber from the spinning tires.

“I like how the cars go really fast and how they are really noisy,” he said.

From left, Heidi, 3, Emily, Ricky, 6, and Rick Boyer with Emily's father, Paul Smith, all of King of Prussia, during the Hemmings Muscle Palooza Drag Race and Car Show on Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway. Rick is formerly of Birdsboro. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
From left, Heidi, 3, Emily, Ricky, 6, and Rick Boyer with Emily’s father, Paul Smith, all of King of Prussia, during the Hemmings Muscle Palooza Drag Race and Car Show on Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway. Rick is formerly of Birdsboro. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

His father, Rick, formerly of Birdsboro, hadn’t been to the track in decades. He remembered his days as a teenager watching funny car and jet car competitions and was enjoying his return, he said.

Maple Grove was the first of four tracks nationwide this year to hold Musclepalooza, which is billed as a celebration of vintage and modern muscle cars by its sponsor, Hemmings, an online auto marketplace.

The Boyers were among the racing fans and car enthusiasts in attendance, with about 80 drivers racing and getting timed on the quarter-mile track, and another 80 showing off their vehicles in the car show.

The threat of rain in the morning may have kept some away, but Maple Grove General Manager Shane Sweigart was happy that more than 600 fans still came out.

Two years ago the 457-acre track was purchased by the Koretsky family of Bucks County, and Musclepalooza is the type of sponsored event that Maple Grove would like to hold more of, Sweigart said.

“This is phenomenal,” he said as he looked over the track, which some drivers completed in less than seven seconds, reaching speeds of 175 mph over just a quarter-mile.

Hemmings President Jonathan Shaw said part of Musclepalooza’s appeal is the variety of the vehicles and drivers it attracts. There were vehicles ranging from 1950s and ’60s classics to modern performance cars, and drivers ranging from those with professional experience to weekend warriors.

Among the car show entries was a bright blue 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS belonging to T.J. and Becky Forrer of Ephrata. T.J. said he’d dreamed of owning that exact color and model Chevelle for decades.

T.J. and Becky Forrer of Ephrata stand with their dream car, a 1970 Chevelle, during the Hemmings Muscle Palooza Drag Race and Car Show on Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
T.J. and Becky Forrer of Ephrata stand with their dream car, a 1970 Chevelle, during the Hemmings Muscle Palooza Drag Race and Car Show on Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Becky finally found him one for sale in New York four years ago, and since then T.J. has replaced the engine, transmission and more. He works as a General Motors mechanic but said he still has energy for his Chevelle when he gets home.

“Working on my own car is more fun,” he said.

Gene Sedoti of Reading showed his 1970 Oldsmobile F85 W-31, a limited edition, Asiatic Turquoise-colored car that he bought in 1973 when he was just 15.

Sedoti had four paper routes growing up in Exeter Township and saved his earnings to buy that Oldsmobile even before he was old enough to drive. Though it’s engine blew just 12 miles after he paid $3,000 for it, the car has been his passion ever since, and in the 1970s he would drag race it at Maple Grove against other amateurs.

“My dad was OK with me buying it because he said then he didn’t have to worry about me messing around with women. He said I’d be too broke for that,” said Sedoti, now 66.

He recently refurbished it inside and out and also under the hood, and is as proud of it as ever.

“My wife thinks it’s a little loud, which it is,” he said. “It’s a head-turner.”

Gene Sedoti of Reading stands with his 1970 Oldsmobile F85 that he bought in 1973 during the Hemmings Muscle Palooza Drag Race and Car Show on Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Gene Sedoti of Reading stands with his 1970 Oldsmobile F85 that he bought in 1973 during the Hemmings Muscle Palooza Drag Race and Car Show on Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Sedoti spent four hours on Friday polishing the car, only for it to rain so that he had to clean it up again Saturday for the show. He wasn’t complaining, though.

“I’ve had a lot of fun with this car,” he said, “and I still do.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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