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Six Divisions of Racing Tonight At Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway

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IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Race cars and bikes will be taking center stage Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.

The RUSH Sprint Car Series will be joined by the Diehl Automotive RUSH Late Model Dirt Series, The PPMS Pro Stocks, the Keystone Coach Works Hobby Stocks, the Four Cylinders and the Young Guns highlight a full night of racing.

The RUSH Sprint Car Series will be racing at PPMS for the second week in-a-row, marking their fourth appearance at PPMS in 2019.

Gibsonia’s Zach Morrow comes into the race atop the track points standings with 292-points.  Morrow finished second last week at PPMS. Apollo’s Bryan Woodhall sits in second place, only 3-points behind Morrow.  John Mollick, last week’s winner at PPMS, is in third place eight points behind Morrow.

In the Diehl Automotive RUSH Late Models standings Ben Policz sits atop the points standings with 726-points.  Christian Schneider is in second place, 19-points behind Policz.  Justin Lamb, the two-time defending champion is in third place, 36-points out of the top spot.  Mollick is in fourth place 38-points out of the lead and Nico Dabecco rounds out the top 5.

Danny Rich holds down the top spot in the PPMS Pro Stocks division on the strength of two feature wins this season.  Mike Harris is right behind, 27-points behind Rich.  Harris has one feature win on the season.  Heath Close is in third place with AJ Poljak and Robert Betz rounding out the top 5.

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In the Keystone Coach Works Hobby Stock division, two-time defending Champion Stephen Shelpman is in first place with 739-points.  Marcus Simmons sits in second place 17-points behind Shelpman.  Right behind Simmons is Casey Grumling in third place, 35-points out of first place.  Karlee Kovacs sits fourth and Ed Shelpman rounds out the top 5.

The Four Cylinders division finds a familiar name atop the standings, Andy Garlinger, the 2018 Champion. The “Dominator” has won every 2019 Four Cylinder feature.  The battle for second place finds Craig Rudolph holding a four-point lead over John Gill. Tanya Charlier sits in fourth place and Jason Romine rounds out the top 5.

Susie Rudolph is in first place in the Young Guns division.  Rudolph has five feature wins on the season.  Tony Magill is in second place, 16-points behind Rudolph.  Magill has two feature wins in 2019.  Kyle Janas is right behind, 2-points behind Magill and 18-points out of first place.  Cameron Lambert is back in fourth place and Cameron Hollister rounds out the top 5.

The race cars will be joined by kids of all ages racing their bicycles down the PPMS front stretch, provided they bring a helmet.

Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps beginning at 6 p.m. and the racing action starting at 7 p.m.

Reserved Seating is $20. Adult General Admission tickets are $15, $14 for Seniors ages 60 and over, $14 for Students ages 13-16, $5 for Youth ages 6-12, Children 6 and under get in for Free.  Drive-in viewing parking is $10 and Reserved Parking is $5. For more information visit, www.ppms.com.

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Local Racing

Pennsylvania Racing Economic Impact Surveys Released

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Motorsports Council of Pennsylvania (MCP) is sending out economic impact surveys to Pennsylvania race tracks, teams and racing related entities.

The data collected from the surveys will be compiled by Washington & Jefferson College professors Rob & Leslie Dunn, who along with the MCP, will produce a study on the range and economic impact of the racing industry in the Keystone State.

The economic impact study will be a valuable tool for race tracks, teams and marketing professionals in their efforts to attract partners, sponsors and other assets that may be available throughout the State.

Race teams are needed to take part in the survey!  Here is link to the team survey: https://forms.gle/XWTehM4nsKGfzTC58

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Fans are also asked to help the MCP in the efforts.  Here is a link to the fan survey so take a few minutes of your time to support race tracks and teams in this endeavor: https://forms.gle/vEcZR5XJbQHKPBLLA

Marketing and media professionals have a survey that the MCP is asking them to complete.  Here is a link to that survey: https://forms.gle/EX32bbXubANUaUGr7

Race tracks are also participating in the survey, if a track has not received a survey directly from the MCP, here is a link to that survey: https://forms.gle/fkhuwgg3EDvFTGuR7

The Motorsports Council of Pennsylvania hopes to have the Economic Impact Study completed by the start of the 2021 racing season.

Editors Note: Robert Johnson of the Motorsports Council of Pennsylvania will be one of the guests on the next episode of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast.

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Local Racing

Western Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek Is Coming Back

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SHIPPENVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Five local dirt tracks are teaming up to bring back Western Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek for the 2021 season.

Michael’s Mercer Raceway (Mercer, PA), Thunder Mountain Speedway (Brookville, PA), Lernerville Speedway (Sarver, PA), Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH) and Tri City Raceway Park (Franklin, PA) are the five tracks where the owners and promoters have aligned to bring back the event for the 410 Sprint Cars.

“The ‘410 Sprint Car’ division in the local area has been through many ups-and-downs over the last two decades, but there’s no doubt it’s as strong now as it ever was”, said Dave Willoughby, Sharon Speedway’s General Manager. “You see our guys competing for spots up front everywhere they go, and that even includes out at some of the tougher Central PA tracks.”

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Additional details will be released in the near future regarding the established point fund and other race night details.

Here’s the full schedule:

  • Wednesday, June 2nd – Michael’s Mercer Raceway
  • Thursday, June 3rd – Thunder Mountain Speedway
  • Friday, June 4th – Lernerville Speedway
  • Saturday, June 5th – Sharon Speedway
  • Sunday, June 6th – Tri City Raceway Park

Western Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek was previously run from 1993-2000 by the All-Star Circuit of Champions.

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Indy Autonomous Challenge Race Car Unveiled

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Indy Autonomous Challenge/Indianapolis Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The world’s first high-speed, head-to-head autonomous race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will feature Dallaras as the race cars.

Energy Systems Network (ESN) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) this week unveiled the official race car that will be autonomously driven by scores of university teams in the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) at the Racing Capital of the World on Oct. 23, 2021.

Dallara has been the sole racecar supplier of the Indy Lights series since 2002, and now the modified Dallara IL-15 is the official IAC racecar.

“Dallara is the best racecar engineering company in the world, yet designing the chassis for autonomous racing was really challenging,” explained Stefano dePonti, CEO and general manager of Dallara USA. “Dallara loves innovation and technological challenges, and we share the IAC’s passion for education and motorsports.”

“The Dallara-built IAC racecar is the most advanced, fastest autonomous vehicle ever developed,” stated Paul Mitchell, president and CEO of ESN, and co-organizer of the IAC. “Our IAC sponsors are providing radar, lidar, optical cameras and advanced computers, bringing the value of each vehicle to $1 million.”

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One of the teams competing in the challenge is the Panther AV RAS-ing team from the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

Panther AV RAS-ing is part of more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students, PhDs and mentors who excel in artificial intelligence software that have responded to the challenge.  The challengers represent 39 universities in 11 countries on four continents and 14 U.S. states.

The IAC is scheduled for October 23, 2021, at the IMS, with a qualifying simulation race during the Indy 500 week in May. The total IAC prize purse is $1.5 million: $1 million awarded to the winning team of the October IAC race, and an additional $500,000 for winners of the hackathons and simulation races.

“The IAC is going to bring the best minds from around the world to solve a very complex problem, right here at the Racing Capital of the World,” said IMS President J. Douglas Boles. “As the birthplace of motorsports’ innovation, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a fitting setting for this event, and we can’t wait to see the winning entry cross the Yard of Bricks into history.”

Two companies headquartered in Western Pennsylvania are sponsors of the event.  Ansys, a global leader in engineering simulation that is headquartered in Canonsburg, and Aptiv, an autonomous vehicle company who is relocating from O’Hara Township to Hazelwood Green.

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