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Kyle Lukon Wins The Jook George Steel City Classic At PA Motor Speedway

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Scott Stiller/Pittsburgh Racing Now

IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Lukon is the 2019 RUSH Late Models “Jook George Steel City Classic” champion after winning Saturday night’s feature at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.

Lukon got around leader Logan Roberson on lap 46 of the 50-lap main event and held on for the final four laps to take home the $11,010 grand prize, the richest RUSH Late Model race in history.

“On the last restart I was a little surprised to see Logan take the bottom,” said Lukon.  “I had a big run on the frontstretch, and I figured if I didn’t get him going into one, I wasn’t going to get him.”

Roberson, who started 18th, finished second and did not want to see that final caution period.

“Second is like kissing your sister,” said Roberson, of Waynesboro, VA.  “That caution killed me.  I think we had a really good race car.  Good job by Kyle.  I just wish that caution wouldn’t have come out.  I was a sitting duck.”

John Mollick started on the pole with Lukon on the outside with his teammate Alex Feree on the inside of row 2 with Ross Robinson on the outside of row 2.

Lukon and Feree split Mollick going into turn 1 on the first lap with Lukon taking the lead, Feree moving into second and Mollick falling to third.

Mollick got back around Feree on lap 2 and set his sights on Lukon.  Two laps later Mollick got back Lukon to take the lead.  Mollick held the lead for 34-laps when disaster struck.

Mollick got into the turn 2 wall and Roberson, who had moved into second place, took over the top spot with followed by Lukon who had slipped to third.

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The caution flag flew for Mollick on lap 44, who suffered damage from getting into the wall, and set up a six-lap showdown between Roberson, Lukon, Ross Robinson who was third and Eddie Carrier Jr. who was fourth.

Robinson ended up finishing third followed by Carrier and Garrett Paugh, who rounded out the top 5.

Ryan Moyer held off Jeff Broniszewski to grab the checkered flag in the PPMS Pro Stocks feature.  The last two laps were epic after Danny Rich brought out the caution on lap 10 when he spun in the middle of turns 3 and 4.  The restart saw Broniszewski try to make a move on the high side but Moyer dove low and rocketed off turn 4 and down the frontstretch to maintain his lead.  Broniszewski passed Moyer on the backstretch on the next to last lap but Moyer again dove inside and was in front as the white flag waved.  Broniszewski used the high side in turn 1 and 2 and again passed Moyer on the backstretch.  The pair went into turn 3 side-by-side, but the Moyer got the bite down low and beat Broniszewski to the checkered flag.

In the Keystone Coach Works Hobbystock feature, Tyler Fox cruised to victory followed by Stephen Shelpman and Adam Ferree.

“We’ve had a rough season so far,” said Fox.  “We’ve had engine trouble and transmission trouble, so this feels good tonight.”

The race was slowed by a lap 4 caution when Marcus Simmons spun in turn 2 and Kayla McManus didn’t have anywhere to go and made contact with Simmons’ driver’s door.  Neither driver was injured.

Andy Garlinger won the Four Cylinders feature with John Gill in second place and Craig Rudolph in third. Jason Romine came home fourth and Tanya Charlier finished fifth after cutting a tire.

Susie Rudolph picked up the win in the Young Guns division taking the lead on lap 1 and never looking back.  Kyle Janas finished second followed by Toy Magill and Cameron Hollister.

Next week at PPMS is the Ed Laboon Memorial and the Wee Willy White Memorial Race featuring the Penn Ohio Pro Stock Series.

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IndyCar

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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IndyCar

Racing Notebook: Kellett Returning to A.J. Foyt For ’21; U.S. Motorsports Association Forms Leadership Council Plus Extreme E

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A.J. Foyt Racing

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A.J. Foyt Racing brings back Dalton Kellett plus The U.S. Motorsports Association forms Leadership Council and Extreme E names Race Director and Sporting Director.

Dalton Kellett Returning To A.J. Foyt Racing:

  • Canadian Dalton Kellett will drive A.J. Foyt’s No. 4 Chevrolet full-time in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR Series. K-Line Insulators USA returns as the primary sponsor, moving from the No. 14 to the No. 4 for the upcoming season.  The 27-year-old rookie drove for Foyt in eight races this year, sharing the driving duties of the No. 14 Chevrolet with Tony Kanaan and Sebastien Bourdais. Bourdais returns to drive the No. 14 Chevrolet full-time as announced earlier this year.
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U.S. Motorsports Association Forms Leadership Council:

  • The U.S. Motorsports Association announced the official formation of the first-ever national Circle Track Leadership Council (CTLC), a group of circle track owners and industry leaders, who are committed to working on current and future issues related to the sport.  Members of the council include Lucas Oil Speedway’s Dan Robinson, Anderson Speedway’s Rick Dawson, Five Flags Speedway’s Tim Bryant, Knoxville Raceway’s John McCoy, Jackson Motorplex & Huset’s Speedway’s Doug Johnson, Track Enterprises’ Bob Sargent, Madison International & Midwest Tour’s Gregg Mckarns and Wilmot Raceway/IRA Sprint Cars, Steve Sinclair.

Extreme E Names Race and Sporting Directors:

  • Extreme E, the new electric off-road racing series, has strengthened its sporting team with the appointments of Scot Elkins as Race Director and Guy Nicholls as Sporting Manager for its inaugural 2021 season. Elkins has served as Race Director for the FIA Formula E Championship the past three years. Elkins started out as an engineer for Robert Yates Racing in NASCAR. Elkins has also held technical sporting roles with the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Champ Car World Series and has served as Deputy Race Director for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3.

Extreme E names Race and Sporting Directors as their inaugural 2021 season approaches.

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Local Racing

RUSH Late Model Series Enhancing ‘Track Pack’ Program For 2021

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PULSAKI, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The RUSH Late Model Series is bringing back and enhancing their ‘Track Pack’ program for 2021.

The ‘Track Pack’ program debuted in 2016 and continued through the 2019 season before the COVID-19 pandemic suspended the program in 2020. Each of those four years, $800 was split amongst the top five RUSH members with $300 to the champion at each RUSH weekly-sanctioned track.

In 2021 RUSH Late Model weekly-sanctioned tracks top-six will share in $2,500!  RUSH weekly member racers will accumulate points at each event and at the end of the year the top six in member points will split $2,500 with $1000 going to the champion followed by $500, $400, $300, $200, $100 for positions 2-through-6. These monies will be awarded over and above any other championship monies drivers will receive.

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“We’ve always known the strength of RUSH lays within our weekly tracks and the racers who support them,” said RUSH Director Vicki Emig. “During the pandemic, the average car counts at our weekly tracks were very impressive as most all tracks increased. In the past the ‘Summer Chase’ gave just 10 racers additional monies, but we feel by taking that money and adding another approximate $14,000 to the ‘Track Pack’ we can allow substantially more racers the ability to take home additional weekly monies at the end of the year.”

Prior to COVID-19 RUSH had announced the Touring Series Championship point fund would double to $35,500 with a record $12,000 going to the champion! This will now take place in 2021. The Touring Series schedule continues to come together and is expected to be similar to 2020’s before the pandemic.

The 2021 season is expected to be the richest in RUSH Racing Series history, which includes the RUSH Late Models, Sprint Cars, Sportsman Modifieds and Pro Mods, with additional programs and events planned throughout.

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