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Championship Night At Lernerville Speedway



John Stivason/Stivason Photos

SARVER, PA – (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Three track championships on tap Friday night at Lernerville Speedway as Fab4 Racing takes to The Action Track.

The tightest points battle is in the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modified division where seven-time Champion Brian Swartzlander and two-time Champion Rex King Jr. enter the night tied in points.  Rex King is also still in the title hunt only 14-points back.  Dave Murdick sits in fourth place 23-points back.

Diehl Automotive Big Block Modifieds:

  1. Brian Swartzlander – 351
  2. Rex King Jr. – 351
  3. Rex King – 337
  4. Dave Murdick – 328
  5. Garrett Krummert – 312

The Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stocks division is also ultra-tight.  Tyler Dietz carries a five-point lead into action over second place and defending Champion Corey McPherson.  Third place Joey Zambotti still has a shot at the Championship as he is only 18-points back.

Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stocks:

  1. Tyler Dietz – 357
  2. Corey McPherson – 352
  3. Joey Zambotti – 339
  4. Ryan Moyer – 326

Three drivers are battling for the Peoples Natural Gas DIRTcar Sprints division.  2016 Champion Jack Sodeman Jr comes into the fight with an 11-point lead over Carl Bowser (pictured above).  Don’t count out AJ Flick who sits 17-ponts out of the top spot.

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Peoples Natural Gas DIRTcar Sprints:

  1. Jack Sodeman Jr. – 329
  2. Carl Bowser – 318
  3. AJ Flick – 312

Congratulations to Ken Schaltenbrand who won the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model Championship last Friday night.  The battle tonight is for second and third place.  Jared Miley sits in second place, five-points ahead of third place Tyler Dietz. Mike Miller sits in fourth place followed by Colton Flinner and Kelvin Kohan.  Expect a fierce battle as any of those five drivers has a mathematical shot for the runner-up spot.

Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models:

  1. Ken Schaltenbrand – 316
  2. Jared Miley – 259
  3. Tyler Dietz – 254
  4. Mike Miller – 249
  5. Colton Flinner – 241
  6. Kelvin Kohan – 237

Fans will be treated to fireworks following the racing courtesy of Butler County Tourism.

The Lernerville Kids Club will be holding a candy scramble and will also lead the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Kids Club meets at 6:30 p.m. under the turn four grandstands and is free for all children.

Pits open at 4 PM with the grandstands opening at 5 PM.  Racing starts at 7:30 PM.

Adult general admission is $15, $12 for Seniors, $10 for students ages 11-17 and children 10 and under receive free admission.

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Local Racing

Pennsylvania Racing Economic Impact Surveys Released



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:

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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:

Marketing and media professionals have a survey that the MCP is asking them to complete.  Here is a link to that survey:

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:

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



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



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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