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Weekend Racing Roundup: Weaver Gets 1st Career Win and 2-Nights of Racing At Sharon

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Steve Skarupa Photography

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A big weekend of racing in the Tri-State area saw a first-time winner and some familiar names in victory lane.

Jeremy Weaver picked up his first-career RUSH Sprint Car Series victory Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. Weaver started second in the 20-lap feature on the outside of pole-sitter David Hawkins with Brian Ruhlman and Zach Morrow making up the second row.

Weaver grabbed the early lead with Morrow moving up to second place on lap three as Hawkins fell to third and Ruhlman back in fourth. The lead-pack cars encountered lap traffic on lap 15 but Weaver was able to work his way through the traffic to pick up his first-career victory. Morrow continued his strong season finishing second followed by Hawkins.

  1. Jeremy Weaver
  2. Zach Morrow
  3. David Hawkins
  4. Brian Ruhlman
  5. Brian Hartzell
  6. Steve Pedley
  7. Greg Beach
  8. Matt Sherlock III

 

Justin Lamb took home the checkered flag in the Diehl Automotive RUSH Late Model Dirt Series feature Saturday night at PPMS. Lamb started on the pole with Daryl Charlier on the outside of the front row. Christian Schneider started third and Ron Hall qualified fourth. The caution flag flew quickly shortly after the green flag fell. On the restart Lamb led Schneider and Charlier as Ben Policz survived the early mayhem to move into the third spot. Caution came out on lap 5 and on the restart Policz moved up to second place and Tommy Schirnhofer worked his way into the top 3.

Policz took the stop spot on lap 9 and he held the lead at halfway of the 20-lap feature with Lamb in second, Schirnhofer in third, Charlier in fourth and Schneider in fifth. Caution came out on lap 14 and on the restart, Lamb got back out front with Policz in second. Policz took the lead back on the next lap and held the lead until the caution flag flew two laps from the end for oil on the track from Schneider’s car. A two-lap shootout ensued with Lamb taking the lead at the line followed by Policz with Schirnhofer in third place.

  1. Justin Lamb
  2. Ben Policz
  3. Tommy Schirnhofer
  4. John Mollick
  5. Zach Gunn
  6. Ryan Frazee
  7. Daryl Charlier
  8. Braeden Dillinger
  9. Bill Kessler
  10. Christian Schneider
  11. Paul Jablonski
  12. Brian Goebel
  13. Ron Hall
  14. Pete Wearing
  15. Scott Gunn
  16. Eric Hamilton Jr.

 

Nick Kocuba grabbed his first win of the season in the PPMS Pro Stocks feature. Kocuba started on the outside of the front row alongside pole-sitter Chase Lambert. Bill Slade started in third and Danny Rich started on the outside of row two. Kocuba grabbed the early lead followed by Rich in second place. Disaster struck for Rich on lap three when his car came to a stop between turns three and four. Kocuba retained the lead on the restart with A.J. Poljack moving into second place on lap 7 followed by Daryl Charlier, Dave McManus and Lambert. Lap 12 saw the caution come out for Lambert, who was able to continue. The restart found Kocuba back out front followed by Charlier, Poljak, McManus and Heath Close, who moved into the top 5. Kocuba would hold on to grab his first PPMS win of the season.

  1. Nick Kocuba
  2. Daryl Charlier
  3. A.J. Poljak
  4. Dave McManus
  5. Heath Close
  6. Bill Slade
  7. Chase Lambert
  8. Danny Rich

 

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Sharon Speedway held two nights of racing as the “Apple Festival Nationals” took place on Friday and Saturday nights.

Trevor Baker picked up his first career Sharon Speedway victory taking the checkered flag in the “410” Sprint Car feature. Baker started on the pole position and nearly made contact with Carl Bowser trying to get to the high side going into turn one with Dan Kuriger in third followed by Jimmy Morris III and two-time Lernerville Champion Jack Sodeman Jr.

The caution flag flew with seven laps completed when Steve Haefke Jr slowed on the track. Baker jumped back out front when the green flag dropped but Bowser kept charging getting to Bakers tail by lap 14. The pair battled side-by-side, trading slide jobs on laps 16 and 17 with Baker maintaining the lead when the caution flag flew with 17-laps completed for Sodeman, who blew a right-rear tire.

Baker got back out front on the restart and held off Bowser over the final 13-laps for the 0.753-seconds victory, just Baker’s second in his young career. Kuriger rounded out the podium in third.

  1. Trevor Baker
  2. Carl Bowser
  3. Dan Kuriger
  4. Michael Bauer
  5. Dan McCarron
  6. Adam Kekich
  7. Jimmy Morris III
  8. Frankie Nervo
  9. Darren Pifer
  10. Jeremy Kornbau
  11. Darin Gallagher
  12. Russ Sansosti
  13. Eric L. Williams
  14. Gale Ruth
  15. Sye Lunch
  16. Jack Sodeman Jr.
  17. Dave Blaney
  18. Steve Haefke Jr.
  19. Bob Lime

 

Rex King Jr. made it two-for-two Friday night at Sharon holding off Garrett Krummert to take the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modified win. King also won the “Lou Blaney Memorial” back in July. King took the lead away from Krummert on a restart following a lap 13 caution. Krummert chose the high side for the double-file restart, leaving King the inside line. King took the lead down low in turns one and two as Krummert had to deal with Jeremiah Shingledecker who was charging hard from third. King Jr. was too strong over the final 12-laps as he picked up his 27th career win.

  1. Rex King Jr.
  2. Garrett Krummert
  3. Jeremiah Shingledecker
  4. Rex King
  5. Will Thomas III
  6. Kevin Hoffman
  7. Skip Moore
  8. John Mollick
  9. Brandon Michaud
  10. Bill Adams
  11. Mike Turner
  12. Rick Regalski Jr.
  13. Clude Gumpp
  14. Mark Frankhouser
  15. Jim Rasey
  16. Kevin Green

 

Chad Ruhlman grabbed the RUSH Spring Car win Friday night as Sharon, holding off his brother Brian in the 20-lap feature. Chad Ruhlman started on the pole and rookie Matt Sherlock started on the outside. Brian Ruhlman got around Sherlock on the start with Jeremy Weaver and Sherlock battling it out for third. Brian Woodhall, who started sixth, drove around Shawn Smith and Sherlock on the outside to grab the fourth spot on lap four. Zach Morrow moved into the top 5 on lap 5 after starting eighth.

The battle was on for third midway through the feature as Weaver was trying to hold off Woodhall, Morrow and a hard-charging Brad Blackshear, who had moved up from this tenth starting position. Blackshear’s charge ended when he got into the fence on lap 12, bringing out the events one and only caution flag.

Chad Ruhlman jumped back out front on the restart followed by his brother as Woodhall and Weaver traded slide jobs for third, with Woodhall getting the spot-on lap 16. Morrow got by Weaver for fourth on lap 18 as Chad Ruhlman continued to set the pace out front, beating Brian Ruhlman by 0.480-seconds to take the win.

  1. Chad Ruhlman
  2. Brian Ruhlman
  3. Brian Woodhall
  4. Zach Morrow
  5. Jeremy Weaver
  6. Brandon Blackshear
  7. Andy Feil
  8. Shawn Smith
  9. Steve Pedley
  10. Matt Sherlock III
  11. Ryan Fraley
  12. Brian Hartzell
  13. Greg Beach
  14. Dave Hawkins
  15. Arnie Kent
  16. Tyler Powell
  17. Brad Blackshear
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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

Three Rivers Karting

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.”

Three Rivers Karting

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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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.”

Three Rivers Karting

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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