PULASKI, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The RUSH Racing Series is expanding in 2020 by adding a new Karting Series.
RUSH is bringing the same structured, cost-containment concept that has flourished on the dirt in the RUSH Late Model, Sprint Car, Sportsman Modified, Pro Mod, and Pro Stock divisions – along with four classes on the asphalt – to the world of Go-Kart racing.
The four classes for 2020 will include: an Amateur/Rookie for five to seven year olds or eight year olds with no experience; a Jr 1 for kids 8-11 years of age; a Jr 2 for kids 12-15 years of age, and an Adult Flat class for those 16 and older. Area speedways have the option of not only choosing which classes to run at their facility, but also if they wish to run each individual children’s class as a flat or cage cart.
“Over the past few years we’ve been approached by several people in various capacities of karting about the possibility of getting involved in kart racing,” said RUSH Racing Series Director Vicki Emig. “The RUSH Karting Series technical rules package, championship programs, and promotional efforts will very closely mirror our big car division’s templates,” added Emig. “We’re not afraid to start from zero, be patient, and let the program develop to its full potential; we’ve done it before. We’ve seen our big car programs grow from an original $10,000 point fund to what now exceeds over $250,000 of cash and valuable product that will be awarded to RUSH racers for their efforts in 2020. There’s no reason the RUSH Karting program cannot grow and flourish in the same way in the future!”
The RUSH Karting Series technical rules package will feature a RUSH Kart sealed engine (212 cc) that will be available at Precise Racing Products (Sarver, Pa.) and select distributors; spec Hoosier slick racing tires with no tire treatment permitted; and RUSH 91 spec fuel. The complete 2020 rules package will be released soon.
Hoosier Racing Tires is working in conjunction with RUSH to bring the Karting Series to life.
“Hoosier Tire is excited to partner with the RUSH Karting Series that will feature spec Hoosier slick racing tires,” stated Hoosier Racing Tire’s Oval Kart Product Manager Chad Wright. “Vicki and Mike (Leone, RUSH Racing Series Director) have always been successful with all of their endeavors with the RUSH Racing Series, and we can’t wait to watch their success in karting. It’s been a great partnership throughout the years with their big car programs and we’re really looking forward to joining their efforts in the world of karting!”
Six area race tracks have signed-on, so far, to feature the RUSH Karting Series. Those tracks include: Blanket Hill Speedway in Kittanning, PA; Lockhart Motorsports Park in Seneca, PA; Pittsfield Championship Karting in Pittsfield, PA; Shaffer Speedway in Aliquippa, PA, which is owned by Sprint Car great Tim Shaffer; Slippery Rock Raceway in Slippery Rock, PA; and Stateline Speedway in Busti, NY.
“Pittsfield’s promoter Tim Kays was a former racer himself and has stayed closely in tune with the RUSH Late Models and Pro Mods at nearby Stateline Speedway’s big track,” said Emig. “The one really neat aspect is that all six track promoters really understand how the RUSH program has worked at the big tracks, and how that very same concept can and will be beneficial to kart racing.”
Racers and tracks interested in the RUSH Karting Series are encouraged to email the series at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the Series email contact list as more information will be released in the coming weeks.
Indy Autonomous Challenge Race Car Unveiled
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.”
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.
Racing Notebook: Kellett Returning to A.J. Foyt For ’21; U.S. Motorsports Association Forms Leadership Council Plus Extreme E
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.
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.
RUSH Late Model Series Enhancing ‘Track Pack’ Program For 2021
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.
“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.