HARTFORD, OH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops program is coming to Sharon Speedway for the first time in 2020.
The event honors one of open wheel racing’s most loyal and dedicated supporters – the late Justin Snyder – and is a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity and veterans service organization that offers a variety of benefits to veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness or wound while serving in the military on or after September 11, 2001.
The program will be part of a must-see weekend that now features the 12th Annual Lou Blaney Memorial and the Salute to the Troops on back-to-back days, each sanctioned by the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1.
The Lou Blaney Memorial, and it’s $6,000-to-win prize takes place Saturday, July 11 with the fifth annual Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops event, awarding a $6,000 top prize, taking place the next day Sunday, July 12.
“It just seemed very fitting for me to keep this going by bringing the race to Sharon Speedway,” said Derek Snyder, older brother of the late Justin Snyder and the Executive Manager & Partner of Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC. “This is something I believe my brother would be incredibly proud of. I’m so grateful for our family’s relationship with Lou and Kate Blaney over the years. I wanted to be certain that I had Kate’s blessing prior to even considering this move and date. Thankfully, she obliged.”
BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Pennsylvania played host to the first four editions of the event. Danny Dietrich picked up the inaugural, unsanctioned event win in 2016. The All Star Circuit of Champions sanctioned editions two through four with the late Greg Hodnett winning in 2017. Three-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart captured the checkered flag in 2018, with Gerard McIntrye, Jr. winning the most recent contest in 2019.
Fans are encouraged to monitor the track website, www.sharonspeedway.com, as well as social media outlets for gate times, ticket prices and more news and information pertaining to Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops program.
Fans unable to make the journey to Sharon Speedway for Lou Blaney Memorial and Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops weekend can still witness the events online, live exclusively at FloRacing. To access live coverage visit www.floracing.com and become an annual PRwO subscriber. The subscription unlocks access to premium content across the entire FloSports network.
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: https://forms.gle/XWTehM4nsKGfzTC58
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.
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.”
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.
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.