LEETSDALE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Daryl Charlier grew up in a racing family, so it is not hard to see where his passion for the sport originates.
“I’m a third-generation driver,” Charlier told The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast. “My grandfather raced at Heidelberg when it was up and running and Clinton and places like that. My Dad has also been traveling around the country racing, primarily at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway since they opened in 1979, so I was born into it I guess.”
Charlier didn’t start racing until he was 18-years-old and his father was reluctant to let him climb behind the wheel.
“Honestly he didn’t want me to do it,” said Charlier. “I think he kind of wanted me to stay out of it and it was my grandfather who pushed him along to build me a car and finally get me into the seat.”
Charlier ran a limited schedule in 2019 and hopes to run a little bit more in 2020.
“I started a business in late 2018 and that kind of took up a lot of my time, especially since we’re open 7-days-a-week,” said Charlier. “I ended up selling a car, becoming good friends with the car owner and I got to drive the car every once in a while at some of the bigger shows, which was fun and I also raced a little bit for some old family friends that had a street stock and we got to travel around with the Pitt Ohio series and do some racing. We got another car and I hope to do some racing under our own program this year.”
The business Charlier started is fueled by his passion for racing and a trip out of Pennsylvania got Charlier thinking about how to pull it off.
“We did a trip back in 2008 down to Florida,” said Charlier. “We experienced our first indoor karting facility. At the time there was nothing in Pittsburgh like that and we were thinking ‘why are they doing it where it’s nice, let’s do it where it’s cold’, so that’s what we went to do and we’ve been working on it for the past 10 years to try to make that dream happen.”
That dream is Three Rivers Karting on Route 65 in the Leetsdale Industrial Park. Three Rivers Karting has been open for just over a year and Charlier is hoping local racers, race fans and sports fans take a day to come out to the facility for some fun.
“Anybody off the street, as long as they are 10-years-old, 54-inches tall, they can come in Monday through Sunday and they could basically purchase a package and they get to go out and race,” said Charlier.
The easiest option is the “Arrive & Race” package. Anyone meeting the above criteria can purchase anywhere between 1 and 10-races. The more races you buy, the less expensive it is and you don’t have to use all of the races in one visit. Three Rivers Karting also has monthly specials and gift cards are also available.
Three Rivers Karting also is a great place for businesses looking to entertain clients or to hold a team building activity.
“We love doing corporate events,” said Charlier. “We can fit up to 500 people in our facility, so we can handle pretty sizable ones. We have different conference rooms for different sizes and we have a beautiful mezzanine that overlooks the racetrack. I think we’re probably one of the only facilities in the tri-state area that actually has a second floor that looks down onto the racetrack which is super cool.”
Charlier says their corporate events are different than just going and jumping into a go-kart and turning laps.
“We do some very creative things that I would like to think that we do better than maybe some other facilities as far as team building activities,” said Charlier. “We have some fun challenges where we put soccer balls in front of the go karts and people had to drive around and you can’t drop the soccer ball. “We’ve done triathlons where we break the groups up into teams and are competing against each other for best time and different things. One of the most interesting ones we do we have is a blindfold challenge where drivers are blindfolded and then a coworker guides them around the track and then the team who has the fastest time wins.”
In addition to corporate outings Three Rivers Karting can also hold Birthday Parties for Teens and Adults as well as Bachelor Parties or other special events.
“What’s beautiful is we customize everything to whatever the person wants,” said Charlier. “Whether they want one race or they want 10 races. If they’re coming by themselves or if it’s a group of 150-people, we work with everybody to customize an event that they can afford and more importantly they can enjoy.”
Charlier is enjoying mentoring drivers in a couple of the leagues at the facility. Experienced karters will enjoy the Three Rivers Karting Adult League and Junior Leagues. Inexperienced youngsters can learn how to race at the facilities Junior Camp.
One member of Three Rivers Karting’s adult league is going to get a chance to compete with other karters for a $10,000-grand prize later this year.
“We’re part of an organization that has 20-facilities in the country that are competing in the American Kart Championship League and the winner of our summer League not only will represent us here at Three Rivers Karting, but will represent Pittsburgh and they will go to Jacksonville to race against the other facilities for $10,000 which is a huge chunk of change for just doing some casual karting.”
Click The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast to hear the complete interview with Daryl Charlier.
All Star Circuit of Champions returning to Lernerville Speedway for 2-events including Don Martin Memorial
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) is returning to Lernerville Speedway in 2022 for two nights of action including the Don Martin Memorial XXXI.
The All-Stars will make their first appearance at ‘The Action Track’ on Friday, April 29. The appearance will mark the series return to Lernerville for the first time since 2019 as COVID-19 cancelled their 2020 appearance and rain washed out this year’s visit.
On July 6th the All-Stars will return for the $25,000-to-win ‘Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXXI’, one of the most prestigious Sprint Car events in the history of the sport.
“We’re very excited to bring in the All-Stars and their thrilling brand of high-level Sprint Car racing” said Lernerville Speedway General Manager Mike Lysakowski said in a statement. “I have always been a fan of the All-Stars and for 2022, we had more freedom in choosing a date for this year’s Silver Cup. We believe we have chosen a date that is very conducive to bringing both national and regional Sprint Car aces to Lernerville.”
Western PA Speedweek to return in 2022
SHIPPENVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Western PA Speedweek is returning for 2022 following a successful reboot earlier this year.
The five consecutive nights of winged 410 Sprint Car action will see the best regional drivers vying for an A-Main feature purse that is increasing to $14,000 with $3,000 going to the winner each night and a $300 minimum to start!
The action takes place Wednesday, June 1st through Sunday, June 5th at 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), with the round-trip total clocking in at exactly 259 miles from beginning to end.
The group time trial format used last season was extremely popular with both drivers and fans alike, and will also be utilized again in 2022.
Ryan Smith of Fleetwood, PA is the defending Speedweek Champion after winning two features and a podium in three events in 2021.
Lernerville Speedway not on World of Outlaws schedule in 2022
SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Lernerville Speedway, a fixture on the World of Outlaws tour since their inception in 1978, is not on the Outlaws schedule for 2022. The fate of the Don Martin Silver Cup is unknown at this time.
Lernerville officials were planning for two NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car events as well as a World of Outlaws Late Model event for 2022 and were shocked and surprised when the schedule was released on Monday.
Pittsburgh Racing Now has reached out to World Racing Group, the parent company of the World of Outlaws, for comment but have not received a response as of publication.