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Daryl Charlier Turns Racing Passion Into A Business

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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.

Three Rivers Karting

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.

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Motorsports Council Of Pennsylvania Aims To Help Grassroots Racing In PA

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BETHEL PARK, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The newly formed Motorsports Council of Pennsylvania is gearing up to help grow grass-roots racing in the Commonwealth.

The Motorsports Council of Pennsylvania (MCP) will support racing with advocacy, education and promotion.

“The mission of the Motorsports Council is to support grassroots racing of all forms across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Motorsports Council of Pennsylvania Executive Director Robert Johnson told The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast.

Those forms include drag racing, motorcycle racing, short track racing (both dirt and pavement) and road course racing.

“It’s time for motorsports to be heard,” said Johnson.  “There are other groups out there.  For example Aviation, they have their own council in Pennsylvania.  Horse racing, they have their own advocacy group.  The focus will be State and Local government affairs and local advocacy.”

Three Rivers Karting

The MCP has several long-team goals including:

  • Promoting the many economic and community benefits of racing.
  • Establishing permanent relationships between Motorsports and Government Officials.
  • Enlisting more public support of grassroots motorsports.

“We want to work better with our County tourism offices across the State and our State tourism bureau,” said Johnson.  “We want to do more promotion of the tracks.  Many of our race tracks across the State are in rural areas, we want to show the benefits the race tracks are having in those rural areas.”

One of the biggest priorities for the MCP is to have an economic impact study done and available for the racing community to utilize prior to the start of the 2021 season

The MCP has already begun identifying funding and tax relief from COVID-19 to support Motorsports tracks, small businesses and other related organizations.

“As Chairman of the Pennsylvania Motorsports Caucus I welcome more input from the racing community”, stated Representative David Maloney (R-Berks). “The Motorsports Council is an excellent idea to support racing.  Pennsylvania has approximately one hundred motorsports facilities and many more businesses which rely on the racing Industry for revenue.”

MCP will be hosting an introductory information call for motorsports organizations Wednesday October 7th at 4:00pm EST. All tracks, businesses, and vendors are encouraged to participate in this call. Visit: RacingPA.com for call information.

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Rahmer Rapid at Williams Grove

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WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (September 25, 2020): Freddie Rahmer, Jr. won the final tune-up at Williams Grove Speedway before the World of Outlaws invasion for the National Open to be held on October 2-3. The win was Rahmer’s third of the season, and him gave him some much-needed breathing room in the points standings. Seeking to regain the track title, Rahmer saw his lead dwindle in recent weeks.

“We got it pretty good from where we were earlier in the summer,” Rahmer noted in Victory Lane. “We are getting close. I don’t know how good I was with the lapped cars. We had a few things go our way tonight.”

One thing that definitely went Rahmer’s way was the dash. His win over Robbie Kendall put him on the pole for the A Main, which Rahmer led from start to finish. T.J. Stutts lined up beside Anthony Macri, who is still searching for his first career win at the speedway. Brian Montieth and Lance Dewease were in row three. Dewease, who is seeking career win 100 at the track, was unable to finish the dash and his crew had to hustle to make repairs before the feature started. Brent Marks and Brian Brown occupied row four, with Chad Trout and Dylan Cisney in row five.

Rahmer jumped out front at the drop of the green for the 25 lap race. He never looked back and he never slowed down, as the race ran without interruption.

Three Rivers Karting

Stutts moved into second on the opening lap, but Kendal got his momentum going on the top, and he was able to take over second just a few laps into the contest. Macri rode along in third, with Brown, Montieth, and Dewease fighting for position. That race within the race would not last for long as Dewease pulled in soon after the halfway mark.

Danny Dietrich, Rahmer’s biggest challenger for the track title, did a 360 in turn two with just a couple of laps remaining. That miscue was costly, as he lost several positions in the running order.

In the final rundown, it was Rahmer over Macri, Marks, Kendall, and Montieth. Stutts led the next quintet, which included Brown, Matt Campbell, Dietrich, and Kyle Reinhardt.

Heat wins went to Rahmer, Dewease, and Macri. The B Main winner was Jeff Halligan. The evening’s fastest qualifier was Stutts, with a lap of 16.629 seconds.

In the 358 Sprint undercard, Derek Locke won the battle and the war. His third season win clinched the track championship. His challenger, Kevin Nouse, led the early stages of the race and went on to second. The 2020 Sportsmanship Award winner, Brett Wanner, was third. Steve Owings and Alyson Dietz were fourth and fifth. Billy Heltzel had a vicious crash at the start of the B Main, and he was transported to a local hospital for observation.

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Lysakowski Named New Lernerville Speedway General Manager

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Stivason Photos/Lernerville Speedway

SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Lernerville Speedway officials announced the hiring of Mike Lysakowski as the new track manager in a podcast after the World of Outlaws Commonwealth Clash on Saturday night. Lysakowski, who takes over on October 1, follows Fr. Tim Tomson, who resigned midway through the Covid-adjusted season to devote more time to his ministry.

Lysakowski first met members of the Tomson family soon after they acquired Lernerville Speedway from the World Racing Group. “They attended the promoter’s workshop and I spent a lot of time with them that first year in between the seminars that I was teaching. I wanted to help introduce them to different people in the industry.”

But, as has been the case with other Tomson business ventures, members of the family took an active role in speedway operations. Hence, the appointment of “Padre,” as he is affectionately called, to be the general manager even though he was not familiar with the quirky world of racing.

“We started talking before Tim left,” Lysakowski said. At that time, he was not looking for a major career move, and the Tomson family was not planning any changes either. “I was talking to them about doing programs for the track.” One of Lysakowsi’s many accomplishments in racing is the production of programs for several Western Pennsylvania facilities under his Motorsport Aspects banner. But, the tenor of the discussions changed after Padre’s unexpected departure.

Other than some one-off appearances on the microphone at area tracks, Lysakowski noted that he has never had a racing job so close to his home in New Castle, PA. Most recently, he served as general manager at Jennerstown Speedway and as the announcer at Tri-City Raceway Park.

Three Rivers Karting

Lysakowski was unsure how he would adjust his busy schedule. However, he was emphatic that Lernerville Speedway would be his “first priority,” and that he planned to devote his full-time attention to it. “I will be in the office five days a week, 52 weeks per year.”

Lysakowski did concede that he will cut down on his travel. For years, he traveled far and wide to broadcast races or to call the action. “I don’t want to be on the road traveling any more. It’s OK when you are young and looking for opportunities.”

Lysakowski was appreciative that there would be a few more weeks of racing at the Action Track so that he could familiarize himself with the ownership group, the staff, and the facility. “I have been coming to Lernerville since I was a child. I grew up in the grandstands here.” Lysakowski was proud that, on report card day, his good grades in school would give him more leverage with his parents to attend the weekly programs. His attendance at Lernerville declined as he began working in motorsports media and promotion. But, “I was still coming to Lernerville as a fan.” He knows that things will be different now.

“This is a place that doesn’t need change,” Lysakowski said. He has been in that situation before, when racing series or speedways would reach out to him to rehabilitate their images or improve their attendance or programs. “Everything is on the right course here. I’ve been brought into so many series or places that needed change. This bus doesn’t need a mechanic, it needs a driver,” he summed up.

Lysakowski added, “I don’t see challenges here, I see opportunities for growth.” He plans to use his contacts to the Butler area business community to help promote the speedway. He has established relationships with the Butler Chamber of Commerce and he was a founding member of the Butler Young Professionals, “back when I was young and professional,” he said with a laugh. He believes that his contacts and his enthusiasm can help bring new fans to the speedway.

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