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.
Michael Norris wins night two of Bill Hendren Memorial at PPMS
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Michael Norris doesn’t race every week at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway but ‘The Crusher Kid’ may want to add a few more visits to dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’ in 2022 after winning the feature in night 2 of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’.
Norris’ victory was his 2nd straight RUSH Late Model Touring Series win at PPMS and third in four events. Norris also won the ‘Jook George Steel City Classic’ in August and in 2020.
“Kyle (Lukon) got out there and was setting a pretty good pace,” said Norris. “I kind of got in line behind him and didn’t know if I had anything for him in clean air, but I figured once we got to lapped traffic we’d see what we’re both made of.”
Norris made his move on lap 11 and passed Lukon for the lead. Norris masterfully worked lap traffic over the remaining laps to capture the checkered flag and another win in a signature local event.
“It means a lot to win these memorials,” said Norris. “Any memorial means the person was pretty significant and were pioneers in the sport. I appreciate you guys putting this on, and I just love coming here any chance I get- I’ll run lawnmowers around here I don’t care.”
Kyle Hardy, Friday night’s winner, tried chasing down Norris over the final 17-laps but settled for second place and the RUSH Late Model Touring points lead.
“I didn’t have anything for Michael,” said Hardy. “We would have liked to have won tonight, but always have the big picture in the back of our minds. Not a bad weekend at all.”
Joe Martin was third for the second straight night. It was Martin’s fifth straight Tour podium finish, 10th straight top six, and 13th top six in the last 14 events as he maintains runner-up in the standings.
“Bill Hendren Memorial” Night 2 (30 laps, $3200 to-win): 1. MICHAEL NORRIS (51) 2. Kyle Hardy (99) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 5. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 6. Logan Zarin (1z) 7. Levi Crowl (5) 8. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 9. Jacob Gunn (14G) 10. Garret Paugh (03) 11. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 12. Bud Watson (225) 13. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 14. Zach Gunn (17G) 15. Tom Klein (77) 16. Tom Duratz (55D) 17. Ryan Frazee (11F) 18. Bill Kessler (09) 19. Kassidy Kamicker (72B) 20. Zach Kane (10) 21. Dan Lepro (2L) 22. Kyle Lukon (184) 23. Cole Petrelle (84) 24. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X).
Non-Qualifier (6 laps, $500 to-win): 1. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 2. Dave Goble (20G). DNS: Nick Love (38), Jeremy Wonderling (3J), Grant Garrison (1), Zach Morrow (Bentz 60), Tim Shaffer (45), Andrew Squatriglia (115).
Macedo Makes History at the Grove
WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (October 2, 2021): Carson Macedo earned his biggest career win in the 59th National Open held at Williams Grove Sppedway. He picked up $75,000, the largest payday ever doled out at the historic venue.
“This is the biggest win of my career,” Macedo said. “This is really cool. When I started coming here, I couldn’t get ahold of this place.” Well, Macedo grabbed control of the race on lap 36 and he did not let go. That was when he made the winning move in turn one, sliding past leader Logan Schuchart. “The lapped cars were holding up Logan. I just drove really hard. I slid across and the wing held me.”
Schuchart, who suffered perhaps the biggest disappointment of his budding career, was philosophical about the outcome. “All in all, two, second place finishes this weekend are pretty good for me. I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me. Carson ran a great race. I thought I could maybe rip the top on him.” But Schuchart’s attempted counter attack never materialized.
Brent Marks had the pole for the 40 lap affair. Schuchart was on his right. Sheldon Haudenschild and David Gravel were in row two. Anthony Macri and Carson Macedo continued the youth movement by starting in row three. Six-time Open champion, Donny Schatz and Justin Peck were in row four. Kasey Kahne and Lance Dewease started in row five, with James McFadden and Brian Brown in the sixth row.
Marks blasted into the lead, followed by Schuchart, Gravel, Macedo, Haudenschild, Macri, and Schatz. Before Marks could build upon his early advantage, a red flag stopped the race after just two laps. Brian Brown spun and collected Daryn Pittman, who turned over from the contact. Freddy Rahmer, Jr. was also involved in the melee. No drivers were injured, but all three were eliminated from the contest.
Marks assumed control again when the race resumed. He began to pull away from Schuchart as the laps clicked off. Marks’ bid for a second win in the Open ended when he got into a lapped car and spun in turn two. He was able to restart the race, but his quest for the victory was over.
That handed the lead to Schuchart. He was able to maintain control for the next twenty-three laps despite a second red flag on lap 12. Robbie Kendall flipped after he tangled with T.J. Stutts between turns one and two. Again, neither driver was hurt, but Kendall was done for the night.
While Schuchart led Macedo, Haudenschild, Macri, and Gravel, the battle was for the sixth spot. Schatz and Dewease were mixing things up until lap 27, when Schatz took the position once and for all.
Schuchart got into traffic and kept his advantage over Macedo. However, in the final ten laps, Macedo began to close on the leader. He made his winning move on lap 35, and led the final four laps. Schuchart made a desperate bid in the final corners, but came up a tad short.
Following Macedo and Schuchart were Haudenschild, Macri, and Gravel. Schatz was sixth. Then came Dewease, Kyle Larson, McFadden, and Brad Sweet.
Macri received a $1,000 bonus for the highest finishing PA Posse driver. Sweet grabbed $559 as the hard charger. He advanced nine positions during the race.
The heat wins were chalked up by Schatz, Macedo, Gravel, and Haudenschild. Dewease set the fast time again, this time topping Group B with a lap of 16.774 seconds. He failed to lock into the dash when Macri swept by him in turn one following a restart with two laps to go in the third heat. The B Main winner was Jacob Allen, and Devon Borden took the checkers in the C Main.
Kyle Hardy wins night one of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’ at PPMS
IMPERIAL, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Hardy picked up his first win at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway by grabbing the feature victory in night one of the ‘Bill Hendren Memorial’.
“What a race- it was super fun out there,” said Hardy. “I can’t thank my crew to get this car so good to where I could steer across the middle of the race track. What a car we’ve had all year.”
Hardy held off PPMS track Champion Daryl Charlier in a thrilling side-by-side battle for several laps around dirt’s ‘Monster Half Mile’.
“If you had a camera or mirror on me you’d have seen how freaked out I was just trying to get where I needed to be to win this thing,” said Hardy.
The victory was not a surprise as Hardy was the runner up when the RUSH Late Model Touring Series visited PPMS twice earlier this season for the ‘Herb Scott Memorial’ and ‘Jook George Steel City Classic’.
Charlier brought it home in second place and earned $1,500 for his efforts.
“If I’m going to finish second I guess I’ll finish second to Kyle Hardy- he’s the top dog in the crates and especially the RUSH Series,” said Charlier.
RUSH Late Model Touring Series “Bill Hendren Memorial” (30 laps, $3000 to-win): 1. KYLE HARDY (99) 2. Daryl Charlier (Centerline 114) 3. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 4. Eddie Carrier, Jr. (Lukon 184X) 5. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 6. Jacob Gunn (14G) 7. Bud Watson (225) 8. Garret Paugh (03) 9. Logan Zarin (1z) 10. Levi Crowl (5) 11. Ray Love, Jr. (08) 12. Zach Kane (10) 13. Michael Reft (9R) 14. Colton Flinner (Chernik 5x) 15. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 16. Tony Musolino (Dobnak 42) 17. Zach Gunn (17G) 18. Kyle Lukon (184) 19. Ryan Frazee (11F) 20. Zach Morrow (Bentz 60) 21. Bill Kessler (09) 22. Justin Kann (66) 23. Philip Bubeck (Tennant 2) 24. Tim Shaffer (45).
DNQ: Dan Lepro (2L), Tom Duratz (55D), Grant Garrison (1), Kassidy Kamicker (72B), Tom Klein (77), Rob Coffaro (24), Dave Goble (20G), Nick Love (38), Noah Brunell (31), Zach Crawford (c4), Ben Policz (14B).