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Central PA Weekend Racing Report

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Williams Grove Speedway

By Louis Long for Pittsburgh Racing Now

Amid speculation that the threat of caronavirus would cause a halt to dirt track racing, three Central PA speedplants completed their programs. The 410 Sprint Car division was the center of attention at all three speedways, with Super Late Models and Legends Cars in the mix as well.

Lincoln Speedway: Alan Krimes and Joe Ryan Osborne

Steady Alan Krimes was the fourth and final driver to lead the feature for the 410 Sprint Cars. He inherited the lead from Ryan Smith with five laps to go in the matinee show, when Smith tangled with a lapped car and spun to the inside of the track midway down the backstretch.

Cale Thomas led the early going and it looked as though the Indiana driver might notch his first win in Posse land. But Thomas bent his right rear wheel when he struck the wall coming through turn four with seven laps in the books. Thomas was attempting to avoid the overturned car of Dylan Norris at the time.

That handed the lead to Jimmy Siegel. Siegel led the next eleven rounds. Toward the end of his tenure as the race leader, Siegel was being chased by Smith. Siegel was using a pick maneuver to pin Smith behind a lapped car. While that strategy worked for a couple of laps, it backfired on Siegel once. The lapper came up the track a bit in turn one and that slowed his momentum in the middle groove. It also opened the inside lane for Smith, who scooted past with ease.

Smith’s misfortune came just two laps later. He was trying to put Thomas a lap down when the incident occurred.

Krimes was able to complete the rest of the race without incident. Siegel held on for second. Then came the Rahmer brothers, first Freddie and then Brandon, who sits atop the track points standings. Brian Montieth was fifth. Adam Wilt, Billy Dietrich, Scott Fisher, Chad Trout, and Tyler Walton completed the top ten.

Joe Ryan Osborne made the long tow from North Carolina pay off, as he was victorious in the Legends Car undercard. Surprisingly, it was only his fourth start on a dirt surface. Brian Racine, Bill Diehl, Zachary Settle, and Chris Transeau rounded out the top five. Chandler Pagnotta had a horrific crash on the frontstretch in his B Main, but he was unhurt.

There were 24 Sprints and 39 Legends Cars on hand.

Lincoln will return to action this Saturday with a 6 p.m. start. On the card will be 410 and 358 Sprint Cars.

Port Royal: Lance Dewease and Donnie Lingo

To the north, Port Royal dropped the green with a 4 p.m. start, making it impossible for any of the Sprint Car racers to try the double.

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Lance Dewease led wire to wire in the the non-stop 25 lapper for the 410 Sprint Cars. Dewease started on the pole and had a lead of almost nine seconds late in the race. The victory was number 113 for the Hall of Fame driver. Two-time and defending track champ Logan Wagner was a distant second. Danny Dietrich, Lucas Wolfe, and Mike Wagner completed the top five. Then came Brock Zearfoss, Jeff Halligan, Brent Marks, Blane Heimbach, and Kody Lehman.

A.J. Flick was eleventh in his second start at the Port this season. George Hobaugh, Jr. retired early and was scored in twenty-second. Not making the show were Brent and Brandon Matus, and Jonathan Jones.

Donnie Lingo led his fellow first stater, Ross Robinson, to the checkers in the Late Model go. Opening day winner, Trevor Feathers, was third. Mike Lupfer and Tim Smith, Jr. were fourth and fifth. Scott Flickinger, teenager Drake Troutman, Dan Stone, Dylan Yoder, and Colton Flinner were the next five finishers.

There were 33 Sprints and 29 Late Models signed in.

Port Royal has a two-day event this coming weekend. Sprints and ULMS Late Models will be on tap Saturday at 4 p.m. The ULMS Late Models will be joined by the Short Track Super Series Modifieds Sunday, with a 2 p.m. start.

Williams Grove: Carson Macedo

For the second week in a row, a California driver reached victory lane in the midstate. This time, it was World of Outlaws driver Carson Macedo who claimed the victory, his first ever at Williams Grove Speedway. Macedo was slated to race with the WoO in Texas, but when that event was cancelled due to the caronavirus pandemic, his team headed north for some action.

Macedo took the lead away from Ryan Smith, who led from the start. Smith had some bad luck in this contest as well, getting into a slower machine and having his nose wing collapse.

Danny Dietrich chased Macedo to the finish. Lance Dewease brought his wounded car home in third. Dewease started fourteenth and had one of the fastest cars on the track in the first half of the contest. Brent Marks and Smith were the next finishers.

Freddie Rahmer, Gerard McIntyre, Jr., Brian Montieth, Anthony Macri, and Rick Lafferty held down positions six through ten.

George Hobaugh, Jr. won his heat and logged a top fifteen run in the feature. Brandon Matus held off Dewease to earn a pill draw finish for his heat, but he dropped out after going a lap down in the feature. Brent Matus was sixth in the B Main and did not make the big dance.

There were 32 cars in the pits.

Williams Grove will have its first night show this Friday, with 410 Sprints and the ULMS Late Models.

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IndyCar

Indy Autonomous Challenge Race Car Unveiled

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Indy Autonomous Challenge/Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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.”

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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.

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IndyCar

Racing Notebook: Kellett Returning to A.J. Foyt For ’21; U.S. Motorsports Association Forms Leadership Council Plus Extreme E

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A.J. Foyt Racing

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.
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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.

Extreme E names Race and Sporting Directors as their inaugural 2021 season approaches.

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Local Racing

RUSH Late Model Series Enhancing ‘Track Pack’ Program For 2021

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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.

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“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.

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