PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The resurgence of auto racing continues in the mid-state region, as Selinsgrove Speedway and BAPS Speedway joined Lincoln Speedway in hosting events. All three will be in action again this weekend, with double headers slated for Selinsgrove and BAPS.
After spending Friday and Saturday competing with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, Kyle Reinhardt made the 15 hour drive from Missouri to finish the weekend at Selinsgrove Speedway. But, he didn’t just finish the race, he dominated it! Reinhardt, who relocated to Hanover from New Jersey last season, took command on lap 6 and led the rest of the way.
Third-generation driver Freddie Rahmer started on the pole and led the first five rounds at the big, fast half mile. Reinhardt was close, especially following a lap two restart when he threw a slide job at Rahmer in turn one. Reinhardt repeated the maneuver, on the lap five restart, but both times Rahmer rallied to regain the lead. So, Reinhardt tried again at the other end of the track. A slider in three did not stick, but Reinhardt came back in turn four and that proved to be the winning move.
Rahmer continued in second, but he was soon facing pressure from Steve Buckwalter and Logan Wagner. Buckwalter did take second, but in the final laps of the race, Ryan Smith came to life. He charged into second in the final rounds. Also coming on at the end of the race was Selinsgrove’s own Blaine Heimbach. He made it up to fourth at the finish. Chad Layton rounded out the top five.
Wagner was sixth. Rahmer fell back to seventh in the final tally. Dylan Cisney, Kyle Moody, and Lucas Wolfe completed the top ten.
Three heats were held for the 26 410-Sprinters. Reinhardt, Buckwalter, and Smith prevailed. Rahmer was the fastest qualifier on the night, as just two cars broke into the sixteen second bracket.
Curtis Lawton was declared the winner in the Roadrunners when Will Brunson was disqualified in post-race tech. Brunson had led the entire race. Scored in second was Dustin Snook, followed by Jake Jones, John Schreffler, and Scott Dunham.
The night before, Selinsgrove got its first Super Late Model race into the books. The “dork from York,” Rick Eckert, led Gregg Satterlee to the checkers. Jim Yoder, Jeff Rine, and Alex Ferree were in the top five. Jared Miley, Matt Lux, Coleby Frye, Dave Brouse, Jr. and Chris Casner were sixth through tenth. A banner filed of PASS 305s were on hand as well. Christian Rumsey topped Landon price, Dave Graber, Kassidy Kreitz, and Devin Adams. Western PA 305 racers Jacob Gomola (seventh), Chase Metheny (ninth), and Kyle Colwell (eightteenth) were also on hand.
Selinsgrove will host the 410 Sprints and Limited Late Models this Friday, with racing starting at 8 p.m. The Saturday card will mark the season debut in the northeast for the 360 Sprint Cars contesting the Joe Whitcomb Memorial. The Patriot Sprint Tour will be in for the event, so there will be plenty of 360 talent on the grounds. Also in action will be the Pennsylvania Sprint Series 305 Sprints and Roadruners. Racing Saturday will begin at 7 p.m.
Trout, No Doubt
Lincoln Speedway had its first 410/358 program on Saturday. Chad Trout, of Dover, PA, romped to the win in the 410 Sprints, and Todd Rittenhouse, Jr. did likewise against his 358 Sprint foes.
Trout jumped into the early lead with Brandon Rahmer and Gerard McIntyre, Jr. trailing. They were both eliminated following a restart on lap 20. They got together between turns one and two and their cars tipped over. Ironically, that restart was required when seven-time track champion Brian Montieth flipped in turn four. None of the drivers were injured.
Freddie Rahmer inherited the second spot, which he maintained to the finish. Tim Wagaman, Chase Dietz, and Tim Glatfelter were thrird through fifth. Positions six through ten went to Steve Buckwalter, Lucas Wolfe, Billy Dietrich, Alan Krimes, and Tyler Bear. Dan Shetler (twelfth) and A.J. Flick (fourteenth) carried the colors for Western PA.
Heat wins for the 46 car in attendance went to Dietz, McIntyre, Trout, and Glatfelter. Todd Gracey copped the C Main, and Robert Ballou was best in the B. Tyler Walton was the night’s fastest qualifier, He turned in a lap of 15.395 seconds. Freddie Rahmer was tops in the B group, at 15.793.
In the 358 Sprints, Rittenhouse led Steve Ownings to the checkers. Brett Wanner challenged early for the lead, but faded to third. Ashley Cappetta and Tyler Ross were fourth and fifth. Heat winners were Wanner, Scott Fisher, and Ross. There were 30 358 Sprints registered for the race.
Lincoln will race again this Saturday, starting at 7:30. It will be the first full point events since the shutdowns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BAPS Speedway, located near York, will host the Greg Hodnett Foundation race this Thursday. The race honors the memory of the Hall of Fame driver who lost his life at the speedway. The 410 Sprints will race along with the Super Sportsmen. Gates will open at 5 and racing will be at 7. Saturday, BAPS will have the 358 Modifieds with the same times in effect.
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.