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Cisney and Rittenhouse Win Again at Lincoln Speedway

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Photo Lincoln Speedway

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Dylan Cisney and Todd Rittenhouse, Jr. each picked up their second victories of the season at Lincoln Speedway, becoming the first drivers in their respective classes to score again.

Despite his uncharacteristic success at Lincoln Spedway, Cisney announced that he will be returning to his home track, Port Royal Speedway, for a doubleheader to be held June 13 and 14. Cisney lives within walking distance of that track. He plans to return to Lincoln Speedway for the pair of shows to be held during Speedweek and for other special events over the remainder of the season.

Cisney had the benefit of starting on the front row of the feature event for the 410 Sprint Cars. He was paired up with Glenndon Forsythe. Dalton Dietrich and Kyle Norris lined up behind them. Troy Wagaman, Jr. and Kyle Moody were in the thrird row, followed by Tyler Dalton and Tim Wagaman. Brandon Rahmer and Tim Glatfelter had dibs on row five.

Cisney bolted out to the lead over Forsythe, Dietrich, and Troy Wagaman, but the first lap did not count as there was a massive pile-up at the rear of the field when the leaders were crossing the line. Last week’s winner, Brian Motieth was involved, along with Scott Fisher, Jim Siegel, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., and Chad Trout. All but Trout were able to continue.

On the second attempt to go green, Cisney took command. Forsythe trailed him. Dalton Dietrich again rode along in third, but Norris moved ahead of Troy Wagaman. Moody, Walton, Tim Wagaman, Brandon Rahmer, and Billy Dietrich were also in the hunt.

Cisney stretched out his lead to more than two seconds before reaching the slower cars on lap nine. Forsythe continued in second, but Moody had moved into third by that time. Tim Wagaman, Troy Wagaman, and Brandon Rahmer were fighting for fourth and fifth.

Although the race stayed green until lap 18, Cisney’s forward progress was slowed. “It’s such a tough place here working traffic,” Cisney noted. “We caught lapped traffic and got by one, but then we had trouble moving forward.” Forsythe began to close in, but he could not get close enough to the leader to make a move. Fortunately for Cisney, Freddie Rahmer and Siegel tangled while racing for positions in the middle of the pack. “The yellow came out and I was able to get back down to the rubber.” Cisney continued, “I dropped down and I figured nobody was going to get around me and it worked out.”

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Forsythe would get one more shot at the leader, on a lap 20 restart, but Cisney was up to the challenge. He stayed in the low groove and was able to build a comfortable margin over the final ten laps.

After Cisney and Forsythe came Moody, Tim and Troy Wagaman, Brandon Rahmer, Lucas Wolfe, Chase Dietz, Walton, and Billy Dietrich.

Heat wins for the 34 410 Sprints went to Cisney, Dalton Dietrich, Forsythe, and Walton. The B Main belonged to Trout.

In the 358 Sprint undercard, Todd Rittenhouse worked the outside line to move from fourth to the lead over the first ten laps of the contest. Then, he too moved down to the rubber to finish things out.

Tim McClelland was fighting off Doug Hammaker for second. Hammaker made a desperation move coming through turns three and four on the last lap, but he spun, bringing out the yellow after Rittenhouse took the checkers. So, the rest of the field was scored as they were running on lap 19, with the exception of Hammaker of course.

So, that placed McClelland in second,Zachary Newlin third, Matt Findley fourth, and Cody Fletcher fifth. Positions Six through ten went to Wyatt Hinkle, Scott Fisher, Tyler Ross, Steve Owings, and Chris Frank.

Findley, Ross, Dave Brown, and Hammaker triumphed in the quartet of heats. Brett Wanner scored in the B Main, but he was eliminated early in the A when he flipped in turn one. He was unhurt.

Lincoln Speedway will be in action Saturday, June 13, with the Fallen Firefighters Night in memory of Brandon Little. Extra money will be on the line for both divisions of Sprint Cars. There will be a twist to the program as the 410 Sprints will run a double set of heat races with passing points awarded for each to determine the starting line-up for the A Main.

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Local Racing

Pennsylvania Racing Economic Impact Surveys Released

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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

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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.

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Local Racing

Western Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek Is Coming Back

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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.”

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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.

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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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