ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (July 18, 2020 – Pittsburgh Racing Now): For the second time this season, World of Outlaws traveler Carson Macedo took advantage of an open date in the tour’s schedule to scoop up the cash in Central Pennsylvania. The first time was opening day at Williams Grove Speedway. The most recent occasion was in the Outlaw Tune-up at Lincoln Speedway. While the driver from Lemoore, CA was celebrating his $10,000 win, his car owner, Kyle Larson, was doing likewise at the Port Royal Speedway after vanquishing the All Stars Circuit of Champions in the first round of the Bob Weikert Memorial. The teammates will clash Sunday night in round two at the Port.
“Towards the end of the race, I was getting a little nervous,” said Macedo. “The lapped cars were keeping a pretty good pace, so I moved down and I was able to get by some of them.” Macedo was appreciative of the opportunity to make a substantial bank deposit for the non-sanctioned win. “A little bit of extra money is really nice,” he said with a laugh. Although Macedo was not facing his usual World of Outlaws foes, he knew that his work was cut out for him. “I have a lot of respect for the Pennsylvania Posse, they are tough.” Macedo will square off against all of those drivers plus his Outlaws opponents on Thursday when Lincoln Speedway hosts the Gettysburg Clash. That race was postponed due to the COVID-19 closure of the speedway earlier in the season.
Macedo started on the pole for the 35 lapper. He was scheduled to start on the outside of row one, after finishing second in the dash. But one of the track’s favorite sons, Brandon Rahmer, suffered an engine problem after grabbing the checkers in the placement event. Joining Macedo up front was track points leader, Freddie Rahmer, Jr. A pair of Outlaws, Daryn Pittmen and Logan Schuchart, were in row two. Then came locals Brain Montieth and Ryan Smith. Matt Campbell and Chase Dietz shared row four. Jacob Allen and Lucas Wolfe were in row five.
Macedo jumped ahead of Rahmer at the drop of the green. But Rahmer took to the outside and nosed ahead of him in turns one and two. Rahmer could not drop down to block Macedo, and he lost the lead on the exit of turn two. Other than a failed slide job after a lap 18 restart, that was the closest that Rahmer would get to Macedo.
Once he grabbed the lead from Rahmer, Macedo moved to the topside, which was clearly the faster line in the early going. Macedo, Rahmer, Schuchart, Smith, Pittman, and Montieth led the way. They ran in that prder until lap 15, when Montieth spun in turn four to end his night. Also collected was Tim Wagaman, but he was able to resume the race after pitting for some minor repairs.
Macedo got away cleanly on the restart and led the next three laps. However, Adam Wilt brought out the second, and last, caution of the race when he stopped on the back stretch.
That gave Rahmer an opportunity to take a run at Macedo. Although Rahmer pulled alongside of him, he could not slide up ahead of Macedo. Macedo deftly rode the rim in turns one and two and he began to pull away. Rahmer, meanwhile, fell back into a three-car battle for second. His rivals were Schuchart and Smith. Nonetheless, Rahmer held control, at least for the next seven laps or so.
Soon thereafter, Smith began his charge. He grabbed second and was closing in on Macedo, who was having some difficulty with the slower cars ahead of him. As noted above, Macedo switched lines, as the inside was getting faster due to the accumulation of rubber down there. After making the switch, Macedo pulled away from Smith.
Schuchart saw what Macedo was ale to do. He took the same approach and found that he could make up time on the bottom. He wrestled second away from Smith on lap 32 and he began to close rapidly on Macedo. Schuchart, who owns a 358 Sprint championship at Lincoln Speedway before turning Outlaw, ran out of time, mucg to the disappointment of the partisan crowd.
Macedo took the win, followed by Schuchart, Smith, Freddie Rahmer, Jr., and Pittman. Jacob Allen came on in the final laps to take sixth. Dietz, Wolfe, Alan Krimes, and Casey Kahne rouded out the top ten.
Heat winners were Montieth, Pittman, Campbell, and Brandon Rahmer. Brandon Rahmer won the dash before his misfortune. Montieth was the fastest qualifer with a quick time of 13.653 seconds.
Russell Mitten, the builder of RPM Chassis, captured the Super Sportsman Tour 20 lap feature. He started on the pole and led the entire distance. Finishing second was Kenny Edkin, who came from sixth on the grid. Kenny Edkin was undefeated in the first four tour races this year. John Edkin was third, followed by the veteran, Frankie Herr. Scott Dellinger was fifth. Dellinger and Mitten split the heat wins. There was no B Main.
Super Sportsmen resemble Sprint Cars, but there are a number of notable differences. The cars are a vestige of the early Super Modified days in Central PA. While the Super Modifieds dominated the big, fast half miles, older cars with modifications were raced on smaller ovals like Brickerville, Fredericksburg, and Silver Spring Speedways. With the passage of time, the Super Modifieds morphed into Sprint Cars and the Sportsmen followed suit. However, the Sportsmen cars are unique. First, the cars have a 2×4 main rail instead of the round tubing used for the rest of the cars’ chassis construction. Second, the cars are powered by carbureted small blocks, instead of the larger, fuel injected power plants found in the 410 Sprint Car ranks. Third, the cars have starters and transmissions. Fourth, they have 15 square foot top wins instead of the usual 25 square foot wings. Fifth, there is no nose wing. The cars race regularly at BAPS Motor Speedway and there are special touring events held at a number of other area tracks.
The final event of the night was a 20 lapper for the Midgets. Steve Drevicki was the winner. He took the lead following a lap one restart. He dominated the first half of the race. However, Eric Heydenreich came on in the second half to challenge Drevicki for the lead. Their private contest came to an end, though,when Heydenreich pulled in on lap 17. Taking second was Adam Pierson. Kerry Johnson, Zach Curtis, and Steve Craig completed the top five. Preliminaries went to Pierson and Drevicki. There was no B Main.
Lincoln Speedway will host the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Thursday night. There will be no racing Saturday night because the World of Outlaws will be in action at Williams Grove Speedway for the two-day Summer Nationals. Instead, Lincoln Speedway will have a truck and tractor pull featuring the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League.
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.