ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now – July 23, 2020): Sheldon Haudenschild inked his name in the record books of Lincoln Speedway for the very first time. The second generation driver scored the win in the Gettysburg Clash. The Thursday night special was the first round of action between the World of Outlaws and the Pennsylvania Posse.
For Haudenschild, it was the first win of a season that has been disrupted and changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And, to make matters worse on the racing scene, Haudenschild struggled to get into winning form. “I kept telling my guys ‘don’t take it personal; keep busting your ass.’ They’ve worked really hard. It’s all a team effort.” That hard work has started to pay dividends, as Haudenschild has been getting faster and more effective in the racecar. “We’re having a lot of fun and I hope we can string together some wins.” That would be perfect because the World of Outlaws tour is in the midst of what would normally be the month of money. While some of the bigger paying events were postponed due to the pandemic, there are still some hefty paydays in the weeks ahead.
Haudenschild positioned himself for the win by earning the pole in the night’s dash. Next to him was Parker Price-Miller. But in the second row was Jacob Allen who was looking to get his first career series win on the track located minutes from his home. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. lined up in fourth. Then came David Gravel and Jeff Halligan. Lucas Wolfe and Logan Schuchart, the other half of Bobby Allen’s hometown Outlaws team, were in row four.. Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz had row five covered.
While Haudenschild did take the early lead, it was Allen riding the rim in turns one and two to take command. He went on to lead the first 15 laps of the race although Haudenschild remained within striking distance throughout. There were two minor stoppages that put Haudenschild beside Allen, but neither restart proved to be eventful.
Lapped traffic provided the opportunity that Haudenschild needed. Allen was able to handle the slower cars at first, but as the race went on, Haudenschild’s experience gave him the edge. “I got by Jacob in traffic. He was really running good,” the Mild Child noted.
While the sons played out a ritual that their fathers did so often in their storied careers, the action through the field was hot and heavy. Rahmer was holding off Gravel and Price-Miller. Schuchart and Schatz were moving up, and so was Danny Dietrich, who started fourteenth on the grid. Pittman eliminated himself from contention at the halfway mark when he got upside down in turn two. He was unhurt and repairs were made so he could rejoin the race.
With a clear track ahead of him, Haudenschild was able to build a comfortable lead. Rahmer was starting to press Allen for second, but Gravel joined the fun and, now, it was his turn to torment the younger opponent.
Another caution set up a restart that proved to be contentious. While the leaders got away cleanly, there was heavy contact a couple of rows behind. Dietrich tried to make an opening that was not there, and Rahmer was forced up the track into the path of another car. Brock Zearfoss was collected. Both Rahmer and Zearfoss were finished and Dietrich continued with wing damage.
Things evened themselves out somewhat when Dietrich rapped the turn four wall with two laps remaining. he was riding in fifth at the time. The fans were quick to react to his misfortune.
While Haudenschild led the final two laps, all eyes were on the team racers, Allen and Schuchart, as they battled for second. Schuchart got the better of it. Gravel was a distant fourth, followed by Carson Macedo. Price-Miller, Schatz, Brad Sweet, Brent Marks, and Anthony Macri completed the top ten.
Allen enjoyed the run, even though he was relegated to third at the finish. “It was a lot of fun. I feel really good, mentally and physically. It was fun racing with Sheldon and then with Logan at the end.” Schuchart was disappointed that he did not get another restart in the closing laps. “I was looking for a restart. I could get a run on the bottom. I loved racing here seven or eight years ago. It’s been a long climb, but we are gaining on it.” Schuchart currently sits third in WoO standings an a hometown win would have gotten him back into the thick of things in the season tally.
Heat wins were scored by Freddie Rahmer, Jr., Gravel, Halligan, and Price-Miller. The B Main had a pair of Wagamans out front, with Tim ahead of Troy. Adam Wilt was best in the C Main. Anthony Macri was the top qualifier overall with lap of 13.483 seconds in Group A. Halligan started his night off well with the quick time in Group B, at 13.579.
Lincoln will feature a truck and tractor pull this Saturday, as the Sprints will be in action in nearby Williams Grove. Next week, there will be another mid-week special, the Drydene 40, paying $10,000 to the winner. That event will be on Wednesday at Lincoln Speedway.
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.
Racing Notebook: Kellett Returning to A.J. Foyt For ’21; U.S. Motorsports Association Forms Leadership Council Plus Extreme E
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.
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.
RUSH Late Model Series Enhancing ‘Track Pack’ Program For 2021
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.
“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.