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Big Weekend Of Local Racing In Western PA

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – This weekend presents a couple of different options for local race fans both on dirt & asphalt.  Fans can have their pick of the action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Here’s what’s going on:

Fab 4 Friday at Lernerville Speedway:

  • It’s a Fab 4 Friday at “The Action Track” with the Peoples Natural Gas 410 Sprints, Precise Racing Products Late Models, Diehl Automotive Big Block Modifieds and the Millerstown Pic-A-Part Pro Stocks on the schedule.  Carl Bowser holds a nine-point lead over A.J. Flick in the Sprints standings.  Flick comes into the race having won three-in-a-row.  Colton Flinner holds a 14-point lead over Tyler Dietz in the Late Model standings.  Garrett Krummert holds an 11-point lead over John Mollick in the Modifieds standings with Rex King Jr. one point behind Mollick.  Tyler Dietz holds a four point lead over Corey McPherson in the Pro Stocks.  For more information visit www.lernerville.com and if you can’t go watch it on www.lernerville.tv.

7 Divisions Saturday at PPMS:

  • Seven divisions of racing will take to “Dirt’s Monster Half Mile” as the Winged 410 Sprint Cars, RUSH Sprint Cars, RUSH Late Models, Pro Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Young Guns and 4-Cylinders visit Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.  This will be the first appearance of the winged sprint cars at PPMS this season.  Zach Morrow leads Jeremy Weaver by 2-points in the RUSH Sprint track standings with Andy Feil one point back in third.  Ben Policz holds a 6-point lead over John Mollick in the RUSH Late Model standings.  Dave McManus holds a three-point lead over Ryan Moyer in the Pro Stocks standings.  Stephen Shelpman holds a 19-point lead over Karlee Kovacs in the Hobby Stocks standings.  In the Young Guns division Philip Bubeck sits 54-points ahead of Eric Reynolds and Noah Bubeck is 25-points ahead of Cameron Hollister in the 4-cylinder standings.  For more information visit www.ppms.com.

Whelen Modified Tour Visits Jennerstown on Saturday:

  • The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour makes its second appearance at Jennerstown Speedway on Saturday night for the Laurel Highlands 150.  Justin Bonsginore won the Wade Cole Memorial 133 two months ago going wire-to-wire from the pole position.  Craig Lutz finished second followed by John McKennedy in third.  Matt Hirschman and Calvin Carroll rounded out the top 5.  Saturday’s race distance is longer and there will be live pit stops instead of a half-way break.  For more information visit, www.jennerstown.org.
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Mercer Raceway To Honor Hawkins On Saturday:

  • Michael’s Mercer Raceway is planning on honoring the late Brandon Hawkins on Saturday night with the $2727 to win, $227 to start “Big Mav Classic”. Hawkins tragically lost his life at age 26 on July 20 at a construction accident. Hawkins is survived by his son Maverick, his parents Dave and Chrissy and his girlfriend Ashley. Hawkins 27H car will be driven by Kyle Colwell and start 27th. Every car that finishes behind the 27H will donate and extra $50 to start the race back to Maverick Hawkins. For more information visit www.mercerracewaypark.com.

Two-Sprint Shows and Mid-Atlantic Modifieds At Lincoln:

  • Lincoln Speedway on Saturday will feature a double-dose of sprint car action with the 410-Sprints and 358-Sprints on the schedule.  In addition to the sprint cars Lincoln will feature the Mid-Atlantic Modifieds and a make up feature from August 1st.  For more information visit www.lincolnspeedway.com.

5-Features In 1-Night At Port Royal:

  • Thanks to Mother Nature Port Royal Speedway is using this weekend to make up some feature events so fans will get nights of feature action in one night.  Saturday night will feature a full program for the 410 Sprint Cars to go along with two make-up features, plus the regularly scheduled PASS/IMCA 305 Sprint Car event and the USAC East Coast wingless 360 series event.  For more information visit www.portroyalspeedway.com.

Tri-City and RUSH Sprints To Honor Hawkins On Sunday:

  • Tri-City Raceway Park and the RUSH Sprint Car Series will pay tribute Hawkins, a former Micro Sprint standout, moved to the RUSH Sprint Cars when the class debuted in 2018 along with his brother Scott and father Dave. The trio also competed together in 2019 as well before Brandon made the move to the “305” Sprints where he won his first feature on July 17 at Bedford Speedway, just days before his passing. Jeremy Weaver leads the Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series points by 31 over Zach Morrow. For more information visit www.tricityracewaypark.com.
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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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