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Weekend Racing Recap

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A busy weekend of racing around Western and Central Pennsylvania as well as nationally.  Here’s a recap of all the action:

Sodeman Jr., Beck, King Jr., and Bish Win At Lernerville:

  • Jack Sodeman Jr. returned to victory lane at Lernerville on Friday winning the Peoples Natural Gas Sprint feature.  Sodeman now sits 4th in the Championship standings 32-points behind leader A.J. Flick.
  • Tommy Beck recovered from an early spin and stormed back through the field to win the Precise Racing Products Late Model Feature.  The win was Beck’s second career victory at “The Action Track”.  Kenny Schaltenbrand sits atop the Championship standings, 15-points ahead of Tyler Dietz.
  • Rex King Jr. captured the checkered flag in the Diehl Automotive Big Block Modified feature to pick up his third win of the season.  Garrett Krummert finished second to remain atop the Championship standings, 11-points ahead of John Mollick.
  • Curtis J. Bish held off Chris Schneider to win The Homack/Penn Ohio Pro Stocks feature.  Jason Fosnaught, Mike Miler and Darryl Charlier rounded out the top 5.

Rahmer Races To Victory at Williams Grove:

  • Freddie Rahmer Jr. was victorious in the Bob Stewart Tribute Night at Williams Grove on Friday.  Brent marks and Anthony Macri rounded out the podium.  Read our Lou Long’s full report here.

Tim Shaffer Wins All-Stars “Attica Ambush” Opener:

  • The “Steel City Outlaw” Tim Shaffer led wire-to-wire to win the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions ‘Attica Ambush’ opener Friday night at Attica Raceway Park.  Read our full report here.
  • Rico Abreu led the final 27-laps to win Saturday night’s Attica Ambush finale at Attica Raceway Park.  Aaron Reutzel finished second and Cap Henry rounded out the podium.

Kyle Lukon Wins Red Miley Rumble at PPMS:

  • Kyle Lukon is the 2020 Red Miley Rumble Winner.  Lukon held off Ben Policz and Daryl Charlier to claim the victory in the 33-lap RUSH Late Model feature.  Policz won the 20-lap feature earlier in the night.
  • Tony Tatgenhorse took home the victory in the RUSH Sportsman Modified feature, holding off Kole Holden and Jacob Jordan to win the 15-lap feature.
  • Daryl Charlier was victorious in the Pro Stocks feature beating Ryan Moyer and Nick Kocuba to the checkered flag.
  • Stephen Shelpman won the Keystone Coach Works Hobby Stock feature over Frank Magill and Cody Koteles.
  • Philip Bubeck beat Bill Tennant and Andy Garlinger to capture the Four Cylinders victory.
  • Noah Bubeck captured the checkered flag in the Young Guns feature followed by Wyatt Mock, Dylan Clipp and Cameron Hollister.
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Awtey and Golik Win First of 2020 at Jennerstown Speedway:

  • Former Track Champion Barry Awtey earned his first win of the season in the Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model division of racing.  Teddy Gibala finished second followed by Albert Francis.
  • Tom Golik won the Stoystown Auto Wreckers Modified race with Adam Henry finishing second followed by Anthony Aiello.
  • Casey Fleegle took home the checkered flag in the Ron’s Collision Center Street Stocks feature.  Mel Wilt and Zac Todaro rounded out the podium.
  • Dale Kimberly held off Steven Singo to win Farmers Union Co-Op Chargers feature.  Will Hemminger rounded out the podium.
  • Evan Nibert was victorious in the Somerset Trust Company Fast ‘n Furious 4-Cylinders feature.  Jeff Vasos charged from his 10th starting spot to finish second followed by Lance Shawley in third.

Dietrich Doubles at Lincoln:

  • Danny Dietrich swept both ends of the Twin Twenties comprising the Bob Leiby Memorial Saturday at Lincoln Speedway.  Read our Lou Long’s full report here.

Macri and Rine Share Victory Lane at Selinsgrove:

  • Anthony Macri scored career win number one and Jeff Rine won his 112th career win at Selinsgrove Speedway.  Read our Lou Long’s recap here.

Harvick, Jones and Rhodes Grab NASCAR Wins At Darlington:

  • Kevin Harvick won the first round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff opener after Martin Truex Jr. crashed into leader Chase Elliott trying to pass the No. 9 going into turn one.  Read our report here.
  • Brandon Jones was as fortunate as Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race.  Jones was running third when leader Ross Chastain and second place Denny Hamlin made contact in Turn 3 with 2-laps to go opening the door for Jones.  Jones was able to pass the wounded machines to take the checkered flag first.  Chastain finished second with Hamlin falling to fifth.
  • Ben Rhodes held off rookie Derek Kraus to win the  NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series South Carolina Education Lottery 200.  The win was Rhodes first since 2018 and third of his career.

Acura Sweeps Road Atlanta:

  • Acura swept the six-hour TireRack.com Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta as Acura Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor piloted their Acura ARX-05 prototype to the overall honors, while the Meyer Shank Racing trio of Mario Farnbacher, Ricky Taylor and Shinya Michimi took their Acura NSX GT3 Evo to the win in the GTD class.
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IndyCar

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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Racing Notebook: Kellett Returning to A.J. Foyt For ’21; U.S. Motorsports Association Forms Leadership Council Plus Extreme E

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A.J. Foyt Racing

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.
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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.

Extreme E names Race and Sporting Directors as their inaugural 2021 season approaches.

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RUSH Late Model Series Enhancing ‘Track Pack’ Program For 2021

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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.

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“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.

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