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Weekend Racing Preview

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Tri-City Raceway Park

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – All kinds of racing throughout the Western and Central Pennsylvania regions this weekend as track championships heat up and special events take center stage.

Fab 4 Friday At Lernerville:

  • It’s a Fab 4 Friday night at Lernerville Speedway as “The Action Track” has extended their season after COVID-19 threw a Caution Flag on the start.  A.J. Flick holds a slim 3-point lead over Carl Bowser in Sprint Car standings.  Brandon Spithaler sits 26-points out of the lead and defending track Champion Jack Sodeman Jr. is 32-points back.
  • Kenny Schaltenbrand is sitting on a 15-point cushion in the Late Model Championship standings.  Tyler Dietz sits in second place followed by Colton Flinner, who is 47-points out of the lead.  Gary Lyle is 5-points back of Flinner.
  • Garrett Krummert holds an 11-point lead over John Mollick in the Modified Championship.  Rex King Jr. is in third place 15-points out of the top spot.  Brian Swartzlander is lurking back in fourth place, 48-points out of the lead.
  • The tightest battle is in the Pro Stocks where Corey McPherson holds a 1-point lead over Tyler Dietz.  Joey Zambotti can’t be counted out as he sits 11-points back in third place.  Mike Miller is in fourth place, 32-points back of the top spot.

Hobby Stock Invitational At PPMS Saturday:

  • Saturday at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway features the Hobby Stock Invitational.  The invitational pays $1,000-to-win.  Also on the schedule are the RUSH Late Model Dirt Series, the ADMAR Pro Stocks, the Crawford Auto Repair Four Cylinders, and the All Ways Safe Young Guns. Gates open at 5 p.m., hot laps begin at 6 p.m., and the racing action will commence at 7 p.m. Adult general grandstand admission is only $15 and $35 for an adult pit pass.
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Championship Night Saturday at Jennerstown:

  • Saturday night is Championship Night at Jennerstown Speedway.  All 5 divisions will be in action.  Main gates open at 4 p.m.  On-track practice starts at 4:30 p.m. followed by opening ceremonies at 5:55 p.m.  Racing starts at 6:00 p.m.  For more Information visits www.jennerstown.org.
  • Albert Francis holds a 6-point lead over Barry Awtey and a 9-point lead over Teddy Gibala in the Late Model Championship standings.  Jarred Barclay is in fourth place, 49-points back and Garry Wiltrout rounds out the Top 5 going into Saturday night’s action.
  • White Oak’s Anthony Aiello is atop the Modified Championship standings, 26-points ahead of R.J. Dallape.  Tom Golick is in third place, 34-points back.  John Fama and Jason Busch round out the Top 5.
  • Casey Fleegle leads the Street Stocks Championship standings by 6-points over second place Aaron VanFleet.  Mel Wilt is in third place, 50-points back of the top spot.  Angie Kimberly and Jeff Barclay round out the Top 5.
  • Jeff Vasos leads the Fast Fours Championship standings by 61-points over second place Evan Nibert.  Michael Saler sits 77-points back in third place.  Jason Fulton and Jason Truscott round out the Top 5.
  • Dale Kimberly is your leader in the Chargers Championship standings.  Kyle Burkholder is in second place, 64-points back from the lead.  Will Hemminger is in third place, 93-points out of the top spot.  Bob Mostoller and Steven Singo round out the Top 5.

Applefest Race Weekend At Tri-City Raceway Park:

  • The grand finale to the 2020 racing season at the Tri-City Raceway Park takes place this weekend as the tracks new ownership is holding the “Applefest Race Weekend” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Friday’s activities include a practice session for competitors with a full slate of racing is on tap Saturday and Sunday. Sprint Cars headline the competition, with Time Trials and preliminary Heat Races on Saturday and a 30-lap race on Sunday. Three types of “Modifieds,” including Big Block-engine Modifieds, Small Block-engine Modifieds, and Crate-Engine Modifieds will participate in Heat Races on Saturday and Features on Sunday. Pro-Stocks will have a 50-lap race on Sunday. The RUSH Sprint Car Series and Mini-Stock cars are also on the schedule.

All-Stars Visit Williams Grove and Lincoln Speedway:

  • The Ollies Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions takes on the Pennsylvania Posse or the final time this season chasing a total winner’s share equaling $25,000. The rescheduled Jack Gunn Memorial takes place at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday evening.  The $20,000-to-win Dirt Classic takes place Saturday at Lincoln Speedway.  Williams Grove’s Jack Gunn Memorial will also act as Dirt Classic Qualifier, granting the winner an automatic bid into Saturday’s $20,000-to-win Dirt Classic showstopper.
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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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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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IndyCar

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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