SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Lernerville Speedway officials announced the hiring of Mike Lysakowski as the new track manager in a podcast after the World of Outlaws Commonwealth Clash on Saturday night. Lysakowski, who takes over on October 1, follows Fr. Tim Tomson, who resigned midway through the Covid-adjusted season to devote more time to his ministry.
Lysakowski first met members of the Tomson family soon after they acquired Lernerville Speedway from the World Racing Group. “They attended the promoter’s workshop and I spent a lot of time with them that first year in between the seminars that I was teaching. I wanted to help introduce them to different people in the industry.”
But, as has been the case with other Tomson business ventures, members of the family took an active role in speedway operations. Hence, the appointment of “Padre,” as he is affectionately called, to be the general manager even though he was not familiar with the quirky world of racing.
“We started talking before Tim left,” Lysakowski said. At that time, he was not looking for a major career move, and the Tomson family was not planning any changes either. “I was talking to them about doing programs for the track.” One of Lysakowsi’s many accomplishments in racing is the production of programs for several Western Pennsylvania facilities under his Motorsport Aspects banner. But, the tenor of the discussions changed after Padre’s unexpected departure.
Other than some one-off appearances on the microphone at area tracks, Lysakowski noted that he has never had a racing job so close to his home in New Castle, PA. Most recently, he served as general manager at Jennerstown Speedway and as the announcer at Tri-City Raceway Park.
Lysakowski was unsure how he would adjust his busy schedule. However, he was emphatic that Lernerville Speedway would be his “first priority,” and that he planned to devote his full-time attention to it. “I will be in the office five days a week, 52 weeks per year.”
Lysakowski did concede that he will cut down on his travel. For years, he traveled far and wide to broadcast races or to call the action. “I don’t want to be on the road traveling any more. It’s OK when you are young and looking for opportunities.”
Lysakowski was appreciative that there would be a few more weeks of racing at the Action Track so that he could familiarize himself with the ownership group, the staff, and the facility. “I have been coming to Lernerville since I was a child. I grew up in the grandstands here.” Lysakowski was proud that, on report card day, his good grades in school would give him more leverage with his parents to attend the weekly programs. His attendance at Lernerville declined as he began working in motorsports media and promotion. But, “I was still coming to Lernerville as a fan.” He knows that things will be different now.
“This is a place that doesn’t need change,” Lysakowski said. He has been in that situation before, when racing series or speedways would reach out to him to rehabilitate their images or improve their attendance or programs. “Everything is on the right course here. I’ve been brought into so many series or places that needed change. This bus doesn’t need a mechanic, it needs a driver,” he summed up.
Lysakowski added, “I don’t see challenges here, I see opportunities for growth.” He plans to use his contacts to the Butler area business community to help promote the speedway. He has established relationships with the Butler Chamber of Commerce and he was a founding member of the Butler Young Professionals, “back when I was young and professional,” he said with a laugh. He believes that his contacts and his enthusiasm can help bring new fans to the speedway.
Chip Ganassi Racing unveils Alex Palou’s No. 10 DHL Honda
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing unveiled the livery for two-time and reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Alex Palou’s DHL Honda on Tuesday. DHL signed on as the primary sponsor this off-season in a multi-year partnership with the team.
The No. 10 car will carry the familiar yellow of DHL’s branding but adds a splash of red that has been synonymous with the Ganassi team for decades.
“As everybody can see, this is quite the amazing livery,” said Palou. “The No. 10 DHL Honda looks very aggressive, and it will certainly stand out on the track, which is great. I can’t wait to start the season with a run in this livery at Sebring before we kick things off in St. Pete. It’s looking like the perfect livery to try to defend our title in 2024 and I cannot wait to deliver on-track here soon.”
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding takes place March 8-10 on the streets of St. Pete.
Jean Lynch Classic Coming to Lernerville Speedway
(February 6th, 2024) – Western PA Speedweek and Lernerville Speedway are introducing ‘The Jean Lynch Classic presented by Rustler Sales & Service’ as the cornerstone event of the 2024 Western PA Speedweek. The $4,000 to win, $350 to start event on Friday, May 31st will mark the highest paying Speedweek race since the 2021 reincarnation.
“My family and I can’t thank Tyler Beichner, Lernerville Speedway, and everyone involved with Western PA Speedweek enough for putting this together to honor my grandmother Jean Lynch,” said racer Sye Lynch, Jean’s grandson, in a Facebook post. “Her accomplishments and legacy in the racing world should never be forgotten. My team and I are working to make this night even more special and memorable for everyone. That’s how “Mrs. Jean” as many called her, would want it.”
Jean Lynch was a pioneer for women in racing with ties to tracks and organizations such as NASCAR, CART, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500, the All Star Circuit of Champions and Ohio Sprint Speedweek, and much more. However, her love for racing never left the local racing scene as she could be found managing, promoting, and renting out tracks all across the northeast. The pinnacle of Jean’s lifelong love for racing came in 2013 when she was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Lynch is also a member of the Lernerville Speedway Hall of Fame, Pittsburgh Circle Track Hall of Fame, Tri-City Speedway Hall of Fame and DIRT Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Lynch passed away last year on June 30, 2023.
Rustler Sales and Service is teaming up with Western PA Speedweek to be presenting sponsor of the Jean Lynch Classic. Owned and operated by former racer Brian Steinman, Rustler Sales and Service specializes in heavy truck sales, service and towing across northwestern Pennsylvania. Call (814) 214-7023 or visit rustlersalesandservice.net to find out how Rustler’s can best serve you.
JEAN LYNCH CLASSIC PAYOFF:
Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Names MINI 2024 Marque Of The Year
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – MINI, the iconic British brand, is the 2024 ‘Marque Of The Year’ for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. 2024 marks the third time for the brand to receive the honor, which also occurred in 2004 and 2014.
“Excitement is in the air as MINI and MINI of Pittsburgh takes the spotlight as ‘Marque of the Year’, said Morgan McLane, Motoring Advisor at MINI of Pittsburgh. “Join us as we revitalize the spirit of motoring, embrace the elegance of the past, and set the stage for a future filled with MINI adventures.”
MINIS will be everywhere this summer in Pittsburgh including on-track both weekends and at all of the PVGP car shows throughout race week, July 26 through August 4.
“This honor is a testament to our commitment to excellence and we can’t wait to share this thrilling ride with the entire Pittsburgh community,” said Jason Karpa, Motoring Manager at MINI of Pittsburgh.
The Classic MINI debuted in 1959 as an inexpensive, 4-person “saloon” that didn’t use a lot of gas or take up a lot of space.
MINIS are no stranger to the race track. In 1961 British racing legend John Cooper added some horsepower, bigger brakes, tuned the suspension a tweak and the Classic MINI Cooper 997 was born.
John Cooper’s Classic MINI Cooper and Cooper S went on to dominate the 1960’s race scene, winning almost every international competition imaginable, including historic wins at Monte Carlo in 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967.
MINIS will be on the track in 2024 as Mini of Pittsburgh and Vince Longo Jr. team up for the MINI Track Rides program for the 11th year. Three race-equipped MINI Coopers are custom-wrapped and showcased on the track and at Grand Prix Race Week events. Longo and his certified racers take riders around the track for an experience and view you can only get from inside a car.
Todd Cook created the 2024 PVGP Poster, which features Bruce Whipple racing his 1962 Austin MINI Cooper S that competes at Schenley Park and Pitt Race. Whipple, from Newton, New Jersey plans to change his race number to 42 signifying the 42nd running of the PVGP to match the poster.
Cook also created a second poster featuring a GT40 in honor of the GT40 60th Reunion the PVGP is hosting July 26-28.
For a complete schedule of events, visit PVGP.org.