Event Coverage, Featured

2020 UMI Autocross Challenge – car fun with friends

The UMI Autocross Challenge is all about fun with car friends. Sure, there’s awesome competition, world class builds and white knuckle thrills. There’s also campfires, food trucks, music and that ever so exaggerated bench racing…

The UMI Autocross Challenge has been evolving for a few years now. What started as the 2012 UMI Cruise-In has become the UMI Autocross Challenge. The first competition portion was added in 2017 and took place at the Mid-State Regional airport. We moved the race to UMI Motorsports Park in 2018 and have been growing it steadily since. From being happy to fill spots to having a 50 person waitlist, the UMI Autocross Challenge is the official place to have big fun with car friends. In addition to bragging rights on its own, the UMI Autocross Challenge is a gateway to a coveted Golden Ticket Invite to UMI’s King of the Mountain. The thrill of racing one’s way in is hard to describe but you racers know what we mean.

Driver Gallery

The UMI Autocross Challenge features a wide variety of cars from domestic to import, vintage to modern and everything in between. You’ll find fire breathing, road race weapons racing alongside factory stock vehicles just there to have a great time.

Classes include:

• 2-Seat Sports Car          • Vintage Muscle          • Mid-Muscle          • Late Model Muscle

By the numbers – when the final engine went silent Saturday afternoon we recorded:

1350 runs

110 cars with time

36 late model entries

33 mid muscle

21 vintage

20 2-seaters

5 food trucks

3 days on-site

2 days of autocross

1 awesome event

Fundraising Efforts

Thanks to your generous contributions over the years, UMI Performance has donated TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars to various charities. In 2020 we collected $10000 to distribute to the Emily Whitehead Foundation and the ALS Association Western PA Chapter. Our emcee Chad Reynolds of Bangshift fame rocks the mic and gets the donations flowing. We have a few examples to mention and this is by no means all inclusive. Tim Winters, announcer at our neighboring sister track Hidden Valley Speedway, is also a talented competition quality baker. Tim has been donating individually wrapped, gourmet cakes and novelties that are so awesome they’re now being requested. Jodie Potter, bake sale organizer, has some crazy wild recipe for brownies that may someday cause a fist fight when supplies run out. Our buddy Dan Baker from Alumicraft Street Rod Grilles built a commemorative plaque to be auctioned off for $100. The plaque was such a hit we sold six more. Dan donated his time, materials and talent just to support the cause. That means $700 additional towards giving someone with ALS a better life. We’ve even seen other charities selflessly contribute their own funding to support ours. If that doesn’t speak well for Sophia Rayne’s Racing for a Reason we don’t know what does. We couldn’t do it without our exceptional #carfamily. We applaud each and every one of you. The support is mind blowing, overwhelming and just plain awesome.

Campfires, Food Trucks, and Live Music

Friday night of the Autocross Challenge featured Campfires, Food Trucks and Live Music. 85 acres of beautiful countryside helped us stay safe during the global pandemic while enjoying local favorite food trucks. Joe Quick set up his sound system and entertained a few dozen groups of families in the field above Turn 3.  The newly constructed Kirk-camping area was a popular gathering place for racers and fans. Ken Edwards, President of Camping and Hospitality Operations along with his trusty Vice President, JB Boyer, made sure their friends (longtime and new) were well fed and enjoyed a relaxing evening of bench racing.

Class Winners

Vintage Muscle podium: Justin Nall P1, Brian Coney P2 and Ken Edwards P3
Mid Muscle podium: Mike Goodman P1, Chuck Trimble P2, Nathan Hamilton P3
Late Muscle Podium: Chad Englert P1, Tim Whalen P2 and Jerry Smearman P3
2-Seater Winner: Justin Peachey
2-Seater P2: Sam Strano (Strano Performance Parts)
2 Seater P3: Eric Brown. Eric scored a Golden Ticket invite to KOTM 2.0.
Young Gun Jeff Scott scored a Charity Golden Ticket to KOTM 2.0. Jeff runs a UMI Stage 5 on his beautiful GN.
Jason Zapol ran strong and was surprised with a Spirit of the Event Golden Ticket by UMI President Ryan Kirkwood. Zapol exemplifies the sportsmanship and camaraderie of UMI Motorsports Park.
#teamumi driver AJ Knollman scored a KOTM Golden Ticket by purchasing a TON of charity tickets. AJ is fast to start with but the fact that he donated with a smile to the ALS Association Western PA Chapter made for a great feeling.