EAST COAST INDOOR DIRT NATIONALS RIVALRY DEVELOPING AMONG OPEN COCKPIT SPECIALISTS, 600 MICRO SPRINT RACING REGULARS
Story By: Ernie Saxton/East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals
Photos By: Pete MacDonald/RacersGuide.com
TRENTON, NJ NOVEMBER 28, 2018 . . . A fierce rivalry is expected at the second annual East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals, December 13-15 at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ.
Stars of the Central PA Posse Sprint circuit, Dirt Modified and Midget Car competitors want nothing more than to show up the 600cc Micro Sprint regulars at their own game. Drivers who compete weekly on pavement speedways want to show the dirt drivers they can slide around and go fast on a tacky clay oval. The 120 drivers that have entered from 11 different states each want to prove they are the best.
The First Dirt Nationals was won by 36-year-old Staten Island, NY resident Whitey Kidd, III, a Micro Sprint regular. Kidd came from deep in the starting field to make a late race pass for the lead on Midget Car/Micro standout Alex Bright of Collegville, PA. Brian Carber of New Holland, Pa., a Sprint Car/ Micro Star, came from fifth to third on the final lap last year.
Tim Buckwalter of Douglassville, PA, a full-time racer in USAC Sprints, Dirt Modifieds, SpeedSTRs and Micros, finished fourth last year. Austin Quick of Etters, PA, who works full-time in Micro Sprint racing, finished fifth.
To win the top prize of $5,000 last year, Kidd threw caution to the winds to make a brazen outside move on Bright, who had led most of the race.
“He (Bright) gave me the room and I just shot to the outside and held on,” Kidd said. “I’ve been going to Atlantic City since the beginning trying to win there, got close, but never won. I had hoped they (Indoor Auto Racing Series) would do a dirt race, and I’m glad they did,” Kidd exalted.
Kidd’s returning for what he hopes is a second career highlight victory, but the competition will be tougher than ever.
A two car team entered by Tom Fraschetta will be composed of two heavyweights, Lincoln Speedway 410 Sprint champion Brian Montieth of Phoenixville, PA and dirt Modified Super Star Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY.
Montieth just missed qualifying for last year’s event, but added experience in a Micro Sprint he should be a contender for the win. Rudolph, fresh off finishing second in the Super DIRTcar big-block Modified series points and winning two other track championships will also rely on his indoor race experience. Rudolph has won three Indoor Racing Series championships in TQ Midget competition on the concrete floor of arenas including one in Trenton.
Lucas Wolfe, 2018 Williams Grove Speedway 410 Sprint champion has also filed an entry. The Mechanicsburg, PA driver will be part of the team entered by Lou Cicconi, Jr. of Aston, PA., who himself will suit up for the event. Scott Kreutter, a Sprint Car regular from Buffalo, NY who won an Indoor Race on the concrete floor in Allentown, Pa. last year, is also entered in a Trey Hoddick No. 49.
Tim Buckwalter, and his cousin Steve of Royersford, PA are returning as is another Sprint driver Joe Trenca of Clay, NY. Brian Carber and his brother Michael, a member of Chase Elliott’s NASCAR Cup team, are also returning.
Dirt Late Model and Modified rising star Mike Maresca of Potsdam, NY, one of racing’s busiest drivers, is also entered after a strong first ever start in a 600 Micro last year.
Other Dirt Modified racing stars include Billy Pauch, Jr., of Frenchtown, NJ, Dominic Buffalino of Sayreville, NJ and Mike Iles of Medford, NJ. Pauch Jr. won the 600 Micro Sprint and SpeedSTR titles this season at Pa.’s Kutztown Action Track.
Popular Ryan Flores, the Indoor Racing Series winner on the concrete floor inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall in 2017, will be making his first ever start on dirt. The former New Jersey resident now living in North Carolina, is a tire changer for Ryan Blaney’s Roger Penske owned NASCAR Cup team. Transplanted upstate New York pavement TQ racer Tim Nye of Troutman, NC will also race indoors this season on dirt as well as three concrete series races.
Dirt Micro Sprint racer and another Indoor TQ Midget specialist, Matt Roselli from Brodheadsville, PA is entered along with ARDC Midget standout Eric Heyenreich of Bloomsburg, PA.
This year’s Indoor Dirt Nationals calls for heat races with passing points and four A-qualifier feature races for split fields on both Thursday and Friday night. On Saturday, with all 120 cars on hand, Alphabet mains are scheduled, with racers having the opportunity to advance from double G, F, E, D, C, and B mains to the 50 lap A-Main paying $5,000 to win. Racing will start at 7 PM on Thursday and Friday, 5 PM on Saturday.
The CURE Insurance Arena itself has undergone a makeover from floor to ceiling to enhance the viewing experience for race fans at this year’s Nationals. The goal has been to make the arena one of finest in the state.
Information, including ticket and hotel links, is available at indoorautoracing.com. Other information and select tickets are available by calling the series office during regular working hours at 609-888-3618.