THE CLAY’S DOWN IN TRENTON’S CURE INSURANCE ARENA; DIRT MICROS TO HIT THE TRACK THURSDAY FOR PRACTICE; RACING GOES FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
Story By: Ernie Saxton/LSMP
Photos By: Len Sammons Motorsports Productions
TRENTON, NJ November 29, 2017 . . . The clay’s down, bring on the cars!
That’s the sentiment the track building team of Len Sammons Motorsports Productions and the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled by VP Racing Fuels as the inaugural East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ is one day away.
A dense layer of choice deep dark brown clay was delivered and unloaded on the concrete floor of the CURE Insurance Arena on Tuesday, November 28 and was carefully worked and shaped into banking contours in the pair of sweeping turns throughout the day on Wednesday, November 29 in preparation for the first East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ.
The first test for the aesthetically pleasing, wide clay oval takes place Thursday, November 30 when a closed-to-the-public practice session takes the green flag.
Any of the over 90 Micro Sprint drivers and teams entered in the event are eligible to hit the track for the practice, which begins at 7:00 PM and runs until 10:00 PM Thursday night.
Racing for real will start on Friday at 7:00 PM with nine heat races. Unlike previous Indoor Auto Racing Series TQ Midget events, there will be no time trials.
Drivers will pick for qualifying positions. Those with a ‘bad draw’ will be rewarded with passing points. The top performers will then be divided into four A-qualifier feature races.
On Saturday, points from Friday’s events will line-up all drivers into “alphabet mains” which will begin at 5 p.m. While high point drivers will lock into Saturday’s A-Main, expected to start after 8 p.m., the other racers will have the opportunity to advance from twin F, E, D, C and B-mains to make the 40 lap “A” feature.
Drivers from eight different states and many racing divisions have entered the event including noted Pa. Sprint Car drivers Brian Montieth, Steve Buckwalter and Ryan Smith. Native Californian Danny Stratton, an expert in wingless competition, has entered along with New Egypt Speedway dirt Modified champion Billy Pauch, Jr.
Kutztown SpeedSTR reigning champion Tim Buckwalter and top ARDC Midget car drivers Alex Bright and Trevor Kobylarz will also be top contenders.
The field also includes the best drivers and teams from Micro Sprint racing.
In fact, one Micro Sprint car owner is so sure one of the division regulars will win the event, he’s willing to put his money on it. Should any non-regular of 600cc Micro Sprint racing win Saturday’s feature event the car owner will add a $500 bonus to the win total.
Though this is a new attraction, the CURE Insurance Arena (formerly Sun National Bank Center), has hosted TQ Midget racing for the past four years on the arena’s concrete floor.
Several drivers entered in the inaugural East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals at the CURE Insurance Arena have previous Indoor Auto Racing Series experience with TQ Midgets on the concrete floor.
Anthony Sesely, a four-time winner on the concrete floor inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, has a new Hyper built dirt car outfitted with a Dave Orange 600cc motor. The team recently tested outdoors for the event. After some new car bugs were worked out, Sesely impressively was putting down some fast laps at Delaware’s Airport Speedway.
Five other Indoor TQ Midget drivers are crossing over with the 34-year-old Sesely to run the Dirt Nationals. The list includes noted dirt Modified driver Mike Iles, outdoor TQ Midget champion Matt Janisch and 2016 Wall TQ Turkey Derby winner Matt Roselli.
These events will be held on the concrete floors of the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa., Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. and the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.