ATLANTIC CITY, NJ January 15, 2015 . . . The drama and excitement of watching and competing in professional auto racing events, indoors, in the dead of winter, is stimulating in and of itself.
This year, attendees traveling to NAPA KNOW HOW Racing Weekend inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall will have the added joy of filling up their gas tanks with gas in the range of $1.90 per gallon – more than a dollar a gallon cheaper than in past years.
And that’s good for the teams as well, who have entered from thirteen different states and two countries. Sarah Arteta, from San Francisco will benefit most by the low gas and diesel fuel prices as will Kyle O’Gara from Indianapolis, and quartet of Canadians, James Michael Friesen, Mack DeMan, Mike Lichty and Rob Neely. The four Canadians are all from Ontario and one, Mike Lichty, is a past Three Quarter (TQ) Midget indoor race winner.
The two-day Boardwalk Hall race program is set for Friday and Saturday, January 30-31, 2015 and is the latest event under the promotional endeavors of Len Sammons Motorsports Productions (LSMP). The race meet culminates with the thirteenth running of the Gamblers Classic on January 31, a 40-lap test.
With the TQ entry list approaching a record 100 cars, there will be scant margin for error for any potential winner. All told, as many as 200 entrants in the three classes of competition will test the concrete floor of Boardwalk Hall.
Among the TQ Midget standout entries are Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct., Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J., Anthony Sesely of Matawan, N.J., Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y., Ted Christopher of Plainville, Ct., Andy Jankowiak of Buffalo N.Y and Earl Paules of Kunkletown, Pa.
Sesely has won the Gamblers Classic in each of the past two years.
Rudolph, Christopher and Jankowiak were winners in the most recent LSMP races last month inside Trenton’s Sun National Bank Center and are likely contenders for ultimate victory in Atlantic City.
Other entrants include Shawn Carrig from Brick N.J. and Patrick Emerling of Ransomville, N.Y. Ryan Flores of Davidson, N.C., who was a competitive runner-up in Trenton in December, is one driver who will bear watching. His recent near-victorious effort was assisted by third generation driver and NASCAR Sprint aspirant Corey LaJoie.
Flores, a Joey Logano NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew member and formerly a New Jersey resident, was making his debut in TQ racing in a brand new Mark Lafler built car and nearly won the race.
One driver who will not be driving in Boardwalk Hall is Gamblers Classic two time winner Lou Cicconi of Lester, Pa. Cicconi, a winner in 2006 and 2010, suffered back injuries in a crash in the Trenton Indoor race. Cicconi, who will make a complete recovery, is convalescing from back injuries. Cicconi is expected to the attend event however, with no official word of who he will put in the driver’s seat of his potent No. 75 car.
On Friday, TQs will race in a complete program while two support classes, the Lentini Auto Salvage (LAS) Slingshots and Champ Karts, will complete their qualifying events in preparation for Saturday’s features.
In addition to a generous prize money payout, the weekend of events boasts a dozen and a half ‘special awards’, many with lucrative cash prizes.
LAS Slingshot favorites include Matt Carman of Three Bridges, N.J., John Gilroy of Stroudsburg, Pa., Trenton Slingshot feature winner Gary Hieber of Langhorne, Pa. Joe Kata of Goshen, N.Y., brothers Jimmy and Dan Spellmon of Butler, N.J., and Ricky Yetter of Easton, Pa.
The Slingshot race is considered to be a wide open affair for this reason: not a single one of the winners of the previous dozen Slingshot feature race winners is entered in this year’s race.
Champ Karts, with sixty entries will be headed by recent Indoor Race winners Anthony Colandro of Albertson, N.Y., and Trenton winners Chris Daley of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., and Justin Gumley of Howell, N.J.
The roar of racing engines was first heard inside cavernous Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1938 when an enterprising promoter thought bringing race cars, and fans, in from the cold in the dead of winter seemed like a good idea.
Sixty-five years later, in 2003, Len Sammons Motorsports Productions (LSMP) resurrected the concept and it has become the Mid-Winter Motorsports Happening in the racing world.
Tickets for the event are available at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets and online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Advanced, lower level ticket holders are invited to Fanfest on Saturday night starting at 5pm, for an opportunity to walk the track and meet the drivers before the racing kicks off at 7pm.
For more event info visit www.aarn.com or call the Len Sammons
Productions office at 609-888-3618.