BOARDWALK HALL, ATLANTIC CITY, NJ
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2016
Ryan Flores Sets New TQ Qualifying Record In Boardwalk Hall, DiMattia, Lichty, Rudolph, Tidman Score TQ A-Qualifiers; Dylan Steuer, Joey Bruning Best Slingshot, Champ Kart Time Trials
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (Fri.) – Ryan Flores, formerly of Monmouth County, N.J., but now living in Mooresville, N.C., where he works for the Roger Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup team of Joey Logano, out-qualified the 92-car TQ Midget field inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall Friday night and set a new track record in the process.
Flores’ 7.937 lap time shattered the 8.029 one lap standard set by Erick Rudolph in 2015 qualifying. Rudolph broke his former mark with a 7.980 lap time and Jimmy Blewett’s 8.000 third place clocking was also under the previous record mark.
“These indoor TQ races are the only racing I do all year,” Flores said. “Mark Lafler (car builder) really helped me today getting the set up perfect.”
Four twenty-car, twenty-lap TQ Midget A-Qualifiers were won by 19-year old Purdue University engineering student Tony DiMattia over Zane Zeiner and Tim Buckwalter; by Canadian Mike Lichty in a wild affair that saw leaders Andy Jankowiak and Jimmy Blewett tangle while battling for the lead, only to return to the fray and finish second and third; by defending Gambler’s Classic winner Erick Rudolph, who marched from tenth to first in just three laps, and by Ryan Tidman, past ATQMRA Midget circuit champion who drove Donna and Lenny Boyd’s TQ to victory, like Rudolph from a tenth place start.
As a result of the time trial and heat race finishes, Rudolph, Zeiner, Blewett, Lichty, Tidman, Anthony Sesely, Rob Vivona, Buckwalter and DiMattia are all locked into the Saturday night Gambler’s Classic.
A ten-lap TQ Non-Qualifier race was the first race of the Friday night program. Jack Conover was the winner.
In Slinger Warehouse Slingshot action, thirteen year old Dylan Steuer, who had competed only after receiving a special age waiver from the New Jersey the week before the race, turned a 9.884 second lap to outpace a field of 45 entries, 42 of whom took time.
A trio of Slingshot A-Qualifying heat races, each at 12 laps, were won by Frank Yankowski, John Aumick and Joe Toth.
Champ Kart qualifying was paced by Joey Bruning, an Orange County Fair Speedway weekly Sportsman racer. Bruning’s 9.442 sec. lap surpassed a 48 car field.
Three twelve lap Champ Kart heat races were taken by James Hayden, Richie Davidowitz and Eric Zeh.
The climactic Saturday night of NAPA Know How Racing Weekend for the VP Racing Fuels TQ Midget Series presented by Len Sammons Motorsports Productions starts at 7:00 PM with TQ heat races followed by the Slingshot 24-car, 25-lap feature.
A TQ Dash, three TQ B-Mains, and the Champ Kart 24-car, 25-lap A-Main precede the 14th annual Gambler’s Classic TQ Midget feature with 26 starters running over a 40-lap distance.
First TQ A Qualifier Finish (20): 1. Tony DiMattia, 2. Zane Zeiner, 3. Tim Buckwalter, 4. Andrew Nye, 5. Ryan Preece, 6. Lou Cicconi, 7. Brett Michalski, 8. Jack Conover, 9. Josh Dalrymple, 10. Steve Craig, 11. Adam Bertemy, 12. Neal Williams, 13. John Ivy, 14. Jesse Maurer, 15. Nick Ladyga, 16. Earl Paules, 17. Pat Bealer, 18. Ryan Susice, 19. Shawn McCaughey, 20. Brett Conkling.
Second TQ A Qualifier Finish (20): 1. Mike Lichty, 2. Andy Jankowkiak, 3. Jimmy Blewett, 4. Luke Thomas, 5. Patrick Emerling, 6. Matt Remick, 7. Bobby Holmes, 8. Tommy Catalano, 9. Joey Payne, 10. Scott Kreutter, 11. Mark Yoder, 12. Chad Jones, 13. Sheldon Iudicello, 14. Ted Christopher, 15. Aaron Bartemy, 16. Chris deRitis, 17. Ryan Bartlett, 18. Bruce Leote, 19. Anthony Payne, 20. Andrew Krause.
Third TQ A Qualifier Finish (20): 1. Erick Rudolph, 2. Shawn Nye, 3. Jonathan Reid, 4. DJ Shaw, 5. Rob Vivona, 6. Mike Iles, 7. Christopher Allen Jr., 8. Robert Geibel, 9. Bob Baker, 10. Jason Treat, 11. David Calabrese, 12. Russ Gamester, 13. Jeff Kot, 14. Austin Bishop, 15. AJ Hessler, 16. Kyle Lick, 17. Tim Proctor, 18. Brandon Knupp, 19. Timmy Nye, 20. Stefani Palmai.
Fourth TQ A Qualifier Finish (20): 1. Ryan Tidman, 2. Rob Neely, 3. Matt Roselli, 4. Matt Janisch, 5. Anthony Sesely, 6. Thomas Fraschetta, 7. Geoffrey Sutton, 8. James Friesen, 9. Chris Hirt, 10. Eddie Strada, 11. Ronnie Flaim, 12. Louie Horvath, 13. Brad Lamberson, 14. Steve Kemery, 15. Ryan Preece, 16. Brandon Azzallina, 17. Alex Bright, 18. Ryan Flores, 19. Justin Bonsignore, 20. Dakota Kessler.