Ryan Flores has enjoyed a spectacular winter after winning both TQ Midget features at the Allentown, Pa. event and the Indoor Auto Racing Championship fueled by VP. Flores finished second in the series opener in Trenton, NJ the second week in December.
He coupled that with his two wins in Allentown’s PPL Center on New Year’s eve weekend to build up a huge point lead. He clinched the title on Saturday in Atlantic City despite finishing out of the top two for the first time in his Indoor Series career.
“Tonight really wasn’t our night to win,” Flores confessed. “I got a little aggressive out there, spun, had to go to the back of the pack. I got into the No. 66 (Andrew Nye) and again had to go to the back of the pack. I knew I couldn’t afford to do anything like that again once I was in the top ten.”
Even though the win eluded him, Flores was thankful for the championship, but still frustrated to finish where he did.
“Sometimes you’ve gotta swallow your pride and eat a top ten,” said Flores. “I really wanted to bring this home for all the guys who helped me and all my sponsors. Wall Stadium Street Stocks is where it all started. It just shows that with hard work and determination and the right people around you, you can do anything.”
When asked how he can deal with all the pressure of having to win and getting married last month and his obligations in NASCAR to the Wood Brothers and Penske, Flores answered, “I have a really loving wife. It was fun. We were excited and our wedding was over and the money was all spent, ya know, it was done! It’s a really high stress job (in NASCAR), you have to be great all week long, and you have to be great every time you go to a racetrack and every pit stop, and when you’re doing that, it helps your mind when you are at a race like this doing this (indoor) stuff.
“I was nervous before getting in the car, but once I got in the car, put on the helmet and strapped in, the nerves went away so it was good,” said the champion, who started his career at Wall Stadium’s 1/4 Midget speedway at a young age.
Race winner Erick Rudolph, the defending series champion, ended up second in the points with Zane Zeiner third, Jimmy Blewett fourth and Tim Buckwalter in fifth.
FINAL TQ Midgets Points: 1. Ryan Flores 389, 2. Erick Rudolph 360, 3. Zane Zeiner 342, 4. Jimmy Blewett 338, 5. Tim Buckwalter 279, 6. Scott Kreutter 271, 7. Andy Jankowiak 258, 8. Matt Janisch 232, 9. Justin Bonsignore 218, 10. Anthony Sesely 200, 11. Rob Neely 196, 12. Jonathan Reid 192, 13. Ryan Tidman 190, 14. Brandon Azzalina 187, 15. Brett Michalski 169.