The men and machines of the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Presented By BELFOR Property Restoration returned to the concrete track inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for the first time in two years with Ryan Flores, Davidson, NC, Joey Bailey, Monroe Twp., NJ, and Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY the three fastest TQ Midget drivers after a three and a half hour practice session.
Flores’ 8.014 was a tenth of a second faster than Bailey, the 2021 ATQMRA TQ champion, who clocked an 8.122. Bonsignore, the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Modified Touring Series champion, ran an 8.141 best lap. Tim Buckwalter, Big Diamond Speedway’s 358 Dirt Modified 2021 champion was fourth (8.154) and Anthony Sesely, Matawan, NJ, a three time Gambler’s Classic past winner, was fifth (8.188).
Andy Jankowiak, Tonawanda, NY, two time and defending Gambler’s Classic winner (8.197), late entry Tyler Thompson, Fulton, NY, 2019 Oswego Supermodified Classic winner (8.201), Mike Christopher, Jr., Wolcott, CT, in just his second ever TQ Midget start (8.210), Kyle Lick, Lehighton, PA, 600 Micro Sprint driver (8.218) and Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, NY, three time Gambler’s Classic winner (8.219) rounded out the top ten fastest timers in the Thursday session. Car owners Jason Simmons and Mark Lafler had two cars each inside the TQ top ten. Simmons owns Bonsignore’s and Thompson’s cars, Lafler owns Buckwalter’s and Rudolph’s TQs.
The quickest laps were set in the final session of the night from among 50 who recorded official times.
Champ Karts also took to the track Thursday night in large numbers with Doug Stearly, Trappe, PA, winner of the last two Champ Kart Atlantic City Indoor races, setting fast time at 9.307. In Slingshot action, Scott Neary, winner of the 2020 Atlantic City Slingshot feature, was fastest with a 9.966 clocking. Forty-seven Karts and 32 Slingshots registered times,
There were several spins during the session, but no crashes or accidents of any consequence.
Action inside Boardwalk Hall resumes Friday with TQ Midget, Champ Kart and Slingshot time trials preceding Friday night racing that begins at 7:30 PM one hour after Boardwalk Hall doors open. TQ, Champ Kart and Slingshot heat races set the stage for a trio of 20-lap TQ Qualifiers which transfer the top three finishers into the Saturday night feature.
Saturday afternoon B Mains for the Champ Karts and Slingshots set the fields for both of those features. Doors open Saturday night at 5:00 and lead directly to Fan Fest, the trackside gathering spot for drivers and cars racing during the night. Fans with tickets in the lower sections of Boardwalk Hall will have the opportunity to take photos and have autographs signed by the racers. Then racing begins at 7:00 with four TQ heat races, the Champ Kart 20-lap A main event, a TQ Dash among the top nine qualifiers to determine starting spots in the later A-Main, and a pair of TQ B Mains which are the last chances for drivers to gain a starting berth in the TQ feature. The Slingshot A-Main of 20-laps is the final race prior to the main event. Then, the 19th running of the NAPA KNOW HOW Gambler’s Classic for TQ Midgets, run over a 40-lap distance is the race drivers, teams and fans are in greatest anticipation of. Good seats are still available for the Friday and Saturday nights of racing.