Atlantic City, NJ -- Andy Jankowiak of North Tonawanda, NY showed himself as the man to beat this weekend in Boardwalk Hall as the upstate New Yorker drove a homebuilt Three Quarter (TQ) Midget to quickest time Thursday night in three of the five timed practice sessions. Jankowiak’s first session time of 7.964 was quickest overall among the 52 drivers who practiced. Lou Cicconi, Aston, PA and Ryan Flores, Troutman, NC were quickest in one session each.
Cicconi is a two-time past winner of the Gambler’s Classic, and Flores is defending champion of the prestigious race that will be run Saturday night as the climactic event of NAPA KNOW HOW Weekend in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. Jankowiak is an Atlantic City TQ feature winner, in 2015, but that win was in a Friday preliminary night event.
Jared Silfee of Saylorsburg, PA ran a 10.149 lap to set the standard over the five Slingshot practices while Mike Perry of Dighton, MA’s 9.617 lap was quickest in the five Champ Kart practices.
One TQ driver who did not run any laps Thursday night was Scott Kreutter of Buffalo, NY, a perennial Gambler’s Classic contender and 2018 Indoor Auto Racing Series race winner in Allentown, PA. Kreutter’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, a boy, Wednesday. Kreutter will make the decision to race or not race Friday morning. If he stays home, the ride in the Trey Hoddick-owned TQ Midget will be taken by Matt Farnham, who practiced the car Thursday and was among the top ten fastest TQ drivers.
Tonight, Friday, the three classes after running time trials will compete in a series of heat races that will help determine the eligible drivers for Saturday night’s feature races. The TQs will first to go to post in a Non-Qualifiers race, followed by Slingshot and Champ Kart Qualifying heats.
The biggest races on Friday are the four 20-lap TQ Midget heat races, traditionally action-packed affairs. Often these races are predictors of the Saturday night main event, the TQ Midget Gambler’s Classic.
Doors open at 6:30 PM for Friday night’s racing.
On Saturday, following Slingshot and Champ Kart B Mains in the afternoon, doors open at 5:00 PM for the final qualifying races that will set the starting lineups for the three features. Champ Karts and Slingshots each run 20-lap features before the headline 17th running of the TQ Midget Gambler’s Classic. Cale Ross and Brett Bieber are defending Kart and Slingshot Boardwalk Hall race winners.
The Classic, run over 40 laps, was won last year by Ryan Flores. In the six runnings before Flores won last year, Erick Rudolph and Anthony Sesely each won the Big One three times.
Tickets for both Friday and Saturday night’s Indoor Auto Racing Series NAPA KNOW HOW Weekend are available from the Boardwalk Hall box office in Atlantic City.
-Indoor Auto Racing Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com