A relatively incident free practice session Thursday night inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall was dominated by perennial contender Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J., and Battle Of Trenton Indoor Three Quarter (TQ) race winner last December, Andy Jankowiak of Buffalo, N.Y.
Blewett was quickest on the clocks in the first and fourth practices for the featured TQ Midgets while Jankowiak topped the charts in practices two and three.
“I actually think I could have been quickest in the last practice but didn’t ever get a clean lap,” Jankowiak said.
Blewett, who along with Shawn Nye, was among the top five in each of the four practice periods, was happy with his progress. “The car feels pretty consistent but we’re always looking for more speed,” Blewett said.
The practice session was in preparation for the NAPA KNOW HOW Race Weekend this Friday and Saturday. The TQ Midgets race feature events both nights with the two support classes, the Lentini Auto Salvage Slingshots and the Champ Karts, completing most of their qualifying Friday and running features Saturday.
Two drivers who were not among the top five in any of the sessions were big winners Anthony Sesely of Hazlet, N.J., and Ted Christopher of Plainville, Ct.
Sesely, who has won the last three Boardwalk Hall Indoor TQ features, may have been among the quickest, but he elected not to run with a transponder lap time recording device.
Christopher battled a balky engine early in practice, changed powerplants, experienced the same difficulty with the second motor and eventually traced the problem to a fuel feed computer. Yet the issues resurfaced in the final session, leaving the eight time career TQ Midget winner in desperate need of a clean practice session tomorrow afternoon.
The only serious crash of the practice involved Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct., who hopped another competitor’s wheel and slammed into the outside concreter barrier. Though unhurt, Preece’s car sustained significant damage, though repairs were well underway once the car was brought back to the pit area.
In Lentini Auto Salvage Slingshot practice periods, Matt Langbein of Toms River, N.J., Nick Shaw of Chatham, N.J., and Gary Hieber Jr., of Langhorne, Pa., were fastest in the three timed sessions.
Champ Kart practice quick timers in the three stints were James Hayden, Zach Myers and Chris Daley.
Racing gets underway Friday at 7:30pm while Saturday’s racing program takes the first green flag at 7pm.
Choice tickets for the event are available at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations and online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Advance purchase, 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.
– Ernie Saxton press release
– Photo credit: Area Auto Racing News