TRENTON, NJ – Dirt Modified super star Larry Wight of Phoenix, N.Y. is expected to bring excitement to this weekend’s East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals to be held inside the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ, on Friday and Saturday February 21–22.
‘Lightning Larry’ just returned to his Phoenix, N.Y. home after two weeks of competition in Florida in a dirt Modified when he was offered to drive Kenny Vincent’s 600cc Sprint. The combination makes the new team one of the pre-race favorites to win Saturday’s $5,000 to win 50 lap A-Main.
Wight brought back a championship Gator trophy from Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park after winning three of the five DIRTcar Nationals Modified features held. The 2018 winner of Super DIRT Week in Oswego, N.Y., also has 410, 360 and Midget car experience. In his first appearance at the Chili Bowl Indoor Midget Car event in Tulsa, Okla. in 2017 he became a rookie sensation.
Vincent’s No. 97 600cc Sprint, based out of Delaware, is also a top runner wherever it competes with driver Luke Thomas behind the wheel. When Thomas was not able to compete this weekend, Vincent went looking for a replacement that could take his team to victory lane. Through the urging of friends Wight was chosen and he quickly accepted.
In the first running of the East Coast Dirt Nationals, Thomas blew a tire during a qualifying event that buried him in Saturday’s alphabet soup qualifying races. But Thomas rebounded to transfer from the back of the D-Main to the, C to the B, to the A-Main despite starting in the back of each race. Thomas then drove from the rear of the field again to finish seventh in the A-Main earning him the “Hard Charger” of the event award.
The first Indoor Dirt Nationals was won by Staten Island, N.Y. 600cc Sprint regular Whitey Kidd III. Last year’s event to dirt Modified star Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y. Rudolph, a three-time champion of the Indoor Auto Racing ‘Concrete” series, won last year’s event in a pick-up ride, much like Wight will attempt this weekend.
Wight will join another red-hot driver coming off a sense national Florida Speedweeks. Anthony Nocella of Wolburn, Mass. The 27-year old won twice in an asphalt Modified during the week-long World Series Of Auto Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. This included a photo finish victory in the John Blewett, III Memorial 76-lap race.
Though Nocella’s more recent racing endeavors have consisted of racing Modifieds on pavement, he has considerable background racing 600 Sprints and he’s made three previous appearances at the Chili Bowl in a full-size Midget.
On Friday, by the luck of a blind draw, the field will be split into 10 heat races. Those who start in the back will benefit by points given for each car passed.
The top 60 in heat race points are then divided into four A-Main qualifiers of which the top three transfer directly to Saturday’s 50 lap A-Main event paying $5,000 to the winner.
On Saturday all non-qualified drivers are split into qualifying races by their results on Friday. Each of these events, starting with twin letter F-Mains transfer four to the next main until two B-Mains are reached on the scheduled. In the final qualifiers, the top six transfer to the A-Main which will start 24 cars.
Grandstand gates open at 6 pm on Friday with racing beginning at 7 pm. The doors open at 4 pm on Saturday with an autograph session at 4:30 among the 12 drivers locked into the A-Main after Friday’s events. Racing on Saturday will begin at 6 pm.
Tickets are currently available in a range of different prices at www.indoorautoracing.com or at the venue box office. Friday’s event offers general admission seating throughout the huge arena giving fans a chance to move around and decide on a reserved seat for Saturday’s race.
-Indoor Auto Racing Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo