ALLENTOWN, PA — Ryan Flores of Cornelius, N.C., swept the (Three Quarter) TQ Midget Indoor Racing Weekend features inside the Allentown (PA) PPL Center by outrunning upstart Tommy Catalano and hard charging Jimmy Blewett to win the main event Saturday night for the second straight night.
“I got together with Erick (Rudolph) in the middle of the race on a restart and all of the sudden he (Tommy Catalano) is there making it three wide and taking the lead,” Flores said.
“He was good, but I could see he was running at his limit. Next thing, he spun and I was able to pass him.”
That was just the beginning of a series of improbable events that Flores was able to conquer to win for the second straight night. At various times over the final ten laps of a caution-plagued race, Rudolph, Jonathan Reid, Anthony Sesely, Justin Bonsignore, and Catalano, for a second time, lined up alongside or behind Flores.
Catalano impressed by finishing second after spinning while leading.
“Couldn’t be happier,” smiled Catalano. “I went to the rear of the field, what, three, four times? I didn’t even qualify for the Friday feature. We changed everything on the car for tonight, swinging for the fences, and almost won it.”
Blewett, third at race’s end, was the emotional opposite of Catalano. “It was a frustrating weekend all the way around,” Blewett said. “This was a rough night.”
Blewett actually failed to qualify for the TQ feature but was added to back of the 25-car field as the high point driver who had not qualified. He also drove a backup car, one that had been on display in the PPL Center’s Mezzanine, starting last, finishing third, and earning the Schneider Scrap Metal Hard Charger Award.
Andy Jankowiak and Tim Buckwalter were fourth and fifth. Chad Jones, Justin Bonsignore, Jonathan Reid, Brett Michalski and Matt Roselli rounded out the top ten.
Flores had come into the PPL Center weekend having never won a LSMP Indoor feature. He now has two straight victories to add to his prior five second place efforts.
Chris Daley mastered the Champ Kart feature field in the Saturday night co-feature by lap two and went on to dominate the 20-lap headliner. JJ Pacovich, Trenton LSMP Indoor winner Cale Ross, DJ Doyle and TJ Reed completed the top five.
The win was Daley’s eighth career win in LSMP-promoted events and was the first Champ Kart race inside PPL Center.
Six TQ Midget ten lap heat races and three 12-lap B mains preceded the feature action to winnow the 52-car field down to the 24 feature starters.
Ryan Flores, Erick Rudolph, Tim Buckwalter, Nick Ladyga, Ted Christopher and Earl Paules won the heats with Scott Kreutter, Zane Zeiner and Ryan Krachun capturing B Main wins.
Ryan Swartz, TJ Reed and JJ Pacovich won the three eight lap Champ Kart heat races run for the 22-kart field and Gene Gregoric III won the eight lap B Main.
The Indoor Auto Racing Championship Series closes out at Atlantic City, NJ’s Boardwalk Hall January 27-28, 2017 with the 15th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Classic.
Three Quarter (TQ) Midget Feature Finish (40 Laps): 1. Ryan Flores, 2. Tommy Catalano, 3. Jimmy Blewett, 4. Andy Jankowiak, 5. Tim Buckwalter, 6. Chad Jones, 7. Justin Bonsignore, 8. Jonathan Reid, 9. Brett Michalski, 10. Matt Roselli, 11. Tim Proctor, 12. Anthony Sesely, 13. Earl Paules, 14. Erick Rudolph, 15. Ryan Tidman, 16. Zane Zeiner, 17. Andrew Krause, 18. Scott Kreutter, 19. Ryan Krachun, 20. Ted Chistopher, 21. Nick Ladyda, 22. Brandon Azzalina, 23. Rob Neely, 24. Dakota Kessler, 25. Kyle Lick.
Champ Kart Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Chris Daley, 2. JJ Pacovich, 3. Cale Ross, 4. DJ Doyle, 5. TJ Reed, 6. Ryan Swartz, 7. Tim Gregory, 8. Jeremy Tuttle, 9. Adam Giovanetti, 10. Craig Pellegrini, 11. Jessica Little, 12. Dalton Rovira, 13. Tyler Tank, 14. Alex Achey, 15. Gene Gregoric III, 16. Phil Sabatine, 17. Jon Pepe, 18. Austin Brengel, 19. John Berger, 20. Richie Spaide.
-Release by Steve Barrick, Len Sammons Motorsports Productions
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos