If one was looking to place a safe bet on a competitor to win at the upcoming Atlantic City Indoor Races, they may not need to look any further than Mike Lichty. The Innerkip, Ontario Supermodified hotshoe is almost always in contention for the win at the end of the Gambler’s Classic main event.
Still, in order to be in a position to win in the casino-filled New Jersey city, rolling the dice has to be done and some good vibes have to be on your side.
“A lot of it is the luck of the hat, but it shows how well the car is put together,” Lichty told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We run outdoor midget stuff; spindles and so on. It’s a contact sport, and you have to have speed.”
Lichty agreed that track position is definitely important if he wants to have a chance at the end. The past two years, race winner Anthony Sesely started up front and never looked back despite numerous challenges. One of the final drivers to make a bid in the 2014 running was Lichty, but he came up short with his best finish to date of second.
“We had a good shot last year and could have been a little more aggressive, but I race a little different than some of these guys,” explained Lichty. “You just have to keep your nose clean.”
Driving style is something the 2012 ISMA Supermodified champion takes pride in. Indoor Racing is a close-quartered environment in which even some of the most skilled drivers can end up with an early end to their day without patience. Although at times it can be a completely different animal, it has its similarities to what Lichty and many others do throughout the remainder of the year.
“Quick reaction time is important, but that goes for all kinds of racing,” said Lichty. “You have to be aware of your surroundings, and have some give and take.”
But despite wins at previous indoor venues in Baltimore and Providence, in addition to all of the impressive results over the last decade, Lichty still has yet to claim the big payday at the historic Boardwalk Hall.
“It’s a big show so it’s definitely something I would like to accomplish,” said Lichty.
Lichty might owe his strong runs to the preparation of the car by Larry Turnbull. The car owner originally built the car for his son Colin in the early 2000s, and the Dayglo Motorsports team had some success at indoor events held at the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center.
The group has continued to make improvements each year with the same machine and remain confident that their Patco Transportation, DART Competition Engines, Hoosier Tire East TQ can run with the newest equipment being brought to the facility by some of the region’s heaviest hitters.
One last accomplishment Lichty will be gunning for is a championship and season point fund between the Atlantic City and Trenton races that took place in December. He currently sits 20 markers behind leader Ted Christopher, a system based on qualifying effort and feature finishes. If all the cards are in his favor, 2015 could finally be the year for Mike Lichty in Atlantic City.
Slingshots and Champ Karts join the TQ Midgets in action for the annual extravaganza the final weekend of January. Speed51.com will be on hand at Boardwalk Hall both Friday and Saturday to capture all of the action from time trials to match races to heats and features with live Trackside Now coverage.
-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Correspondent. -Twitter: @Aaron_Creed
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com