DIRT TRACK STAR TIM BUCKWALTER IS FASTEST IN BOARDWALK HALL THREE QUARTER MIDGET PRACTICE FOR NAPA KNOW HOW WEEKEND IN ATLANTIC CITY; DRIVES INJURED TIMEX MORGAN’S CAR TO QUICK TIME OVER 48 OTHER; TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR TONIGHT AND SATURDAY RACES
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ JANUARY 26, 2018 . . . Dirt track ace Tim Buckwalter of Royersford, Pa., was fastest Thursday night in practice for this weekend’s Three Quarter (TQ) Midget Indoor Auto Races inside Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. In so doing Buckwalter served notice to his rivals that he will be among the favorites for victory in in Saturday night’s Gambler’s Classic.
Buckwalter, a dirt track driver who is equally proficient with Midgets, SpeedSTRS, Micro Sprints and Stock Cars, stopped the clocks in 8.171 seconds, one tenth of a second faster than Ryan Flores, defending Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Race Fuels champion, who posted an 8.274 clocking. Outdoor TQ Midget multi-time champion Matt Janisch (8.329), NASCAR Xfinity Series standout Ryan Preece (8.373) and Wall Stadium Modified champion Jimmy Blewett (8.428) completed the quick five among the 48 who took advantage of Thursday’s optional practice session.
Buckwalter drove the same Lafler chassis car in which its owner, Timex Morgan, received serious back injuries in the Indoor Auto Racing Series opener earlier this month. Morgan is convalescing and could not make the trip to Atlantic City.
“The last time out was the first time we put new tires on the car and it made a huge difference,” Buckwalter said. “The tires tightened the car up, made it more comfortable to drive. It was really easy to be smooth.”
Flores, second fastest, admitted he had more in his car. “We just have to find to it. We have a little more work to do,” Flores said.
Drivers who time trialed sixth through tenth were Allentown Indoor Auto Racing Series winner Justin Bonsignore, reigning ATQMRA Midget champion Ryan Tidman, teenage Indoor Auto Racing Series rookie Briggs Danner, defending Gambler’s Classic winner Erick Rudolph and Andy Jankowiak.
Also warming up Friday night were the Champ Kart and the Slingshot drivers.
Anthony Colandro was quickest in the Champ Karts trailed by teammate Eric Zeh and perennial Champ Kart indoor winner Chris Daley.
In Slingshots, Joe Toth was quick timer ahead of Damon Paul and Nick DelCampo.
The optional practice period allowed for several group sessions for all classes. There was only one crash over the course of the three hours of practice. That came when AJ Jadacki flipped his Champ Kart. He was not injured, and the Kart was deemed reparable.
Though track time proved valuable, the times registered were unofficial. Official time trials take place Friday afternoon that will determine the starting lineups for Friday night’s TQ events.
Friday night’s racing program, beginning at 7:30 PM, will feature TQ Midgets competing in four 20-lap A-Main Qualifying races along with heat races to set the starting lineups for the Champ Kart and Slingshot features.
Saturday night’s races, starting at 7:00 PM, will be preceded by Fan Fest, a ‘meet-and-greet’ trackside opportunity to get autographs and photos from the competitors will be racing in the evening’s program.
The main event Saturday is the 16th running of the Gambler’s Classic TQ Midget feature. Champ Karts and Slingshots will also run their NAPA Know How Weekend features.
Tickets for both Friday and Saturday are available from the Boardwalk Hall Box Office in Atlantic City each day with plenty of good seats available. Tickets are also attainable from Ticketmaster.