Category Archives: Indoor Auto Racing Championship Series Fueled by VP

BARTLETT’S TIRE FAILS POST-RACE TECH, SESELLY DECLARED SYRACUSE TO MIDGET WINNER

TRENTON, NJ MARCH 28, 2022 . . . Ryan Bartlett could not have been happier when he won his first Indoor Auto Racing Series TQ Midget victory inside the New York State Fairgrounds Exposition Center on Saturday, March 12. On Friday, March 25, the veteran dirt Modified driver from Watertown, N.Y. couldn’t have been more disappointed after Indoor Auto Racing Series officials notified him by phone that he was disqualified for a tire that failed a post-race test.

“When I first received the phone call the team and myself were completely dumbfounded on the situation. We openly deny the use of any chemicals to alter our race program to gain any sort of unfair advantage,” said Bartlett in a prepared statement.

As a result of Bartlett’s disqualification, Anthony Sesely from Matawan, N.J., who finished second, was declared the winner of the Saturday night TQ Midget feature.

“I feel really bad for him,” said Sesely by phone after hearing the news of his win, the fourth for him on the Indoor Series.

Tire samples were taken from the three Triple 20 winners (Bartlett, Tim Buckwalter and Briggs Danner) after the Friday features. Only the right-rear tire on Bartlett’s No. 93 failed to meet Hoosier Tire benchmarks after an independent laboratory analysis was completed.

Samples of Bartlett’s right-front tire were taken following his Saturday win and it passed the test as did right-rear tires on TQs driven by Sesely and third place Scott Kreutter.

“We can’t understand how this could have happened. We have retained a lawyer and are pursuing legal action to fight the situation because we feel this isn’t right,” said Bartlett in the statement.

Bartlett was stripped of $1,000 for a win on Friday night in one of three 20-lap qualifiers that earned top three finishers starting spots in the top nine positions in Saturday’s 40-lap main event.

In exciting fashion, Bartlett won Saturday’s feature which would have paid him an additional $3,000.

“Saturday night’s winning tires passed with no issue at all and we have passed several other previous tire tests in past events with the series. We fully understand the consequences upon doing anything to alter the tires and have always stood by our morals and reputation and have supported the series in having the tests completed,” Bartlett added.

Because the qualifying events on Friday were linked to the Saturday feature, Bartlett was disqualified for the entire weekend by series rules and forfeited $4,000 in purse money.

The win for Sesely, came aboard a brand new TQ Midget built by Jeff Ulrich and Rick Kluth. Sesely, who led the race early was forced to pit under a red flag on lap 13 when he noticed his car was leaking fuel.

“We had a really great car and might have gotten him (Bartlett) if the race was a lap or two longer, but he drove an excellent race and has tried so hard for so long. I really do feel bad for him,” said Sesely sincerely.

During a lengthy delay to clean the track after another car had dropped fluid, Sesely’s team replaced a fuel line and a shut-off valve. The three-time Atlantic City Gambler’s Classic winner then drove back to the front.

With the checkered flag waving at lap 40 on Bartlett, Sesely drove under Kreutter off turn four to take second place which now grants his team the victory.

Timmy Solomito, who drove Frankie Caprara’s TQ Midget for the first time in Syracuse and finished second to Bartlett on Friday, will now collect that Triple 20 win and $1,000.

Bartlett and his family team have competed on the Indoor Auto Racing Series since its first race was held inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall in 2003. This past season, however, has been their best.

After opening the series inside Allentown, Pa.’s PPL Center the first week in January with a 14th place finish, Bartlett returned to Atlantic City to score an impressive fourth in a Friday qualifier and seventh in Saturday’s Gambler’s Classic.

Had Bartlett’s win been made official, he would have finished third in the point standings behind Kreutter and Tim Buckwalter. After the disqualification, Bartlett slipped outside the top- ten in the points.

“This has caused myself and others to be mentally physically and emotionally tore up about this and worst of all attacked our character and morals in the motorsports world,” finalized a “sincerely confused” Bartlett in his statement.

Briggs Danner will now be third in the standings, with Joey Bailey moving up to fourth and Sesely finishing fifth.

Ryan Flores of Mooresville, N.C. was also stripped of an Indoor Series victory in January after he failed a tire test following his victory in the Gambler’s Classic inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. Tim Nye was the first series tire disqualification when he failed a test following qualifying at the series opener in Allentown, Pa.

“Disqualifying any driver is hard, calling them to inform them of the failed tire test is especially hard,” stated series promoter Len Sammons.

“The entire Sammons family and everyone involved with the Indoor Series was generally happy for the Bartletts to get their first series win in Syracuse. It was too similar to the phone call we had to make after Atlantic City to Ryan Flores. Both drivers scored big wins, close to their hometowns.

“But we must rely on the findings of the respected laboratory testing. The drivers agreed to eliminate the use of chemical treatments on tires which once was legal on our series. All the drivers sign a tire contract with the series each season agreeing to the process. In fairness to all the other drivers who competed, we had no option but to disqualify them. There is no gray area, either the tire meets the benchmark or it doesn’t.”

As per the Indoor Series tire agreement, the Bartlett team took the option to pay for further testing to be done by the laboratory to find what chemicals were present. This process doesn’t change the results but does give the car owner which specific chemicals had been found. The chemicals found are not present in any Hoosier Tire compound.

While the team is not arguing the test results, they plead innocent to having knowingly done anything to have altered the chemical make-up of the tire in question

BARTLETT WINS SYRACUSE INDOOR SEASON FINALE, KREUTTER CROWNED BELFOR INDOOR CHAMPION

SYRACUSE, NY MARCH 12, 2022 . . . Ryan Bartlett of Watertown, NY survived a late collision with challenger Andy Jankowiak then held off Anthony Sesely, who had been leading the feature until having a fuel line problem that forced him to make repairs, and Scott Kreutter earning the win in the 40 lap TQ Midget feature. With his third place finish Kreutter earned the 2022 Indoor Auto Racing Series TQ Midget championship.

 “I came here this weekend thinking I would have been happy with a tenth place finish,” Bartlett quipped. “I have been running these races for a long time and have probably not qualified for the feature as often as made it. The car was good, the track was challenging.”

 Bartlett and Jankowiak tangled with three laps left, with Jankowiak flipping, only to land back on his wheels and continue racing on the restart.

 Kreutter, whose Indy Kart Raceway sponsored the night of racing, secured his first Series title.  Kreutter noted that the trophy, the Ted Christopher Memorial Cup, was particularly meaningful to him since the car he drove was the same one Christopher drove to victory in his final Series race prior to his untimely passing.

 Tommy Catalano and Joey Bailey completed the top five in the TQ 40-lap feature.

 Missy Bootes of Carlisle, PA took advantage of a late race scramble that sent leader Dan Marsden into the outside wall and opened the door for her to pass Mike Perry for the lead half a lap into the resumption of the race to prevail. Bootes, a veteran Champ Kart racer, became the first female winner of an Indoor Auto Racing Series race.

 Perry claimed second in the 20-lapper with Jon Keister third, Dan Kapusunski fourth and Logan Crisafulli fifth. Keister’s third place finish earned him the Indoor Auto Racing Series Champ Kart Series championship.

  Scott Neary won the 20-lap Slingshot feature. Jared Silfee, Matt Mertz, Brett Bieber, and Bryan Preville completed the top five. Bieber, who had won both of the previous 2022 Series features, was crowned the 2022 Indoor Auto Racing Series Slingshot championship.

 Four TQ Midget Qualifiers, each ten laps in length, and transferring the top two finishers to the A-Main, led off the night. Tyler Lindsay won the first over Tyler Wagner, Joey Bailey the second ahead of Matt Swanson, Bobby Holmes the third over Mike Christopher, Jr., and Bobby Holmes besting Jeremy Haudricourt in the fourth. The first three races ran non-stop; the fourth was slowed only twice by caution flags.

 A 5-lap TQ Dash, among the nine drivers who had qualified for the first three rows in the lineup in Friday racing, was won by Tommy Catalano over Anthony Sesely and Shawn Nye.

 A 12-lap Champ Kart B Main was won by James Shutts.

 Matt Janisch, who crashed Friday night in the third TQ Midget Triple Twenty Qualifier, did not compete in the Saturday night program. Janisch is the car owner of the No. 48 TQ that was driven by Briggs Danner over the race weekend.  He was, however, at the track spectating.

 Indoor Auto Racing Series officials have announced 2023 tentative dates for the events in Allentown, PA (Jan. 6-7), Atlantic City (Jan. 27-28), and Syracuse (March, TBD).

 TQ Midget Feature (40 Laps): 1. Ryan Bartlett, 2. Anthony Sesely, 3. Scott Kreutter, 4. Tommy Catalano 5. Joey Bailey, 6. Andrew Nye, 7. Shawn Nye, 8. Joey Payne, 9. Tim Buckwalter, 10. Matt Roselli, 11. Jonathan Reid,  12.Matt Swanson,  13. Jeremy Haudricourt, 14. Briggs Danner, 15. Erick Rudolph,  16. Tyler Lindsay, 17. Trevor Catalano, 18. Andy Jankowiak, 19. Zack Bealer, 20. Ryan Tidman 21. Timmy Solomito, 22. Bobby Holmes,  23. Charlie Schultz,  24. Tyler Wagner.

 Slingshot Feature (20 Laps): 1. Scott Neary, 2. Jared Silfee, 3. Matt Mertz, 4. Brett Bieber, 5. Ryan Preville, 6. Mike Lipicki, 7. Alex Reinsmith. 8. Cody Bleau, 9. Louden Reimert, 10. Mike Mora, 11. Ryan Raidline, 12. James Benz, 13. Cody Kline, 14. Brett Putnam. 15. Paul Hartwig, Jr., 16. Nick Fallis, 17. Brian Smith, 18. Tucker Jones, 19. Brock Pinkerous.

 Champ Kart Feature (20 Laps): 1. Missy Bootes, 2. Mike Perry, 3. Jon Keister, 4. Dan Kapusunski, 5. Logan Crisafulli, 6. Chase Keister, 7. Dominic Roselli, 8. Sean Glennon,  9. Ron Midford, Jr., 10. James Stuitts, 12. Chris Natoli,13. Tyler Brown, 14. Ryan Root, 15. Dylan Dinsmoor, 16. Dustin Gagne, 17. TJ Reed, 18. Dan Marsden, 19. Anthony Colandro, 20. Doug Stearly.

                                                                                                

FOUR TIME INDOOR SERIES CHAMPION ERICK RUDOLPH IS LATE ENTRY FOR SYRACUSE INDOOR RACES

SYRACUSE, NY MARCH 9, 2022 . . . This could change everything!

Ransomville, NY standout Erick Rudolph has entered the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Racing Fuels 2022 finale set for this Friday and Saturday, March 11-12.

The BELFOR Property Restoration series race sponsored by Indy Kart Raceway will be held at the New York State Fairgrounds Exposition Center.

The much-anticipated race weekend is the first in Syracuse since the 2019 inaugural event. Races planned for 2020 and 2021 were both canceled due to the pandemic.

Over 100 entries have been filed by TQ Midget, Champ Kart, and Slingshot teams, with the TQs accounting for about half that number.

Rudolph, who missed the 2022 Allentown, PA Series opener, then ran fourth in the Atlantic City Gambler’s Classic, had not planned on being in the Syracuse field this weekend. His intention had been to race in Georgetown, DE, in a Dirt Modified event, but that race was postponed Wednesday in anticipation of wet weather.

Thus Rudolph enacted his backup plan.

The four-time series king (2012, 2015, 2016, 2019) has won nine TQ A-Main events in his career with the Series, more than any other driver. Those include a win at Syracuse in 2019, an effort that resulted in his fourth Series title.

Rudolph’s other wins came in Atlantic City four times, Trenton, NJ twice, and Allentown, PA twice.

He was leading in the Atlantic City race this year until a tangle with Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, NY forced him to the rear of the field. Rudolph salvaged a top-five finish.

Rudolph will have the benefit of driving a car built and owned by Mark Lafler, also of Ransomville, NY. The bright yellow Lafler entry carries the No. 22.

Cars built by Lafler were guided to 2022 Indoor Series victories at Allentown and Atlantic City by Flores and Tim Buckwalter of Douglassville, PA, respectively.

Rudolph is hoping the Syracuse start will rejuvenate what has been a difficult Dirt Track Stock Car season for him so far, including a car-destroying crash into the wall at Volusia Speedway Park in February.

Rudolph is among several TQ Syracuse Indoor race weekend competitors who have come in late.

Matt Swanson of Acton, MA, was recently named the driver of Ken ‘Puddin’ Sebring’s TQ Midget, joining Doug Stearly of Trappe, PA, in a two-car team assault.

Also filing an entry in the days leading up to the race is Bob Reis, the promoter of Freedom Motorsports Park in Delavan, NY. Reis’ varied racing experience includes Asphalt Modified racing in New York State.

Reis debuted a radically designed TQ Midget in the 2019 Syracuse inaugural. The car showed promise, but Reis failed to make the A-Main with it. He will try again this weekend.

Joey Payne of Brick, NJ — one of the most accomplished Supermodified, Midget, and TQ Midget drivers in the northeast — entered the Syracuse race two weeks ago. Payne will drive Bobby Webber’s No. 19, last driven by Justin Bonsignore in the 2019 Syracuse Indoor inaugural.

Payne is a past ATQMRA outdoor driving champion and has enjoyed years of past success with the NEMA Midget organization in New England. His son, Anthony, won an Indoor Auto Racing Series feature in the lone Albany, NY Indoor race, driving for car owner Mike Murray. The Murray TQ is now driven by Mike Bednar.

The late entry of Payne follows the recent announcement of NASCAR Whelen Modified Touring Series standout Timmy Solomito of Islip, NY, moving behind the wheel of the new FX Caprara Cars No. FX1 TQ Midget.

Scott Kreutter, the owner of IndyKart Raceway located in Rochester, NY, and the race sponsor, is a victory threat. He will have added fans on hand to cheer him on.

Oswego Speedway and Circle T Enterprises Ready Mix Division have signed on to sponsor those exciting Friday night Triple 20s, which allows every TQ Midget competitor a chance to run in a qualifier feature event paying $1,000 to win.

The fastest 12 from Friday afternoon qualifying will also make a run for the pole at night in a special knock-out time trial session. Friday’s program begins at 7:30 PM with heat races for the Slingshots and Champ Karts.

New York State is well represented in the field of Champ Kart entrants. A large contingent of racers are residents of New York, including AC winner Dan Marsden of Mexico., NY.

However, two Pennsylvania drivers are currently one-two in points, led by Allentown winner Jonathan Keister and Jason Simmons Racing driver Tyler Brown.

The always exciting Slingshots have also been dominated by Pennsylvania drivers Brett Bieber, Jared Silfee, and Scott Neary, who have finished in the same order in both 2022 series races.

On Saturday, racing begins at 7 PM with qualifying races for the three divisions followed by their feature events. The program concludes with the 40-lap TQ Midget season finale.

Also at stake are the Indoor Auto Racing Series championships. Tim Buckwalter’s TQ Midget victory at Atlantic City, along with a fourth at the opener in Allentown, PA, brings him to Syracuse with momentum and a slim 15-point lead over Matt Janisch of Nazareth, PA

Defending series champion Andy Jankowiak will drive east to Syracuse from Tonawanda, NY. Jankowiak is fourth in the points after a disappointing AC finish, yet still in the title hunt.

Tickets are available in a range of different prices through links on indoorautoracing.com. Tickets will also be available for each race night starting at 3 PM at the Exposition Center Box office the day of the events. New York State has removed all restrictions in regards to covid-19, no masks are required.

Ticket holders on both Friday and Saturday will have the opportunity to walk the pits before the action begins to meet drivers and see the race cars up close. Fan Fest hours start on Friday at 6 PM and Saturday at 5:30 PM.

Race fans can enjoy a doubleheader weekend at the Fairgrounds with the 34th annual Syracuse Motorsports Expo and Trade Show being held at the Center Of Progress Building on the Fairgrounds on Saturday from 10 to 8 and Sunday 10 to 4.

For race fans who cannot make the trip to Syracuse to see the races in person, DirtTrackDigest.TV will be sending high-quality video coverage to subscribers from multiple cameras. The action will be called by the Indoor Auto Racing series veteran announcer Shane Andrews accompanied by and Steve Ovens.

For up-to-date information and for advance tickets, visit the Indoor Auto Racing Series website indoorautoracing.com.