Story By: ERNIE SAXTON / SAMMONS PRODUCTIONS – ALLENTOWN, PA – One night after riding out a spectacular flip early in the TQ Midget feature, Ryan Flores of Troutman, NC, came back to score an impressive win inside Allentown, PA’s PPL Center in the 40-lap Indoor Auto Racing Series Allentown finale .
“ There were a lot of challenges out there tonight,” Flores said. “But the car was good, good enough to run the last ten laps with a left rear tire that was going down.”
Dylan Hoch of Mertztown, PA, was in the right place at the right time and won the Slingshot 20-lap co-feature.
In the 40-lap TQ Midget main event, pole position starter Andy Jankowiak led the first 30 laps chased by Flores, up from fourth from lap seven on.
Flores gained the lead from Jankowiak on lap 31 with Tim Buckwalter challenging. Buckwalter’s bid ended when he spun, and Bobby Holmes, who had been third, was penalized for over- aggressive driving. With both of those contenders falling back, Steve Kemery, one of only two drivers making the feature field with a 600 Sprint in an otherwise all TQ field, assumed second and finished there ahead of Jeremy Haudricourt, who was making just his fourth career Indoor Auto Racing Series start. Fast timer Anthony Payne bounced back from an early race spin and pit stop to finish fourth and Ryan Bartlett was fifth.
Completing the top ten finishers were Briggs Danner, who had started 24 th and last, Matt Janisch, Earl Paules, first year Indoor Auto Racing Series competitor Michael Barnes and Buckwalter, who rebounded after his forced spin.
Payne’s 7.901 TQ time trial lap was fastest among the 41 entrants. Flores, at 7.909, Jankowiak at 7.935 and Buckwalter at 7.944 were just fractionally slower.
Kyle Lick, Flores, Holmes, and Paules won the four ten lap heat races for the TQ Midgets and Payne along with Pat Bealer won the pair of 12 lap TQ B-Mains.
Slingshot feature winner Hoch, who had started 15 th , was running a close second to leader Scott Neary, from ninth, when they and Alex Reinsmith, in third, encountered heavy lapped traffic with seven laps left in the feature.
Hoch zipped by Reinsmith and was catching Neary for the lead when several lapped cars tangled in front of them . Hoch darted to the inside of a slowing Neary, took the lead, then crossed the start-finish line seconds before a caution flag came out for a subsequent tangle.
As the leader of the lap, Hoch restarted with the lead over Neary with the race running its final circuits without further slowdown. Neary was second, Brett Bieber third, Michael Lapicki fourth and Aiden Svanda fifth.
Slingshot 8-lap heat races for the 35 entrants were won by Kurt Bettler, Danny Buccafusca, Lapicki and Reinsmith. Matt Mertz and Fred Gamache each won a 10-lap B-Main qualifier.
Early arrivals to the PPL Center were treated to a trackside Fan Fest meet and greet session that included a guest appearance by IndyCar star and Nazareth, PA resident Marco Andretti. Andretti ran several hot laps in Kyle Lick’s 600 Sprint and was warmly received by the big crowd.
The Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Race Fuels moves to Atlantic City, N.J.’s Boardwalk Hall on Friday and Saturday, January 31st and February 1st for the 18th annual NAPA Auto Parts Classic.
The BELFOR Concrete Series season finale is on Friday and Saturday March 13th and 14th in a return to the Exposition Center located on the grounds of the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY.
TQ Midget A-Main (40 Laps): 1. Ryan Flores, 2. Steve Kemery, 3. Jeremy Haudricourt, 4. Anthony Payne, 5. Ryan Bartlett, 6. Briggs Danner, 7. Matt Janisch, 8. Earl Paules, 9. Michael Barnes, 10. Tim Buckwalter, 11. Tim Iulg, 12. Bobby Holmes, 13. Andy Jankowiak, 14. Joey Jarowicz, 15. Pat Bealer, 16. Erick Rudolph, 17. Shawn Nye, 18. Kyle Lick, 19. Jon Reid, 20. Tyler Thompson, 21. Andrew Molleur, 22. Anthony Sesely, 23. Mike Bednar, 24. Scott Kreutter.
Slings ho t A-Main (40 Laps): 1. Dylan Hoch, 2. Scott Neary, 3. Brett Bieber, 4. Michael Lapicki, 5. Aiden Svanda, 6. Tyler Ulsh, 7. Cody Kline, 8. Louden Reimert, 9. Parker Guldin, 10. Matt Mertz, 11. Austin Bellemare, 12. Fred Gamache, 13. Kurt Bettler, 14. Alex Reinsmith, 15. Mark Mohr, 16. Grant Hilfiger, 17. Neil Rutt III, 18. Danny Buccafusca, 19. Kyle Herve, 20. Kevin Kromer.