Erick Rudolph wrapped a near-perfect weekend Saturday night at Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, N.J., when he won the 40-lap Battle Of Trenton TQ Midget Indoor race. The victory was his second of the three race Len Sammons Motorsports Productions VP Racing Series 2016 season and he earned his second straight Series title with the win.
“The car was good, as it always seems to be,” Rudolph said. “I got a break or two in lapped traffic and was able to get good restarts.”
Tony DiMattia, driving one of the four 600 Micro Sprint cars that qualified for the 26-car feature, moved by Jimmy Blewett off the final turn on the last lap to finish a shocking second; Blewett settled for third.
“I dropped back a little at the start because things happen in the early laps in these races,” DiMattia, who started 13th, said. “Then the car just started coming in.”
The finish was so close that DiMattia had to be told by his crew after the race that he had edged Blewett for the second spot.
Scott Kreutter’s advance through the field was even more profound than DiMattia’s. He earned fourth at the line from 20th starting spot. Patrick Emerling was fifth.
Jonathan Reid, pole starter Ryan Susice, Bobby Holmes, Nick Ladyga and Shawn Nye rounded out the top ten.
An eight-car, five-lap Dash that determined the order of the first four rows for the 40-lap headliner was won by Susice over Rudolph and Blewett.
Five 10-lap TQ Midget heat races with the top two finishers in each transferring to the A-Main were won by Zane Zeiner over Andrew Krause, by Andy Jankowiak ahead of Matt Roselli, by Emerling over Bobby Holmes, by Justin Bonsignore ahead of Earl Paules and by DiMattia ahead of John Ivy.
Krause’s second place finish in heat one was particularly noteworthy in that he started from the rear of the field. Holmes’ runnerup finish in heat three was remarkable in that he gained the spot over Joey Payne on a daring inside turn three pass on the final lap, and Ivy’s second spot result was worthy of note in that it was his first successful qualifying effort after previous difficulties in Atlantic City.
Mike Lichty won the D-Main for the TQs, and Ryan Tidman the C-Main. The B-Main which secured starting spots for the first four cars in the A-Main was won by Joey Payne.
Jesse Hartman started on the pole in the 20-lap Slingshot feature and stayed there throughout the race. It was a remarkable race in that Anthony Raisner challenged Hartman for the final ten laps as lapped traffic interfered with the leaders’ pace. But Hartman held, to win a race that took just four minutes and three seconds to run.
Hartman, often a Slingshot feature contender in LSMP races, won for the first time. Raisner was second and Paul Hartwig, Jr. ran his best race ever indoors to take third. Teenager Dylan Steuer was fourth and Seth Spayd fifth.
In the Slingshot preliminary racing action, Jesse Hartman, Anthony Raisner and Robbie Albreda won the three Slingshot heat races and Ed Stangle took the checkered flag in the Slingshot B feature.
Rudolph was named the LSMP Slingshot champion, based on points accrued in the Allentown, Atlantic City and Trenton Slingshot races.
The Battle Of Trenton concluded the Len Sammons Motorsports Productions VP Racing Series. Prior events at Allentown, Pa., won by Rudolph and Atlantic City, N.J., won by Sesely preceded the Trenton race.
LSMP will release its 2017 Indoor Series schedule soon. The traditional end of January Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City race will anchor the slate with events at Allentown, Pa. and Trenton, N.J.
TQ Midget Feature (40 Laps): 1. Erick Rudolph, 2. Tony DiMattia, 3. Jimmy Blewett, 4. Scott Kreutter, 5. Patrick Emerling, 6. Jonathan Reid, 7. Ryan Susice, 8. Bobby Holmes, 9. Nick Ladyga, 10. Shawn Nye, 11. Brett Michalski, 12. Justin Bonsignore, 13. Zane Zeiner, 14. Andrew Krause, 15. Anthony Sesely, 16. Matt Roselli, 17. Tim Buckwalter, 18. Andy Jankowiak, 19. John Ivy, 20. Rob Neely, 21. Kyle Reinhardt, 22. Mike Lichty, 23. Earl Paules, 24. Tim Nye, 25. Joey Payne, 26. Ted Chhristopher.
Slingshot Feature (20 Laps): 1. Jesse Hartman, 2. Anthony Raisner, 3. Paul Hartwig, 4. Dillon Steuer, 5. Seth Spayd, 6. Ed Stangle, 7. Frank Yankowski, 8. Dan Spellmon, 9. Joe Toth, 10. Matt Langbein, 11. Kyle Herve, 12. Kurt Bettler, 13. Dan Morgiewicz Jr., 14. Nick Shaw, 15. Matt Stangle, 16. Don Schmidt, 17. AJ Gerhart, 18. Robbie Albreda, 19. Chris Kurtz, 20. Cody Kline.
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