Behind the Wheel
Kings Without Wings
RUDOLPH BLISTERS TQ AND MICRO FIELDS; MEISENHELDER AND GARY HIEBER ALSO FASTEST IN THURSDAY NAPA AUTO PARTS WEEKEND PRACTICE AT A.C. BOARDWALK HALL; RACING SET FOR FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (Thursday, January 31, 2013) – Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y., left little doubt as to his prowess when he outran both the Three Quarter Midget and the 600 Micro fields in practice laps Thursday night during practice sessions at Atlantic City‘s Boardwalk Hall. Rudolph won three of the four races in last year’s NAPA Auto Parts Indoor Race Weekend and Thursday’s results made him the odds on favorite for another sweep. Champ Kart racer Glen Meisenhelder of Feeding Hills, Mass., and Slingshot driver Gary Hieber, Jr. of Penndel, Pa., were the fastest drivers in their respective divisions Thursday as 172 cars took to the track in anticipation of two days of racing in the NAPA Auto Parts Weekend inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
In the TQ Midget sessions, Rudolph ran a lap of 8.434 in the fourth and final timed session of the night, quickest of the sixty eight TQ Midgets in the pit area. Jimmy Blewett, who had never driven a TQ Midget indoors before this evening, was second fastest with a 8.603 lap. He was trailed by Anthony Sesely (8.648), Ryan Preece (8.663) and Ryan Tidman (8.668) to round out the top five.
The 600cc Micro class saw Rudolph turn the track in the time of 9.270 seconds to outrun thirty other competitors. Pat Bealer (9.301), Lou Cicconi Jr. (9.484), Brandon Azzalina (9.485), and Steve Walters (9.526) were second through fifth.
Meisenhelder stopped the clocks with the time of 9.686 in the Champ Kart timed sessions. He was trailed by Chris Daley (9.721), Justin Bonsignore (9.722), Skyler Sheriff (9.793) and Tim Sullivan (9.799). Thirty-eight Champ Karts were part of the practice.
Hieber’s time of 10.394 was tops among 35 Slingshot teams on the track. Trailing in the top five were Rejean Plante (10.510), Ben Whitaker (10.537), Mike Butler (10.548) and Eddie Strada (10.579).
The optional practice allowed teams to shake down their mounts in anticipation of two days of racing action that begins tonight (Friday) and continues Saturday. Racing Friday, Feb. 1 features TQ Midgets and 600cc Micro Sprint classes running a complete program culminating in a main event. Starting time is 7:30 p.m. The main event is Saturday, Feb. 2 with the TQ Midgets racing for 40 laps in the Gamblers Classic, the most prestigious Indoor race of the season. The 600cc Micros compete in their second feature of the weekend, joined by Slingshots and Champ Karts for a four-division feature. Action starts at 7:00 p.m. A one hour Fan Fest, during which time ticket holders will be invited to trackside to meet and greet the drivers who will be competing in the Saturday night racing action, will be held. At the end of the Saturday night action, Len Sammons Motorsports Productions will crown its Fatheadz Eyewear Indoor Season champions in TQ Midget and Champ Kart classes. The Series incorporates earlier indoor events at Baltimore, Md., and Providence, R.I. with results of the Boardwalk Hall races. Good seats are available for the Friday and Saturday night indoor auto racing events at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office or through www.ticketmaster.com.
Practice results release created by Steve Barrick
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