Excitement Building For This Weekend’s East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals In Trenton
Story By: LEN SAMMONS PRODUCTIONS – TRENTON, NJ – When fans and racers left the CURE Insurance Arena on Saturday night, February 22, 2020 following an incredeible 3rd annual East Coast Dirt Nationals they wanted more and couldn’t wait for the event to be held the following year.
Unfortunately, because of Covid-19 restrictions that would follow, that one year wait was postponed not once, but twice.
With the memory of Jon Keller’s advancement from 24th to first in the 2020 event still very much indrenched in their minds, fans will not have to wait any longer. The 4th BELFOR East Coast Dirt Nationals will be held this weekend, Friday and Saturday February 24th and 25th, and the response has been off the charts.
BELFOR Property Restoration has signed on to become the title sponsor of the race and the entry list is full with top drivers ready to buckle into 90 wingless 600cc Sprint racecars. BELFOR sponsorship has been provided by both the N.J. region as well as PA’s Lehigh Valley/ Allentown divisions. Jeff Horvath, who has been involved in auto racing for a long time, has spearheaded the promotion.
BELFOR is the North American leader in integrated disaster recovery and property restoration services. With more than 100 full-service offices in the U.S., they are geographically positioned to respond to almost any disaster – large or small – coast to coast. A proven track record of superior response and unmatched resources has made BELFOR the contractor of choice for damages caused by fire, water, wind or other catastrophes.
By signing on as the title sponsor of the East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals, BELFOR has cemented itself among attendees of the Indoor Auto Racing Championship Series and as a supporter of racing. BELFOR has served as the presenting sponsor of the concrete series for the TQ Midgets for the past three years and has recently signed on to support the East Coast PenNy Midgets outdoor series.
A record crowd for the event is expected as well, with adult tickets in general admission areas selling for $20 on Friday and $25 on Saturday and Children 12 to 2 just $5 both nights. Reserved seats for an additional fee are an option on Saturday night.
Keller, a southern New Jersey resident, is one of the 90 drivers who pre-entered before the list hit its limit. With pit area parking space in the arena now full, further entries received will be held for possible cancellation.
A 600 Sprint regular, Keller’s victory gave division regulars two wins in the first three events held. Staten Island, N.Y.’s Whitey Kidd III upset the star studded field at the first event.
Dirt Modified and indoor TQ Midget star on the concrete series, Erick Rudolph won the second annual event. Rudolph’s victory gave New York staters two wins in three races. The car he drove, however, was owned by noted PA driver/owner Tom Frascetta.
This year’s entry list includes drivers from eight different states. Keller and dirt Modified super star Billy Pauch Jr. lead a group of home-state drivers hoping to take the victory. In the 2020 event, Pauch had a real shot at the win, but came up short in the final laps. After three runnings of the race, he owns the best overal record but wants to win and take home the $5,000 first place prize and most importantly, the big trophy and check.
The Micro Sprint rich states of Pennsylvannia and Delaware will have a real shot at gaining a first win. Talented PA drivers such as Tim Buckwalter, Alex Bright and Briggs Danner are expected to be top contenders. Coming off success at this year’s Tulsa, OK Indoor Chili Bowl, Delaware’s Kyle Spencer could bring a first win, for the first state.
This weekend’s program starts on Friday with a race fan’s dream event featuring four 20 Lap Turp Coates Law of Hightstown, NJ sponsored A-Main Qualifier races. Racing begins at 7 PM with ten 12 lap heat races that set the four features that follow.
The top 60 in heat race points, finishing positions with the addition of passing points, advance to the four 20 lap A-Main qualifiers. Each winner earns $1,000. The top three in each transfer directly to Saturday night’s $5,000 to win A-Main.
Finishing positions and passing points from Friday will then set the line-ups for Saturday’s events, sponsored by Custom Built Product, for the remainder of the drivers who fail to finish in the top three on night one.
The drivers with the least points will begin Saturday’s program, which begins at 6 PM, in one of two E-Mains that transfer the top four to the back of those assigned to the D-Main. This process continues with each letter until the top six finishers in each B-Main fill-out the field for Saturday night’s 24-car A-Main.
Not only did Keller start last in the A-Main last year, he started last in the E-Main as well. While he never won, he finished in a transfer spot in the E, D, C and B to earn the last starting spot in Saturday’s A-main.