Tim Buckwalter Believes It’s His Time To Shine At Trenton’s East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals
Story By: LEN SAMMONS PRODUCTIONS – TRENTON, NJ – Tim Buckwalter might be one of the most versatile race car drivers in competition today with one of the biggest families in motorsports competition.
None of that will matter, just his driving skills and good fortune when he comes to Trenton, NJ’s CURE Insurance Arena for the two-day BELFOR Property Restoration sponsored East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals on Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25.
The Douglasville, PA driver knows how to win and he plans to do that when he enters the Trenton event for the fourth time in hopes of taking home the $5,000 prize being offered for Saturday’s 50-lap A-Main for wingless 600 Micro Sprints.
But first, he’ll have to battle a field of 90 also seeking a spot in the 24-car field. With noted success in Dirt Modifieds, Sprint Cars, SpeedSTRS, Micro Sprints, and TQ Midgets, Buckwalter will be seeking a fast race car and a smile from Lady Luck to get the job done.
Buckwalter has all the credentials to do it too. Racing Barry Greth’s powerful No. 71 600cc Micro Sprint last year at the tight confines of PA’s Kutztown Action Track, Buckwalter went to victory lane often and finished second in the point standings. He also won in the SpeedSTR class there and clinched the championship.
The 33-year-old enters the Trenton weekend seventh on the all-time win list. Despite 80 to 100 competitors entered at the three Trenton dirt races held so far, he’s qualified for them all with a best A-Main finish of fourth.
Already this season, Buckwalter has proven once again his driving ability on a small indoor series race track. At this year’s Indoor dirt Chili Bowl Midget Car race in Tulsa, OK he was the A-main Hard Charger with a 23rd to ninth run in the 50-lap feature.
Buckwalter also finished second in the Indoor Auto Racing Concrete Series event inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Friday, January 27 in the Gambler’s Classic.
The Buckwalter family is all about racing. Richard and Betty Buckwalter got it going 50 years ago. Richard raced stock cars on dirt in the 1960s then got six of his seven children to race in Quarter Midgets.
Five of them (Bruce, Brian, Gary, Judi, and Sandy) raced Micro-Sprints; while Rick raced a Modified. Judi (Bates) would go on to find success with 360 and 410 Sprint Cars. The legacy continued to a third generation of Buckwalters with Tim, Steve (410 Sprints, SpeedSTRs), and Bruce Jr. (USAC East Sprints) now racing.
Judi’s daughter Ashley ran a rookie season in 360 Sprints after her Quarter-Midget career but stopped to get a college education. She married Danny Sammons, whose family promotes the Indoor Racing Series in which she plays a large part.
The fourth Buckwalter generation, Steve’s two children, are already honing their skills in Quarter-Midgets. So the tradition will continue for years to come!
A record crowd for the event is expected and Buckwalter will be one of the favorites. He not only has a big family but many fans that follow him as well.
This year’s entry list includes drivers from nine different states. 2020 race winner Jon Keller and dirt Modified superstar Billy Pauch Jr. lead a group of home-state drivers hoping to take the victory.
The Micro Sprint-rich states of Pennsylvania and Delaware will have a real shot at gaining a first win. Along with Buckwalter, talented PA drivers 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.
USAC and POWRi Midget Series Indoor winner Dan Robinson of Illinois is heading east and former ARCA East winner Chase Cabre is traveling north from Denver, NC.
The event 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 Products, 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.
Good tickets remain for both days of the two-day event through Ticketmaster. Tickets are also available daily and on the days of the event at the arena box office.
Adult tickets in general admission areas are $20 on Friday and $25 on Saturday and Children 12 to 2 are just $5 on both nights. Reserved seats for an additional fee are an option on Saturday night.