Story By: LEN SAMMONS PRODUCTIONS – TRENTON, NJ – Practice for the 2023 East Coast Dirt Nationals Thursday was run off with two full sessions completed. Tim Buckwalter and Scott Kreutter were the two quickest.
The first of two practices had 63 Micro Sprints registering laps with Buckwalter fastest with an 8.734 lap time. That was 0.176 seconds quicker than Cody West’s quickest lap. Briggs Danner, Tyler Urich and Jesse Maurer completed the quick five. Marty Brian, Tyler Lindsay, JT Berman, Colin White and Jackson White were the second fast five.
The dustless clay surface was lightning fast in the first session and even more so in the second runs. Scott Kreutter’s 8.695 lap was best among 72 drivers who ran in the second set of laps against the clock. Buckwalter (8.820) was second fastest but slower than he was in the first run. Briggs Danner, Adrianna Dellaponti, and Berman completed the top five. Zach Bealer, Urich, Wayne Scott, Danny Buccafusca and Aidan Borden were the second fast five.
This year’s 92-car entry list includes drivers from nine different states. The 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. Buckwalter, Alex Bright and Danner are among the talented Pennsylvanians expected to be top contenders. Coming off success at this year’s Tulsa, OK Indoor Chili Bowl, Delaware’s Kyle Spence 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.