Defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ted Christopher leads the way. The Plainville, Conn., racer won the Gambler’s Classic at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on January 17.
But Christopher will have plenty of competition.
Previous Atlantic City winners who will attempt to qualify for the first race held in Rhode Island in 50 years include Joey Payne (2004 and 2007), Lou Cicconi Jr. (2006), Mike Tidaback (2008) and Jeff Heotzler (2005).
Entries were accepted from drivers or their respective cars that qualified for at least one of the two feature races held at the recent two-day (Jan. 16-17) indoor event in Atlantic City.
Seven-time NASCAR Whelen Modified champion Mike Stefanik of Coventry, R.I., will drive an entry owned by Colin Martin, who fielded a car driven by Frank Fischer in Atlantic City.
Bobby Santos III of Franklin, Mass., will pilot a TQ-Midget owned by Johnny Payne. Santos competed in AC for Lou Cicconi Jr.
Billy Pauch Jr. of Frenchtown, N.J., is set to race in a car that his father drove to Victory Lane in a preliminary feature last month.
Other drivers include Stewart Friesen, James Michael Friesen, Joe Lord Jr., Tim Proctor, Don Zrinski, Amanda Quinones, Heath Hehnly, Jeff Kot, Glenn Heverin, Jon Holmquist, Matt Janisch, Ryan Smith, Ian Cumens, Alex Bright, Bob Watkins Jr., Mike Lichty and Timex Morgan.
The top 10 drivers in AC time trials who did not qualify for a main event were accepted. Those drivers included Mike Iles, Matt Roselli, Chris Haskell (car driven by Curtis Friesen), Alison Cumens, Jeff Heotzler Jr., Ryan Bartlett, Mike Osite, Billy Murphy, Mark Yoder and Randy Cabral.
Paul Lotier Jr., the TQ-Midget winner at the Wall Stadium (N.J.) Turkey Derby in November, was accepted as he won the Slingshot main event in AC, a division not on the Providence card.
Jack Spence, Tim Adams, Jonathan Reid and Chris Allen will participate in the indoor race based on the support they’ve given to the AC indoor events since Len Sammons Productions began promoting races there in 2003. Spence and Adams are drivers who have competed at every Boardwalk Hall event, while Reid’s car owner Harry Macy, and Allen’s owners John and Ed Malik have been loyal to the AC events.
Richie Coy, Monnie Wonder and Steve Craig are listed as event alternates in the order in which they timed in AC.
Drivers for inaugural Dunkin’ Donuts Center TQ Midget race: Ted Christopher, Mike Stefanik, Stewart Friesen, James Michael Friesen, Mike Tidaback, Joesph Lord Jr., Tim Proctor, Don Zrinski, Jeff Heotzler, Amanda Quinones, Heath Hehnly, Jeff Kot, Glenn Heverin, Jon Holmquist, Matt Janisch, Ryan Smith, Joey Payne, Ian Cumens, Alex Bright, Bob Watkins Jr., Bob Santos III, Billy Pauch Jr., Lou Cicconi Jr., Mike Lichty, Timex Morgan, Mike Iles, Matt Roselli, Chris Haskell, Alison Cumens, Jeff=2 0Heotzler Jr., Ryan Bartlett, Mike Osite, Billy Murphy, Mark Yoder, Randy Cabral, Paul Lotier Jr., Jack Spence, Tim Adams, Jonathan Reid, Chris Allen. Alternates: Richie Coy, Monnie Wonder, Steve Craig.
Sources: Jerry Reigle/Area Auto Racing News