Providence, RI — Many of the leading race drivers in the Northeast will compete alongside nationally-known competitors when the high-powered, three-quarter-size Midget Cars return to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., on December 4 and 5.
They will race in two complete programs for the “Coffee Cup” on a concrete oval on the arena floor. Cars will be reaching speeds of close to 70 mph, the spectators have thrilling views from seats overlooking the track.
NASCAR Sprint Cup star David Reutimann and Indy 500 driver Davey Hamilton will race at Providence for the first time.
Reutimann will be making a special appearance sponsored by Dunkin Donuts, on Friday, December 4 only. Reutimann, 39, will drive a No. 00 with the car having the logos of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Fans are encouraged to “Give Back This Holiday Season” by bringing a non-perishable food item to the races that can be donated to that cause.
Hamilton, a nine-time Indianapolis 500 starter, will be driving a car fielded by the versatile Lou Cicconi Jr. Overall, Hamilton started 50 Indy Car events and was twice a runnerup in series points. He has also been a leading driver in the high-powered Supermodifieds, and in full-size Midgets, at tracks around the country. Now, he will race a TQ for the first time at Providence.
Many-time race and championship winning TQ-Midget standouts in competition will include Cicconi Jr., Mike Tidaback and Joey Payne. All three drivers have won major indoor races in Atlantic City, NJ in recent years.
They will be joined by leading Modified division drivers in the Northeast.
They include last March’s Providence winners, Ted Christopher of Plainville, Ct. and Mike Iles of Medford, N.J.; dirt track specialist Billy Pauch of Frenchtown, N.J., and pavement ace Mike Stefanik of Coventry, R.I.
Pauch, a winner of over 650 features in his career, did not race in Providence in March due to a schedule conflict. But, he drove to victory indoors in January at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Of interest, Pauch’s son, Billy Jr., already a successful driver in Modified and full-Midget competition, will race alongside his dad at Providence.
For Stefanik, Rhode Island is home to the nine time NASCAR champion. A specialist in the Modified and Late Model-style cars, he made his debut in a TQ at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center race last March.
Other invaders entered include dirt Modified standouts Stewart and James Friesen from Ontario, Canada; and N.J.’s Anthony Sesely, the winner of two major Northeast pavement Modified races this autumn. The 2009 ARDC Midget champion, Frank Polimeda; and Massachusetts resident Bobby Santos III, who recently won the prestigious Copper World USAC Midget feature at Phoenix Int’l Raceway, are considered pre-race favorites.
A special guest at the event will be retired New England race driving champion Dave Humphrey. Beginning his career in the stock cars at nearby Seekonk Speedway, he went on to become a six-time champion in the Northeast Midget Association (NEMA) and a 72 time feature winner with that organization. Mr. Humphrey will give the command to “start engines” and his looking forward to meeting the drivers of today and his legion of fans.
The TQs will be complimented by Champ Kart racing on the same oval.
The Champ Karts, 5 HP-powered cars that offer sizzling, close competition in their own right, will be raced by drivers representing eight states. Possibly coming the longest distance to race is Florida’s Josh Hodges.
Early favorites to be in victory lane for the karts include Chris Daley, Justin Bonsignore and John Hillman.
Daley is “going for the circuit sweep,” having not only won both features for the Karts last March in Providence but also in Atlantic City last January. Hillman will be looking to avenge his loss at Providence, where he battled Daley for top honors only to crash while in lapped traffic. Long Island’s Bonsignore is a fast-rising driver in pavement Modifieds, with a successful background in the karts.
The format will be similar to the one used in March. The Three-Quarter Midgets and Senior Champ Karts will headline the two-day program. Qualifying and feature events for both classes are scheduled each night.
Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations and the Dunkin’ Donut Center box office.
Ticketmaster can be reached online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Information on the event will be available at aarn.com or by calling 609-888-3618.
Sources: Coffee Cup PR