INAUGURAL DUNKINí DONUTS
CENTER INDOOR RACE
JUST A WEEK AWAY
The sound of racing engines will finally be heard in the state of Rhode
Island will soon be heard as the small, but powerful Three-Quarter Midget
Cars will take to Dunkiní Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., on March 6-7.
The two-day event, which will include Senior Champ Kart racing both
nights, has received much hype and attention throughout the state and entire
ďI donít want to miss an event of this caliber,Ē said defending
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ted Christopher. ďThis is a first time
for a motorsports event in 50 years in the state of Rhode Island, and I want
to be a part of it.Ē
The Rhode Island Auditorium hosted the last sanctioned race in the
Ocean State on April 18, 1959. The race was won by Jerry Wall of Wallenburg,
N.J. Wallís victory came at the final race of a three-event series at RIA.
Other winners were Joe Lacy and Tony Bonadies.
Below are a few story lines to watch as the TQ Midgets take to the
floor of the Dunkiní Donuts Center:
HOMESTATE HERO: Rhode Island
fans can cheer for their own as Mike Stefanik, 50, of Coventry, R.I., will
compete indoors for the first time in his career. Stefanik was named the
second greatest NASCAR Modified driver of all-time in 2003. He has nine
overall NASCAR-sanctioned championships (seven Modified and two Busch
THREE STATE WINNER?: Ted
Christopher is the defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and heís
already off to a top season. If Christopher can win in Providence, itíll
mark the third different state heís won a race in this year. In January,
Christopher won the Gamblerís Classic TQ Midget race at Boardwalk Hall in
Atlantic City, N.J. In early February, Christopher won four Tour-Type
Modified races at New Smyrna Speedway in Samsula, Fla.
SEVEN STATES AND CANADA:
Highways south of Providence will be busy leading up to the event.
Pennsylvania has the highest driver representation with 16 drivers, while
New Jersey is second with 10. Others include New York (six), Delaware
(three), Massachusetts (three), Connecticut (one) and Rhode Island (one).
Canada has three drivers entered for the TQ event.
BREAKING THE TIE: The Dunkiní
Donuts Center could give Lou Cicconi Jr. or Joey Payne indoor bragging
rights. From 19 selected indoor venues in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
region, the two are tied with six wins. Cicconi of Aston, Pa., won his last
regional event on Jan. 21, 2006, in Atlantic City, N.J., while Payne of
Fairlawn, N.J., last won on Jan. 13, 2007, in AC.
DIRT CHAMPION: Mike Iles of
Medford, N.J. doesnít shy away from competing on pavement indoors, but one
would understand if he would. See, Iles is a weekly dirt Modified driver and
he won last yearís track title at Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Thanksgiving
is eight months away and thatís a good thing for some Providence entries. It
will give them time to solve any problems that arise from the indoor race.
The entry list features three relatives including Ian and Alison Cumens
(brother and sister), James Michael and Stewart Friesen (cousins) and the
father/son combination of Jeff Heotzler and Jeff Heotzler Jr.
BUSY DRIVER: Ryan Smith, 21, of
Kunkletown, Pa., is multi-tasking this season. Smith will compete in the TQ
Midget class in Providence, just as he did in January at Atlantic City. But
Smith will get busy when the outdoor season begins as he is scheduled to
drive a winged 270 cc Micro Sprint, wingless 600 cc Micro Sprint, ARDC
Midget and USAC Silver Crown Series this year.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON:
Frenchtown, N.J.ís Billy Pauch Jr. is following in his fatherís footsteps.
Literally. Pauch will drive the No. 8 Ingalls Racing entry in Providence. He
is the son of the legendary Billy Pauch, who coincidentally won a
preliminary feature in Atlantic City in January.
HOLIDAY CHEER: The Holiday
season is a distant memory, but itís not for a few DDC entries. Paul Lotier
Jr. of Lebanon, Pa., won the TQ Midget portion of the Turkey Derby XXV at
Wall (N.J.) Speedway, while Bobby Santos III of Franklin, Mass., won the
USAC Midget Turkey Night Grand Prix at Toyota (Calif.) Speedway. Also, Lou
Cicconi Jr. topped NASCAR star Tony Stewart in a Midget Car race in Fort
Wayne, Ind., three days after Christmas.
BONUS MONEY: Extra cash always
makes drivers race harder. The Behrentís Bonus $500 award is available to
any driver who can win both TQ Midget feature races. The award is courtesy
of Behrentís Performance Warehouse. Also, Dr. William Lowe will provide
money to the driver who posts the fast time in time trial qualifying.
Tickets can be purchased at the Dunkiní Donuts Box Office, all
Ticketmaster outlets, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or online at:
Friday tickets are $20 (front row for adults and children), $15
(adult seats) and $10 (children age 12 and under). Saturday tickets are $25
(front row for adults a nd children), $20 (adults) and $10 (children age 12
Show information is available at Len Sammons Productions by calling
609-888-3618 or online:
Source: Len Sammons / Dunkin' Donuts Center TQ Races