This event could very well go down as one of most talked about racing events of the year. Imagine high speed open cockpit race cars competing on the dirt indoors and it is attracting some of the best known racing talent in the East to take part.
Phoenixville’s Brian Montieth, affectionately known as ‘The Edge’ for his penchant of getting the most out of his Premier Auto Works No. 21 410 Sprint Cars, will be putting Indoor Auto Racing Series fans on the edges of their seats on Dec. 1-2.
Montieth is the latest entry for the first East Coast Micro Dirt Nationals, coming up at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, N.J. Fans and racers will see that Sun Center signage may still be in place since the name change to Cure took place just recently.
The Phoenixville, Pa., native will be driving a wingless dirt 600cc Micro Sprint in the much anticipated race that is owned by Tom Fraschetta. Keep in mind that Montieth is a standout performer in the 410 sprint cars, who just recently wrapped up his sixth championship at Lincoln Speedway, but the micro sprints will be all new to him.
“It’s a new challenge for sure,” Montieth said. “I’ll be looking to find the fast way around the track like I do at Williams Grove and Lincoln.”
Montieth, 43, won two feature events and his sixth career Lincoln Speedway 410 Sprint championship in the last ten years this season. He ended 2017 fifth in points at Williams Grove Speedway.
The veteran wheelman learned his racing skills in Quarter Midgets where he carved 500 notches in his victory belt. He was an eight-time Pennsylvania state champion and a national Quarter Midget champion.
Rich black clay has been ordered and the track crew is preparing to make it banked, smooth, tacky and fast. Race teams have responded with nearly 100 600cc Micro Sprints entered for top drivers from eight different states.
Though Montieth could well be classified as a pre-race favorite, he’ll be a rookie at the new venue as will everyone else.
Fellow Sprint Car driver Ryan Smith of Kunkletown, Pa., who finished second in Tony Stewart’s All Star 410 Sprint Car series this year, and top Pa. Posse driver Steve Buckwalter have also announced their attentions to compete. New York state 360 Sprint car drivers Scott Kreutter and Joe Trenca are also planning an assault of the East Coast Micro Dirt Nationals ranks.
New Egypt Speedway dirt Modified champion Billy Pauch Jr. and Kutztown’s SpeedSTR king pin and Grandview Speedway Modified standout Tim Buckwalter enter the race with plenty of 600cc Micro Sprint experience. The two versatile drivers finished 1-2 this season in Kutztown’s 600cc Micro Sprint points.
The stakes are high: a $5,000 first place prize awaits the winner of the Saturday night A-Main if they enter the Gambler’s Bonus program.
Though the East Coast Indoor Nationals is a new attraction, the CURE Insurance Arena (formerly Sun National Bank Center), has hosted Three Quarter Midget racing for the past four years on the arena’s concrete floor.
The racing schedule will tentatively call for heat races with passing points and four A-qualifier feature races on Friday night. On Saturday it will be “alphabet mains,” with racers having the opportunity to advance from double F, E, D, C and B-mains to the 40 lap “A” feature.
The agenda calls for racing to start at 7 p.m. on Friday and 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Oliver Communication Group (OCG) of Bordentown, N.J. has signed on as an associate sponsor of the event. Other sponsorship packages remain.
Tickets for both days of the event are available at the CURE Insurance Arena Box Office or by phone at 800-298-4200. Further information is available at indoorautoracing.com, email to email@example.com or by calling 609-888-3618.
The East Coast Micro Dirt Nationals is the first of four Indoor Auto Racing Series races planned for the busy off-season. Three TQ Midget Indoor Auto Racing Series events are held on the concrete floors at Allentown (PA), Atlantic City (NJ) and Albany (NY).
* * *The dates and venues have been set for the 12th annual USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Eastern Storm tour in 2018. Two first-time venues: Bridgeport Speedway and Weedsport Speedway have been locked-in as the newest additions to the six-race series scheduled for June 14-19.
It will mark the first time Eastern Storm schedule has been six races and the first time the series has spanned across three states in a single week with New York’s initial appearance in Eastern Storm along with annual treks to Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Traditional Eastern Storm kicks off at Grandview Speedway (June 14) followed by Williams Grove Speedway (June 15), Port Royal Speedway (June 16) and Susquehanna Speedway (June 17) return to the lineup as the first four events Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
From there, the series heads back to the Garden State of New Jersey for the first time in two years to Bridgeport Speedway in Swedesboro on Monday, June 18.
“We’re thrilled to bring what the fans have asked for,” Bridgeport Speedway owner Brian Ramey said. “We are beyond excited to be a part of Eastern Storm for 2018.”
The following night, Tuesday, June 19, Eastern Storm concludes at Weedsport Speedway, marking USAC’s first ever visit to the track and the AMSOIL National Sprint Car division’s first trip to New York since 2006.
“As we try to propel Weedsport Speedway further into the national spotlight, it’s important to us to bring the top series here for our local fans,” Weedsport promoter Jim Phelps said. “USAC fits that perfectly with its history and prestige and we have fans here who want to see USAC wingless sprint cars come back to New York.”
Last year’s Eastern Storm saw five different winners in five races, concluding with eventual USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion Chris Windom taking the title. In fact, Eastern Storm has been a launching pad of sorts for drivers who have won its title throughout its history. Eight of the 11 previous champions have gone on to win the national title that very same year.