AUDIO/RECAP: Outside Lane Prevails; Jankowiak Claims Opening Night in Atlantic City

Kyle Magda Audio, Featured, Go-Karts, Indoor Racing, Northeast, Other Midgets, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Story by Race Chaser Online Associate Editor Kyle Magda — Audio by Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell and Kyle Magda– Andy Jankowiak Racing photo —

Andy Jankowiak has taken a liking to winning at indoor races.

The Western New York driver led flag-to-flag in Friday’s TQ Midget A-Main and locked in one of eight spots for Saturday’s feature. Jankowiak made the outside lane stick on the first lap and never looked back for his first indoor win since claiming the Battle of Trenton finale last month.

“We just timed it perfect,” Jankowiak said of the move.  “If you do it 10 times, he’ll [Matt Janisch] probably beat me nine. We got it and thank God we got it.”

Janisch scored the pole for Friday’s night race by taking down cars one-at-a-time in the match races, including Jankowiak, but the Nazareth, Pa. driver dropped out on lap 20 of the 30-lap feature.

Jankowiak also talked about the advantage he had in the match races.

“He was going a little early over there and they said something to him and I knew he was going to have to go a little bit later,” he said of Janisch. “In the match races, you can be a little more aggressive because there isn’t a penalty and I know in the feature he’d probably run a more normal start that I’d have a shot.”

Fellow Race of Champions (ROC) competitor Erick Rudolph came home second, but couldn’t shake Jankowiak from the lead.  Rudolph started to reel him in on the longer runs, but Jankowiak pulled away right after the restart.

The Ransomville, N.Y. driver didn’t lack any speed, but has to work on some adjustments for Saturday night’s race.

“We were a little sideways out there,” Rudolph said.  “We get that corrected, I don’t think anyone has anything for us.”

The top eight finishers were guaranteed spots in Saturday night’s race. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Ted Christopher just missed the cut in ninth and will have to race his way in through Saturday’s slate of preliminary action.

Christopher started last in the second B-main and picked up the final transfer spot to get into Friday night’s show.

Howell, N.J. driver Jimmy “Showtime” Blewett battled the flu, but finished sixth to pick up one of the eight spots.

Blewett has also helped second-place Trenton finisher and NASCAR pit crew member Ryan Flores. Flores finished third in his third-ever TQ midget start and serves as a tire changer for Joey Logano’s No. 22 Sprint Cup Series team.

Flores started in the seventh spot and simply held station once he got to third.

“That’s all I really wanted to do was finish top eight, make our day easier tomorrow,” he said.  “We got lucky, kept getting restarts on the bottom, kept moving up and had some really good races with Mike Lichty and a couple guys on the outside.”

The rubber played a factor for grip for Flores and has to get the car to stick better for Saturday night. NASCAR driver Corey LaJoie is serving as crew chief on the car.

Jankowiak dedicated tonight’s win to a family friend who lost his life this past week and houses one of his race cars.

Slingshots and Champ Karts also qualified on the night. 12 Slingshots and 15 Champ Kart drivers secured a spot for Saturday’s events. Kurt Bettler and Nick Shaw took the slingshot qualifiers, while Donnie Hall, Eric Zeh and Mike Perry did the same for Champ Kart.

The garage opens at 10 a.m. Saturday morning with a full day of events leading up to the features, the TQ midget A-main and the crowning of the 2015 indoor champion.

 

Audio with race winner Andy Jankowiak:

Audio with runner-up Erick Rudolph:

Audio with third place Ryan Flores:

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