ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Scott Kreutter of Buffalo, N.Y., won his first career Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Racing Three Quarter (TQ) Midget feature Saturday night inside Allentown’s PPL Center Arena in front of a good crowd.
The versatile driver, who does most of his outdoor racing on dirt in Central New York behind the wheel of a 360 Sprint Car, took the lead from his outside front row starting spot on the initial start of the 40-lap main event, then held off a variety of challengers including Friday night winner Justin Bonsignore, past Series champions Erick Rudolph and Ryan Flores and Ryan Preece. Rudolph passed Bonsignore for second with two laps to go in the race. Bonsignore held for third ahead of Matt Roselli, and Jon Reid.
Preece, Andy Jankowiak, Bobby Holmes, Brandon Azzalina, and Joey Payne completed the top ten. Kreutter’s win came in the same car Trey Hoddock-built car that Jankowiak had won with and that the late Ted Christopher had driven in the 2017 Indoor Auto Racing Series.
“I had some big shoes to fill,” Kreutter said. “Teddy was last guy to drive this year and Andy was a proven winner in it. I kept thinking, ‘just don’t make a mistake in traffic, and don’t slip up and get turned around’. I couldn’t be any happier.”
The only driver to pass Kreutter during the 40-lapper that was slowed several times by wrecks, was Flores, who had won both Indoor Auto Racing Series features the previous year in Allentown’s PPL Center. Flores executed a clean, crisp pass under Kreutter on lap 27 and was pulling away until his engine blew up in a geyser of oil smoke.
“I had no warning,” Flores said. “You never do with these things. I was lucky to be able to spin the car to the inside of the turn the way I did.”
Kreutter recognized Flores’ car’s problems before its driver did.
“I saw the smoke and smelled the oil and backed off,” Kreutter acknowledged. “There was no way he was going to last.”
Kreutter also benefited from two mechanical failures of contenders who had moved in behind him for the final five laps of the race. First, second place runner Preece’s car stalled on the track during the delay for the cleanup of the Flores engine failure. When Preece’s car wouldn’t fire over – vapor lock was diagnosed – he had to go to the rear of the field for the restart.
Also stymied was Zane Zeiner, who had clawed his way from the back of the pack to run fourth late in the race. His car suffered engine failure while circulating under the yellow flag. These developments allowed Bonsignore and Rudolph to fight side by side for second over the final five circuits while elevating Roselli and Reid into top five finishes.
Reid’s incredible drive, which earned him the E. Schneider & Sons Scrapper Of The Race award, and a $150 bonus, saw the Lockport, N.Y. veteran march from 23rd to fifth. Timex Morgan was injured in a preliminary TQ Midget race and was transported to Lehigh Valley Trauma center with undisclosed back injuries.
In the Slingshot co-feature, Danny Buccafusca won his second career PPL Center Indoor Auto Racing Series event. Buccafusca faced down two determined rivals. Kyle Herve was on Buccafusca’s bumper for the first 15 laps of the affair and actually passed Buccafusca for the lead but the pass was negated with a crash reverted the serial scoring back to the previously completed lap.
Herve never challenged again and instead was himself passed by Anthony Raisner, whose charge from deep in the field earned him the E. Schneider & Sons ‘Scrapper Of The Race’ award and $150. Brett Bieber and Dylan Hoch completed the top five.
Five TQ qualifying heat races were won by Holmes, Azzalina, Kreutter, Shawn Nye and Tommy Catalano. Earl Paules won the C Main, and Tyler Thompson the B Main. Catalano won the TQ Dash.
Slingshot qualifying heats for the 33 entrants were won by Chris Kurtz, Marc Daniels and Kurt Bettler and Seth Spayd. Joe Toth and Raisner won the pair of B Mains.
The next race for the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Race Fuels is on January 26 and 27 inside Atlantic City’s historic Boardwalk Hall.
TQ Midget Feature (40 Laps): 1. Scott Kreutter, 2. Erick Rudolph, 3. Justin Bonsignore, 4. Matt Roselli, 5. Jon Reid, 6. Ryan Preece, 7. Andy Jankowiak, 8. Bobby Holmes, 9. Brandon Azzalina, 10. Joey Payne, 11. Brett Conkling, 12. Ryan Flores, 13. Zane Zeiner, 14. Mike Iles, 15. Anthony Sesely, 16. Tyler Thompson, 17. Earl Paules, 18. Briggs Danner, 19. Shawn Nye, 20. Steve Kemery, 21. Tommy Catalano, 22. Ryan Tidman, 23. Geoffrey Sutton, 244. Chris DeRitis, 25. Billy Whittaker.
Slingshot Feature (20 Laps): 1. Danny Buccafusca, 2. Anthony Raisner, 3. Kyle Herve, 4. Brett Bieber, 5. Dylan Koch, 6. Cody Kline, 7. Kurt Bettler, 8. Chris Kurtz, 9. Jared Silfee, 10. Marc Daniels, 11. Joe Toth, 12. Matt Dealaman, 13. John Bockhorn, 14. Steve Svanda, 15. Paul Hartwig, 16. Myron Moyer, 17. Dan Morgiewicz, 18. Kyle Strohl, 19. Nick Shaw, 20. Seth Spayd.