Stars and Cars return for Indoor Racing in Atlantic City.
After a 21 year hibernation, the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall will roar back to life on Saturday, January 18 with Three-Quarter Midget Racing. A 40 lap main event will be the highlight of the weekend activities at the Boardwalk track. Legend cars are also included in the weekend festivities.
Many drivers use the winter time races to keep sharp, and the pre-entry list reads like a who's who of Northeast racing. NASCAR Modified Tour driver Ted Christopher has signed on the dotted line, and he will make the trip down from Plainville, Ct. Supermodified stars "Liquid" Lou Cicconi and "Jersey Jet" Joey Payne have teamed up for an assault on the indoor war. Louie and the Jet have teamed up in past indoor winter series and are always a threat whenever they strap into these machines. Both have midget championships on their resumes.
Central New York sends former Oswego track champ and two time Classic winner Greg Furlong to AC. Furlong won the indoor series championship last season at Niagara Falls. J. Scott Martel will tag along with his ISMA buddies, and has picked up a ride for his first foray into the indoor races.
DIRT is well represented as well, as drivers Tim McCreadie and Vic Coffey have obtained quality ride for the weekend. Top midget driver like former indoor champion Mike Tidabeck, Bob Watkins, Andy Mackereth, Rudy Boetticher, Phil Demario, Art Lawshe, Mel Raab, Jeff Riberdy, Mike Roselli, and Colin Turnbull all are ready to go. Currently there are over 80 cars registered for the midget portion of the program.
Friday is reserved for teams only. Doors to the West Hall will open at 10a.m. as teams will be able to bring their machines in the Hall. The Midgets and legends will then take to the track from 6-9pm for a closed to the public practice session.
Saturday is the day everyone is waiting for. Things get going early as gates open at 9am, with practice for both divisions at 10:30a.m. Time trials will follow the practice session. Fans coming to the event can enter the facility as early as noon.
After the preliminaries, roughly 4pm, the building will be emptied for a two-hour dinner break. Action heats back up at a fever pitch. Pits re-open at 5:30, with spectator gates open at 6pm for the evening activities. When fans show up for the evening, they will be allowed to walk down to the track surface, and meet and greet the drivers in a "Fan Fest". The meet and greet will end at 7pm., and a half hour later, qualifying races get the green flag. The night will culminate in the $2000 to win, 40 lap midget feature race.
Fans can expect excellent seats for the event, as there will be balcony seating. The balcony seating will allow the fans to watch the drivers manhandle the open cockpit cars. A large screen scoreboard will provide instant repays for fans as well.
Tickets are available at Ticketmaster outlets, the Boardwalk Box Office, Area Auto Racing News office in Trenton, NJ, and at the Fort Washington, PA. Motorsports 2003 show, Jan 10-12. Tickets are also available raceday. There will be a limited number of reserve seats for $22, while general admission is $20. Children 12 and under are $2, and under age 2 will be admitted free.
The Sheraton is the host hotel for the event, and is within walking distance of the boardwalk, casino's and the Hall. Those wishing to reserve a room at the Sheraton for the discounted $119 rate on Friday or Saturday of race weekend, must call the hotels in-house reservation line at 609-441-2909 from 9a.m.to 5 p.m.. Monday through Friday. When calling, you must state that you are with the Atlantic City Indoor Race, or Midget race, and have your credit card ready to hold the room.
This time of year, everyone is anxious to race. Atlantic City will once again be the focal point of racing for the first time in over 20 years.
Schedule of events:
SATURDAY, JANUARY 18
12 noon- Grandstand open to fans.
6p.m.- Grandstand re-open.
6pm-7pm- Fanfest. Meet and Greet with the drivers and Teams on the race surface.
7:15p.m.- National Anthem and Pre- Race Activities
7:30pm. -- First heat race of the night.