ARDC Schedule Shaping Up; More Drivers Join Midget Ranks As the 2005 racing schedule takes shape, optimism continues to build within the ranks of the American Racing Drivers Club. "I've never seen the type of determined attitudes in...
ARDC Schedule Shaping Up; More Drivers Join Midget Ranks
As the 2005 racing schedule takes shape, optimism continues to build within the ranks of the American Racing Drivers Club.
"I've never seen the type of determined attitudes in this club that I am witnessing right now," stated club president Ron Lauer. "So many of our drivers are setting their sights on this year's championship, and they are totally focused on the upcoming season."
Those drivers who plan to contend for the 2005 ARDC title will do so on a variety of dirt tracks, and they will also have plenty of chances to score points as the schedule continues to grow.
"We've just added four more events, and I really believe that we will see at least four or five additional races plugged in before the season begins," disclosed ARDC booking agent Mike Miller. "We are still talking to several promoters, and there are some tracks who are in the early stages of building their schedules. So I am hopeful that we will secure additional dates for the midgets in the next several weeks."
Highlights of the new season's schedule include two races in North Carolina during a very busy month of May. The mighty midgets will travel south for events at Dixieland Speedway in Elizabeth City, NC, on Friday, May 6. The following evening will see the club compete at County Line Raceway in Rocky Mount, NC.
After an event at the historic Williams Grove Speedway on May 13, the midgets will take part in a high profile show at Grandview on Tuesday, May 24. Running without wings, the ARDC travelers will share the bill with the World of Outlaw sprint cars at the Bechtelsville, PA oval.
The club is also excited about returning to the Big Diamond Raceway in Minersville, PA, on two occasions. Friday, May 20, will mark the first time in 32 years that the midgets have turned their wheels on the clay at Big Diamond. That event will be run without wings, and it will be a twin feature format. ARDC makes a return visit to the 3/8 mile oval on Friday, August 19. That show will also be run in a twin feature format. And the fans will decide, after the race on May 20, whether or not the open-wheeled speedsters race with or without wings on August 19.
Three consecutive nights of action will take place during the Memorial Day weekend. On Friday, May 27, the midgets will race at Albany-Saratoga in Malta, NY. The next evening, May 28, ARDC invades Middletown for an event at the Orange County Fair Speedway. And, to test the teams' endurance, the weekend will climax with a stop at Devils Bowl Speedway in Fair Haven, VT.
The 2005 Ray's Yamaha/Polaris/Victory Tour kicks off on April 23rd at the Lincoln Speedway. The season will end with a second race at Williams Grove, as part of the track's Fall Fest on October 15. As of now, a total of 18 events have been confirmed, with races set for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, and Vermont.
Drivers expecting to contend for the championship include five-time point titlist Ray Bull of Bloomsburg, PA, along with Mike Miller, Steve Buckwalter, Ed Stimely, Jr., Donnie Trent, and a host of others.
"I am really impressed with the direction of ARDC," noted versatile Frank Polimeda. "The competition is really tough, and it's getting tougher all the time with all the new blood coming into the midget ranks. I'm very anxious for the season to begin."
Polimeda is part of that "new blood" that he referred to, as the Fort Lee, NJ, standout will gas the Lou Zrinski midget at each race on the 2005 ARDC schedule. Polimeda, who has some micro sprint track titles to his credit, is also a proven race winner in asphalt modifieds, TQ midgets, and Legend Cars. He's sure to provide some of that "tough competition" on which ARDC prides itself.
Ryan Smith, the "Kunkletown Kid", is also set for ARDC competition this season. Teaming up with Shawn Burke, Smith is ready for the move from micro sprints to the midget division in 2005. Honing his skills by winning numerous Tobias Slingshot events and championships, then claiming the micro sprint title at the Kutztown Fairgrounds in '04, Smith should prove more than capable behind the wheel of Burke's midget. Whetting his appetite for the increased speed that the midgets produce, Smith ran three ARDC events in 2004. "I love the speed, and the cars are a lot of fun to drive. I can't wait for the opportunity to run with ARDC for a full season," stated the teenage son of former dirt modified campaigner Randy Smith.
For further updates on the 2005 ARDC schedule and other information, log on to the club's web site at www.ardcmidgets.com.