For more information: Linda Mansfield, lindamansfield@CompuServe.com Teen Leads ARDC Point Standings FLAGTOWN, N.J., May 1 - One month into the 1997 American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) CARQUEST Midget Series,...
For more information: Linda Mansfield, lindamansfield@CompuServe.com
Teen Leads ARDC Point Standings
FLAGTOWN, N.J., May 1 - One month into the 1997 American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) CARQUEST Midget Series, the point leader is the youngest driver in the organization: 17-year-old Michael Roselli Jr. of Brodheadsville, Pa.
A junior at Pleasant Valley High School in Brodheadsville, Roselli is in his second season as an ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series driver. He regularly races - and does better than - drivers two- and even three-times his age.
On April 19 he became ARDC's youngest feature winner ever when he won his first ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series feature at Lincoln Speedway in New Oxford, Pa., according to all the records that are available for the 58-year-old sanctioning body. In addition, he was fourth at the season opener at Silver Spring (Pa.) Speedway; second at Williams Grove (Pa.) Speedway; and eighth at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway so far this year. He also won his heat at Silver Spring and at Lincoln.
"He handles himself well on the track and off the track," said Randy Mausteller, ARDC president. "He has come a long way. He's improved so much in a year that it's unreal. It's amazing when a kid comes along so quickly, but he has good guidance and his dad has been able to provide him with good equipment, which is important in building a good team overall.
"He is what this club needs," Mausteller added. "He is part of that younger generation coming in. He and drivers like him are the future of ARDC."
Roselli leads the point standings by 41 points going into the organization's fifth of 18 championship races this year. Although he is pleased to be doing so well, he isn't really gunning for the overall title because he'll miss three of the remaining 14 events.
Under New Jersey's state laws governing motorsports, he's too young to even enter the pit area at the organization's shows in New Jersey on May 24, June 21 and July 26.
Roselli and his parents - Mike and Sue Roselli - are well aware of these state regulations. Mike Sr. is the organization's business manager, and even booked the dates.
"New Jersey is an important market for the ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series," he said. "I think Mike has more than proved himself at all the other tracks in all the other states that we run at, but those are the New Jersey rules."
Roselli's parents felt that their son was ready to move up to full-size midgets after a successful career in quarter midgets, which he began racing at age 8.
"I think it's important that the kids in quarter midgets have somewhere logical to advance into when they're too old for quarter midgets, and full-size midgets just makes sense," the elder Roselli said.
"You have to take each kid individually though. Some may not be ready for that step yet, but Michael was. He has a good mentor in Lou Cicconi Jr. [who won the ARDC driving crown in 1991, 1993 and 1994], and he has worked hard. But each kid has to be judged individually to see if they're ready to make the next step."
Roselli's red and white midget is an Ellis chassis with a Fontana engine. Rich Brannan of Paterson, N.J., is the team's crew chief. The team is sponsored by West End Equipment & Rent-all; Jill's Hallmark; Fram Oil Filters; Weiland Racing Enterprises; Power Mist Racing Fuels; K&N Air Filters and the Loctite Corp.
Roselli is looking forward to the ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series' next race, which will be held at Dixieland Speedway in Elizabeth City, N.C., on Friday night, May 16. Last year when ARDC raced in North Carolina, Roselli came away with his first "podium" finish, a third on June 15 at East Carolina Speedway in Robersonville.
The remaining ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series point races for 1997 are as follows:
Fri., May 16 Dixieland Speedway, Elizabeth City, N.C. Sat., May 24 Flemington Speedway, Flemington, N.J. Fri., May 30 Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Malta, N.Y. Fri., June 13 Southampton Speedway, Capron, Va. Sat., June 14 Langley Raceway, Hampton, Va. Sat., June 21 Flemington Speedway, Flemington, N.J. Sat., June 28 Jennerstown Speedway, Jennerstown, Pa. Sat., July 5 Lincoln Speedway, New Oxford, Pa. Sat., July 19 Oswego Speedway, Oswego, N.Y. Sat., July 26 Flemington Speedway, Flemington, N.J. Sat., Aug. 9 Port Royal Speedway, Port Royal, Pa. Sat., Aug. 16 Erie County Fairgrounds, Hamburg, N.Y. Sat., Aug. 23 Lincoln Speedway, New Oxford, Pa. Sat., Sept. 13 Lincoln Speedway, New Oxford, Pa.
The current top-10 in the point standings are:
1. Michael Roselli Jr., No. 98, Brodheadsville, Pa. 410 2. Ed Stimely Jr., No. 6, McVeytown, Pa. 369 3. Lou Cicconi Jr., No. 75, Aston, Pa., 332 4. Mark Freeland, No. 4, Ickesburg, Pa., 307 5. Bob Cicconi, No. 59, Prospect Park, Pa. 294 6. Gary Halteman, No. 91, Gilbertsville, Pa. 280 7. Tim Dietz, No. 86, Hanover, Pa. 266 8. Phil DiMario, No. 23, Piermont, N.Y. 249 9. Shannon Mausteller, No. 77, Bloomsburg, Pa. 239 10. Randy Mausteller, No. 21, Bloomsburg, Pa. 234