Buckwalter Wins Crazy TQ Feature
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Crazy.
That’s how Tim Buckwalter, 22, of Douglassville, Pa., described Friday night’s TQ-Midget 30-lap preliminary feature at Boardwalk Hall.
Buckwalter claimed his first indoor event in front of a large crowd that sat in absolute awe over the transgressions of a race that had many leaving the gates with absolute anticipation for Saturday night’s 40-lap Gambler’s Classic finale.
When the race was all said and done, only four cars finished the distance after a lap-25 crash took out 15 cars. And many of those sent to the pit area were the heavy hitters like then-race leader Chris DeRitis, Lou Cicconi, Jr., Joey Payne, Mike Lichty and Ted Christopher.
“I guess I was at the right spot at the right time,” Buckwalter said. “Somehow, we got through it and missed everything.”
Buckwalter is a guaranteed starter for Saturday night’s main event along with Shaun Carrig, Matt Roselli and Mike Tidaback. Christopher finished fifth in the main event as he watched from the pit area.
DeRitis, who led laps one through 25, admitted his car suffered mechanical problems which precipitated the multi-car incident.
“The engine was registering 240 degrees and I knew 250 was the limit,” DeRitis said. “When we restarted, I felt the engine burp and it started to spit some water out.”
Mike Stefanik, Ian Cumens and Billy Pauch won heat races. Christopher set a track record of 8.6352 seconds during qualifying.
Jimmy Carpenter received the lead in the 600cc micro sprint event on lap 14 after Jason Ormsby and Jack Conover were involved in a spectacular turn-three double flip while contending for the lead.
Carpenter led the final six tours to score the $1,500 victory over teammate Rob Vivona.
“I didn’t even have a ride until last Tuesday,” Carpenter said. “Rob called me and said that if I wanted to run in this race then I better get my butt up to Staten Island.”