TRENTON, N.J. – The first Battle Of Trenton to be fought with race cars is heading to the New Jersey state capital’s Sun National Bank Center on Friday and Saturday for two days of indoor three-quarter midget, Champ Kart and Slingshot auto racing action.
Preparations began Tuesday morning, transforming the Sun National Bank Center arena floor from a sheet of ice into a tacky, safe, one-tenth mile oval speedway, all in anticipation of the first practice laps Friday afternoon followed by two days of racing.
One hundred and twenty eight teams have entered the Len Sammons Motorsports Productions (LSMP) event, 65 in the TQ class, 32 in the Slingshot division and 31 in the Champ Kart category.
The collective entries hail from 10 states (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, North Carolina, Indiana) and one Canadian province (Ontario).
The schedule of events calls for the featured TQ Midget class to compete in Twin Twenty lap feature races on Friday night after a full round of time trials and heat races and to return Saturday night to wage the weekend’s main event, the PRC Industries / Angela’s House Battle Of Trenton 40-lap feature.
Three-quarter midgets are smaller, lighter powerful versions of Sprint and Midget cars and are specially prepared for the rigors of indoor racing.
Friday’s three-quarter midget events are supported by a full card of Slingshot events, culminating in the Snyder’s-Lance Snack Bowl 25 lap feature race. Slingshot are purpose built, common-source, closed cockpit cars with mandated Briggs & Stratton engines keeping development to a minimum and thus placing a premium, on driving skill.
Saturday’s three-quarter midget competition is supplemented by a program of the nimble, agile and always exciting Champ Kart events, with a 25-lap feature. Many of auto racing’s biggest national and international driving stars began their racing careers in kart racing.
Heading the list of entries are the winners of the LSMP races over Jan. 24-25 inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. Anthony Sesely of Matawan, N.J., swept the pair of main events in AC while Simon Egan of Stroudsburg, Pa., whipped the Slingshot field and Anthony Colandro of Islip Terrace, Long Island, N.Y., bested the Champ Kart pack.
One driver who intends to attract interest is the lone Canadian in the field, Mike Lichty of Innerkip, Ontario. Lichty ran second to Sesely in the Atlantic City main event, the Saturday night Gambler’s Classic. Lichty is two time winner on the Len Sammons Indoor circuit with a win last year in the Fatheadz Indoor Series opener in Baltimore, Md., and in 2009 in Providence, R.I.
Another is Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J., who finished second in both 2012 Atlantic City three-quarter midget features and seventh in both events two weeks ago.
The Flemington, N.J., based Hartman family, composed of Jesse and Kalli Hartman and their father Mark, are three of the leading Slingshot contenders as is female Slingshot star Shannon Smith of Kunkletown, Pa., who happens to be Atlantic City Slingshot winner Simon Egan’s girlfriend.