TRENTON, N.J. – Whitey Kidd III is returning to defend his 2017 East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals triumph and this time he’s bringing a few friends with him.
When the second annual 600 Micro Sprint event rolls off on Dec. 13-15 inside the Cure Insurance Arena in Trenton, N.J., Kidd will have a couple of teammates in his quest to repeat his stirring victory of one year ago when he executed a late race pass around the top of Alex Bright to snatch the lead and the win.
Kidd will have his cousin, Andrew Hannula, as one teammate and they will be joined by longtime friend and asphalt modified regular Anthony Sesely. While Kidd won last year’s inaugural event on the clay surface, Sesely had an early exit after flipping wildly in his heat race on Friday night. He loves racing on dirt and according to his teammates, is improving by leaps and bounds each time he slings some clay.
Hannula, the former 270 and 600 Micro Sprint ace who also ran big sprint cars for a few years, is returning to the cockpit after sitting on the sidelines since 2013.
“I got married, had two kids, so racing took a back seat for a while. But now I am ready to strap in again, and my kids are excited about it. They love racing and it will be a blast to have them in the stands watching me in Trenton,” said Hannula.
Sesely will pilot the car Kidd triumphed in last December. It is a Concept Chassis that carried Kidd to several wins, including the first East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals. Kidd recently put the finishing touches on a new Concept creation, and that is the mount he will steer at this year’s race. He was able to shake it down on two occasions in November at Airport Speedway’s Battle at the Bullring and at Spirit Auto Center Speedway’s Bill Thomas Memorial.
Kidd reported progress, but was still working the bugs out of his new ride in those two events.
Hannula actually made his first start in several years at Airport on Nov. 3, when the Battle at the Bullring 100-lapper was contested. He was fast right out of the trailer, timing second-quick before starting on the pole of the feature and leading the first 55 laps.
“I kind of dialed myself out during the break and lost the lead when we went back to green,” said Hannula. “Battling for third later in the race, I got caught up in a skirmish that knocked the chain off the car and I was done. But all in all, I was happy because I shook off some rust and we were fast.”
The Bloomsbury, N.J., competitor is the only member of the three-car team not driving a Concept Chassis.
“I am in a Hyper; it’s a car that Mike (Dicely) built as a special purpose car. It has a little shorter wheelbase. It was made to run wingless on small tracks like Airport and Trenton, so I think we have a car that will run well this week,” said Hannula.
All three cars will be powered by Dave Orange Racing Engines.
Half of the 120-car field will run Dec. 13, while the other half will attempt to lock in on Dec. 14. Thursday and Friday’s racing begins at 7 p.m., while the alphabet soup of last-chance qualifying races starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15.