TRENTON, N.J. – Dirt modified star Larry Wight is expected to bring excitement to this weekend’s East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals, inside the CURE Insurance Arena Feb. 21–22.
Wight had just returned to his Phoenix, N.Y., home after two week competition in Florida in a dirt modified when he was offered to drive Kenny Vincent’s 600cc micro sprint.
The combination makes the new team one of the pre-race favorites to win Saturday’s $5,000-to-win, 50-lap A-main.
Wight brought back a Big Gator championship trophy from Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park after winning three of the five DIRTcar Nationals Modified features held. The 2018 winner of Super DIRT Week in Oswego, N.Y., also has 410, 360 and midget car experience.
In his first appearance at the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl National in Tulsa, Okla., in 2017, Wight became a rookie sensation.
Vincent’s No. 97 600cc micro sprint, based out of Delaware, is also a top runner wherever it competes with driver Luke Thomas behind the wheel.
When Thomas was not able to compete this weekend, Vincent went looking for a replacement that could take his team to victory lane. Through the urging of friends, Wight was chosen, and he quickly accepted.
In the first running of the East Coast Dirt Nationals, Thomas blew a tire during a qualifying event that buried him in Saturday’s alphabet soup qualifying races.
But Thomas rebounded to transfer from the back of the D-Main to the, C to the B, to the A-Main despite starting in the back of each race. Thomas then drove from the rear of the field again to finish seventh in the A-Main, earning him the “Hard Charger” of the event award.
The first Indoor Dirt Nationals was won by Staten Island, N.Y., 600cc micro sprint regular Whitey Kidd III. Last year’s event went to dirt modified star Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y.
Rudolph, a three-time champion of the Indoor Auto Racing TQ midget series, won last year’s event in a pick-up ride, much like Wight will attempt this weekend.
Wight will join another red-hot driver coming off a sensational Florida Speedweeks in Anthony Nocella of Wolburn, Mass.
The 27-year old won twice in an asphalt modified during the week-long World Series Of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway, including a photo finish victory in the John Blewett III Memorial 76-lap race.
Though Nocella’s more recent racing endeavors have consisted of racing modifieds on pavement, he has considerable background racing 600 micro sprints and he’s made three previous appearances at the Chili Bowl in a full-size midget.
On Friday, by the luck of a blind draw, the field will be split into 10 heat races. Those who start in the back will benefit by points given for each car passed.
The top 60 in heat race points are then divided into four A-Main qualifiers, of which the top three transfer directly to Saturday’s 50 lap A-Main event paying $5,000 to the winner.
On Saturday all non-qualified drivers are split into qualifying races by their results on Friday. Each of these events, starting with twin F-Mains, transfer four to the next main until two B-Mains are reached on the schedule.
In the final qualifiers, the top six transfer to the A-main, which will start 24 cars.
Grandstand gates open at 6 p.m. on Friday, with racing beginning at 7 p.m.
The doors open at 4 p.m. on Saturday, with an autograph session at 4:30 p.m. among the 12 drivers locked into the A-main after Friday’s events.
Racing on Saturday will begin at 6 p.m.