ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Scott Kreutter won his first Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Racing three-quarter midget feature Saturday night inside Allentown’s PPL Center Arena.
The versatile driver, who does most of his outdoor racing on dirt in Central New York behind the wheel of a 360 sprint car, took the lead from his outside front row starting spot on the initial start of the 40-lap main event, then held off a variety of challengers, including Friday night winner Justin Bonsignore, Erick Rudolph, Ryan Flores and Ryan Preece.
Rudolph passed Bonsignore for second with two laps to go in the race. Bonsignore held on for third ahead of Matt Roselli and Jon Reid.
Kreutter’s win came in the same Trey Hoddock-built car that Andy Jankowiak had won with and that the late Ted Christopher had driven in the 2017 Indoor Auto Racing Series.
“I had some big shoes to fill,” Kreutter said. “Teddy was last guy to drive this year and Andy was a proven winner in it. I kept thinking, ‘just don’t make a mistake in traffic, and don’t slip up and get turned around.’ I couldn’t be any happier.”
The only driver to pass Kreutter during the 40-lapper that was slowed several times by wrecks was Flores, who had won both Indoor Auto Racing Series features the previous year inside the PPL Center.
Flores executed a clean, crisp pass under Kreutter on lap 27 and was pulling away until his engine blew up in a geyser of oil smoke.
“I had no warning,” Flores said. “You never do with these things. I was lucky to be able to spin the car to the inside of the turn the way I did.”
Kreutter recognized Flores’ car’s problems before its driver did.
“I saw the smoke and smelled the oil and backed off,” Kreutter said. “There was no way he was going to last.”
Kreutter also benefited from two mechanical failures of contenders who had moved in behind him for the final five laps of the race.
First, second place runner Preece’s car stalled on the track during the delay for the cleanup of the Flores engine failure. When Preece’s car wouldn’t fire over – vapor lock was diagnosed – he had to go to the rear of the field for the restart.
Also stymied was Zane Zeiner, who had clawed his way from the back of the pack to run fourth late in the race. His car suffered engine failure while circulating under the yellow flag.
These developments allowed Bonsignore and Rudolph to fight side by side for second over the final five circuits while elevating Roselli and Reid into top five finishes.
Timex Morgan was injured in a preliminary three-quarter midget race and was transported to Lehigh Valley Trauma center with undisclosed back injuries.
In the Slingshot feature, Danny Buccafusca won his second PPL Center Indoor Auto Racing Series event. Buccafusca faced down two determined rivals. Kyle Herve was on Buccafusca’s bumper for the first 15 laps of the affair and actually passed Buccafusca for the lead, but the pass was negated when a crash reverted the field back to the previously completed lap.
Herve never challenged again and instead was himself passed by Anthony Raisner. Brett Bieber and Dylan Hoch completed the top five.
Scott Kreutter, Erick Rudolph, Justin Bonsignore, Matt Roselli, Jon Reid, Ryan Preece, Andy Jankowiak, Bobby Holmes, Brandon Azzalina, Joey Payne, Brett Conkling, Ryan Flores, Zane Zeiner, Mike Iles, Anthony Sesely, Tyler Thompson, Earl Paules, Briggs Danner, Shawn Nye, Steve Kemery, Tommy Catalano, Ryan Tidman, Geoffrey Sutton, Chris DeRitis, Billy Whittaker.