ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Anthony Sesely won Friday night’s NAPA Know How Indoor three-quarter midget 30-lap feature inside Boardwalk Hall after out-dueling Ted Christopher in a mid-race showdown.
Christopher led the first seven laps of the feature until Sesely worked his way under his long time indoor racing rival. The two ran nose to tail through lap 13 when following a restart they tangled, snapping one of Christopher’s car’s tie rods, ending his night. Sesely escaped unscathed and led to the finish.
The mid-race turning point shuffled the pack behind leader Sesely with first Andrew Nye, then Jimmy Blewett, then Matt Janisch moving for the runner-up slot. The race was slowed 14 times by caution flags. Janisch prevailed for second ahead of Rob Vivona, Brett Michalski and Rob Neely. The five were the only finishers from among the 23 race starters.
“This is amazing but I’m as happy for Rob Vivona as I am for myself,” said Sesely.
Vivona is a childhood friend of Sesely’s and was making his first start in racing after a six month sabbatical. Vivona, who is fighting cancer, actually postponed a chemotherapy treatment to race in the Atlantic City events.
Runner-up Janisch was involved in several scrapes during the feature but came back from each.
“The first one, when I got spun and had to go to the rear of the field hurt my chances,” Janisch said. “But I’m happy to survive and finish second.
Vivona, who was noticeably weakened from his drive, was humbled by his third place finish.
“I got lucky a few times out there,” said Vivona. “I just wanted to finish and we did.”
Ninety three-quarter midget drivers time trialed to gain starting berths in a series of heat races.
Sesely’s 8.276 time bested Christopher’s 8.326 clocking to set fast time. Andy Jankowiak, Tim Iulg, Andrew Nye, Neal Williams, Matt Roselli and Vivona rounded out the top eight.
Two drivers, Erick Rudolph and Patrick Emerling originally had posted first and third fastest times respectively, but both times were disallowed when technical inspectors found irregularities in their cars’ fuel, a strict prohibition. They were disqualified and did not compete in the Friday race action.
Qualifying was also completed for Saturday night’s Champ Kart and Slingshot features. Justin Bonsignore’s 9.515 lap time outpaced Anthony Colandro, Jonathan Cash, Douglas Stearly and Chris Daley in the top five from among sixty six Karters on hand.
Gary Hieber outran Matt Massone by running a 10.043 lap in the Slingshot time trial runs to lead a forty-four car field. Eddie Strada, Frank Yankowski and Kurt Bettler trailed in the top five.
The TQ Midgets will re-qualify for tonight’s 40-lap three-quarter midget Gambler’s Classic main event. Champ Kart and Slingshot features will precede the TQ headliner.
Anthony Sesely, Matt Janisch, Rob Vivona, Brett Michalski, Rob Neely, Pat Bealer, Jimmy Blewett, Mike Lichty, Andrew Nye, Mike Iles, Tim Proctor, Randy Cabral, Tim Iulg, Neal Williams, Shawn Nye, Ted Christopher, Billy Pauch, Zane Zeiner, Donny Lia, Jonathan Reid, Matt Roselli, Andy Jankowiak, Lou Cicconi Jr., Jeff Kot.