ARDC’ers Test Four Crown Waters

Felton, DE – Three of ARDC’s best and bravest; Tracy Readinger, Ryan Smith, and recently-clinched Champion Andy Martin took advantage of a break in their regular season to test the waters at the midget portion of USAC’s “Four Crown Nationals” last weekend.

Tracy Readinger of Oley, Pa.made the trip with his no. 86 ARDC back up car. Readinger — who did the Knoxville Midget Nationals back in June — looked at the trip as an adventure for his team. “We had a great time. We (The old guy, J.D., Ozzie and myself) went out on Thurs. night around 10pm and drove through the night. Got to Eldora around 7-8am and walked the track and looked around, like we did when we went to Knoxville. Later that evening we went back over to watch the WOO Sprint Cars in action,” Readinger shared. “The next morning driver sign in was 10am. We had a pretty frantic start to the day when the car wouldn`t start again, due to a bad fuel pump. We got everything straightened out and made the last hot lap session. I was the 6th time trial out, and turned a pretty good time.” Martin, Readinger and Smith timed in at 24th, 25th and 26th respectively out of 31 cars.

“It`s tough on that fast of a track when you`re running against the big dollar USAC motors,” Readinger explained. “In my heat race I started 2nd and ran it flat to the floor on the cushion — yeah I said I was on the cushion — that place is real fast, (Readinger’s reference to being on the cushion is humorous because he has a Danny Lasoski-like reputation for running the low groove). “I almost held on to the 4th and final qualifying spot, but the big motors slowly knocked me back to 6th.”

Readinger started 10th in the B-main and had high hopes of qualifying for the A, but engine problems brought his run to an early end. “Did I have fun?,” Readinger summarized. “You bet, we all had fun. I think I even ran better and had more fun than Knoxville. I`d also like to thank everyone from the ‘ARDC family’ for the support and help out there in Ohio.”

Ryan Smith driving the Burke Trucking no. 54 had the most productive trip, grabbing a transfer spot in the B-main. Smith also felt the ARDC cars were at a horsepower disadvantage to the USAC machines, but he was able to finesse his way into the Four Crown feature and score a 19th place finish.”That’s a whole different crowd out there (USAC),” Smith said. “I just need a little more motor and a little more experience to run with ’em.” This capped off a sucessful week for Smith who climbed up one spot to fourth in the ARDC point standings following a second place finish in ARDC’s most recent race at Susquehanna Speedway Park. Smith, leads a strong contingent of four rookies in the top-ten in ARDC points; the others are Nick Wean, Brett Arndt and Randy Monroe, Jr. Another rookie, Bruce Buckwalter sits in 11th.

Fresh off clinching the 2007 ARDC Championship (his second consecutive), Andy Martin teamed up with Bryan Kobylarz Two Dogs Racing team no. 49 for the Eldora USAC race. Martin had an early draw and was the second out for time trials. He too ran foot to the floor for the two lap qualifying run and posted 24th fast time. That made him “first in class”, of the drivers who weren’t running an Esslinger, Hawk, Mopar or Fontana. Unfortunately he had to drop out of his heat with motor trouble. Martin was another who was impressed with the high banked Eldora layout. “It’s definitely a momentum track and you have to trust your equipment and go against your natural instinct to lift,” Martin said. Martin would love to run Eldora again but felt it would take one of the previously mentioned power plants to be competitive. Martin made sure to point out how thankful he was to Bryan Kobylarz and the Two Dogs Team for giving him the opportunity to race at the historic Ohio speedplant. Kobylarz and crew were equally impressed with ARDC’s newest Champion. A burnt piston on the no. 49’s motor was the culprit that took him from the heat race early. The team felt that the motor problem cost Martin a chance to shine, but expressed what a pleasure it was teaming up with Andy Martin and family for the race.

Garage Gossip: Shawn Burke, owner of Ryan Smith’s no. 54 contacted ARDC PR following the Eldora show to set the record straight on a controversial quote erroneously attributed to his driver in an earlier press release. The remark related to a spirited battle for second spot in the previous week’s feature at Susky between Smith and fellow rookie Randy Monroe, Jr.. “I pressured him ’til he folded like a cheap suit.” was the quote attributed to Smith. “People were surprised that Ryan would say something like that because he’s not like that,” Burke said. “The fact is that he didn’t say it, I did. I pretty much say what’s on my mind and don’t care what people think. I meant it as a joke and certainly didn’t mean it to put down Mr. Monroe. I just don’t want people thinking badly of Ryan, because he didn’t do anything wrong.”

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