Story By: ERNIE SAXTON / SAMMONS PRODUCTIONS – TRENTON, NJ – Cousins Tim and Steve Buckwalter, two of the most talented and accomplished open wheel drivers in the northeast, have each filed entries for the December 13-15 East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals Fueled By VP Race Fuels race at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ.
The Buckwalters will be in anticipation of the same lighting fast, smooth dustless track conditions that prevailed at last year’s critically acclaimed first East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals.
Tim Buckwalter, 29, from Douglassville, PA., will be driving a No. 71 fielded by Greth Racing. Tim raced on the USAC National Sprint Car series this season for the first time while racing when time permitted in a dirt Modified and a 600cc wingless Micro Sprint.
Steve Buckwalter, 41, from Royersford, PA, will go to post in Royalton Racing No. 74. Steve’s focus this year was on 410 Sprint Car racing in Central Pennsylvania and on the USAC Silver Crown series.
The cousins share a common racing heritage in that each has been successful in Micro Sprint racing and subsequently turned to Midgets. Steve won the 2010 ARDC Midget driving championship succeeded two years later by Tim, in 2012. Their careers diverged at that point. But both kept their Midget skills and Micro talents sharp. They also raced SpeedSTRs together at Pa.’s Kutztown Speedway this season.
In last year’s inaugural East Coast Dirt Nationals, Tim Buckwalter raced his way to a hard earned fourth place finish. Steve Buckwalter was ultra-competitive as well but failed to transfer out of his B-Main to make the feature.
The entry list for the Indoor Dirt Nationals has been filled with 120 race teams clamoring for the chance to run on the indoor dirt. In the inaugural running, 36-year-old Staten Island, N.Y. resident Whitey Kidd, III made a late race pass on Alex Bright to win the thriller over Brian Carber, Tim Buckwalter and Austin Quick followed. Each of the top five finishers have filed entries for the second running.
The CURE Insurance Arena itself has undergone a makeover from floor to ceiling to enhance the viewing experience for race fans at this year’s Nationals. The goal has been to make the arena one of finest in the state.
This year’s schedule calls for heat races with passing points and four A-qualifier feature races on both Thursday and Friday night. On Saturday Alphabet mains, with racers having the opportunity to advance from G, F, E, D, C, and B, will precede the 40 lap A-Main paying $5,000 to win. Racing will start at 7 PM on Thursday and Friday, 5 PM on Saturday.