Story By: ERNIE SAXTON / SAMMONS PRODUCTIONS – TRENTON, NJ – Bob Hummer, Jr., a second generation race car driver and car owner, has entered three Hyper chassis cars in the third annual East Coast Dirt Nationals, with three high powered drivers capable of winning it all behind the wheel of them.
The third annual ‘Indoor Dirt Nationals’ return to CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ, on February 21–22 featuring nearly 100 wingless 600cc sprints on the indoor banked, clay oval.
Three-car team owner Hummer, 50, of Belvidere, NJ, has entered cars that will go to post with the Bright brothers, Alex and Brendan Bright of Collegeville. PA and Mike Mahaney of Plattsburgh, NY in the cockpits of his three meticulous prepared Micros.
Hummer has resurrected his father’s car number, No. R7, for the car Brendan Bright will drive while Mahaney’s will carry the No. XR7 designation. Alex Bright will wheel the No. 20.
The Bright brothers are experienced hands in 600 Sprint racing, both indoors and outdoors. Mahaney, a full-time dirt Modified racer, has run just four races in his career in the small-cars and none of them indoors.
“I know that racing a car for Bob means it will be a good, well prepared car,” Mahaney said, looking forward to the challenge.
“I don’t know much about indoor racing so I’ll be relying in my teammates a lot to get dialed in.”
Mahaney’s 2020 outdoor racing schedule with the Super DIRTcar Series big block and small block Modifieds will limit his opportunities to do many other small-car races during the outdoor season.
“I’ll be at Kutztown’s Action Track, schedule permitting, and try to make all of the big shows,” Mahaney qualified.
Bob Hummer, Sr. was a Dirt Modified driver in the ‘80s, but found that owning race cars and putting top drivers behind the wheel such as Brett Hearn and Jack Johnson was far more enjoyable than driving himself.
Hummer, Jr. has traveled a similar path, first racing go-karts, then moving into Micro Sprints.
“I got in pretty deep,” Hummer, Jr. said. “And then I decided to get out of it.”
And he stayed out, for 20 years, building Rodota Trucking, which his father had founded, into a regional trucking powerhouse.
Now, by Hummer’s own admission, he’s in “pretty deep” again into racing.
“Racing gets in your blood,” Hummer said. “It’s something I have always enjoyed and look forward to the East Coast Dirt Nationals for some good results.”
Alex and Brendan Bright drove for Hummer last year in 600 Sprints while Mahaney raced a SpeedSTR at Action Track, USA in Kutztown, PA under Hummer’s ownership.
Hummer said he will be further expanding his reach in the sport by fielding a second SpeedSTR for Billy Pauch, Sr. to drive on a regular basis at the new four-tenths mile Bridgeport Speedway. He will also get behind a 360 Sprint car initiative with Alex Bright. Specific 360 Sprint plans are in the process of being formulated by Hummer and Bright.
“I like helping younger drivers in their careers,” Hummer said, noting that in addition to the Bright brothers and Mahaney, Nash Ely has also driven for him in a 600 Sprint.
Whitey Kidd, III won the 2017 inaugural running of the East Coast Dirt Nationals while Erick Rudolph drove Tommy Fraschetta’s car to a win in the second running in December of 2018. This year, the event was moved away from the Christmas holidays to the weekend after the Daytona 500.
Hummer’s three car juggernaut is among a huge field expected or the third annual East Coast Dirt Nationals. The number of entries accepted will be 100, as dictated by building space constraints for the two day event.
Teams will arrive in Trenton on Thursday for closed door practice on the track which again be built with rich tacky black dustless class. On Friday, by the luck of a blind draw, the field will be split into 10 heat races. Those that 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 40 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 letter F-Mains transfer four to the next main until two B-Mains are reached on the scheduled. In the final qualifiers, the top six transfer to the A-Main which will start 24 cars.