From Ernie Saxton
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (March 10, 2012) – Canadian Stewart Friesen passed Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y., for the lead on lap 38 of the 40-lap Coffee Cup Classic Indoor Three Quarter Midget race at Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., Saturday to earn his first ever Coffee Cup Classic race win. The victory came after a thrilling side-by-side battle in an event that Rudolph had dominated.
The companion Champ Kart 25-lap main event was won by Glen Meisenhelder of Agawam, Mass. who had originally crossed the finish line in second place. When apparent winner Chris Daley of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., was disqualified by technical inspectors for an out-of-compliance engine, Meisenhelder was elevated, albeit belatedly, to victory.
Mike Lichty led the early laps of the TQ race until Rudolph took over. A succession of incidents and double-file restarts kept the pack tight. Lichty fell back and Friesen moved forward to challenge for the lead. As the race progressed, Friesen began to close on Rudolph in lapped traffic, eventually passing him with two laps remaining.
Rudolph finished second with Jon Gambuti passing Ryan Smith for third place on the final lap. The mover-and-shaker of the race was Ted Christopher, who started 25th and last in the field after fixing mechanical problems with his car just in time to make the call for the green flag. He finished fifth.
Meisenhelder and Daley exchanged first place several times over the last ten laps of the Champ Kart co-feature with heavy traffic keeping them bunched. Meisenhelder held the lead as the white flag, signaling one lap to go, was given to the pack. Off the last turn, Meisenhelder’s car bicycled momentarily and Daley sped by him to take the checkered flag first, by inches. Daley would subsequently lose the win in post-race technical inspection, by millimeters.
Daley’s disqualification also elevated Mike Perry to second, 2011 Champ Kart winner Bryan Shields to third, Anthony Colandro to fourth and Kevin Baird to fifth.
The second day of two-day TQ Midget and Champ Kart Indoor Auto Racing meet at ‘The Dunk’ continues Sunday at 2:00 p.m. with the running of the 100-lap TQ Midget main event and a second 25-lap Champ Kart feature. A full agenda of qualifying races to determine the starting field and starting positions for the two races will precede the big races.
Coffee Cup Classic TQ Midget Feature (40 Laps): 1. Stewart Friesen ; 2. Erick Rudolph; 3. Jon Gambuti; 4. Ryan Smith; 5. Ted Christopher; 6. Todd Hoddick; 7. Timex Morgan; 8. Mike Lichty; 9. Glen Reed; 10. Tony DeMattia; 11. Joey Payne; 12. Matt Janisch; 13. Mike Tidaback; 14. Pat Bealer; 15. Jonathan McKennedy; 16. Chris Stockham; 17. Lou Ciccioni Jr.; 18. Paul Lotier Jr.; 19. Christopher Allen; 20. Frank Fischer; 21 . Todd Bertrand; 22. Bobby Holmes; 23. Steve Craig; 24. Randy Cabral; 25. Jonathan Reid.
Did Not Qualify: Chris Deritis, Rob Vivona, Mark Yoder, Tim Buckwalter, Shaun Carrig, BJ MacDonald, Erik Musto, Scott Kreutter, Johnny Benson, Glenn Heverin, Ryan Greth, Billy Pauch, Ryan Tidman, Mike Osite, Matthew Roselli, Tim Jedrzejek, Jimmy Carpenter, Anthony Sesely, Tim Proctor, Bruce Leote, Eddie Witkum Jr., Marc Rogers, Ryan Bartlett.
TQ Heat Winners (First Set): Glen Reen, Steve Craig, Stewart Friesen, Timex Morgan.
TQ Heat Winners (Second Set): Mike Lichty, Mike Tidaback, Randy Cabral, Jon Gambuti
TQ Consolation Winners: Glen Reen, Tony DiMattia.
Champ Kart Feature (25 Laps): 1. Glen Meisenhelder; 2. Mike Perry; 3. Bryan Shields; 4. Anthony Colandro; 5. Kevin Baird; 6. Andrew Swisher; 7. Ron Midford Jr.; 8. Brandon Tiezzi; 9.David Putnam ; 10 . James Hadden; 11. James Hadden; 12. Rob Murray; 13. Matthew Bonsignore; 14. Evan Beaulieu; 15. Peter Panciocco; 16. Avery Stoehr; 17. Shawn Johnson; 18. DJ Shaw; 19. Dylan Duhaime; 20. Brandon Rusczak; 21. Carl Medeiros Jr.; 22. Gavin Soraghan; 23. Steven Midford.; 24. Disqualified: Chris Daley (from first).
Did Not Qualify: Kevin Marsden, Mike Panciocco, Adam Dion, Kathryn Stoehr, Bill Keller, Carte levreault, Nathan Tracy, Lauryn Burd, Stephen Morsillo, Frank Perry, Michael Pares Jr., Brianna Page, Rob Tefft, Bethany Stoehr, Jordan Dube, Frank Duquette, Dion Naples, Matt Fenn, Stephen Beattie.
Champ Kart Heat Winners (First Set): Chris Daley, Ron Midford Jr., Nick Hadden.
Champ Kart Heat Winners (Second Set): Chris Daley, Bryan Shields, Brandon Tiezzi.
Champ Kart Consolation Winners: Gavin Soraghan, DJ Shaw.