TRENTON, NJ – Bridgeport Speedway Micro Sprint regular Jon Keller of Salem, NJ raced to a thrilling victory Saturday night in the East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals 600 Sprint race held inside Cure Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ. The race was a 50-lap event and paid $5,000 to win.
“I can’t believe I even made it into the A-Main all the way from the E-Main let alone win the race,” Keller, 33, said. “I got run into the wall during the feature and rode along it and flipped in Saturday afternoon practice. On Friday, I got black flagged for spinning out three times in my heat and that put me in the back of the E-Main,” Keller related.
“I was discouraged enough after Friday that I actually went home. But as the crew told me the next morning, we’ve come all this way, now’s not the time to give up. They were right, and here we are.”
Keller started the feature dead last, from the thirteenth row, sidestepped several multi-car crashes, and took the lead with two laps to go, bringing Kenny Miller, III, who had started from the twelfth row, with him.
Billy Pauch, Jr., finished third. He led the first ten laps, then was involved in a six-car crash that affected several other front runners including Eddie Strada and Tim Buckwalter. All restarted, but at the back of the field.
Brenden Bright picked up the lead after the big tangle with the remarkable run of Keller first becoming apparent when he moved into the top three on lap 20.
Erick Rudolph, defending race winner, took the lead with 11 laps left as Bright faded. Keller grabbed second, closed on Rudolph and then, on the final restart of the race, shot by Rudolph on the high side of the multi-groove course to complete his shocking ride.
Miller was second, Pauch third, Rudolph fourth and Strada fifth.
“I don’t believe any of this. Winning this race against these top guys from the back of the field,” Keller said. “I don’t belong here, but here I am.”
Larry Wight, who worked his way through from the D Main into the A was sixth after running as high as third at one point. Kyle Spence, Mike Bednar, Bright and Jesse Maurer completed the top ten.
Two B Mains, from which the top six transferred to the A Main, were won by Joey Amantea and Pat Bealer.
C Main race winners were Brandon Pavel and Kyle Spence. Sammy Martz, Jr. and James Morris captured the pair of D Mains. Mike Mahaney and Matt Warner won the two E Mains.
The Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Race Fuels concludes its 2020 season with the final ‘Concrete Series’ event at the New York State Fairgrounds Expo Center in Syracuse, NY on March 13-14, 2020 at which time the Series 2020 champion will be crowned.
For more information, visit indoorautoracing.com.
East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals Feature Finish (50 Laps): 1. Jon Keller, 2. Kenny Miller III, 3. Billy Pauch Jr., 4. Erick Rudolph, 5. Eddie Strada, 6. Larry Wight, 7. Kyle Spence, 8. Mike Bednar, 9. Brenden Bright, 10. Jesse Maurer, 11. Mike Thompson, 12. Gary Bozowski, 13. Pat Bealer, 14. Christian Bruno, 15. Tyler Lindsay, 16. Doug Snyder, 17. Whitey Kidd, 18. Tim Buckwalter, 19. Brian Carber, 20. Alex Bright, 21. Joey Amantea, 22. Brett Altemose, 23. Jim Radney, 24. Aiden Bordan, 25. Wayne Scott.