Ryan Flores breaks through for indoor racing triumph
- Ryan Flores finally won a race in the Len Sammons Indoor Auto Racing Series.
- After five second-place finishes, Flores won twice at Allentown's PPL Center over the weekend.
- Flores works full time in the fabrication shop for Penske Racing’s NASCAR outfit near Charlotte.
Ryan Flores finally won a race in the Len Sammons Indoor Auto Racing Series.
Then he turned around and did it again the next night.
Flores won both Friday and Saturday in the three-quarter midget series races at Allentown’s PPL Center.
Flores is a New Jersey native who works full time in the fabrication shop for Penske Racing’s NASCAR outfit near Charlotte, North Carolina. On weekends, he’s a tire changer for the Wood Brothers and driver Ryan Blaney, who are associated with Penske Racing.
Flores had finished second five times in Sammons’ indoor races before last weekend. Each of his wins over the weekend was worth $2,000.
On Friday, Flores started fourth and took the lead from Jimmy Blewett on the third of 40 laps. Officially, Flores led the rest of the event, although there were some close calls, including one three-wide run at the starter’s stand. Zane Zeiner finished second, with Justin Bonsigneore, Rob Neely and Ryan Tidman in the top five.
Erick Rudolph, who had won two weeks earlier at Trenton, was part of the lead battle until he crashed while he and Flores negotiated lapped traffic on the 20th lap. Rudolph returned to finish sixth ahead of Tim Buckwalter, Scott Kreutter, Matt Janish and Brett Michalski.
In Saturday’s feature, Flores started from the pole, but certainly didn’t lead every lap. The turning point in Saturday’s race came on the 13th of 40 laps when an expansion joint came loose in the concrete racing surface. The race had gone non stop until that point with Flores in the lead. Numerous caution flags followed that restart, with Rudolph getting the lead on the 21st lap, before Tommy Catalano took the lead a lap later with a three-wide move. Catalano spun out of the lead on the 28th lap, returning Flores to the point.
Flores led the rest of the race, while every car behind him was involved in some sort of scrap over the final laps, with wholesale position changes. In the end, Catalano rebounded to finish second, with Blewett finishing third. Blewett was added to the race as a points provisional after crashing out of the lead in a B-Main event. He had to retrieve his back-up racer from the “Fan Zone” to start the race in the last position.
Andy Jankowiak and Buckwalter completed the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Chad Jones, Bonsigneore, Jonathan Reid, Michalski and Matt Roselli.
Danny Buccafusca won Friday’s slingshot feature and Chris Daley was Saturday’s champ kart winner. T.J. Reed, the 14-year-old son of local 358 sprint racer Todd Reed, finished fifth in the champ kart race, and had earlier won a qualifying heat race.
Reach Bryan Householder at email@example.com.