( ARTICLE REPRINTED FORM 2/23 AREA AUTO RACING NEWS)
The excitement is building for the 2016 racing season as the field of drivers for the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC)continues to grow! There will be some new faces as well as some faces that haven’t been seen for awhile when the wingless midgets take to the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway for their season opener on April 2nd.
Running the full 2016 ARDC schedule will be the Myerstown Missile, Ryan Wilson who makes the move from sprint cars to wingless midgets this season.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Wilson stated. “I’m really excited about this season.”
Wilson is making the move into ARDC midget competition for several reasons. A few years back, Wilson executed a trade with his friend, 2011 ARDC Midget Champion, Drew Heistand. Wilson ran the Heistand midget and then had Hiestand jump into the cockpit of his sprint car. “I had so much fun just those few times that I raced the midget,” Wilson explained. “It’s a different kind of racing.”
Wilson is also looking forward to a more “cost effective” form of racing. “I can run the best equipment possible on a better budget,” Wilson added. There will be a huge savings in his fuel and tire bills, just for a start. Wilson has purchased the former DeGre Engineering No. 28, driver by owner, Greg Fitzpatrick. A Zach Daum powerplant will be under the hood of Wilson’s No. 29 this season.
“I’m really looking forward to running on all those tracks were I’ve raced Micros all my life,” Wilson related. And he’s had a lot of success on the tracks that appear on the 2016 ARDC schedule. He has a 358 Sprint Car win at Williams Grove and Lincoln and has won with the Micro at the other tracks. Big Diamond is the only track where Wilson hasn’t recorded a win to date.
“When you race sprint cars, you have to drive the car straight,” Wilson explains. “I think that will help me.”
Micro sprint driver, Kyle Spence is also looking to try his hand in a wingless midget. Spence expects to be able to run about a third of the ARDC schedule, fitting midget events in around his Micro sprint schedule.
Spence purchased what was a second car for Tommy Kunsman, Jr. Kunsman will return to ARDC competition after collecting his first podium finish late last season.
Kunsman had expected rent his second car and plans were underway for another Micro sprint competitor, Jenna Schostkewitz to get her start in midgets by competing in the events at Linda’s Speedway this season. But then the car was sold to Spence, leaving Schostkewitz looking for an alternative.
After taking a season off, Delaware driver, Clayton Glassman will make his return to ARDC competition. Glassman will team with car owner, Jim Jackson while Glassman will supply the horsepower for the combination.
Chris Rupp has hopes to return to ARDC competition after several seasons away. The 2016 schedule as well as several over factors have enticed the graphic designer back to competition. If all goes well, Rupp will join the field some time after the first month or so of competition.
Fans can expect to see Modified driver Ryan Watt behind the wheel of the R/T Racing No. 20 when his schedule allows with Tim Buckwalter and Billy Pauch, Jr. seeing some midget action as time allows. Two time champion, Steven Drevicki may be moving on but has made it known that his schedule is open for Friday night events.
Alex Bright returns to ARDC action after a successful winter season in both Australian and Chili Bowl action. Brenden Bright, 2013 Champion, Trevor Kobylarz, Ryan Greth, Brett Arndt, Brett Wanner, Nick Wean, Tommy Kunsman, Danny Stratton and a host of others will be producing the three wide and side by side racing when the 2016 season gets under way at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway on April 2nd.
The 2016 schedule sports a healthy twenty-four race events, including four co-sanctioned events with USAC in the month of August.