ATLANTIC CITY, NJ February 1, 2015 . . . Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y. outran Ryan Flores of Davidson, N.C., and Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J., Saturday night to win the 13th running of the Gamblers Classic 40-lap Three Quarter (TQ) Midget feature in front of a large crowd inside Atlantic City’s famed Boardwalk Hall.
The three way battle also had profound ramifications in the Len Sammons Motorsports Productions TQ Midget Championship contest. By winning the race, Rudolph earned the tiebreaker after him and Flores, who was winless in the series, each ended up with 320 points.
Rudolph shared the front row at the start of the Gamblers Classic with Patrick Emerling, on the inside, gaining the advantage at the start.
Flores, who lined up third, and Friday night winner Andy Jankowiak, ran behind the pair with Jimmy Blewett joining the battle, up from an eighth place starting berth.
Lapped traffic began to play a role by lap ten and that enabled Jankowiak to pass Rudolph for second and move in on Emerling. Caution on lap 15 gave Jankowiak a chance for the lead but Emerling hung tough.
The race slowed on lap 21 just the halfway mark when seven cars stacked up. Emerling maintained the lead but on the 27th lap, Rudolph shot to the inside off turn four and took command. Rudolph had muscled under Jankowiak two laps prior.
A late race restart following a red flag for an eleven car crash in the middle of the backstretch proved to be the opportunity for Flores to assert himself.
On the 32nd lap, Flores muscled under Emerling for second bringing Blewett and Jankowiak with him and dropping Emerling to fifth. That’s the way they finished with Ted Christopher sixth, Ryan Susice seventh, Neal Williams eighth, Joey Payne ninth and Tim Buckwalter tenth.
Williams drove a masterful race, having started 24h in the 26-car field. His effort earned him the Doug Craig Charger Of The Race award.