TRENTON, N.J. — Bridgeport Speedway micro sprint regular Jon Keller raced to a thrilling victory Saturday night in the East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals 600 sprint race held inside Cure Insurance Arena.
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.
“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 — 26th — sidestepped several multi-car crashes, and took the lead with two laps to go, bringing Kenny Miller III, who had started from the 12th 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.”
Feature (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.