ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Ryan Tidman has done everything in Indoor Auto Racing Series TQ Midget racing action over the years except win a race.
The Holland, Pa., driver hopes to accomplish that goal when the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Race Fuels opens its 2020 season this weekend inside the PPL Center in downtown Allentown, Pa.
“I’ve come close lots of times, won some 20-lap qualifying races and set fast time, but still am looking for my first big Indoor race win. I hope this year will be different,” said the 32-year-old driver.
Tidman’s indoor assault will be with a new team. After spending most of his TQ Midget racing career racing for Lenny and Donna Boyd, Tidman will be driving Indoors for Richie Tolerico of Pompton Lakes, N.J.
The car, a Mark Lafler engineered chassis powered by a Dave Pippard engine, was formerly wheeled by Tony DiMattia. That’s the same engine and chassis combination Erick Rudolph used to win last year’s Indoor Auto Racing Series title, his fourth in the Series.
“Lenny and Donna (Boyd) decided to step away from Indoor racing this year and when they did, I had to either find a ride or sit out the Series,” Tidman explained. “I called Richie when I found out his car might be available and we struck a deal.”
Tidman stressed that he will still be driving the Boyd TQ in 2020 on the outdoor circuit. As a team, the pairing has won five ATQMRA series titles.
Tidman is coming off an outdoor TQ season that saw him finish a close second in points with one win in 12 races, at Bethel, N.Y.
Tidman will have the capable assistance of John Smith in the pit area. Smith has worked on Tolerico’s cars previously. Tidman’s parents, Albert and Linda, Mike Glaser and Tidman’s girlfriend Erica Weinelt also will be in the pit area assisting.
To put it all together, Tidman enlisted the support of several sponsors.
They include Insinger Machine Company of Philadelphia, Anes Construction, a business operated by fellow race entrant Mark Yoder, and Small Business Funding Group, Inc.
Tidman, a York College graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering, brings his own skills set to the table as well.
The one thing Tidman was unable to do was practice the Tolerico No. 83 in advance.
“The first laps I get in Allentown will be my first in the car,” Tidman revealed. “I wanted to try to have the car ready for one of the Wall Stadium Turkey Derby practices but ran out of time.”
The untested car in Tidman’s hands should be mitigated by the fact among the three Indoor Auto Racing Series tracks, the PPL Center in Allentown is among his favorites.
“Allentown is one of the best tracks we go to,” Tidman said. “There is more passing there and at Atlantic City. I like tracks that have the most passing opportunities.” he shared.
Though Tidman has never won a Series A-Main, he did come close, in the 2016 Gambler’s Classic in Atlantic City, N.J.
“I was behind (Anthony) Sesely, pushing him. But I was using the brakes so much that the brake pads were pushed back inside the calipers which then flared up in a fireball,” Tidman lamented.
Tidman has a long history with Indoor racing, dating back to a 2004 start in a Badger TQ Midget. He then followed it up with two more Indoor starts, all of them in Atlantic City, N.J., inside Boardwalk Hall, before taking several years off to campaign a diverse group of vehicles, including a dirt modified and a NEMA Midget.
The Allentown Indoor schedule calls for doors opening at 6 p.m. with racing getting underway at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, doors open at 5 p.m. with racing beginning at 7 p.m. sharp. An on-track Fan Fest is available at no extra charge to ticket holders who chose the option when making their purchase.
Matt Janisch and Ryan Flores won the Friday and Saturday PPL Center TQ Midget features in 2019.
The Allentown race is the first of four events that comprise the Indoor Auto Racing Series.