He has succeeded racing in a number of different cars, but Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford could be facing the most challenging weekend of his racing career, as he attempts to qualify for the TQ Midget indoor race at the Boardwalk Hall event complex in Atlantic City, N.J. on February 3 and 4.
“From what I understand they’re expecting somewhere around 90 cars and they are only starting about 24,” McKennedy noted. “We certainly need a lot of luck on our side. You can be one of the faster cars and still not make it through the heats.”
McKennedy, now 24 years old, confirmed to the Lowell Sun that he will be a teammate to NASCAR Truck Series 2008 Champion Johnny Benson Jr., in his first-ever appearance in a TQ Midget. McKennedy does have experience racing indoors. As a teenager he competed in a weekend event in Syracuse, N.Y. He raced in four different classes, and he won all four feature events!
“For a small car the TQ’s are extremely fast,” he added. “The horsepower to weight ratio is pretty intense. The cars only weigh I think 800 pounds with the driver. It’s basically a street bike with four wheels. It’s pretty fast. Hopefully I can adapt pretty quickly. Most of the other cars I’ve driven I have adapted quick to.”
(Ted Christopher climbs the wall in the 2011 event at Atlantic City- Howie Hodge Photo.)
McKennedy was fitted for his new ride recently in Pennsylvania. If things go well in Atlantic City, he also hopes to be in the car when the TQ Midgets visit Providence, R.I. on March 10 and 11. After watching some of the indoor races on the internet, he offered this summation.
“You have to be really aggressive and at the same time look ahead because things happen really quick. I’ve had some good success but this is totally different. You’re turning seven or eight second lap times.”
McKennedy will compete against some of the most talented short track racers in the country in the Atlantic City event. Benson, Modified Champion Ted Christopher, open-wheel standout Lou Cicconi and dirt track star Billy Pauch Sr., are just a few of the drivers pre-entered for this event, run in separate events on Friday and Saturday nights.