Ryan Flores Hopes to Rebound for Round 3 of the Indoor Auto Racing Championshipadmin
By: J.J. Andrews
As a five-year-old Quarter Midget racer at Wall Stadium, Ryan Flores hoped for racing success and would eventually relocate from Manasquan, NJ to North Carolina where he worked his way up the ladder, becoming a full-time tire changer for the Roger Penske NASCAR team of which Ryan Blaney will drive this year.
When he’s not performing pit stops at lightning fast speed, Flores heads back to his old Jersey Shore stomping grounds competing with the East Coast’s top racers in the Indoor Auto Racing Championship Fueled by VP Racing Fuels.
Limited in the amount of racing he can do, Flores purchased a car for the Indoor Series and in 2017 won for the first time inside Allentown, Pa.’s PPL Center. He came back and won the next night too. While Flores struggled in the Atlantic City Championship event, he earned enough points to win the 2017 TQ Midget Series Championship.
After problems both nights this year in Allentown, Flores is mired in 14th in the points. In both events, he held the lead and had one of it, not the fastest cars, but luck just wasn’t on his side.
Area Auto Racing News columnist J.J. Andrews talked to Ryan Flores this past week about his plans for this weekend’s NAPA Know How Gambler’s Classic inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
Flores returns to Atlantic City with one goal this year. He’s not thinking points or a good finish; he wants to win badly.
Q. (J.J. ANDREWS): What kind of chassis and engine are you running, and who is the owner?
A. (RYAN FLORES): Lafler Chassis, I own the car.
Q. Are you all set to go for AC (as of last weekend), or still more work to do?
A. We have some work to do. Jimmy Blewett took the motor off the car and sent it out to be rebuilt after what happened (oil filter blew off, and the car caught fire) in Allentown. We just got the motor back and had to get it all installed this past weekend.
Q. Any changes to the car from last year’s AC entry? Setup changes? Strategy changes?
A. No real changes. We found some other issues with the motor once we looked into it so, we should be stronger in AC. Other than that we will approach it as we always do and try to put ourselves in contention.
Q. How do you feel about your run in Allentown.
A. I feel great about our weekend in Allentown. Circumstances kept us from sweeping the weekend for the second year in a row (He had tire going flat while leading on Friday), so that was hard to swallow, but overall our car was fast, we kept up with the racetrack well, and I felt like I knocked the rust off the driving part and got up to speed quickly.
Q. Was the contact in Allentown more or less than in the past? Any issues with any of the drivers there?
A. It’s always gonna be a little physical indoors because of the speed and tightness of the track. There are guys you know you can race and others that you have to be a little more patient with.
Q. Who is your biggest competition in AC?
A. I think the competition is more than ever this year in indoors, but I think Erick Rudolph, Jimmy Blewett, Justin Bonsignore, Zane Zeiner, and Anthony Sesely will be the ones I think you will have to beat to bring home the win.
Q. How important are time trials? Can you still come from the back if you don’t TT well?
A. Time trialing well doesn’t exactly mean a good starting spot for the feature the way they run the show in AC. The past two years, quick time at AC hasn’t started any better than seventh.
Q. Anything else you would like to say about the event?
A. For me, it’s my favorite race of the year, and I hope above all that it’s a great show for the fans and everyone that puts time and effort into the event.