ATQMRA 2015 Mahoning Valley Opener
The Hoosier Tire ATQMRA opens its 59th season of competition at Lehighton's Mahoning Valley Speedway on their paved quarter mile circle on Saturday April 25th. A strong influx of new blood will be in competition along with the old guard of TQ midget competitors. A host of drivers with feature wins at MahoningValley will be looking to earn the victory in the opener. Several Drivers will be doing double duty on the 25th running in multiple divisions. Grandstands open at 4:00pm.
2014 ATQMRA Champion Matt Janisch will be behind the wheel of his newly constructed 48 car for the opener. He was last years season opening feature race winner at MahoningValley and used that victory as a springboard to the Triple Crown Championship and ultimately the Club Championship. If Jansich can win the feature it will be his third consecutive opening night victory at MahoningValley. Jansich expects to be doing double duty on Saturday in both his TQ midget and in SpeedSTR competition. Incidentally Janisch will be racing his fifth different car in his last six consecutive starts attesting to his versatility.
ATQMRA President Buddy Sload will be looking to continue his winning ways at Mahoning valley after capturing the checkered flag in the organizations most recent race at MahoningValley in 2014. Sload earned multiple wins his family owned 53 car and is looking to win his first ATQMRA Championship.
Flying Ryan Tidman of Levittown, Pa has a long tradition of wining ATQMRA races and Championships. His first win in a TQ midget came at MahoningValley and he has been a regular winner around the quarter mile circle. The 2014 season opening race in the Boyd Racing 1B didn't go well with several uncharacteristic drive line failures. The team will surely be in contention as veteran Tidman has a knack for finding Victory lane anywhere the team shows up. After being blanked at MahoningValley in 2014 Tidman will be hungry to return to victory lane at the opener.
2013 ATQMRA Rookie of the year Joey Bailey made the first start of his ATQMRA Career at MahoningValley in route to earning top rookie honors that year with a podium finish at Mahoning. Bailey won his first feature race at Wall Stadium during his sophomore season last year and has been consistently fast at Mahoning but hasn't been able to find his way to victory lane. With his father Russ's expert chassis tuning of the Joe Zuzzalo 02 Bailey will once again be in contention.
Matt Roselli will be back behind the wheel of the family owned West End Equipment 98 Laffler Chassis car looking for Victory at Mahoning. Roselli has been very successful racing the quarter mile circle at MahoningValley over the years earning multiple feature wins and setting and resetting track records. He parked the family owned can in victory lane at the JulyMahoningValley race and will be in top form heading into the club opener. When Roselli isn't behind the wheel of the family TQ midget he will be racing a 600 on the dirt tracks of the area in wingless competition.
The versatile Earl Paules has more overall victories around MahoningValley than all of the other drivers with the ATQMRA combined. Paules has wins in the TQ Midgets as well as the Modified and Late Model divisons. Paules has a handful of TQ feature race wins driving for the Roselli Racing team including wins at Mahoning as well as adding a TQ Turkey Derby win to his credit. Paules will be behind the wheel of the newly acquired Laffler TQ midget he raced successfully indoors and will be looking to ad to his resume of success at MahoningValley. In addition Paules will be competing in a Modified and a SpeedSTR tripling his chances for victory around his home track.
Long time ATQMRA racer Jeff Kot will be back in active competition in his 95 Badger TQ midget for the first time in a few years. The car was completely rejuvenated by BJ MacDonald at Classic Competition Specialties in preparation for the coming season in time for the Atlantic City Indoor races. The car was changed over to thirteen inch rubber and a host of other changes were made. Kot will surely be in contention whenever he rolls his Badger out of the trailer at an ATQMRA event.
2014 ATQMRA Rookie of the year Geoffrey Sutton will be looking for his first victory with the ATQMRA. Earning a handful of victories in short track competition and running strong indoors Sutton is still searching for his comfort zone on the bigger tracks. He is looking to improve upon his results from his rookie campaign and gain speed and get into contention. Sutton made his first big track start in an ATQMRA sanctioned race at MahoningValley in 2013 in the Tommy Williams 9w Badger.
Veteran Dirt racer Rob Vivona of Staten Island, NY will be behind the wheel of the Metz Racing 46b at the club opener at MahoningValley. Vivona raced with the ATQRMA in the late 90s with his dirt 600 micro sprint and ran enough races last year with the ATQMRA to earn an eighth place finish in the season ending point's standings.
Several Story lines will play out on Saturday night at the circle at MahoningValley with both Janisch and Paules attempting to win multiple features in the TQs and SpeedSTRS and Jansich looking to make it three ATQMRAMahoningValley openers in a row. Bailey is looking for his first MahoningValleytriumph with Tidman looking to return the Boyd racing 1B to victory lane where he earned his first ATQRMA win. Matt Roselli has consistently been fast and able to find victory lane at Mahoning and is looking to continue his streak of seasons with a win at Mahoning. The tale will be told on April 25th. Will it be one of the past winners pulling into Victory lane or will it be a new face adding their name to the rank of Mahoning Valley Speedway winners.
ATQMRA News and Notes: Rookie of the year hopeful Patrick Force was on hand testing his newly acquired Drinan TQ midget at Wall Stadium on Saturday. Early practice at Mahoning takes place from 1:00 to 3:00. Grandstands open at 4:00 with regular practice from 4:30 to 5:30 with qualifying starting at 6:00.