Buddy Sload ushered in a new era of racing for the ATQMRA in winning the first ATQMRA sanctioned race on Wall Stadium's fifth mile flat inner oval. The ATQMRA put on an exciting show on the flat track that lent itself to tight competitive racing throughout the field and kept the back of the pack in sight of the leaders after 25 green flag laps. Heat races were won by Matt Roselli and Buddy Sload in the Colin Martin Spitfire 16. Don Zrinski ran the fastest lap in the heat races while Roselli ran the fastest lap in the feature. Next up for the ATQMRA is the first of four additional short track dates at Borger's Speedway on August 8th.
The addition of the Borger's dates and the remainder of the Club's races on Wall's inner oval and the single show at Bethel Speedway gives the ATQMRA a tie back to its small track roots that was lost with the closing of venue's like Freeport LI Speedway, Islip LI, the paved track at New Egypt and Dorney Park as well as the fabled Pinebrook Speedway. The racing on the smaller ovals lends itself to tighter competition and allows the TQ's to be a true next step for younger racers moving on from quarter midget and Kart racing.
The feature race saw a front row of Metz Racing Teammates Geoffrey Sutton and "the Rocket" Ron Mullen take the green flag with Sutton winning the drag race into the first turn. A caution negated the initial start when Mike Glaser and BJ MacDonald tangled coming out of the second turn ending both of their nights early.
The restart was more of the same with Sutton taking command and appeared to be the one to beat in the initial flat track race at Wall. The top five cars were running in tight formation with Sload second followed by Roselli Ryan Tidman and Don Zrinski. Sutton appeared poised to earn the victory which Sload acknowledged in victory lane but the engine gave up the ghost on lap 16for Sutton handing the victory to Sload.
Sometimes you have to loose one in order to win one. That statement was never truer of the combination of Sload and Colin Martin in the number 16 Spitfire. In the previous week's feature event at Borger's Speedway Sload was clearly the class of the field leading from early in the race into the closing laps only to have a drive line failure take him out of a commanding lead handing the win to 2014 Champion Matt Janisch. This week the shoe was on the other foot and Sload was able to capitalize and earn the victory over a hard charging Matt Roselli with Ryan Tidman on the podium for third. Veteran TQ midget driver and 2012 Borger's Speedway TQ/600 Champion Don Zrinski who was the fastest car all day rolled across the line fourth in his first start of the season with the venerable ATQMRA.
Wall Stadium Modified Star Anthony Sessely brought his Atlantic City indoor car to race with the ATQMRA and notched a fifth place finish after an epic race long battle with his buddy Rob Vivona who finished sixth in the same dirt car he raced to a fourth place finish on the Bridgeport clay the night before. The two swapped slide jobs and cross over moves the entire race long reminiscent of their childhood days of racing quarter midgets on the Little Wall Quarter Midget track adjacent to the Wall pits.
Ronnie "The Rocket" Mullen rolled across the line in seventh in his third career TQ midget start at Wall running laps within two tenths of the leaders by the end of the race. Mullen earned a victory in Wall's factory stock make-up feature early in the evening and celebrated a second place run by his son Cole Mullen on the Little Wall Quarter Midget track at the QMA Grand National event against some of the best quarter midget racers in the country.
The racing on the Wall inner oval met with mixed opinions heading into the first ever race on the flat track but following the race it was clear that the flat track significantly leveled the playing field keeping all of the competitors in sight of the leaders after 25 green flag laps. The ATQMRA's new for 2015 Tire bank rule has been successful at keeping tire costs under control and lending parity to the division.
ATQMRA News and Notes: The night of racing at Wall was a reunion of sorts in the grandstand with the Zrinski clan on hand as well as John Malik and Glenn and Kathy Halbing at the races to check out the TQ midgets on the new to the ATQMRA inner oval. Glenn and Kathy who raced TQ midgets for several years with Glenn earning a victory on the banks of Wall spent the last several years earning racing off shore boats earning World Championships along the way. It appeared Rookie contender Patrick Force's luck may have turned the corner by completing all of the laps in the feature and his top rival Mike Glaser falling out before a lap was complete. Mark Rogers and crew were on hand with the Murphy 27 car sporting a new paint scheme and turned some quick laps on the day making their first appearance with the ATQMRA receiving their Brice's NAPA Clean Start Program bucket of product. BJ MacDonald had one of the fastest cars on the track racing the Bud and Buddy Sload 53 Spitfire and would surely have been a contender were it not for contact before a lap was complete in the feature.
ATQMRA Feature (25 Laps)
16 Buddy Sload
98 Matt Roselli
1B Ryan Tidman
75 Don Zrinski
16 Anthony Sessely
46v Rob Vivona
39 Ron Mullen
18 Patrick Force
27 Marc Rogers
46 Geoffrey Sutton
F8 Mike Glaser
53 BJ MacDonald
Heat Races were won by Matt Roselli and Buddy Sload
Four additional dates have been added to the ATQMRA Schedule at Borger's Speedway with the first date being August 8th. The TQ's will be back the following week August 15th, September 12th, and October 3rd for regular sanctioned ATQMRA races. On October 10th Borger's Speedway will be hosting a $1000 to win $100 to take the green race for the TQ/600s with the payout guaranteed no matter the car count. The rain date for that race will be October 31. Since the Borger's races are being added after the schedule was released Teams will only be allowed to claim points for four out of the five races at Borger's providing one drop race.