Matt Janisch of nearby Nazareth, Pa parked his white and orange 48 in victory lane at Mahoning Valley Speedway earning his fourth consecutive ATQMRA Mahoning opener. Second across the line was Geoffrey Sutton with Matt Roselli rounding out the Podium. Heat Races were won by Roselli and Kris Graver in the Janisch 48x. Next up for the ATQMRA is round three of the championship chase at Wall Stadium on Saturday May 14th for more wingless action on Wall's inner bullring.
The Feature race saw a front row of Matt Roselli and Mike Tidaback take the Bob Stull Green flag with Roselli moving into the lead with Geoffrey Sutton in tow. Roselli was credited with leading lap one but Sutton was able to make an inside move to take the early lead. Janisch moved from his fourth staring spot to second by lap four and overtook Sutton for the lead on lap 8 and set sail. Several restarts before half way bunched the field for double file restarts with Janisch and Sutton remaining one two with Roselli in third. Fourth finishing Flying Ryan Tidman battled with Roselli, both in Laffler Chassis race cars for the third spot. They swapped the position several times before Roselli gained the edge after a lap 22 restart.
Fifth across the line was Jeff Kot in his own Badger 95 with Mike Tidaback in the Alan Mollot Badger sixth. Kris Graver who also notched a fifth place finish in the Modified feature rolled across the line 7th in the Janisch 48x as the top finishing Rookie. Anthony Payne Charged from his fourteenth starting position to finish eighth in his second start at Mahoning Valley. Tim Proctor and Mark Yoder rounded out the top ten.
The first heat saw a front row of Kris Graver and Tim Proctor take the Stull Green with Graver taking the early lead and running away from Geoffrey Sutton with teammate Janisch settling in for a third place finish. Proctor, Joey Bailey and Tidaback rounded out the redraw cars for the feature.
The second heat had a front row of Austin Fehr and Matt Roselli take the green with Roselli taking the lead and never looking back. He bested sixth starting Buddy Sload in the Colin Martin Spitfire 16 with Kot third. Tidman, Fehr and Mahoning Valley crowd favorite, the "Fightin' Lehighton" Rick Kirkendall rounded out the cars eligible for the feature redraw.
Next up for the ATQMRA is round three of the championship chase at Wall Stadium on Saturday May 14th for more wingless action on Wall's inner bullring. Don the Snake Zrinski has his sights set on making his first season appearance at Wall on the 14th after having several strong showings at Wall in 2015. A handful of teams have designs on making their season debut on the popular Speedway by the Shore's inner flat oval that has helped create resurgent interest in the TQ division.
ATQMRA News and Notes: 2014 ATQMRA Champion and 2005 Rookie of the year Matt Janisch raced to his fourth consecutive Mahoning Valley Speedway opening night feature win in dominant fashion in his white and orange 48. This win gives Janisch eight Career TQ Midget feature event wins at the Circular Mahoning Valley oval. Kris Graver raced the second 48 car that Janisch used to earn the first two wins in his streak earning a heat race win. Three times ATQMRA Champion Mike Tidaback was behind the wheel of the Alan Mollot 51 making his first start at Mahoning Valley in a badger since racing his familiar Petty colored 43 at the Len Duncan Memorial race in 2011. The Popular "Fightin; Lehighton" Rick Kirkendall made his first ever start in a TQ midget in the Metz Racing Driver Development 46 and was all smiles after the feature. A determined Mullen racing team had to overcome some serious adversity to even make the races at Mahoning Valley Saturday. Their tow rig and trailer were vandalized in the early morning and left them with eight flat tires. Not to be deterred the Mullen Team fought through the adversity and arrived at Mahoning in time to finish seventh in their heat race.
Feature (25 laps) 1. 48 Matt Jansich 2. 461 Geoffrey Sutton 3. 98 Matt Roselli 4. 1B Ryan Tidman 5. 95 Jeff Kot 6. 51 Mike Tidaback 7. 48X Chris Graver(R) 8. 45 Anthony Payne(R) 9. 98T Tim Proctor 10. 75 Mark Yoder (R) 11. 39 Ronnie Mullen (R) 12. 46 Rick Kirkendall(R) 13. 67 Joey Payne III (R) 14. F8 Mike Glaser 15. 02 Joey Bailey 16. 16 Buddy Sload 17. DNS 73 Austin Fehr 18. DNS 53 Bud Sload
Heat Race 1 (8Laps) 1. 48x Kris Graver 2. 461 Geoffrey Sutton 3. 48 Matt Janisch 4. 98t Tim Proctor 5. 02 Joey Bailey 6. 51 Mike Tidaback 7. 75 Mark Yoder 8. F8 Mike Glaser
Heat Race 2 (8 Laps) 1. 98 Matt Roselli 2. 16 Buddy Sload 3. 95 Jeff Kot 4. 1B Ryan Tidman 5. 73 Austin Fehr 6. Rick Kirkendall 7. 39 Ronnie Mullen 8. 45 Anthony Payne 9. 67 Joey Payne III
Season Feature Lap Leaders: Geoffrey Sutton 31 Matt Janisch 19 Matt Roselli 1