2014 ATQMRA Rookie of the year Geoffrey Sutton parked the BGF Engine Metz Racing Driver Development 461 in Victory lane for the third time at Wall Stadium to earn his fourth overall win of the 2016 season. Matt Janisch was crowned the 2016 ATQMRA Champion and Mark Yoder pocketed the 2016 Rookie of the Year Award. Ryan Tidman would finish second in the standings after charging from the rear of the pack with Sutton third in the final point's tally. Heat Races were won by Geoffrey Sutton and Jeff Kot. Next up for the ATQMRA is the organization's debut at Stafford Springs Speedway on October 1 for a wingless indoor style rules package race on the track's inner oval.
The Feature race came to the initial green flag with a front row of Chris Hirt and Don Zrinski. A multi car tangle aborted the first attempt sending Hirt, Zrinksi and Glaser to the rear. The second attempt had a front row of Tim Proctor and Buddy Sload take the green flag with Sload getting the jump but another caution slowed the action prior to a lap's completion.
With the Championship settled the week prior the point battle entering the day was for second between Geoffrey Sutton and Multi time Champion Flying Ryan Tidman. Tidman had the edge by sixteen points which equates to four positions on the track. Sutton's chance to get have enough margin on Tidman came when Tidman was involved in an early race incident that relegated him to the back of the pack.
When racing finally got under way Sload was able to take the lead from the pole starting position with the Hard Charging Geoffrey Sutton moving quickly into second. Sutton would lead the second lap only to relinquish the lead to Sload before taking the lead for good on lap five. Sutton would set sail once in the lead opening a margin on second. 2014 and 2016 Champion Matt Janisch worked his way quickly into second position by lap seven. Sutton would hold Janisch off on a mid race restart. The action would be slowed once more on lap 20 for a five lap shootout to the finish.
Sutton would surge into the lead and hold Janisch at bay to the finish winning by a slim .238 seconds at the line to bookend the season with a win at Wall. Third across the line was BJ Macdonald in the 17 600 Micros Sprint but his efforts were for naught since it was announced during the race that a mid race jumped start would cost him two positions at race end. Fourth finishing 2015 Champion Buddy Sload would have his efforts negated in post race tech due to a tread width infraction allowing the hard charging Tidman to finish third.
The ATQMRA's top 2016 Rookie Mark Yoder would be credited with a fourth place finish after a fierce battle with Tidman. Yoder would end the season an impressive fifth in the standings just eight markers behind Veteran Jeff Kot in the Behrents Performance 95. Kot would battle toward the front of the pack before loosing brakes and falling to a ninth place finish.
Heat races were won handily by Geoffrey Sutton and Jeff Kot.
Sutton's first ATQMRA feature win came at Wall during the season opening race. He would park the 461 in victory lane mid season at Wall and in winged competition at the Waterford Speedbowl.
Sutton's four win total is second only to the club's 2016 Champion Matt Janisch who parked his 48 in victory lane in the other six point races run. Janisch won both races at Mahoning Valley as well as Bethel Speedway and wins on Wall's inner oval. Janisch's worst finish of the year was a third at the opener at Wall. When he didn't visit Victory lane he finished second to Sutton to earn the Championship.
Next up for the ATQMRA will be the organization's first trip to New England's Stafford Motor Speedway for an open competition wingless race on that track's inner oval. All cars will be run under a modified indoor style rules package on Saturday October 1st. Gates open at 8:00 am with the first round of practice scheduled for 10:00 am. Racing will follow with heat races at 3:00 PM and Feature races for all divisions to begin at 4:30.
- Heat Race lineups will be determined by a pill draw
- Feature lineup will be determined by a qualifier redraw.
- 30 lap Feature race
- All competitors will be required to pay a $40.00 entry fee to the ATQMRA
- All cars must run an ATQMRA Spec right rear tire. Either an MG5/ USAC Focus tire in 13 inch or an LC5 for the ten inch cars.
- Race Procedures will be governed by the ATQMRA rule book.
- Car specs will be per the ATQMRA rules with the exception of the engine rules which will be based on the indoor rules package.
- TQ tread width will be a maximum of 55.5 inches for TQ Midgets competing and 59.5 inches for 600 Micro Sprints.
- Wheel tethers, and spec mufflers are not required.
- Bumpers and Rub Rails will accommodate ATQMRA and indoor rules to allow teams that don't have bumpers and rub rails conforming to indoor specs to compete.
- Car weights for TQ midgets will be 810 lbs for cars with 2003 and older engines.
- TQs with 2004 and newer engines will be required to be a minimum of 835 lbs.
- 600 Micro Sprints minimum weight is 780 lbs.
- The ATQMRA rule book can be downloaded at: www.atqmra.org
- More information about the race day schedule can be found at: http://staffordmotorspeedway.com/event/44th-annual-napa-auto-parts-fall-final-oct-1-2-2016/
ATQMRA News and Notes: Mahoning Valley Modified Standout and SpeedSTR racer Kevin Graver made his first ATQMRA start in the Janisch ten inch car that powered Matt Janisch to his first Championship in 2014. Graver took to the smaller cars in his first ever trip to Wall and notched a solid eighth place finish. Joey Payne III had a resurgent day at Wall after suffering an engine failure in the previous round at Mahoning to earn an 11th place finish after a week of hard work to have his car ready for action. Rookie Kyle Taraska made his first TQ midget start in the Fred Delibero Metz Racing 01 and gained experience finishing a solid lucky 13th. The pragmatic Joey Bailey had one of the faster cars in the field but would loose brakes and have his race end early when his brakes faded relegating him to a fourteenth place finish.
Feature Race 25 laps 1. 461 Geoffrey Sutton 2. 48 Matt Janisch 3. Ryan Tidman 4. 75 Mark Yoder 5. 17 BJ MacDonald 6. 27 Andrew Krause 7. 75 Don Zrinski 8. 48x Kevin Graver 9. 95 Jeff Kot 10. 98 Tim Proctor 11. 67 Joey Payne III 12. f8 Mike Glaser 13. 01 Kyle Taraska 14. 02 Joey Bailey 15. 11 Steve Whitt 16. 97 Chris Hirt 17. DQ 16 Buddy Sload ( Tread Width
Heat Race 1. 1. 461 Geoffrey Sutton 2. 98 Tim Proctor 3. 75 Mark Yoder 4. 02 Joey Bailey 5. F8 Mike Glaser 6. 48x Kevin Graver 7. 67 Joey Payne 8. 01 Kyle Taraska
Heat Race 2. 1. 95 Jeff Kot 2. 48 Matt Janisch 3. 1b Ryan Tidman 4. 75 Don Zrinski 5. 16 Buddy Sload 6. 97 Chris Hirt 7. 17 BJ MacDonald 8. 27 Andrew Krause 9. 11 Steve Whitt