Fourteen year old CJ Leary, of Greenfield, Ind., scored the first three quarter midget feature win of his career on Sunday evening when the Midwest TQ Racing League™ presented by Vincennes University competed at the Rush County Fairgrounds in Rushville, Ind.
Other than qualifications, where he timed in fifth quick, the third generation driver was perfect on the night. Leary won both of his heat races, the feature and the Green Tech July 4th Challenge.
Chris Guinn started the evening off by setting quick time when he turned a lap of 13.118 seconds in qualifications. Jason Willis won the Jackson Oil & Solvents Duel for Fuel and the heat winners were Leary (twice), Caleb Faulkner, and Willis.
Matt Lux was scheduled to start the feature on the pole but accepted the Green Tech Tail Gunner Challenge which would award him an extra $400 if he could win the race from the rear.
With Lux electing to go to the tail Brett Hankins led the field to the green flag. Hankins led the first two laps with Leary taking over the point on lap three. Leary pulled away from the field while Tim Lynch and Tate Martz battled for second place.
On lap 23 Don Epley spun and Chris Mann stopped on the track bringing out the yellow flag. This caution bunched the field with the lapped car of Faulkner between Leary and Lynch. On the restart Leary again pulled away taking the checkers ahead of Lynch, Martz, Guinn and Lux.
At the conclusion of the nights racing events the Green Tech July 4th Challenge was held. The top ten drivers, by feature finish, from the Fourth of July weekend races would race for ten laps with a $1,000 winner-take-all prize.
Guinn and Leary would start on the front row but just behind them Lux and Mann made contact in turn one with both cars flipping. Jeff Bruce was also involved and was unable to continue. When the race restarted Guinn took the early lead with Leary right behind. The race was slowed once again when Martz spun on lap seven. On the restart Leary got by Guinn leading the final four laps for the victory. Chasing Leary to the checkers were Guinn, Faulkner, Martz, Jamie Ross and Don Epley.
Rick Robinson, who had motor problems in hot laps and was unable to compete, was named the Duane & Sonja Alexander Hard Luck Driver. Ross passed seven cars in the feature and was the Ward’s Apparel Hard Charger, while Leary received both the INOX Slick Move of the Race and the Tony Stewart Rookie of the Race.