Greenfield’s CJ Leary held off a hard charging Tate Martz on Saturday evening when the Midwest TQ Racing League™ presented by Vincennes University competed at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Madison, Ind.
After a couple of false starts to remove marker tires that had been knocked onto the racing surface polesitter Nick Speidel took the lead at the start of the 25-lap feature. Speidel had command of the field until lap five when he slowed and pulled into the infield. Speidel’s misfortune gave the point over to Chris Guinn with Jason Willis and Leary battling behind him for the runner up spot.
On lap twelve Leary got under Willis to take over second spot just as Guinn spun in turn two. With scoring reverting back to the last completed lap Willis assumed the lead with Leary second, Martz third (from his ninth starting position) and Guinn restarting at the rear.
On the restart Leary made a move under Willis in turn two and the duo raced side by side down the backstretch and into turn three. When they emerged from turn four Leary had the lead and Martz had moved into second with Willis now third.
On lap nineteen Leary was under heavy attack from Martz when Kyle Lux bicycled and flipped in turn four while running third. Lux was not injured in the accident but was done for the event along with Willis who had a flat tire.
When the race was restarted Martz tried first low and then high to get by the fourteen year old Leary. Leary held off all of Martz’s challenges leading the final fifteen laps to record his third feature win of the season. Martz had to settle for second with Guinn, Joe Miller and Chad Rouse rounding out the top five.
Martz narrowly missed his second straight “clean sweep” as he set quick time, won the Jackson Oil & Solvents Duel for Fuel and his heat race. Other heat winners for the evening included Speidel (twice), Rouse and Guinn.
Guinn’s rebound back to a third place finish after his spin earned him the INOX Slick Move of the Race. Miller passed nine cars and received the Ward’s Apparel Hard Charger award. Lux was named the Duane & Sonja Alexander Hard Luck Driver after his feature flip ruined a fine third place run.
Three rookie drivers finished in the top six (Leary, Rouse and Caleb Faulkner) with Leary named the Tony Stewart Rookie of the Race. A drawing was held at the drivers meeting and $50 gift certificates were awarded to Rouse (Jackson Oil) and Miller (Ward’s Apparel).
Speidel declined the Green Tech Tail Gunner Challenge which would have been worth an extra $900 if he could have won the feature after relinquishing his pole position and starting from the rear of the field. At the next race where qualifications are contested the challenge will now be worth an extra $1,000.
Martz continues to lead the season standings over Leary, Willis, Guinn and Speidel. Martz also leads the Jackson Oil & Solvents Duel for Fuel standings (over Willis) and the Ward’s Apparel Hard Charger standings (over Leary). Leary leads both the Tony Stewart Racing Rookie of the Year standings (over Faulkner) and the Tony Stewart Foundation Leader of the Pack standings (over Martz).
The next race on the MTQRL schedule will be Saturday evening September 4th at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Ind. Practice is set to begin at 5:00 pm, qualifications are at 6:00 pm and racing begins at 7:00 pm.