Muncie’s Nick Speidel continued his hot streak on Saturday night when the Midwest TQ Racing League presented by Jenmarco.com opened their season at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ind.
Speidel, with two wins already under his belt this year in non-sanctioned competition, snatched the victory from Cody Kiewitt as the pair raced out of turn four on the final lap. Kiewitt, who led the first 24 circuits, followed Speidel across the line in second place with Brett Hankins (Connersville), defending MTQRL champion Tate Martz (Rushville) and Rick Robinson (Columbus) rounding out the top five. Polesitter Caleb Faulkner of Columbus, Chris Mann (Shelbyville), Jon Steed (Milroy), Jamie Ross (Shelbyville) and John Doyle (Martinsville) completed the top ten.
Hankins started the evening off by setting quick time when he turned a lap of 18.194 seconds around the quarter mile oval in qualifications. Robinson led all four laps to win the Jackson Oil & Solvents Duel for Fuel, Kiewitt and Ross won the qualifying races, and Perfect North Slopes heat winners were Speidel, Kiewitt and Logan Arnold of Franklin.
Dustin Wheeldon (Indianapolis) won the drawing for the Jackson Oil & Solvents gift certificate and Hankins was awarded the Indy Race Parts hard Charger for racing his way from tenth to third in the feature. Arnold dropped out of the feature on the opening lap and was named the Duane & Sonja Alexander Hard Luck Driver. There were no rookie drivers that made the feature so the Tony Stewart Rookie of the Race went unclaimed.
Kiewitt, the 2011 Tony Stewart Racing Rookie of the Year from Dudleytown, currently sits atop the point standings with 157 points. Hankins and Robinson are tied for second place with 153 points each and Speidel (144) and Martz (141) round out the top five.