Defending champion Tate Martz of Rushville, Ind. won his first feature of the year on Saturday night August 4th when the Midwest TQ Racing League presented by Jenmarco.com competed at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Shelbyville, Ind.
Martz’s qualification lap of 17.248 seconds (just a tenth off the track record) was the fastest of the twenty-seven car field and after a nine was pulled for the inversion he started the twenty-five lap feature in ninth place.
When Rob Walton was unable to make the call for his front row starting position Nick Speidel moved up a row to assume the position. Speidel, with four feature wins already under his belt this year, got the jump on polesitter Logan Arnold and led the first fourteen laps before his motor began to stumble. With Speidel slowing Ronnie Combs took over the point only to be chased down and passed by Martz just four laps later. Martz led the final seven laps to record his thirteenth MTQRL win over Combs, Rick Robinson, Cody Kiewitt and Scot Quintel. Devin Fairchild, Chris Mann, Jamie Ross, Matt Hedrick and Jon Steed completed the top ten.
Kevin Blue won the Jackson Oil & Solvents Duel for Fuel for the fastest four qualifiers, Brett Hankins won the semi feature and Perfect North Slopes heat winners were Speidel, Bobby Walton and Combs.
The Duane & Sonja Alexander Hard Luck Driver award went to Brett Hankins who came back from a crash in his heat race to win the semi feature and then race his way from the back of the feature field to a top five until a flat tire ruined his evening.
Jamie Ross recovered from a tumble while qualifying to race his way from nineteenth to eighth in the feature. Those eleven passes earned him the Indy Race Parts Hard Charger award.
Devin Fairchild was the highest finishing rookie driver and was named the Tony Stewart Racing Rookie of the Race, Chad Rouse won the drawing for the Jackson Oil & Solvents gift certificate and Caleb Faulkner won the American Racer tire.
Brett Hankins continues to lead the season standings but Martz’s feature win has moved him to within 31 points of the top spot.
The next race on the MTQRL schedule will be “HARF Night” on Saturday August 11th at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Madison, Ind. All current HARF members with a valid membership card will receive 50% off general admission.
Practice is scheduled for 6:00 pm, qualifications at 6:30 pm and racing is set to begin at 7:30 pm. General admission is $8 for adults, $5 children (7-12) and under 6 are free. Pit passes are $25 for all ages.