The Midwest TQ Racing League presented by Jenmarco.com celebrated the Fourth of July holiday weekend by staging a pair of races at the Shelby and Rush County Fairgrounds.
On Thursday night at the Shelby County Fair, Brett Hankins picked up his first feature win of the season on the flat quarter mile Shelbyville, Ind. oval. Hankins started the feature in fifth position, took the lead from Matt Hedrick, and went on to lead the final 15 laps to score his fourth career MTQRL feature win. Chasing Hankins to the checkers was defending MTQRL champion Nick Speidel, Matt Arrington, Ronnie Combs and Tate Martz. Hedrick, Cody Kiewitt, Tristan Maggart, Logan Arnold and Aaron Percell rounded out the top ten.
Cody Kiewitt started the evening off by setting the Watson Racing Quick Time when he turned a lap of 17.704 seconds in qualifications. Tate Martz won the Jackson Oil & Solvents Duel for Fuel and the semi-feature, and Perfect North Slopes heat winners were Logan Arnold, Ronnie Combs and Bobby Walton.
The Duane & Sonja Alexander Hard Luck Award went to Zach Cougill, Jay Souviner won the drawing for the Jackson Oil & Solvents gift certificate, Tyler Wooten was the Tony Stewart Racing Rookie of the Race with his eleventh place feature finish, and Tate Martz was the Indy Race Parts Hard Charger after advancing eight positions in the feature.
Brett Hankins in Victory Lane with the Shelby County Fair Queen & Her Court (photo by Chris Pedersen)
The next stop for the MTQRL three-quarter midgets was Friday night in Rushville, Ind. for the Rushville Nationals, with an increased purse and 50-lap feature.
Ronnie Combs got the jump on polesitter Tristan Maggart and led every lap to record his second win of the season, and tenth of his MTQRL career. Combs was never seriously challenged for the lead but a race long battle for second thru fifth place ensued with Brett Hankins claiming the runner-up spot followed by Tate Martz, Maggart and Zach Cougill. Logan Arnold, Matt Arrington, Nick Speidel, Matthew Hedrick and Dalton Miller rounded out the top ten.
Tate Martz recorded the Watson Racing Quick Time with a lap of 12.494 seconds, just 0.048 off of the track record. Brett Hankins won the Jackson Oil & Solvents Duel for Fuel and Perfect North Slopes heat winners were Ronnie Combs, Hankins and Tyler Wooten. In addition to his heat win, Wooten was the highest finishing rookie driver in the feature and was named the Tony Stewart Racing Rookie of the Race.
After arriving at the track just as the preliminary races were ending, Kyle May started on the tail of the feature and passed eight cars earning the Indy Race Parts Hard Charger Award. Leslie Souviner was the Duane & Sonja Alexander Hard Luck Driver and the Jackson Oil & Solvents gift certificate went to Kevin Arnold.
Ronnie Combs & Crew After Winning the Rushville Nationals (photo by Colette Mann)
The MTQRL has another busy week on tap with races scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Wednesday July 9th the MTQRL will close out their county fair season with a stop at the Bartholomew County Fair in Columbus, Ind. Then on Saturday July 12th, the MTQRL will be the support class to the USAC Sprints at the Kokomo Speedway in Kokomo, Ind. for Indiana Sprint Week.