New London, Ct.August 6, 2016
Geoffrey Sutton of East Stroudsburg, Pa continued his tear in the ATQMRA winning his first big track Feature event at the Waterford SpeedBowl as part of the Wings and Wheels show Saturday night. This was the first time the ATQMRA raced at the SpeedBowl in 21 years. Several drivers did double Duty running their TQ midgets as well as Modifieds and Midgets. Matt Janisch was second with Joey Bailey rounding out the Podium. Heat races were won by Joey Bailey and Ryan Tidman. Next up for the ATQMRA is another winged affair at Mahoning Valley Speedway this coming Saturday August 13th.
The feature race saw a front row of Heat Race winner Joey Bailey and Mike Glaser take the green flag. Bailey got the jump with eighth starting Geoffrey Sutton heading to the top of the first and second turn three wide to sweep into second at the start of the race. The bold move put Sutton on Bailey's bumper but he couldn't mount a serious challenge to Bailey who seemed destined to get the win on 3/8 mile Speedbowl.
Sutton had an opportunity to mount a challenge on a restart before half way and was credited with leading lap 12 only to be overtaken in a side by side battle with Bailey. The pair of graduate quarter midget drivers raced one another clean and hard for the lead on the ultra fast oval. Bailey held the lead with Sutton running a close second. Sutton and Bailey would swap the lead several times before Sutton would assume command on lap 19.
A late race caution would fall for Alison Cumens whose car rolled to a stop just past the safety lane. Sutton would set the pace for the restart with five laps remaining and out drag Bailey down the front straight away with Janisch moving into second. Sutton would go on to win by .797 seconds over point leading Janisch who charged from his 13th starting position. Bailey would settle for a third place finish.
Modified Standout Nick Ladyga would put on an impressive run charging from his 19th starting position to finish fourth in the final tally. Flying Ryan Tidman would start and finish fifth in the Boyd Racing 1B running as high as third.
Anthony Payne would charge from fifteenth to be the top finishing rookie of the year candidate. Jeff Kot in the Behrents Performance 95 would hang on to finish seventh after running some quick laps in practice. Matt Roselli would finish eighth in his Laffler Chassis car after running the second quickest lap in practice. ARDC Midget, USAC Sprint and Micro Sprint Standout Tony Dimatia would race the 21 NYPA TQ Midget normally driven by Bobby Holmes at Lancaster Speedway to a strong ninth place. The season's top point earning Rookie Mark Yoder would cross the line tenth. Tim Proctor in his 98T would hang on to finish eleventh with Glaser rolling across the line twelfth.
The first heat race saw a front row of Joey Bailey and Mike Glaser with Bailey racing into the lead with Mark Yoder moving into second. Sutton would slowly make his way into second but couldn't mount a challenge to Bailey. Yoder would finish third with Jeff Kot fourth Alison Cumens fifth and Mike Glaser sixth to make the feature invert. Matt Janisch would finish seventh with an apparent electrical issue in his car.
The second heat race saw a pair of rookie brothers on the front row. Anthony and Joey Payne III brought the heat race to the green flag with Joey III getting the hole shot and taking the lead. The elder Payne brother appeared to be walking away to earn his first heat race win with the ATQMRA when he was black flagged with an oil leak. The younger Payne inherited the lead and went on to win the heat by 1.2 seconds over Ryan Tidman. Unfortunately the heat win was taken away from Rookie Anthony Payne for failing to report to the scales following the race and awarded to Multi Time ATQMRA Champion Flying Ryan Tidman. 2015 Champion Buddy Sload would finish second followed by Tim Proctor, Matt Roselli, New Englander Chris Hirt and Tony Dimatia.
Next up for the ATQMRA is a trip to Mahoning Valley in Lehighton, Pa for another winged race Mahoing's circular oval. The first trip to Mahoning saw current Point leader Matt Janisch easily outpace the field to earn the victory. Second in Points Tidman has a strong history of success on the circular track and has used consistency to stay within striking distance to earn another championship.
Geoffrey Sutton who has back to back wins after winning the last show on the smallest rack the club races on at Wall Stadium's flat inner oval and backed it up by winning on the organization's largest track at the Waterford Speed Bowl will be gunning for his third win in a row and fourth of the season.
2015 Champion Buddy Sload has been Snake bitten in the 2016 campaign and will be focused on winning at the track where he secured his Championship with a feature win in last season's points finale. Matt Roselli has been ultra quick throughout the 2016 season being near the top of the speed charts at every track. He has been very successful on the Lehighton oval across the years and will surely be in contention.
Anthony Payne was one of the double duty drivers on the day running both his TQ Midget and the Mike Scrivani NEMA Lite Midget. After suffering a broken rear in practice and missing his heat he charged from starting shotgun on the field to finish fourth in the Midget main with a sixth place finish in the TQ Midget. It was recently announced that Anthony picked up a ride in a Small Block SuperModified after a successful test session.
Nick Ladyga raced his TQ and a Modified both numbered 38. Ladyga also started shotgun on the field in the TQ feature and made an impressive clean run through the field to finish fourth. In the companion 100 lap Modified feature event Ladyga would run as high as third before fading to an 11th place finish. Thanks to the Ladyga family who were instrumental in securing the race date at Waterford.
Several teams had ties back to the last time the ATQMRA raced at Wateford. Mike Tidaback who won the last race the club had at the Speedbowl was in the Metz Racing Driver Development Fred Delibero 01. It was an ill fated attempt as the car had cooling system issues on the hot day and relegated Tidaback to a DNF.
Joey Bailey was racing a revamped version of the very same Bruce's 02 car that his car owner Anthony Zuzzalo raced at Waterford in 1995 and had a similar day leading most of the laps but not being able to earn the victory. Hotrod Jon Gambutti was in the Alan Mollot 51 Lindblad Badger that raced with the club in 95 with multi time Champion Donnie Adams behind the wheel but called it a day after an overheating problem was discovered in practice.
Blu Metz drove the Joe Payne Sr. Rotax powered 67 car in 1995 but blew a pair of engines in practice. Metz was only able to watch Tidaback earn his first of many feature wins in his Lindblad Badger 43 as his wife went into Labor with his now 21 year old daughter Allezondra. Metz wasn't able to drive the car to victory lane in 95 but drove it out of victory lane after Sutton won the race in the Metz Racing Driver Development 461 car that was racing with the ATQRMA in 95. Sutton took the walk back to the pits through the grandstand area and was greeted with congratulations and cheers from the packed house.
ATQMRA News and Notes: 2009 ATQMRA Champion Alison Cumens raced her Fiance's 53 posting some quick laps but would have a DNF in the final tally. Chad Parks driving his Family owned 06 Drinan TQ made the trip from Binghamton, NY to race at the Speedbowl. Chris Hirt who cut his teeth driving quarter midgets in New England had his first opportunity to race the Tim Proctor 97 in his home state. New ATQRMA Car owner Fred Delibero had his 01 Burst/BGF Chassis on hand with Mike Tidaback behind the wheel to celebrate his birthday as part of the Metz Racing team and got to celebrate his birthday in style in Victory lane. Steve Whitt had the Hyper Hugger 11 on hand but was relegated to a DNF in the feature. Sutton thanked BGF Engine and Chassis for providing the Horsepower and ATQMRA veteran John Smith for helping the team use some old school adjustments to take the car's handling to a new level.
ATQMRA Wings and Wheels Feature (25 Laps)
1 461Geoffrey Sutton
2 48Matt Janish
3 02Joey Bailey
4 38Nick Ladyga
5 B1Ryan Tidman
6 45Anthony Payne
7 95Jeff Kot
8 98Matt Roselli
9 21Tony DiMattia
10 75Mark Yoder
11 T98Jeff Proctor
12 F8Mike Glaser
13 53Alison Cumens
14 16Buddy Sload
15 97Chris Hirt
16 06Chad Porks
17 67Joey Payne III
18 11Steve Whitt
19 01Mike Tidaback
20 51 Jon Gambutti DNS