---- — RUSHVILLE — With rain showers scattered throughout the area the Midwest TQ Racing League presented by Jenmarco.com persevered and completed the annual Fourth of July three-quarter midget race at the Rush County Fairgrounds in Rushville.
With rain falling in the afternoon, 31 cars showed up at the fairgrounds hoping to race for just the second time of the season with the MTQRL. After an extended track prep session, which included wheel packing by the cars, the extremely muddy track conditions were able to be made into racing shape.
Muncie’s Nick Speidel led all 25 laps of the feature to take his second MTQRL win of the year. Four-time and defending champion Tate Martz pressured Speidel for the lead over the last half of the race but the closest he would come to overtaking him was on lap 17.
As the leaders encountered lapped traffic going down the front stretch, Speidel went low and Martz high sandwiching a lapped car in the middle. As they entered turn one three-wide the caution flew for Will Nedderman who had spun in and was sitting crossways in the track.
On the restart Speidel held off repeated challenges from Martz to score his 10th career feature win. Finishing behind Speidel and Martz were Brett Hankins, Dustin Wheeldon and Rick Robinson. Brayton Leisure, Logan Arnold, Nedderman, Robbie Roland and Dalton Miller rounded out the top 10.
By improving 10 positions after winning the semi-feature and starting at the rear of the feature, Arnold was named the Indy Race Parts Hard Charger and Miller, who had the best finish of five rookie drivers, was the Tony Stewart Racing Rookie of the Race. Speidel was the Elwood Sanitarium Polesitter and Perfect North Slopes heat winners were Speidel, Leisure, Wheeldon and Martz.
Devin Fairchild, who turned over at the start of his heat race then hit the wall racing for the last transfer position in the semi feature, was the Duane & Sonja Alexander Hard Luck Driver. Cody Kiewitt won the $50 American Racer gift certificate and Mike Kline & Jay Souviner won the $50 Jackson Oil & Solvents gift certificate.
The next event on the MTQRL schedule will be “Tony Stewart Night at the Bartholomew County Fair” today at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds in Columbus.
Columbus is Stewart’s hometown and three-time NASCAR champion will be returning to his roots by competing in a three-quarter midget for the first time in several years. In addition to Stewart and the rest of the MTQRL drivers, 2013 USAC Midget Week Champion Christopher Bell is also expected to compete.
The grandstand gates will open at 5 p.m., with practice at 6 p.m., qualifications at 6:30 p.m., and racing is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Adult general admission is $12, children 4-12 are $4, and 3-and-under are free. There will be a $5 fee charged to park at the fairgrounds.
Tagline (right aligned):- Rushville Republican