2022 ATQMRA CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE SETTLED AT WATERFORDMitch Bombard
Staff Report | Monday, October 10th, 2022
Photography Credit: Sean Case, Kristen Cocca, Eric Storch
WATERFORD, CT- The Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic ATQMRA fueled by VP Racing Fuels is set to invade The New London-Waterford Speedbowl this weekend for its annual trip. This year, the stakes have never been bigger.
For the first time in ATQMRA history, “The Speedbowl” will be hosting the organization’s championship event.
While many eyes will be focused on the championship fight, there are numerous battles and story lines to keep an eye on as the weekend approaches. Let’s not forget, this weekend’s race pays a cool $500 to win with Waterford hosting not only the championship feature, but round two of the RYNO Triple Crown!
Kyle Taraska enters Waterford this weekend one race away from having a dream realized of becoming an ATQMRA championship race car driver. While Taraska controls his own destiny, he has tough company.
The season-long championship battle will mathematically come down to either Taraska or 2015 ATQMRA Champion Buddy Sload.
#22 KYLE TARASKA SEASON STATS TO-DATE
Top 5s: 9
Top 10s: 10
Avg Fin: 2.6
#36 BUDDY SLOAD SEASON STATS TO-DATE
Top 5s: 9
Top 10s: 10
Avg Fin: 3.6
*swept twin-feature night at Wall Stadium on 6/4; points awarded for the event are cumulatively based on results of both features per ATQMRA rulebook.
Taraska has performed at career high levels this season. His three feature victories are not only his career best for a single season, but it matches the amount of feature victories he had combined heading into this year.
Sload has experienced his own struggles of late, but has managed to persevere and stay relevant within the championship battle. Sload is a veteran of the organization and will look to use experience to his advantage to get ahead of Taraska to earn his second career ATQMRA championship.
In the scenario that Buddy Sload earns another Waterford victory this weekend, Taraska still owns the tie-breaker with having (2) second place finishes this year compared to Sload’s (1).
Kyle Taraska enters Waterford with a 36 point lead over fellow championship contender Buddy Sload. With each on-track position worth 4 points each, Taraska must finish 10th (or within 10 finishing positions of Sload) or better to guarantee his first championship. With a big entry list expected, this championship may very well come down to the final lap.
In the previous two ATQMRA features at The New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Taraska has finished sixth and fourth, while Sload earned a victory and a third-place finish respectively.
After taking the green flag at Wall Stadium Speedway this past September, #5z Zack Burd officially clinched the 2022 RYNO Rookie of the Year award. Burd earned respectable numbers as an ATQMRA Rookie, averaging a 9.4 finishing position.
Burd’s 2022 highlights include two top-5 finishes and coming within laps of earning a feature victory at Wall Stadium this past August.
Not only is the RYNO Rookie of the Year locked up, but so is the ATQMRA Owner’s Championship as well. The #22 Zuzzolo Chassis owned by Russ Bailey has officially clinched the Owner’s title by entering Waterford 114 points (max points per race = 100) over Colin Martin’s #36 Spitfire Chassis.
While Buddy Sload is the primary driver of the #36 car, the team has experienced some bad luck mechanically which sidelined the #36 in multiple events this year. In these events, Sload competed in other vehicles to stay close in the driver’s championship fight.
BATTLES TO WATCH
There are multiple close championship battles throughout the points grid that will be settled at Waterford this weekend as well.
While the top two driver’s positions in points may be locked, the battle for third is very tight. #75 Mark Yoder currently owns the final podium position. However, #76 Brianna Page and #95 Jeff Kot are within Yoder’s wake.
Mark Yoder enters Waterford with 748 points. The points total places Yoder 12 points (3 positions) ahead of Brianna Page, and 20 points (5 positions) ahead of Kot.
With each respective driver earning a feature victory this year, Brianna Page currently owns the tie-breaker over Yoder and Kot as the only driver of the party to finish in second place to-date. Kot currently owns the tie-breaker over Yoder with (2) third place finishes to-date.
The battle for 10th is extremely tight as well between #33 Tyler Ferris and #51J Matt Janisch. Ferris currently owns the position by a mere 4 points over Janisch heading into the championship finale.
Lost in the championship points scenarios, we must remember there is still a race to be won and a trophy to be handed out by evening’s end as well.
The two-time defending ATQMRA champion Joey Bailey returns to TQ Midget action this weekend as he balances his duties in the NEMA Lites Midget Series. Bailey also happens to be the defending champion of this race as well.
The RYNO.co Triple Crown will offer $500 to the winner of the ATQMRA Waterford feature. Ryan Tidman racing for Paul Dodorico Racing earned the first $500 paycheck from RYNO at Wall Stadium this past September.
A STRONG field is expected to travel to Waterford this weekend. Some notables include open-wheel star Avery Stoehr making his return to the ATQMRA racing Phil DiMario’s #23 Badger.
Kyle Herve, racing a Lafler Chassis under the Lou Ciconni banner is expected to make his outdoor TQ Midget debut. Herve had one prior TQ Midget start in Syracuse, NY earlier this year for the annual Len Sammons Productions Indoor Auto Racing Series event.
Joey Payne III is also expected to make his 2022 ATQMRA debut this weekend at Waterford. Expect to see Payne III behind the wheel of his #67 Badger at Turkey Derby XLIX this November.
Tentative ATQMRA Waterford Entry List
1. #1B- Joey Bailey
2. #2- Mike Glaser
3. #22- Kyle Taraska
4. #23- Avery Stoehr
5. #24- Kyle Herve
6. #33- Tyler Ferris
7. #36- Buddy Sload
8. #39- Ronnie Mullen
9. #51- Tyler Wagner
10. #51J- Matt Janisch
11. #55- Steve Craig
12. #67- Joey Payne III
13. #73- Cole Mullen
14. #75- Mark Yoder
15. #76- Brianna Page
16. #95- Jeff Kot
The Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic ATQMRA fueled by VP Racing Fuels is set to compete in the 2022 Championship Points finale, at The New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday, October 15th. For a full schedule of events and ticketing information, please visit Speedbowlct.com.