BETHEL NY – Joey Bailey is the 2019 Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic ATQMRA powered by VP Racing Fuels Series Champion. Bailey solidified his championship by earning his series leading sixth feature victory of the year.
Bethel Motor Speedway was the sight of this weekend’s ATQMRA action, hosting the 12th and final points paying event of the 2019 campaign.
Ryan Tidman and Geoffrey Sutton earned heat race victories before the sunset on a brisk evening of racing. Each driver, along with Buddy Sload, were mathematically eligible to chase down points leader Bailey and win the championship heading into the event.
After handicapping, Mark Yoder led the field to the green for the 30 lap feature in his Ames Construction Hyper Chassis. Jeff Kot and the Behrents Performance Hyper Chassis kept Yoder honest in the opening laps. Kot, along with Anthony Payne in the Dent Zone Lafler Chassis pulled away from a large pack of cars in third.
It wouldn’t be long for Tidman and Bailey to make their way up through the field, picking off drivers one by one as they battled each other for the eventual lead.
After a strong showing up front, Yoder was passed for the lead by Tidman on lap 8. Tidman, followed by Bailey would clear the leaders, and battle it out amongst themselves throughout the remainder of the event.
Tidman’s hand was forced when both he and Bailey approached lapped cars Joey Payne III and Bobby Watkins. While Payne III and Watkins had their own battle for 10th, Tidman and Bailey were fighting to claim the checkered flag with only two laps remaining.
Tidman went low, Bailey went high. Bailey, with championship implications on the line, made a daring 4-wide outside pass on leader Tidman and the lapped traffic on the back straightaway.
Bailey powered to the lead, bringing the crowd to their feet. Bailey went on to lead the final two laps of the event, bringing home both the feature victory and the 2019 championship title.
After an impressive showing in speed, a dejected Tidman brought his Boyd Chassis home in second. With his second place finish, Tidman remarkably jumped from 4th to 2nd in final championship standings.
Mark Yoder ran his best race of the year, rounding out the podium. Championship contender Geoffrey Sutton finished 4th. Sutton would end his season third in series standings.
Long Island, NY invader Richie Davidowitz finished a respectable 5th in only his third start of 2019.
Anthony Payne finished 6th, Jeff Kot brought his machine home in 7th, and New England invader Avery Stoehr finished 8th.
Buddy Sload experienced mechanical issues throughout the duration of the afternoon. Sload’s championship run ended prematurely due to his issues, as he was only able to salvage a 9th place finish. After a strong season featuring three feature wins, Sload concludes his 2019 campaign fourth in standings.
Dodorico, Payne III, Taraska, Gorbatuk, Watkins and Craig rounded out the fifteen cars to take the green. Mike Glaser did not start the feature after an on-track incident in his heat race.
Joey Bailey, who began his racing career racing quarter midgets at “Little” Wall Stadium and various facilities across the country, earned his first career ATQMRA Championship this weekend. Bailey, at age 22, is one of the youngest drivers to earn the ATQMRA’s highest honors in organization history.
Bailey’s 2019 efforts include six feature victories and an average finishing position just shy of second throughout the season. Joey Bailey and the #51B Yuhas Chassis Championship Winning Team is led by father Russ Bailey, and storied ATQMRA car owner Alan Mollot.
The Hoosier Tire-Mid Atlantic ATQMRA powered by VP Racing Fuels will officially conclude their season at the non-points running of Turkey Derby XLVI at Wall Stadium Speedway on Saturday, November 30th, 2019.