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Bailey Wins a Thriller in Bethel; Janisch Crowned 2018 Champion

BETHEL, NY – Joey Bailey earned his fifth Hoosier Mid-Atlantic ATQMRA powered by VP Racing Fuel feature victory of 2018 this weekend in the season points finale at the Bethel Motor Speedway. However, his victory would not be enough to make up his championship points deficit, ultimately crowning Matt Janisch at the 2018 ATQMRA champion.

Seventeen cars were on hand to close out the “regular season” of the 2018 ATQMRA campaign. Weather played a role in the weekend schedule, as speedway officials battled overnight rain and morning showers leading up the event. Bethel Motor Speedway did a phenomenal job prepping the track and pit area to allow a full schedule of events to be ran and completed.

Buddy Sload won a relatively calm first heat race, leading wire to wire earning him the pole position for the 30-lap feature. Matt Janisch went on to win the second heat of the afternoon, setting the tone early that it would be a force to be reckoned with in the championship race.

The second heat race featured the only incident of the day, as the father and son duo of Ronnie and Cole Mullen made contact in turns 3 and 4. Cole, overshooting the third corner entry made contact with his father Ronnie. There was no damage to either vehicle and both would continue on to finish the heat and feature races.

Entering the event, the hype was set on the championship battle. Matt Janisch entered the event as the leader, 16 points ahead of Joey Bailey and 24 points ahead of Ryan Tidman. With the three drivers separated by only 6 on track positions, all three had a mathematical chance to earn the championship.

From the pole, Buddy Sload and his Spitfire Chassis blasted off like a rocket, setting the pace for much of the first half of the event. As Sload led, many eyes were on the second place battle featuring Janisch and Bailey respectively, with championship implications on the line. As the leaders bobbed and weaved through lapped traffic, a thrilling 3-car battle for the lead went on for multiple laps, bringing the crowd to their feet. Bailey took advantage of the lapped traffic, and positioned himself to make a late race charge for the lead. Bailey not only passed one, but two cars being both Jansich and Sload on the outside to eventually earn the lead.

Joey Bailey would go on to earn his fifth feature victory of the season. Bailey ended an impressive championship charge, winning three of the remaining four races on the calendar. However, the consistency of Matt Janisch was too much for Bailey to overcome, earning Matt Janisch his third championship in ATQMRA. Entering Bethel, Janisch had to finish fourth or better to clinch the championship, regardless of how his competitors finished.

Officially Matt Janisch is the 2018 Hoosier Mid-Atlantic ATQMRA powered by VP Racing Fuel Drivers Champion, edging Joey Bailey by 8 points. After earning a fifth place finish, Ryan Tidman officially rounded out the championship podium falling 32 points short behind champion Janisch.

The “Jerzy Jet,” Joey Payne ended his 2018 campaign strong with a fourth place finish. Richie Davidowitz continues to impress earning a strong 6thplace finish in his second start of 2018 in the #25 machine. Jeff Kot, Mark Yoder, Cole Mullen and Tommy Catalano would round out the top 10 finishing positions respectfully. Catalano, who earned the 2018 NASCAR Wheelen Modified Rookie of the Year Award made a respectful ATQMRA debut, leading the charge of the New York “invaders” Saturday afternoon. Other drivers to make their 2018 ATQMRA debuts included long-time veteran BJ MacDonald, 2014 ATQMRA Rookie of the Year Geo Sutton, and New York invader Kevin Wilson.

The 2018 Hoosier Mid-Atlantic ATQMRA season will officially close with the 45thAnnual running of the Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium Speedway. This will be a 30-lap, non-points event that will feature a winged aero-package for the first time in event history since the inception of Wall Stadium’s inner oval.


Race Results

Heat 1:

1.    #36 Buddy Sload

2.    #51B Joey Bailey

3.    #1B Ryan Tidman

4.    #51 Joey Payne

5.    #75 Mark Yoder

6.    #25 Richie Davidowitz

7.    #42 Geo Sutton

8.     #55 Steve Craig

 

Heat 2:

1.    #48 Matt Janisch

2.    #17 Jeff Kot

3.    #73X Cole Mullen

4.    #5 Tommy Catalano

5.    #29 Cameron Ruggiero

6.    #39 Ronnie Mullen

7.    #14 Kevin Wilson

8.    #28 BJ MacDonald

9.     #23 Avery Stoehr

 

Feature:

1.    #51B Joey Bailey

2.    #36 Buddy Sload

3.    #48 Matt Janisch

4.    #51 Joey Payne

5.    #1B Ryan Tidman

6.    #25 Richie Davidowtiz

7.    #17 Jeff Kot

8.    #75 Mark Yoder

9.    #73 Cole Mullen

10.  #5 Tommy Catalano

11.  #39 Ronnie Mullen

12.  #55 Steve Craig

13.  #28 BJ MacDonald

14.  #23 Avery Stoehr

15.  #29 Cameron Ruggiero

16.  #14 Kevin Wilson

17.  #42 Geo Sutton

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