Sload Parks it at Mahoning
Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic ATQMRA
Saturday, April 15, 2017, Lehighton, Pa; 2015 ATQMRA Champion Buddy Sload Parked the Colin Martin Spitfire 36 in Victory Lane at the ATQMRA’s season-opening race at Mahoning Valley Speedway. Heat Races were won by Sload and Kris Graver. Dave Gorbatuk was the highest finishing ACRO Engineering Rookie contender. A total of five 2017 rookie contenders were on hand at the opener. Next up for the ATQMRA is Wall Stadium on Saturday, April 29th for wingless racing on that track’s flat inner oval.
The front row of Joey Bailey and Jeff Kot took the green flag and charged into the first turn. Buddy Sload took advantage of his fourth starting position to sweep into the lead to be scored the race leader on lap one. The caution fell for Kyle Taraska on lap 2 when his mount lost power. The restart saw Sload shoot into the lead and open a gap when the race was slowed for the final time on lap 3 by a slowing Joey Payne III who would return to action.
Sload again launched into the lead and ran away and hid as Kris Graver worked his way into second on lap six from his 7th starting spot in the Janisch 48 that won the 2017 ATQMRA Championship. With the speed Graver showed in his heat race he was the odds-on favorite heading into the feature. His fast lap in the heat was nearly 4 tenths faster than the field. When he worked his way into second he set sail to reel Sload in. Graver couldn’t negotiate lapped traffic as efficiently as Sload and would have to settle for second.