By Matthew Davis
The United Midget Racing Association was back for another night at Mt. Lawn Speedway. It was a beautiful warm Saturday evening for Fan Appreciation Night at Mt. Lawn, and this promised to be a memorable one for all involved. The UMRA once again brought nine intense TQ Midgets and drivers to New Castle for a great show.
It was great to see Trent Henderson with the blue #35 TQ Midget, and the green #19 car driven by Eric Fehrman back for action. It seems the nail biting accident these two were involved in last week could not keep them out of the action. Kudos goes out to their crews for working overtime this week to get both cars back on the track. Johnny Goff and his #2 car was also back on the asphalt after a series of car issues last week.
Once again the night kicked off with qualifying action. Each driver had two laps around the Mt. Lawn asphalt to record top seed. Terry Goff and his black #15 TQ Midget recorded top speed with a lap time of 16.019. It seems that Goff has this track dialed in, and is unstoppable here at Mt. Lawn. Eric Fehrman ran a tough couple laps recording second fastest at 16.230. Third fastest with a 16.238 was Ron Hamm and his black and orange #10 out of Centerville, Indiana.
After qualifications the fans and drivers at Mt. Lawn were treated when the Vintage TQ Midgets came out for a few laps. This was a once in a life time opportunity to see the “old school” TQ Midgets from 1950, 1958, and 1972 back on the track, and see how far the UMRA has evolved. A special thanks to Curt Peterson, Mike Doran, and the Bickel Family for bringing those classic out for Fan Appreciation Night!
The Heat Race featured all nine drivers. Pole Position was once again secured by the birthday boy Doug Sininger out of Columbus, Ohio. The fans and staff want to congratulate him on his 50 Birthday! When the race started Sininger had no birthday magic, as he quickly fell behind the pack giving up the pole position. Rookie Tristan Maggart quickly took over that first place position, and was able to hold off the pack for three laps. This young man is going to mature into a tough racer! Jason Goff at lap three passed the rookie, and had a tough time fighting off his teammate Eric Fehrman. Fehrman a past feature winner at Mt. Lawn was right on Goff’s tail the rest of the race. Jason and his #96 Goff Racing Midget was able to keep his sights on victory lane as he brought home the win with some “Live Action Racing”. Fehrman had to settle for a second place finish. Kevin Blue had a great race with his #4 car out of Franklin, Indiana. Blue, had a rough start to the season but brought home a third place finish in the Heat Race.
The Feature Race promised to be a memorable race for all at Mr. Lawn. The adrenaline was flowing through the veins of the UMRA Racers when the green flag was dropped. During lap one the red flag was immediately brought out to stop the race as all fans and were stopped in their thoughts. Three cars were involved in a very frightening experience. The action happened very quickly as Trent Henderson, Johnny Goff, and Terry Goff got tangled together between turns one and two. Terry Goff and his #15 TQ Midget went flying through the air over the concrete wall into the fence at Mt. Lawn. The fence prevented Goff from crashing into the spectator stands in the pits. As emergency crews rushed to the scene of the accident you could hear a pin drop through the Mt. Lawn Stands. Prayers were answered tonight as all three drivers walked away from the accident! It seems the most damage was done to the fence at Mt. Lawn. The rest of the pack was escorted back to the pit area to regroup. After the Hornets completed their intense Feature, it was time to take two with the UMRA Feature. Amazingly, all the drivers were back out for the Feature Race even those involved in the accident that had just taken place.
Tristan Maggart once again could not hang onto the lead for long in the restart. Jason Goff took over that first place position, and it looked like déjà vu from the Heat Race with Eric Fehrman right on his tail. Kevin Blue brought out the first yellow flag when he lost control of his car on lap three in the infamous Mt. Lawn turn four. Blue would not return to the race when he turned into the pits. Eric Fehrman was able to pass Jason Goff at lap six. But, things got crazy once again in turn four when Terry Goff bumped Fehrman from behind in turn four bringing out the second caution of the race. Tempers got heated when Goff’s car had to be helped off the track by the wrecker. This did not affect Fehrman who was able to keep a claim frame of mind and run a smooth race. Fehrman was able to hold off the pack and secure his place at victory lane for the trophy and interview. Jason Goff could not catch his teammate, but still finished a respectable second place. Ron Hamm was able to keep his car out of trouble all night. He fought off Trent Henderson for a third place finish, while Henderson slipped to fourth place.
All in all, it was a roller coaster of emotions at Mt. Lawn for Fan Appreciation Night. A brief reminder to all the UMRA drivers, the race car is replaceable your lives are not! See you next week back on the asphalt.