January, 10, 2016 Ronnie Combs & Tony Stewart Honored as 2015 MTQRL Champions

Ronnie Combs & Tony Stewart Honored as 2015 MTQRL Champions

GREENSBURG, Ind. – The Midwest TQ Racing League presented by Jenmarco.com celebrated its seventh season on January 9th at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Greensburg, Ind. by honoring Ronnie Combs and Tony Stewart as the 2015 MTQRL Driver and Owner Champions.

Along with champions cups, trophies, plaques, gift certificates and cash prizes over $5,300 was presented at the banquet bringing the season total to over $37,000.

Ronnie Combs, driving Tony Stewart’s #14s Tony Stewart Racing, Acro Racing, Adams Engines, Tony Stewart Foundation, Asher Pallets, Jen Mascaro, Slinkard Racing, Beast Kawasaki three-quarter midget had a strong, consistent season en route to his first MTQRL championship and third title overall in his 28 year driving career.

Combs and his teammate Callie Wolsiffer were the only drivers to start every feature, which showed the extent his team was prepared when it showed up at the track each race.

Combs won five of eleven features including Tony Stewart Foundation Night at the Bartholomew County Fair and the MTQRL’s 100th race at Shelbyville. He scored top five feature finishes in all but one race with his worst finish a 6th place!

Combs received several contingency awards including the Tony Stewart Foundation Leader of the Pack after leading 91 of 245 feature laps. He posted the fastest cumulative qualifying times over the course of the season, was named the MTQRL Quick Time Champion, and received a cash prize of $120. Combs also earned the Steed Motorsports Hard Charger Award and a cash prize of $210 after making 31 feature passes in spite of an average starting position of 4.5.

Callie Wolsiffer completed a one-two finish for the Tony Stewart drivers in the #14t Tony Stewart Racing, Acro Racing, Adams Engines, Tony Stewart Foundation, Asher Pallets, Jen Mascaro, Slinkard Racing, Beast Kawasaki three-quarter midget. Wolsiffer had nine top five finishes in eleven starts, including three runner-ups and her first TQ win at the season finale in Shelbyville. Her five heat race wins led the league, earning her the Perfect North Slopes Heat Race Championship.

Wolsiffer was the highest finishing rookie in the seven-year history of the MTQRL. For her accomplishment, she was named the Tony Stewart Racing Rookie of the Year and received a cash prize of $325. Additional rookies honored were Bret Johnson and Josh Derrickson who received cash prizes of $225 and $150 respectively.

Rick Robinson drove his own #12 Precision Honda to a third place finish in the season points, his third top three finish in the last five years. Robinson was quick all season recording six top five feature finishes in ten starts, including a win at the Kokomo Smackdown in August. Robinson won a qualifying race, two Perfect North Slopes heat races, and four Jackson Oil & Solvents Duel for Fuel’s on the way to the Jackson Oil & Solvents Duel for Fuel Championship.

Third year driver Aaron Percell, driving his grandfather Danny’s #48 McGowan Photography, Mexcal Mexican Bar & Grill, Gentle Dentist, Percell Trucking Beast Kawasaki had a fine showing in 2015 of fourth place. The 2013 Tony Stewart Racing Rookie of the Year posted an amazing seven top five feature finishes in nine starts, including his first feature win on July 24th at Shelbyville. Percell also set quick time at three races and won four Perfect North Slopes heat races. In recognition of his enhanced race craft, the Doyle Family presented him the SSG Jeremy W. Doyle Memorial Most Improved Driver Award.

Joey Paxson rounded out the top five driving his brother Mike’s #71p Ripberger Auto Repair, Amazing Powder Coating, Weiler Body & Collision, Smith Installation Drinan Honda. Paxson swept both Rushville races, his first in MTQRL competition. He ended the season with seven top ten feature finishes in eight starts, a qualifying race and a Perfect North Slopes heat race win.

Sixth place in the season standings went to defending MTQRL champion Cody Kiewitt. Driving his grandfather Larry’s #60 Honda powered three-quarter midget Cody battled engine issues throughout much of the season. Things were finally sorted out at season’s end where he raced to a strong third place finish behind the potent Tony Stewart Racing Team.

Four-time MTQRL champion Tate Martz was the league’s seventh place driver after a season that saw him uncharacteristically shut out of victory lane. The MTQRL’s all-time winningest driver could only muster a season’s best second place finish driving Roger Ramsey’s #22 Beast Honda. Running a partial season the duo still managed to score top ten finishes in each of their seven feature starts, with over half of those finishes in the top four. Martz also set quick time and won four Perfect North Slopes heat races.

MTQRL President Chad Cunningham thanked Ramsey for his abundant support of the MTQRL, participating in 96 of the 103 races contested since the league began in the fall of 2008.

Third generation driver Brayton Leisure rounded out the top ten driving his father Bruce’s #6 Leisure Honda. The Leisure’s are a family team with Brayton’s mother Linda, wife Maronika and daughter Kenzie rounding out the pit crew. Leisure started eight features and scored five top ten finishes including a fifth place in the season finale and a career best runner-up finish at Shelbyville on July 24th. Leisure also won a Perfect North Slopes heat race after finishing in the top three of all but one of those races.

Although they were unable to attend the banquet, Duane & Sonja Alexander presented the Hard Luck Award and a check for $500 to Bret Johnson. Johnson, in his first year of TQ competition, battled engine woes throughout much of the season.

Members of the Executive Committee presented Kimb Stewart the esteemed MTQRL Spirit Award. Stewart was acknowledged for her contributions as the voice of the MTQRL, and for the many ways she went above and beyond her usual announcer’s duties to help the league in any way needed.

The Midwest TQ Racing League would like to thank the car owners, drivers, officials, promoters, sponsors, photographers and fans for their support of the MTQRL and a successful season of promoting three-quarter midget racing in Indiana.

An announcement was made regarding the MTQRL’s plans for the future at the close of the banquet ceremonies. Please see a separate press release for those details.

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