Martz Wins Regional Midgets Feature; Robertson and Armstrong Also Win on Wednesday Night

Story By USAC Racing
os by Michael Harker

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For nearly two laps Wednesday at Anderson Speedway, Tate Martz had a scare most drivers hope they never have: possible defeat after race-long domination.

Yet, the Rushville, Ind. driver and two-time USAC Ford Focus Midget Car Series champion kept calm and collected his first career Midget triumph, which came during “Wednesday Night Thunder” in USAC Regional Midget Car Series action.

Martz led all 25 laps of the event, but had a scare after point leader Scott Thoman was able to keep close on the event’s only restart, which occurred after Mel Kenyon tipped his No. 61 machine over in Turn 2 of the penultimate lap.

Martz then held off Thoman and a gaggle of other cars, all of whom closed after Martz had a three-quarter lap lead on the quarter-mile oval.
Martz wasted no time getting out in front, bolting to the point. Thoman followed in second on the first lap, while everyone else tried their best – inside and out - to get by Kenyon. It didn’t happen until Lap 19, when Bobby Smith and Kevin Studley went inside the King of Midgets.

By then, Martz was in position to lap cars. He sat patiently behind Travis Young, who was running fifth when Kenyon brought out the red flag, trying to decide whether to risk the possibility of putting Young down a lap or staying behind.
Martz never lapped Young, and when Kenyon’s car stopped, it bunched up the field, leaving no cars between Martz and Thoman.

Thoman looked to the outside in Turns 1 and 2, but Martz gained a couple of car lengths. Despite Thoman’s despite charge and smoking right rear tire in attempt to catch Martz, the eventual winner was able to take the checkered flag by more than two car lengths.

The win was significant in Martz’s opinion. He and car owner Gregg Steele are beginning to narrow the gap in the transition between running the Focus car and now the Midget, he said.

Martz also thanked Steele for his assistance in getting to this level.

Thoman was second, ahead of Smith, Studley and Young. Kenyon restarted the race and finished sixth. Thoman won the eight-lap heat race.


Robertson Holds on For Indiana Focus Triumph

James Robertson simply could not be stopped Wednesday at Anderson Speedway.

A veteran of legend cars at the quarter-mile, the Indianapolis native added another victory – this time his first USAC Indiana Ford Focus Midget Car Series race at the track – by capturing a flag-to-flag victory in a nonstop 30-lap race.

Robertson started on the pole and, despite clutch problems near the end of the event, held on for series victory number two in 2006.

While Robertson was busy running away with the event, the battle for second on the track and overall war in the point standings heated up.

Two-time USAC Ford Focus Midget Car Series champion Tate Martz was among them. Aiming for a possible four Focus championships this season, Martz tuned up for his Regional Midget victory later in the evening by charging thru the field from his seventh starting position.

Martz’s throttle was stuck to the floor as he roped around drivers on the outside, picking off one by one and taking third by Lap 10. He waited another nine laps to pass Casey Riggs, who got stuck behind slower cars. His misfortune also allowed Zach Schiff to challenge, leaving that pair far behind Martz.

Without any cautions, however, Robertson was in the breeze. He took the checkered flag more than a straightaway ahead of Martz despite the two not being separated by any lapped traffic at the end.

Robertson lapped up to eighth by the finish. He was trailed by Martz, Riggs, Schiff and Adam Kramer.

Ricky Ehrgott and Shannon McIntosh were eight-lap heat winners.
The series continues July 12 at Mt. Lawn Speedway in New Castle, Ind.

Caleb Armstrong Wins Kenyon Feature
Caleb Armstrong ended Chris Windom's four-race winning streak in USAC Kenyon Midget Car Series competition Wednesday, taking the lead on Lap 3 and leading the rest of the way for his first career victory in the division.

Armstrong beat Kenny Biro, cousin Dakoda Armstrong, Sammy Imel and Blake Fitzpatrick.