The Stars are Lining up for the ATQMRA Turkey Derby at Wall

Date: 11/9/2015 11:12:17 PM

November 8, 2015

For Immediate Release
Blu Metz



The Stars are Lining up for the ATQMRA Turkey Derby at Wall


By: Blu Metz

November 8, 2015

The Stars are lining up to help make the 2015 version of the ATQMRA Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium an Allstar event. The $1,000 winner's share is certainly drawing some attention. Inquiries from several top indoor teams have come in about running their indoor cars with the ATQMRA on the Wall inner oval on Saturday November 28th. Among those interested is Joey Payne in the John Smith/Rich Tolerico owned Laffler number 5. With the major changes that were approved last month's meeting the organization is in process of scheduling another meeting in the near future to give interested parties an opportunity to give further comment before final implementation of the proposed changes.


Multi time ATQMRA Champion as well as a multi time NEMA Midget Champion and Supermodified Star Joey Payne will be racing the John Smith Rich Tolerico owned Laffler number 5 car at the Turkey Derby as was announced on Facebook this week. The team puts together a trio that has been working together for years          that has a long history of success in the racing world in general and the ATQMRA in specific.


What more can anyone say about Joey Payne as a driver. He began his ATQMRA career after a time racing karts with tremendous success. Joey took over the seat of his father's Twin Eagle Racer's 67 in 1984 from his hero and mentor Johnny Coy Sr. who retired as a driver at the end of the previous season after winning his last race in a TQ midget at that year's Turkey Derby. Joey won his first race and Rookie of the year in 84.


The first race Payne won was the last race ever run at the long defunct Islip Long Island Speedway. Joey relays that he won that race with a last lap pass of his current car owner Johnny Smith coming to the checker. Payne and Smith first teamed up racing the Tim Yarger Badger with Smith as crew chief. The team had much success winning at the indoor series at Niagara FallsNY and Joey's first ATQMRA Championship in the Yarger 26.


1990 was a record setting season for Payne with the ATQMRA. He won 16 of the 28 races run that year. He won the last 10 races in a row as well as winning the last seven races in a row on the pavement at New Egypt Speedway. It was the first ATQMRA Championship for Payne who would win two additional titles, one in the Yarger Badger and another driving the Colin Martin Sptifire 26 car.


Joey and Richie Tolerico are long time friends with Richie working on Joey's crew since his earliest days in racing beginning in 83. Tolerico purchased a Twin Eagle racer from Joe Payne Sr. in 87 and had a stint as ATQMRA Vice President at the end of the Pinebrook Era. He would also successfully field a beautiful Badger number 84 with Johnny Coy Jr. behind the wheel for several seasons. He has been a consistent crew member for Joey whether it was a TQ Midget a full Midget or a Supermodified. The two long time friends have spent their fair share of time in Victory lane.


Johnny Smith and his family have a ling history with the ATQMRA. His father Sonny Smith built numerous innovative cars that won races with the ATQMRA. Mark Smith won a  Turkey Derby in the Smith built Crescent powered rear engine car that last raced at Atlantic City indoors with Bobby Cicconi behind the wheel. Sonny built the Number five upright Crossley engined car with Jerry Wall and Jimmy Reider. It was basically a scaled down version of Jimmy Reider's Kurtis Kraft Midget. It had much ATQMRA Success both indoors and out. That car was later owned by Joe Payne Sr. and raced by John Matrafalo.


Johnny Smith was a very successful racer with the ATQRMA winning numerous races in a variety of cars over the years as well as notching a victory at the old Atlantic City indoor series in his father's offset TQ Midget that would later be raced by Guy Cicconi, Lou Cicconi as well as Mike Tidaback, Chuck Mangione, and Art Lawshie.


Sonny who was a close friend of Jimmy Reider and fielded what would later evolve into the Reider car by building the first car that had a Koehler 2 stroke engine mounted outside the Chassis rails similar to the Jim Champine Supermodifieds of the era. That particular car began the revolution in TQ midgets that continues today with the engine outside the main chassis. That particular car went through numerous hands over the years and is currently owned by Donnie Adams as a modern car that raced Atlantic City this past winter with Dave Williams behind the wheel.


Nick Ladyga has designs on running the Turkey Derby after running a handful of shows with the ATQMRA. Zane Zeiner will have his indoor TQ at Wall for the pre Turkey Derby Practice sessions to shake it down. He isn't currently planning to race the Turkey Derby because he doesn't want to have his focus taken away from the Stock car classes he is planning to race that weekend.


ATQMRA News and Notes:     The ATQMRA is in process of scheduling a follow up meeting to give everyone an opportunity to discuss the major rule changes that were approved at the October Meeting before they are implemented. If the stars line up and all of the approvals come through 2015 NEMA Lites Champion Anthony Payne will be racing the Turkey Derby in the Payne Family owned Laffler chassis car.the younger Payne is an accomplished racer having spent several years racing full size midgets following a successful career at Wall's quarter Midget track.