By DJ Everett
After being rained out a week earlier, the schedule for Denny’s Night was jammed packed with main events, 12 to be exact! The day started out with a popular race car show at Denny’s on Pole Line Rd. that saw great looking cars on display for the many fans that came by for a visit! Then the action at the track was intense with the ICCU Modifieds, Brennan’s Carpet Midgets, Cactus Petes Streets, Denny’s Minis, Project Filter Bombers, Valley Office System Hornets, and the Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers all on the card in front of a huge crowd!!
The first of four 15 lap main events for the Denny’s Minis took to the track to kick of the evening’s action. At the drop of the green, Utah’s Joran Carpenter jumped out to the early lead but trouble would strike early. Zaine Newberry and Manda Haye racing hard to the front of the field made contact in the middle of turn’s 3 and 4 triggering a multi car wreck that would involve Newberry, Haye, and a few others. A red flag period to clean up the area and to tow some cars off the track would be the next order of business before going back to racing. As the green flew again, Carpenter jumped back out in front again. As the cars worked lap 4, Adam Roth made heavy contact with the turn 4 wall bringing out the red flag. The ambulance crew was required to come onto the track to check on Roth. Roth would eventually be ok with a sore ankle. The race was called official with Jordan Carpenter scored as your winner.
The Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers were the next group on the track for the first of two main events for them. Kaethyn Gilligan was the early leader and led it until lap 4 when Brayden Sweatfield charged through the field to grab the top spot. Sweatfield started to open up a sizeable lead over the rest of the field when Gilligan and Angel Newberry came together in turn 2 on lap 5 bringing out the caution. The green flag came back out for the restart and Sweatfield started to streak away from the field again and that’s all he needed as he crossed the line for another Jr Stinger win to his credit in 2020.
The ICCU Modifieds made their way to the track for the first of two main events for them as well. Kris McKean jumped out to the number one spot when the green flag flew and started to pull away from the field. Behind him the battles were starting to shape up. Eric Rhead, in teammate Lynn Hardy’s car after suffering engine problems during hot laps, made his way to the second spot and Jason Quale was up to third. Rhead had cut into McKean’s lead a little bit but with about 10 laps to go, McKean started to stretch his lead out again over Rhead. Rhead had company before this one was over with Jason Quale closing in on his rear bumper. When the checkered flag flew, it was McKean picking up his second main event win of the year. Rhead was able to hold of a fast closing Quale for the runner up spot.
The 2nd 15 lap main event for the Denny’s Minis was on tap next. After a quick yellow for a spinning Zaine Newberry on the initial start, Roy Boots Jr led the way on the restart. Andrew Prince would start showing some muscle in this race as he battled Boots for the top spot. Another quick yellow and back to green flag racing with Prince getting the best of Boots and launch himself up into the lead. Boots would not be denied as Prince and Boots traded the top spot a couple of more times with Manda Haye now joining the mix up front. Haye got by both drivers and was now the leader of the race. One lap later, Justin Carson found himself as the race’s next leader and led it all the way to the checkered flag with Haye finishing 2nd and a hard charging Cecil Miles ending up third.
An exciting Big Wheels race sponsored by R&A Trucking took place during intermission. Congratulations to Hayden Frost for winning it in a photo finish!!
The second Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers main event rolled out onto the track and Kaethyn Gilligan once again was the early leader when the green flag flew from our Jr Flagger of the night, 8-year-old Brayden Crow. The yellow flag flew early for Kristopher McKean coming to a stop out of turn 3. Back under way and Brayden Sweatfield, who won the first Jr Stinger main event earlier, was again clawing his way up through the field. Sweatfield caught Gilligan with a couple of laps left and was able to put his car into the top spot. Sweatfield hung on for the win giving him a clean sweep of the night. Kaethyn Gilligan did a great job coming home in the runner up spot with Angel Newberry in third. Our Jr Trophy Presenter of the evening, 4-year-old Jase Schaber, handed the hardware to winner Sweatfield.
The third Denny’s Minis main event approached the speedway and Chad Everett led the field early when the green flag flew. Everett broke out of the mandatory minimum 16.75 lap time established for the Denny’s Minis class and that handed the lead over to Jordan Carpenter. Roy Boots Jr sent his car for a spin in turn 2 bringing out the caution. On the restart, Carpenter now was in a battle with John Quinton and Cecil Miles for the lead. Quinton got caught up in lapped traffic and relinquished the 2nd spot to Miles. Miles now caught Carpenter for the lead and the battle was on. The two were side by side taking the white flag and as they came off of turn 2, Miles lunged ahead and into the lead crossing the line first under the checkers picking up his third Denny’s Minis main event win this year.
The Brennan’s Carpet Midgets were on the speedway next for their always exciting main event. Devin Westover led early on with some hard chargers in the name of Natalie Waters, Chaz Groat, and Sid McElreath coming hard from the back of the pack. The four cars at the front of the field were within inches from each other jockeying for position and at times had the crowd on their feet. Waters got by Westover on lap 7 with Groat and McElreath following through a couple of laps later. Soon after that, Groat caught Waters and got by for the lead. McElreath running third, was able to get on the rear bumper of Waters and executed a perfect pass to move himself into the runner up spot by the halfway point. The caution flag came out for River Merrill spinning in turn 2 which put Groat and McElreath side by side on the front row for the restart. When the green flew again, McElreath challenged but Groat was able to squirt back out in front. A few laps later McElreath challenged Groat on the low side and they were side by side again for a lap with Natalie Waters getting a front row seat to this battle back in the third spot. As McElreath and Groat went into turn 3 still running side by side, Groat’s car slid high into the marbles and caught the wall coming out of turn 4. Groat did a great job regaining control of his car down the frontstretch but brought out the yellow. This turned the lead over to McElreath on the restart and McElreath was able to pick up his first Brennan’s Carpet Midget main event win of 2020. Natalie Waters turned in another great performance by finishing second.
The second ICCU Modified main event rolled out onto the speedway and it was Dan Root Jr leading right away when the green flew. That would be short lived as Jason Quale would be the next driver to assume the top spot with Eric Rhead following through into second. The yellow flew for a spinning Kris McKean after contact with Root and on the restart, Quale was able to pull away to solidify his lead again with McKean making his way back up into third spot. With Quale still pulling away from the field, McKean was able to catch and go around Rhead for the second spot. Quale was too strong in this one as he drove it all the way to checkers picking up his first career modified win and a very popular victory for the young driver. This also put Quale in the points lead for the ICCU Modifieds!
The Cactus Pete’s Streets were next on the card for their main event. New grandfather this week, Craig McCann jumped to the lead on the start with Willie Dalton pressuring from behind. Dalton was able to get by McCann for the lead and Meridian Speedway street stock standout, Josh Fanopoulos was charging to the front. Fanopoulos pulled side by side for the lead with Dalton when the caution came out for a blown motor coming from the Joey Porter machine. On the restart, Fanopoulos pulled out in front and led it for the next number of laps before the caution flew again for Craig McCann spinning in turn 4. Green back out again, and it was still Fanopoulos in front but a few laps later Roy Boots Jr slid to the infield off of the backstretch with some flames and smoke emerging from that machine due to an electrical fire. Boots was able to climb out of that machine quickly. The race at that point was called official and Boise’s Josh Fanopoulos was scored as the winner on his very first visit to Magic Valley Speedway.
The Denny’s Minis rolled out for their 4th and final main event and then the rains came. The rain soon started falling harder and the officials had no choice but to cancel the rest of the evening’s events. We would also like to congratulate Cindy Banks for winning the free Shari’s pie and our racetrack selfie winners, Lindsey Park and Maureen Padilha. This Saturday night, June 20th, will be Brennan’s Carpet Night and this will be a night you won’t want to miss!! The visiting Speed Tour Sprint Cars and Modifieds will be in town along with the Northwest Tour Truck Series, Denny’s Minis, and Project Filter Bombers. Lots of action will be guaranteed with this particular lineup!! Gates open at 5pm with McDonalds Racing starting at 5:45pm!! Arrive early to get a good seat on this exciting night!! We will see you this Saturday night at the fastest 1/3-mile oval in all of the Gem State…..Magic Valley Speedway!!!