By DJ Everett
It was a cool breezy day with weather approaching on Conrad & Bischoff Night that featured the Denny’s Minis, Project Filter Bombers, Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers, Valley Office Systems Hornets all leading up to the Spud 100 with the Conrad & Bischoff Late Models!! With rain in the forecast, the schedule was pushed to an earlier start time which made for an afternoon event.
The day kicked off with a 10 lap Denny’s Minis Qualifying Invitational Race where competitors had a chance to set a new minis track record due to no breakout time and a winner’s trophy. Pole sitter Roy Boots Jr took command of the race at the drop of the green with Meridian Speedway visitor, Gary Luck holding down the second spot. Chad Everett from the back of the pack started picking them off one at a time and got passed Luck for second just past the halfway point. Everett now set sail after leader Boots and as the white flag flew, Everett put it on the inside of Boots on the front stretch. They ran side by side all the way to turn two where Everett got the run down the backstretch and was able to squeak by Boots for the lead and the win. Everett came close to his own track record of 16.304 turning a lap of 16.314 on the last lap.
After a brief break, the Denny’s Minis came back out for their first of two main events for them. The green flag flew and the action happened right away as Manda Haye and Jon Quinton came together in turns one and two on lap 2 sending Quinton for a spin resulting in the yellow coming out. With one lap in, the green was back out and pole sitter Zach Rydalch was leading the way. Smoke started to trail out of the back end of Rydalch’s car and as the field entered turn 1, the smoke got heavier with engine oil starting to get on the rear tires sending Rydalch for a spin in front of the pack. This triggered a multi car wreck that included Rydalch, Cecil Miles, Zaine Newberry, and Roy Boots Jr who all needed help off of the track and back to the pit area. Many others scattered during the incident but was able to continue. A red flag to clean up the area and we were back to racing. Danny Gilliam was now the new leader with Chad Everett to his high side. Everett was able to get by Gilliam for the lead and brought Gary Luck and Jon Quinton up into second and third. The top three were in close formation where you could cover them with a blanket. Quinton was able to work by Luck and right away started to put pressure on Everett for the lead. The two were side by side for numerous laps with Luck right behind looking on to see what was going to develop. As they started to enter lapped traffic, Everett was able to use that to his advantage. Everett was able to regain sole possession of the lead with Quinton now running side by side with Luck again for second. Luck used the high line momentum to get by Quinton. The white flag flew and Luck gave it one last try by putting it down low on Everett. They rounded turn 4 and Luck slipped up just a little which opened the door for Everett to take the checkered flag and another win.
The Valley Office Systems Hornets were next for their championship race. Zach Rydalch was the early leader when the green flew with points leader Scott Gilligan in hot pursuit. Gilligan tried a few times high and low to get by Rydalch for the lead but was patiently waiting for that moment to pounce. That moment came as they came off of turn 4 and Gilligan put an inside move on Rydalch. Rydalch did a great job trying to hang out as they were side by side for a good portion of that lap but Gilligan was able to eventually power on through for the lead. Rydalch kept Gilligan within striking distance with Malaki Juarez starting to close in on the top two. Gilligan was able to maintain his lead through the closing laps to pick up another win and a 2020 Valley Office Systems Hornet championship.
The Project Filter Bombers entered the racetrack for their championship race. Pole sitter Robin Finch led it early with Beverly Meyers and Craig McCann close behind. It didn’t take McCann very long to get to the front as he put it up on the high side of Meyers to get by for second and then did the same to Finch for the lead. With McCann now driving away, that left a battle for second between Finch and Meyers. Meyers took a few looks down low on Finch with at times making contact. McCann made this one look easy as he took the checkered flag with Finch barely holding off Meyers for second. McCann is your 2020 Project Filter Bomber champion.
The Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers rolled out next as Angel Newberry held a two point lead over Kaethyn Gilligan going into this final race to determine the second half of the season champion. The green flag was waving from Jr Flagger Emersynn Edens and Gilligan was the early leader with Kaili McKean and Newberry running close behind in second and third. McKean made a great outside pass on Gilligan coming off of turn 4 for the lead. Newberry tried the same move but went into turn one a little too hot and off into the grass she went. She gathered it back up and rejoined the race. McKean started to pull away from everyone and now the focus was on the championship battle between Gilligan and Newberry. The checkers flew and McKean was your winner with Gilligan and Newberry bringing it home in second and third. This put Gilligan and Newberry tied for the championship in the point standings. With Newberry receiving 5 wins and Gilligan with 4 wins in the second half, Angel Newberry is your second half 2020 Quale’s Electronics Jr Stinger champion. Jr Trophy Presenter Harli Wagnaar joined in on the festivities in victory lane handing out the hardware to our winners.
The Conrad & Bischoff Super Late Models were next for the running of the Spud 100. With rainy weather conditions closing in, we were quick to drop the green flag on this one. After a great door to door battle between Bruce Quale and Ashton Cristiani in the opening few laps, Quale was able to nudge his way out in front bringing Dave Garber from Spokane Washington up into second. The first caution occurred for a spinning Cristiani in turn two. On the restart, Garber was able to power by Quale on the outside and into the lead. In the middle of the pack, Zach Telford, Neal Latham, and McDonald’s quick qualifier Eddy McKean started working their way through the field. As we reached the first quarter of the race, McKean was still making his way up near the front of the pack and landed in third place when going through turns three and four, the motor on his machine went up in smoke and a small fire breaking out under the hood. He rolled it to a stop on the infield without further drama. Tough break for McKean who seemed to be the fastest car on the track up to that point. On the restart, Garber shot back out into the lead with Latham moving his car past Quale and into the runner up spot. Latham stayed within a few car lengths of leader Garber with Telford and Dylan Caldwell having a side by side battle for fifth right behind Larry Hull III. Hull slipped up in turn 2 and out of the groove opening the door for Telford and Caldwell to get by. At the halfway point, it was Garber still with the lead followed by Latham, Quale, Telford, and Caldwell in your top five. Telford decided it was go time as he got by Quale and Latham to put himself into second and now set sail after Garber who has done a magnificent job up to this point being the leader of this race. Telford had thirty five laps to catch Garber and he was making it happen running a tenth of a second quicker than Garber each lap. While that was going on, Cristiani was able to make an inside move on Caldwell to move into fifth and started to close in on Quale and Latham. It seemed like Cristiani was now showing some strength late in the race. The yellow flew again for Quale spinning on the backstretch collecting Cristiani who ended up spinning as well and making slight contact with the third turn wall. The green was in the air again for the restart and Garber again put it back out in front with a great battle now going on for second between Latham, Telford, and Caldwell. Latham was able to put it down low on Telford but Telford was able to use the high line to his advantage and power back into second with Caldwell looking to the outside of Latham for third. Caution flew once more as raindrops started to hit the racing surface which increased over the next few minutes. The checkers flew on lap 87 calling this race official resulting in Dave Garber as the winner of the Spud 100. Zach Telford and Neal Latham did a superb job bringing their machines home into second and third. Props also go out to fourth place finisher Dylan Caldwell who was battling side by side with Neal Latham for third at the time the rains came.
We would also like to congratulate Jacob Davis for winning the free Shari’s pie!! This Saturday is O’Reilly Auto Parts & ICCU Night featuring the ICCU Modifieds, Cactus Pete Streets, Denny’s Minis, and the return of the Northwest Tour Truck Series! We will be crowning champions in each of those divisions! We will also have a Trunk or Treat for the kids!! Please take note of the special starting times for this Saturday. Gates open at 2pm, Trunk or Treat from 2pm – 3:30pm, and McDonalds racing at 4pm. It’s the final race of the year!! Come and close out the 2020 racing season with a bang!! We will see everyone and their Halloween costumes this Saturday at the scariest and spookiest place in all of the valley…………….Magic Valley Speedway!!!