By DJ Everett
O’Reilly Auto Parts night proved to be an exciting night as the ICCU Modifieds, Cactus Pete’s Streets, McClimans Racing Engines Minis, Project Filter Bombers, Magic Valley Pipe Hornets, Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers, and a one-off race for the Queen Bees! The fans settled in for a busy night of racing!
The first main event of the evening was the Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers first of two races. Kristopher McKean pulled out to a sizeable advantage at the drop of the green. Roxy Nolan in second had a flurry of action to deal with behind her in the name of Paxton Guiles and Jaxon McCray. The three-car battle for second allowed McKean to keep pulling away to where he was never challenged to take the win. Nolan did a great job holding off the challenges in second until McCray was able to get by in the final couple of laps.
The ICCU Modifieds rolled out next as they also had two main events on the evening. Polesitter Natalie Waters led it at the drop of the green with Devin Burdette and Tim Fahrner battling for second. Waters started to stretch her lead out when Fahrner was able to grab the second spot and started to track down Waters. Burdette slotted in third but behind him was some great side by side racing with Zach Webster, Patrick Gold, Jason Quale, Eric Rhead, and Dan Root Jr. Rhead started to make his way up through the field by picking off Quale and Burdette to move into third and then he was off and running to catch the top two. Rhead, who is ranked 5th in Division 1 national points for the Nascar Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series going into tonight’s race, caught Fahrner and Waters within a few laps and started to challenge both for the top spot. Rhead first got by Fahrner for second and then made quick work of Waters for the lead. Rhead started to walk away from everyone but Quale started to make his way to the front also. Waters spun as she entered turn three and backed her car into the wall. Tough break for her as she was running in the second position when the incident occurred. This moved Fahrner and Quale into the top three for the restart. Green flag flew again and Rhead got a great jump on the field when Mitch Pehrson spun in turn two to bring out the caution one more time. The green flew and Rhead nailed the restart again to vault out in front to a lead that he would never relinquish and park it in victory lane for the ICCU Modified points leader.
The McClimans Racing Engines Minis were next for their first of two main events of the evening. Pocatello’s Brendan Watt led the field early with Cecil Miles moving up into second in the opening laps. Chad Everett from the back of the pack managed to claw his way into third in an effort to catch the top two. Roy Boots Jr started to loop it coming off turn four with Tony Failes making heavy contact. Boots Jr climbed out of his car a little shaken in which he took a ride in the ambulance but was eventually ok with some bumps and bruises. On the restart, Miles was able to grab the lead from Watt with Everett following through into second. Zach Rydalch moved into third and this setup a run to the finish between Miles, Everett, and Rydalch. The white flag flew and Everett started to make his move to the high side of Miles for the lead. They came off turn four heading to the checkers and Miles beat Everett to the line by a half car length.
The R&A Trucking Big Wheelz race took place with Jackson Sanchez taking home the winner’s trophy.
The Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers returned to the track for their second main event of the evening. Jr Flagger Bevyn Pemberton waved the green flag to get them started and Roxy Nolan jumped out in front. Paxton Guiles, Jaxon McCray, and Kristopher McKean trailed behind Nolan in that order in the first few laps. McCray made an inside move on Guiles to lunge into second and immediately started to challenge Nolan for the lead. McCray pulled alongside Nolan as the two battled hard for the lead with some contact ensuing. The two battled so hard to where Guiles was able to get by both for the lead and drive it to his third win of the year in a very exciting main event for the Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers. Trophy Presenter Haylee Koch presented the trophy to Guiles in victory lane and joined in on the photo opportunities.
The Magic Valley Pipe Hornets made their way to the track with Peggy Dean leading the pack early but that didn’t last long when Brayden Sweatfield made a brave move to the high side to take the top spot. Ike Miller moved into second with Zach Rydalch breaking into the top three. Mechanical issues forced Dean to the pit area ending her great run. Sweatfield looked like a man on a mission as he drove it to victory and parked it in front of a cheering crowd.
The McClimans Racing Engines Minis came back out for the second time this evening for another main event. At the drop of the green, Brendan Watt vaulted out in front from his pole position starting spot. First year driver Tony Failes took it to the high side of Watt for the lead with Cecil Miles looking on in third. Failes’ car washed up the track which allowed Miles to squirt into second and then moved past Watt for the lead. Watt slotted into second with Chad Everett making his way into third. The caution flew for Zach Rydalch coming to a stop on the infield grass just off turn 4. On the restart Miles was back out in front with Watt and Everett running close behind. The laps started to wind down with another great finish on tap. The white flag flew with Miles still in front and Everett getting past Watt for second as Everett had his sights set on Miles for the win. At the checkers, it was Miles across the line first to pick up his second win of the evening. There is one point now separating Miles and Everett for the minis championship with one event left on their schedule.
The Project Filter Bombers made their appearance on the track to the applause of the crowd. Misty Gilliam from the outside front row led the field through turns one and two on the opening lap. Jonathan Rich put pressure on Gilliam for the lead in turn four where contact between the two cars sent Rich to the infield grass and slowed Gilliam’s momentum down the frontstretch. Robin Finch was able to capitalize by moving up and around Gilliam for the lead.
Finch started to pull away from the field but a battle for second was shaping up between Gilliam, Mike Miller, and Brandon Adams. Miller was able to get by Gilliam for second but the deficit between himself and leader Finch was too much as Finch drove it to another victory this year.
The McDonalds Queen Bees made their only appearance for 2021 with an all-female race in hornet cars. The field was made up of Peggy Dean, Jennifer Hardy, Angel Newberry, Linda Everett, Jenn Gray, Naomi Sweatfield, and Grandma Bev. Polesitter Everett led the field on the opening lap but a fast closing Hardy, Dean, and Newberry was ready to challenge Everett for the top spot. The caution flag flew resulting from contact between Grandma Bev, Dean, and Gray sending Dean for a spin. On the restart, Dean was able to grab the lead from Everett with Hardy and Newberry following through into second and third. Dean started to catch some lapped traffic which allowed Hardy and Newberry to close in. The lapped traffic allowed Hardy to get by Dean for the lead but Dean wasn’t willing to give up the spot as she rallied back to the outside of Hardy to take the lead back. Dean was able to hang on for the win over Hardy and Newberry. Exciting action from the ladies and we hope to see the Queen Bees again next year!
The ICCU Modifieds rolled out for their second race of the evening with Lynn Hardy grabbing the lead before Dan Root Jr was able to get by on the inside for the number one spot on lap two. Jason Quale was hungry to grab another win before the year was over and was able to get by Root Jr to be the race’s third different leader. Eric Rhead from the back of the pack started his surge to the front by picking off cars one lap at a time until he found his way into second before the halfway point of the race. Rhead has definitely hit on the setup late in the year as he looks like the man to beat in the modified division. Rhead looked impressive as he caught Quale for the lead in just a few laps. Rhead took a couple of laps to measure up Quale and then made the inside move to take the lead. After that, Rhead walked away from everyone to take another win and just about solidified his ICCU championship efforts for 2021. Quale brought it home in second and a great run by Root Jr in the third spot.
The final race of the night were the Cactus Pete’s Streets with polesitter Jeff Peck towing the field out in front when the green flew. Ronn McClimans and Willie Dalton battled side by side for second with Shawn Lester, Steve Edens Sr, and Kris McKean, who was subbing for Josh Cuff, all looking on. Dalton was able to make an outside run on Peck to grab the lead bringing Lester into second. The yellow flag came out from contact between McClimans and Edens Sr sending Edens Sr into the spin cycle. Dalton got a good start when the green came back out but Lester was looking to his outside and eventually got by Dalton for the lead. McKean was able to claw his way into third with Peck having a great run in the fourth spot. Lester was able to run away with the win and McKean got by Dalton for second on the final lap giving the Cuff #5 a great run also.
We would like to congratulate our selfie winners Justin Donahue, Jami Crowe, Lindsey Park, and Tom Marciel all receiving a free adult admission ticket to the September 11th event. We take the weekend off for Labor Day weekend but we are back in action on September 11th for K&T Steel Night featuring the Gibson Diesel Super Late Models, Northwest Tour Truck Series, Brennan’s Carpet Midgets, Cactus Pete’s Streets, Project Filter Bombers, Magic. Valley Pipe Hornets, and the Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers. Another busy night of racing so you will want to arrive early! Gates open at 5pm with McDonald’s Timed Trials 5:30pm. NASCAR Racing at 6:00. All EMS, First Responders, Fire Fighters, and Law Enforcement will be admitted free to our grandstands with their families. We will see all of you this Saturday night at the most exciting place in the valley………………….Magic Valley Speedway!!!