By DJ Everett
Another large crowd settled in on Pepsi Night for a huge night of entertainment!! The ICCU Modifieds, Cactus Petes Streets, Denny’s Minis, Project Filter Bombers, Valley Office Systems Hornets, Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers, and the Extreme Staffing Double Deckers all took to the 1/3 mile oval for some hardcore racing!! The night ended with the Pepsi Fantastic Fireworks Show and the crowd-pleasing Pepsi Trailer Race of Destruction!!
The first race of the night was the Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers for their first of two main events. At the drop of the green, polesitter Angel Newberry led the way and tried to run and hide from the field. A quick caution for debris on the track and we were back to racing again. Newberry built up another sizeable lead but it was Brayden Sweatfield making moves through the field from the back of the pack. As Newberry was attempting to lap JJ Haye in turn 3, the two made contact with Newberry’s car coming to a stop. Newberry was able to regain her number one spot for the restart. Newberry again was able to streak away from the field but behind her, Kaili McKean and Sweatfield started to run her down for the top spot. Sweatfield managed to get by McKean for the runner up spot and was now on the rear bumper of Newberry. With two laps to go, Newberry pulled along side of the lapped machine of Haye and Sweatfield pulled along side of Newberry making it three wide going into turn 3. Sweatfield wasn’t able to make it stick on the high side and fell back in line behind Newberry as they took the white flag. Newberry did a masterful job holding off Sweatfield to pick up her third main event win this year.
The Denny’s Minis were next to approach the racing surface for their first of two main events this evening. The green flew and polesitter Ryan Adams took the lead early. Andrew Prince challenged Adams on lap 2 for the lead on the high side but rounding turn 4, Prince’s car suffered a mechanical failure in the right front sending Prince bouncing off the wall. As the field rounded turn 4, Roy Boots Jr tried to miss Prince’s car by trying to go between the wall and Prince but found the narrow area tough to negotiate at a high rate of speed and made contact with both. Unfortunately, Prince and Boots found themselves on the wrecker back to the pits. In a post-race conversation with Boots, he mentioned that in the few seconds he had time to react, it was either hit his nephew, Andrew Prince, or hit the wall, Boots wisely chose the wall. A quick red to clean up the area and we were back to racing. Ryan Adams resumed the lead but a fast closing Chad Everett was able to get up and around Adams for the top spot bringing Jon Quinton with him into second. Manda Haye and Cecil Miles worked their way into third and fourth soon after. Miles spun to the grass coming off of turn 4 bringing out the caution and bunching up the field for a restart. When the green flew again, leader Everett once again started to pull away. Everett was able to hang on to it over Quinton to put himself into victory lane again.
The ICCU Modifieds were next and when the green flag flew, it was outside front row starter, Dan Root Jr jumping out in front and leading it at lap 1. Kris McKean started to put heavy pressure on leader Root and as the field headed into turn 3, Jeff Longman went straight into the turn 3 wall bringing Dan McCoy into the wall as well. Eric Rhead also spun in the middle of turns 3 and 4 in a separate incident. Both drivers were ok as the red flag came out. Back under green, and McKean was able to jump out in front as the next leader of the race. The battle was on for second between Root, Tim Fahrner, and Zach Wesbter. Webster moved himself past Root for second with Fahrner moving into third. Caution came out for Mitch Pehrson spinning to the infield grass on the frontstretch. Green again and McKean started to pull away with a great battle shaping up for second between Webster, Jason Quale, and Eric Rhead. Dan Root Jr made heavy contact with the wall between turns 3 & 4 and he would also find himself on the back of a wrecker. The green flew once again and with 5 laps to go, leader McKean slipped up high and out of the groove in turns 3 & 4 and that opened the door for Webster and Rhead to drive on through. Rhead was now on the rear bumper of Webster for the lead and on the final lap, the two touched coming out of turn 4 sending Webster to the infield grass and Rhead taking the checkered flag. As a result of the contact, Zach Webster was awarded the victory picking up his second ICCU Modified main event win in 2020.
The R&A Trucking Big Wheelz race was contested by 6 young drivers and when the checkered flag flew, it was Junior Bautista taking the win.
The Extreme Staffing Double Deckers came out for their race of the evening. As usual, the double deckers treated the crowd to some great side by side racing and at times some contact. The team of Dan Root Jr and Mike Cantonwine did a marvelous job weaving their way through the traffic making the crowd stand on their feet at times. The two found their way to victory with big smiles on their faces. A big thank you to our Jr Flagger, Karson Jaurequi doing a great job on the flagstand for this race.
The Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers was back on the track for their second main event and Kaethyn Gilligan was the early leader who built up a sizeable advantage. As Gilligan approached lapped traffic, Brayden Sweatfield was able to close in. Sweatfield got by Gilligan in lapped traffic and cruised it to victory. Brayden Sweatfield was crowned the first half Quale’s Electronics Jr Stinger Champion for 2020. Congratulations also goes out to Kaili McKean and Kristopher McKean for finishing 2nd and 3rd in the point standings. Jr Trophy Presenter, Dawson Stafford joined in on the festivities handing the trophy to Sweatfield in victory lane.
The Cactus Petes Streets were next for their main event. Ronn McClimans roared out in front at the drop of the green with Willie Dalton and Roy Boots Jr in tow. On lap 2, Dalton slipped up a little coming out of turn 2 allowing Boots to jump to his outside. Boots was able to get by Dalton for the second spot and then immediately worked on McClimans for the lead by continuing to run the high side. Boots was able to get by McClimans for the top spot and soon after Dalton was also able to get by McClimans for second. That would be short lived for Dalton as McClimans was able to get back by Dalton for the runner up spot a number of laps later. For the rest of the race, Boots was able to keep a comfortable margin over the rest of the pack and pickup his first Cactus Petes Streets main event win of the year. It was good to see Boots in victory after suffering a setback earlier in the night in the Denny’s Minis first main event.
The Project Filter Bombers entered the track for their main event of the evening and Christopher Kehrer led the way early on. Craig McCann moved his way through the field and challenged Kehrer for the lead by putting it to the high side. McCann used his momentum to power to the lead. Brandon Adams was next to move by Kehrer into second. McCann and Adams now started to leave the field behind them. Robin Finch and Gracie Pehrson made contact in turns 3 and 4 sending Pehrson to the infield grass bringing out the caution. The field bunched back up for the restart and when the green flew, McCann continued to lead. Finch now clawed his way to the third spot and was catching the top 2. Caution flew again for David Schaber stopped at the bottom of the track with steam coming from his engine. Back underway again and the top 3 of McCann, Adams, and Finch were battling at the front of the field. McCann held his composure and took it all the way to the checkers for his first win of the year. Adams was able to hold of Finch by a half car length at the line for second.
The Denny’s Minis rolled out for their second main event of the evening. Cecil Miles was leading early with Manda Haye running in his tire tracks in second. Chad Everett and Jon Quinton were making great strides through the field and immediately found themselves in third and fourth right behind Miles and Haye. Five laps later, Everett said it was go time and got by Haye and Miles to put himself into the top spot. Everett and Miles started to pull away from the field but both ran quicker than the mandatory minis breakout time of 16.750 turning over the battle for the lead to Haye and Quinton. The two were side by side when the white flag flew and as they rounded turn 4, Quinton was able to beat Haye by a photo finish to the checkered to pick up the exciting win.
The ICCU Modifieds hit the speedway for their second main event. Polesitter Dan Root Jr led lap 1 but as the field rounded turn 2 for lap 2, it was Eric Rhead now as your leader. Root now had his hands full with Morgan Rasmussen, Zach Webster, and Kris McKean knocking on the rear door. The trio would soon get by Root and lineup second through fourth with Root spinning in turn 2 a few laps later bringing out the caution. The field was back in rows of 2 for the restart and when the green flag flew, Rhead again jumped out to the lead. Tim Fahrner found some speed as was able to power by both Rasmussen and Webster launching himself into second. Webster got by Rasmussen for third and now Jason Quale was next to challenge Rasmussen for position. Caution again for debris as the field bunched up for another restart. Green flag and it was Rhead, Fahrner, and Webster occupying the first three spots with Quale able to get underneath Rasmussen to challenge for the fourth spot. The two cars of Quale and Rasmussen touched coming out of turn 4 sending Rasmussen hard into the outside wall with the car coasting to a stop and the start/finish line. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as Rasmussen as able to exit his car under his own power. The field was put under red flag conditions to clean up the scene. Back under green and Rhead again was out in front, behind him Fahrner and McKean were running side by side coming off of turn 2 and down the backstretch. As the two entered turn 3, they touched, sending McKean into the outside wall. McKean was able to get out of the car under his own power and the field was put under a red flag again. A single file restart put Rhead up front again and as the green flew, Rhead hit the gas and basically left town. The battle now was on for second between Fahrner and Webster with Quale in tow. Rhead drove it all the way to the checkered flag with Fahrner bringing it home with a season high second place. After having numerous races of bad luck and mechanical issues, the Redbone Trucking race team was once again back in victory lane.
The Valley Office Systems Hornets made their way to the track next with polesitter Peggy Dean leading the first lap of the main event. The next lap, Shelby Dalton moved herself past Dean for the lead with Scott Gilligan following through into second. Zach Rydalch now put the heat on Dean for the third spot and as the two went down the frontstretch, they made contact entering turn 1 going to the infield portion of the track sending Dean for a spin. She would recover as the race stayed green. Up front, Dalton and Gilligan were weaving their way through lapped traffic and eventually Gilligan got by Dalton for the lead heading back onto the big track. On the white flag lap, Gilligan was once again in lapped traffic allowing Dalton to close back in. Dalton gave it one last shot for the lead putting it to the inside of Gilligan on the infield portion but Gilligan was able to hang on all the way to the checkered flag garnering another hornet main event win this year.
The fans were next treated to the Pepsi Fantastic Fireworks Show as they skies were lit up with many different colors and loud booms. On an Independence Day weekend, it only seems fitting for racing, music, and fireworks to come together on this night. A standing ovation was given at the end of the fireworks show. The final event of the evening was the Pepsi Trailer Race of Destruction. Large vehicles towing boats, campers, and a jet ski entered the track. The most noticeable vehicle was Ike Miller towing two campers with fireworks shooting into the air from the bed of his truck. Unfortunately, Miller wouldn’t last long as the destruction on the track with vehicles slamming into boats and vice versa took a toll on not only Miller but many others. In the end when all of the slamming was over and the entire track was littered with debris, a unanimous fan vote gave Ronn McClimans towing his jet ski the victory.
Other winners we would like to recognize, congratulations to David Ball for winning the Shari’s pie, Harold Shoup winning the Lowe’s Home Improvement BBQ Grill Giveaway, and our selfie winners Donald Beecher, Tonya Martin, Garrett Crane, Rachel Hjort, Skip Broyles, Ginglynn Hansen, and Erin Egley……..all winning a free ticket to next Saturday’s event. This Saturday night is PSI Night with the return of the exciting open wheelers the Brennan’s Carpet Midgets along with the Cactus Petes Streets, Project Filter Bombers, Valley Office Systems Hornets, Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers, and the Extreme Staffing Double Deckers. Gates open at 5pm with McDonalds Timed Trials at 6:30pm. Arrive early as its going to be another busy night of racing at the family entertainment capital of Idaho…Magic Valley Speedway!!