By DJ Everett
The fans filed into the grandstands on another huge night of racing on K&T Steel night as the Super Late Models invaded Magic Valley Speedway for the first time in a long time! Also on the card were the open wheel monsters ICCU Modifieds, Project Filter Bombers, Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers, and fan favorite Northwest Tour Truck Series. After a weekend off, it was time to get back to some exciting racing!!
The ICCU Modifieds were the first main event of the night as all 12 rolled out onto the track. The green flag flew and outside front row starter, Mitch Pehrson led his first laps in a modified. Speed Tour Modified regular Donovan Barr making a rare visit to MVS on this night ran side by side for second with Morgan Rasmussen. Rasmussen got the best of that battle and started to pressure Pehrson for the lead. A lap later and Rasmussen became the new leader of the race with Barr on his rear bumper. 2019 Meridian Speedway modified champion, Wyatt King also making a rare visit to MVS moved his way into third with the Redbone Trucking teammates of Eric Rhead and Lynn Hardy running fourth and fifth. The opening laps of this race were very exciting as we had 8 modifieds at the front of the field running wheel to wheel. Barr put his nose to the inside of Rasmussen and forged his way ahead to be the race’s next leader. King followed through into second and multi-time winner this year, Rhead was methodically moving through the field found his way into third. Rhead continued moving forward as he passed King for second and closed in on leader Barr. Hardy was also moving forward and moved into third at this point. Rhead measured up Barr and put a wheel down low when the caution flew for Mitch Pehrson having issues on the backstretch. The restart saw Barr and Rhead on the front row and as they went back to racing, they both ran side by side for the top spot for a few laps with Zach Webster starting to make some moves and was now right behind the top two. The hard battling continued up front with Rhead eventually getting by Barr for the lead. Soon after that, Webster and Hardy were able to get by Barr to move into second and third. Eddy Cole started to show some strength late in this race as he also got by Barr for position and moved in on Hardy to battle for third. Cole took a few laps to size up Hardy and found a way around to move into the third spot. Once out in front, Rhead was able to drive away from everyone and record another amazing win!
The Northwest Tour Trucks made another visit this year to MVS with double main events on this night. On the opening lap, John Wong led the field with Sam Harris moving into second. John Newhouse, Drew Reitsma, and Jenna Quale rounded out the top 5. Newhouse dove underneath Harris and got by for second and right after that Harris, Reitsma, and Quale went three-wide down the frontstretch battling for the third position. As that battle went into turn one, it was Quale and Reitsma that remained side by side and continued that way for another lap. That side by side battle became another three-wide battle which included Newhouse this time going down the frontstretch and into turn one with Quale coming out of it with the second spot. Unbelievable racing was taking place early on in this main event for the Northwest Tour Trucks which is why they are a fan favorite. Quale soon caught leader Wong with young Jacob Smith slowly working his way through the field and eventually found himself in third. Quale pulled down low underneath Wong and the battle was on for the lead. Behind them, Smith and Newhouse caught the top two making it a four-truck race for the lead. As the field came off of turn 4, Smith who was running third at the time made a bid for the lead by going three-wide down the frontstretch with Quale and Wong. It seemed like the frontstretch was the place to go three-wide with it happening for the third time in this race! Somehow through turn one all three kept it straight with Wong powering on the outside back into the lead leaving Quale and Smith battling for second. At this time, Reitsma and Newhouse were side by side for fourth with the top six all in a bunch at the front. Smith was able to get by Quale for second and right away started to work on Wong for the lead. These two ran side by side for a couple of laps until Smith found his way to the front spot. As soon as that happened, Reitsma spun off of turn 2 bringing out the caution. When the green flew again it was Smith vaulting back in front for the lead bringing Quale and Newhouse up into second and third. Quale entering turn 3 got loose and dirt tracked it all the way to turn 4 and amazingly saved it but lost the spot to Newhouse. A few laps later, Harris and Reitsma who were running side by side for fifth, both touched and spun bringing out the caution again. The restart again saw Smith retain his lead with Quale trying to find the opening down low on Newhouse for second. As the field came off of turn 4 to head for the checkers, Smith was the first one to the line but the battle between Quale and Newhouse for second ended up with Quale spinning on the frontstretch and coming to a stop about 40 feet from the finish line. Harris also joined Quale on the frontstretch backwards in a separate incident. It was the second win of the year for the rookie, Jacob Smith.
The Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers made their way onto the track for their first main event of the evening. The green flew and Angel Newberry was the early leader with Roxy Nolan and Kaethynn Gilligan running second and third. Newberry pulled away leaving Nolan and Gilligan to battle for second. After a few laps of hard racing, Gilligan made the inside move on Nolan to move into second. As soon as Gilligan accomplished that, the deficit to Newberry was too great as Newberry drove it to the checkers to add another win to her amazing win total!
The Gibson Diesel Performance Super Late Models were next to take to the track for the first of two 50 lap main events as part of the Spud 100. Always great to see these amazing machines tour the 1/3-mile oval! At the drop of the green it was polesitter, Nick Gibson taking command of this race early on. John Newhouse and Tyler Bailey organized a side by side battle for second in the opening laps. Newhouse was able to use the outside groove to move into second leaving Bailey to deal with Trevor Cristiani and McDonald’s quick qualifier from earlier in the day, Zach Telford. Newhouse started to pressure Gibson for the lead by sticking his nose to the inside at times and while that was going on, Cristiani was doing the same to Bailey for third. By lap 10, the top four were side by side two rows deep. After some hard racing, Newhouse was able to forge ahead and into the lead and the same for Cristiani moving into third who automatically started to work on Gibson for second. Cristiani made short work of Gibson and started to close in on the rear bumper of Newhouse for the lead. Tough break for leader Newhouse as he received the black flag for a mechanical issue to his car in which he had to make a visit to the pit area. That turned the lead over to Cristiani who started to walk away from the rest of the field. The battles weren’t over yet as behind Cristiani, Telford started to work his way forward getting by Bailey and Gibson to move into second. The teammates of Bailey and Gibson soon had a side by side battle for numerous laps for the third spot with Bailey eventually getting the best of that exchange. Up front, Cristiani cruised it all the way to the checker flag to pick up the first super late model main event win on the night.
The R&A Trucking Big Wheelz race was next with our youngsters putting on a great show for the fans!! Jesalyn Sweatfield found victory in this one taking home the trophy with the rest of the drivers doing a great job also!!
The ICCU Modifieds came out for their second main event of the night and when the green flag waved, Eddy Cole spun off of turn 4 right at the start bringing out the caution. We lined them up again for another start and this time front row starters of Mitch Pehrson and Dan Root Jr made contact in turns 1 and 2. Roots car suffered some front left damage and as the field realized what was going on with Root, everyone tried to slow to miss Root’s ailing car coming off of turn 2 sending a bunch of cars crashing into each other. In the end it was Root, Zach Webster, Devin Burdette, Lynn Hardy, Eric Rhead, and Eddy Cole all involved. A red flag to assist drivers and cleanup the area and back to racing we went. Morgan Rasmussen took off with the lead on the restart from the outside front row and pulled Jason Quale and Donovan Barr with him up into second and third. Quale and Barr now started to close in on the rear bumper of leader Rasmussen. Yellow flag flew for Eric Rhead spinning in turn 2 and on the restart, it was still Rasmussen out front and a lap later Rhead spun again but this time in turn 4. Rhead’s car was obviously not right since being involved in the lap 1 accident. Time for another restart and this time Quale got the best of Rasmussen to launched himself into the lead. Eddy Cole got by Rasmussen for second and Wyatt King was next to work on Rasmussen for third. Up front, Cole drove by Quale to be the next leader and started to pull away. Rhead caught Rasmussen for fifth and started working that battle down low. As the two entered turn 4, Rhead’s car got loose and went around on him for his third spin of this race and bringing out the caution. During the caution period, leader Cole paid a visit to the pit area relinquishing the lead to Quale. On the restart, Quale was able to get out in front to the lead over King, Barr, and Rasmussen and held that lead for the last few laps right to the checkered flag. This win comes on a special night for the Quales as Jason, Jenna, and Bruce were all racing on the same night for the first time in the family’s racing history!
The Project Filter Bombers were next for their main event as Jr Flagger Kade Wooten flew the green flag to start the race. Polesitter Robyn Finch led it early but as the field rounded turn 4 to complete lap 1, Gracie Pehrson took command of the race. Craig McCann followed through into second and was right on Pehrson’s rear bumper. McCann put it on the high side and went around Pehrson for the lead. Great battles were going on in the pack behind McCann with Brayden Sweatfield, Finch, Zach Rydalch, Ike Miller, Brandon Adams, and Beverly Meyers. All were side by side trading paint at times. McCann started to pull away and held it all the way to checkers after doing an amazing job weaving his way through lapped traffic. Jr Trophy Presenter Hayden Lavigne joined in on the victory lane celebration handing McCann the winner’s trophy.
The Northwest Tour Truck Series returned to the track for their second main event of the night. The race began with polesitter John Wong taking the early lead. Behind Wong, a great battle for second developed between John Newhouse, Sam Harris, and Jacob Smith. Yellow flag came out for debris in turn 4 from Ron Lawser’s truck and when the field resumed racing it was Wong back out in front. Newhouse and Smith were side by side for second with Jenna Quale and Harris doing the same for fourth. Smith finally was able to get by Newhouse for second and started to work on Wong for the lead. Going into turn 1, Smith made an inside move on Wong and coming out of turn 2, Smith was the new leader. A couple of laps later, Newhouse was able to get by Wong for second with Wong settling into third. Smith at this point started to pull away as Wong got back by Newhouse to move back into second. Drew Reitsma was racing hard with Harris for fifth and as the two exited turn 4, Reitsma got loose and was sent sideways down into the grass on the frontstretch. He rejoined the field as the field stayed green flag racing. The final laps of the race saw Smith drive away into his own zip code as he picked up the win making him do the double on the night in the Northwest Tour Truck Series.
The Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers came back out for their second main event of the evening. The green flag came out and it was Kaethyn Gilligan getting by Roxy Nolan for the lead. Angel Newberry and Nolan started to work each other over for second. This battle lasted for a few laps allowing Gilligan to stretch his lead out. Newberry eventually got by Nolan for second with some heavy contact occurring between the two as well. Gilligan had a big enough lead at this point that he was able to comfortably drive it to the checkers!
The final race of the night was the Gibson Diesel Performance Super Late Models for their second 50 lap main event of the night. At the drop of the green, Nick Gibson and John Newhouse ran side by side at the front of the field for the first five laps until Gibson was able to work his way out in front. Trevor Cristiani started to make his way through the field by getting by Zach Telford one lap and then Newhouse the next lap. It didn’t take long after that for Cristiani to get by Gibson for the lead and then started to pull away. Newhouse was able to get by Gibson for second and then a great race developed for third between Gibson and Tyler Bailey. After a great side by side battle for that position, Bailey was finally able to get by Gibson for the position. Once Telford saw that battle finally settle out, he was able to get by both Gibson and Bailey in no time to put himself into third. The last half of the race saw Cristiani continue to pull away from the field with Telford starting to close in on Newhouse. Telford was able to get within a car length of Newhouse but was never able to get by for the runner up spot. Cristiani once again in a carbon copy of the first race was able to bring it home to the checkers again on this evening allowing him to do the double also.
Other winners on the night we would like to congratulate are Laura Edens winning the Shari’s pie and Brent Hoyt along with Lynette Benavides winning the Selfie Contest. This Saturday night is Watkins Distributing Night featuring Championship Night for the Brennan’s Carpet Midgets! Who will be our midget champion for 2020?? Also on the card will be the Denny’s Minis, 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 Racing taking place at 5:40pm!! It’s another busy night of racing so you will want to arrive early! We will see all of our friends this Saturday night at Idaho’s race capital……………Magic Valley Speedway!!