By DJ Everett
Great weather blessed us on Magic Valley Pipe and Steel Night as the ICCU Modifieds, Cactus Petes Streets, Valley Office Systems Hornets, and a visit by the Northwest Tour Truck Series took to the 1/3 mile oval.
The first main event of the evening was the ICCU Modifieds for their first outing of 2020. The first of two main events for the modifieds took the green flag with polesitter Eric Weimer leading the first few laps until local driver, Jason Quale, took command of the race. This was Jason’s first race back since his spectacular accident last year that saw him sliding on his roof down the backstretch. Quale’s lead was short lived when defending modified track champion, Eric Rhead, was next to assume the lead of the race. There were great battles going on behind Rhead with Zach Webster, Aubree Cristiani, and Jason Quale. Webster, who was the night’s quick qualifier, was doing his best to stay in touch with Rhead but Rhead was slowly pulling away. A late yellow in the race for a spinning Weimer in turn 4 bunched the field back up. Webster gave it one last shot but Rhead was too strong in the end as Rhead picked up his first main event of the year over Webster, Quale, and Cristiani.
The Northwest Tour Truck Series kicked off their 2020 campaign with their first of two main events on the evening. As the green flag flew, Paul Idaho’s Jeff Wade took command of the field on lap 2. In usual Northwest Tour Truck fashion, there were some great side by side battles going on throughout the entire field. Parker Jones and Drew Reitsma made contact on the frontstretch ripping off most the nose body work on Reitsma’s truck that would bring out the caution. On the restart, Sam Harris would go to the top spot all the way to the halfway point where Wade would reassume the lead bringing 15 year old, Jacob Smith, to 2nd in his very first truck start. Smith would eventually get by Wade for the lead when Reitsma spun on the frontstretch bringing out the yellow. On the restart, Wade would get the best of Smith to get back out in front. Smith, Harris, and Reitsma would run in close quarters for a couple of laps battling for second when Smith went around in turns 1 and 2. The field would remain under green and that was the break that Wade needed as he checked out and held the lead all the way to the checkers giving the veteran driver a popular win over Reitsma, Quale, Jones, and Smith.
The Cactus Pete’s Streets would be the next group of cars on the track for their 25 lap main event. Shawn Lester would be the early leader until having to exit the track and handing the lead over to Utah’s Levi Rider. Rider would spin in turns 3 and 4 bringing out the caution. The restart would see the return of The Outlaw, Willie Dalton, going to the top spot. Roy Boots Jr would make heavy contact with the frontstretch wall sending him to the infield grass but the green would remain out. Rider would climb his way back up to the front of the field battling Dalton for the lead with last year’s Rookie of the Year, Josh Cuff, in tow but Dalton would hang on for the win.
The ICCU Modifieds entered the track for their second 35 lap main event of the evening with Aubree Cristiani grabbing the lead at the drop of the green with Zach Webster in hot pursuit. Eric Rhead would join the top two in third by lap 5. Rhead and Webster would stage a great battle for 2nd for the next 5 laps with the two making contact off of turn 4 sending Webster to the infield dirt bringing out the caution. As a result of the incident, Webster would make a visit to the pit area and eventually rejoin the field to salvage a top 5 finish. Rhead would get by Cristiani for the lead on the restart leaving Cristiani trying to fend off Quale for the runner up spot. Rhead would be able to hang on for the win making it a clean sweep of main event wins on the evening for the Utah driver. An impressive run turned in by Aubree Cristiani for the 2nd spot and Quale would finish 3rd.
The Valley Office Systems Hornets rolled onto the speedway in a very unique road course design for their main event. Polesitter Peggy Dean would take command at the front of the field when the green flag flew. The field would snake through a series of left and right hand turns with a lot of door banging and brakes locking up during the entire race. Brayden Sweatfield was glued to Dean’s rear bumper in the 2nd spot with Scott Gilligan and Andrew Prince having a battle of their own for 3rd. Ryan Adams from the back of the pack would make his presence known with the top 4 until he blew a left front tire sending him to the pit area. Dean would hit her marks on this night fending of Sweatfield and drove it under the checkers for her very first career main event win leading it wire to wire.
The final race of the evening would be the Northwest Tour Truck Series again for their 2nd main event. Sam Harris led the first few laps until Drew Reitsma would be able to get by Harris and scored as the new leader. The return of John Newhouse would be felt as the veteran driver would be able to put his truck in the runner up spot and set after leader Reitsma. Behind them, young Jacob Smith and Sam Harris battled for third with Smith getting the better of Harris. 2019 Northwest Tour Truck Rookie of the Year, Jenna Quale, would again show her strength in this one by tracking down Smith for third at the halfway point and eventually getting by Smith. At the front of the field, Newhouse was able to catch Reitsma but was unable to do anything with him as Reitsma picked up his first main event win of 2020. It was good to see John Newhouse back behind the wheel for the first time since his devastating motorcycle accident last year that sidelined him for many months and was able to finish in the runner up spot on this night.
This Saturday night, May 16th, is O’Reilly Auto Parts night with the return of the always exciting Brennan’s Carpet Midgets, double main events for the Denny’s Minis, Project Filter Bombers, double main events for the Quale’s Electronics Stingers, and the Extreme Staffing Double Deckers. Only the first 500 fans will be allowed in the grandstands staying in compliance with the social distancing orders that are set forth. Gates open at 5pm with the first green flag dropping at 6pm. Tired of being cooped up in the house due to this pandemic? Then join us this Saturday night at the entertainment capital of the Magic Valley…………..Magic Valley Speedway!!