By DJ Everett
A cool breeze over the speedway made for comfortable temperatures on Pacific Steel & Recycling Night that featured the return of the Northwest Tour Truck Series along with the Brennan’s Carpet Midgets, Cactus Petes Streets, Valley Office Systems Hornets, and the Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers. With a lineup like that, the fans were treated to a ton of excitement all night long!
The first main event of the night were the Valley Office Systems Hornets and the Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers in a combo race. Both classes took to the ¼ mile track that used both the big track and the infield portion. Hornets were at the front of the pack with the Jr Stingers tailing the back of the pack. Green flag flew and Zach Rydalch took off as the early leader for the hornets with Angel Newberry leading the Jr Stingers. The leaders of both classes wouldn’t experience any drama even though there was a lot of action going on with Scott Gilligan, Shelby Dalton, Malaki Juarez, Kasen Powell from Utah, and Jonathan Murdoch from Oregon. The race featured much passing and some off-road excursions around mid-pack with those drivers and more. The checkered flag flew and Zach Rydalch dominated this one in the Valley Office Systems Hornets and the same can be said for Angel Newberry in the Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers.
The first of two main events for the always popular Northwest Tour Trucks Series took to the track next. At the drop of the green, it was Sam Harris leading the way from his front row starting position. Behind Harris, Jenna Quale was able to get by Jeff Wade for second bringing John Newhouse and Parker Jones with her up into third and fourth. Harris was able to stretch his lead by 5 truck lengths over Quale who was dealing with heavy pressure from Newhouse for the runner up spot. Parker Jones hit the backstretch wall while running fourth and that allowed Jacob Smith to get by. In front of them, Newhouse put it to the outside of Quale and the two would run that way for a couple laps before Quale relinquishing the spot to Newhouse. Newhouse was now on a mission to track down Harris for the lead. With about 10 laps to go, Newhouse finally caught Harris and the battle was on. While those two were trying to settle it out for the top spot, this allowed Quale and Smith to close in with now the top four running nose to tail. Newhouse put it down low on Harris to challenge for the lead. After two laps of trading some paint, Newhouse fell back in line behind Harris which allowed Quale to dip to the inside of Newhouse to challenge for the second spot. The exciting action between the top four continued as they took the white flag. Harris was directly in front of a continuing side by side battle between Newhouse and Quale and as they came off of turn 4, Harris was the first under the checkers picking up his first career Northwest Tour Truck Series main event win. Newhouse was able to edge out Quale at the line for second.
The R&A Trucking Big Wheelz race was next. The youngsters always put on a great show for the fans and when the checkered flag flew, it was Jaxon Chandler as your winner.
The Valley Office Systems Hornets and Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers came out for their second main event of the night. When Jr Flagger Jacob Ball waved the green flag, Malaki Juarez was the early leader of the hornet division along with Kaethyn Gilligan leading the way for the Jr Stingers. Juarez had to deal with Jonathan Murdoch, Zach Rydalch, and Scott Gilligan at the front of the field as Angel Newberry got by Kaethyn Gilligan for the lead in the Jr Stinger class. The top 4 in the hornets approached the Jr Stingers and now we had major traffic for everyone to deal with. While that was going on, slight contact between Newberry and Kasen Powell sent Newberry out of shape allowing Powell to get by for the lead in the Jr Stingers. While still in heavy traffic, Rydalch was able to get by Juarez for the lead and about 200 feet later, the lead exchanged hands again with Gilligan getting by Rydalch. It stayed this way all the way to the checkers with Scott Gilligan adding another main event win to his incredible year in the Valley Office Systems Hornets and our visitor from Utah, Kasen Powell picking up the win in the Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers. Jr Trophy Presenter Andrew Joens presented our two winners with the hardware.
The Cactus Petes Streets rolled out for their main event. The green came out and polesitter Shawn Lester led the field early with Willie Dalton getting by Ronn McClimans for the second spot. The field stretched out quickly in this race as Lester extended his lead over Dalton. McClimans running third was hoping for a caution flag as his car was gradually falling off the pace that Lester and Dalton were setting. Unfortunately, that caution would never come as Lester who has been dealing with gremlins with his machine sporadically throughout the season, was on the mark on this night. Dalton was unable to close in on Lester and in the end, it was Shawn Lester adding another W in the win column for 2020.
The Brennan’s Carpet and Design Midgets were next with their main event. Devin Westover led the field off of turn 2 on the opening lap but Ashlyn Powell made sure that was short lived as she took Westover on the inside down the backstretch to be the race’s new leader. Powell did a great job leading the field for the next five laps before Chaz Groat was able to get by on the outside of Powell to put himself into the top spot. Substitute driver, Anthony Quintana in the Waters Racing #11 was able to move into the second spot with Natalie Waters jumping up into third. The top three put on a great race running nose to tail for a couple of laps before Waters put it to the outside of Quintana and moved into second coming off of turn 2. Waters wasn’t done as she dove to the inside of Groat for the lead down the frontstretch a half of a lap later and became the race’s fourth different leader. With Waters as the leader now, she immediately put a full straightaway lead on second place Chaz Groat who was dealing with Quintana. Groat and Quintana ran side by side for multiple laps battling for second with Quintana eventually getting by. Up front it was all Natalie Waters as she picked up her first main event win of the year at MVS making a statement for her competitors for the rest of the year!
The final race of the night was the second of two main events for the Northwest Tour Truck Series. The green waved and Jenna Quale jumped out in front to lead it early but as the field came off of turn 4 on lap 1, a three wide battle formed up between John Newhouse, Parker Jones, and Drew Reitsma. Reitsma got the short end of the stick on this exchange as he made contact with Jones and suffered extensive damage to his machine bringing out the caution. Reitsma unfortunately ended his night on the back of a wrecker. On the restart, Quale resumed her lead but Newhouse and Jacob Smith were working their way through the field. Ron Lawser was having a good race holding down the runner up spot for a number of laps before Newhouse got to his rear bumper. Newhouse was able to get by Lawser and now set sail after leader Quale who by then had a half a straightaway lead. Parker Jones made a good move on Lawser for third but a lap later Smith got by Jones to take away that third spot. Newhouse was inching closer to Quale but would it be enough since Quale was setting a good pace at the front of the field. Meanwhile, Smith closed in on Newhouse to challenge for the second spot and Sam Harris dove underneath Jones as the two battle for the fifth spot. Quale still had a decent size lead over Newhouse and Smith as the lap times reflected that with the top 3 running almost identical times. Quale started to encounter a couple of lapped machines near the end but made it look easy as she took them on the outside and cleared them. Newhouse and Smith now had to deal with the lappers and this was where Smith was able to challenge Newhouse for the runner up spot. Smith put it down low on Newhouse going down the backstretch and ran three wide going into turn 3 with a lapped machine. Smith executed the daring pass to move himself into second. Both Smith and Newhouse cleared the lapped traffic but Newhouse wasn’t willing to go away that easy. Meanwhile behind them, Jones and Harris were still side by side battling for fifth. As the field took the white flag, Quale still had a comfortable lead but Newhouse made a last ditch effort to get back by Smith for second. As they went back into turn 1, Newhouse put it to the high side of Smith and the two were side by side going down the backstretch. Up front, Quale took the checkers but battles were still going on behind her. Newhouse and Smith were side by side coming off of turn 4 with Newhouse edging out Smith for second. Jerry Rice came in fourth and behind him there was still a side by side battle going on between Jones and Harris for fifth like it had been for the previous 10 plus laps with Jones edging out Harris for the position. The series 2019 rookie of the year, Jenna Quale was just about perfect in this race picking up her first career truck win making it two first time winners on the night in the Northwest Tour Truck Series.
We would also like to congratulate our other winners on the night! Congratulations to Renee Adams winning the smoker presented by Brizee Heating, Air Conditioning & Fireplaces and Pacific Steel & Recycling by guessing the closest to the actual weight of the block of aluminum in the year long competition. Other winners on the night were Diamond Murphy winning the free Shari’s Pie and Grizzly Kenneth, Tim Ford, and Eileen Baker winning the Selfie Contest!! This Saturday night will be another big night of racing as the ICCU Modifieds, Dennys Minis, Project Filter Bombers, Cactus Petes Streets, Valley Office Systems Hornets, and the return of the exciting ISRL Sprint Cars all taking to the 1/3-mile oval on Valley Office Systems Night!! Gates open at 5pm with McDonalds racing at 6:45pm!! Get their early and help us get the party started at Idaho’s most exciting racetrack……………Magic Valley Speedway!!