By DJ Everett
The gates opened and the fans poured in on what was going to be an exciting night of racing!! The ICCU Modifieds, Brennan’s Carpet Midgets, Denny’s Minis, Valley Office Systems Hornets, Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers, and the Extreme Staffing Double Deckers burned up the 1/3-mile oval on Cactus Petes Resort & Casino Night!!
The Denny’s Minis came out for a Fast Dash for Cash race. Seven of the fastest minis took to the track for a 10-lap race that featured no breakout time and the winner receiving $100 in product awards. Mike Audette led the first few laps of the race but Manda Haye and Chad Everett started their march through the field. Haye was able to move past Audette for the lead and Everett was able to move past Audette for second a lap later. Everett caught Haye with two laps to go and the two ran side by side for one lap. They both took the white flag and Everett surged ahead to the lead and kept it all the way to the checkers. Everett set a new minis track record turning a lap of 16.304 during the race.
The Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers rolled out onto the track for their first main event of the evening. A slight change for the Jr Stingers this week as they raced on the quarter mile hornet track. Roxy Nolan made her Jr Stinger debut in this race and we welcomed back Trey Boots for the first time in a while. The field took the green and it was Kaethyn Gilligan jumping out to the early lead with Angel Newberry and Utah’s Kasen Powell in tow. After a couple of laps, Powell started to make his move by first taking Newberry to the high side. As they made the turn to the infield portion, Newberry and Powell made slight contact sending Newberry for a spin and bringing out the caution. On the restart, Newberry and Powell were at it again for second. An almost carbon copy of the first incident happened again as the two were side by side with slight contact and this time both started to spin but the green stayed out as the two rejoined the field. Powell was able to catch leader Gilligan and with a few laps to go and made a power move to the outside of Gilligan for the lead heading to the infield portion. Gilligan made one last ditch effort to get back by Powell to regain the lead in lapped traffic but contact with Powell sent Gilligan sideways to the infield and that was the break that Powell needed to pick up the win.
The Denny’s Minis were up next for their first main event of two. The green flag flew and Mike Audet led it early with Manda Haye close on his bumper. Haye was able to take Audet on the inside heading down the frontstretch to be the race’s next leader. The caution flag flew soon for Cecil Miles spinning in the middle of turns 3 and 4 and when they went back to green flag racing, Haye resumed her lead. Chad Everett, Jon Quinton, and Zaine Newberry started to make their way through the field at this point. Everett was able to get by Audette for second and started tracking down leader Haye. As Everett got by Haye for the lead, Everett went faster than the mandatory break out time for the minis of 16.750 and was relegated to a lap down. Right after that happened, second place Haye started to slow and pulled into the pit area. This handed the lead to Newberry with Jon Quinton on his rear bumper. Quinton pulled to the inside of Newberry and ran door to door that way until the two made contact on the frontstretch allowing Quinton to pull ahead. Miles joined them to make it a three-car race for the lead. A quick yellow for Everett spinning in turns 1 and 2 and on the restart, Quinton pulled away and drove it to the checkers adding another win to his total in 2020.
The ICCU Modifieds made their way to the track for their first of two main events on this night. Polesitter Matt Egley led the field on lap 1 but on lap 2, Lynn Hardy took command of the race. The yellow flew right away for a spinning Devin Burdette and on the restart, Hardy jumped back out in front. Eddy Cole moved into second but Eric Rhead was picking them off one at a time coming up through the field with Cole next on his list. Rhead made the move down low on Cole to move himself into the runner up spot and set sail after leader Hardy. After 5 laps of green flag racing, Rhead was able to make up that deficit on Hardy and was now on Hardy’s rear bumper. Rhead took a few laps to measure up Hardy and after some hard racing that resulted in a little contact between the two Redbone Trucking teammates, Rhead put his car to the outside of Hardy and vaulted himself into the lead. The red flag came out as Burdette started to spin and eventually found the frontstretch wall. The safety crew checked on Burdette and was able to drive away from the scene to the cheer of the crowd. The final restart saw Rhead check out again on the field and drive it all the way to the checkers. The birthday boy, Lynn Hardy finished second with Jason Quale making a great move on Cole on the final restart to bring it home in third.
During intermission, the fans were treated to a great R&A Trucking Big Wheelz race with Colton Rydalch taking the win. Colton in good sportsmanship gave the trophy and winner’s hat to fellow competitor to Emersynn Edens. A very nice gesture by the young man.
The always exciting Extreme Staffing Double Deckers entered the speedway for their race of the night. Everyone in this race drove safely with these tricky machines where you can’t communicate to your partner. In the end, the team of Zach Rydalch and Brayden Sweatfield kept their nose out of trouble and drove it to victory with a tire that was starting to fail which made it even trickier to drive.
The Quale’s Electronics Jr Stingers entered the track for their second main event of the night. Jr Flagger, Justyn Rodriguez flew the green flag and it was multi-time winner this year, Angel Newberry taking the early lead. Behind her, Kasen Powell moved by Kaethyn Gilligan for second and started to chase after leader Newberry. Newberry did a great job managing her lead but when she hit lapped traffic, Powell closed in. Powell did a power move to the outside of Newberry and a lapped machine in turns 3 and 4 near the wall and came out with the lead. Powell held his lead all the way to the checkers picking up his second main event win of the night. Jr Trophy Presenter, Calesta Edwards joined in on the victory lane celebration and handed the winner’s trophy to Powell.
The Denny’s Minis took the green flag for their second main event of the night and Manda Haye with Cecil Miles jumped out to spots one and two right away. Zaine Newberry made a great pass to the inside of Jon Quinton to move himself into third a few laps later. Quinton tried to get the spot back from Newberry as he put it back down on the inside of Newberry and at the same time both catching Miles for second. A three wide battle going into turn 3 ensued and Newberry landed himself in second place. Newberry kept pushing forward and in no time caught Haye for the lead. Newberry put it to the high side of Haye on the frontstretch and took the lead heading into turn 1. Newberry’s car was definitely on a rail in this race as he took the checkered flag for his first career minis win. The entire Newberry family joined Zaine in victory lane to celebrate this very popular win.
The exciting open wheelers of the Brennan’s Carpet Midgets took to the track next. Ashlynn Powell led the field at the green but as the field came around to complete lap 1, Devin Westover took over the top spot in almost a dead heat at the line with Powell. Chaz Groat followed Westover into the second spot and those two pulled away from the field. Groat wasn’t done as he made an inside move on Westover going into turn 1 and took over the lead. As soon as that happened, quick qualifier from earlier in the day, Natalie Waters started to close in on the top two. Waters first dealt with Westover for the second spot as she dove down low heading into turn one and cleared Westover for the runner up spot going into turn 3. It didn’t take long for Waters to hunt down Groat for the lead. She tried multiple times up high and low and as she found her opportunity coming off of turn 2 on the inside of Groat, Water’s car got extremely loose and almost spun down the backstretch. She did a great job of saving her car but lost a few spots as the field stayed green. This put Westover back into second place with Sid McElreath now occupying third. Waters started to play catch up by getting by McElreath for third and getting back by Westover for second. Her charge back up to the front of the field was too little too late as she ran out of laps to catch Groat for the lead. Groat drove it under the checkers to record his fourth win of the year.
The ICCU Modifieds returned to the track for their second main event of the night and it was outside front row starter, Matt Egley leading the way when the green flew. After struggling all year long with mechanical issues, it was good to see Egley running up front on this night. Eddy Cole and Eric Rhead moved into spots two and three right away and worked on leader Egley soon after that. Cole was able to get by Egley for the lead bringing Rhead up into second. Rhead wanted more as he made quick work of Cole for the lead but Cole didn’t let Rhead get too far. Behind them, Jason Quale got by Egley for third and kept the top two in his sights. A couple of laps later Mitch Pehrson put the move on Egley to advance himself into fourth. Up front, Rhead was able to inch away and build up a sizeable lead on Cole and take the checkers once again adding another win to his impressive total this year.
The final race of the night was the Valley Office Systems Hornet main event. The field took the green flag going the opposite way on the hornet track and Brayden Sweatfield was the leader on lap one after a great battle with Wally Pierson. Pierson slid up high and into the dirt allowing Shelby Dalton, Malaki Juarez, and Scott Gilligan to get by. The three of them started to close in on leader Sweatfield making it an exciting four car race for the lead. Gilligan’s car went dead on him as he coasted around the track and into the pit area ending his race. Sweatfield’s car ran off into the dirt taking out some tires in the process and that opened the door for Dalton and Juarez to move into the top two spots. Juarez stayed on Dalton’s rear bumper and as they took the white flag, Juarez poked his nose on the inside of Dalton in turns 3 and 4 of the 1/3-mile oval resulting in contact sending both out of shape. Great driving by the two drivers to regain control of their cars and Dalton hung on for the win in an exciting final lap.
We would also like to congratulate Phil Winn on winning the free Shari’s pie and to Alicia Bingham winning the selfie contest!! We take the weekend off this Saturday but will be right back at it again on Saturday, September 12th as it is K&T Steel Night! Super Late Models return to the 1/3-mile oval with the running of the Spud 100!! Also on the card will be the ICCU Modifieds, Project Filter Bombers, Quale’s Electronic Jr Stingers, and the Northwest Tour Truck Series!! Can you believe all of that in one night!! Gates open at 5pm, McDonald’s time trials at 5:15pm, Nascar racing at 6pm!! Come early as we expect a large crowd on this night!! Have a great Labor Day Weekend and we will see everyone on Saturday, September 12th at the valley’s biggest party location on a Saturday night……………..Magic Valley Speedway!!