By Chris Kail
Midvale Speedway out foxed Mother Nature this week, the rain came and left before practice and then about five minutes after the final checkered flag flew, the heaven’s opened for the rest of the night. Week #5 marked the return of the MSS Supermodified’s to the 3/10 mile oval and it was Alzheimer’s Association Awareness Night presented by The Quaker Digital Acadamy. There was 58 cars and trucks made the pull despite the iffy forecast. It was partly sunny and 80 at race time.
The rebranded and renamed MSS Supermodified’s made their return to Midvale Speedway for their opening event of the 2018 season, a 30 lapper. The #77 of AJ Lesiecki started on the pole with the #64 of Jim Paller starting along side. As the field barrelled out of turn four to Chief Starter Terry Colletti’s green flag, the #7 of Midvale Veteran and MSS rookie Preston Walker got airborne after making contact with Talon Stephens in the #30. Walker’s car came down and contacted the outside retaining wall, ending his debut before it ever got started. On the complete restart, Paller was able to lead lap 1 by inches. He was able to clear AJ via the second lane off turn two. Paller would begin to rip off some fast laps and started to distance himself from the field. The brothers Stephens battled for the 3rd spot, with Talon in the #30 holding it and the track record holder Trent in the #19, wanting it. Paller continued to stretch out his lead as the Stephens duo battled AJ for second. At the 1/3 mark, Trent was able to complete the pass of his brother to move to 3rd and then, he was able to dispose of AJ on lap 13 for second. That was the good news for Trent, the bad was that he was a full straightaway behind Paller. On lap 20, Trent got exactly what he needed, a caution. His brother Talon spun in turn two and was done for the night. On the restart, Trent was able to make a beautiful pass on Paller in turn one and set sail off turn two and enroute for a party in his honor, in DLP Commercial Maintenance Victory Lane. Completing the top 5 behind the Tallmadge OH driver in the Kasper Auto Group, Domino’s Pizza, Adkins Glass, Coyote Wings, Schaeffer’s Racing Oil and Level Performance Race Engines sponsored #19 was Paller, Lesiecki, fastest qualifier “Hollywood” Mike McVetta and Danny Shirey.
The first feature to hit the Speedway was the Mad Bro’s Games & Hobbies Mini Truck’s for their 12 lap event. The #14 of Scott Lindell and the # 2T of Barney Gerber started on the front row. After the green flag flew, Lindell dropped back as Michael Varnes in the #95 moved up quickly to battle with Gerber for the top spot. Gerber was able to take control and inch away. Varnes was locked in a three way battle for second with Colt Locker in the #118 and Rich Schweitzer in the #84. As Gerber continued to lead, Locker and Varnes were able to get away from Schweitzer. Locker made the inside pass on Varnes for second on lap 7 as Varnes tried to pull the crossover, to no avail. Locker had 4 laps to make up a half straightaway on Gerber. It took him a little over two. Gerber protected the bottom to force Locker to go the long way around. The lead duo were side by side over the final lap and Locker was able to pick up the win, in his first night out this season, by about 2 feet. Following the Somerdale OH driver in the My Water Doctor, Townhouse Drive Thru & Grocery, Dover Hydraulics, RV Parts Express, GM Electric, Drunken Uncle Bar & Grill, Black Diamond Earth Works and Team BBD sponsored #118 was Gerber, Varnes, Schweitzer, and Lindell.
The South Philly Pizza Compacts followed the Super Mod’s with their 20 lap feature. Rob Scott in the #30 and Josh Beall in the #86 brought the field down for the start. Scott took the lead as Beall, Mike McDonald in the #16 and Justin Renicker in the #175 battled three wide behind him. Renicker was able to take the second spot as Josh Peebles in the #78P took the other two, three wide for 3rd. The first caution flew on lap 2 for a spin by Laney Striejewske in the #17. Scott and Beall led the field down for the restart as Renicker immediately went to the 3rd lane as Beall dropped back. Scott drove Renicker way up the race track off turn four and both drivers dropped back because of it. That allowed Clayton Oliver in the #19 to take over the race lead after getting by McDonald on the outside. Caution #2 came out on lap 6 as Billy Hilliker stopped in turn two. After the restart, Oliver took control of the top spot as Bart Busby in the #31 jumped to the outside of McDonald for second. Busby was able to take the position as Lucas Ripley in the #57 also tried to get by McDonald. Ripley and McDonald got together off turn four, ending both their evenings. That set up Oliver and Busby on the front row. Both were battling hard as Kyle Finlayson in the #15 showed up to make it a three way battle at the mid-way point. On lap 13, Toby Cook in the #41 got loose in turn four and went way up the track. As he tried to come back to the bottom, he cut across the nose of Hilliker, spinning him through the infield, bringing out yet another yellow. After a good one lap battle after the restart, Oliver and Busby made contact in turn one, with Busby backing his machine into the concrete barrier. The replay was inconclusive so both driver’s were asked to see if one would admit fault. The rule is, if neither driver admits fault, they both go to the tail. Busby was finished for the night and both disagreed about the incident, so Oliver was sent to the tail. Under the caution, one of the crew members of the #19 got into an altercation with track officials and a Midvale Police Officer in the pits, so the #19 was black flagged, unfortunately, for something that he didnt have control over. That put Finlayson on the front row with Peebles for the final restart. Finlayson was able to power out front and drive away to take the victory. Rounding out the top 5 behind the Bolivar OH driver in the Finlayson Towing, Finlayson Trucking, Outlaw Vinyls and Shutterbug Photography sponsored #15 was Peebles, Jason Rohrer, Hilliker and Allen Clark.
Young and “Experienced” started up front as Tim Ice in the #65 and Gage Jaberg in the #21 brought The McIntosh Oil Company Late Model’s to the line for their 30 lap feature. Ice took the slight advantage over the second year Late Model driver, but Jaberg battled hard in the second lane. Ice would lead the opening circuit and as the duo came off turn two, they made some contact and Jaberg was forced to drop back. That allowed Bryant Smith in the #1 to get by for second and a lap later, his cousin Cody in the #22 put Gage back to 4th. Ryan Tedesco in the #701 was able to get around Gage on lap 5 as Ice continued to pace the field. Bryant was almost shark like, he was lurking, looking for a way around. After Ice closed the door a few times, Tedesco shot to the outside and all the way around Cody and to the outside of Bryant. Smith knew at that point, it was time to go because Tedesco was there and his brother Bubba in the #12 was coming. On lap 9, Bryant was able to take the top spot on the outside and he brought Tedesco with him to second. Bryant and Tedesco were nose to tail and Ice and Bubba were nose to tail about 5 car lengths back. It was another five car lengths back to Cody and Tom Stankiewicz in the #42 as they battled for 5th on lap 12. On lap 13, Tedesco put his machine to the outside of the #1. Bryant was able to fend off the challenge as Tedesco searched and searched for a way around. The only caution flew on lap 16 as Cody and Bob Schneider Jr got together in turn one. Cody had a flat tire, ending his night and Schneider was sent to the tail because both had different views about what transpired. That put Tedesco to the outside of the younger Smith for the restart. Bryant absolutely nailed the restart and was able to quickly clear Tedesco. Bubba was able to sweep through to grab second and looked to the outside of his brother. The top four would lock in a back and forth, side by side, thrilling battle over the final 10 circuits. It may have been the best 10 laps of Late Model racing we have witnessed in a long time, anywhere. Second, third and fourth positions changed each and every corner, sometimes multiple times. But the one thing that remained constant, was that Bryant was able to keep his machine out in front. They all took shots high and low, but the gold and black #1 held on to take the win. Stankiewicz was able to take second from Tedesco thanks to lapped traffic. Following the Canton OH driver in the Canton Auto Salvage, Smith’s Auto Sales, Freedom Auto Finance and Finish Line Designs sponsored #1 was Stankiewicz, Tedesco, Bubba and Schneider Jr.
The final feature of the evening was the 20 lapper for the Buckey Mowing Street Stock’s. Shawn Marder in the #25 and Colton Ritchey in the #21 started on the front row as we tried to beat the incoming weather. The fans were made aware of the incoming storm for safety reasons, but most stuck around to see what was going to take place in one of the most competitive divisions. Marder led lap 1 as Ritchey dropped in behind. On lap 2, the caution waved as Marder ran both laps under his qualifying time, sending him to the tail. Just as the caution was coming out, Bob Passwaters Sr in the #75 put down some liquid in the second groove in turn one, ending his night. Ritchey made the most of his opportunity on the restart and was able to pull out in front of Gary Hoopingarner in the #68. Fastest qualifier Kyle Grove in the #3 was on the move from the 7th starting position and now was to the inside of Hoopingarner for second. Grove is the type of driver, that if he sees a slight crack, he is going to fill it. Ritchey left the door cracked in turn three on lap 4 and Grove kicked it wide open, muscling his way to the point. On lap 6, Josh Moss in the #77 got loose in some of the residual stuff in turn one and spun in turn two. The #77B of Justin Renicker had no where to go and made hard contact with Moss. Both drivers were ok, but both cars were done for the night, leaving a liquid mess in turn two. After a thorough but speedy cleanup as the weather continued to approach, it was determined to restart the race single file, as we did a few weeks ago in the Late Model division, due to track conditions. Grove would lead Hoopingarner, Ritchey and Gabe Pringle in the #7 for the restart. Pringle dropped to the bottom of Ritchey on lap 11 to take over 3rd. After a couple quick cautions for a couple guys having a disagreement at the tail of the field, nobody was able to touch Grove up front. Following the Uhrichsville OH driver in the El Pueblito Mexican Cuisine, Mission Nutrition, CNAC Financing, Red Dog Saloon, S&K Auto Detailing & Audio and Affordable Towing sponsored #3 was Hoopingarner, Pringle, Marder and Kenny Feister Jr. Shortly after the checkered flag, the monsoon hit!!
We cant THANK everyone from MSS Series enough for coming back to Midvale.
We also want to THANK the Alzheimer’s Association Awareness representatives that were on hand, spreading the word about this terrible disease. Through a 50/50 raffle, we were able to help raise almost $600 to help families and research!!
Thank you to the Drivers, Teams, Officials and FANS for getting one up on Mother Nature!!
Next Saturday June 16th, Buckey Mowing presents the first visit by The Midwest Touring Compacts along with Late Model’s, Modified’s, Street Stock’s and Mini Trucks plus Spectator Drags at intermission.
**Our Compact Driver’s are encouraged to come and race with the Midwest Touring Series!! Contact the Series if you have any questions!!**
Fast Time: Mike McVetta 12.188
Heat 1: Jim Paller, Preston Walker, Mike McVetta, Danny Shirey, Rich Reid
Heat 2: Talon Stephens, Trent Stephens, AJ Lesiecki, Jonathon Lesiecki, Matt Palmer, Mark Miller – DNS
Feature: Trent, Paller, AJ, McVetta, Shirey, Jonathon, Talon, Reid, Palmer, Walker, Miller – DNS
McIntosh Oil Company Late Model’s
Fast Time: Tom Stankiewicz 13.831
Heat 1: Bob Schneider Jr, Ryan Tedesco, Tom Stankiewicz, Bubba Smith, Cody Jaberg
Heat 2: Bryant Smith, Tim Ice, Gage Jaberg, Bob Eichel, Larry Baker
Feature: Bryant, Stankiewicz, Tedesco, Bubba, Schneider Jr, Ice, Baker, Gage, Eichel, Cody, Brock Burcher
Buckey Mowing Street Stock’s
Fast Time: Kyle Grove 15.832
Heat 1: Kyle Grove, Gabe Pringle, Josh Moss, Gary Hoopingarner, Bob Passwaters Sr
Heat 2: Colton Ritchey, Kenny Feister Jr, Justin Renicker, Shawn Marder
Feature: Grove, Hoopingarner, Pringle, Marder, Feister Jr, Ritchey, Reniker, Moss, Keith Anderson, Passwaters Sr
Mad Bro’s. Games & Hobbies Mini Truck’s
Fast Time: Colt Locker 16.292
Heat: Barney Gerber, Colt Locker, Michael Varnes, Scott Lindell, Rich Schweitzer
Feature: Locker, Gerber, Varnes, Schweitzer, Lindell
South Philly Pizza Compact’s
Fast Time: Noah Patterson 17.433
Heat 1: Justin Renicker, Clayton Oliver, Bart Busby, Josh Peebles, Kyle Finlayson, Noah Patterson, Brandon France
Heat 2: Billy Hilliker, Lucas Ripley, Jason Rohrer, Rob Scott, Josh Beall, Mike McDonald, Laney Striejewske
Heat 3: Allen Clark, John Schreck, Andrea Brokaw, Tyler Eichel, Toby Cook
Feature: Finlayson, Peebles, Rohrer, Hilliker, Clark, Scott, Cook, Striejewske, John Foster, Brokaw, Eichel, Busby, Oliver, Patterson, McDonald, Ripley, Reniker, Beall, France