By Chris Kail
Week #6 had the Midwest Touring Compact’s making their first visit to “Thunder In The Valley”, presented by Buckey Mowing. We had to battle through a rain shower and then a monsoon, but the Driver’s, Team’s, Official’s and Fan’s won in the end. Those that stuck it out were treated to a good night of racing. There were 68 cars and trucks that made the haul from four different States and it was mostly sunny and 84 at race time.
The first feature of the evening was the 30 lap Midwest Touring Compact A-Main. The #09 of Wes Ennis started on the pole with the #68 of Kyle Finlayson alongside. Finlayson was able to lead lap 1 by mere inches. Ennis would get through turns one and two a little better than the #68 and was able to clear him off turn two. Ennis would continue to pull away from Finlayson over the course of the first 1/3 of the event. Ennis looked strong being back in friendly confines. On lap 9, Don Rufener III in the #007 was able to get around Finlayson for second, bringing Jake “Turtle” Albright in the #10 with him. Don Rufener Jr in the #47 was able to take over the 4th spot on lap 11. The entire top 5 was occupied by the “Hometown Boys”. As Ennis approached lapped traffic on lap 12, he had built up a nice 12 car length lead. That 12 car lengths turned into 0 as the first caution flew on lap 13. “Turtle”, who has been plagued by engine problems all season long, got struck again. It appeared that the #10 lost a motor, putting down a bunch of fluid in turn one. As the track crews raced to clean up “Turtle’s” droppings, weather was looming. We had hoped that the potential for a thunder cell would skirt past us, but that wasnt going to be the case. DRIII would start along side Ennis as we went back to green. Ennis was able to maintain the top spot off turn two, after a good restart. Rufener Jr, who was now running 3rd, lost a right front wheel in turn two, bringing out another caution at the halfway point. Just as the machines got slowed up, the sky’s opened. The field was sent pit side and their crews were instructed that they could cover the cars but were not allowed to work on them. The race was official if track personnel thought we were going to be unable to continue. After about 20 min, the rain had stopped and the skies cleared. Track Official’s made the decision to attempt to dry the racing surface. Fans erupted in cheer and then ran out to get their cars and help. After about a 2 hour delay, we were ready to go back racing, despite the Ennis family’s rain dance. For the restart, it was Ennis and DRIII in row one. Row two was the #12 of David Milbrand and the #16 of fastest qualifier Adam Kryzykowski and in row three was the #66 of the youngster Jacob Gustafson and Finlayson. As the green flag dropped, Milbrand tried a three wide move that wasnt successfull for him, but was for Rufener. Milbrand stalled the momentum of Ennis, putting DRIII on the point as Ennis dropped back to 4th. At the 2/3 mark, Gustafson was able to take over the second spot behind Rufener. Milbrand and Kryzykowski rounding out the top 4 that was all nose to tail. With 7 laps to go, Kryzykowski made his move. He swung his Blue Ford Escort into the outside lane. It took him 3 laps, but he was able to dispose of Milbrand and Gustafson to take over the race lead. Kryzykowski would stamp his name in Midvale Speedway history, as the first Midwest Touring Compact Feature Winner in the 65 year history of the Speedway. Following the Yale MI driver in the Adam’s Auto, Al-Rul sponsored #16 was DRIII, Ennis, Milbrand and Gustafson. Bart Busby in the #31 picked up the bonus for the highest finishing Midvale Compact, in 9th. The farthest traveling car received a $50 gas card and the top 10 all received $25 gas cards from Buckey Mowing.
In the 10 lap B-Main for the Midwest Touring Compact’s, Brendan Nealey in the #29 and the #92 of John Foster brought the field in for green. Jason Shaw in the #407 tried to thread the needle up the middle, but that door closed quickly. Nealey would spin in turn one, but was able to keep going. The #0 of Mike Stuber grabbed the race lead. On lap 2, Shaw put his machine in the outside lane. Stuber put up a good battle, but Shaw finally prevailed on lap 4. Larry Ennis Jr, driving the #4E was able to get around Stuber on lap 7 until Stuber took it back on the final circuit. But it was all behind Shaw, who is undefeated in 2018 when he shows up to Midvale. Completing the top 5 behind the Canton OH driver in the Rufener Racing and Animal Racing sponsored #407 was Stuber, Ennis Jr, Andrea Brokaw and Foster.
The Mad Bro’s Games & Hobbies Mini Truck Feature has been the same all season long…..GOOD….despite the low truck count! Scott Lindell in the #14 and Barney Gerber in the #2T started on the front row. Gerber shot out like a cannon from the outside lane and into the lead with “Mr Smooth” Rich Schweitzer and Lindell close behind. On lap 2, fastest qualifier Colt Locker in the #118 was able to take over the 3rd spot from Lindell. The first caution flew for Lindell, as he spun in turn four on lap 4. After the restart, Gerber was able to hang on to the lead in the low groove as Schweitzer and Locker were locked into a battle for 3rd. The final caution flew at the halfway mark as Tim Scott in the #4 spun in turn two. Locker led Gerber by a nose after the restart, but Gerber was driving determined in the inside lane. Locker and Schweitzer took several shots and Gerber deflected them all. Barney went to work on this truck and himself a few weeks ago and ever since, he has been the truck to beat. Following the Dover OH driver in the RV Parts Express, Swiss Auto Mart, Pied Piper Muffler & Brake, Bud & Tooties, Club McKay and Badstone Band sponsored #2T was Locker, Schweitzer, Lindell and Roger Baucher.
The McIntosh Oil Company 30 lap Late Model Feature had Bob Schneider Jr in the #17 and Ryan Tedesco in the #701 bringing the field to Chief Starter Terry Colletti’s green flag. Tedesco jumped out to the lead, but as the field was completing the opening lap, Don Rufener III in the #69 made hard contact with the front straightaway wall. DRIII was ok, but Grandpa’s car is going to need a new front half. He hit hard enough, that a piece of the sheet metal had to be cut from the wall. On the complete restart, Tedesco again, jumped out to the lead. On lap 2, the #1 of Bryant Smith was able to get around Schneider. Smith brought Tom Stankiewicz in the #42 and his brother, fastest qualifier Bubba Smith in the #12, with him. On lap 4, Bubba put his machine to the high side of Stankiewicz as Tedesco had about a second and a half lead. Bryant started to chip away at the leaders advantage and Stankiewicz continued to stay alongside Bubba. At the halfway point, Tedesco’s lead was a half second and Bubba finally got around Stankiewicz for 3rd. The #33 of Albert Francis was able to follow Bubba up to the 4th position. As the field got the “10 to go” signal, Tedesco’s lead had evaporated and Bubba was charging hard in third. The next 8 laps were back and forth between the top 3. Tedesco and the Brother’s Smith were putting on a great show with close, clean and exciting racing. Coming to complete lap 28, Tedesco slipped off turn four. That allowed Bubba to lead at the line by about a half of a car length. As the duo came off of turn two, Bubba got loose on the high side and slid down into Tedesco. The #701 went pirouetting through the wet, muddy infield and back up onto the track in turn three. How Bryant didnt T-bone Tedesco, is beyond me. The two spun around and neither hit a thing, great driving and a lot of luck by both guys. Tedesco and Bubba were both asked about the incident and Bubba admitted fault, giving Tedesco back the race lead. Another great show of sportsmanship by Bubba, to admit fault. Bryant would start alongside for the Green-White-Checkered finish. Bryant got a nice run in the outside lane through turn one, but Tedesco battled back to nose back out in front off turn two. Bryant seemed to slip in about the same fashion his brother did, he may have even touched the outside wall. The difference was, Tedesco was in front of Bryant. When Bryant came off the wall, he made slight contact with Tedesco, but both were able to continue. Bryant’s momentum was gone and Tedesco chalked up another victory. Rounding out the top 5 behind the New Philadelphia OH driver in the Sugar Valley Meats, DLP Commercial Maintenance, Walnut Creek Glass, Van Meter’s Auto Repair, McIntosh Oil, Lee’s Famous Recipe, South Philly Pizza and RV Parts Express sponsored #701 was Bryant, Stankiewicz, Francis and Bubba.
Derek Grewell in the #9 and Mark Willison Jr in the #98 led the Summit Racing Economy Modified 25 lap feature to the stripe. After a couple of failed attempts, the third time was the charm as Willison took the top spot into turn one. The #7 of Corey Beatty and the #3 of Jeff Dunfee II followed Willison to complete the top 3. On lap 3, Dunfee made the move to get around Beatty, bringing the #00 of Todd Ripley with him. On lap 4, the #38 of Kevin McClintock worked his way up to 4th from the 10th starting position. The first caution came out on lap 5 as Grewell spun off turn four to the infield. On the restart, Dunfee III was in the high lane and tried to close the door on Willison heading into turn three. Willison was having none of it and nudged Dunfee III back upstairs, taking back the top spot. Ripley was able to sneak his nose to the inside of Dunfee III and those two waged a 5 lap, side by side fight for second. Ripley was finally able to clear the #3 on lap 11. McClintock and the #12 of Mack Gribble were able to work their way around Dunfee as well. The #331 of Mike Stone and Grewell made contact in turn four, bringing out the caution on lap 14. On the restart, McClintock and Gribble made a little contact off turn two and the #38 dropped from 3rd to 6th, but would quickly recover. The final caution flew on lap 16 as Dunfee III had a flat tire and stopped in turn four. Ripley nailed the final restart and was able to take over the top spot via the outside lane. McClintock was able to follow Ripley a lap later and tried to dive to the inside of Ripley entering turn three, but wisely backed out. Gribble was able to get around Willison and close up on McClintock and over the final 4 laps, the top three finished nose to tail. Ripley would pick up win #2 of the season. Following the Uhrichsville OH driver in the LTR Industries, Ridgeco Pallet, D&B Machine and TVU Graphics sponsored #00 was McClintock, Gribble, Lucas Ripley and Willison.
The final feature of the night was for the 20 lap Buckey Mowing Street Stock’s. The #13 of Kenny Feister Jr and the #40 of Keith Anderson started on the front row. Feister Jr raced out to the early lead as Waylon Orr in the #28 moved to second. On lap two, Anderson spun, bringing out the caution. Feister got a good restart as Orr fell back into the clutches of Shawn Marder in the #25. On lap 4, Marder cleared Orr to take over 2nd. On lap 6, a chain reaction caused Orr to lock up and spin, bringing out another caution and collecting Kyle Grove in the #3 and a few others. On the restart, Marder doored Feister down to the grass before the two even reached the start/finish line. Through turns one and two, the lead duo made more contact as Feister would lead into turn three. Coming off turn four, Marder hammered the #13 again, driving him to the infield. Marder was black flagged for rough driving and Feister was given his spot back. Gabe Pringle in the #7 had avoided the carnage and got to the front the quickest out of the top 5 qualifiers, he started 10th. It took a lap after the green flag flew, but Pringle was able to clear Feister Jr and take over the point. Ryan Tedesco, subbing for Gary Hoopingarner in the #68, was able to take over second on lap 11. On lap 12, Anderson brought out the final caution as he spun off turn four to the infield. That is not what Pringle needed. That put one of the best in the business to his outside. Sometimes in life, someone comes along that makes you say “wow”. Tedesco lives up to the famous quote of the late, great Dale Earnhardt. “The winner aint the one with the fastest car. It’s the one who refuses to lose”. Tedesco got a great restart and outlasted his good buddy Gabe to the finish, to take his second win of the night in two totally different cars. Completing the top 5 behind the New Philadelphia OH driver in the Express Service, Express Tire and Brake, SWR Racing, Arch-A-Motive, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Tantarelli Cycle, Rickscorvettecafe.com, Dewitts Kustom Painting, Prefection Painting & Decorating and John and Pat Metcalf Sr sponsored #68 was Pringle, Grove, Feister Jr and Larry Smith. Tedesco sent out get well wishes to his buddy “Little Hands” Chad Wise in DLP Commercial Maintenance Victory Lane.
Midvale Speedway cant THANK the Midwest Touring Compact’s and all their driver’s, team’s and official’s enough, for putting on a great show in their first visit. We would also like to send a SPECIAL THANK YOU to Buckey Mowing, the presenting sponsor who added to the purse as well. We also THANK Garret’s and Sons Construction, Vortex Vinyl, Extreme Tree Care, Larry Ennis Hauling, Personalized Care Provider’s, Brent Shreffler, Damsel in Defense by Alicia Allison, Peebles Racing, Tom Kahl and DLP Commercial Maintenance for being contingency sponsors for the event!!!
Coming up this Saturday Night June 23 is Autograph and Local Hero’s Night presented by Finlayson Towing. ALL U.S. Armed Forces Veterans, Police Officer’s, Firefighters and EMS workers get 1/2 off grandstand admission with proof of service. We will have some static displays in the parking lot from 4-6. PLEASE make sure you bring your proof of service and Kid’s, bring your Sharpies, a note pad and a bag because the driver’s always bring goodies!!!
Midwest Touring Compact’s
Fast Time: Adam Kryzykowski 16.740
Heat 1: Jake Albright, Kyle Finlayson, Brian Sprague, Don Rufener Jr, David Milbrand, Adam Kryzykowski, Don Rufener III
Heat 2: Wes Ennis, Jacob Gustafson, Brandon France, Bart Busby, Josh Beall, Dan Buckey, Karl Phillips, Korey Herron
Heat 3: Jason Shaw, Tim Frederick, Mike Stuber, Andrea Brokaw, Ed Sedlacek, Larry Ennis Jr, John Foster, Brendan Nealey
A-Main: Kryzykowski, Rufener III, Wes, Milbrand, Gustafson, Rufener Jr, Sprague, Finlayson, Busby, Buckey, Frederick, France, Herron, Phillips, Albright, Beall. DNS – Kelly Lillie
B-Main: Shaw, Stuber, Ennis Jr, Brokaw, Foster, Nealey. DNS – Sedlacek, Paul Koffler
McIntosh Oil Company Late Model’s
Fast Time: Bubba Smith 13.788
Heat 1: Ryan Tedesco, Bryant Smith, Tom Stankiewicz, Albert Francis, Bubba Smith
Heat 2: Bob Schneider Jr, Don Rufener III, John Sandquist Sr, Brock Burcher
Feature: Tedesco, Bryant, Stankiewicz, Francis, Bubba, Schneider Jr, Sandquist, Burcher, Rufener III
Summit Racing Economy Modified’s
Fast Time: Lucas Ripley 14.737
Heat 1: Lee McCreery, Todd Ripley, Kevin McClintock, Jeff Dunfee III, Brandon Bailey, Lucas Ripley Mack Gribble
Heat 2: Mark Willison Jr, Phillip Cox, Derek Grewell, Mike Stone, Dan Harding, Bill Shimko
Feature: Todd, McClintock, Gribble, Lucas, Willison, Cox, Bailey, Shimko, Harding, Dunfee III, Grewell, Stone, McCreery, Beatty
Buckey Mowing Street Stock’s
Fast Time: Kyle Grove 15.802
Heat 1: Shawn Marder, Ryan Tedesco, Kyle Grove, Gabe Pringle, Kyle Rector, Larry Smith
Heat 2: Waylon Orr, Kenny Feister Jr, Keith Anderson, Bob Passwaters Jr, Colton Ritchey, Josh Moss, Bob Passwaters Sr
Feature: Tedesco, Pringle, Grove, Feister Jr, Smith, Rector, Moss, Ritchey, Anderson, Orr, Marder, Passwaters Jr, Passwaters Sr
Mad Bro’s Games & Hobbies Mini Truck’s
Fast Time: Colt Locker 16.337
Heat: Barney Gerber, Colt Locker, Rich Schweitzer, Tim Scott, Scott Lindell, Roger Baucher
Feature: Gerber, Locker, Schweitzer, Lindell, Baucher, Scott