By Chris Kail

On a weekend where we honored our Veterans and the Laborers of our great country, we set aside an evening to bring back tradition to our 65 year old speedplant. We cant THANK our partners like Rolling Thunder Ohio Chapter 2, DLP Commercial Maintenance, 99.9 WTUZ, Scott’s Tree Service, TJ’s Gas N Go and Buckey Mowing enough for adding to the purse for the first Ohio Invitational since 1991. The pits were jammed with 99 machines from multiple states, the stands were packed with loyal and dedicated race fans and the weather was sunny and 86 degrees at race time.

The Ohio Invitational for the Outlaw Super Late Model’s had the #7 of Greg Forcht and the #17 of Bob Schneider Jr leading the field to Chief Starter Terry Colletti’s green flag to start the 65 lap event. Schneider would sweep around the outside to lead lap 1 as the #03 of Johnny Hughes moved up to second. On lap 2, Cody Jaberg was able to pass Forcht’s loose machine for third. The first caution flew on lap 3 as Emerson Huffman in the #90 tried to avoid Forcht, who checked up off turn two. Gage Jaberg in the #21 had no where to go and rode up over the top of Huffman, going airborne. The #69R of Jesse Adams was also involved. Adams bad luck continued after something broke in practice on his #1 machine, putting him into the wall. Bob Eichel put him in his second car for the event, but it ended early, with no place to go. All the drivers were ok. On the restart, Schneider raced out front as Jaberg took the second spot from Hughes. The second caution came on lap 4 as Tony Urdiales in the #88 and RJ White in the #83 got hooked together in turn one. Jaberg was able to take over the top spot from Schneider on the restart as Rich Rohrer put his familiar #7 in the outside lane, taking over second. Rohrer pressured Jaberg for a few laps and then made his move on lap 8 to the outside of the youngster. The two got together in turn three on lap 9, bringing out the 3rd caution. Jaberg’s night would be over and Rohrer was in a familiar spot at Midvale, up front. One of Midvale’s most decorated drivers, would lead as “Smokin” Bud Perry in the #10 moved into second. Perry would move to the outside of Rohrer on lap 14 and the duo would put on a great battle for the top spot. Rohrer was able to keep Perry at bay and clear the #10 prior to the next caution on lap 19. Perry would get a great restart and shoot out to the race lead. Perry would begin to stretch out his lead to over 3 seconds before the final caution flew on lap 33, for a spin by White in turn four. Rohrer would have another shot in the outside lane, but Perry showed his muscle, pulling back out front at the drop of the green flag. Perry would set sail over the final half of the race, leaving Rohrer and Nick Grodi in the #40, to battle for the runner-up spot. With a handful of laps left, Grodi would climb all over the back of Rohrer, but the former Ohio Invitational winner was able to fend off the challenge to bring the car home in second. Perry would build up a 7 second lead, adding his name to the greats that have captured the Ohio Invitational and the first since 1991. Completing the top 5 behind the Edgerton OH driver in the Boerger Electric, Keyhole Pizza, Seger Trucking, Logan Service, Meyer’s Garage & Drive Thru and Spida Software sponsored #10 was Rohrer, Grodi, Urdiales and Huffman. Huffman soldiered on in his damaged #90, to pick up the Z Country Hard Charger Award for his performance. Perry won the DLP Commercial Maintenance Top Qualifier Award. Adams got the bonus money from TJ’s Gas N Go as the last place finisher.

The 50 lap Open Modified feature started 24 machines after a field of 32 made the haul. A pair of former Open Mod winners at Midvale, the #82 of Bob Sibla Jr and the #31 of Doug Meyer, started on the front row. Sibla would race out front, but the field was slowed by a spin before a lap was completed. On the second attempt at the start, Sibla would lead lap 1 as Meyer continued to dig in the outside lane. Sibla was able to clear Meyer on lap 2. The first official caution flew for the #1 of Bryce Allensworth, who made contact with the back straightaway wall. Again, Sibla was able to prevail on the inside lane, clearing Meyer off turn four to complete lap 5. The car on the move was the #18 of Spencer Stineman. Stineman, picked up a CRS Truck Series win a few weeks ago at Midvale and he was wanting to make another visit to DLP Commercial Maintenance Victory Lane. Spencer was picking off cars in the outside lane after starting 8th, cracking the top 5. On lap 21, Meyer made his move to the outside of Sibla, taking the lead off turn two. Meanwhile, Stineman was to get by Dave Dobbins in the #53 for 4th and was working the outside of Tigh Shaffer in the #40 for 3rd. Several times, Shaffer was able to stall the momentum of Stineman. The #18 got a good run through turns one and two on lap 26, pulling all the way along side Shaffer. Shaffer, trying to stall the momentum of Stineman again, ran him out of room on the back straightaway. Spencer scraped along the outside wall and made heavy contact with the turn three concrete, bringing out the yellow. Stineman was ok. Meyer and Sibla would again, restart the event, side by side. Meyer was able to clear Sibla into turn three to maintain the top spot. Racing for the second position, Nathan Embree in the #10 and Sibla made some contact, stacking up the field. TJ Stineman in the #37 was able to take advange of the situation and shoot by them both on the inside to take second. Dobbins spun on lap 36 in turn two, bringing out the next to last caution period. Meyer now had TJ to his outside for the restart. Meyer was able to maintain the lead with TJ and Sibla close behind. The final yellow flag waved with eight circuits remaining as Matt Marlow in the #37 and Brad Copen in the #20 got together on the front stretch. After a lap of side by side racing, Meyer was able to clear TJ once again. Stineman would take several looks to the inside of Meyer, but wasnt able to get up far enough to move the #31 to the high lane. Meyer would hang on for the victory. Following the Canton OH driver in the All Parts Auto Care, McIntosh Oil Company, Burkett Nester Race Cars and Bob’s Auto Sales sponsored #31 was TJ, Embree, Kenny Phillips, and Sibla. Meyer would pick up the TJ’s Gas N Go lap leader bonus. Kenny Phillip’s would take home the Z Country Hard Charger Award and the DLP Commercial Maintenance Fast Time. Mike Stone brought home the Midvale Legal bonus after finishing a solid 10th.

Mark Lushes in the #21 and Mike Atwell in the #55 led the Open Street Stock’s to the line for the start of their 30 lapper. Lushes would race out front as the #25 of Josh Way moved into second. As Lushes and Way ran nose to tail on lap 3, the #22 of Dennis Wood and Atwell battled side by side for 3rd. On lap 5, Way was able to make his way around Lushes for the race lead. Way, Lushes and Wood would remain nose to tail until lap 11, when the caution flew. The #4 of Chris Hamilton got into the front straightaway wall, stacking up the field. Atwell got into Hamilton in turn one and spun him around in turn two. Way would clear Lushes on the restart as Wood filled the void in the bottom lane under Lushes. As the leaders raced into turn three, Lushes got into the back of Way, spinning the leader around in turn four. Lushes admitted fault and was sent to the tail. Way was able to clear Wood on the restart as Matt Wilson in the #98 and Jeff Kuykendall in the #12 battled side by side for third for several laps. On lap 19, Kuykendall was able to clear Wilson for third as Wood pressured Way for the lead. The yellow flag waved just past the halfway mark as Atwell broke a rear end off turn four. Way was able to keep the point with Wood still to his outside. Heading into turn one, Wood backed off slightly as Way moved up ever so slightly. Wood cut hard to the bottom and completed a beautiful crossover move for the race lead. After another caution on lap 25, the pivitol restart of the race had Way to the outside of Wood. As Wood and Way battled for the lead, Wilson cut his machine to the bottom and blew by them both into turn three to take over the lead. The final caution flew on lap 28, setting up a green-white-checkered finish. Wilson was able to clear Wood off of turn two and he wouldnt look back, taking another Open Street Stock win at Midvale. Completing the top 5 behind the Brecksville OH driver in the B&D Towing, Custom Color & Collision, Londrico’s Christmas Tree’s and JBI sponsored #98 was Wood, Way, Joe Quinn and Parker Ennes. Ennes was able to take home the Z Country Hard Charger Award and the DLP Commercial Maintenance Fast Time. Gabe Pringle took home the bonus money from Buckey Mowing for the top finishing Midvale Legal car. Kyle Grove took home the second Midvale Legal bonus from Buckey Mowing and Don Boron Sr took the TJ’s Gas N Go bonus for the third highest Midvale Legal machine.

The final feature of the evening was the best one of the night. The Open Compact’s lined up for their 40 lap, $1000 to win affair. Joe Oliver in the #41c and Justin Pope in the #41x led the field to green. Oliver raced out front as “The Handsome, Bad Fast Dude” Brent Shreffler in the #24 moved to second. Kyle Finlayson in the #15 and Brandon France in the #38, who are locked in a point battle for the Compact Title at Midvale, battled side by side for third. After a quick caution on lap 3, Oliver was again, able to race out front. Finlayson and Shreffler battled for second as France and Eric Feister in the #78 battled for 4th. The front 10 cars were in a big wad about a half straightaway in front of the rest of the field. On lap 11, Jason Shaw in the #07 made contact with the front straightaway wall and stopped in turn one, slowing the field. On the restart, Oliver was able to keep control of the lead as Feister split Shreffler and Finlayson to move to second. Feister would move to the outside of Oliver for the lead. The pair would race side by side for several laps. Oliver was able to stall both lanes to keep the field at bay behind him. Lap after lap, Oliver was able to “play both sides of the street” to perfection. Then on lap 26, he made a mistake trying to stall Feister in the high lane. That allowed Finlayson to get to the inside, to take over the top spot. As Oliver tried to battle back in turn two, he and Feister made some contact, cutting down his right rear tire. Coming off turn four, Oliver spun to the infield, bringing out the races final caution. The field would revert back to the last completed lap, putting Feister on the bottom and Finlayson on the top for the restart. Over the final 14 laps, Finlayson worked in the second groove and Feister in the lower lane. France, Bart Busby in the #31 and Don Rufener III in the #007 were mixing it up behind the front two, waiting for an opening. That opening never came as Finlayson and Feister put on a clinic on how to race side by side. Each driver gave the other plenty of room to race, while trying desperately to pick up the big purse. As the twin checkered flags waved, Finlayson was able to squeeze out the win by a 1/2 car length. Following the Bolivar OH driver in the Finlayson Towing, Finlayson Trucking, Outlaw Vinyls and Shutterbug Photography by Dana sponsored #15 was Feister, France, Rufener III and Dan Buckey. Don Rufener III took home the Z Country Hard Charger Award. Kyle Finlayson was the DLP Commercial Maintenance Top Qualifier. Joe Oliver took home the bonus from Scott’s Tree Service for leading the most laps. Lennie Orr won the B-main but elected to take the money and run instead of transferring to the A-main.

During pre-race ceremonies, Mark Malcuit, Bob Sibla and Brad Malcuit were officially Inducted into the Midvale Speedway Hall of Fame. They were unable to be there back in July, so they were honored Sunday night. Congratulations to all 3 of you and your families….you guys deserve it!!!

Again, we cant THANK our wonderful partners and sponsors enough for all that you do. We cant say THANK YOU enough to all the drivers and teams that put on the shows at their respective tracks, week in and week out. And the FANS…..sometimes I think we all wonder why you put up with us, but we would have no need to race, if it wasnt for each and every one of you….THANK YOU FANS!!

Also a special THANK YOU to the Indian Valley Karting Club and the Bandalero of Jesse Adam’s Jr for turning some exhibition laps.

This Saturday Night September 8th is Frontier Tool and Equipment / Vanmeter’s Auto Repair Night at “Thunder In The Valley”. All 5 regular divisions will be in action to put a wrap on the final two point night of the 2018 campaign. We hope to see you all here, supporting us once again!

-Story by Chris Kail

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Outlaw Super Late Model’s

DLP Commercial Maintenance Fast Time: Bud Perry 13.736

Ohio Invitational: Bud Perry, Rich Rohrer, Nick Grodi, Tony Urdiales, Emerson Huffman, Bob Eichel, Bob Schneider Jr, Greg Forcht, RJ White, Johnny Hughes, Cody Jaberg, Gage Jaberg, Jesse Adams

Z Country Hard Charger: Emerson Huffman

TJ’s Gas N Go Last Place Finisher: Jesse Adams

Open Modified’s

DLP Commercial Maintenance Fast Time: Kenny Phillips 14.658

Heat 1: Bob Sibla Jr, Tigh Shaffer, Dave Dobbins, TJ Stineman, Todd Ripley, Rick Elkins Jr, Preston Walker, Matt Marlowe

Heat 2: Doug Meyer, Lucas Ripley, Nathan Embree, Spencer Stineman, John White, Brandon Bailey, Kenny Phillips, Brad Copen

Consi (Top 8 transfer): Zack Miller, Bob Page, Bryce Allensworth, Dustin Warner, Mike Stone, Chad Lemmerman, Sam Bigham, Andy Shutts, Brady McLean, Greg Miller, Jeff Fade Jr, Wayne Mounts, Jason Wells, Tom Moran, Derek Grewell, Jamie Womack

50 Lap Feature: Meyer, TJ, Embree, Phillips, Sibla, Lucas, Lemmerman, Dobbins, Walker, Stone, Marlowe, Copen, Page, Shutts, Shaffer, Spencer, Todd, Elkins Jr, Miller, Warner, Bailey, White, Bigham, Allensworth

Z Country Hard Charger: Kenny Phillips

TJ’s Gas N Go Lap Leader: Doug Meyer

Midvale Legal Bonus: Mike Stone

Open Street Stock’s

DLP Commercial Maintenance Fast Time: Parker Ennes 15.753

Heat 1: Earl Goldy, Chris Hamilton, Buck Purtee, Joe Quinn, Matt Wilson, Parker Ennes, Justin Hamilton

Heat 2: Dennis Wood, Josh Way, Bob Sibla Jr, Jeff Kuykendall, Mike Atwell, Eddy Poderzay, Mark Lushes

Heat 3: Kyle Grove, Gabe Pringle, Don Boron Sr, Greg Barnard Jr, Colton Ritchey, Josh Caranci

30 Lap Feature: Wilson, Wood, Way, Quinn, Ennes, Sibla Jr, Kuykendall, Barnard, Lushes, Pringle, Grove, Caranci, Justin, Ritchey, Atwell, Boron Sr, Purtee, Justin, Bear Schwartz, Poderzay, Goldy

Z Country Hard Charger: Parker Ennes

Buckey Mowing Midvale Legal Bonus: Gabe Pringle, Kyle Grove.

TJ’s Gas N Go Midvale Legal Bonus: Don Boron Sr

Open Compact’s

DLP Commercial Maintenance Fast Time: Kyle Finlayson 17.368

Heat 1: Joe Oliver, Brent Shreffler, Brandon France, Britt Vanmeter, Eric Feister, Mike McDonald, Billy Hilliker, Ethan Pope, Zack Cogar, Nick Randolph

Heat 2: Justin Pope, Kyle Finlayson, Dan Buckey, Josh Peebles, Bart Busby, Don Rufener III, Eddie McLean, Karl Phillips, Don Rufener Jr, Jason Shaw

Heat 3: Melvin Martin, Lennie Orr, Tyler Eichel, Kyle Ramsey, Brendan Nealey, Brad Marrett

Heat 4: Rich Gregory, Rocky Nails, Jeff Smith Jr, Cody Lardamina, Hailey Combs, Jason Large

TJ’s Gas N Go B-main (Top 4 choice to advance or take pay): Orr, Martin, Marrett, Ramsey, Matthew Hagood, Nails, Eichel, Combs, Lardamina, Smith Jr, Nealey, Large

40 Lap A-main: Finlayson, Feister, France, Rufener III, Buckey, Busby, Peebles, Shreffler, Ethan, Hilliker, McLean, Phillips, Rufener Jr, Cogar, Marrett, Hagood, Oliver, Vanmeter, Shaw, Randolph, McDonald, Justin

Scott’s Tree Service Lap Leader: Joe Oliver

Z Country Hard Charger: Don Rufener III