by Chris Kail

Due to a terrible forecast on Sunday, the Memorial Day Classic / Salute to Fallen Heros / Spring 65 presented by McIntosh Oil Company was moved to Memorial Day Monday. It turned out to be a beautiful day, a good crowd, a great car count and an awesome evening of racing!! Eighty seven machines made the tow from 4 States and Canada, under sunny skies and 79 degrees at race time.

The first feature to pull on to the Speedway behind the Sarchione Ford of Waynesburg F-250 Pace truck, was the Outlaw Super Late Model’s for the Spring 65. The #44 of Aaron Prater and the #17 of Bob Schneider Jr started on the front row. Now, everyone knows that rather it’s right or wrong, I will give it to everyone straight. The first half of the race was very good, the second half….not so much. Prater was able to jump out to the early lead with Ryan Tedesco in the #701 following. The first caution flew on lap 2, when the fastest qualifier, Tony Urdiales in the #88, spun in turn two. On the restart, it took a lap, but Tedesco was able to take the top spot away from Prater. The race seemed to settle in nicely at this point. Tedesco started to build a little bit of a lead and guys were working their way through the field. Gary Whipkey in the #59 was able to take over third from Schneider. Cayden Lapcevich, all the way from Ontario Canada, was marching towards the front in his Bobby Blount owned #16. He took over 4th from Schneider in the outside lane a lap after Whipkey. On lap 5, Lapcevich got to the inside of Whipkey and it looked like he would take over that spot. But, “The Whip” had other ideas. He shot around the outside of Lapcevich and Prater, to move up into the second position behind Tedesco. Lapcevich was able to get around Prater a lap later and then he decided to try the outside of Whipkey. Coming to complete lap 10, Cayden was able to clear Gary off turn four to take second, albeit quite a few car lengths behind Tedesco. As Ryan encountered lapped traffic, Lapcevich threw out the line and started to reel him in. By lap 13, the #18 of Brandon Short, who won the last two features at Midvale, moved up to the 4th spot. The front four were now all nose to tail and in traffic. Lapcevich took several looks at Tedesco, but the Veteran was able to hold off the #16. On lap 17, Lapcevich got the run he needed. He dropped the “Sweet #16” to the inside of Tedesco, taking over the top spot. About the same time, Urdiales was able to climb his way back up to 6th. Lapcevich started to pull away when the second caution flew on lap 24 as Mack Gribble spun the #07 in turn two. On the restart, Tedesco hung right in there and actually led lap 25 by a couple inches. But after a two lap battle, Lapcevich took back control of the event. Short was able to get around Whipkey to move to 3rd on lap 28 and then the 3rd caution flew on lap 29 as the #69 of Bob “The Animal” Eichel spun in turn two. It turns out, the reason he spun, was that Whipkey had broken a rear end and grease was all over the 3/10 mile oval. That put us under a delay for cleanup and ended the night for Whipkey. The track crews put speedy dry down several times and they put traction compound down several times. They did all they could to get the track back in the best condition possible. The outside lane was still a little slick, so Officials made the decision for single file restarts to try to prevent what ended up happening anyways. Remember how I said I give it to you straight? Well….the rest of the event was trying on the drivers and the officials. There were several cautions for single car spins by guys at the back of the field over the next ten laps or so. During that time, Urdiales was able to get around Short on the inside on lap 32. Tedesco slipped in turn two on lap 40, allowing Urdiales to take over second. Short was able to make a tip toe, anxiety filled, three lap pass on the outside of Tedesco for third on lap 47. The next to last caution took out the #1 of Steve Black in turn four on lap 61 after contact with Jeff Taylor in the #39. A lap after the restart, Urdiales broke a rear end and all but stopped coming off turn four. Short had no where to go. Brandon ended up on top of Urdiales, ending both of their nights. The one constant through all the attrition and yellows, was how good Lapcevich and the #16 was. In his first visit to Midvale Speedway, Cayden Lapcevich would pull into Naak Tuning Victory Lane in the Spring 65. Following the Ontario Canada driver in the Bran Roofing, Allstar Performance, Ace Services and Lane Automotive sponsored #16 was Tedesco, Taylor, Urdiales and Short.

The Open Compact 25 was next to hit the Speedway with Gavin Roup in the #9 and Mike McDonald in the #16 bringing the 22 car field down for the initial start. McDonald ended up having some issues and the #0 of Justin Renicker got turned in turn four. Several cars ended up with damage in the chain reaction. Everyone was able to continue, but McDonald and Renicker would start at the tail. That would leave the #41 of Joe Oliver on the outside of Roup for the start. Oliver would rocket out to the lead with Mike Stuber in the #44 and Brandon France in the #38 following. Oliver was able to build up a nice lead in a short amount of time. France was able to get by Stuber for second on lap 3. Karl Phillips in the #23 and fastest qualifier Kyle Rector in the #22 were starting to make their way to the front. By lap 8, France was starting to reel in Oliver for the lead. On lap 11, France took a few peek’s to the inside but Oliver was able to fend off the challenges. Finally, on lap 12, France got by with a nifty inside pass. Rector meanwhile, was shooting up the running order, he was up to 3rd and Phillips to 4th. The first caution flew on lap 13 for debris in turn four. On the restart, France was able to clear Oliver into turn three. With Oliver in the 2nd lane, Rector slid through to second. The final caution flew for debris in turn one and four on lap 15, setting up a 10 lap dash for the cash. France and Rector would put on a whale of a show for the next 6 laps. Racing side by side, trading some paint and squeezing each other, albeit cleanly!! You can do those things without being dirty. Coming off turn four to complete lap 22, France cut down a right front tire, allowing the #22 to streak into the lead. Phillips, looking for his first career feature victory, moved to second and Kyle Lawson, substituting for Josh Peebles in the #78, was third. As the final laps wound down, Phillips tried to make a race of it, but Rector was just too strong. Completing the top 5 behind the New Philadelphia OH driver in the Keith’s Cars sponsored #22 was Phillips, Lawson, Stuber and Eddie McLean.

The big field of Open Modified’s were next out. Spencer Stineman in the #37 and Stephen Klinect in the #97 brought the field down to Chief Starter Terry Colletti’s green flag. The lead duo would stay side by side, trading the lead back and forth for the first four laps. Klinect was able to clear Stineman into turn one on lap 4. On lap 5, the #57 of Tyler Nuckles was able to get by 5-time Midvale Late Model Champion Bubba Smith in the #12 for the 3rd spot. All the machines sorted themselves out and into single file by the 1/4 mark of the event with Klinect starting to inch away from the field. The first caution came out on lap 16 as the #61 of Tyler Shullick spun in turn four. On the restart, Stineman would battle hard in the second lane for two circuits, but Klinect was able to clear the #37 into turn one on lap 18. A lap later, Nuckles was able to get by Stineman for second. Dave Dobbins in the #53 and Smith were both able to get by Stineman on lap 21. The car on the move through the middle portion was fastest qualifier Doug Meyer in the #31. He started 12th, with the invert and patiently picked off cars until he was in the top 5 by lap 29. The second and final caution came out on lap 30 as Norm Taylor in the #32 and Preston Walker in the #30 made contact in turn two. Both drivers were stopped on the back straightaway and asked if either wanted to admit fault. Neither chose to do that, so they were both sent to the tail. The final restart would have Nuckles on the outside of Klinect. Nuckles got a good restart and Klinect didnt. Nuckles had the advantage into turn one on the outside, but Klinect got in deep, the car stuck and he powered out of turn two to retake the lead for good. On lap 36, Meyer was able to power around Dobbins for the 3rd spot after a great battle between veterans of several Midvale feature wins. Klinect grew up watching races at Midvale and has competed in numerous races, but this was his first visit to Naak Tuning Victory Lane. Rounding out the top 5 behind the Burbank OH driver in the BMT Firearms, Ameri-Cal Corporation, C&L Shoes, Burkett/Nester Race Cars and Medina Mountain Motors sponsored #97 was Nuckles, Meyer, Dobbins and Kenny Phillips.

The final feature of the evening was the 30 lap Open Street Stock event with Jeremie Wiggins in the #6 and Josh Way in the #5 leading the field to green. Wiggins would jump out to the race lead and Way battled with Bear Schwartz in the #77 for second. Way was able to hang on to the position, drop in behind Wiggins and the duo was able to start pulling away. Dennis Wood in the #88 was up two spots to 5th by lap 3. The #2 of Joe Coursen was able to take 3rd away from Schwarts on lap 8 as Wood followed him through to fourth. Coursen and Wood were able to hook up and run down the lead duo by lap 12. The one and only caution flew on lap 13 as Cyler Bertram in the #55 and Schwartz got together in turn two. Wiggins and Way made several attempts at restarting the race, but each time there was an issue. They were warned several times on the radio, they were warned by the flagman and one of the pit stewards even stopped them on the back straightaway and told them to bring the field in at a good pace, stay away from each other and start the race in turn four. Both drivers continued to crowd each other and start the race on the back straightaway, so both cars were sent to the tail. That put Coursen and Wood on the front row for the restart. Coursen was able to clear Wood heading into turn three and it looked as though he was going to pick up his second Open Street Stock win at Midvale. But in sports, sometimes looksmare deceiving. Coursen broke something on the back straightaway and lost power on lap 17, allowing Wood to sail on by. Jeff Kuykendall in the #12 took over second but he didnt have anything for Wood. Way was able to work himself all the way back up to 4th from the back of the pack, just behind fastest qualifier Parker Ennes in the #07. A pair of Crate Engines took the top two podiums spots. Following the Barberton OH driver in the Nephews Painting, Canton Auto Salvage, Scott’s Automotive, Quality Lawn Care, Automotive Electric, Truline Asphalt and Patty’s Busy Bee’s sponsored #88 was Kuykendall, Ennes, Way and Lucas Ripley.

Thank you to EVERYONE that stuck out the cancellation on Sunday and came back on Monday!! We couldnt do what we do without each and every one of you!!

A HUGE THANK YOU to Dan Buckey!! He organized the fundraiser that we did for Micah Marie Busby and her family!! We raised over $1500….what an amazing racing family we have!! Please continue to keep her and all of the Busby family and especially Mandi Clendening Busby and Bart Busby in your thoughts and prayers. Please keep the other families that were involved in that tragic accident close to your hearts as well!! #MicahStrong

Also THANK YOU to Dale Francis of Francis Engineering, Matthew Michael Helms, Dennis Troyer, John Kahl, Tom Kahl, Red House Winery, DAS Service, Jackie’s Sports Bar and Grill, Arrow Performance, Hodges Cafe, Wiggins Construction, Hailey Parson, Don Peebles, Eddie McLean and Dan Buckey for adding to the Memorial Day Classic purses!!

We also want to send a BIG THANK YOU to Sarchione Ford Of Waynesburg for providing that gorgeous 2019 Ford F250 Super Duty Lariat as the Pace Truck!! They also tossed out some frisbee’s and stress balls to the crowd with members of 99.9FM WTUZ ZCountry!!

This Saturday Night June 1st at Midvale Speedway we will have all 5 regular Divisions in action with Club Loose II putting on another exhibition at intermission!!

Please come join us and support your local race track!!

-Story by Chris Kail

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Outlaw Super Late Model’s

Fast Time: Tony Urdiales 13.676

Spring 65: Cayden Lapcevich, Ryan Tedesco, Jeff Taylor, Tony Urdiales, Brandon Short, Steve Black, Albert Francis, Bob Eichel, Aaron Prater, Gary Whipkey, Mack Gribble, Cody Jaberg, Bob Schneider Jr, Jesse Adams, George Riddle, Dino Campolino.

Open Modified’s

Fast Time: Doug Meyer 14.472

Heat 1 (Top 2 Transfer): Brandon Bailey, Zack Miller, Doug Mate, Doug McMillen, Jerry Devore, James Townsend, Derek Grewell

Heat 2 (Top 2 Transfer): Tyler Shullick, Sam Bigham, Chris Hettinger, Bob Page, Greg Miller, Brady McLean, Wayne Mounts

Heat 3 (Top 2 Transfer): Scott Archer, John White, Bob Sibila Jr, Phillip Cox, Tim Gullatta, Shawn Lewis

Last Chance (Top 4 advance plus top 2 Midvale Crates in points not locked in): Sibila Jr, Hettinger, McMillen, Page, Gullatta, Cox (highest crate in Midvale points), Townsend, Mate, Miller, Devore, Grewell (2nd highest crate in Midvale points), Lewis, McLean, Mounts

Salute to Fallen Heros 40: Stephen Klinect, Tyler Nuckles, Doug Meyer, Dave Dobbins, Kenny Phillips, Bubba Smith, Spencer Stineman, Lucas Ripley, Nathan Embree, Zack Miller, Scott Archer, John White, Brandon Bailey, Tyler Shullick, Doug McMillen, Chris Hettinger, Phillip Cox, Preston Walker, Sam Bigham, Bob Page, Derek Grewell, Norm Taylor, Rick Elkins Jr, Bob Sibila Jr

Open Street Stock’s

Fast Time: Parker Ennes 15.599

Heat: Lucas Ripley, Cyler Bertram, Josh Caranci, Will Wiggins, Gabe Pringle, Josh Nyznik

30 Lap Feature: Dennis Wood, Jeff Kuykendall, Parker Ennes, Josh Way, Lucas Ripley, Cyler Bertram, Josh Caranci, Will Wiggins, Jeremie Wiggins, Bear Schwartz, Joe Coursen, Earl Goldy, Gabe Pringle, Josh Nyznik

Open Compact’s

Fast Time: Kyle Rector 17.169

Heat 1: Noah Patterson, Eric Johnson, Kevin Renicker, Kyle Gumbus, Mike Scott, Tyler Eichel, Jeremy Sallinger

Heat 2: Braden Swaney, Trevor Kohl, Will Scott, Blake Bitticker, Drew Romig, Don Rufener Jr, Clayton Oliver

25 Lap Feature: Kyle Rector, Karl Phillips, Kyle Lawson, Mike Stuber, Eddie McLean, Justin Renicker, Don Rufener III, Joe Oliver, Eric Johnson, Noah Patterson, Eugene Kopp, Braden Swaney, Will Scott, Gavin Roup, Blake Bitticker, Drew Romig, Tyler Eichel, Brandon France, Jeremy Sallinger, Trevor Kohl, Kyle Gumbus, Mike McDonald.