by Chris Kail

We finally had a picture perfect Saturday night from Mother Nature. We honored our Local Hero’s and fans of all ages had fun with Autograph Night!! It was all brought to you by Finlayson Towing in Bolivar. Despite some water seeping issues in turns three and four all day, the track crew worked diligently and can be credited for making the track pretty darn racy for the features!! There were 72 cars and trucks pit side and it was 75 degrees and sunny at race time.

The first feature to pull on to the 3/10 mile oval was the second Finlayson Towing Compact Feature for their 15 lapper. Dan Sharpless in the #39 and Laney Striejewske in the #17 led the field down for the start. Laney got a good run off of turn two and was clear of Sharpless into turn three. Laney would lead the opening curcuits as Toby Cook in the #41, was on the fly from his 6th starting position. By lap 3, Cook had taken second and was working the outside of Laney. Striejewske battled hard for a lap and a half, but Cook was too strong. He would take the lead on lap 5 and started to quickly pull away from the field. Laney would be locked in a second place battle with Gavin Roup in the #9 and Ryan Alm in the #6. Alm would end up taking the runner up spot on lap 8 and Roup would take 3rd on lap 9. Alm would start to reel in the #41, but he would run out of time. Cook would pay yet another visit to Naak Tuning Victory Lane in 2019. Following the Canton OH driver in the East of Chicago Pizza of Perry Heights, Ohio Heating & Cooling and Canton Auto Salvage sponsored #41 was Alm, Roup, Jimbo Roup and Striejewske.

Eddie McLean in the #443 and Mike Stuber in the #44 brought the fast Finlayson Towing Compact Feature to the stripe. McLean was able to clear Stuber off turn two and into the lead as the #44 and Justin Renicker in the #0 followed. McLean was looking pretty sporty out front. He has won in the Mini Trucks, but hasnt been able to visit Victory Circle in the Compacts. Don Rufener III in the #07 was on the move, making some impressive inside passes. DRIII took over 5th from Brandon France in the #38 on lap 3. It took him a few laps to get around points leader Jeffrey Orr in the #8, but he finally made it work on lap 7. He was able to snag third from Renicker on lap 9, as Stuber continued In the tire tracks of McLean out front. The only caution flew on lap 10 as the #75 of Kevin Renicker and the #0 of Justin Renicker had a family get together in turn two. For the restart, it was McLean on the inside and Stuber on the outside. Stuber battled hard but McLean was just a little bit better on this night. Off of turn four, McLean was able to clear the #44. Stuber would fall into the clutches of DRIII. III was able to take over the second spot on the final lap bringing Brent Shreffler in the #24 along with him. McLean was able to hang on and lead wire to wire to take home his first win of the season. Rounding out the top 5 behind the Carrollton OH driver in the Columbiana Auto Parts, JOMAC Truck Body’s, Peebles Racing, Jason Shaw @ O’Reilly Auto Parts and Keith and Robin Brady sponsored #443 was DRIII, Shreffler, Stuber and Justin. Shreffler was disqualified in post race tech, moving France to 5th.

The McIntosh Oil Company Late Model 25 lap Feature had Mike Enos in the #07 and Bob “The Animal” Eichel in the #69, leading the field to Chief Starter Terry Colletti’s green flag. Enos would clear Animal off turn two to grab the lead as Chris Grubbs in the #25 followed Enos to second. The outside lane in turns three and four were still a little treacherous because of all the seeping water from the rains over the past several weeks. Midvale Speedway has had to deal with that problem a time or two each spring, over the last 50 years, despite several attempts to correct the problem. Unfortunately, unless someone moves the hill, we will probably have to deal with it for another 50. Despite the seepage, if you held your car really tight to the guy in the bottom groove, you could miss the water in the 2nd lane. As the race and the night wore on, guys figured that out and the track got better and better. The first two guys to figured that out, was Bob Schneider Jr in the #17 and fastest qualifier Brandon Short in the #18. It took a couple laps to get the hang of it, but Schneider moved to 5th and short to 6th on lap 7. George Riddle in the #0 put his machine in the outside lane and took over second from Grubbs. Enos meanwhile, continued to look really good up front. The #07 car has really been running well the last few weeks, and the Burcher Racing team was looking for that first win. The only caution flew on lap 10 as Cody Jaberg in the #22 and Schneider got together in turn four. Jaberg admitted fault and would be sent to the tail. This was the first of several drivers showing great sportsmanship on the track by admitting fault. Official’s decided that the restarts for the LM’s would be single file due to the track conditions. So, that had Enos and Riddle nose to tail. At the drop of the green flag, Short threw his machine in the outside lane from the 6th position. He was up to 4th by the time they came off turn two. Riddle would battle hard in the outside lane, but Enos would hang on to the top spot. Short would pass Grubbs for 3rd on lap 11 and shoot by Riddle and Enos on lap 12 to take the point. As Short motored away, Riddle would get around Enos for second. Schneider put his machine in the high lane once again, taking 4th on lap 17 and 3rd on lap 18. It took about 20 laps to knock the rust off of Midvale Speedway and Outlaw Late Model Legend Rich Rohrer in the #7, but boy when he finally figured it out, he started ripping through the middle of the field with Schneider. Short would end up pulling his machine into Naak Tuning Victory Lane with another impressive win and for the fourth time in five attempts this season. Following the North Royalton OH driver in the Direct Detail, Amsdell Companies, Earnest Performance and Hutter Race Engines sponsored #18, was Riddle, Schneider, Rohrer and Enos.

The Vanmeter Auto Repair Modified’s pulled on to the 3/10 mile oval for their 25 lap Feature with Phillip Cox in the #09 and Rick Sibila in the #02 on the front row. Sibila was able to clear Cox into turn three and was able to lead the opening lap, looking for his 3rd feature win on the season. “The Big Dawg” Lucas Ripley in the #0 was able to get around Cox with a late breaking move into turn three on lap 4, taking over second. Sibila had built up a 4 or 5 car length lead prior to Ripley’s pass of Cox. By lap 11, “The Big Dawg” sniffed Sibila down and was all over his “back porch”. The first caution flew on lap 16, when the #00 of Todd Ripley and the #34 of Keith Thomas got together in turn two. Both of those former Champions at Midvale, were making their first starts of the season and Thomas, making his first start in some 13 years. Ripley admitted fault and was sent to the tail. On the restart, Lucas got a nice run into turn one. Sibila was a little better through 1 and 2, but Lucas was better off the corner and down the straightaway. Lucas would take over the lead, “Big Mac” Doug McMillen in the #54 and Thomas were up to 4th and 5th. The final caution waved with 6 laps to go, as Mike Stone in the #331 and Thomas got together in turn two. Stone was sent to the tail. Sibila had one final shot at Lucas, this time in the outside lane. But “The Big Dawg” had just a little bit bigger bite on this night. Ripley would clear Rick off turn two and he would strut into Naak Tuning Victory Lane for the third time this season. The top 5 behind the Uhrichsville OH driver in the LTR Industries, D&B Machine, Mustang Trucking and Hammer Construction sponsored #0 was a veteran group. Sibila would finish second, McMillen third with Thomas and fastest qualifier Kevin McClintock completing the top 5.

The Snap-on Tools by Doug Poole Mini Truck 10 lap Feature had Barney Gerber in the #2 on the pole with Eddie McLean in the #443 along side. McLean was looking to take home his second Feature win of the evening. Gerber and McLean would battle into turn one and two, but the #443 broke loose in the high lane off the corner. McLean did a whale of a job to not wad it up, although he did make slight contact with the wall. The good news was, McLean was headed in the right direction and in one piece, the bad news was, he had dropped to the back of the field. Gerber was looking good out front with Scott Lindell in the #19 and fastest qualifier Michael Varnes in the #95, right on his tailgate. The first and only caution flew on lap 4 as Varnes lost a right rear wheel, sending him around in turn two. Varnes was done for the night. On the final restart, Lindell was able to power around Gerber and into the lead as they headed into turn one. The front three would race nose to tail over the final laps. Gerber took a shot underneath Lindell coming to the checkered flag, but didnt quite have enough. Lindell would pull his machine into Victory Circle for the second time in his career. Finishing the top 5 behind the Kimbolton OH driver in the R’s First Motor Sales, M&G Automotive, T&T Auto Sales, RC Lawn Care and Ohio PC Solutions sponsored #19 was Gerber, McLean, Chad Squires and Roger Baucher. McLean was disqualified for passing post race tech, moving Varnes to 5th.

The night capper was the 20 lap Buckey Mowing Street Stock Feature. Curtis Collins in the #66 and the #15 of JD Lawson brought the field down for the start. The duo stayed side by side all the way into turn three. Collins and Lawson made some contact in the corner and slid up a lane or so. That opened the bottom for Colt Locker in the #118. He went from the high lane, to the bottom lane, 3-wide and took the top spot at the completion of lap 1. Collins would drop into second with points leader Robbie Kordiac in the #55, running third. On lap 3, Kordiac was able to get around Collins for second. The man on the move was the #6 of Jeremy Wiggins. He would start all the way at the rear of the field, but was up to 3rd by lap 3. On lap 4, He shot around the outside of Kordiac for second. The first caution came out on lap 5, as Kordiac and Lucas Ripley in the #67 made contact in turn two. Ripley took the blame and tagged the tail. On the restart, Wiggins seemed to have a little more power down the straightaway, but Locker was better in the corners. Those two would put on a great show for the lead. They traded the top spot several times a lap, until lap 11. That’s when the second caution came out. Luckily for Wiggins, it was for the #22 of Kylee Wood in turn four. Wiggins had cut a tire and had slowed. He was able to pit under caution and change that tire, restarting at the rear. Locker would restart with Dennis Wood in the #88 on his outside. Wood was able to get around Kordiac on lap 10, just prior to the yellow. Wood and Locker would race hard and clean over the final half of the race. They were only slowed by a quick caution on lap 15. Back and forth, side by side, clean and hard racing by both drivers. Wiggins was able to put on a nice display, carving his way back up to third. But all eyes were glued up front. The young gun, former Mini Truck Champion, who was looking for his first win in a Street Stock. And the old wily Veteran, a former Pure Stock Champion, looking for another win. Wood took several shots, but the old Camaro was just a little better in the bottom groove. Locker and his hair would take home their first career Street Stock victory. Completing the top 5 behind the Somerdale OH driver in the My Water Doctor, Dover Hydraulics, Townhouse Drive Thru, Black Diamond Earthworks, Drunken Uncle Bar & Grill and Team Big Buck Down sponsored #118 was Wood, Wiggins, Kordiac and Ripley.

THANK YOU again to all of our Driver’s, Team’s, Official’s, Worker’s, Volunteers, Sponsors and THE FANS!! It was another great family night at “Thunder in The Valley”!!
👏 The track crew has to be commended for the work they did starting at 8am and continuing all the way throughout the autograph session….WHAT AN INCREDIBLE JOB!! You guys are THE BEST!! 👏

🎩 And a “Hats Off” to all the drivers, who complained very little, drove their butts off, but gave each other room all night. Every race was slowed no more than twice, besides the SS’s that had three. Great Job Gentlemen and Ladies!! 🎩

👍 A Special THANK YOU to Larry and Cindy Archer and Arch-A-Motive for donating $50 to the second, third, fourth and fifth place finishers in the Street Stock Feature!!! 👍

🏁 Next Saturday Night June 29th, we will have reached the mid point of the 2019 Season. Naak Tuning presents Mid-Season Championship Night at Midvale Speedway!! All 5 Divisions will be in action and battling for one of the Crown Jewels of the Season. 🏁

💥 Dont Forget…..The Firecracker 150 presented by Sarchione Ford of Waynesburg is coming up Wed Jul 3rd!! All the information is on a previous post on our FB page and will be posted throughout the next 10 days or so!! 💥

🎊 On Sat Jul 6 is the Party in The Pits!! There are also previous posts about that event for people who like Crafts, Antiques, Car and Truck Parts, Music and Food!! Come check it out…ALL DAY starting at 10am!! 🎊

-Story by Chris Kail


McIntosh Oil Company Late Model’s

Fast Time – Brandon Short 13.859

Heat 1 – Bob Schneider Jr, Tony Urdiales, Cody Jaberg, Rich Rohrer, Brandon Short, George Riddle

Heat 2 – Bob “The Animal” Eichel, Mike Enos, Chris Grubbs, John Sandquist Sr, Korey Herron

Feature – Short, Riddle, Schneider, Rohrer, Enos, Urdiales, Grubbs, Jaberg, Sandquist, Eichel, Herron

Vanmeter Auto Repair Modified’s

Fast Time – Kevin McClintock 14.869

Heat 1 – Rick Sibila, Bob Page, Lucas Ripley, Mike Stone, Doug McMillen, Keith Thomas, Todd Ripley, Brandon Bailey, Kevin McClintock

Heat 2 – Derek Grewell, Don Rufener III, Jerry Devore, Phillip Cox, Zack Leasure, Nick Grubbs, Dan Gasser, Bobby Devore II

Feature – Lucas, Sibila, McMillen, Thomas, McClintock, Bailey, Cox, Todd, Page, Grubbs, Grewell, Rufener, Jerry, Stone, Leasure, Gasser, Bobby

Buckey Mowing Street Stock’s

Fast Time – Gabe Pringle 15.804

Heat – Robbie Kordiac, Jeremy Wiggins, Dennis Wood, Bob Passwaters Sr, Gabe Pringle, Lucas Ripley

Heat 2 – Curtis Collins, JD Lawson, Colt Locker, Bob Passwaters Jr, Kylee Wood

Feature – Locker, Dennis, Wiggins, Kordiac, Ripley, Collins, Pringle, Passwaters Jr, Kylee, Passwaters Sr, Lawson. DNS – Tim Lynn, Jayden Richards, Will Wiggins II

Snap-on Tools by Doug Poole Mini Truck’s

Fast Time – Michael Varnes 16.440

Heat – Barney Gerber, Michael Varnes, Scott Lindell, Eddie McLean, Chad Squires, Roger Baucher

Feature – Lindell, Gerber, Squires, Baucher, Varnes. DQ – McLean

Finlayson Towing Compact’s

Fast Time – Kyle Lawson 17.424

Heat 1 – Brent Shreffler, Kevin Renicker, Don Rufener III, Kyle Lawson, Brandon France, Karl Phillips, Kyle Finlayson

Heat 2 – Eddie McLean, Justin Renicker, Eugene Kopp, Mike Stuber, Jeffrey Orr, Curtis Finlayson

Heat 3 – Jimbo Roup, Savannah Alm, Ryan Alm, Toby Cook, Gavin Roup

Heat 4 – Laney Striejewske, Jeremy Sallinger, Andrea Brokaw, Eric Brokaw, Dan Sharpless, Shawn Donnalley

Fast Feature – McLean, DRIII, Stuber, Justin, France, Kopp, Orr, Phillips, Lawson, Kevin, Kyle, Curtis. DQ – Shreffler

Second Feature – Cook, Ryan, Gavin, Jimbo, Striejewske, Savannah, Sallinger, Andrea, Donnalley, Eric, Sharpless