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Midvale Speedway Ends Season On High Note

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Midvale Speedway Ends Season On High Note

Midvale Speedway Ends Season On High Note
By Adam Mackey

                The 2014-racing season came to an end this past Saturday, September 13 at Midvale Speedway.  All five weekly classes were in action in addition to Figure 8’s, officials’ races, and the wild trailer race, a favorite of the fans.  The facility had its second biggest crowd of the season, second only to the Main Event race on July 3, and drivers put on one of the finest shows of the season.

                Headlining the show with the trailer race was the McIntosh Oil Company Late Models in the All-Star Showdown double header.  In the first of two 25-lap features, polesitter Roger Smith pulled in front of Ron Jaberg, Jr. on the opening start to lead the way.  Smith’s, Petty blue and orange #43, sped away from the field and started to build up a lead as Jaberg, Mike Mazzagatti, and Doug Sommers battled behind him.  Bryant Smith, Alex Rosenberry, and Marcus Malcuit, three of the favorites that started relatively deep in the field made their way toward the tail end of the top five and had a heated battle between the three of them.  With all of the action in his rearview mirror, Smith was able to run a smooth-consistant race and hold a comfortable lead.  Despite all the action, racing was highly clean and the event went flag-to-flag.  This was great news for Smith, a driver from Brimfield, Ohio, who picked up his first career Midvale Speedway victory.  Smith was a former regular at Barberton Speedway and was once a point runner-up in their Late Model class.  Smith finished the race in a season best 10 minutes and 24 seconds to take the win in the Klaben Auto Stores/GNR Auto Care #43.  Following him in the official rundown were Mazzagatti with his best Midvale finish, Jaberg who made his first start of the year, Sommers, and Bryant Smith.  The rest of the top ten were Rosenberry, Rick Sibila, Bubba Smith, Matthew Mills, and Emerson Huffman.  In Downtown Ford Victory Lane, Smith rolled a 4 to set the invert for race #2 of the showdown.

                Race two for the Late Models had Sommers and Jaberg on the front row, thanks to their top four finishes in the first feature.  Taking the lead at the end of the first lap was Jaberg, with Sommers falling into second in his crate engine powered #13.  The first caution came out after the first lap was completed when Mazzagatti made some inadvertant contact with Roger Smith entering the first turn.  Smith spun, while Huffman and Malcuit got caught up in the aftermath.  For Malcuit, his frustrating night was over with a broken radiator, while all others were able to continue.  Back to green, Sommers raced out front but was in a solid battle with the race #1 winner.  Smith, from his fourth starting spot, took the lead by inches at the end of lap three, but one lap later misfortune struck.  As he was maneuvering the high lane in turn three, the car got sideways.  In the process of correcting, Smith’s car shot up the track and into the outside retaining wall in turn four.  Fortunately, Smith was able to get the car slowed down but he still retired from the event after pulling pitside under his own power.  While all of this was going on, fans were watching Rosenberry and Bubba Smith, two drivers that were mired deep in the field in the first event, make their way quickly to the front.  Rosenberry took the lead on lap four, while Smith followed him into second.  On lap six, Rosenberry’s ill-handling car pushed up the banking and Smith drove by on the inside.  Moments later, Rosenberry brought his car to a stop and called it a night.  From lap six on, the race went caution free.  Smith, despite being fast qualifier, had a monumental challenge after the restart from Emerson Huffman.  The Dellroy, Ohio driver didn’t race much this season but he gave it a college try on the final night.  Huffman, in fact, beat Smith back to the line on lap seven.  Smith, though, was able to barely keep a nose to the inside to keep Huffman from closing the door.  Eventually, Smith fought back out front to re-assume the lead and eventually his second victory in the last two weeks.  At the checkered, Smith took the W by nearly 3.5 seconds over Huffman.  Also following the Finish Line Motors/Smith’s Auto Sales #12 in the top five were Rick Sibila with a solid third, Sommers who took another fourth, and Tom Stankiewicz.  The rest of the top ten were Mazzagatti who rallied for sixth, Bryant Smith, Mills, Ron Kirkpatrick, and Dave Martin. 

                Tim Westerfield, Jr. took the lead early in the 25-lap Summit Racing Economy Modified feature with Tad Grove, Mike Green, Justin Courtney, and Tyler Noeske in tow.  The first caution of the race didn’t wave until the 14th lap was complete, and it was for a Courtney and Noeske mishap that occurred after racing side-by-side for a number of laps.  A handful of cautions for minor accidents came out right around the same time, but eventually competitors got back rolling for the final ten laps.  Eventually, after a cat and mouse battle with Grove on the cone style, double file restarts, Westerfield fell out of contention with problems and Green took over on the inside of Grove.  Back to green, Grove raced back out front with Green holding onto second before a final caution and subsequent restart.  On the final wave of the green, Grove again took over, while top qualifier Preston Walker moved into second.  The final nine laps went caution free with Walker trying high and low to get around Grove.  Walker’s car was a little better through the middle, but Grove exited the turn with more speed to pull away with the win.  At the checkered, it was win number three for the J.D. Byrider/Swan Racing #3 of Grove.  Following the New Philadelphia, Ohio driver were Walker, Green, Noeske, and Kevin McClintock.  Jason Grewell, Bryce Allensworth, Courtney, Shawn Kaufman, and Shawn Marder completed the top ten.  Grove and Brandon Bailey won the heats.

                The award for best race arguable goes to the J.D. Byrider Street Stock division.  While the event did have some cautions, the race for the lead was epic in the final laps.  Veteran campaigner, Bob Passwaters, Sr. held the lead for the first four laps of the race before weekly frontrunner and champion, Dennis Wood took the top spot.  On lap seven, Scott Archer moved into the second position in the Paul Parson Racing/Arch-a-motive #44.  A lap eight caution was the first ingredient to spice up the excitement.  Archer, via the outside lane, beat Wood through the first and second corner to move out front.  With twelve laps complete, another double file restart would take place and this time it was Wood going back to the point.  The final five laps, thought, would be the show.  After a restart, Wood raced into the lead.  Archer passed him one lap later but Wood crossed him over coming off of turn two to take the lead right back.  On the final lap, Archer returned the favor and pulled off a move that Wood used earlier to regain the lead and take the victory.  Archer celebrated in victory lane in front of an excited crowd and went on to thank his biggest challenger, Wood, and their team for help with the setup in his car.  Also following the Canton, Ohio driver were Josh Moss, Foster Mackey, and Cody Collmar with solid runs.  Others in the top ten were Passwaters, Tim Lynn, Mike Martin, Bill Shimko, and Bill Aubihl.  Archer and Aubihl won the heats, while Wood set fast time.

                Cyler Bertram was the early leader in the Finish Line Motors Mini Truck feature.  Mike Martin, the division champion, took over second moments later and got his first chance at Bertram after a lap six restart.  The restart came after a grinding crash that involved Dusty Nicholas and Cody Jaberg.  The two got tangled up in turn four and Nicholas, driving the Keith Anderson #32 for the first time, shot uncontrollably up the track and slammed the wall.  Drivers were okay, but the Anderson truck was destroyed.  After the restart, Bertram held off Martin for a couple of laps but his truck looked to be a handful.  On lap nine, Martin shot by and eventually pulled to a sizable advantage.  At the checkered, it was the Shelbi’s Sweets & Treats/Finish Line Design #5 taking its eighth win of the season.  Bertram, Derek Cordia, Jaberg, and Nicholas were top five finishers.  Bertram won the heat while Martin set fast time with a new track record.

                The Canton Auto Salvage Compacts put on another good show with a clean, green-to-checkered event.  Division point runner-up, Clayton Oliver, overtook Allen Clark and Zack Cogar on the first lap to lead.  However, Bolivar, Ohio driver Kyle Finlayson was on the move early and ripped the top spot away one lap later.  By the end of lap five, Finlayson had already built a nice lead, which was important, because track record holder, Justin Renicker took second on lap six of the 20-lap event.  Many thought that Renicker may be able to run him down, but Finlayson was not to be denied of his second career feature victory.  At the checkered, the Finlayson Towing/Kiefer Auto #15 was followed by Renicker, Blaine Salsberry, Oliver, and Larry Ennis, Jr.  Other top ten finishers were Cogar, Laney Striejewske, Gage Jaberg, Clark, and Cristian Bailey.  Renicker and Daniel Risley won the heat races, while Finlayson set fast time.

                On the final night, a number of special events were held.  One of those was the front wheel driver Figure 8 feature.  Only four drivers were brave enough to enter their Compact rides into the event.  Blaine Salsberry, took the lead on the first lap with Dan Buckey following closely behind.  Despite only four cars in the race, there were a couple of decisions that had to be made at the intersection to keep the equipment in one piece.  Fortunately for the leaders, the two slower cars checked up to avoid a crash.  At the checkered, Salsberry claimed the win in his Pangrazio’s Pizza/Philchalmers.com #4.  Buckey crashed as he came across the line in second, while Gabe Pringle and Daniel Risley took third and fourth.

                Another annual event at the Fall Classic is the official’s race.  This year, instead of using Compact cars, the officials competed in five former Sheriff cruisers that the track purchased.  In the first qualifying race, outside polesitter and pit steward Gabe Pringle raced by pit announcer Pappy Miller to take the checkered as both transferred.  In the second event, track announcer Adam Mackey came from the fifth starting spot to take the convincing win to advance.  In the feature race, Pappy Miller, 84 years young, raced into the lead from the pole, while assistant flagman Jason Nealey and Pringle battled side-by-side with Mackey following them.  Miller drove it like he stole it and went on to claim his first win since the 1980’s.  Nealey finished second, while Mackey passed Pringle for third on the final stretch.  Reportedly, assistant track announcer Chris Kail was in one of the races and got a participation trophy. 

                The final event of the season was the reason many of the fans packed the stands.  It was the wild and crazy trailer race, which saw an amazing 23 participants line up.  It was a 15-lap event, in which the goal was to keep your trailer with you and finish the race ahead of the others that complete the same feat.  Kyle Rector led the event early from his solid starting spot but eventually ran into problems.  Taking over the lead was Bryant Smith on the sixth lap.  Smith went nearly unevaded to the finish, while Kyle Grewell, Tod Festi, and Linda Morgan were all racing strong.  Cody Gibbs and Mario Diano were among others that were able to run the majority of the laps, but it was Smith taking the trailer race victory.  Fans were thrilled and on the edge of their seats as boats were strewn about, trailers were destroyed, and popup campers were left in high disrepair.

                The Budweiser Fall Classic turned out to be a great finish to the 2014-season.  Racing was highly competitive, yet clean, and very little equipment was tore up until the trailer race.  It was the way it’s supposed to be, and we can thank the drivers for that.

                With the season over, attention starts to turn to the 2015-campaign which will see the return of all five divisions from this year.  Strong fields of Late Models and Economy Modifieds were present in 2014 and we look forward to seeing them back next year.  The Street Stock division had resurgence this past year, with better fields and great racing.  Compact competition saw a number of new winners and clean racing and the Mini Truck class, despite low field counts put on a few good races as well.

                If you are looking to get into racing, Midvale’s five divisions give good choice to your taste.  Rules are available online at midvalespeedway.com and the new 2015 editions will be similar to the ones currently online.

                Midvale Speedway officials thank everyone who helped make this year a huge success.  From sponsors to competitors, teams, officials, and of course, the fans, thanks again. 

Results For Midvale Speedway

McIntosh Oil Company Late Models
Top Qualifier – Bubba Smith 13.948
Feature #1 – Roger Smith, Mike Mazzagatti, Ron Jaberg, Jr., Doug Sommers, Bryant Smith, Alex Rosenberry, Rick Sibila, Bubba Smith, Matthew Mills, Emerson Huffman, Ron Kirkpatrick, Tom Stankiewicz, Dave Martin, Gene Molnar, Jr., Marcus Malcuit
Feature #2 – Bubba Smith, Emerson Huffman, Rick Sibila, Doug Sommers, Tom Stankiewicz, Mike Mazzagatti, Bryant Smith, Matthew Mills, Ron Kirkpatrick, Dave Martin, Ron Jaberg, Jr., Alex Rosenberry, Roger Smith, Marcus Malcuit
 Summit Racing Economy Modifieds
Top Qualifier – Kevin McClintock 14.649
Heat #1 – Tad Grove, Justin Courtney, Tyler Noeske, Mike Green, Preston Walker
Heat #2 – Brandon Bailey, Tim Westerfield, Jr., Jason Grewell, Shawn Kaufman, Shawn Marder
Feature – Tad Grove, Preston Walker, Mike Green, Tyler Noeske, Kevin McClintock, Jason Grewell, Bryce Allensworth, Justin Courtney, Shawn Kaufman, Shawn Marder, Brandon Bailey, Austin Harvey, Tim Westerfield, Jr., Mike Hutson, Joe Slentz, Greg Hole
 JD Byrider Street Stocks
Top Qualifier – Dennis Wood 16.100
Heat #1 – Scott Archer, Dennis Wood, Bob Passwaters, Sr., Foster Mackey, Mike Martin
Heat #2 – Bill Aubihl, Waylon Orr, Josh Moss, Cody Collmar, Tim Lynn
Feature – Scott Archer, Dennis Wood, Josh Moss, Foster Mackey, Cody Collmar, Bob Passwaters, Sr., Tim Lynn, Mike Martin, Bill Shimko, Bill Aubihl, Robert Douglas, Waylon Orr
 Finish Line Motors Mini Trucks
Top Qualifier – Mike Martin 17.009 NTR
Heat – Cyler Bertram, Mike Martin, Dusty Nicholas, Cody Jaberg, Derek Cordia
Feature – Mike Martin, Cyler Bertram, Derek Cordia, Cody Jaberg, Dusty Nicholas, Roger Bausher
 Canton Auto Salvage Compacts
Top Qualifier – Kyle Finlayson 17.725
Heat #1 – Justin Renicker, Clayton Oliver, Kyle Finlayson, Allen Clark, Larry Ennis, Jr.
Heat #2 – Daniel Risley, Josh Roberts, Zack Cogar, Gage Jaberg, Cristian Bailey
Feature – Kyle Finlayson, Justin Renicker, Blaine Salsberry, Clayton Oliver, Larry Ennis, Jr., Zack Cogar, Laney Striejewske, Gage Jaberg, Allen Clark, Cristian Bailey, Josh Roberts, Mitchell Ujcich, Gary Gibson, Daniel Risley
 Figure 8
Feature – Blaine Salsberry, Dan Buckey, Gabe Pringle, Daniel Risley
 Official Racing
Heat #1 – Gabe Pringle
Heat #2 – Adam Mackey
Feature – Pappy Miller, Jason Nealey, Adam Mackey, Gabe Pringle, Terry Colletti
 Trailer Race
Feature – Bryant Smith, Kyle Grewell, Tod Festi


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