Mother Nature asserted herself again Friday night at St. Croix Valley Raceway. Rain caused the first five shows of the season to be cancelled, and it delayed Friday’s races for several minutes after a short but heavy shower during intermission. After the soaking, track officials and a multitude of racers worked the clay back into shape, prepping the track for yet another round of exciting feature races before the show closed out with some light-hearted and carnage-filled trailer racing.
With the new moisture thoroughly worked back into the surface, the Pure Stocks thrilled the crowd as Tim Baxter and Jake Silbernagel paced the field to green. From the start, the veteran Baxter held the point with Silbernagel and Krysta Swearingen in tow. By the second lap, Swearingen and Jason Havel worked by Silbernagel, and a few laps later, Havel and Swearingen swapped places. Just prior to halfway, Havel powered his Thunderbird to the point. Baxter hung tough for a few laps before yielding to a surging Silbernagel on lap ten. From there, the field settled in to comfortable grooves to the end with Havel picking up his third clean sweep of the season over Silbernagel, Baxter, Swearingen and Tony DuBois.
The second feature of the night saw Team Rollover, Damon Roberts and heat race winner Dylan Roberts on the front row. It was inside starting Damon Roberts setting the pace, with Dylan Roberts settling in second followed by Brock Anderson and Dan Strobach. The Future Fours ran fairly consistent throughout the race until, with just two laps remaining, Strobach’s #99 rolled to a stop in the midst of a big puff of smoke. After the restart, it was Damon Roberts leading every lap for the win, with second through fifth going to Dylan Roberts, Anderson, Nicki DuBois and Alex Hallin.
The third feature of the night belonged to the UMSS Micro sprints and Ty Sampeir. Sampeir started on the front row with last week’s winner, Tony Duran and heat race winner Greg Gunderson in row two. At the drop of the green, the top trio quickly accelerated, forming a tight grouping in the battle for the win. Sampeir held the point, with Duran lurking in second while “Silent Thunder” Gunderson was searching lines high and low for a path to the front. Duran’s mount stuttered and stalled on a restart, handing second place to Gunderson and bringing out a second caution. After the subsequent restart, Duran blasted around Sandy Traaseth and Allison Berger to get back into the top three. Up front, it was the Ty Sampeir show as the youngster fought back every challenge the crafty Gunderson threw his way. At the final double checkers it was Sampeir nabbing his second win of the season over Gunderson, Duran, Berger and Traaseth.
With the natural watering during intermission, The Valley’s quarter mile bull-ring was lightning fast for the WISSOTA Midwest Modified main event. Long time Valley racer John Remington grabbed the early lead from the outside of row one followed closely by Mitch Weiss and Ryan Olson. The lead trio utilized a wide swath of clay in their frenzied battle for the win, with Olson experimenting with myriad lines at every turn. Olson finally managed the pass underneath Weiss at the race’s midpoint but track positions were essentially irrelevant as the trio emerged from turn four in a three-wide battle for the lead. With just four circuits remaining, Olson finally made a pass that stuck coming out of turn four, claiming the top spot by mere inches on lap eleven. Once in front, Olson was able to build a small one-car length cushion for himself while Weiss and Remington were still locking horns for second. Olson claimed his first Valley win of the summer over Weiss, who was just inches ahead of Remington at the stripe, with Craig Elliot and David Mastell rounding out the top five.
As seems to happen every week at The Valley, the UMSS Traditional Sprints were a non-stop thrill-fest for the night’s final sanctioned race. Inaugural TSCS champion Kevin Bradwell and first heat race winner Jimmy Kouba paced the field to green for a race that would feature multiple three-wide battles throughout the field. Bradwell claimed the top spot early, with Kouba in tow but fire-breathing rookie Brian VanMeveren vaulted from his fifth starting spot to second in just two laps. Not wanting to be left out, Johnny Parsons, Cam Shafer and reigning series champion Rob Caho Jr. were throttle-stomping myriad grooves near the front in pursuit of Bradwell. At the crossed-flags, VanMeveren powered under Bradwell in turn two to stake his claim to the lead, leaving Bradwell to fend off Caho and Schafer. After a late caution, Bradwell resumed his assault on VanMeveren to retake the lead. Bradwell’s #95 sprinter was starting to respond to the high groove as he inched ever closer to the middle-groove running VanMeveren but the early leader simply ran out of laps as VanMeveren collected his first career sprintcar win in just his fifth race as a sprint pilot. Bradwell settled for second in front of Shafer, Caho and Ryan Olson.
The Valley celebrates the Nation’s birthday early next Friday, June 21, with its annual fireworks display, featuring some of finest pyrotechnics Fireworks Forever has to offer. The show also offers a final tune-up for the big Open Wheel Nationals the following weekend, June 28 and 29. Along with next week’s fireworks, all five regular classes are in competition: Future Fours, Pure Stocks, WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and UMSS Traditional and Micro Sprints. The first green flag is set to fly at 7:05 p.m. Details for this or any other event at St. Croix Valley Raceway can be found on the track’s website: www.SCVRaceway.com.
Pure Stock Heat- Jason Havel, Krysta Swearingen, Tim Baxter, Jake Silbernagel, Mason McEvers, Jon Wigchers, Ben Kaphing, Kaylee Remington, John Armstrong, Tony Dubois
Pure Stock Feature- Jason Havel, Jake Silbernagel, Tim Baxter, Krysta Swearingen, Tony Dubois, Ben Kaphing, Mason McEvers, Kaylee Remington, John Armstrong, Jon Wigchers
Future IV Heat- Dylan Roberts, Damon Roberts, Derek Reding, Dan Strobach, Brock Anderson, Nicki Dubois, Kayla Lallier, Alex Hallin
Future IV Feature- Damon Roberts, Dylan Roberts, Brock Anderson, Nicki Dubois, Alex Hallin, Derek Reding, Kayla Lallier, Dan Strobach
UMSS Micro Sprint Heat- Greg Gunderson, Ty Sampeir, Tony Duran, Grant McIntosh, Allison Berger, Sandy Traaseth, Steve Polhill, Collin Olson
UMSS Micro Sprint Feature- Ty Sampeir, Greg Gunderson, Tony Duran, Allison Berger, Sandy Traaseth, Steve Polhill, Collin Olson, Grant McIntosh
WISSOTA Midwest Modified Heat- Ryan Olson, John Remington, Mitch Weiss, David Mastell, Doug Toepper, Kyle Hallin, Craig Elliot, Kevin Marlett, Josh Bazey
ISSOTA Midwest Modified feature- Ryan Olson, Mitch Weiss, John Remington, Craig Elliot, David Mastell, Kevin Marlett, Kyle Hallin, Doug Toepper, Josh Bazey
UMSS Traditional Sprint Heat 1- Jimmy Kouba, Cam Shafer, Brian VanMeveren, Katrina Sautbine, Denny Stordahl, Tom Porter, Jake Hendrickson
UMSS Traditional Sprint Heat 2- Rob Caho Jr., Kevin Bradwell, Mike Mueller, Johnny Parsons, Jack Clark, Ryan Olson
UMSS Traditional Sprint Feature- Brian VanMeveren, Kevin Bradwell, Cam Shafer, Rob Caho Jr., Ryan Olson, Mike Mueller, Jack Clark, Denny Stordahl, Katrina Sautbine, Jimmy Kouba, Johnny Parsons, Tom Porter, Jake Hendrickson