The championship chases ended in all five weekly classes on Friday at St. Croix Valley Raceway. In the Pure Stock division, Ben Kaphing garnered top honors for the season while Dylan Roberts sat atop the Future Four field. “Flyin” Ryan Olson picked up his second track title in three years with his 2013 title coming under the WISSOTA banner in the Midwest Modifieds. In Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) competition, Ty Sampair celebrated his fourteenth birthday by securing the Micro Sprint track championship and Rob Caho Jr. snared the Traditional Sprint crown.
In feature racing competition on Fan Appreciation night, the Pure Stocks led off the action as per normal with Kyle Dahlheimer and Krysta Swearingen setting the pace. At the drop of the green, Swearingen jumped out to the point with fourth starting Jason Havel in tow. The biggest early mover in the field was first-time visitor Hunter VanGilder, who started eighth and cracked the top three on the third circuit. On lap four, Havel powered past Swearingen to take over the point with VanGilder still lurking in third in front of Ben Kaphing. At the race’s midpoint, VanGilder squeezed under Swearingen in turn three to take over the runner-up spot and set his sights on Havel. Havel, however, despite a few challenges held his lead to the checkers, claiming his seventh trophy of the summer over VanGilder, Swearingen, Kaphing and Dahlheimer.
Brock Anderson and last week’s winner Derek Reding sat on the front row for the Future Four main event with Reding grabbing the top spot early. Behind Reding, Anderson was holding off Nicki DuBois, Dylan Roberts and Damon Roberts. The running order remained the same until the #20 hotrod of Dylan Roberts lost a right front wheel on lap nine, bringing out a caution. After the restart it was still all Reding while DuBois continued to dog Anderson for second. At the double checkers it was Reding nabbing his second consecutive feature over Anderson, DuBois and Chris Arnett.
Greg Gunderson was a little too eager at the start of the UMSS Micro Sprint feature, the outside front row starter jumped the start and was docked two rows, restarting on the outside of row three, moving track champion Ty Sampair up alongside of Bryan Patrick to start the race. Gunderson’s penalty was of little consequence – after a brief three-wide display with Patrick and Sampair, Gunderson was alone and back out front inside of one lap. While “Silent Thunder” was checking out, St. Paul Fire Station #18 was busy cheering Tony Duran and his myriad attempts to take over the second spot from Sampair. The Sampair/Duran battle rested only briefly for a caution on lap four, but otherwise went unabated for the full fifteen lap distance. With the checkers waving, Gunderson cruised to his second win of the season and Sampair just edged Duran for second while Patrick and Allison Berger rounded out the top five.
The return of the WISSOTA Street Stocks saw heat race wins going to Kurt Becken and Sam Fankhauser, with Kolby Kiehl and Chris Peterson setting the pace for the twenty lap feature. In the first few turns, and series of bumps and bounces saw the field shuffling out and Peterson was unable to continue after the caution appeared on lap two. The front was no place to be, as just one lap later, race leader Cody Kummer coasted to stop on the backstretch, his night ending after just two full green flag laps. Kummer’s misfortune resulted in Fankhauser taking over the top spot. Once in front, the 2013 Rice Lake Little Dream champion stretched his advantage over Kiehl and Becken over the remaining laps. With all twenty laps completed, it was Fankhauser parking his #11 in Victory Lane and adding to his impressive 2013 sticker collection. Kiehl crossed the stripe in second with Becken, Marcus Simonson and Josh Amans completing the top five.
UMSS Traditional Sprint cars roared to green with pole-sitter Mike Mueller setting the early pace. Cam Schafer, who needed a win and lots of help to steal the championship from Rob Caho Jr. was doing everything he could by blasting to the point by lap three. Johnny Parsons was chasing Schafer while Mueller, Caho, Katrina Sautbine, Kevin Bradwell and Jake Kouba were running multiple grooves in pursuit. Schafer was running strong up front while the rest of the field searched for speed – highlighted by the mid-pack three car battle between Brian VanMeveren, Sautbine and Kouba. A late caution erased a large lead that Schafer had built up, but back under green the reigning Open Wheel Nationals champion stayed fast and smooth, winning his second feature in a row over Parsons, Bradwell, Caho and VanMeveren.
Capping off the night, the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds thanked the fans with a four-wide pre-race salute prior to setting off on their twenty lap finale. First heat race winner Tony Schill got the jump on the field from his outside row one starting spot, but fourth-starting Justin Oestreich powered by on the low side of turn four to lead the first lap. Behind the leaders, second heat race winner Ryan Bowers, along with Mitch Weiss, Josh Bazey and Ryan Olson was engaged in a spirited four-car battle for third. A number of cautions didn’t dampen Oestreich’s effort, as he endured multiple restarts to claim his fourth Valley Victory of the summer over Schill, Olson, John Remington and Bazey.
Coming up this Friday, August 30th, is the highly anticipated return of the WISSOTA Late Models to The Valley. Last summer’s version of The Bullring Blast! left fans with jaws aghast as the wide-bodied and fat-tired top end racers thrilled them with three-wide racing while Jake Redetzke proved how much fun the big cars can have on a little but wide and racy track. Joining the Late Models will be open Modifieds as well as all five of The Valley’s regular weekly divisions. Details for this and other events at the track, including the September 14th “Halloween in September” races can be found at the track’s website, www.SCVRaceway.com.
Race summary (unofficial)
Pure Stock- Heat- Tim Baxter, Ben Kaphing, Krysta Swearingen, Jason Havel, Kyle Dahlheimer, Jon Wigchers, Kyle Runkle, Hunter VanGilder, Casey Ogilvie
Feature- Jason Havel, Hunter VanGilder, Krysta Swearingen, Ben Kaphing, Kyle Dahlheimer, Jon Wigchers, Casey Ogilvie, Tim Baxter, Kyle Runkle
Future IV- Heat- Damon Roberts, Derek Reding, Brock Anderson, Dylan Roberts, Nicki DuBois, Chris Arnett, Alex Hallin, Kayla Lallier
Feature- Derek Reding, Brock Anderson, Nicki DuBois, Chris Arnett, Damon Roberts, Dylan Roberts, Alex Hallin, Kayla Lallier
UMSS Micro Sprint- Heat- Ty Sampair, Tony Duran, Greg Gunderson, Bryan Patrick, Allison Berger, Sandy Traaseth, Collin Olson, Jamey Ogston
Feature- Greg Gunderson, Ty Sampair, Tony Duran, Bryan Patrick, Allison Berger, Sandy Traaseth, Collin Olson, Jamey Ogston
WISSOTA Street Stock- Heat 1- Kurt Becken, Cody Kummer, Kolby Kiehl, Chris Peterson, Brandon Davis, Marcus Simonson Heat 2- Sam Fankhauser, Cooper Berlin, Behnjamin Mensen, Josh Amans, Troy Chaplin
Feature- Sam Fankhauser, Kolby Kiehl, Kurt Becken, Marcus Simonson, Josh Amans, Cooper Berlin, Troy Chaplin, Brandon Davis, Behnjamin Menson, Cody Kummer, Chris Peterson
UMSS Traditional Sprints- Heat 1- Kevin Bradwell, Rob Caho Jr., Mike Mueller, Jake Kouba, Brian VanMeveren, Jesse Tripp Heat 2- Cam Shafer, Johnny Parsons, Katrina Sautbine, Denny Stordahl, D Taubert, Jake Hendrickson
Feature- Cam Shafer, Johnny Parsons, Kevin Bradwell, Rob Caho Jr., Brian VanMeveren, Mike Mueller, Katrina Sautbine, Denny Stordahl, D Taubert, Jake Hendrickson, Jake Kouba, Jesse Tripp
WISSOTA Midwest Modified- Heat 1- Tony Schill, Justin Oestreich, Craig Elliot, Ryan Olson, David Mastell, John Remington, David Mastell, Kevin Schmidt Heat 2- Ryan Bowers, Jason Vandekamp, Mitch Wiess, Josh Bazey, Greg Arnt, Tony DuBois, Eric Gadach, Kyle Hallin
Feature- Justin Oestreich, Tony Schill, Ryan Olson, John Remington, Josh Bazey, Mitch Wiess, Tony Dubois, Kevin Marlett, Kyle Hallin, Eric Gadach, Ryan Bowers, David Mastell, Greg Arnt, Kevin Schmidt, Jason Vandekamp, Craig Elliot