Another wet week led to more saturated grounds at St. Croix Valley Raceway on Friday, but Mother Nature relented on her deluge just long enough to allow the first of two Kids’ Night celebrations to take place at The Valley. The youngsters in attendance enjoyed an on-track autograph session with the drivers, and many drivers also handed out trinkets and treats along with hundreds of autographed photos. Several other door prizes were awarded, including seven bicycles, courtesy of the Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers and other SCVR competitors.
After the autographs, it was the Pure Stocks that were the first to tackle the quarter-mile for their feature event with Jake Silbernagel and Mason McEvers pacing the field. Heat race winner Jason Havel started fifth and was up to third on lap two when he and McEvers tangled in turn four leaving Havel with a flat left rear. On the restart, Silbernagel continued to lead with Tony DuBois in pursuit. By lap five, Havel had worked past DuBois and set his sights on Silbernagel. Just prior to halfway, Havel made his move and claimed the top spot, where he would remain until the checkers waved. In two nights so far this season, Havel has garnered a pair of clean sweeps in the Pure Stock division. Behind Havel, the top five were Silbernagel, Krysta Swearingen, “Jet Lag” Jon Wigchers and Ben Kaphing.
Next to attack the clay were the Future Fours, led by Steven Johnson and Nicki DuBois. At the drop of the green, Johnson held the point with third starting Damon Roberts holding onto second. After the few laps, the field settled into order and stayed clean and consistent nearly to the end. Johnson claimed the win with Roberts in second, but third and fourth running Dylan Roberts and Brock Anderson tangled in the final turn and ended the race against the turn four wall. That incident moved Dan Strobach up to third, with Kevin Boughton and Samantha Yarusso rounding out the top five.
The final kids’ activities for the night were the youth winner’s presentations for the Vintage racers, with two lucky young fans receiving a t-shirt and bicycle. Mike Kelly picked up the full-body division win with the super-modified feature going to Mark Peine.
The UMSS Micro sprint feature started with heat race winner Ty Sampeir and Collin Olson on the front row and Sampeir immediately grabbing the point looking for the sweep. Third starting Tony Duran nabbed the runner-up spot and it quickly became a two car battle for the win. On lap four, Duran muscled past Sampeir and into the lead, leaving Sampeir as the pursuer. Sampeir tried multiple grooves and varying strategies searching for a path back to the lead, but none proved successful, and late race spin allowing Olson to slide back up to second. At the stripe, Duran grabbed his first Valley win of the season, followed by Olson and Sampeir.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds ran the evening’s penultimate race, paced to green by David Mastell and Mitch Weiss. Mastell led the opening lap, and after a lap two caution, Ryan Viltz took his turn at the point. Behind Viltz was a veritable bee-hive of slicing and dicing. Josh Bazey, Justin Oestreich, Jason VandeKamp and Ryan Bowers ran myriad lines in a frenzied pursuit of the top prize. Viltz continued to lead through the first ten laps, with Oestreich emerging as his primary threat. On the eleventh circuit, Oestreich powered to the point, leaving Viltz to battle in the melee that was the contest for second. When the final checkers waved, it was Oestreich claiming the clean sweep in front of Bazey, Viltz, VandeKamp and Kevin Marlett.
As they so often do, the UMSS Traditional sprint cars capped the evening with one of their trademarked thrillers. Tommy Kamrath and the ageless Jack Clark paced a stout fourteen car field to green and Kamrath claimed the early lead. Fifth starting Johnny Parsons quickly darted up to second, part of a gaggle of two and three wide racers that included Rob Caho, Clark, Kevin Bradwell, Cam Schafer and Brian VanMeveren. Up front, Kamrath settled into groove and looked poised to claim the night’s final checkers but on lap ten, Caho finally found his comfort zone, high off the cushion, clean and clear of competitors, allowing him to focus on Kamrath. As the laps wound down, Caho sized up his challenge of passing Kamrath while Clark was busy racing VanMeveren, Katrina Sautbine and Mike Mueller. As the white flag waved, Caho mustered all the giddy-up his #78 mount would provide and skated on the cushion’s edge to near perfection at full throttle. Keeping his substantial momentum through the final set of turns, Caho edged in front of Kamrath in the final few hundred feet of the race and drag raced him to the checkers, claiming the dramatic win. Rounding out the top five behind Caho and Kamrath were Mueller, Schafer and Parsons.
On tap next week at The Valley, the Hilarious Trailer Races, in addition to the regular Friday Night Live line-up of Future Fours, Pure Stocks, UMSS Micro and Traditional Sprints and WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. Sprint and Modified fields promise to continue to strengthen as area drivers have only two more opportunities to gear up for the big Open Wheel Nationals. The second annual event is scheduled for June 28 and 29. For more information about St. Croix Valley Raceway or upcoming events, please visit the track’s website at www.SCVRaceway.com or visit the track’s Facebook page.
Future Fours, feature – Steven Johnson, Damon Roberts, Dan Strobach, Kevin Boughton, Samantha Yarusso, Dylan Roberts, Brock Anderson, Nicki DuBois, Chris Arnett.
Pure Stocks, feature – Jason Havel, Jake Silbernagel, Krysta Swearingen, Jon Wigchers, Ben Kaphing, Brad Peterson, Tony DuBois, Mason McEvers.
UMSS Micro Sprints, feature – Tony Duran, Collin Olson, Ty Sampeir, Jeremy Brake, Bryan Patrick, Sandy Traaseth
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, feature – Justin Oestreich, Josh Bazey, Ryan Viltz, Jason VandeKamp, Kevin Marlett, Jason Haugerud, Mitch Weiss, Tony Schill, John Remington, David Mastell, Kyle Hallin, Vince Corbin, Greg Arnt, Doug Toepper, Jesse Krause, Ryan Bowers.
UMSS Traditional Sprints, feature – Rob Caho, Jr., Tommy Kamrath, Mike Mueller, Cam Schafer, Johnny Parsons, Brian VanMeveren, Miek Huesmann, Denny Stordahl, Jack Clark, Tom Porter, Kevin Bradwell, Brad Nelson, Jimmy Kouba, Katrina Sautbine.