Summer finally arrived at St. Croix Valley Raceway Friday with some of the hottest weather so far this season and The Valley celebrated with 2-for-1 deals on hot dogs, a Hula Hoop giveaway and its customary intense, competitive racing action. Jason VandeKamp added to his impressive Valley victory tally, notching yet another win in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified main event, with Rob Caho Jr., Tony Duran, Dylan Roberts and Jason Havel also scoring wins.
After a group of young fans put on a short hula-hooping clinic, the Pure Stocks started off the feature racing for the evening with Tim Baxter and heat race winner Ben Kaphing leading the field to green. Kaphing was looking for the clean sweep after turning in a solid performance in winning his heat, but it took just three laps for the formidable and dominating Thunderbird of Jason Havel to appear. Havel masterfully worked the low groove and powered under Kaphing coming out of turn four and took the lead for good. While Havel left little doubt regarding the win, the rest of the field kept the race interesting. “Jet Lag” Jon Wigchers and Baxter jostled for fourth, while Krysta Swearingen recovered from an early spin to challenge Kaphing for second. At the stripe, Havel kept his perfect season churning along in front of Kaphing – who was mere inches ahead of Swearingen, with Wigchers and Baxter rounding out the top five. As usual, Havel celebrated his win in the grandstands, handing out beverages for both young and not so young fans before selecting one lucky youngster to pose with the trophy in his make-shift victory lane at the base of the flag stand.
Next up were the Future Four racers, fifteen cars strong for their A-main. Brock Anderson and second heat race winner Dylan Roberts paced the field with Roberts quickly pouncing on the top spot. Fifth starting Todd Tacheny quickly moved up to second and spent several laps catching then sizing up the leader Roberts. At the race’s midpoint, Tacheny made his move coming out turn four down low, staking his claim on the top spot. From there, the Future Fours settled into their grooves with Tacheny picking up the win over Roberts, first heat race winner Chris Dyke, Brock Anderson and Chris Rick. Due to a pre-race rules agreement, Tacheny and Anderson were docked two positions for minor technical reasons, allowing Roberts to claim the clean-sweep win.
The Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers were also on hand Friday, along with their tradition of sending a young fan home with the winner’s trophy. In the full-bodied division, Seth Moleene went home with Kan Varing’s trophy, and Kiera Peterson is the proud new owner of Butch Bethke’s Super Modified hardware after Bethke made a dramatic last lap pass around Dennis Olson for the win.
The UMSS Micro Sprints attacked the quarter mile next, with heat race winner Ty Sampeir and runner-up and Tony Duran setting the pace. After leading most of the heat race, Duran blasted to the point on the high side and set sail into the night, leaving Sampeir and Colin Olson to give chase. Duran
maintained a comfortable margin throughout for the win, with Olson edging Sampeir at the line for second. Allison Berger and Sandy Traaseth completed the top five.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds put on yet another display of intense two, three and even four-wide racing action. An opening lap spin by Doug Toepper reset the starting order with heat race winner David Mastell on the pole and John Remington on the outside. Remington took the early lead with Mastell, Josh Bazey, Kevin Marlett and Jason VandeKamp in an eye-popping four-wide frenzied battle for second directly behind Remington. VandeKamp emerged from that hornet’s nest of activity and within a few laps powered under Remington for the lead. A series of cautions frayed the nerves of VandeKamp and the fans, but VandeKamp was able to stay out front while a torrid battle raged on for second between Bazey, second heat race winner Joe Chaplin Jr. and Ryan Olson. At the final double checkers it was VandeKamp scoring the win over Bazey, Olson, Chaplin and Tony Schill.
The last race of the night belonged to the UMSS Traditional Sprints, and the ever growing class boasted a whopping six rookies in the fifteen car field. One of those rookies, Mike Mueller, started on the pole to the inside of Cam Schafer, fresh off his Open Wheel Nationals win last Saturday night. Mueller held the top spot early before Katrina Sautbine used a huge run off of turn two to take the lead. Sautbine led for several laps before falling to the hard-charging Rob Caho. Once in the lead, the veteran racer never looked back, taking the win. Mueller ran steady and nearly flawless to come home second in front of Kevin Bradwell, Johnny Parsons and fellow rookie Jake Kouba.
Next Friday, July 12, the UMSS Traditional Sprints take center stage for the Traditional 40, a forty-lap main event for the wingless racers. Also in action will be The Valley’s regular classes, Pure Stocks, Future Fours, UMSS Micro Sprints and WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. The following Thursday, July 18, the WISSOTA Modifieds will return for the first time in nearly four years, headlining the Modified Dawg Days Dash, a $1000-to-win, $70-to-start affair featuring the former top class at track. No races will be held the following night, Friday July 19. Details for these and other events at The Valley can be found on the track’s website, www.SCVRaceway.com.
Race summary: Future Fours – Heat 1: Chris Dyke, Brock Anderson, Brandon Dyke, Nicki DuBois, Alex Hallin, Chris Arnett, Natalie Rogers, Damon Roberts. Heat 2: Dylan Roberts, Chris Rick, Todd Tacheny, Derek Reding, Bob Carver Jr., Katie Lebeis, Samantha Yarusso Feature: Dylan Roberts, Chris Dyke, Todd Tacheny, Chris Rick, Derek Reding, Brock Anderson, Nicki DuBois, Alex Hallin, Bob Carver Jr., Brandon Dyke, Natalie Rogers, Katie Lebeis, Damon Roberts, Chris Arnett, Samantha Yarusso
Pure Stocks – Heat: Ben Kaphing, Tim Baxter, Kyrsta Swearingen, Jon Wigchers, Kaylee Remington, Brad Peterson, Jason Havel, Mason McEvers. Feature: Jason Havel, Ben Kaphing, Krysta Swearingen, Jon Wigchers, Time Baxter, Kaylee Remington, Brad Peterson, Mason McEvers.
UMSS Micro Sprints – Heat: Ty Sampeir, Tony Duran, Colin Olson, Allison Berger, Sandy Traaseth Feature: Tony Duran, Colin Olson, Ty Sampeir, Allison Berger, Sandy Traaseth
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds – Heat 1: David Mastell, Josh Bazey, Kevin Marlett, Doug Toepper, Mitch Weiss, Cory Ziebol, Kyle Hallin. Heat 2: Joe Chaplin Jr., Jason VandeKamp, John Remington, Tony Schill, Craig Elliot, Ryan Olson, Jared Gorka Feature: Jason VandeKamp, Josh Bazey, Ryan Olson, Joe Chaplin Jr., Tony Schill, Kevin Marlett, Mitch Weiss, David Mastell, Craig Elliot, Cory Ziebol, Kyle Hallin, John Remington, Doug Toepper, Jared Gorka.
UMSS Traditional Sprints – Heat 1: Johnny Parsons III, Cam Schafer, Brian VanMeveren, Jake Kouba, Adam Taubert, Joe Jesmore, Denny Stordahl. Heat 2: Rob Caho Jr., Mike Mueller, Katrina Sautbine, Kevin Bradwell, Jake Hendrickson, Tom Porter. Feature: Rob Caho Jr., Mike Mueller, Kevin Bradwell, Johnny Parsons III, Jake Kouba, Adam Taubert, Jake Hendrickson, Tom Porter, Cam Schafer, Katrina Sautbine, Denny Stordahl, Brian VanMeveren, Joe Jesmore.