Fan count and cars counts continue to increase at St. Croix Valley Raceway. As the temperatures climbed into the 80s, fans crammed into the parking lots while WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds jammed the pits with a season best 24 machines. A racy surface provided for multiple groove racing all night long, and the evening was capped off in hilarious fashion with David Lee Berger racing his #10 “not Barbie” pink truck to the win in the trailer races.
Heavy mid-week rains necessitated longer than normal track grooming at intermission. During the long wait, several SCVR drivers made their way around to the front stretch to hand out pictures and autographs to the fans. After the surface was reworked, the Pure Stocks, paced by Tony DuBois and Jon Wigchers stormed under Shaun Cimfl’s green flag. Dubois showed the fast way while pursued by Jake Silbernagel. The man on the move, however, was Jason Havel. Per track rules, any driver in the Future Four or Pure Stock division that wins two consecutive features must start in the rear of the field. Havel, working on a streak of three in a row, started tenth of ten. While Silbernagel was dogging DuBois, Havel was picking off multiple cars per lap. By lap three, Havel was already up to third, and he managed to pick off both the leaders by the halfway point. While Havel raced off into his own ZIP code, Justin Rick, Wigchers, Silbernagel and DuBois juked and jived in a spirited battle for second. At the stripe, Havel cruised to his fourth consecutive win in front of Silbernagel, Rick, DuBois and Wigchers.
The UMSS Micro Sprints, the infant class still growing from a low of two cars at the season’s start to five cars on Friday, were again dominated by “Silent Thunder”, Greg Gunderson of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Starting at the tail, Gunderson took only an eighth of a mile to sail to the point leaving George Knudsen, Ty Sampair, Chris Lanz and Tony Duran to vie for second. For the second week in a row, Gunderson won by a country mile in a popular victory ahead of Duran, Knudsen, Sampair and Lanz.
Twelve Bullseye Shooting Range Future Fours raced to green in their feature, led by Kris Kaphing and Damon Roberts. Roberts, already with pair of trophies on the year, held the top spot for three laps. Unfortunately Roberts’ fourth trip though turn four resulted in a broken right front wheel, handing the lead to Kaphing. After leading through lap seven, Kaphing suffered a flat right front forcing him to limp his #16x steed pit-side. After spending the race battling for third, then second, the trio of Kyle Dahlheimer, Chris Rick and Oliver Swanson found themselves locked into a battle royalé for the win. With nothing settled until the final turn, a jubilant Swanson celebrated his first ever feature win, edging out Rick, Dahlheimer and Joe Schwartz.
The Sterling Bank UMSS Traditional Sprint car counts remained strong, topping ten cars for the second consecutive week. Travis Jehlicka and Jack Clark brought the eleven car field up to speed with the veteran Clark nabbing the top spot for the opening lap. By lap
two, it was reigning champion Kevin Bradwell pacing the field on his hometown track. Starting deeper in the field, Johnny Parsons III and the winner of last week’s Traditional 30, Rob Caho Jr. were quickly buzzing Bradwell’s fuel cell. By lap seven, Parsons found an opening and blasted to the front, with Bradwell and Caho now giving chase. On lap fourteen, Caho and Bradwell swapped positions with the primary pressure to Parsons now applied by Caho, who was simultaneously still fending of Bradwell. At the double checkers, it was Parsons picking up his third win of the season with Caho, Bradwell, Clark and Katrina Sautbine rounding out the top five.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds closed the racing with a whopping 24 cars crammed onto the quarter-mile bullring. After an opening lap altercation in turn two, fourth starting Jason VandeKamp headed to the work area for repairs and rejoined the tail of field. Not involved in the wreck was Josh Bazey, who took a lap to work his way around John Remington. Once in front, Bazey raced off into the night, leaving Remington, Bryce Johnson, Grant Southworth, Cory Eystad and Justin Oestreich to battle for second, while VandeKamp was tasked with passing the bulk of the field. Another caution on lap three found VandeKamp already back into the top ten, and he would continue his charge throughout the race. With just five laps remaining, VandeKamp had bested most of the field, but while he was chauffeuring his hotrod through the heavy traffic up to second place, Bazey was cruising on a mostly wide open track. With far too much real estate behind Bazey, the yellow flag VandeKamp needed to close the gap never came and Bazey secured a third feature win sticker for his 2012 collection. VandeKamp thrilled the crowd with his amazing charge through the field for second in front of Oestreich, Remmington and Eystad.
Scheduled for this Friday night, June 22, is Senior Night, with all fans over 65 years young receiving free admission. All regular classes will be in competition: Pure Stocks and Future Fours, WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, along with the UMSS Traditional and Micro Sprints. June 22 is also the WISSOTA Race of Champions qualifying night for the Midwest Modifieds. And now less than weeks away, June 29, the highly anticipated first annual Open Wheel Nationals Kouba Memorial Race presented by Jack Links. UMSS winged Sprint cars will be racing for a $2000 winner’s check, open modifieds are chasing a winner’s share of $1500 in prize money, Midwest Modifieds will be vying for a $750 top prize and the UMSS Traditional Sprints are motoring after a $500 winner’s check. Celebrations will continue at The Valley on July 6 with another Kid’s Night (under 15 free) and a fireworks spectacular supplied by Fireworks Forever of St. Croix Falls. Additional details for these or any other future events at St. Croix Valley Raceway can be found on the tracks website, www.scvraceway.com.
Future Fours – feature: Oliver Swanson, Chris Rick, Kyle Dahlheimer, Joe Schwartz, Kris Kaphing, Alex Hallin, Chris Arnett, Damon Roberts, Dylan Roberts, Derek Reding, Nicki DuBois, Nick Axelson.
Pure Stocks – feature: Jason Havel, Jake Silbernagel, Justin Rick, Tony DuBois, Greg Hallin, Mason McEvers, Cindy Stordahl, Ken Hallin, Greg Meidlinger, Jon Wigchers.
UMSS Micro Sprints – feature: Greg Gunderson, Tony Duran, George Knudsen, Ty Sampair, Chris Lanz
UMSS Traditional Sprints – feature: Johnny Parson III, Rob Caho Jr., Kevin Bradwell, Jack Clark, Katrina Sautbine, Denny Stordahl, Travis Jehlicka, Tom Porter, Mike Huesmann, Ryan Olson, Lucas Milz.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds – feature: Josh Bazey, Jason VandeKamp, Justin Oestreich, John Remmington, Cory Eystad, Bryce Johnson, Tyler English, Tony Schill, Jason Schill, AJ Roschen, Kevin Marlett, Corey Fogelson, Doug Toepper, Mike Haseltine, Miranda Carlson, Grant Southworth, Vince Corbin, Jeremy Houle, Mitch Weiss, George Dallbeck, Mike Halvorsen, Jake Stai, Greg Arnt, Brent Swanson.