Back-to-School night at St. Croix Valley Raceway, otherwise referred to as the Crash-Tastic Smash-O-Rama, lived up to its billing and then some with exciting racing and thrilling stunts, Powder Puff, Mechanics and Trailer races.
Clay “Wildman” Gallagher and “The Demolition Devil” Scott Turkiewicz engaged the crowd with a series of stunts that included Turkiewicz’s signature Steel Wall performance, a rollover, and a final crash-landing car jump. Gallagher and his son, Zach (aka Captain Crash), smashed through a camper numerous times before their minivan sputtered to a stall. The night ended with the always entertaining, carnage-riddled Trailer races, won by the GTK Services “Thing 1” SUV/trailer combo driven by Ken Bessac. Kids’ prizes were awarded on multiple scavenger hunts for the costumed track jester, the fun-loving former racer and track neighbor Skip Lutgen. The kids were also rewarded by yet another Jason Havel win in the Pure Stock division, and true to form, Havel passed out treats after his popular win.
The mind-boggling tenth consecutive win for Havel was no easy feat. As Jon Wigchers proved by besting Havel in heat race, the points leader can be beaten. The season long dominance led to the introduction of a bounty on Havel. Any driver able to beat Havel would receive a $100 addition to their winner’s check, but if Havel was able to win from last place, the extra hundred would be awarded to him. In the beginning of the race it was the #4 of pole starting Tony DuBois showing the fast way around the quarter mile. After a pair of cautions, it was a three car battle between DuBois, Havel and Krysta Swearingen as the trio hit the crossed flags three abreast. One lap later Havel took the lead and started to pull away as Swearingen took second and gave chase. For a few laps, Havel stretched his lead, but in the waning laps Swearingen’s #03 ride sprang to life. Swearingen quickly and dramatically began to reel in the leader, catching his bumper on the final turn, but she simply ran out of laps to complete her challenge. In the end it was Havel winning by a car length over the Swearingen and pocketing the extra $100. After Swearingen, DuBois, Wigchers, and Jake Silbernagel rounded out the top five. Next week the same bounty system will be in play with an extra $100 to the winner if it is not Havel or the bonus goes to Havel if he wins from the rear.
Next up were the North Branch Shooting Range Future Fours. After an opening lap caution, it was Team Rollover, Damon Roberts and Dylan Roberts, running first and second while Alex Hallin, Chris Rick, Hope Tucker and Oliver Swanson were racing four wide for third. After another quick yellow, Team Rollover was battling over which one should lead when the #20R of Dylan made contact with the #11 of Damon. As Damon Roberts chased his car up the track, Dylan and Rick snuck by, relegating Damon to third. Damon Roberts would have his night end a few laps later after coming together with Nicki DuBois leaving his ride too crippled to continue. The last half of the race finished
up incident free with Roberts cruising to his second consecutive feature win in front of Rick, Swanson, Bob Carver Jr., and DuBois.
Pulling off a seemingly impossible feat, the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds upped the excitement ante even more with yet another four and five wide frenzied affair for the night’s largest check. Corey Fogelson and Mitch Weiss brought the field to Shaun Cimfl’s waving green and Fogelson immediately jumped to the point. Behind Fogelson, Weiss, Tony Schill, Vince Corbin, John Remington, Kevin Marlett, Jason Schill and Josh Bazey juked, jived, sliced and diced in a mega-dramatic battle for position. Outrunning the beehive behind him, Fogelson began to stretch his lead as the rest of the field thinned from 5-wide battles down to 3-wide battles. During the middle laps Fogelson built up a lead of nearly 50 feet, while the duo of Vince Corbin and Mitch Weiss emerged in a two-car battle for second. Eventually, that duo caught Fogelson and the duel transformed into a three-way battle for the lead. With five laps to go, Corbin finally nudged a bumper out in front of Fogelson, but Fogelson charged right back to lead the next two circuits. After a few more laps the Tony Schill, Jason Schill, Josh Bazey battle caught the lead group creating a new six-car chase for the checkers. Going into turn three on lap nineteen, Jason Schill powered past Fogelson and the race had its third official leader as they took the white flag. Try as he might, Fogelson could not return the favor but still managed his best finish of the season, finishing half a heartbeat behind an elated Schill. Behind the #11x and #11c, Weiss, Corbin, Bazey and Tony Schill crossed the stripe as a frenzied herd in yet another crowd pleasing, caution-free main event.
Next Friday, August 24, features the final installment of the Thunder in the Valley series at St. Croix Valley Raceway. The fifth appearance of winged sprint cars is in addition to the track’s regular classes: Future Fours, Pure Stocks, Micro Sprints, Traditional Sprints and WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. Other exciting at western Wisconsin’s action track include the Bullring Blast! featuring WISSOTA Late Models and open Modifieds, plus WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and UMSS Traditional Sprint cars on August 31, and the race season wraps up at The Valley with two complete shows, the Badger State Championship, on September 21 and 22. Additional details for these or any other future events at St. Croix Valley Raceway can be found on the track’s website, www.scvraceway.com.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds – feature: Jason Schill, Corey Fogelson, Mitch Weiss, Vince Corbin, Josh Bazey, Tony Schill, Kevin Marlett, Ryan Johnson, Tyler English, John Remington, Mike Haseltine, Doug Toepper, Allen Stettner, Mike Halvorsen, Greg Arnt.
Pure Stocks – feature: Jason Havel, Krysta Swearingen, Tony DuBois, Jon Wigchers, Jake Silbernagel, Justin Rick, Greg Hallin, Mike Olson, Ben Kaphing, John Armstrong, Mason McEvers, Kyle Dahlheimer.
Future Fours – feature: Dylan Roberts, Chris Rick, Oliver Swanson, Bob Carver Jr.,, Nicki DuBois, Alex Hallin, Damon Roberts, Kris Kaphing, Hope Tucker, Payton English, Kyle Dahlheimer.