Midvale Speedway
Midvale Speedway... Thunder In The Valley 2018...
Tuesday, February 19th
Ohio's Fun Place to Race!!
2018 Race Season
July 3, 2018
It was another incredible night at Midvale Speedway. Sunny skies, warm temperatures, a good car count, hard and clean racing, fireworks and a sellout crowd!! What more could you ask for? The Firecracker 150 presented by Smith's Auto Sales was another night to remember. There were 77 cars on the property and it was 88 degrees and sunny at race time.

Flyin' Ryan Tedesco in the #701 and the #88 of Billy Roberts brought the field down for the start of the Firecracker 100 for the Main Event Outlaw Tour. Tedesco sprinted out front, clearing Roberts off turn two. Bud Perry in the #10 was able to follow Tedesco to take over second. As the early laps clicked away, Perry started to take a few looks to the outside of Tedesco for the race lead. On lap 7, Perry made a good run to pull along side. It took him three laps and a Tedesco slip off turn two to complete the pass as Tedesco fought hard on the bottom, but Perry took the point on lap 10. The worst incident of the event took place on lap 13 as the legend Tim Ice in the #65 had a throttle stick on the front straightaway. Ice was able to navigate turn one but hit the yuke tires that protect the split in the wall to the pit entrance. He bounced off those tires and down into the pit chute. A very scary accident that destroyed the green and white #65, but most importantly The Iceman walked to the ambulance under his own power and was released. Fastest Qualifier Tony Urdiales made an unscheduled pit stop under the delay, but returned prior to the green flag coming back out. After the lengthy cleanup, the drivers this year in the Main Event Outlaw Tour get to choose their own lanes for the restarts. Perry chose the bottom, Tedesco the top with Roberts and Steve Needles in the #18 in row two. Perry shot out to the lead as Roberts followed in the #10's tire tracks to second. The top five were nose to tail, feeling each other out as another pair of legends crept into the top 6. Gary Whipkey in the #59 and Rich Rohrer in the #7 were 5th and 6th respectively. On lap 20, Bob Gainer in the #01 experienced an issue in turn three, spun in his own fluid and backed his machine into the outside wall. Gainer was ok, but finished for the night. Perry and Roberts would restart on the front row. They raced side by side into turn three but coming off turn four, Roberts may have slipped in some residual fluid or speedy dry from the Gainer incident and he spun in front of the field. Rohrer, Albert Francis in the #33, Emerson Huffman in the #90 and Cody Jaberg in the #22 all received damage. Everyone was able to continue, but Roberts was sent to the tail for bringing out the caution. That put Needles to the outside of Perry. Needles was able to inch out in front and then finally cleared Perry on lap 23. The front three were all under a blanket with Rohrer in fourth and Whipkey fifth. The caution flew again at the 1/4 mark as the #4 of Justin Schroeder, Huffman and Roberts had a dust up in turn four. Under the caution, Rohrer had some kind of issue and pulled pit side, forcing him to retire from the event. On the last restart, Needles got such a good run in the second lane, he chose it for this one, putting Perry back on the bottom. Needles shot out of a cannon at the drop of the green flag as Perry tucked in behind. After a quick caution for a loop by Huffman in turn two on lap 36, the front 4 of Needles, Perry, Tedesco and Whipkey would settle into a long green flag run. The distances between the four varied from time to time, but the positions didnt change. They were electing to conserve their equipment while marching through the middle stages of the race. The best battle on the track during that time was a heated one between Urdiales and Francis. They were glued together for the better part of that long green flag run for the 5th position. The final caution flew on lap 62 as Bob Schneider Jr in the #17 spun in turn two. Needles and Perry brought the field down for the final restart with Needles again, taking the point with Perry close in tow. The lead duo would check out from the third place battle between Tedesco and Whipkey. Whipkey was all over the rear decklid of the #701, trying to find a way around, but the most popular driver at Midvale was able to hold on to the spot. Needles would slowly build up a .8 second lead over Perry with 20 laps to go. That's when Perry decided that he had to step on the "Go Pedal". Perry closed to gap to just over a half of a second as the leaders hit heavy lapped traffic. They had built up close to a 3/4 lap lead on Tedesco and Whipkey. Needles was able to pick his way through the traffic better than Perry, that ended up being the difference. In his first visit to Midvale Speedway, Steve Needles drove the Direct Detail, Amsdell Companies, Hutter Race Engines, Earnest Performance and Bicknell Racing Products sponsored #18 into DLP Commercial Maintenance Victory Lane. Completing the top 5 behind the St. Joseph's MI driver was Perry, Tedesco, Whipkey and Francis. The first thing Needles said over the loudspeakers was thanking the fans for spending their hard earned money to support the drivers and the series!

The first feature of the night was the Firecracker 50 for the Open Modified's. Steve Jones in the #76 and the #32 of Norm Talyor started on the front row after their heat race wins. "Stormin' Norm" took the top spot as Jones and Mack Gribble in the #12 fell in line behind. Craig Phillips in the #15 and Brad Copen in the #20 were starting to move to the front after moving to 4th and 5th respectively. Taylor has had terrible luck in a Modified at Midvale in the past. He has always had fast cars, but something would always keep him out of victory lane. He had built up a half straightaway advantage by lap 6 as Phillips worked to the outside of Gribble for 3rd. After a 3 lap battle, Gribble was able to hang on, allowing the Copen machine to the inside of Phillips. Another car on the move was the last Open Mod race winner at Midvale back on Memorial Day weekend, Rick Elkins Jr in the #51. He was locked into that battle with Copen and Phillips for 3rd. Taylor had built up a 3.8 second lead until the first caution flew on lap 16, as the #16 of Stephen Klinect lost power on the back straightaway. Taylor would get a great restart on Jones as Gribble and Elkins battled for 3rd. Elkins would take the position and started to work over the #76 for second. Jones, fighting some handling issues, could not get back in the gas as quick as Elkins and the two got together in turn four on lap 18. Elkins displayed some great sportsmanship by admitting fault but was eliminated with a broken spindle as a result of the accident. Jones got a much better restart the next time and stayed side by side with Taylor until they came off turn four to put 19 laps in the books. All the way from the 9th starting position to restarting on the second row with Gribble was the green and yellow retro livery of Brandon Bailey in the #55. "Rooster" was able to follow Taylor and take over the second spot as Jones got high and slipped back quickly. Fastest qualifier Lucas Ripley in the #0, put his machine in the high lane outside Gribble, as the front two streaked away. At the halfway mark, Taylor and Bailey were nose to tail and a half straightaway ahead of Gribble and Ripley who were still side by side and Todd Ripley in the #00 rounding out the top 5. As the laps clicked away, Gribble was able to fend off Lucas and he would be passed by Todd and the #82 of Bob Sibla Jr. Lucas may have used up his tires on the outside of Gribble. On lap 33, Bryce Allensworth was able to take over the 6th spot in his blue #1 after starting 17th, what an incredible run by the Dan Burden owned team. As "Rooster" started to take a couple peeks to the outside of Taylor for the lead, Gribble started to reel off some impressive laps, closing the distance to the front two. The caution flew on lap 46 as the #11 of Trey Williams and Jones made contact in front of the leaders in turn four. The restart had Taylor on the inside with Bailey on the outside, Gribble and Todd were in row two. Taylor was able to clear Bailey off turn two as the #55 tucked in behind the leader. The final caution came out on lap 48 as Jones stopped in turn two. That set up a green-white-checkered finish between "Stormin' Norm" and "The Rooster". As the green flag flew for the final time, Taylor was able to clear Bailey off turn two and shake the monkey off his back, picking up the win he has tried so hard to get in a Modified at Midvale. Following the North Ridgeville OH driver in the Spitzer Chevy, Taylor Painting and Perfection Fabrication sponsored #32 was Bailey, Gribble, Sibla Jr and Todd Ripley. The bonus to the top 3 Midvale Crates went to Trey Williams, Bill Shimko and Corey Beatty.

Gabe Pringle in the #7 and Greg Barnard Jr in the #00 led the field of Open Street Stocks down for their 30 lap feature. Pringle would jump out front in his Midvale legal crate engine as Barnard tucked in behind. The first caution waved on lap 2 as the #36 of Luther Hurley and the #25 of Shawn Marder made contact in turn two. On the restart, Barnard tried to hold the #7 down on the bottom and slight contact ensued. That contact was enough to cut the left front tire of the #00, causing another caution as he slowed to a stop. Barnard would rejoin the field after a pit stop. That put the #21 of Colton Ritchey to Pringle's outside. Ritchey would hang tough for a lap until Pringle finally cleared the #21 off turn two. On lap 9, the #25 of Josh Way put his machine to the outside of Ritchey for second. Way had his sights set on the leader until the caution flew again on lap 11 as the #52 of Bob Sibla Jr and the #7 of Joe Coursen got together in turn four, collecting the #22 of Keith Platz. Sibla would head to the pits for a tire change and Coursen was given his spot back. On the restart, the big motors of Way and Coursen shot around Pringle and Ritchey and into the top two spots. On lap 13, the safety green #7 went to the high side of Way for the lead. Coursen was able to make quick work of Way and started distancing himself from the field. At the halfway mark, the winning car from Memorial Day weekend's Open Street Stock race was coming. Buck Purtee in the #03, who was also the fastest qualifier, was on a rail. He split Earl Goldy in the #08 and Ritchey in a great, 3-wide move to take over 5th. On lap 17 he took the 4th position from Roger Arbogast in the #88. A lap later he got 3rd from Pringle. A lap after that he disposed of Way for second. Purtee was pretty crazy about his Mercury!! The question was, would he run out of time. Little by little he was running Coursen down, but the sand in the hour glass was close to running out. The winning driver on Memorial Day weekend, Matt Wilson, had moved up to the fourth spot after starting 13th in his #98. The caution that Purtee needed, came with 2 laps to go as the #70 of Bob Lusetti spun off turn two. That set up another green-white-checkered finish, this time between Coursen and Purtee. As the final green flag flew, Coursen was able to clear Purtee off turn two and set sail. Coursen said in DLP Commercial Maintenance Victory Lane that after a bad accident a few years back at Midvale, he felt the track owed him one. On this night, the track paid him back in full. Following the Painsville OH driver in the Habco Tool & Development, Francis Engines, Chick's Automotive, Legan Trucking, Jackie's Sports Bar and Grill and Redline Radio sponsored #7 was Wilson, Purtee, Parker Ennes and Goldy. Gabe Pringle captured the Midvale legal Street Stock bonus.

The final feature of the evening was the 25 lap Open Compact event. "DRIII" Don Rufener III started on the pole in the #007 with the #31 of Bart Busby, the winner of the last Open Compact feature back in May. DRIII was able to clear Busby off turn two on lap 2 and take the top spot. Busby would fight back to the outside but Rufener was able to hang on to the lead. That opened the bottom for Eric Feister in the #78 to battle with Busby for second. That battle would last all the way until lap 8 when Feister finally wrestled the position away. The first caution flew for the rear bumper of John Foster's #92, laying in the middle of the front straightaway. That gave Feister a shot at Rufener from the 2nd groove. On the restart, Rufener cleared the #78 off turn two with ease and Busby stuck his nose underneath Feister. Busby returned the favor on Feister with an inside pass on lap 11. The second and final caution waved on lap 13 as Foster stopped on the front straightaway with a possible left front wheel issue. Busby got redemption on Feister and now he was looking for it on DRIII. On the final restart, Rufener was able to quickly clear Busby, but he was unable to drive away. Busby stayed right on his rear bumper. With 6 laps remaining, Busby started taking a look to the outside of the #007. It took four laps but he finally drew along side Rufener for the lead on lap 23. Side by side, clean racing between the young gun on the bottom and the wiley old veteran on the top. Coming through turns one and two on the final circuit, Busby slowed, allowing DRIII to drive into DLP Commercial Maintenance Victory Lane for the first time in quite awhile. Rounding out the top 5 behind the Uhrichsville OH driver in the Rufener Racing, Animal Racing and Boulevard Lanes sponsored #007 was Busby, Feister, Brandon France and Justin Renicker.

We cant THANK The Main Event Outlaw Tour and all the Open Modified, Street Stock, Compact's and the Starfire Corporation enough for coming out on a Tuesday and putting on one heck of a good show!! Most of all, the THANKS goes to THE FANS who once again packed Midvale Speedway!! Let's do it again on Labor Day Sunday!!

We also want to send out a SPECIAL THANK YOU to everyone that turned out to cover the festivities!! Patrick Hahe from Speed51, Brandon Freeman from Left Turn Photo Works, Kyle Jones and JT Morrison from OVDTR and our very own Craig Mishler and Howard Holt from Mid-Vid Racing Videos and Dan Bailey Photography!! THANK YOU for bringing Midvale into our homes and our phones!!
Also, THANK YOU to the New Philadelphia Lady Quakers Volleyball Team and Coaches for helping park cars and putting on the 50/50 and to 99.9 WTUZ for giving away the tickets to Kentucky Speedway!

Coming up THIS SATURDAY NIGHT is Adventure Harley Davidson and Finlayson Towing Mid-Season Championship and Autograph Night. All 5 regular divisions will be in action along with the CRS Truck Series. 6 DIVISIONS OF RACING WITH AUTOGRAPHS!! We hope to see everyone back this weekend!!

- Story by Chris Kail


Main Event Outlaw Tour

Fast Time: Tony Urdiales 13.596

Lap Leaders: Tedesco 1-9, Perry 10-20, Needles 21-100

Open Modified's

Fast Time: Lucas Ripley

Heat 1: Steve Jones, Mack Gribble, Craig Phillips, Brad Copen, Brandon Bailey, Spencer Stineman, Todd Ripley, Bob Sibla Jr

Heat 2: Norm Taylor, Aaron Timmerman, Rick Elkins, Lucas Ripley, Stephen Klinect, Doug McMillen, Dave Dobbins, Zack Miller

Heat 3: Bill Shimko, Joe Ujcich, Corey Beatty, Trey Williams, Sam Bingham, Bryce Allensworth, Andy Shutts

Firecracker 50: Taylor, Bailey, Gribble, Sibla Jr, Todd, Phillips, Allensworth, Copen, Jones, Lucas, Williams, Timmerman, Bingham, Dobbins, Stineman, Miller, Elkins, Klinect, McMillen, Shimko, Ujcich, Beatty

Open Street Stock's

Fast Time: Buck Purtee 15.683

Heat 1: Roger Arbogast, Matt Wilson, Earl Goldy, Buck Purtee, Joe Coursen, Mark Lushes, Parker Ennes

Heat 2: Josh Way, AP Ren, Colton Ritchey, Jeff Kuykendall, Keith Platz, Bob Sibla Jr, Dennis Wood

Heat 3: Shawn Marder, Luther Hurley, Jeremiah Hartline, Bob Lusetti, Greg Barnard Jr, Rodney Reynolds, Gabe Pringle

30 Lap Feature: Coursen, Wilson, Purtee, Ennes, Goldy, Lushes, Arbogast, Pringle, Platz, Barnard Jr, Wood, Sibla Jr, Hurley, Reynolds, Lusetti, Marder, Ritchey, Way, Kuykendall,Ren

Open Compact's

Fast Time: Bart Busby 17.326

Heat 1: Don Rufener III, Brandon France, Billy Hilliker, Britt Vanmeter, Josh Peebles, Bobby Gainer, Alan Clark

Heat 2: Bart Busby, Eric Feister, Justin Renicker, Mike McDonald, John Foster, Kyle Finlayson, Braden Swaney, Austin Stoll, Chad Medley

25 Lap Feature: DRIII, Busby, Feister, France, Renicker, Peebles, McDonald, Medley, Swaney, Clark, Finlayson, Gainer, Stoll, Hilliker, Vanmeter, Foster

Written by: Chris Kail