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Posts in 'Magic Valley Speedway' Track

First Titles for Idaho’s Pehrson Father Nips Son For Magic Valley, State Titles

October 30th, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A veteran Idaho driver won his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track and state championships in 2013.

Dan Pehrson, 50, of Buhl, Idaho, won the NASCAR Super Stock division track championship and NASCAR state title racing at Magic Valley Speedway, a third-mile paved oval in Twin Falls, Idaho. Pehrson had a problematic rival during the season-long lead-swapping track and state point races: his 32-year-old son Casey.

“Both of us are racers and both of us are prepared to win,” Dan Pehrson said. “I won the first race of the season. Casey won the second race and from there the battle was on. “There were weeks I had the point lead, weeks when he had the point lead and weeks we were tied. It was a nail-biter right down to the end of the season.”

The senior Pehrson placed fourth in the final feature of the year. He won the track point race by 10 and the state title by six, both over his son, who placed seventh in the last feature. Dan Pehrson’s overall 20-race record was four wins, 17 top-fives and 20 top-10s. With the exception of having one less top-five finish, Casey Pehrson’s record was the same.

“We have a close relationship, but we have separate shops. We’ll rib each other, but we’ve worked on his car at my shop. He’d do the same for me. When we’re on the track, we challenge each other. “I’ve been fighting for a championship for years and they’ve been very, very elusive,” Pehrson said of finally breaking through.

A 23-year racing veteran, Pehrson started out in the four cylinder Pony Stock division driving a Ford Pinto at Magic Valley. After three years he moved on to a three-year stint in Modifieds. Wanting to explore the racing world around him, Pehrson then spent 10 years racing with a touring truck series. He returned to Late Model racing at Magic Valley in 2008, and then switched with the track to the Super Stock division in 2011.

Kristopher McKean won the 2012 track championship by 15 points and the state championship by 21 points over Casey Pehrson who won NASCAR’s 2012 state rookie-of-the-year award. Dan Pehrson placed seventh in track and state points last year.

“I think my wife Tammy has some rather difficult race nights. We both want to see Casey succeed. Race nights can be interesting and nerve-racking. I’ve helped him when he needed it. We have camaraderie, but we have competition between us too.”

Courtney Gard is Dan Pehrson’s crew chief and wife Tammy rounds out the crew. Their race car is based on a home-built Chevy Camaro chassis and powered by a GM 602 crate engine. Sponsors include Joe’s Blacksmith Shop and Pehrson Motorsports.

Pehrson is a service manager at Con Paulos Volkswagen-Mazda in Twin Falls. He and his wife also have a daughter, Andrea. Three granddaughters also race at Magic Valley. They compete in the Junior Stinger division. Hailey, 13, won the first half-season championship and had a total of eight feature wins. Gracie, 10, had one win and Madison, 12, is working to get her first win. “Racing is a big family event for us,” Pehrson said. “We have quite a busy race season.”

Pehrson will be honored for his Magic Valley Speedway championship during the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards event on Friday, Dec. 13 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame/Charlotte Convention Center. Among those honored will be the 2013 national champion Lee Pulliam, as well as track champions from 55 tracks across the United States and Canada, state and province champions, and top rookies.

“We tagged along with Casey and went to the NASCAR banquet in Charlotte last December. We got to see him on stage to get his state rookie award. This year I get to be on the stage,” Pehrson said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

More information on the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is available at http://hometracks.nascar.com.

Doss Shows who’s Boss in Southern Idaho 200

June 19th, 2013

TWIN FALLS, IDA– When you’re hot, you’re hot, and Jeremy Doss was definitely the hottest driver at Magic Valley Speedway this weekend.

Doss, who set the quick qualifying time and then went on to win Friday night’s Rocky Mountain Challenge Series event, repeated his successes Saturday night.

After once again qualifying with the fastest time of the 24 entrants, Doss was all set up to gather more points in the first segment of the Century Motorsports and Marine 200.

With the inverted starting lineup Doss began the race towards the back of the pack. While Jason Jefferson held the lead for most of the event, Doss had worked his way up to fifth by the end of the first 100 laps. The caution flag was displayed four times in the first segment; three in the first 18 laps as the field jockeyed for position.

After a short break for fuel, tires and repairs, Doss, who had gathered the most points for qualifying and passing during the first segment, took his place at the front of the field for the green flag start of the second segment. Doss was followed by Eric Schmidt, Jason Jefferson, Kris McKean and John Dillon at lap 120 but four laps later Trevor Cristiani had battled his way into fifth. By lap 150 Doss had established a huge lead over the rest of the field, but the $10,000 prize was not in his hands quite yet.

Two more cautions affecting the cars of Dillon, Schmidt and McKean tested Doss’ restarting skills, but he managed to pull away each time leaving his competitors to fight for the best finishing position they could get for the night.

At the drop of the checkered flag at lap 200, Doss would cross the line just slightly under three seconds ahead of Cristiani. Ryan Wells, Tom Elam and Jason Jefferson rounded out the top five.

“I was concerned when the fast cars started right up behind me towards the end, but we were able to pull it off. We had a good car last night and we had a good car today – my crew did a great job and it really paid off,” Doss said. The $10,000 bonus will make the trip back to Upper Lake, California, even smoother. “I’ll have a happy dad and it will make it a nice ride home,” added the soft-spoken 16-year-old.

Cristiani, just two years Doss’ senior, is a recent transplant from Northern California but now resides in Meridian.

“We threw everything but the kitchen sink into the car during the break,” said the 18-year-old driver. “The car wasn’t perfect but it was good enough to finish where we did. It was hard for me to get a good restart but I was just so happy to come though and finish second.”

Local drivers Kris McKean, Jonathon Gomez and Bruce Quale finished in the top 10. Hannah Newhouse, Morgan Rasmussen and Rick Fowble finished 14, 21 and 22 respectively.

In NASCAR Whelen Weekly Racing Series action Jim Hall went from start to finish leading the Supers Stocks division main event race. While Hall hated to see the caution flag with ten laps to go in the 30-lap event, he managed to keep the battles behind him en route to the win.

Hailey Douglas came through with another victory in the Jr. Stingers division and The Hoffa Mobile took the main event win with the Thunderdogs.

Pehrson Polishes Off Main Event Win

July 9th, 2012

TWIN FALLS, Idaho– Saturday night the usual suspects were up front for the final laps of the Commercial Tire Super Stocks main event race at Magic Valley Speedway but this time it was Casey Pehrson who came through with the main event win.

After taking over the front runner position from his father Dan Pehrson at lap five, Casey Pehrson managed to defend his lead despite rounds of pressure on his rear bumper from Kris McKean. Soon Hannah Newhouse and Daniel Shirley got in on the mix and the three shuffled for position behind Pehrson until the caution was brought out at lap 25 for debris.

After the restart in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series feature division race Daniel Shirley was Pehrson’s biggest rival while Newhouse and McKean battled just behind. At lap 30 Shirley took over as frontrunner but four laps later the caution flag was once again displayed after Willie Dalton spun on the back stretch. Taking his position on the high side for what would be the final restart Pehrson retook the lead, defending his position until the checkered flag flew at lap 40.

“I hate getting out in front early like that because I get real cautious,” Pehrson said. “Then the 23 car (Shirley) came out of nowhere and passed me. It kind of made me mad how fast he went around me so at the last restart I just told myself that I was going to beat him.”

Shirley reported “misfiring” in the engine in the late stages of the race. Ernie Hall took command of the Brennan’s Carpet Street Stocks race right out of the gate. Starting third in a pack of seven Hall went to the lead as soon as the first lap was put up on the scoreboard. From there he began to pull away from the rest of the field and by lap 10 he led Paul Browne by a wide margin. As the race progressed caution-free, Hall cruised to the checkered flag 7.607 seconds ahead of Browne for his third main event win of season.

“Paul (Browne) is so good that if he gets out in front of me I can’t catch him,” Hall reported. “So if I am out in front I really have to go. I have to keep the pressure on him in the point standings so he doesn’t get too far ahead.”

In other action Jason Quale led the Magic Valley Pipe Hornets main event race by a wide margin until the caution came out at lap seven. Undaunted, Quale retook command of the race and quickly began pulling away from his biggest contender for the win, Jeff Pack. It was Quale’s first trip to the winner’s circle of the season.

Hailey Douglas won the first round of competition in the Quale’s Electronics Jr. Stingers race for the fall championship and Douglas Brownfield drove “The Tank” to victory with The Car Store Thunderdogs.

Newhouse cleans up with main event win

June 27th, 2012

TWIN FALLS, Idaho– After getting roughed up in double mains June 16, this time there was barely a scratch on the No. 61 car at the end of Saturday night’s racing action at Magic Valley Speedway. Making it an even better night, Hannah Newhouse was able to pull into the winner’s circle for her third Commercial Tire Super Stocks main event win of the season.

The green flag fell on the feature division race with Willie Dalton and Jerry Slocum occupying the front row positions. Point standings leader Newhouse and Kris McKean, second in the standings, were lined up along side each other at the rear of the field. Dalton led the first half of the race but was part of the caution flag that came out at lap 20 for a wreck that also involved Kendel Woll, Steve Edens and McKean. Newhouse was able to maneuver around the incident.

“I did not want a replay of last week,” Newhouse said after the win. “This time it just worked out to where they all kind of slid downward after they hit in front of me. So I just kept going.”

After the restart she and Casey Pehrson battled side by side until another caution was displayed when the car of Dan Pehrson spun in turn three. After the final restart Newhouse and Pehrson battled side by side once again but Newhouse would soon become the clear leader. Meanwhile McKean fought with Allen Williams for third with McKean settling into the position at lap 33.

For Pehrson, the second place finish was less than he had hoped for.

“It (the car) worked well for a couple of laps and then it didn’t work anymore, I just can’t figure it out,” he said. “We have been battling with this car – it’s either really tight or really loose -there is just no in between. At least we don’t have a lot of body work to do on it this week.”

Brenden Radabaugh is the Quales’ Electronics Jr. Stingers newest champion. Radabaugh captured the championship finishing 13 points ahead of midseason runner up Hailey Douglas. Justice Coates was the winner of the main event race after taking the lead from Rieley Browne at lap five.

In other action Casey Tillman was the Idaho Legends main event winner after taking over the lead at lap nine. Jeff Peck captured the win in the Magic Valley Pipe Hornets by getting around Lane Walker at lap eight of the 15-lap main event race.

The Stinkin Lincoln and the Tank were both winners after main event doubles for The Car Store Thunderdogs.

Gomez shines though rough night at MVS

June 22nd, 2012

TWIN FALLS, Idaho There’s no place like home.

Taking a break from K&N and Spears Southwest Tour Series competition, Saturday night Jonathon Gomez returned to the track where not all that long ago he learned to drive a racecar.

And proving once again he hasn’t forgotten his way around the one-third mile track, the Twin Falls resident picked up his third victory in his last three starts in Rocky Mountain Challenge Series competition at Magic Valley Speedway.

After qualifying with the fast time of the night and finishing sixth in his heat race, Gomez started the main event near the rear of the field of sixteen competitors. Jason Jefferson took lead of the race from Craig Bell at lap 16, but after working his way through the field Gomez took over as frontrunner at the midway point. Just after Gomez took the lead the caution came out for the cars of Rick Fowble and Tyler Bailey colliding on the front stretch, and three more cautions would follow before the race was finished.

After each restart Gomez never relinquished the lead. Meanwhile, Jefferson and Bruce Quale fought for second with Jefferson getting the spot as the checkered flag flew at the end of the Mr. Gas and Mr. Wash 100.

“My crew had to work really hard to get us here but they (RMCS) deserve to be recognized and we’re trying to help them out as much as possible,” Gomez said. “I really love this series and we’re hoping to run a couple more of these races this
year.”

Quale’s third place finish after starting tenth was enough to keep him in the points lead for the series. It was pure mayhem for the Commercial Tire Super Stocks drivers in both main event races. In the first main Hannah Newhouse had to exit to the pits for a new radiator after she was unable to avoid a collision on the backstretch at lap 13. Ten laps
later Kris McKean and Daniel Shirley got together along the same stretch, then directly after the restart McKean took his frustration out on Shirley by sending him into the backstretch wall while taking out the car of Spencer Meyer as well. After the incident McKean was visibly upset and climbed out of his car to have a few words with Shirley from across the infield. Shirley would make it back to finish the race after repairing the damage to his car but McKean would not; Newhouse would make it back to finish ninth. Casey Pehrson was the biggest recipient of the chaos, going on to win his first race of the season.

After the race McKean was penalized for actions that were determined to be detrimental to the sport.

“He was being a little aggressive out there and it looked to me like he intentionally ran in to Daniel (Shirley),” Bryan Price, MVS race director said. “Then he was parked and placed on probation for getting out of his car in the infield.”

McKean left the facility for the night before the start of the second main which ended with a surprising victor.

Although most if not all of the participants already had car damage of some kind, eight drivers including Shirley and Newhouse began the 40-lap event. At lap 13 leader Willie Dalton was at the front of a chain event crash that also involved
Steve Edens, Pehrson and Newhouse. All sustained even further damage at the turn one wall but all four would make it back eventually to finish the race.

Shirley this time would fare much better, avoiding trouble and restarting the race from the front row. After capturing the lead at lap 17 Shirley was later first to the finish line, winning his first main of the season. Newhouse, driving a nearly unrecognizable race car finished second followed by Meyer.

“You never know what’s going to happen out there and after the first race I was ready to pack it up and go home,” Shirley said. “But then I finally got one this year.”

In other action Paul Browne won his fourth race of the season for the Brennan’s Carpet Street Stocks after a tough battle with Ernie Hall and Brenden Radabaugh was victorious for the Quale’s Electronics Jr. Stingers.

Newhouse hammers out win at MV Speedway

June 7th, 2012

TWIN FALLS, Idaho– Kris McKean had one thing on his mind Saturday night; to prolong his winning streak. Hannah Newhouse’s mission: to put an end to it. By making a pass and standing her ground Magic Valley Speedway’s youngest feature division driver not only stopped McKean’s streak at three, the 15-year-old chalked up another win for herself.

Mission accomplished.

McKean and Newhouse began the Commercial Tire Super Stocks main event race lined up alongside each other at the rear of the starting field. Kendel Woll took lead from Willie Dalton at lap nine but McKean, who had twice worked his way through the field, took over the front position at lap 20. With Newhouse soon right on his bumper McKean did all he could to keep her in his mirror but Newhouse kept up the pressure until she could wrestle her way around him at lap 34.

No sooner did she get the lead when the caution lights flashed for what would be the final time in the race. Taking the high side on the restart Newhouse and McKean again fought hard for the finish line but it was Newhouse taking the checkered flag at lap 40.

“I was doing everything I could to try and hold her out there. I tried to push her up the track a little bit but in the end we just got loose and that’s what helped her get around us,” McKean said. “But Hannah ran a great race and she had a good car.”

Newhouse was not going to take a back seat to anyone this night.

“He was cutting me off, I will say that,” she said of the battle with McKean in the final laps. “But I let him know I was there. I let him have it and let him have it and then it worked out. We had an awesome car tonight but I think I drove it
extremely hard.”

Brennan’s Carpet Street Stocks driver Russell Dalton was leading the main event race until contact at lap 13 with the No. 13 car of Jason Todd sent Dalton over the turn three embankment. Landing upside down in the dirt Dalton climbed out of the car unhurt but out of contention for his first main event win in the series. Ernie Hall battled with Paul Browne in the late laps before Hall took the win by .444 seconds. He was followed by Browne and Mitch Pehrson.

Earlier in the evening Hall set another new qualifying record in the division with a time of 17.559 seconds around the one-third mile track. In other action Brenden Radabaugh led from start to finish for the win with the Quale’s Electronics Jr. Stingers. Jeff Peck took the lead at lap seven from Lane Walker to take the victory in the Magic Valley Pipe Hornets.

Kris McKean celebrates his third win in the Commercial Tire Super Stocks series at Magic Valley Speedway.

May 28th, 2012

TWIN FALLS, Id.– For three races in a row now Kris McKean has found his way to the winners circle with the Commercial Tire Super Stocks Series. Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway McKean started near the rear of the 11 car field for main event race. Casey Pehrson wrestled away the lead from Spencer Meyer at lap seven but the position was lost to Daniel Shirley three laps later. At lap 14 the cars of Hannah Newhouse and McKean were battling with Shirley and Pehrson for the front position with Newhouse getting the spot at lap 17.

Daniel Shirley would exit to the pits at lap 20 with mechanical issues leaving Newhouse, McKean and Pehrson the top three contenders in the race. At lap 27 Newhouse spun between turns three and four, losing her lead while bringing out the first caution of the 40-lap event. “It’s that ‘self to blame’ kind of thing,” Newhouse later admitted. “I was told there was transmission fluid out there but I couldn’t tell. I went to go pass a lap car and I placed it just high enough where I flattened myself out. It’s horrible to say but I just spun myself out.”

After the restart McKean moved quickly out front of the pack. Surviving two more restarts he held on to the front-runner position as Pehrson didn’t have quite enough to catch the No. 7 car. “I was trying to get away (from the field) as far as I could,” McKean said. “We were struggling with the car all day and but we got it good enough. We just ran into enough luck to get the win.”

Newhouse managed to work herself back through the field to finish a respectable third behind Pehrson. Paul Browne worked his way through the field to get to the lead at lap nine of the Brennan’s Carpet Street Stocks main. Ernie Hall, who was lined up right beside Browne for the start of the race, gave him a run for the glory for most of the 30-lap event but Browne was able to stay out front as the race ran caution-free. It was Browne’s third win of the season.

In Quale’s Electronics Jr. Stinger action, Hailey Douglas knocked leader Branden Radabaugh out of the way during the final lap for the main event win. For the evening finale the visiting Pro 4’s started 20 cars for the main event but contact on the track and mechanical issues had shaved the field down to 12 by the halfway point.

William Rumsey, who began the race from the front row, ended the race out front as well. Ed Secord was Rumsey’s closest rival towards the end of the 100-lap main but had to settle for the runner-up position as Rumsey could not be caught.

The race winner had to fight off his competitors through six cautions but never gave up the lead.

“I wanted to stay on the bottom for the restarts, that was the spot to be,” Rumsey said.

Luttmer is Pro Trucks opening night star

May 1st, 2012

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Scott Luttmer may wish every race was the first race of the season. Driving for the ASA Pro Trucks Series Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway Luttmer motored his way to an opening night win for the second year in a row. This time Luttmer got to the Winner’s Circle by way of qualifying sixth and placing second in his heat race. Starting the main event from the second row Luttmer quickly went into the lead at lap four. Eight laps later the trucks of Jeff Pohlman and Doug Dugger tangled hard in turn four bringing out the only caution of the main event race.

Holding on to the front-runner position after the restart Luttmer now had to concentrate on staying ahead of Jerry Rice and Hannah Newhouse. Fortunately for Luttmer the pair vied for position for several laps before Rice settled into second.
As the laps wound down Rice tried to catch up to the No. 9 truck but Luttmer’s lead was too much for Rice to overcome before the checkered flag waved at lap 40. Luttmer said he didn’t have much time to work on the truck before race day had no idea how it would perform once he got to the track.

“I was a little worried when the caution came out because the truck hadn’t been real great all day. But I thought if I could pull away from the field I would be alright. The last three laps I was just praying it would keep running because we
blew the headers and it was misfiring.”

Rice wound up finishing 1.464 seconds behind Luttmer followed by Drew Reitsma, Hannah Newhouse and Johnny Pierre.

“I was way, way too tight,” Rice said. “But if I had known he (Luttmer) was having problems maybe I would have pushed him a little harder.”

Pohlman put up a time of time 16.279 seconds around the one-third mile track nipping Newhouse for the fast qualifying time of the night.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American racing action Ernie Hall got his first win of the season with the Brennan’s Carpet Street Stocks after coming from a mid-pack starting point for the main event race. A caution at lap four gave Hall all he needed to take the lead at lap six and by the half-way point of the race he was well ahead of the rest of the field. When Hall crossed the finish line at lap 30 his closest competitor, Brandon Thomas, was nearly nine seconds behind him.

“The car was awesome tonight,” Hall said. “We got the brakes fixed so this week we could drive deeper into the corners and it sticks there really well now.”

In other racing action Jenna Quale assertively made her way ahead of Lane Walker late in the Magic Valley Pipe Hornets main event race. Walker soon re-took the front position and held on to the lead for his second win of the year.

Brenden Radabaugh held off Hailey Douglas in a green-white-checkered finish of the first Quale’s Jr. Stingers main event race of the night. In the second main Douglas

Newhouse sprints to MVS win

April 17th, 2012

TWIN FALLS, ID– It was by the narrowest of margins, but Hannah Newhouse was able to pull off the win in her first night of Super Stocks competition at Magic Valley Speedway.

Saturday night Newhouse, 15, started the Commercial Tire main event race from the fifth position. Earlier in the evening a wreck in their heat race eliminated the cars of Kendel Woll and Spencer Meyer from competition, thinning the starting field for the main to six.

Steve Edens led the way in the race before the caution flag waved at lap 12 after Daniel Shirley got into Kris McKean, spinning the pair around on the backstretch before taking their place at the rear of the field for the restart.

With Newhouse now up to second, she soon began her attempts to get around Edens for the lead. Lap after lap Newhouse tried valiantly to pass Edens, but it wasn’t until the checkered flag waved at lap 30 before Newhouse could get enough front bumper ahead of Edens from the outside lane to take the position and the win.

“I figured with one lap to go I’d try anything,” Newhouse, driver of the No. 61 car said. “I drove it so hard in the corner but I had an awesome car and it worked out perfect. I couldn’t of had it happen any better.”

Edens, driver of the No. 3 car, led every lap but the one that counted for the books getting edged at the finish line by 0.001 of a second. A transponder installed in each car monitors its position in the race which in turn is posted on the
scoreboard. The number 61 occupied the top spot at the end of this race.

From Edens’ viewpoint behind the wheel, it was hard to tell who took the win.

“It was so close, I don’t know” he admitted. “I would have had to been standing directly on the start-finish line to tell. But I do know I am really happy with the performance of the car – that’s the main thing.”

In other action the Brennan’s Carpet Street Stocks played out a 30-lap main event race. Paul Browne, who started from the front row in a field of nine starters, went on to capture the first main event victory of the season in the division. Mitchell Pehrson and Craig Nuthak rounded out the top three.

Other main event winners of the night included Lane Walker with the Hornets, Brenden Radabaugh with the Quale’s Electronics Jr. Stingers and Douglas “The Tank” Brownfield with the Car Store Thunderdogs.

Pohlman crowned feature division champion at MVS

September 21st, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho– He just won the local track and state championships, what is he going to do now? No, he’s not going to Disney World, but he is going to Charlotte, North Carolina. By winning the 2011 Magic Valley Speedway and State of Idaho feature division titles Jeff Pohlman will soon be on his way to Charlotte to be honored at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion’s banquet in December.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Pohlman said. “We didn’t really have any expectations at the beginning of the season but now we’re going to the champion’s banquet to represent Idaho.”

Pohlman won eight main event races during the season stringing several together late in the year.

“Everything just kind of worked out this year in our favor,” he added. “Those last four wins just really propelled us in the points and was a major benefit to us. The crew did an awesome job with this car – it was pretty much flawless all year.”

The driver of the No. 24 car celebrated his championship Saturday night in a shower of champagne after finishing second to Bobby Latham III in the final main event race of the season. Latham led all but three of the 40 laps en route to the win. TJ
Woodhall, embroiled in a battle with Kris McKean for second in the final standings finished fourth in the race just behind McKean. McKean’s advantage was just enough to take away the position from Woodhall in the final standings by a single point.

Driving for the Budweiser Super Stocks McKean not only won the 35-lap main event race, he also embraced his third championship title in a row in the series.

“Every championship means something and it feels good to be out here and to do it again – to say ‘Hey I’m the best,’” McKean said. “But it’s not a one-man thing – we had the crew to get it done this year.”

In the battle for second in the final points standings Daniel Shirley was able to stay just enough ahead of rival Casey Pehrson to lock up the position. In other Whelen All-American Weekly Racing Series action Todd Audet celebrated both an added main event win and another championship with the Brennan’s Carpet Pony Stocks division. Project Filter Street Stocks driver Kendel Woll also finished off a stellar season by winning the main and adding a championship title to his racing career.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets driver Chad Everett never gave up the lead on the road to victory in the main event race but it was Robbie Hyde who collected the championship honors in the division; his first track title. Brenden Radabaugh put together his first victory of the season after taking over the lead at lap nine in the Quale’s Jr. Stingers’ main event race but KC Gillogly was still able to celebrate her first track championship after a hard-fought season in the division.

Intermountain Pro Trucks driver Jerry Rice added an exclamation point to his dream season with an impressive main event win before accepting his second championship title in a row. Starting near the rear of the field of 16 trucks, Rice motored his
way through traffic to take the lead at lap 37. Once out front, Rice gained ground over the rest of the field to cross the finish line 2.594 seconds ahead of runner-up in the 50-lap race Drew Reitsma.

En route to the championship, Rice collected five wins this season with three of them coming at MVS.

“It’s been a great year,” Rice said. “But winning here at Magic Valley has been the highlight.”

Gomez wins main, Sharp carves out championship at MVS

September 14th, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho- He lost the battle, but Zan Sharp of Wellesville, Utah won the war by capturing the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series championship Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.

Sharp qualified tenth in a field of 19 contestants and finished second in his heat race, but the Rich Thompson Trucking main event left him scrambling for a decent finish in the final race of the season. Sharp’s troubles came early after an incident on lap nine sent him to the pits for repairs.

Meanwhile, Jeff Pohlman took the lead from John Newhouse at lap 27 and continued as the front runner until Jonathon Gomez collected the position at lap 42. From then on it was all Gomez, fighting off his competitors through several restarts until the checkered flag flew at lap 100. Newhouse would cross the finish line 1.749 seconds behind Gomez and Rick Fowble, who patiently waited out the conflicts on the track, finished an impressive third.

Steve Jones, who rivaled Sharp for the championship got tangled up in turn four with five laps remaining in the race and would finish eighth. Sharp eventually got back in the race to finish fifteenth but the 10-point difference over Jeff Hillock, who wound up second in the final standings, was enough for the 2011 championship crown.

“When that stuff happened at the first of the race I thought we would be out of it,” Sharp said. “But my guys rallied and got me back in it. It would have been cool to have the win and the championship in the same night but I’m not greedy – I’m happy with the championship.”

For former MVS track champion Gomez, it was his second win in as many years in the final RMCS race of the season.

“We knew had a good car but it got really loose during the main and it made it hard to race side by side,” Gomez said. “It took awhile to get to the front but when I was up there all by myself it was fine. I love coming here, and it (RMCS) is such a great group. Mike Minegar (RMCS president) puts on a really good series.”

Casey Pehrson came out unscathed as the winner in a hotly contested Budweiser Super Stocks main event race. Running behind Pehrson and Ernie Hall but fighting for the championship in the next-to-last event of the season, Kris McKean and Daniel Shirley tangled in turn three at lap 19. Both drivers were sent to the rear of the field but would come back to finish third and fourth respectively.

The controversial battles between McKean Shirley are far from over with the final race set for September 17.

Jeff Pohlman drove his way to the winner’s circle of the Mr. Gas Late Models main race sealing the deal on the 2011 championship. With his second place showing TJ Woodhull carries a slim four-point advantage over McKean in the standings going into the final events this Saturday night.

John Newell led from the pole in a convincing win for the Project Filter Street Stocks. Craig Nuthak was able win the battle for second after holding off Paul Browne and Kendel Woll for much of the main event race.

Quale’s Electronics Pro Hornets driver Chad Everett won the main but Sott Gilligan captured the championship in the division. Doug Brownfield rallied for the main event victory while Jeff Peck came out top dog in the TVGoldandSilver Thunderdogs championship battle.

McKean three-peats at Magic Valley Speedway

September 3rd, 2011

It came down to another battle between Kris McKean and TJ Woodhall, but McKean held steady to win the Mr. Gas Late Models race Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.

With six cars in the starting grid cautions shuffled up the field before the first lap was up on the scoreboard. Bobby Latham took the lion’s share of the bad luck after contact with Woodhall sent him to the pits for the rest of the event with a
broken brake line.

Once the race got rolling McKean led the pack lap after lap. Nevertheless Woodhall, with Jeff Pohlman directly behind kept applying the pressure to McKean to the finish line.

“We had a faster car but just could not get around him,” Woodhall said. “And with Jeff (Pohlman) running my butt I didn’t want to lose that position either.” Woodhall would finish as the runner-up yet another time. Although Pohlman has the championship locked, McKean continues to rattle Woodhall’s cage for second in the standings.

“We’re six points ahead of him right now,” Woodhall realized. “I just have to come back and win the next couple of races to stay ahead of him – I just have to.” Having to repair the oil pan on the No. 7 car after the heat race, McKean wasn’t sure what he would have for the main.

“He (Woodhall) definitely had the faster car but we just got out front first.” McKean said. “I’m sure he knew I was kind of blocking him but he just wasn’t going to pop me out of the way. TJ is one of those guys that you can trust if you run him clean he is going to run you clean.”

McKean could only conjure up a second place finish in the Budweiser Super Stocks main event race with the victory going to Steve Edens. Edens, who suffered a disastrous wreck earlier in the season, began the race from the front row but had to hold off McKean from lap six to the finish at lap 30. It was Eden’s first win of the year in the division.

Todd Audet ran away with the Brennan’s Pony Stocks main event win crossing the line 6.842 seconds over runner-up Devon Colson. For the Project Filter Street Stocks, Paul Browne survived a mid-race restart to continue his dominance of the main event.

In other Whelen-All American racing action Ty Garibay was victorious with the TVGoldandSilver Thunderdogs and KC Gillogly stretched out her lead in the point standing by capturing the win in the Quale’s Jr. Stingers main event race. Jessica Pohlman quickly mastered the turns of the Quale’s Electronics Hornets main to win her first race in her first start of the season.

Tim McCutchan took the honors for the Pepsi Winged Sprints and Douglas ‘Tank’ Brownfield was the winner of the Budweiser Boat Race of Destruction.

Shirley shakes things up at MVS

August 21st, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho–Realizing that there aren’t all that many races remaining in the 2011 season he knew what he had to do and he got it done. After qualifying second and winning his heat race, Budweiser Super Stocks driver Daniel Shirley then sealed the deal with a main event win Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.

Shirley, who began the main from the fourth position, remained cool in the early laps while Ernie Hall took off with the lead after starting from the pole. After falling back to fifth, Shirley worked his way up to third by lap 12 just behind Hall and Kris McKean. Five laps later the cautions began to come into play and two consecutive restarts faced off Hall and McKean for the lead. It was the next caution however, that gave Shirley his big break when McKean was sent to the rear of the field after the muffler of his car began to drag the track. After challenging Hall for control of the race at the next restart, Shirley took the lead at lap 20 and was able to hold off Hall, a hard-charging McKean and Casey Pehrson to the finish at lap 40.

“When I saw Kris (McKean) get back up the front that quick I was really surprised,” Shirley said of the final laps. “But Casey (Pehrson) was kind-of blocking him off for a while. I don’t know if he was doing it for his sake or my sake of both our sakes but it worked out. Our car was fast tonight though. We tried a new set-up and it worked.”

After failing post-race inspection, Hall was removed from his second place finish and given a last place result.

In other Whelen All-American Racing Series action double main events for the Project Filter Street Stocks sent two different drivers to the winner’s circle. Chase Carraway, who is in a fight for the championship, took the lead of the first main event at lap six and was still in front when the checkered flag flew at lap 25. Kendel Woll, current points leader finished 3.803 seconds behind Carraway.

“We didn’t change anything on the car for this week but the first main worked out great,” Carraway said. “Actually I thought Kendel was right behind me the whole time, I didn’t realize he was battling back there for position.”

In the second main Mike Gill took the lead at lap three and although he never gave up the front runner position he had to hold off a pack of drivers to the finish. Paul Browne, Kendel Woll and Craig Nuthak all finished less than one second behind Gill as the checkered flag waved at lap 25, but Gill held the edge and pocketed his first win in his first start of the season.

For the Quale’s Electronics Jr. Stingers, Holden Maughan took the lead at lap three and proceeded to pull away from the rest of the field. At lap 20 Maughan crossed the finish line still well out in front and the celebrations of his first win in the division began.

Kris McKean drove to Victory Lane in the Quale’s Electronics Pro Hornets and Jeff Peck survived the battle to capture the TVGoldandSilver Thunderdogs main event win.

McKean unleashes wins at MVS

August 17th, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — He’s back. Kris McKean was finally able to reverse his recent absence from Victory Lane in a big way by winning both Mr. Gas Late Models main event races Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.

McKean took the lead early in the first main event race taking the frontrunner position at lap two. Although Jeff Pohlman had worked his way up to second at lap six, he never had the handling to get around the determined McKean and would have to
settle for a second place finish. TJ Woodhall came from the fifth starting spot to finish third followed by Bobby Latham III and Bruce Quale.

The second main served up more challenges to McKean. Starting at the rear of the field McKean had 40 laps to make his way to the front, however Pohlman had the same game plan and quickly took the lead from Morgan Rasmussen at lap seven. By the halfway point Pohlman had developed a substantial lead over Woodhall and McKean, but his advantage was erased when the caution came out at lap 25. After a second restart McKean’s opportunities continued to unfold and his number was on top of the scoreboard at lap 29. With four laps remaining the caution flag flew once again and this time for the restart McKean lined up in the lower groove with Woodhall on his outside and Pohlman directly behind. Woodhall was able to stay door-to-door with McKean in a shootout to the checkered but McKean would edge him at the line in one of the closest finishes of the season, 0.013 seconds.

“I can’t complain about the last cautions because I really think that’s one of the only ways we got the win in the second race, otherwise I think we would of burned up our car,” McKean said. “When I had TJ (Woodhall) on the outside of me at the end we were battling as hard as we could. Then when it came down to the last corner I knew it was a do-or-die situation so I just pretty much just closed my eyes and put it down to the floor, I had nothing to lose. But I think if the start-finish line was 20 feet further down the track TJ would have got us.”

After missing out on the win so closely Woodhall reflected on the final laps.

“There were several times I envisioned pinching him down but I could have cut a tire or he could; there are so many things that could of happened with that,” he said. “The car was sticking pretty good on the outside so I just tried to race him clean. I wished it would have turned out different but I hope the fans enjoyed it – I know it was so close at the finish.”

Pohlman had better luck in the Race of Champions winning the inaugural event after winding his way around the road course in two different directions. Although leaving a trail of smoke behind him, Pohlman held off a field of 19 fellow track champions en route to the victory.

In other Whelen All-American racing action John Newell also quenched a dry spell by winning the Project Filter Street Stocks main after passing Mitch Pehrson and then holding off Craig Nuthak for the victory. Robbie Hyde made his first trip of the season to the winner’s circle in Brennan’s Carpet Pony Stocks after a door-to-door battle with Devon Colson went Hyde’s way by 0.022 seconds.

Jenna Quale captured the Quale’s Electronics Hornets victory after sneaking around Robbie Hyde on the final lap and her brother Jason Quale was victorious in the Quale’s Jr. Stingers main after holding on to the lead taken with six laps remaining in the race. Jeff Peck muscled his way to the win in the TVGoldandSilver Thunderdogs.

Pohlman racing stable rides off with the cache at MVS

August 11th, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho–There’s no disputing it, Late Models driver Jeff Pohlman has struck like a bandit at Magic Valley Speedway.

Coming off two feature division main event wins the final Saturday in July, Pohlman carried his winning ways into the month of August with victories in both Mr. Gas Late Models mains Saturday night.

Starting fifth in a field of seven in the first main event race of the evening Pohlman executed the bump-and-run on Dan Pehrson to take over the lead at lap 11. While Pohlman stretched out his lead Pehrson, TJ Woodhall, Bobby Latham III and Kris McKean all scrambled to better their position. With three laps remaining in the race the caution was displayed setting up a shootout for the checkered but Pohlman was able to get the edge over Woodhall for the win.

Starting at the rear of the field for the second main Pohlman had to dig harder for the win. Contact with McKean at lap seven sent both cars to the pits after they spun near turn four, but Pohlman was able to fight his way towards the front at lap 14.
Soon Dan Pehrson would encounter the front stretch wall after connecting with Latham and the red flag was brought out to clear the wreckage. After the race resumed Pohlman took the lead from Dan Louther and again began to gain ground on the field. However Pohlman would have to endure four more restarts before he would see the checkered flag finally making it to Victory Lane at lap 35, once again just ahead of Woodhall.

“When I got on the outside of Kris (McKean) it just seemed that he just kind of turned right,” Pohlman said of the early race contact with his competitor. “But I was really mad that I spun out, I pride myself on being able to save that stuff. But if they want to wreck me they’re going to have to wreck me harder than that.”

With the wins, Pohlman will add to his already substantial lead in the point standings. “I never thought his would happen,” Pohlman said of his double-double victories. “Louis (Lopez, crew chief) has this car hooked up great and these wins really help us be secure for the next few races. Now we can be a lot smarter not to get into some of the messes we got into tonight.”

Also from the Pohlman racing stable Robbie Hyde recovered from missing pins causing the hood of his car to fly up against his windshield to win the first Quale’s Electronics Hornets main. In the second main, this time pins securely in place, Hyde was able to round up another win. Stable mate Scott Gilligan roped in the victory in the TVGoldandSilver Thunderdogs.

In Budweiser Super Stocks action Allen Williams began the main from the pole position and despite having to regroup from a late race caution he was able to fight off Casey Pehrson and later Willie Dalton for his first main event win of the season.

“I was pretty confident tonight because we changed everything on the set-up,” Williams said. “The car works great now and it sure feels good to get that win.”

Todd Audet and Jerry Slocum battled side-by-side in the late laps of the Brennan’s Carpet Pony Stocks main event until Audet finally had enough to beat Slocum to the finish line by 0.687 seconds. Pro 4’s drivers Ken Chandler and Joe Barton also fought door-to-door for much of the main event race but it was Chandler who was victorious at the end.

In other action, although it was his first night in the car, Stacey Jensen proved he had what it took to pilot a Pepsi Winged Sprint machine winning the main event in the final lap. Jay McDonald took the lead at lap five of the Quale’s Jr. Stingers main and was able to pull into the winner’s circle 15 laps later.

Pohlman, Stroebel steal the show at MVS

August 7th, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho– It must have been a good omen to have the number 24 decal on the side of your car Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.

The good fortune began with Jeff Pohlman driving his No. 24 car to Victory Lane in the first Mr. Gas Late Models main event race of the evening. Starting sixth on the grid in a field of 10 cars Pohlman would show patience waiting out the confrontations ahead of him to take the lead at lap 12. In another 28 laps Pohlman took the checkered flag just one-half second ahead of runner-up in the race Shelby Stroebel.

In the second main Pohlman had to start at the rear of the field. Mired behind Rick Fowble and Dan Pehrson for several laps Pohlman struggled to get out in front, but it was a hard-charging Kris McKean who got the position at lap 25. After getting around Fowble two laps later Pohlman finally had his chance to take on McKean for another win. The pair battled side-by-side as the laps wound down but Pohlman would eventually get the advantage in the race at lap 34. Just six laps later he brought the No. 24 car to the winner’s circle for the second time of the night.

“I was getting a little impatient when I was behind Fowble and Pehrson and thought I could go to the bottom and pass both of them but that didn’t work,” Pohlman said. “Then once Kris (McKean) got around me I was a little upset but my spotter Robbie
(Hyde) told me that I could catch him and we did. We really didn’t have any expectations of winning that second race, but it worked out.”

The car driven by Enrique Contreras left a trail of fire down the backstretch early in the race and he would have to spend the remainder of the night in the pits. Although starting at the rear of a 12-car pack in the Modifieds 150 lap main event race Shelby Stroebel was able to get his No. 24 car to the front by lap 28. Stroebel stretched out his advantage by nearly one-quarter of the track but a mandatory fuel stop at lap 80 would bunch up the field for a restart. Undaunted, Stroebel would again keep the field comfortably behind him hitting his marks at every turn. With less then 10 laps to go in the race two more cautions would test Stroebel’s holding power, ut the former MVS track champion had the right stuff to make it to the
winner’s circle, finishing just 0.496 seconds in front of Mike Reid.

“It was going to be either wreckers or checkers,” Stroebel said reflecting on the final two restarts. “But it was a lot fun out here tonight.”

Also former MVS track champions, local drivers Rick Fowble and Rob Vest finished fourth and seventh in the Modified race respectively.

In other Whelen All-American Series action another main event winner with the No. 24 on the side of his car was Quale’s Electrics Pro Hornets driver Scott Gilligan. Gilligan’s win now gives him an 11 point lead in the standings over Jeff Peck. Paul Browne led from the pole to capture the main event win in the Project Filter Street Stocks and Sara Henry led all but two laps for the main event win on the Idaho Legends cars.

Rice and Dalton take center stage at MVS

July 29th, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho– It looked like it was going to be an easy win for Intermountain Pro Trucks driver Jerry Rice, but as the laps wound down things got a little complicated.

By lap 25 Rice had gathered a big lead in the main event race Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway leaving Doug Dugger and Sam Harris 10 lengths behind. At lap 40 the first caution of the race was brought out setting up a restart and Rice’s
first real challenge of the night. It took a couple of laps, but soon Rice pulled out in front of Dugger enough to be in the clear. At lap 56 the truck of Dan Doan slowed in turn three, flames erupted from under the hood and the red flag halted the action on the track. After another restart Rice would once again take the lead while his competitors scrambled for position. Leaving the battles behind him, Rice would cross the finish line 1.094 seconds ahead of Bo Sharp for the win in the 75-lap main.

Competitors Dugger and Drew Reitsma ran into misfortune during the race with Reitsma encountering mechanical issues while Dugger had a tire go down late in the event. Johnny Pierre, second in the standings behind Rice also had a less than favorable night suffering front end damage in the heat race after colliding with Tyler Sharp who got loose in turn four. Kent Jensen’s truck was also damaged in the incident and he would not return for the main. Pierre however, drove his wounded truck to a sixth place finish in the main event.

“I think it was all luck tonight,” Rice said of his second win of the year at MVS. “But you got to have that. It just seemed that if anybody got up next to me they broke. It was pretty weird.”

Budweiser Super Stocks driver Willie Dalton corralled his first win of the season by staying out front during the entire 35-lap main event. As the race progressed, Kris McKean, Dan Pehrson and Casey Pehrson followed Dalton in a straight line through every turn with no one making an attempt to try and get around Dalton using the outside groove.

“Once I saw Kris (McKean) pull up behind me I knew I had to do what I could to keep him behind me,” Dalton said. “So I tried running up a little higher down the back stretch and drive in a little farther up in the corners so hopefully he wouldn’t get a run off me, and it worked. At the end of the race I was waiting for him to come up underneath me and I was praying I could hold out, my tires were starting get hot and go away on me.”

Daniel Shirley, who was second in the point standings behind McKean, finished fifth.

In other Whelen All-American Series action Project Filter Street Stocks driver Chase Carraway pulled into Victory Lane with his first main event win in the division. Carraway battled Paul Browne in the early laps but after a couple of cautions it was points leader Kendel Woll who was putting on the pressure. Sensing the win, Carraway focused on the final laps and skillfully drove his way to the checkered flag finishing less than one-half second ahead of the hard-charging Woll.

Brennan’s Carpet Pony Stocks driver Todd Audet made his way to the winner’s circle once again after a tough battle with Devon Colson for the victory. Robbie Hyde took the checkered in the Quale’s Electronics Hornets and KC Gillogly finessed her way to a main event win with the Quale’s Jr. Stingers.

McKean, Pehrson shine at MVS

July 21st, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho– After taking the lead at lap eight in the first Budweiser Super Stocks race of the evening Daniel Shirley looked to be on his way to the main event win, but a last-lap bump by Kris McKean would instead bring the driver of the No. 7 car to the winner’s circle.

Restarts peppered the first seven laps of the race Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway but after things settled a battle for the win developed between Shirley, Kris McKean and Jerry McKean. As the trio rounded the finals turns Kris McKean, who
had been shadowing Shirley for several laps, busted a move on the leader to clear a path for himself to the checkered flag. Meanwhile, Shirley was able to stay out in front of a hard-charging Jerry McKean to finish second.

“I got a bump from the back and got a little sideways and here comes Kris,” Shirley said. “I was kind of expecting something like that after my previous race.”

In the July 2 main event race Shirley was also punted out of the way by McKean in the final lap sending Shirley off the turn three embankment. However in that incident McKean was placed at the rear of the lap leaders and given a third place finish.

“We just got up to him and gave him a little nudge,” Kris McKean said after his most recent win. “But he’s been out here bumping and banging on everyone. It’s not like we drilled him and put him in the wall or anything, it’s just a racing deal and got
around him on the last lap on the last corner. The fans loved it, I’m sure.”

In the second main of the evening Casey Pehrson came through for the win. Although dogging Pehrson for several laps, McKean settled for a second place finish followed by Shirley in third.

“I think Kris was faster than me and I think maybe he could have gotten around but I think he was more worried about staying in front of Shirley,” Pehrson said. “It wasn’t worth the risk for him to try and go around; he was just trying to keep his
points. The win stills feels good though.”

In other action Russell Dalton won his first race of the season with the Quale’s Jr. Stingers while Jason Quale drove for a convincing win in the second main of the evening. Todd Audet was able to get around Devon Colson at lap 17 to win another
Brennan’s Carpet Pony Stocks main and Chad Everett ran away with another victory in the Quale’s Pro Hornets.

The TVgoldandsilver Thunderdogs saw two cars upended in separate incidents but Jeff Peck survived to win his first main event race of the season.

Pohlman, McKean collect wins at MVS By Linda Brittsan

July 17th, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho–Double mains for the Mr. Gas Late Models brought both Jeff Pohlman and Kris McKean to Victory Lane Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.

In the first main event Dan Pehrson was the early race leader until Rick Fowble took over the position at lap 16. Pohlman, who began the race mid-pack, garnered the lead shortly after a caution brought out by contact between Pehrson and TJ Woodhall
necessitated a restart. As the laps wound down Pohlman was then able to pull away from his competitors. Although he ran out of laps to get close enough to really challenge Pohlman, Bobby Latham III was able to recover from a battle with Kris McKean at lap 12 to finish in the runner-up position.

McKean was not as fortunate as the contact with Latham would send him to the pits for the remainder of the race for repairs to his ride. “I didn’t expect to win to be honest with you,” Pohlman said. “There was a little trouble up front with those guys wrecking but we just waited for the wrecks to clear. It was nice to pass Rickie (Fowble) on the outside because he used to pass me on the outside last year and it felt so good to be able to go around him. Louis (Lopez, crew chief) had the car hooked up well.”

Mc Kean had a reversal of fortune in the next race after the No. 7 car was brought back to life between mains. Starting from the pole, McKean immediately began to leave his rivals to fight their own battles while he continued to gain ground in the lead. As the race remained caution free Latham once again maneuvered his way up to second but was yet another time the bridesmaid as McKean took the checkered flag 1.869 seconds in front of him.

“After we got together with Bobby (Latham) in the first race and spun me into the infield and it ruined the fuel cell,” McKean said. “But we got it to the pits and robbed a fuel cell from another (of our cars) and got back out there for the second race. I guess we were one of the faster cars on the track. It was nice to get out front and relax, save the car and save the tires in case anybody did get to us, we had better stuff than they did.”

Kendel Woll avoided conflicts ahead of him to slyly make his way from the back to the front of the field in the Project Filter Street Stocks main. Although challenged by John Newell to the finish, Woll managed to get to the checkered 0.625 seconds
ahead of the hard-charging Newell for another main event win.

Quale’s Electronics driver Ben Hampton overcame a late race spin after challenging leader Chad Everett for the win in the first main event race to capture the victory in the second main of the night. Other main event winners included Devon Colson with
the Brennan’s Carpet Pony Stocks and Scott Gilligan with the TVgoldandsilver Thunderdogs.

Magic Valley Speedway turns up the heat

July 6th, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho– It wasn’t exactly what he envisioned, but nevertheless TJ Woodhall captured the glory in the Mr. Gas Late Models main event race Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.

A total of 10 cars took the green flag to start the race. Kris McKean took the lead from Woodhall at lap seven but after several attempts Jeff Pohlman was able to take the frontrunner position away from McKean. Meanwhile, Woodhall managed to follow in third. A caution at lap 29 would regroup the field and that’s when the fireworks began on the track.

With Pohlman choosing the inside lane and McKean directly on his outside for the restart, the pair battled for the lead. Heading into turn one McKean soon took an unplanned side trip directly into the front stretch wall, sending him on two wheels along the barrier. After the hard hit McKean was finished for the night, as were Pohlman’s chances for a win.

“We came off of turn four and I knew he was on the outside of me,” Pohlman said. “I held my line and I was just getting ready to turn down in the corner. I’m not real sure what happened but I’m thinking that he bounced off the wall and came into me and proceeded to wreck. I didn’t run him up the track; I was on my line and knew where I could go. Next thing I know my car gets smashed and just went sideways.” McKean had a somewhat different interpretation of the incident.

“He was crowding me up from the lap before so I held him down coming out of turn three and four. Then just as he and I hit the corner in turn one it seemed that he turned right and that put us up in the air, cut down our left front tire and shot it straight into the wall. We had gotten run on the outside and he didn’t want us to get around him – and he stopped us.” After a delay to clean up the debris Woodhall retook the lead. Although he and Bobby Latham made contact coming out of turn four with five laps remaining in the race, Woodhall was able to drive his wounded ride to Victory Lane.

“We having been trying a new set up for several weeks but we have been struggling with it,” Woodhall said. “I thought maybe we could get a fourth, I don’t think I had the car to beat Jeff (Pohlman) tonight. But we made it. Not always the fastest car wins I guess.”

Pohlman had better luck in the Budweiser Super Stocks race, winning the event convincingly from the pole position. The real battle was for second, pitting Kris McKean and Daniel Shirley for the spot. With less than a lap remaining McKean nudged Shirley in the turn, sending Shirley off the turn three embankment. Due to the incident Casey Pehrson was moved up to finishing second in the final results followed by McKean.

Project Filter Street Stocks driver Brandon Thomas held off seven competitors and survived a mid-race caution to stay in the lead of main event race. As the laps wound down Thomas felt immense pressure from point standings leader Kendel Woll, but Thomas held steady to nip Woll by just 0.150 seconds at the finish line. It was Thomas’ first main event win of the season.

Other main event winner included Todd Audet with the Brennan’s Carpet Pony Stocks and KC Gillogly in the Quale’s Electronics Jr. Stingers. Ben Hampton won his first main event race of the season in the Quale’s Hornets and Ty Garibay rolled in with his first win of the year in the TVgoldandsilver Thunderdogs.

Mr. Gas Late Models driver Bobby Latham III celebrates his second win of the season at Magic Valley Speedway.

June 16th, 2011

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — After a caution at lap 61 played right into Dan Rhodes’ hands for the lead of the main event race Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway, several more cautions challenged the driver to stay on top of his game in order to collect the victory.

Rhodes took the front runner position of the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series All-Star 100 from leader Steve Jones when Jones fell back in the pack after a restart just a few laps past the halfway mark of the race. After Rhodes took the lead, the cautions kept flying as the drivers had trouble keeping their cars pointing in the right direction on the track.

Once things settled down Rhodes would gather a six car length lead over a pack of five scrambling for position right behind him. However another caution with 16 laps remaining in the race involving a collision between Bruce Quale and TJ Woodhall bunched the leaders together for the final run to the checkered. It was a shootout to the finish but Rhodes stayed focused enough to cross the line 0.251 seconds ahead of runner-up in the race Cris Muhler.

“I was praying for three quiet laps so I could relax instead of all those restarts,” Rhodes said. “The car took a couple laps to get going and boy, there were a lot of cautions and it just made for hard racing.”

It was Rhodes’ first victory of the year in the series. Jones would rally to finish fourth and Rick Fowble placed the highest of the local drivers entered in the race, coming through in tenth.

In Whelen weekly racing series action former track champion Bobby Latham III won his second main event race of the season in the Mr. Gas Late Models Series after holding off Jeff Pohlman for the win. The pair battled side-by-side for several laps as Pohlman tried everything he could to get around him, but Latham had exactly the position he wanted.

“I love that top groove and that was the place to be tonight,” Latham said. “I know Jeff (Pohlman) really likes the bottom groove and it makes for great racing – he bumped me a few times just let me know he was there. But I really think as the season goes on the high groove in going to come in more and more.”

In other NASCAR action Kris McKean had a solid win the Budweiser Super Stocks to add to his lead in the point standings. Kendel Woll captured another main event win with the Project Filter Street Stocks while Quale’s Electronics Hornets driver Robbie Hyde and Jr. Stingers driver KC Gillogly rounded up their first wins of the season.

Pohlman dominate in season’s first victory

May 26th, 2011

(TWIN FALLS, Idaho) A full slate of racing Saturday night landed several drivers in Victory Lane collecting their first main event wins of the season at Magic Valley Speedway.

Jeff Pohlman captured his first victory of the year in the Mr. Gas Late Models Series after being lined up third in a field of eight contenders for the 40-lap main. A first-lap caution soon sent Kris McKean, who was lined up just ahead of Pohlman, to the rear of the field for the restart after contact with leader Jeff Wade. By lap four Pohlman was out in front but as often the case, more cautions would test the leader’s tenacity in his quest for the win. Pohlman’s biggest challenge came with just 10 laps remaining when a restart put Bobby Latham III alongside him for the dash to the checkered flag. Taking the inside lane, Pohlman was able to dig in to quickly gain ground on his competitors, crossing the finish line 2.283 seconds ahead of Latham.

“The car was really hooked up tonight but the cautions were making me nervous,” Pohlman said. ‘I knew Bobby (Latham) was behind me but I saw him go to the outside on the last restart. Bobby is a great racer and I knew it was going to be tough, but
we were able to roll the center between turns three and four a little bit better than he was and that’s how we were able to stay in front of him.”

Pohlman now leads the point standings by nine over Latham and TJ Woodhall.

Kris McKean had a good night in the Budweiser Super Stocks main event race capturing his first win of the season. McKean took control of the race at lap three and from there began to pull away from his closest rival, Allen Williams. Williams tried to reel in the speedy driver of the No. 7 car, but ran out of laps as the checkered flag flew at lap 35. Williams was followed by Casey Pehrson, Daniel Shirley and Jenna Quale.

First wins of the season were also collected by Project Filter Street Stocks drivers Paul Browne and John Newell. Browne held off a hard-charging Kendel Woll in the first main event race after leading the way from the pole position. In the second main Newell had to work hard for the win as Woll put pressure on his bumper throughout the final laps. The pair scrambled to the finish line, but Newell was able to hold on for the win crossing the line less than one-half second ahead of Woll. With the two close second place finishes and capturing the top qualifying time of the night, Woll stays on top of the standings leading Newell by 19 points.

Although not his first main event win of the year Doug ‘Tank’ Brownfield went to Victory Lane with the Quale’s Electronics Hornets after a slick move to get around leader Theresa Borlase and Chad Everett. Jr. Stingers driver Jason Quale won his third main of the year after a challenging 20-lap race. Tony Ackerland was the winner with the Pepsi Winged Sprint cars.

Magic Valley Speedway Returns To NASCAR Whelen All-American Series 2011

September 19th, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR and Magic Valley Speedway announced Friday that the Twin Falls, Idaho, track will rejoin the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series under the direction of former championship driver Eddy McKean, beginning in 2011. Magic Valley, a .333-mile semi-banked paved oval, blossomed with NASCAR sanctioning during the 1990s. During that time, McKean, from Jerome, Idaho, won three Magic Valley track championships and two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series regional championships. He also won the championship in the former NASCAR Elite Division Southwest Series in 2002.

“We’re looking forward to a fresh start with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series,”
said McKean, who purchased the track in 2007. “Magic Valley Speedway and NASCAR has
been a successful combination.” The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series has been the short-track championship structure for NASCAR since 1982 and encompasses tracks throughout the United States and Canada. “Magic Valley Speedway is an important part of the Twin Falls community and provides family entertainment that is a hallmark of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR managing director of racing operations. “The facility is top-notch and it is home to great competition.”

Magic Valley opened as a dirt track in 1986, and was paved in 1988. The 2010 champions at track include Rick Fowble (Mr. Gas Late Model Division), Kristopher McKean (Budweiser Super Stock), John Newell (NAPA Auto Parts Street Stock), Todd Audet (Brennan’s Carpet Pony Stock) and Douglas Brownfield (Quale’s Electronics Junior Stinger). Andy Brennan and Ty Garibay are tied for the Quale’s Electronics Hornet Division point lead with the championship to be determined Saturday, Sept. 18.

Those divisions will be sanctioned by NASCAR in 2011. NASCAR-licensed drivers in the track-designated Feature Division compete for track, U.S. state and Canadian province championships and point fund awards, as well as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship. Series sponsor Whelen Engineering provides customized championship driver helmets for track champions and a championship racing uniform for state champions. In addition, NASCAR introduced the “Finalist Program” in 2010 to honor the track’s Charger Division competitors.

All NASCAR-licensed drivers competing in NASCAR-sanctioned divisions at sanctioned tracks are also eligible for NASCAR Participant Accident Insurance Coverage. Since its inception, NASCAR Home Tracks have served as a springboard in the careers of many NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Martin Truex Jr., and Brian Vickers all began their careers racing in NASCAR weekly and regional touring series. More information on the NASCAR Whelen All American Series is available at www.NASCARHomeTracks.com.

For more information, contact: Jason Christley, NASCAR Public Relations, (386) 310-6094 or
jchristley@nascar.commailto:jchristley@nascar.com

Gomez runs away with win

May 16th, 2009

Jonathon Gomez managed to escape a multi-car pileup with minor damage before going on to win the Pepsi late Models main event race Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.

The incident at lap 13 sent several cars to the pits and forced an extended red-flag condition on the track. The rides of John Wood and Gary Porter were out for the night while John Newhouse, Eddy McKean, Chris Schrade, Cliff Chester and Gomez all received wounds of various degrees.

At the restart Dan Pehrson reclaimed his lead in the race but by lap 21 Gomez began to show just exactly how strong he and his car were for the night. Just past the half way mark of the 100-lap race Gomez had put a lot of real estate between him and the rest of the field leaving Hatke, Woodhall and Newhouse competing for the second spot.

Woodhall and Hatke battled side-by-side late in the race but Woodhall was able to pull ahead to secure the runner-up position in the race with Hatke finishing just behind.

“The car was real strong tonight,” Woodhall said. “Once I got past the 26 (Newhouse) all the sudden I started catching Gomez out of the corner of my eye again – for a long time I couldn’t see him – and I thought I was faster than him at that point. Too be honest with you, I kind of wanted another yellow. I think it would have been a good run to the finish between the two of us, but Jonathon did a hell of a good job tonight.”

Gomez, who has touring this season with the NASCAR West Series made his first appearance at MVS since last year.

“It was fun,” said Gomez, who had lapped all but Woodhall by the end of the race. “I had heard about the last race so the plan was to just stay out of the wreck… we got a little damage but nothing bad. Then we got out front and just got a go. Shane Prince did a great job getting it set up and I also want to thank Thompson Motorsports for all their support. I couldn’t ask for anything better than to come out here and win my first time back.”

NAPA Pony Stocks

Josh Pitz was able to overtake Ray Homolka at lap seven and by the time the checkered flag fell on the main event race, he had amassed a quarter-track lead on the rest of the field. It was Pitz’ second main event win of the season.

Magic Valley Pipe Street Stocks

Nine cars were entered the main event race but the one first to the checkered flag was once again the No. 13 of Stacey Jensen.
After three cautions Jensen took the lead and stretched it out to several cars lengths by the time he crossed the finish line. With the three-peat Jensen remains undefeated in the division so far this season.

Quale’s Electronics Hornet and Jr. Stingers

It wasn’t just another ordinary race night for the Hornets division drivers. Having to test their right turn skills in a clockwise main
event race proved to be somewhat puzzling for the field in the early goings, but Bob Gilligan conquered the challenge to reel in the victory. With his second win of the season Gilligan continues to lead the points standing in the division.

Andy Brennan remains undefeated in the Jr. Stingers division after winning his third main event of the season.

Stroebel Conquers All at MVS

September 29th, 2008

Shelby Stroebel-DriverTWIN FALLS, Idaho (Sept. 20, 2008) – Shelby Stroebel added an exclamation mark to his 2008 Pepsi Premier Series championship by capturing a win in the final main event races of the season Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.

As the program began under erratic weather conditions, Kris McKean, second in the race for the championship points standings coming into the night made up some ground by winning the heat race while Stroebel managed a fifth place finish.

For the scheduled 100-lap main event race a massive field of 31 cars rounded the one-third mile track caution-free up until lap 19. The yellow then came out for the 25 car of Lonnie Lowder, who slowed on the front stretch with mechanical issues. It was just after the restart when all heck broke loose in turn four, resulting in extensive damage to the 71 car of Scott Gilligan. Among others Sam Harris, Jr., Mike Greco and Stevie Fisher also received damage which would handicap them for the remainder of the race.

Soon Louis Lopez took over the lead from David Patrick and held on through lap 38 when Bruce Quale decided he wanted the clear view from the front of the pack. However Jonathon Gomez, fresh off a main event win in the Super Stocks division to go along with his championship, had the same thought and was able to get around Quale at lap 54. Six laps later the caution was displayed once again, this time eliminating the cars of Rick Fowble and Louis Lopez from the night’s competition.

For the next several laps Gomez and Quale took turns as front runners but Stroebel, who was holding the patience card for just the right time, laid it out at lap 77 and by lap 90 maintained a four car-length cushion over the also shrewd Norm Hatke.

“As soon as Gomez got by Bruce (Quale) that opened the door for me,” Stroebel said. “He went high because his car wasn’t that great on the bottom and then I had an open shot to the front.”

Three laps later Dan Pehrson settled into the infield after slowing in the front stretch. With Stroebel in the lead with Hatke and Gomez right behind the race was called as excessive cautions and fuel issues got the upper hand.

Stroebel was grateful to have claim to the title after challenges throughout the season left him doubting his chances at the championship.

“At the beginning of the season this is how I pictured it,” Stroebel said. “But about midway through the season this wasn’t how I pictured it. Up through tonight I knew that if I at least stayed out of the wrecks I’d be in the top four or five. It just panned out to where we kept our nose clean and the car was actually better than that at the end – and we were able to pull off the win.”

Budweiser Super Stocks

Jonathon Gomez and Jerry McKean battled once again for the win but it was Gomez who
was able to come through once more, completing his domination of the division and
accepting the championship for 2008. Jerry and Kris McKean wound out tying for
second in the points for the season and John Hoogendoorn captured Rookie of the Year
honors.

NAPA Pony Stocks

In the final lap of the heat race Josh Pitz was avoiding a car in turn four and
veered right, striking the tires and the barrier and shortening the front of the No.
47 car by a couple of feet.

What would have been a disaster in his bid for the championship was adverted however
with his commanding lead in the points coming into the night.

“I was very, very happy with that,” Pitz said knowing of his secure point margin
over Jeff Couch. “It made me comfortable knowing it didn’t matter what spot I ended
up in the main – I was still going to win the championship. It took all the pressure
off and I didn’t have to worry about if something blew up or hit the wall – like I
did.”

For the main event Brent Abbott loaned him the No. 21 car and Pitz’ fifth place
finish was more than enough to tie down the title.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets

Despite the smoke trail behind him, Brandon Thurber rolled out his first main event
win of the season.
Thurber and Brennen Vandermeer jockeyed back-and-forth for the lead for most of the
20-lap main event race with Brian Helm close in the mix. Vandermeer spun with just
three laps remaining and Brian Helm was then shown as the leader when the white flag
flew. Coming to the checkered however, Thurber had what turned out to be the
favorable position on the low side finishing .028 seconds over Helm.

By Linda Brittsan
Correspondent

Vanderham Tops Off Championship with Win at MVS

September 17th, 2008

By Linda Brittsan
Correspondent

TWIN FALLS,IDaho (Sept. 13, 2008) – Intermountain Pro Trucks driver Kenny Vanderham wrapped up the season in a big way, topping off his second championship with a main event win Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.
Early in the 75-lap main event race Lou Andersen, who was participating in the series after an absence in several of the previous events, looked to have the dominate truck of the night. Vanderham, knowing he had the championship in bag, seemed to be comfortable with his mid-pack location. As the race moved along however, it was evident Vanderham had been just patiently waiting to make his moves and drove into the third position by lap 40.
One lap later the yellow lights were displayed when the trucks of Kent Jensen and Beau Newhouse collided on the backstretch. A lap after the restart Vanderham moved into second and had just taken the lead when another caution came out at lap 47. Vanderham had no troubles pulling away from the field until Stevie Fisher, driving the No. 8 truck worked his way in behind him.
An additional restart 12 laps later had Fisher giving Vanderham his toughest challenge of the night, but he was able to shake Fisher off in the final laps to take the win.
“We thought about kind-of hanging back and not pushing it too hard tonight,” Vanderham said. “But really I wanted to win. Our strategy tonight was just to lay back and be patient. We knew we had a truck we could probably win with, so we thought we would just sit back and let about half the race get over with – make a pass now and then when we needed to – and work our way up there.”
Ty Sharp captured rookie of the year honor in the series along with a fourth place finish on the night.
Budweiser Super Stocks
Not much daylight could be seen between the cars of Jerry McKean and Jonathon Gomez as they rounded the track door-to-door for the final laps of the main event race. At the finish line however it was Gomez who was able to edge out the win, but by a stingy .036 seconds.
McKean had taken hold of the lead at lap four from Willie Dalton but Gomez and Kris McKean both were eager to challenge him for the position. A caution at lap 12 cued the Jerry McKean – Gomez side-by-side duel, while Kris McKean waited for an opportunity to open up in front of him. Neither Jerry McKean in the lower groove nor Gomez had any intention of letting up as the battle continued to the checkered flag, but it was Gomez once again who was able to pull into Victory Lane.
NAPA Pony Stocks
There is no stopping Josh Pitz this season and his victory this night was yet another tally mark in the win column for the driver of the No. 47 car.
Kevin Grubbs, who would wind up with a second place finish when the checkered flag flew, made every effort to keep Pitz behind him but was passed at lap 13. A caution at lap 16 set up a restart, but Pitz blasted off after taking the green flag and cruised to the win.
MV Pipe Thunder Stocks
Rick Gooding was able to “get-er-done” and reeled in a win in the 25-lap main event race. Gooding went to the front after leader Kamie Nuthak spun on the backstretch at lap nine and by the half-way mark Gooding had fashioned a seven car length lead over the rest of the field. With just five laps remaining in the race Spencer Meyer became Gooding’s closest rival, closing in on Gooding in the turns. However Gooding was able to pull away on the straight-aways and the rookie soon drove to his first main event victory. After climbing out of the car to accept the win, it was obvious the driver of the No. 3 car was electrified with the outcome.
Jr. Stingers
Andy Brennan held the lead for the majority of the 15-lap main event race but Brice Anderson took over with two laps to go after maneuvering around Brennan the backstretch. Anderson was then able to capture the win, his first of the season.
Skid Plate race
The first ever race of its kind at MVS created a lot of sparks and spins all the way around the one-third mile track. With The rear rims welded to a metal plate, 14 hornet cars lit up the asphalt while attempting to keep the car pointed in the right direction. After several lead changes Justin Slocum emerged the victor in the inaugural event.
“It was hard to drive – it would spin very easily in the back and it was really hard to keep it straight,” he said. “But it was fun – it was worth it.”

Greco, Grubbs on top pedestal at MVS

August 29th, 2008

While Greco started up for the 50-lap main event race, it was anything but a
pleasure cruise to the finish line for the driver of the No. 70 car. Cautions at laps three with Sam Harris, Jr. taking a hard hit into the front stretch
and 21 which among others involved points leader going into the night Jonathon
Gomez, found Greco and Pehrson side-by-side for the restarts with Greco opting for the highline. They continued the battle until another yellow was displayed at lap 31 as Daryl Wert and Gomez were unsuccessful in avoiding a slowed Stevie Fisher in the front stretch after having a tire go down. The incident finally finished off Gomez and he and Wert joined Harris and a snake bit Rick Fowble, who suffered mechanical issues, in the pits for the night.

Rob Vest and Shelby Stroebel moved into the second and third positions late in the race but fortunately for Greco, the pair were fighting their own battle leaving the driver of the No. 70 cross the finish line by a comfortable margin.

“When the cautions came out I was really wondering which way to go because I didn’t know how the bottom was going to be, so I decide to go to the outside,” Greco said. “It was just so smooth – the car was not bobbling or loose or pushing or anything. It was just fantastic. I’ve had so much doubt that I was going to get a win – but we had good right side tires on tonight and it was awesome.”

“I think the restarts counted against us because it allowed everyone to get bunched up and I got stuck on the bottom,” concluded Pehrson. The car just would not handle well down there. But it was good to see Mike win – he’s been struggling all year long.”

Stroebel, with the runner-up finish, netted a 29-point lead with two races remaining in the chase to the championship for the series.

NAPA Pony Stocks

Randy Grubbs rounded up his first win of the season after starting from the pole position for the 20-lap main event race.

Grubbs was able to stay out in front of a pack of cars that included Wayne Bosh, Josh Pitz and Ray Homolka who ganged up behind him in an effort to get a shot at the lead. The race went caution-free despite a spinning Bosh in turn four who went on to add a bonus spin in turn one at lap 20. Grubbs held on to his momentum long enough to cross the finish line just .023 seconds ahead of Pitz, who once again was there at the end with his foot to the floor trying to catch Grubbs on the outside.

MV Pipe Thunder Stocks
The full size cars were a tight-knit group for the first laps of the main event race with the No. 24 car of David Andrews leading the way. Rob Roche then led for two laps until Shiela Harms took control for the next 12 rounds. With five to go Craig Nuthak poured it on, passing Harms on the outside with Spencer Meyer soon to follow.

Although Nuthak won the main event race, the real winner was driver of the No. 38 car Jim Shirley, who got down on his knees on the front stretch and proposed
marriage to MVS scorekeeper Dani Sue Irish, who eventually accepted his proposal.

Jr. Stingers
After he fell short of a victory earlier in the season, this night Ty Garibay was able to keep a grip on the lead throughout the 20-lap main for his first win in the division. At the half-way mark a caution forced Garibay to work hard to keep a shadowing Steve Edens, Jr. behind him, but Garibay was able to eventually put a slight buffer zone between him and the points leader en route to the win.

School Buses
After the kids in the stands got a ride-along in the larger buses at intermission, Alan Larson and Boyd Harms began the E ticket ride around the one-third mile track for the main event race. With Kris McKean bouncing around in the short bus, Harms got Larson but of the way after pushing him around in turn four. Later Larson returned the favor but Harms’ bus ended up rolling over on its side before up righting itself on all six wheels.

Harms was reported to be unharmed in the incident.

Finally, the spectator drag races were a bit hit with both the fans and drivers as street cars were invited to test their skills at breaking the lap speed set by Eddy McKean in the Middlekauff pace car.

Gomez cashes in at MVS

August 21st, 2008

Fisher started the race in fifth position, but Mike Greco held the lead for the
first 31 laps with Gomez challenging for the spot by lap 13. While Greco and Gomez wrestled for position, Bruce Quale and Fisher began to close in. Two cautions soon found Fisher and Gomez battling for the lead with Gomez fresh off a victory in the Super Stocks division earlier in the evening.

With 11 laps remaining and Fisher out front, Gomez continued the challenge while Fisher apparently fought handling issues which he was unable to correct. At lap 50 Fisher crossed the finish line approximately two car lengths ahead of Gomez, but the win did not stick as the track officials addressed issues regarding Fisher’s driving style during the final laps. The number 2 was then lit in the top spot on the scoreboard.

“We had a great race going,” Fisher said. “I got a little too much heat in my tires toward the end – got a little too much stagger and got a little bit loose – my fault. I didn’t receive any warning or nothing, just instantly went a lap down for it for coming up into Gomez there coming out of four.”

Earlier it looked as the full moon initially had a positive effect on Fisher,
setting a new qualifying record in the series with a 15.038 lap around the one-third mile track and later apparently winning the main event.

“I was real surprised simply for the fact that he (Gomez) wasn’t even near the wall – he was in the third lane and still had another lane to go up. Then they come across the radio – no warning or nothing – they just said that’s going to cost you a lap.”

“I raced Greco side-by-side for about thirty laps and it was a lot of fun,” Gomez said. “I had a good clean race going. I got by him (Greco) then got by Fisher on the restart. Fisher had a bad-handling car and we hit a couple times so I just let him go. The officials thought differently and thought he did it on purpose too many times. They gave me then win and unfortunately they took it away from him – but they gave it to me and I’ll take it. Everyone on this crew has worked so hard on this car. To have it come around and have good luck tonight, everybody’s been waiting for it.”

MVS promoter Eddy McKean felt he had a call to make at the conclusion of the race.

“I think Bill (Detamore, starter/flagman) warned him about four lane racing two
times and I warned him once or twice,” McKean said. “But if Gomez wouldn’t have
locked up his brakes and backed off he’d of been in the wall. I don’t know if he (Fisher) did it on purpose – I think he was just overdriving and went over the line. Then me and Diane (Van Eps, chief scorekeeper) made the call to dock him a lap. It would be the same for anybody.”

Budweiser Super Stocks

Jonathon Gomez extended his lead in the point standings with another main event win and what would be the first of two victories for the night.

Gomez finished more than six seconds in front of runner-up Jerry McKean who had a brief time in front before Gomez took command and settled in to an extensive lead over the rest of the field. Jerry McKean received pressure from Kris McKean for the second spot but narrowly held him off for the position at the line.

MV Pipe Thunder Stocks

After a long dry spell Stacey Jensen came through with the win in the 25-lap main event race. As the laps wound down Jensen found Spencer Meyer outside his right side door with Steve Edens and Craig Nuthak side-by-side directly behind. Jensen was keen on the win however, setting his sights on roping in another victory and doing so finishing less than half a second over Meyer.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets

After points leader in the standings Bob Gilligan crashed in his heat race, his crew scrambled to provide him with another car to drive in the main event. With the mission was accomplished Gilligan started the race at the rear of the field while Tim Ford began at the pole position. Ford remained the race leader to the end despite having to fight his way through lap traffic while keeping the much closer competition behind him. The win was Ford’s first of the season.

Chester captures win, McKean points lead at MVS

August 13th, 2008

Louis Lopez took the early lead in the feature division 50-lap main event race with Chester and Stevie Fisher steadily in pursuit. Fisher made the first move to pass Lopez, getting the mission accomplished at lap 15. But soon it was Fisher’s turn to wear the target as Chester began to zero in on the No. 29 car.

At the half-way mark Fisher remained out front with Chester making several attempts to get around him on the outside lane. Meanwhile Bruce Quale, who had worked his way up from the eighth starting spot to third, patiently waited for the pair to sort things out. At lap 35 Chester’s determination finally paid off, taking command of the lead and needing to hold on for just 15 more laps for the victory as the race remained caution free.

“I got on the outside (of Fisher) and I wasn’t real comfortable – but in five or 10 more laps it seemed like he was slowing down,” Chester said. “Then I saw Bruce (Quale) come up behind us and I knew if he got on the outside of us, Stevie and I were both done. So I figured I might as well give it a shot.”

Fisher tailed Chester for the remaining laps but the driver of the No. 22 car would cross the finish line .383 seconds ahead to capture the win.

“I made the mistake of trying to save my tires and use the bottom groove a little bit,” Fisher said. “The top groove was fast, a lot faster than the bottom groove tonight. But second – we’ll take it for the points.”

Budweiser Super Stocks

Jonathon Gomez not only competed in both the Super Stocks and the Premier Series, his role as best man in a wedding had him arriving at the track decked out in a tuxedo. Gomez was obviously hurried throughout the evening as once he changed into his driving suit; he put up the fastest qualifying times in both divisions.

In the main event race Jerry McKean had moved out to a big lead by lap six but one lap later the caution came out as Norm Hatke came to rest on the infield at turn two. On the restart McKean took the outside lane with Gomez directly underneath him.

Kris McKean had trouble getting going when the green flag waved and soon wound up spinning in turn four to bring out another yellow. Jerry McKean and Gomez were once again lined up side-by-side for the next restart and the pair fought for the win in the remaining laps with John Hoogendoorn their closest competitor.

McKean would fall .201 seconds short of Gomez at the checkered flag despite his
efforts and Gomez took not only the win but a 40 point lead over Hoogendoorn in the point standings.

NAPA Pony Stocks

Josh Pitz was the winner of the first Chase for the Championship event after one of his signature come from behind endeavors.

Starting on the pole Morgan Rasmussen held the lead for the majority of the 25-lap main event race. Jason Abbott and Michael Shoemaker stuck with Rasmussen behind and to the outside of the rookie but it was not until lap 16 when the young driver gave up the lead to Abbott after having issues on the backstretch. Two laps later it was Abbott’s turn to have problems, slowing on the track and opening the door for Pitz to go on to the win.

Jeff Couch, who was second in the standings going into the race, was mired in
traffic much of the time but did manage to pull out a fourth place finish.

Idaho Six Cylinders

“Hurricane” Bob Bachman once again showed his dominance in the series while visiting MVS.

Bachman took control of the 30-lap main event race at lap 10 after Dante Gualco, Steve Waswick and Walt Calkins had brief times of not seeing the bright yellow No. 2 car front of them.

Bachman’s nerves were tested by Walt Calkins late in the race after Bachman dropped a cylinder, allowing Calkins to close in for the final laps. However, the hurricane was still powerful enough to roll across the line first to continue his pounding of the competition at MVS.

Swanson, Hatke, land main event wins at Magic Valley Speedway

August 8th, 2008

At the halfway point of the main event Swanson had nearly a quarter-track lead over Eric Humphries and Nick Rescino who were battling for second. Three caution flags in the next 43 laps forced Swanson to test his restart skills, but each time the 17-year old driver looked to have been shot out of cannon. With the yellow flag displayed with just three laps to go, Humphries had his best opportunity to catch the No. 17 car.

“That was the worst one,” Swanson said of the final restart. “I was trying to figure out where he (Humphries) was running and what we had to do. Usually I had a lap car between me and him for the restarts – so that one scared me quite a bit.”

In addition to cracking the qualifying record in the series at MVS, with the win Swanson maintained his points lead in just his first full season of racing in the USAC Western States division.

Pepsi Premier

In the first race in the Chase for the Championship the tension was as thick as the syrup on the track.

Stevie Fisher immediately manufactured a considerable lead for the first 18 laps of the main event race with Mike Greco and Jonathon Gomez his closest rivals. A caution at lap 18 when Rob Vest tagged the back bumper of Louis Lopez between turns three and four then set up a restart. With Fisher taking the inside lane and Gomez up top, the pair ran side-by-side for several laps, each not giving an inch as they raced for the lead.

It was at lap 31 when something finally did give and the pair met in turn four.

“We were running clean for several laps – I was giving him plenty of room and I
thought he was giving me plenty of room,” Fisher said. “It just so happened I went up and he came down. We connected and we went around. That’s all there really is to it. I didn’t intentionally take him out and I don’t think he intentionally took me out.”

“We were just racing hard – I wanted the lead and so did he,” Gomez said. “I think I had him but he was still trying. Then I think his car was going away a little bit and he drove in a little hard and got loose.”

The battle between Fisher and Gomez was then relegated to the rear of the field –but it was far from over.

On the restart Hatke took the high side with McKean right outside his driver’s side door. However the yellow caution lights soon flashed to the field once again as Gomez and Fisher continued to play out their issues at the rear of the field.

“I felt really bad when I hit him on the next restart – I hit him in the back to let him know that I was mad at him – but I didn’t have any reason to be. He didn’t do it on purpose – I screwed up,” Gomez admitted.

Hatke and McKean regrouped on the restart with Shelby Stroebel and Vest – who had worked his way back up to fourth – directly behind. Five laps later Vest fell off while Stroebel desperately searched for a way through Hatke and McKean who were door-to-door for the final 10 laps. In the end Stroebel had to settle for a third place finish – but gained the lead in the point standings.

Hatke credited his first main event win of the season to his strategy gaining good position on the track.

“We needed to be on the top groove and I knew if I could keep Kris (McKean) pinched in underneath me on the bottom – and not let him get away – I wasn’t sure I could beat him but could get a second, maybe a first,” Hatke said. “He (McKean) did a great job – he’s going for a championship and he didn’t want to wreck.”

MV Pipe Thunder Stocks

Shiela Harms led for the early laps until chase leader Steve Edens took control of the 25-lap main event race. Edens then quickly pulled away from the 12 cars in the rest of the field – and cruised to the win. Spencer Meyer got by Harms for a second place finish.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets

Lane Buddenhagen took an E-ticket ride over the embankment in turns three and four in the second heat race for the division – coming to rest on his roof in the dirt. Buddenhagen climbed out of the car but was finished for the rest of the night.

For the main event the drivers quickly scrambled for track position amongst the
field of 22 cars entered in the race. Evan Albright took charge of the swarm until bad luck hit at lap 13 – slowing in turn two and parking his ride on the infield.

This opened the gate for Justin Slocum, who had not seen the winner’s circle for several races. Gerod Bosh and Larry Goff gave chase to the end – but ran out of laps as Slocum took the checkered flag.

No. 22 catches main event win at MVS

August 1st, 2008

Gomez began the 30-lap main event race mid-pack among a field of ten cars and
trucks. By lap five he had taken over the lead – and quickly began to pull away from the cars of Jerry McKean, John Hoogendoorn and Kris McKean who were scrambling for second. The caution flag then flew at lap16 after Kris McKean got into Hoogendoorn’s rear bumper, spinning Hoogendoorn over the embankment in turns three and four. With Gomez on the low side for the restart, Jerry McKean was able to stick with No. 22 car for the next several laps – until McKean slammed the front stretch wall at lap 27. While McKean remained in the race, he was out of contention for the win.

The remaining three laps brought Kris McKean into the picture with Gomez, while
Hoogendoorn had worked his way back up to third. McKean battled Gomez on the outside for as long as he could, but Gomez was focused on holding his lead in the standings – crossing the finish line .463 seconds over runner-up in the race McKean.

The inside lane seemed to work for Gomez this night – although he did have his
doubts it would be the key to the win.

“Looking back I think the outside was probably a lot faster, but I new I was passing enough on the inside that if they were going to pass me – they’d have to do it on the outside,” Gomez said. “Jerry (McKean) was really fast, Kris (McKean) was really fast and Hoogendoorn has gotten fast. It was kind-of a catch 22 – but I just figured I’d be safest on the inside.”

“I was worried about getting this first win to keep my points lead,” he added. “But I really have to give it to the crew – I work all day, leave the field and come straight out here to the track and they have everything ready. They get most of the credit.”

Intermountain Pro Trucks

In just his second start, rookie Jeff Pohlman drove like a veteran en route to
back-to-back wins in the series.

After Johnny Pierre and Beau Newhouse took turns in the lead position for the first seven laps, Alan Larson took charge until the caution lights came on at lap 17 when Newhouse and Kent Jensen collided in the backstretch.

After the restart Ty Sharp assumed the lead and soon Larson had to exit the track with mechanical issues. Sharp’s lead was short-lived however as Pohlman, who had steadily maneuvered his way away through the field, muscled around Sharp via the outside lane on a restart at lap 20.

Pohlman’s only real challenger in the final laps was point’s leader Kenny Vanderham, who had quietly made his way towards the front – but he did not have quite enough for Pohlman.

After two wins the question on everyone’s mind is if Pohlman will step up and buy the ride from McKean Motorsports he has piloted to the winner’s circle.

“I will if Eddy (McKean) will sell it to me for the same price with a new body on it,” Pohlman said. “It’s not the prettiest truck in the field.”

MV Pipe Thunder Stocks

Jim Shirley and Craig Nuthak crossed the finish line side-by-side in a thrilling finish to a chaotic 20-lap main event race.

After an initial caution before the 14 cars entered in the main event completed a lap, Kamie Nuthak took charge, weathering more cautions including an encounter between Jessica Meyer and Rick Gooding in turns three and four.

Nuthak maintained the lead until just over the half-way mark when she spun along with Shiela Harms in turn one, putting both girls to the back of the pack.

After the restart Craig Nuthak and Shirley took turns crossing under the flag stand door-to-door for as the laps wound down. The pack behind the leaders waited for one of them to make a mistake, but the pair held fast with Shirley just edging Nuthak by .050 seconds for the trip to the winner’s circle.

Jr. Stingers

Jenna Quale bounced back from some bad luck the past two races to take the main
event win.

Quale took over the lead from pole sitter Ashley Smith with a sly move at lap four –and then began to gain ground over her competitors. A late race challenge by point’s leader Steve Edens fell short – allowing Quale to capture her second win of the season in the division.

Quale comes through with win at MVS

July 23rd, 2008

With Mike Greco taking the lead at lap 3, the 21 car mixture of late-models and
modifieds ran 26 laps before the first caution of the race was displayed to the
field. The ride of last weekend’s winner Cliff Chester received the most damage in the incident, taking him out of contention for the remainder of the event.

Greco held on to the lead until lap 34 – that’s when Quale took over. At the
half-way point Quale had gobbled up a 10-car length lead over the field – but
successive yellow flags in the following laps continued to bunch up the pack for restarts. Shelby Stroebel had worked his way up to one of the top three challengers for the victory – but the final laps saw Quale en route to the win while all Greco and Stroebel could do was fight for second.

“The car ran great tonight,” Quale said. “That outside groove was perfect – just as smooth as glass.”

Greco lost his battle with Stroebel with 18 laps remaining in the race, but
nevertheless had one of his best runs of the season having been snake bit several times in recent weeks.

“The crew has really worked hard on the car for at least the last 5 weeks,” Greco said. “Sometimes it’s hard to keep everybody motivated after all that has happened. But it was a good handling car tonight – they did a great job. It was pretty awesome.”

NAPA Auto Parts Pony Stocks
At the halfway mark of the 20-lap main event leader Raymond Homolka had his hands full trying to keep Wade Henslee behind him, but it was Jeff Couch who gave Homolka the most concern as the laps wound further down in the race. A bobble in turn four by Couch gave Homolka some breathing room – and the driver of the No. 9 car soon had landed in the winner’s circle for the first time this season.

MV Pipe Thunder Stocks
Rick Gooding looked to on his way to his first main event win of the year – but
Steve Edens had another outcome in mind.

Starting from the pole position Gooding was on a mission to capture his first win of the season, but got loose in turn two at lap 18 with Edens right behind. After dropping back to second, Spencer Meyer was also able to take advantage of the situation – passing Gooding in the final two laps to finish in the runner-up position.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets
A nest of 23-cars took the green flag for the start of a wild main event – but at the finish it was Ryan Jund who wound up with the win in the race. Tim Ford was out front laps four through 23 – even as his rear bumper dragged the
ground after an early incident with the No. 19 car of J.B. Rodgers. With less than five laps remaining in the race Ford began to lose his aerodynamics – opening the door for Jund who was able to hold off a determined Daniel Shirley challenging Jund for the victory in the final laps.

Legends cars
Travis Anderson, driving the No. 66 car, took over at lap 6 after a restart gave him just the edge he needed to pull away from the field. Anderson then had no problem staying in the lead – finishing 3.37 seconds over Doyle Hartman in the 15-lap main event race.

Chester closes lid on first win at Magic Valley Speedway

July 17th, 2008

Pepsi Premier
As soon as the green flag flew on the feature division race, driver Stevie Fisher began putting a cushion between him and the 15 other contestants in the event. A caution at lap five involving Scott Gilligan, Sam Harris Jr. and Mike Greco bunched the pack back together for the restart – and soon Fisher had Kris McKean nipping at his heels. At lap 20 McKean managed to get around Fisher – but in the meantime Chester had his sights set on the No. 3 car of McKean.

Attempting to make the pass on McKean on the high side and having to deal with lap traffic along the way, Chester finally got his shot at lap 40 and the number 22 was lighted up at the top of the scoreboard. McKean was far from conceding however and continued to pressure Chester until getting loose exiting turn four with five laps to the checkered flag. Jonathon Gomez, who had been looking for his second win on the night, began to take on McKean in the final laps – but neither could catch Chester who knew he had the car to beat.

“I knew I had the winning car in practice tonight,” Chester said. “Although he
(McKean) was faster in one part of the track and I was faster in the other. Once I got around McKean and Greco I knew it would be had for anyone to catch me at the last there – as long as drove a reasonable speed and kept the car straight.”

Chester credited a great deal of extra time spent with the car during the week as the key to his win this evening.

“I was tired of running last and not knowing what was happing during the race,” he said. So we came out here and practiced Wednesday night – and ran 50 laps at a time until we figured out the right set up.”

Budweiser Super Stocks
Jonathon Gomez made a move for the lead at lap four of the 25-lap main event race and quickly squirreled away ground in front of the rest of the pack. While Gomez was enjoying his lead Kris McKean and Jeff Pohlman fought their own battle, with Pohlman not so subtlety letting McKean knew he was right there with him. In the end McKean held on for second while Gomez continues to dominate in the division.

Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks
Spencer Meyer was the newest main event winner in the division – but it did not come easily as Meyer had to dig in to get to the front at lap 18 of the 25-lap contest.

Greg Sparks was the leader early on, but Rob Roche took control of the crowd at lap four. Roche continued to hold his ground but Sparks, Stacey Jensen and later Meyer each made their challenge for the lead position. Once Meyer took over points leader Steve Edens became Meyer’s biggest concern, but Meyer was able to hold him off for the win.

Intermountain Pro Trucks
A truck series rookie took his place towards the rear of the field for the main
event race – but evidently Jeff Pohlman is a quick learner.

Pohlman wheeled his way to the lead at lap 18 after sneaking under race leader Scott Luttmer. Just two laps later Pohlman had managed a six-truck lead on the field – but point boss Kenny Vanderham was closing in quickly. As the remaining laps wound down, Pohlman was able guide his truck around the track like a veteran had soon had a first main event win to go along with his first start in the division.

Sparks fly Friday night at Magic Valley Speedway

July 9th, 2008

Jeff Russell of Boise was the main event winner while Bryan Warf had to bear the burden of mechanical problems and view his competitors from the infield.

Early on Jim Birges and Russell were out in front for the 50-lap main event race until lap 30 when the No. 98 car of Troy Reiger entered the picture and took over second position. Four laps later Reiger and Birges tangled in turn three – bringing out the caution with 16 laps remaining in the event. Russell was the recipient of the lead after the encounter and then was able to sprint to the win.

“We just love Twin – we’ve been waiting to come back here for a long time,” Russell said. “We won one at Madera and in another run there we had a power fade which put us in the wall and tore the whole side of the car up. We just got it put back together – so this is great. It’s a lot of work, a lot of fun and a lot of money.”

Warf, who put in a fantastic qualifying time, was running well in the main event until he heard something he knew was definitely not fireworks.

“It went bang,” Warf said. “It sheared the gears. It was pretty disappointing –we almost broke the track record and we started to come through the field – we just can’t seem to catch a break this year.”

Idaho Six Cylinders

Ken Omundson, Sr. had the early lead in a full field for the main event but the race came down to a duel between the cars of Jasen Skyberg and Dean Waltman. Skyberg took over the lead with just five laps remaining in the race but Waltman pursued the bright yellow No. 20 throughout the final laps in an effort to gather the win for himself. However Waltman ran out of laps – and Skyberg was able to collect his first win of the season at MVS.

Budweiser Super Stocks

Kris McKean jumped out to an early lead in the 25-lap main event race and quickly stockpiled the real estate between him and the rest of the field. Points leader Jonathon Gomez struggled to get around the cars ahead of him on the track – finally doing so at near the half-way point of the race. However McKean had the stronger car for the night and was able to cruise across the finish line for his second win of the season in the division.

NAPA Auto Parts Pony Stocks

In the main event race the drivers had only racked up four laps before an incident between turns three and four involving Brent Abbott, Wayne Bosh and Jason Abbott brought out the yellow flag. Another caution for debris later in the race set up a restart with Michael Shoemaker and Raymond Homolka, who were both anticipating their first main even victory of the season. However Josh Pitz, who had obviously recovered from a severely damaged car the previous weekend along with receiving damage to his car in practice this night, was hot on the trail of the leaders. With Shoemaker now battling Pitz, the pair passed under the flag stand neck-and-neck with the white flag signaling one lap to go with Pitz in his favored high groove. As the checkered flag waved the two seemed to cross the finish line virtually simultaneously, but Shoemaker had edged out Pitz to take the win.

Jr. Stingers

Anthony Meyer won an abbreviated main event after a big pile-up early in the race eliminated most of the cars from competition. It was Meyer’s first trip to the winner’s circle this season.

Quale captures main event at Magic Valley Speedway

July 5th, 2008

Quale took over the lead at lap 27 after Darvin Ackerland, Kris McKean and Dan
Pehrson had their turns in the front of the field for the 50-lap main event race. Quale maintained his lead even though two cautions late in the race bunched up the drivers forcing Quale to try and hold off the competition. Rick Fowble in the No. 98 modified kept Quale on his toes the final few laps as he made every effort to get around the leader – but Quale held on and crossed the finish line 0.421 seconds ahead of runner-up Fowble.

The “cone” – forcing the drivers to choose either the inside or outside groove on a restart was re-introduced Saturday night – and Quale took advantage of the situation on the final restart.

“That was a hard decision,” Quale said. “I thought it was running so good outside, if they were going to beat me – let them beat me on the inside. I just wanted to stay where I knew it would work. I was nervous that Fowble might jump up in front of me on that last start. His car was so good coming off the corner.”

Rob Vest, who is on top of the point standings in the division, climbed his way up from deep in the field to finish third and remains on top in the feature series.

NAPA Auto Parts Pony Stocks

After a devastating wreck in the heat race which eliminated the cars of points
leader in the division Josh Pitz and Jeff Couch – who came into the night third in
the rankings – Wade Henslee was able to capture his first main event win of the
season. Henslee took the lead just two laps into the race, but Jason Abbott kept the pressure on the driver of the No. 67 car throughout the event in pursuit of the victory. Couch and Pitz were generously offered the cars of Michael Shoemaker and Michael Stuart for the 20-lap main event to retain as many points as possible in the standings and finished sixth and seventh respectively.

MV Pipe Thunder Stocks

Luke Fuller struggled to stay in the lead of the main event race but Steve Edens, hungry for his first win of the season took over at lap 10. While the pack maneuvered for positions behind the leaders, Edens was able to stay out in front for the checkered-yellow flag finish, earning his way to Victory Lane.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets

Bob Gilligan fearlessly drove to his second main event win of the season by just nipping Lane Buddenhagen at the line by .021 seconds.

Buddenhagen assumed the lead after the car of Jerod Bosh spun in turn four 10 laps into the race. Gilligan steadily worked his way through the field however – and made his car stick in the outside lane to capture back-to-back wins in the series.

School Buses

After filling two buses full of kids for a ride-along during intermission, Travas Price and Alan Larson battled it out in the main event. Spins and a last-lap roll over by Kris McKean highlighted the event, but it was Price who was able to make the final stop with the win.

Andersen dominates for win at Magic Valley Speedway

June 18th, 2008

After taking over the lead at lap seven and a caution at lap eight, Andersen was able to settle into a comfortable lead – at least for a few rounds. Kenny Vanderham, winner of the two previous races at MVS this season was moving up quickly and had wound his way into second at lap 21. Vanderham’s endeavor to make it three-in-a-row soon fizzled out however, as smoke began billowing from the back of the No. 12 truck and Vanderham made the right-hand turn to the pits for the night.

“The truck was running good and all the sudden there was a bunch of smoke,”
Vanderham said. “It kind-of smelled like the transmission and I think that’s what happened – we blew a seal out or something.”

This gave Andersen the ticket to the win, crossing the finish line more than four seconds over Drew Reitsma who finished second.

“I knew Kenny was moving up and I knew it was going to be interesting at the end if he kept coming up,” Andersen said. “I figured he could get to me – but getting up to me and getting by me are two different things. “I saw him start to smoke in my mirror and I knew that he had a problem – but I didn’t what it was or know how long he could keep running. He might have got me – but we’ll never know.”

Super Stocks
Jerry McKean looked like he had the car to beat for the night, but Jonathon Gomez would hear nothing of it as he repeatedly tried to pass on the right side of the No. 88 car. Behind the leaders John Hoogendoorn and Kris McKean had their own battle going when the caution came out at lap 18. Jerry McKean had spun to the infield on the front stretch, resulting in a restarting position at the rear of the field. Gomez soon powered off – and finished the 25-lap main event race nearly three seconds ahead of runner-up Hoogendoorn. Guest drivers Max Riddle, making the trip to MVS from Canada and Jimmy Hansen of Indiana finished fourth and seventh respectively.

Pony Stocks
After a caution at lap two the No. 9 car of Raymond Homolka led the pack for the main event. While Homolka had his hands full of steering wheel fighting off Randy Grubbs, Jeff Couch took advantage of the situation moving into the lead at lap six. Couch continued to pull ahead of the field while his competitors attempted to run him down – but it was Couch who had the momentum this night and the driver of the No. 22 car was in high spirits after his first win of the season.

Thunder Stocks
First time main event winner Calvin Rayborn took over the lead just three laps into the 20-lap race, but Spencer Meyer kept the pressure on his bumper as he was also looking for his first win of the season. Lap traffic came into play late in the race but Rayborn carefully made his way around the slower traffic while Meyer slipped out of turn four to finish in the runner-up position.

Minegar Works Magic on RMCS Field

June 14th, 2008

Minegar had a nearly perfect night but it took a little “magic” in order for him to be the first to reach the checkered flag. A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning rookie competitor Dylan Caldwell finished second in only his third career start, followed by Thane Alderman, Tom Hill, and fellow rookie Mitch Dickinson.

Minegar started off the evening collecting his 18th career Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Award with a quick lap of 14.321 seconds around the tricky third-mile paved oval meaning he would start shotgun on the field. Local hotshoe Bobby Latham III had the time to beat but was edged by Minegar late in the session. John Dillon timed in third quick followed by Craig Bell and Tom Hill.

John Newhouse in a borrowed ride set the early pace of the Pepsi “125″ but was
quickly dispatched by multi-time track champion Steve Jones as he moved around
Newhouse on lap 8. Jones led the next six circuits before Latham caught and passed Jones for the lead on lap 15. Latham had started 16th and quickly blazed a trail through the field.

Latham kept up his torrid pace and led the racing action for the next 100 laps
lapping all cars up to the sixth position. Just as Latham had put a lap on Minegar the caution waved for Dylan Caldwell who was running fourth. That was the break that Minegar needed as he was fighting an ill-handling race car. Minegar pitted and his crew replaced a right rear tire due to a wheel that came apart. Even though Caldwell spun and was passed by the leader, he was able to stay on the lead lap as the restart reverts back to the last completed green flag lap.

The restart on lap 90 had Latham in command followed by Dillon with Craig Bell,
Caldwell, and Minegar as the only cars on the lead lap. Latham continued to put a hurt on the field over the next 25 laps until his alternator failed and he lost power while circling under yellow. He jockeyed the number 3 into the pit area as the motor expired. That left Dillon in control of the final nine laps of the race. Dillon could see his second career series victory in reach but just when he was in sight of the finish line, his top link on the rear end broke ended his night with an 8th place finish.

Dillon’s bad luck was Minegar’s pot of gold as he took over the lead on lap 120 and cruised to his sixth career RMCS victory. Dylan Caldwell crossed the line in second place to score his biggest career triumph to date. Thane Alderman rebounded and finished third, followed by Tom Hill and Mitch Dickinson rounding out the top five finishers in the 125-lap event.

“I am thrilled with the win but I really didn’t think it was going to happen like that,” Minegar said. “Bobby (Latham) was the class of the field tonight and I feel bad for him. He had a dominate car. This was a great team win for us. The crew did a fantastic job changing the tire late and that kept us in contention. Sometimes luck falls your way.”

Minegar maintains his stranglehold on the point standings and increased his lead over Dillon to 167 points. Newhouse dropped to third, just two points behind Dillon. Alderman and Hill round out the top five in the standings after five events. Minegar picked up two bonus awards for the event. Since he set fast time and won he collected the ESI Hotshoe Challenge and $400 along with $100 from Sharp Powder Coating for setting fast time. He also collects 150.00 from CarbonX for winning and wearing their protective clothing. Latham earned the Thompson Motorsports Halfway Challenge and $100 while Dylan Caldwell collected the $100 A-1 Heating and Air conditioning rookie bonus and the $200 Thompson Motosports driver improvement award which is awarded to the driver who improves the most positions over the previous event.

The next event for the CarbonX rocky Mountain Challenge Series is Saturday, July 12 at Rocky Mountain Raceway in SLC, Utah. For all the latest news and information regarding the RMCS onto www.rmcsracing.com.

Minegar rises to the top at Magic Valley Speedway

June 13th, 2008

Rocky Mountain Challenge Series driver Minegar’s night started off well enough,
capturing the quick qualifying time and placing second in his heat race. However, during the main event Minegar had his hands full trying to make his way through a crowed field trying to catch Bobby Latham III – who had taken off in a rocket ship disguised as the No. 3 car.

Latham took the lead at lap14 and lost no time in getting lost in the space he put between him and his closest competitor – which for much of the time was MVS Premier Series champion Steve Jones. Even cautions could not slow Latham, with each restart he propelled out in front of the pack and seemed to be cruising to a repeat win in the annual event.

However, with just over 35 laps remaining in the race Latham showed signs of burning out.

“All three races here we’ve had rocket ship but for one reason or another we just can’t finish,” Latham said. “Two tires and then this time it was the alternator and the battery. If we didn’t have bad luck – we’d have no luck at all.”

Latham’s hard landing gave the No. 11 car of John Dillon control of the lead until with just five laps remaining in the event, the reversal of fortune hit Dillon – and he had to exit to the pits with mechanical issues.

Enter Minegar, who won the RMCS main event race at MVS just three weekends ago.
Minegar was as surprised as anyone with the victory. “I was thinking I was going to get third and I was happy as hell,” he said. Rounding out the top three were Dylan Caldwell and Thane Alderman.

Pepsi Premier
Shelby Stroebel, who began the night second in the point standings having not made a trip to the winner’s circle, finally broke the streak when the 50-lap main event race came to a conclusion.

Louis Lopez, who continues to get stronger and stronger every race, led laps four through 31 with Cliff Chester right behind. A pack of cars followed just a ways back from the leaders, all fighting to get their chance to get up front.

A couple of cautions late in the race shuffled things up a bit – and soon it was Stroebel who was taking on Lopez for the lead. The two ran side-by-side with Stroebel preferring the bottom groove, which proved to work for him en route to the victory.

“We made some changes to the car and it was good early on. I figured we’d have a shot at it – if we could get through the traffic – which has been a struggle this year,” Stroebel said.

“But we came from the back and we passed everybody – so I knew then that there was probably wasn’t anybody who could get by us.”

MV Pipe Thunder Stocks
Calvin Rayborn held the lead through lap 13 of the main event race after
successfully holding off Spencer Meyer. Soon Jim Shirley, winner of last weekend’s main event, found his way through the field by mid-race and was out in front at lap 14. Meyer kept the pressure on Shirley until the end, but Shirley decided he liked the sound of back-to-back victories and powered on to another win.

Jr. Stingers
Anthony Meyer and Ty Garibay battled for the first half of the main event race until the pair got together in turn two, allowing Steve Edens, Jr. to take over the lead. Edens then had a clear path to the checkered flag to capture his second main event win of the season.

Quale back in the saddle at MVS

June 7th, 2008

Quale, driving the borrowed No. 19 Pepsi Premier Series car of McKean Motorsports, not only had his hands full fending off Louis Lopez – but also had to contend with a fuel issue putting him in danger of being removed from the track during the main event race.

He (Quale) was leaking fuel really bad,” Lopez said. “I had a face full of it – my face shield was all fogged up – so I was trying to stay out from behind him as much as I could.”

Quale remained in the race as the officials kept a close eye on his car. He was
allowed to continue with the leakage determined not to be an issue as the fuel
burned off.

“Between the heat race and now the gasket on the fuel cap – it was kind of messed up – but I though we had it good,” Quale said. But then I heard on the radio that we were leaking fuel so I kind of held off thinking they might take me off the track. But then it went away after awhile.”

David Patrick held the lead for all but two of the first 14 laps until Quale took control of the race. Quale’s contender then became Lopez, who battled with Quale by taking the low side position on the track. While Lopez could make up room on the turns, Quale continually pulled way on the straight-aways. The two gained substantial lengths on the rest of the pack when the yellow flag was brought out at lap 41 as the cars of Jonathon Gomez, Cliff Chester and David Patrick met between turns one and two.

Unfortunately for Lopez, this allowed the pack including Rob Vest, Rick Fowble and Shelby Stroebel to pack in right behind him and Quale – and as Lopez’ car lost momentum the trio went by giving Lopez a fifth place finish.

As for his return to the feature division, Quale has opened his arms to the series like an old family friend.

“It’s fun to drive anything but this has been a blast,” he admitted.

Budweiser Super Stocks

After a week off and hopefully the calming of some tempers, the Super Stocks hit the track for a 25-lap main event race. Jerry McKean took the lead initially but points leader Jonathon Gomez soon took over and immediately began to buy up real estate behind him and the rest of the field. The first and only caution of the race was displayed at lap 18, thus erasing all the ground Gomez had collected.

In the sprint to the finish, Gomez was able to pull slightly away from McKean. After McKean got loose in turn four with just three laps to go, John Hoogendoorn slid underneath him, finishing a fraction of a second ahead of McKean for second.

MV Pipe Thunder Stocks

Calvin Rayborn took over the lead from Kamie Nuthak at lap four and stayed up front for the following 11 laps. However 2007 champion Jim Shirley had been steadily clawing his way through the field and assumed the lead at lap 16. A caution at lap 19 brought on a restart – and although Shirley was a little shaky when the green flag waved, he was able to recover and make the trip to the winner’s circle.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets

Frank Potter held the lead in the Hornet “truck” for the first five laps with the No. 8 car of Gerry Slocum right on his tail. After a bobble on the front stretch involving the leaders, Mike Ehrmantraut took over for the remainder of the main event race. Slocum applied all the pressure he could muster the final five laps but Ehrmantraut stood his ground to put the No. 32 in the winner’s circle for the first time this season.

Fowble stays in for win at MVS

May 30th, 2008

Louis Lopez and Jonathon Gomez battled for the lead for the first half of the race but the number 55 of Lopez was on top of the scoreboard for all but two of the first 23 laps. Soon a caution involving the cars of TJ Woodhall, Cliff Chester, Mike Greco, Kris McKean, Stevie Fisher and Dan Pehrson stopped the action on the track to allow the safety crew to clean up the debris.

Just seven laps after the restart Gomez took over as front runner – but his momentum was lost when another caution flag flew at lap 36 for the cars of Sam Harris and Scott Gilliagan who were entangled between turns 3 and 4. Stevie Fisher was also deemed to be involved in the confrontation and was asked to remove himself from the track for the remainder of the race.

During the red flag stop the drivers were parked on the back stretch – and Fowble had plenty of time to think about the 14 laps left to go in the event.

“I was actually thinking out the open show last fall, Fowble said. “I was in the same position and when we restarted and I took off the axle broke – I was hoping it wouldn’t do the same thing this time.”

”During practice the car was really loose – but we made a bunch of changes and
during the heat race it felt better. My car just hooked up on the bottom of the
track tonight.”

Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks

Fresh off his 40th birthday, Craig Nuthak proved age is no obstacle after reigning in his second main event win of the season. Nuthak took over the lead at lap six from Calvin Rayborn and quickly put distance between him and the rest of the field. Points leader Stacey Jensen tried feverishly to catch up to Nuthak throughout the 25 lap race – but the best he could do was place second after dicing his way through the pack. Along with Jensen Jim Shirley was also beating a path to the finish line – but lost the position to Jensen by .980 seconds.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets

Larry Goff began the 20-lap main from the pole position and was able to weather the cautions and last minute pressure from Evan Albright to capture his first main event win. At lap three the cars of Justin Slocum and Alecia Dalton snarled in the front stretch causing Dalton to strike the wall. The medical crew was called to the scene – and soon Dalton was able to climb out of the car and walk to the ambulance with minimal assistance.

Idaho Six Cylinders

Bob Bachman continues to make the wins look easy at MVS, capturing his second
victory of the season. Bachman took over the lead at lap 12 after methodically
picking off his competitors one by one. At lap 25 Bachman took the checkered flag – finishing just slightly more than two seconds ahead of runner-up in the event Ken Omundson.

Magic Valley Recap

May 21st, 2008

Thane Alderman from Las Vegas, Nevada, held the lead laps nine through 85 until
Minegar was able to take over. Minegar has had issues in the past trying to get the one-third mile track in Twin Falls to play into his hands for a main event win – but was able to have things fall into place for a trip to the winner’s circle this time out.

TJ Woodhall, making his debut in the RMCS, finished sixth. “It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a race,” Woodhall said. “To come out there with a Premier car and compete with all the guys – I think we did pretty well.”

Hometown track drivers John Newhouse pulled in a third place finish while Steve
Jones and Dan Koyle placed fourth and ninth respectively.

Bobby Latham III finished twelfth after having to exit to the pits with a flat tire– but had been running as high as second before the incident.

Intermountain Pro Trucks
Kenny Vanderham found himself in Victory Lane for the second time this season after battling once again with Beau Newhouse for the lead. Newhouse had things all set until Vanderham was able to get by him with just six laps remaining in the main-event race. Lou Andersen was also able to get by the driver of the No. 22 truck for a second place finish.

Budweiser Super Stocks
Jonathon Gomez captured another win after race leader Jerry McKean tangled with
nephew Kris McKean – sending them both to the back of the field for the restart. Gomez was then able to take over for his second victory of the season.

NAPA Auto Parts Pony Stocks

Brent Abbott was able to just barely beat out a hard charging Josh Pitz who was
applying the pressure the final five laps of the main event race. Both drivers had made their way through the field from their starting positions at the rear of the pack – but Abbott encouraged just enough out of his ride to finish 0.217 seconds ahead of Pitz. It was Abbott’s second main event win of the season.

Jr. Stingers

Steve Edens was pronounced the winner of the main event after Lane Albright spun out a competitor during the race. Edens rounded up his first main event win of the season.

Fisher reels in main event win

May 12th, 2008

Photo: . surveys the damage to his car after a wreck in the front
stretch last Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway. Stevie Fisher went on to
capture the win.

There were 18 cars in the field to start the 50-lap main event – but seven drivers became spectators after having to bow out of the race with some type of damage or other issue.

With Jonathon Gomez in the lead all heck broke loose on the front stretch at lap 25 and TJ Woodhall, Louis Lopez and Sam Harris collected more than enough injuries to their cars to be through for the evening. After the restart Gomez got loose in the back stretch and also sustained wounds to his No. 2 car, but was able to complete the race although his bid for the win was out the window.

With the rides of David Patrick and Allen Williams also parked for the night, it was Fisher and Rick Fowble contending for the win with a hungry pack behind them. Soon Brett Thomspon, driving the No. 12 late model, became the next victim of the race when he hit the wall hard in the front stretch at lap 35. This put Fisher and Fowble side-by-side for another restart but it was Fisher’s night – and the driver went on to catch his first win of the season.

“We’ve been fighting carburetor problems the past couple of weeks and we finally had ours worked on this week,” Fisher said. “Then we came here tonight and everybody had to switch carburetors. Then we fought that carburetor all day long – but my crew worked really hard tonight and got us out there.”

The track pulled a surprise carburetor swap on the Premier Series drivers, requiring them to give up the one they came out with and use one of a competing car.

“But yeah, I’m glad I stayed out of all the mess. I’m looking around the pits right now and there’s some damage to a lot of cars out here.”

Budweiser Super Stocks

It looked like Bill Manker had his first main event win in the division all wrapped up until Jonathon Gomez was able to make his car stick on the outside groove to edge Manker for the win. Manker, who began the 25-lap main event race from the pole, was able to leave all the skirmishing for positions behind him, but once Gomez had fought his way through the field he was able to run down Manker in the final laps. It was Gomez’ second trip to Victory Lane in the Super Stocks division this season.

Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks

Stacey Jensen was able to get around leader Craig Nuthak after Nuthak slowed in the backstretch allowing Jensen to take over the lead at lap 10. Nuthak was able to get back in position to challenge Jensen in the final laps, but got held up behind a lap car making room for Steve Edens reign in a second place finish in the 20-lap main event race.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets

Tim Ford led the first half of the main event race until Justin Slocum took over at lap13. However, Slocum wound up getting stung by Daniel Shirley who made a last second charge – nipping Slocum at the finish line by .032 seconds for his first win of the season.

Vest, Pitz return to Victory Lane

May 6th, 2008

Other drivers chalking up victories were Craig Nuthak in the Magic Valley Pipe
Thunder Stocks, James Ingham with the Legends and trailer race survivor Dan Hunt.

Pepsi Premier

Vest began the 50-lap main event race mid-field but moved up quickly and took over the lead at lap 13. Just as Vest began to put some substantial real estate between his No. 27 car and the rest of the field, three cautions within eight laps of each other forced Vest to test his restarting skills – which he passed with flying colors each time, leading each lap until the checked flag fell on the race. TJ Woodhall gave Vest a run for the lead around the half-way mark of the race trying to get around Vest on the outside, but Woodhall then also had to worry about the No. 98 car of Rick Fowble sneaking underneath him.

As the laps wound down Vest regained his command of the race while Woodhall,
Fowble, Shelby Stroebel and Mike Greco scrambled for positions giving Vest ample opportunity to sew up the win.

“When we had that caution where TJ (Woodhall) was on the outside of me – I figured he would take off and leave me there – because I was stuck on the bottom,” Vest said. “But once I got around him I could go on the high side, which was working great for me tonight. I didn’t think with the new tires and everything that we would be back in the winner’s circle this soon – but things just seemed to work out.”

NAPA Auto Parts Pony Stocks

Josh Pitz continues to seemingly come out of no where, capturing the win in the
20-lap main event after taking over the lead with just five laps remaining in the race.

After a caution on lap one Ray Homulka settled in as the leader but Jason Abbott took things over at lap seven. Pitz, moving quickly through the field, was able to stick to the outside groove and got around the No. 20 car of Abbott as the rest of the event went caution free.

Pitz won the opening night event at MVS and lost by a nose to Brent Abbott in the following event – and he continues to set the bar in the series so far this season.

Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks

Champion in the division for 2006, Craig Nuthak took his No. 36 car with a newly rebuilt engine to Victory Lane after leading all but the first lap in the main event race.

Steve Edens and Jim Shirley fought for second several lengths behind the leader, but their scrimmaging left the door open for Nuthak as he cruised to the win in just his second appearance this season.

Legends

Driver of the No. 24 car James Ingham was the main event winner after the lead
changed hands several times throughout the 15 lap race. Ingham passed Travis Andre on lap 13 – but not without a fight – to capture the win.

Trailer race

Dan Hunt, probably one of the most experienced trailer race drivers around, captured the win after surviving the hits from the other contestants which included two school buses.

Pehrson prevails in Pepsi Premiers

May 2nd, 2008

When the dust settled it was Dan Pehrson, driving the late model No. 72 car, making the trip to the winner’s circle at the conclusion of the 50-lap main event race. Others winding their way to Victory Lane were Budweiser Super Stock driver Jonathon Gomez, Brent Abbott with the NAPA Pony Stocks, Bob Bachman driving in the Super Six division and Woody Cullen in the School Buses.

Pepsi Premier

After a caution for the cars of Sam Harris, Jr. and Stevie Fisher tangling in the back stretch before the first official lap was complete, it was Cliff Chester who held on to the lead for the first five laps. Soon Pehrson, who started fourth, took over at lap six after working his way around Chester on the outside groove. While Pehrson had fairly smooth sailing around the one-third mile track, the rest of the field was scrambling for position – and at lap 15 the predictable caution came out as TJ Woodhall got into the dirt along the back stretch after blowing a tire.

At the half-way point Pehrson was receiving some pressure from the No. 2 car driven by Jonathon Gomez, fresh of his earlier win that evening in the Super Stocks main event race. Meanwhile Mike Greco, Rob Vest, Rick Fowble and Shelby Stroebel competed for the third spot.

With Woodhall and Fisher out of the picture after being black-flagged off the track for the night and damage to the ride of Chester, Pehrson held his lead for the remainder of the race and took the checkered flag for his first win ever in the series.

“This is our second season and our first win in the Premiers,” Pehrson explained. “We did a lot of work on the car over the winter getting this thing together but all the hard work is paying off. I knew that car was working well tonight and regardless of who was beside and behind me on the restarts, we were capable of keeping the car up front.”

Budweiser Super Stocks

Jonathon Gomez, competing in both the Premier and Super Stocks divisions this
season, easily took the win in the 25-lap main event race after starting from the pole position. Norm Hatke, driving a race truck finished second but never had enough for Gomez and finished 3.333 seconds behind the winner.

NAPA Auto Parts Pony Stocks

It came right down to the wire for drivers Brent Abbott and John Pitz in the
main-event race – but it was Abbott’s car number that lit up in the number one spot on the scoreboard in the end.

Pitz, race winner opening night, came from the rear of the field to put the pressure on Abbott from the outside lane, but Abbott kept the pedal down to cross the line just a tenth of a second ahead of his rival for the victory. It was the first win for the 21-year old since competing in the division beginning last season.

Super Sixes

Bob Bachman claimed he loved Magic Valley Speedway – and it showed after he came from the back portion of the field to take the win in the 25-lap main event race.

Ken Omundson gave Bachman the most concern during the event, but a critical bobble by Omundson late in the event sealed the deal for Bachman, 2007 champion in the series.

Dean Waltman took a hard hit into the front stretch wall in his qualifying race. Waltman walked away from the wrecked car but received cuts to his right hand and was attended to by the paramedics on duty at the track.

Hill climbs to victory at Magic Valley Speedway

April 21st, 2008

finished one, two three in the Outback Steakhouse 75 at
Magic Valley Speedway April 19.

Rocky Mountain Challenge Series
Tom Hill of Eagle was able to outlast a caution-filled Outback Steakhouse 75-lap main event race to capture his first win of the season.

At the half-way point of the race Bobby Latham III of Twin Falls had a considerable lead over the rest of the field as competing Twin Falls residents Steve Jones and John Newhouse along with Craig Bell of Kuna battled for second. With less than 20 laps remaining in the race Newhouse had passed Latham for the lead – but Latham was far from giving anything away. The two contended for the win but soon the tire that had been slowly going down on Latham’s car gave way, sending him into Newhouse at turn four. This put rookie of the year candidate Jones to the lead for the next two restarts, but Hill had the stronger car for the run and he along with Thane Alderman of Las Vegas, Nev., got past Jones on the final laps, giving Jones a third place finish.

“I just lost the car going into the corner and Tom (Hill) got a run on me,” Jones said. Those guys have big motors and when I bobbled just a little bit – I was a sitting duck. But I had a good restart the time before that and I think I would have gotten away from them without that last yellow.”

Intermountain Pro Trucks
Defending champion in the series Kenny Vanderham of Jerome drove his way to the
winner’s circle by passing Beau Newhouse late in the main-event race. Johnny Pierre held the lead for the first 21 laps, but with a slight nudge Newhouse took over the lead from Pierre on the backstretch. Newhouse was able to fend off Vanderham – who had carefully made his way though the field after starting eleventh – for four laps. However, a caution on lap 28 put Vanderham right on Newhouse’s door for the restart and experience took over as Vanderham was able to take over the lead with six laps remaining.

Budweiser Super Stocks
Kris McKean made his first trip to the winner’s circle after a bold move in the
final lap of the main-event race. With rookie in the division John Hoogendoorn in the lead, McKean along with Jerry McKean both made a last ditch attempt to pass the leader on the backstretch. As the No. 3 car of Kris McKean went low, the No. 88 car of Jerry McKean tried the high side around Hoogendoorn. Jerry McKean got the right-side wheels in the dirt but Kris McKean was able to hold on and pull ahead of Hoogendoorn to capture the win.

MV Pipe Thunder Stocks
Starting from the pole Greg Sparks held the lead in the 25-lap main event race until about the half-way point when he lost control of the car on the front stretch. Sparks continued the race after spinning through the infield and rejoining the race from the backstretch, but Shiela Harms had already taken advantage of Sparks’ misfortune. She then continued to hold off a hard charging Jim Shirley for her first win in the division.

Jr. Stingers
Lane Albright won the inaugural event for the division after a battle with the No. 13 car of Steve Edens, Jr. The 10 lap race ran on the one-eighth mile track with four contestants entered in the event.

RMCS Opens Up Season at Magic Valley

April 18th, 2008

The Outback “75″ is the first of four races to be staged at the 1/3-mile paved this season and is the 17th series event to be run at MVS. Local fan favorite Bobby Latham has four career wins all coming at MVS and he returns this season with championship hopes as his only focus. Fellow Twin Falls resident John Newhouse claimed the series title last season and looks defend his crown in 08′. Newhouse has two career series victories at MVS. Five other drivers share one win apiece.

Jim Eaton has six career victories with two coming at MVS and teams again this season with two-time series champion Zan Sharp of Wellsville, Utah.

2006 series champion Dave Minegar of Boise returns this season with renewed
passion and dedication and will once again team with Craig Bell in
Chevrolets out of the Pat Minegar racing stables. Series standout Tom Hill of Eagle is back in the saddle for one more tour and looks to win for the second time at MVS Saturday night.

Missing in 2008 or driving only a partial schedule are several familiar faces. 2007 Rookie-of-the-Year Matt Faulkner moved to North Carolina to pursue a career as a team engineer for the #71 Craftsman Truck Series and driver Donnie Lia. Local Twin Falls favorite Bruce Quale, along with Chris Ratterree, and Brian Warf will only be running a partial schedule in 2008.

Where others fall off several new drivers fill the void. Joining the A-1
Heating and Air Conditioning rookie class this season will be former MVS
multi-time track champion Steve Jones of Boise. Also joining the rookie battle will be Dan Koyle who honed his racing skills behind the wheel of the popular intermountain Pro Trucks.

Former NASCAR Tour champion John Dillon of Eagle returns to full-time competition in 2008 and will sport a new number that harkens back to his championship days. Also returning in 2008 will be long-tow artists Thane Alderman from Las Vegas with a brand new car and Jim Wulfenstein out of Pahrump, Nevada.

Dave Minegar holds the track qualifying record with a quick lap of 14.216
seconds set last fall. He also hold the series records for most Sharp Powder
Coating Fast Time Awards (14), most career top ten finishes (31), and most
money won.

Taking over title sponsorship this season is CarbonX, the industry leader in
fire resistant underwear and clothing. Joining CarbonX this season are new
sponsors Thompson Motorsports, Performance Solutions, Kidd Performance, and
Joe’s Racing Products. Long-time sponsors ESI, A-1 Heating and Air
Conditioning, Sharp Powder Coating, Five Star Racing Bodies, Frank’s Radios,
and Hoosier return.

The RMCS utilizes a racing format not found in ANY other regional touring
series around the country. The top 20 qualifiers are inverted for every race
putting fast time in the 20th starting position. This format ensures race
fans see what they paid for and that is passing. Each driver is awarded
three points per position gained in the event. Through the history of the
series, the winning driver has averaged a 15th place starting position. To
ensure competition, the RMCS pays it purse based on total point accumulation
for the event and provides several special performance awards for the event
including: The ESI Hotshoe Award paying $400 to the driver who sets fast
time and goes on to win the race. The CarbonX Lap Leader Bonus paying $5 for
every lap led. Sharp Powder Coating pays $100 for fast time. The Thompson
Motorsports Halfway Challenge pays $100 to the driver leading at halfway of
each event; and the Thompson Motorsports Performance Improvement Award pays
the driver $200 who improves the most positions over the previous event.

“This by far is going to be the best year we have seen in the series,”
stated Mike Minegar, president of the RMCS. “We have so much interest in the
series and it will be great to see a lot of the new faces that are expected
to participate this season. We are all looking forward to Saturday night so
we can kick off the rust and get the season underway.”

The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series
that allows all competitors to race and gain experience on different types
of racetracks. It is a high-quality professional racing series that offers
maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the intermountain West.
The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!” For all the latest
news and information regarding the CarbonX rocky Mountain Challenge Series
log on to our website at www.rmcsracing.com

~Distributed by RMCS Public Relations

Rocky Mountain Challenge Series Set for Season Five

January 8th, 2008

The series will kick off its fifth season of competition on Saturday, April
19 at Magic Valley Speedway with additional stops slated at the one-third mile paved oval on May 17, the traditional Pepsi “125″ on June 7, and the series season finale NAPA “150″ Saturday, September 6.

2007 RMCS champion John Newhouse of Twin Falls, Idaho cut his racing teeth at MVS and is excited about the upcoming season. “All the races we have at Magic Valley Speedway are great events,” Newhouse said. “The fans always see a great show and the drivers love racing there. Good finishes at Magic Valley won us the championship last year and I can’t wait to get back to racing.”

Former MVS track champion and the winner of three RMCS races at Magic Valley
Speedway last season is Bobby Latham III of Twin Falls. Latham has four career series victories and all coming at MVS. “The place is real special to me and I have a lot of great memories,” Latham said. “The RMCS is a tough series with the invert, but racing the invert makes you a better driver. To win three times at Magic Valley last year was incredible and I hope to carry over the momentum this season.”

Since taking over the Magic Valley Speedway last February, Eddy McKean and his team have continued to make improvements to the fan friendly race track in preparation for the upcoming season. “The RMCS always puts on a great show for our fans and we are thrilled to have the series back this season for four events,” said Eddy Mckean, Promoter of Magic Valley Speedway.

The RMCS will make four stops at the ultra-fast banked oval of Rocky
Mountain Raceways with the first trip Saturday, May 3. The series will return for the traditional Memorial Day event on Monday, May 26, along with stops on Saturday, July 12 and the annual fan favorite NAPA “125″ August 23.

“The RMCS always brings us a great show,” said Doug Binstock, General Manager of RMR. “The fans love the series and 20-car invert produces some great racing action.”

Winner of two races at RMR last season is 2006 RMCS Champion Dave Minegar of
Boise, Idaho. Minegar nearly swept the trifecta at RMR last season setting
fast time at each race and picking up victories the first two trips to town.
Minegar finished a close second to multi-time RMR winner James Eaton in the
other event.

“I always thought that Magic Valley was my home track, but after the success
we have had at RMR, it really feels like home,” Minegar stated. “We love going down there and we know we have a car that can win. This is going to be a great year for the series and with the new venue up north it will make the chase for the championship something special.”

Mike Minegar, President of the RMCS and Joe Doellefeld, Promoter of Stateline Speedway, worked closely over the last month to add the RMCS to the Idaho 200 race weekend August 1-3. “I have always felt that our series offers one of the best racing formats around and we cannot wait to showcase our brand of racing to a whole new group of fans,” stated Minegar. “No one else around features a 20-car invert and I know the race fans up north will see a great show.”

The RMCS has continued to see a steady increase in competitors, fans, and
sponsors since its inception four short years ago. With the decline and
consolidation of Late Model racing across the country, the RMCS has
flourished through an open set of rules that accommodates all Late Model
type cars. “Our style of racing has really struck a chord with fans,
competitors, and track operators,” Minegar continued. “I am thrilled to be
where we are at and can’t wait to get the season started.”

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Mike (Minegar), and the great
racers of the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series,” stated Joe Doellefeld. “We
are sure that our fans will enjoy their level and brand of late model racing
here in the Inland Northwest.”

With seasoned veterans like two-time RMCS champion Zan Sharp, Craig Bell,
Thane Alderman and Jim Wulfenstein from Las Vegas and Bruce Quale returning to the series along with young hotshoes like Bryan Warf, Nick Gibson, Tyler Monroe and whole new class of rookie competitors, 2008 is shaping up to be
one of the most hotly contested championship battles in the short history of
the series.

For all the latest news and information regarding the Rocky Mountain
Challenge Series please log onto www.rmcsracing.com.

About the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series

The Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows
competitors to gain experience on different types of asphalt oval tracks up
to 3/8-mile in length. It is a high-quality, professional racing series that
offers maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the Intermountain
West. The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!”

The 2008 Rocky Mountain Challenge Series Schedule
Date Location Laps Defending Race Winner
Sat. April 19 Magic Valley Speedway 75 Laps Bryan Warf
Sat. May 3 Rocky Mtn. Raceways 75 Laps Rain Out
Sat. May 17 Magic Valley Speedway 100 Laps John Newhouse (2007event held in June)
Mon. May 26 Rocky Mtn. Raceways 100 Laps Dave Minegar
Sat. June 7 Magic Valley Speedway 125 Laps Bobby Latham
Sat. July 12 Rocky Mountain Raceways 100 Laps Dave Minegar
Fri-Sat. Aug 1-3 Stateline Speedway 100 Laps
Idaho 200 Weekend Inaugural Event for the RMCS

Sat. Aug 23 Rocky Mtn. Raceways 125 Laps James Eaton
Sat. Sept. 6 Magic Valley Speedway 150 Laps Bobby Latham
****Note***** Race distance and dates are subject to change.

Jones captures championship; Woodhall win at MVS

September 18th, 2007

When the green flag flew for the start of the 50-lap feature division in the Whelen All-American Racing Series main event, Mike Greco and David Patrick ran side-by-side trading place for the lead and continued the battle throughout the first half of the race. A fleet of cars sailed closely behind the pair but Travis Monett finally made the bold move of the night, skirting under Greco and Patrick to take over second. Moments afterward however, Greco and the No. 27 car of Rob Vest encountered each other in turns three and four, bringing out the caution with 21 laps remaining in the contest.

The pair was sent to the rear of the field for the restart and soon Greco and Randy Franks made contact – and as the drivers followed the pace car to straighten out the lineup, Greco gave his regards to Vest’s rear bumper and then exited to the pits where his presence was required for the remainder of the race by the track officials.

It was bad news for Dan Doan and Dan Pehrson when they got tangled up against the turn four wall with 10 laps to go in the race, but it was good new for Jones as he had a tire going down and needed the caution to make the repair and stay in competition.

As the final few laps of the season wound down the race was between TJ Woodhall on the inside lane and Jerry McKean trying to stick to the outside. Soon McKean suddenly got loose on the backstretch and even with the right-side tires in the dirt, he managed to keep control of the car but fell back several positions in the field. Woodhall then took control and captured his first win of the season finishing just ahead of Patrick and Monett.

“It feels really good to get this win,” a relieved Woodhall said. “This is the most hooked up this car has been all year. Although I didn’t know if I was going to make it through a couple of those wrecks – there were some scary moments out there – but we did it.”

Even though Jones had a 23-point lead going into the event, it was the timely
caution that cinched up the 2007 track title for the driver of the No. 3 car.

“I could tell the right front tire was going down and it was just getting worse and worse and worse,” Jones said. “I don’t what I would have done if those guys hadn’t of wound up in that caution. But we finally got a championship back under our belt – that was our goal for the year.”

Rick Van Vooren made his comeback to MVS in a nice way, finishing sixth in the new number six car just behind Vest and Rick Fowble.

Jerry McKean nailed the Budweiser Grand Nationals title for 2007 with a main event win; his fourth victory in the five races included the chase. Louis Lopez, his closest rival for the championship, had a tough night finishing fifth in the main event race.

Josh Pitz and Kris McKean each wished to round up their first main event win in the division and battled side-by-side for the first several laps until Jerry McKean wanted to get in on the action. By lap 21 of the 25-lap event Jerry McKean had put Pitz and Kris McKean behind him – finishing just a little more than a half-second over the runner-up in the race Pitz.

The Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks welcomed a new champion in the series – Mr. Jim Shirley. Shirley finished third in the main event behind race winner Desi Ahrens and John Hoogendoorn, but it was more than enough to bring home the title for 2007.

Misty Greco was crowned champion in the Quale’s Electronics Queen Bee division while adding another main event win to her record. Teen Bee driver Lane Buddenhagen came through with the title in the Teen Bee division while also capturing the main event win.

Latham wins battle, Newhouse the war at MVS

September 13th, 2007

For the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series, John Newhouse of Twin Falls captured the 2007 championship while Bobby Latham III wrapped up his rookie season with another main event win and placing in the runner-up position in the series final standings.

As the NAPA Auto Parts 150 began to unfold, Bruce Quale, also of Twin Falls,
established himself as the leader by lap 16, However Bobby Latham was on the move, while David Minegar and Newhouse – who were one-two in the point standings going into the event, held back a bit waiting for things to shake out in front of them. Suddenly at lap 25 Minegar and the No. 12 car of Tom Hill got together along the front stretch wall, causing enough damage to Minegar’s ride to keep him out of the race for the remainder of the night.

With Minegar out of the picture, Newhouse needed to stay out of trouble while trying to gain ground on the leaders. With 50 laps behind them in the 150-lap event, the three local drivers’ numbers were lit up at the top of the scoreboard with Latham in the lead followed by Quale and Newhouse. Just as Newhouse was settling into his role a tire began to go down on his No. 26 car, causing him to lose positions on the track. But before Newhouse could make it into the pits, the caution flag flew for oil on the track and soon the red flag was displayed while the mess was cleaned up. Newhouse made it back in plenty of time for the restart, but Latham had a rocket under him and jetted his way to the main event win.

“The car was just awesome, awesome, awesome, tonight,” Latham said just prior to getting doused by his crew after the win.

Newhouse also had plenty of reason to celebrate.

“We definitely had a little bit of racing luck on our side tonight,” Newhouse said. “There’s no question about that. We started off practice good and went through qualifying decent, but we just needed a little bit of luck in the main event. He (Minegar) had some bad luck – and we had some too – we just happened to recover from it. I’m way, way excited – I almost can’t believe it really.”

Pepsi Premier

Stevie Fisher won his first main event race of the season for the feature division, holding off Shelby Stroebel to cross the finish line just barely ahead of the No. 24 modified. While Fisher and Stroebel battled side-by-side for the win, Steve Jones, TJ Woodhall and Rob Vest scrambled for position on the track.

“It felt really, really good,” Fisher said of his first trip to Victory Lane this season. “We came out tonight and the car was pretty tight on new tires and we fought it in the heat race – and we were pretty much willing to give up – but we made a couple of changes and it worked.”

NAPA Pony Stocks

By all outside appearances it was Jason Whited who captured not only the main event win in the division – but also narrowly escaped with the 2007 track championship by a single point after finishing four spots of Billi Miles – who had the lead in the standings going into the night.

Miles was roughed up by Trent Champlin along the back-stretch wall half way through the main event, forcing her to restart and the rear of the field. She worked her way up to fourth, but it was not quite enough to rope in the championship.

However, in another twist, although the final outcome of a post race inspection on the vehicles will not become official until early in the week, Magic Valley Speedway web site shows Miles as the champion in the division at this time – due to a possible disqualification of one of the owners of the impounded item.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets

Jeff Peck earned the track championship with a fifth place finish in the main event race. Daniel Shirley not only won his first main event of the season, but also nailed down the runner-up position in the battle for the track title.

McKean busts a move a MVS

August 29th, 2007

McKean started the race at the tail end of the field of eight cars and one truck for the 25-lap main event. After three cautions in the first nine laps kept erasing the No. 0 truck of Josh Pitz’s lead, things then settled down at least for a few rounds with Pitz still ahead of the field. Louis Lopez, who needed a good run last Saturday night, suffered mechanical issues the entire evening and really never got the car figured out, but had worked his way up to second by lap seven. With 10 laps remaining in the event, McKean made his biggest move of the night, passing Lopez and setting his sights on Pitz. With five laps remaining McKean accomplished his goal – although Pitz gave it his all up to the bitter end – finishing just .153 secondsbehind the No. 88 car and Lopez finishing a close third. McKean explained the car reacted a lot better than he thought it would in the main event race.

“It ran like garbage until it cooled off,” McKean said. “But once it cooled down it just came to life – I was really surprised.”

Lopez’s ride however, was just never quite right throughout the entire evening, but still thought he had a chance at the win.

“I got problems – I don’t know what’s wrong with the car – something’s going on in the braking system and it’s very inconsistent right now,” Lopez explained. But if the guy (McKean) hadn’t of done the bump and run on me I don’t know if he could have passed me – so I left him an IOU on his windshield for the next race.” Lopez added.

“Yeah, I helped Louis out of the way once because they were slowing me down – and I wanted to go,” McKean admitted.

The win gives McKean the five point advantage over Lopez with one race remaining on the 2007 season schedule.

“It gave me a cushion,” McKean explained. “Louis has six wins and I have six wins so it’s going to be a showdown next time we’re here.”

Lopez will have until September 15 to try and get things figured out for the final event of the year for the division.

NAPA Pony Stocks driver Billi Miles has also padded her lead to five points in the standings going into the final event of the season for the division which will take place September 8.

After a red-flag condition on the track early in the race for guest driver of the No. 63 car John Urie who hit the wall hard in turn four, it was Josh Pitz who led the pack until lap 18. At that lap the traffic was tight between turns three and four and Miles thought she had an opening low on the track – but in her attempt to sneek under resulted in the cars of Pitz and Raymond Holmolka getting together and bringing out the yellow flag. Jason Whited just narrowly avoided the incident but for Pitz, who needed a good finish to stay alive in the standings, it meant disaster – having to restart at the rear on the field with just seven laps to go in the race. Miles was ruled not to have made contact with another vehicle in the confrontation by the chief starter and placed up front for the restart.

Whited did everything he could to track her down in the few remaining laps but it was Miles who made the trip to the winner’s circle. Shawn Nice finished an
impressive third with Jonathon Gomez placing fourth. Pitz managed to salvage an
eight place finish for the night.

Misty Greco is one big step closer to the 2007 championship after another trip to Victory Lane in the Quale’s Electronics Hornets. Greco took the lead for good on lap 12 and was close to lapping the field in the final laps of the race. Greco has built a 30 point advantage over Alecia Dalton and Charity Hammond-Sanchez, with just one race remaining on the schedule for the season, which will be held September 15.

Dean Waltman, driving the No. 4 car purchased from former Idaho Six Cylinder
champion Pat Quinn, worked his way through the field from the fourteenth starting position to take the lead at the half-way point of the 30-lap contest. Waltman, of Boise, then went on to win his first main event race of the season at MVS.

The Twin Stop Trailer Race of Destruction lived up to its name once again as the 19 cars pulling behind him anything ranging from campers to golf bag pull carts pounded the third-mile track. After the damage was done, a crowd vote awarded Ethan Adams a win in the event.

Larson, McKean big winners at MVS

August 23rd, 2007

Larson started deep in the field and as he tried to fight his way through traffic, Reitsma had stretched out his lead to nearly one-quarter of the track at the half-way point. Ten laps later however, Larson had crept close enough to Reitsma to make his move and took the lead for good with just six laps remaining in the race.

“I didn’t think I could catch him at first but then he was pushing out pretty bad and I could see that I was getting him a little bit,” Larson said. Even though a timely caution would have put the pair side-by-side on a restart, it also would have brought the rest of the pack up with the duo – something Larson really did not want to see.

“I don’t like those yellows – everybody else catches up to you too,” Larson
explained. “I just wanted to try and catch him on my own. It was a little loose, but it worked out.”

Larson’s win combined with Lou Andersen’s eighth place finish on the night puts
Larson and Andersen in a tie for second in the point standings with two races
remaining on the schedule. Kenny Vanderham kept control of his lead in the rankings with a fourth place finish and the fastest qualifying time – 15.612 – just under the track record of 15.602 set in 2004 by John Newhouse.

There is a new point leader in the Budweiser Grand Nationals division however, as Jerry McKean has taken over the lead from Louis Lopez with a main event win – his second victory in the “chase” competition for the 2007 championship.

The spread couldn’t be narrower – but McKean will take it.

“I’ve never been in first place before in the four years I’ve been out here,”
McKean said. “It might be by only one point – it’s still there.

“I thought about points all week – I knew I was only three away and I was thinking that last year I was only three away. I came in here tonight and I knew if I could win, the points would take care of themselves.”

McKean took over the lead from nephew Kris McKean on lap 15 after moving up from the sixth starting position in the field of 10 cars. A caution at lap 12 also helped McKean’s run for the checkered flag – choosing the lane on the restart he has taken a definite liking to – the high side. Meanwhile, Louis Lopez, who needed a good finish in order to hold on to his lead in the points battle going into the main event, was hampered by traffic throughout the
30-lap race but did manage to finish third.

NAPA Pony Stocks driver Jason Whited was able to hold off Billi Miles and Josh Pitz for a main event win, but the battle was intense as the top three drivers in the point standings each wanted the victory. In the final laps it was Whited and Miles digging for the win with Pitz and Jonathon Gomez battling each other for the third spot. With the victory, Whited gained two points toward the 2007 championship on Miles, while Pitz has dropped to nine points back of the leader.

Stacey Jensen made his first trip to Victory Lane in the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks after leading all but the first lap of the main event race. A caution at lap 12 erased the significant real estate he had built between himself and the rest of the pack, but he was able to quickly regain the lead on the restart. Jensen got the car sideways en route to the checkered flag as he rounded two four, but straightened it out and held on for the win. Shiela Harms took home a second place finish; while Jim Shirley and Craig Nuthak – in a point’s battle for the championship – clawed their way to third and fourth places finishes respectively.

Renee Lopez captured her second main event this season in the Quale’s Electronics Hornet division, dominating the race from the pole position and crossing the finish line 2.230 seconds ahead of Daniel Shirley. Jeff Peck’s sixth place finish was good enough to keep him in the lead in the point standings however – and holds a 10-point edge over Lopez and Shirley who are tied in second. The final race of the season for the Hornets will be held on September 8.

Eleventh win for Jones, first for Gomez at MVS

August 14th, 2007

Gomez took over the lead on lap 12 on a restart after the caution flag flew for an incident involving point leader Louis Lopez and Kent Jensen in turns three and four. Jerry McKean was practically attached to Gomez’ right side door for the remainder of the race however, with rookie driver in the division Josh Pitz, driving the Grand Nationals “truck” directly behind the duo. Meanwhile Lopez was on a mission to catch up to the leaders and a late race caution gave him a good opportunity to advance his position, but the three drivers in front of him were even more determined to hold him off.

Gomez held his ground to the bitter end, crossing the finish line less than one-half second ahead of McKean as the drivers treated the crowd to another
edge-of-their-seat finish.

“When we went side-by-side that early in the race I just couldn’t believe it,” Gomez said. “He (McKean) seemed like he was next to me the whole time. But I was being really careful just to feather the gas and hang on to it.”

Josh Pitz, who also is a regular driver in the NAPA Pony Stocks along with Gomez, also stood his ground throughout the entire race – finishing third in a vehicle he had a minimum amount of practice in just the night before race day.

“I was at home sleeping when Eddy McKean called me and said they had put together another car for Kenny Hatke – and he said he had the truck open if I wanted to race it, and I said ‘Why not, I’ll give it a try,’ Pitz said. “It was way fun.”

As for Hatke, he has a few bugs to work out on the No. 50 car after its debut
Saturday night only netted him just six trips around the track in the main event race.

For Pepsi Premier driver Steve Jones it was just another night in the winner’s circle. Jones has now won three of the five “chase” races and baring any catastrophes, looks to be on his way to the 2007 championship.

The feature division main event race began with 15 cars as the No. 77 car of Dale Rogers was allocated to the pits after an incident with Travis Monett in the qualifying race. Things did not look good for Monett’s ride either – however the No. 5 did make it back out for the main event after repairs were made to the car.

Mike Greco held the lead in the race for the first 11 laps and then Stevie Fisher took over for the next five. From lap 17 on it was all Jones, with TJ Woodhall following in second, hoping for a caution as Jones continued to put more space between himself and Woodhall as the 50-lap main event race wound down. The race went smoothly however, and Woodhall had to settle for yet another second place finish behind the seemingly unstoppable Jones.

“The guys on the crew have done such a good job,” Jones said. “We’ve been together for years and they know what I want – what I expect – and they just make it happen. It’s just one of those years where everything has been coming together for us.”

Jones also piloted the No. 2 school bus to his first main even win in the series. Seven full size and one short bus, driven by Kris McKean, rumbled their way around the track at times four wide in the front stretch before Jones was able to sneek around leader Alan Larson on the final lap.

“The bus race was fun – those buses actually drive pretty good,” Jones reported.

However McKean’s bus route took a different turn – on its side – laying the bus over in the backstretch at the end of the race. McKean made his escape out the rear door of the bus after the incident and jogged around the infield showing the crowd he was unhurt.

“My face might be a little bruised tomorrow,” McKean said. “But I wanted to do it. I cranked it left and it pushed it sideways, then I just turned it to the right real fast and then cranked it left again. I felt it go up and I was just waiting for it.”

Desi Ahrens, 2005 Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks champion, won his first main
event of the season after holding off a pesky Jim Shirley throughout the 30-lap main event race. Craig Nuthak, who came into the night second in the point standings struggled to keep his car straight all evening long and brought in a seventh place finish in the main event. Shirley’s runner-up finish combined with Nuthak’s less then desirable showing puts Shirley up 14 points on Nuthak with only two races remaining on the schedule for the division.

Misty Greco turned in another win for the Quale’s Electronics Queen Bees and in
doing so has extended her lead in the standings to 22 points over new runner-up in the division Alecia Dalton. The Queen Bees also have two races remaining in the 2007 season.

Latham lights up MVS Platt Electric 200

August 9th, 2007

The Platt Electric 200 was divided into three segments and at the end of the first segment at lap 75, James Eaton of West Jordan, Utah, went into the first break in the lead followed by Bryan Warf of Meridian, Newhouse and Latham.

The second segment, a 50-lap contest, began based on the finishing order of the
first segment, but it only took five laps for Newhouse to assume the lead. The
segment ended with Craig Bell, Zan Sharp, Latham and Tom Hill rounding out the top five.

The final segment – with the top eight finishers inverted for the start – included David Minegar on the pole alongside Tyler Monroe. Behind the leaders were Chris Ratterree, Tom Hill, Latham, Sharp, Bell and Newhouse.

Latham and Newhouse came into the night tied in the point standings and they were just as close throughout the final 30 laps of the main event race. As the crowd stood on their feet, Latham and Newhouse put on a charge to the checkered flag, with Latham nosing his damaged car over the finish line just ahead of Newhouse.

“That was fun – I love racing good buddies like him,” Latham said. “He raced me
clean and it just came down to the wire.”

Latham received the damage to his car in an earlier incident with – of all people – Newhouse.

“When I was behind Johnny (Newhouse) and the yellow came out – either his spotter saw it before mine did or something and he checked up – I didn’t have time to get on the brakes so I kind-of thumped him in the rear end.”

Newhouse was the big winner in the all-important points standings battle however, having collected bonus points for the fastest qualifying time along with passing points and points for a segment win.

“Our point’s night was good, but we just needed one more lap for the win,” Newhouse said. “I’m kind-of disappointed because I thought we had the car to beat – but I’ve got to be really happy how this went tonight overall. We’re points racing and running for a championship – so we’re looking at the big picture.”

Unofficially Newhouse has taken over the points lead with two events remaining in the 2007 RMCS season.

Pepsi Premier

Steve Jones captured his tenth main event win Saturday night but not before a hard charging Rob Vest gave Jones a run for his money. Cautions at laps 42 and 43 in the 50-lap main event race gave Vest a good chance to get around the gold late-model car of Jones – and in his attempts Vest chose the low line for the first restart and the high line for the latter. But Jones proved once again what an incredible season he is having this year.

“I thought that Jones had a better car on the outside and I thought I’d take the line away from him,” Vest said. “But it didn’t work. I guess I should have taken the bottom. Our car was great tonight though, we had it over at Lopez’ shop this week and we found a bunch of stuff wrong – it’s a lot better than it was.”

TJ Woodhall, just behind Jones in the standings going into the evening’s show
struggled during the main event race and finished seventh, while Mike Greco – who was just below Woodhall in the standings – wound up with fourth place points.

NAPA Pony Stocks

Jonathon Gomez got his first taste of redemption Saturday night after he held off Josh Pitz for the final laps of the 30-lap race and made his way into the winner’s circle. Pitz had been not only in a hurry to catch Gomez, but he also spent much of the race trying to fend off Billi Miles, who made a great save on the backstretch before she either collected the wall or Randy Grubbs on her way out. The results will tighten things up even further in the battle for the championship, with Jason Whited, who had been one point behind Miles in the standings, landing a fifth place finish for the evening. Shawn Nice completed the top five, placing fourth in the main event.

Manker’s Landscaping Teen Bees

Anthony Avalos looked to have the main event win under control until an aggressive Lane Buddenhagen muscled his way around the No. 7 car with five laps remaining in the main event race. Avalos held on to second, with Lane Albright finishing just ahead of Anthony Meyer and Lyndsey Deatry.

Newhouse Leads Local RMCS Contingent for Platt Electric 200

August 5th, 2007

Newhouse enters the event tied for third in the RMCS point standings with another local racing talent, Bobby Latham III. Newhouse sits just 61 points out of the lead held by Boise, Idaho’s David Minegar, and he knows he can close the gap on Minegar with a solid performance in the race. With only three races left on the schedule, Newhouse knows the time is now if he is going to make a run.

“We have made up a lot of points over the last three races,” Newhouse said. “We
always run good at Magic Valley and I know we have a car that can win the race; we just have to be smart.”

Newhouse has started 12 RMCS races at Magic Valley Speedway where he has claimed two wins and seven top five performances including two top three finishes this year (one finish was a victory in the ESI “100″ June 30.) Newhouse has also used his experience at MVS to close the gap in the point standings by earning the most points in those two races. He is banking on that same kind of success Saturday night.

“We have to qualify really well plain and simple,” Newhouse said. “In this series if you qualify and race well then you are going to have a good night. With the three segments it is going to be interesting but really will play in our favor as the race wears on. The fans will certainly see a great race and I hope to put our car in victory lane at the end of the night.”

In fourteen previous races at MVS there have been ten different winners. Newhouse has won twice and eyes a third prize for his mantel and that will go a long way to earning his first ESI Rocky Mountain Challenge Series championship trophy.

Jones forces Premier drivers to keep up

August 2nd, 2007

Other drivers making the trip to Victory Lane at Magic Valley Speedway this past weekend were Jerry McKean for the Budweiser Grand Nationals, Billi Miles with the NAPA Pony Stocks, Misty Greco in the Quale’s Electronics Queen Bees and Pat Quinn in his final appearance for the Idaho Six Cylinders.

Jones took over the lead at lap six for the feature division from his fourth place starting position, but the No. 99 car of TJ Woodhall – from whom Jones took over the lead -continued to hang out with out with him for the entire 50-lap main event race. Throughout three caution periods the pair never gave way to another driver, battling side-by-side for much of the race until Jones crossed the finish line 1.29 seconds ahead of Woodhall.

“I’m really happy just to make it through this night,” Jones said.

The best come-back of the evening came from driver of the No. 70 car Mike Greco, who coming into the chase third in the point standings needed a good finish – let alone avoid disaster.

Greco’s car looked like it might not make the main event race at all after a mishap in the front stretch during a qualifying race left his ride looking all kinds of out of shape. The cars of chase contender Stevie Fisher and that of Allen Williams also received substantial injuries and all three cars were towed to the pits where the drivers and crew members could make damage assessments.

Fisher’s car was in no condition to make it back on the track – however, he was able to commandeer the No. 9 car of cousin Bobby Latham, Jr. and despite a couple of set-backs along the way finished fifth in the main event. Greco started the race fourteenth -but carefully made his way up to third in the car that looked much different than the one he brought out to the track earlier in the evening.

“It’s called a late model modified now,” Greco said of the hoodless car.

Fortunately the damage ended up to mostly cosmetic, but Greco thought it was going to be much worse.

“He (Fisher) was pushing the lap before in turns one and two,” Greco said of the qualifying incident. “As soon as I made the decision he was going to push again I lifted – then he hit the wall. What I should have done is tried to stay in the accelerator – but when someone pushes you try and stay away from them. But I don’t how to thank this group out here (Premiers) for helping me get back out there. I must have had twenty guys putting it back together – they’re great people.”

As for Fisher, who just put a new motor in the 29 car after losing it in last’s week race, he intends to be back next Saturday night but not before putting in a lot of work on the car.

“We’re thinking that the rear j-bar broke because it’s completely pulled out the rear end,” Fisher said. “All the sudden it threw me into the wall. But the guys at McKean’s shop will get it put back together – but it’s going to take some time.”

Budweiser Grand Nationals

Driver Jerry McKean has been no stranger to close finishes recently and Saturday night was no exception as the driver of the No. 88 car nipped Jonathon Gomez at the checkered flag. The lead changed hands several times throughout the 25-lap main event race with Robbie Hyde, Kris McKean, Kent Jensen, Jerry McKean and Gomez all getting the honor at one lap or another. Gomez took over the lead with two laps remaining in the race and was just yards away from capturing his first win in the division. However McKean, who had been penalized a couple of positions on the restart after involvement with Kris McKean and Louis Lopez – who tried to sneak under the McKeans – brought out a caution, out-powered the rookie to swipe the win at the last possible .054 second.

Lopez, who led the point standings going into the night, finished fourth but clings to a four-point lead over Kenny Hatke. Jerry McKean now has a cinched up a seven-point difference between himself and leader Lopez.

Nine cars were entered in the main event race, one of the highest car counts of the season – and all the drivers put on a fantastic show.

NAPA Pony Stocks

Billi Miles took over the lead in the standings with a main event win – but the
advantage is anything but comfortable as the margin between her and Jason Whited is only a single point.

Miles had to earn the win Saturday night as she battled Trent Champlin from lap 14 on. She was finally able to get around the No. 62 car of Champlin with nine laps remaining in the race, while Jason Whited and Josh Pitz fought with each other for third. It was Whited who ended up with the position with Pitz following a close fourth. Four races remain in the season for the class – and if the past is any indication the final race of the season could very well once again determine the track champion.

Quale’s Electronics Queen Bees

Misty Greco has been searching for a main event win the entire season, but she
finally came through with the trip to the winner’s circle in her fifth attempt this year. Greco extended her lead in the point standing to 14 over Darcy Harcourt and 16 over Alecia Dalton as both drivers had less than desirable finishes. There are three racing remaining in the division until the Queen Bee driver is crowned with the championship title for the 2007 season.

Idaho Six Cylinders Racing League

Pat Quinn, who has dominated the Magic Valley Speedway main event races in the past but was winless in three races so far this season, made his final visit to the Twin Falls track a memorable one by capturing a main event win. Quinn is moving to Dallas, Texas, therefore will no longer be racing in the division. He is a past champion in the class and was inducted into the ISRL Hall of Fame Saturday night along with being honored by his peers after his victory. Quinn started the race at the very back of the field, but in typical Quinn fashion, he was right there at the end of the 30-lap main event.

Stroebel wins, monkey finally off modified’s back

July 26th, 2007

Stroebel started fourth in the field of 16 cars entered in the main event and spent the first half of the race behind the cars of David Patrick and Travis Monett as they swapped positions for the lead. At lap 28 Stroebel had cemented himself in second behind Patrick, but soon Vest had made a couple of great moves to position himself behind Stroebel. A caution at lap 35 involving the cars of Dan Pehrson and points leader Steve Jones sent the pair back in the field for the restart with 15 laps remaining in the race – and set up the battle between Stroebel and Vest for the long awaited trip to Victory Lane for possibly one of the modified drivers. However, it was anything but a gift as the yellow flag flew two more times in the following six laps, bringing the 99 late model car of TJ Woodhall into the scene with Stroebel and Vest. The two modified drivers never let up – and Stroebel edged Vest for the win with Woodhall having to settle for third.

“Rob (Vest) was right there and he wanted the win too,” Stroebel explained. “But the win felt good. We’ve been working on this car a lot and I’m glad to have it back out here – and I’ll be happy to bring it back next week.” ROB”?

Budweiser Grand Nationals

It was arguably the closest finish in a main event contest this season as Jerry
McKean and Louis Lopez hit the finish line at seemingly the same moment at the
conclusion of the 25-lap race. But it was McKean who was given the nod to take his car into the winner’s circle – although he insisted that Lopez join him in Victory Lane. According to the transponders, McKean crossed the line .020 seconds ahead of Lopez, but neither driver was certain without the aid of the timing devise who had actually prevailed in the race.

“He thought he won – and I wasn’t sure,” McKean said of the trip to the winner’s circle. “I actually just didn’t know – it was so close. But I saw the board change and I wanted him (Lopez) in there too.”

Lopez had the same view on the outcome.

“I had people tell me it was just too close to call – but I thought I had the edge,” Lopez said. “They decided to go with the transponder – which is fine – it’s always good to see a close race.” Eight cars were in the field for the main event race, a big improvement over recent weeks.

NAPA Pony Stocks

Jason Whited hadn’t seen the view from the winner’s circle for at least a couple of months, and apparently he decided he needed to revisit the territory Saturday night. Whited assumed the lead at lap 12 after starting deep in the field of the 13 cars entered in the main event race. At lap 20 Whited had put 20 car lengths between himself and a pack of cars including Trent Champlin, Shawn Nice, Kevin Grubbs and Randy Grubbs as they battled for second. A caution at lap 25 of the 30-lap event erased Whited’s command of the race, but he was able to hold on to the lead after the restart. Whited was going to have to work for the win however, as another caution a lap later set up an added restart – this time with Billi Miles, winner of the previous two main event contests – right along side. Whited stood his ground though, and the 2006 Pony Stocks champion took the win.

Josh Pitz, driver of the No. 47 car, had the bad racing luck of the night when he lost the left-rear axle in turn two early in the race – and had to spend the
remainder of the event in the pits.

“I never thought that race was going to end,” Whited said from Victory Lane.

Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks

John Hoogendoorn outlasted Jim Shirley to take his first main event win of the
season. Hoogendoorn has had an up-and-down year, but he ended on a high note
Saturday night after controlling the race from the pole position despite a caution at lap 23 where the restart put points leader Shirley and 2006 Thunder Stocks champion Craig Nuthak along side the No. 72 car of Hoogendoorn. Shirley made sure Hoogendoorn knew he was right behind him for the final laps as he ran up on Hoogendoorn’s bumper, but Hoodendoorn would have none of that and landed in the winner’s circle.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets

Ryan Jund won his second main event race of the season, but only after making a
great save on the front stretch – keeping the car moving forward after getting it sideways with one lap to go. Daniel Shirley placed second in the 20 lap main event while Renee Lopez recovered from an earlier spin to place third.

Jones hot on hot night at Magic Valley Speedway

July 17th, 2007

Other main event winners on the hot mid-July night were Louis Lopez in the Grand Nationals division, Jason Todd for the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks and Lane Albright in the Manker’s Landscaping Teen Bee race.

Feature Division driver Jones began the 50-lap main event mid-pack but was trapped in traffic behind the cars of Harold Wartluft and Mike Greco as they battled side-by-side for the lead for much of the race. But Jones, as well as the No. 99 car of Woodhall – who had patiently worked his way through the pack – were ready to make their move as the laps wound down to the checked flag. At lap 44 Jones made his way past Greco and two laps later, Woodhall decided Jones needed his company. A caution at lap 48 for the spinning car of Stevie Fisher in turn four set up a green-white-checkered finish – which Jones and Woodhall quickly took advantage of, passing Wartluft on the restart and creating a battle of their own for the win. It was the number 3 however, that was lit up at the top of the scoreboard when the race was over.

The difference in the top two positions – just .028 seconds.

“I knew it was pretty dog-gone close,” Woodhall said of the white-knuckle finish. “When I went across I looked up at the scoreboard and I was thinking, ‘change, change,’ but it didn’t change.” “We had a good car tonight,” Woodhall continued. “And right now is where you want to peak – right before the start of the chase. Steve (Jones) has helped us out a bit with some suspension stuff and if we can get this thing dialed in we can give him a run for the money. “When the racing is that close – that’s fun stuff there.”

Jones’ win is also a plus for the 38-year old driver in the Whelen All-American
Series national rankings.

“It definitely helps,” Jones confirmed. “I think this is the best car count we’ve had all year and that helps, too. Things are shaking out now – and we’re going to end up in maybe the top 100.”

Rick Fowble had another good run coming in third, the highest finishing spot for a modified on the night.

Budweiser Grand Nationals

Louis Lopez wasted no time jumping into the lead in the 25-lap main event race and as he continued to put more real estate between himself and the rest of the field, it became a fight for second between Kris McKean and Jonathon Gomez for second. Gomez knocked on McKean’s back bumper a couple of times in turns one and two, but McKean held on to finish in the runner-up position. Lopez’ win will further increase his lead in the division but just one race remains on the schedule before the points are reset and the chase for the championship begins July 28.

Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks

Jason Todd, who recently came out of Thunder Stocks retirement, won his second main event race Saturday night.

Todd assumed the lead at lap two but Craig Nuthak and Shiela Harms had the No. 8 car in their sites as they peddled to catch up to the leader. Meanwhile, Desi Ahrens, 2005 track champion in the division, also wanted to be in on the action and made his way into third at lap 18.

A caution at lap 28 for Jim Howard and Steve Edens tangling on the front stretch set up a restart with just two laps remaining in the main event. As the cars were under the yellow lining up for the restart, Howard and Edens again got together, causing substantial damage to the front end of Howard’s ride and the flagman sending the pair to the pits for the remainder of the race.

Nuthak then had just two trips around the track to get around the No. 8 car, but ran out of laps and it was Todd who made the trip to Victory Lane for the second time in a row.

Manker’s Landscaping Teen Bees

The Teen Bee main event race gave every parent in the stands of a teenager reason to have second thoughts about handing the keys to the car over to the kids, as the action in the main event race went wild. The race ended up as a full contact sport – but after the dust settled it was Lane Albright who had powered his way into the winner’s circle for the second time this season.

McKean edges Lopez for main event win

July 11th, 2007

McKean and Louis Lopez battled side-by-side in the Grand Nationals division main event race for 15 laps after a caution at lap10 erased Lopez’ substantial lead in the event. With McKean on the outside lane and Lopez just inches away on the inside, the pair put on a racing skills clinic as they narrowly swapped the lead for the remainder of the race. However, it was McKean who led the most important lap – the final one – crossing the finish line ahead of Lopez by just over a tenth of a second.

“I love it on the outside,” McKean said of taking the high route around the track. “But you could tell when I messed up – because Louis would pull up beside me when I rode the brakes too long – but Louis is such a clean driver, I have no problem racing along side him like that.”

The main event win was McKean’s second of the season.

Jerry Rice also scored his second victory on the year, as the driver of the No. 4 Intermountain Pro Trucks series saw an early opportunity to get out in front and then managed to quickly pull away from the rest of the field throughout the caution-free race.

Kevan Larson, who was in a back-up truck after the No. 88 developed transmission problems, finished second in the main event and Alan Larson, who amazingly made into the event at all after sliding down the front-stretch wall on the truck’s side during a qualifying race, finished seventh.

Rice attributed his win to not only his crew, but to an unfortunate start on the evening.

“My key to victory was my poor qualifying performance,” he said from the winner’s circle.

The trucks must qualify in on time, and then the field is inverted so the faster qualifiers will start toward the back. However, the faster the driver’s qualifying time, the more points they are awarded for the night. Rice had the seventh-fastest time out of a field of 11 trucks.

“There was a new tire rule tonight, they said you had to race on the tires you
qualified on – and it kind of messed up our qualifying,” Rice explained. “We’re really trying to work on our qualifying – that’s where all the points are – but the win is always nice – and it pays more money, too.”

Johnny Pierre, who was also involved in the Larson incident, came in forth while Nick Lynch of Burley placed fifth in the next to last event of season for the division at MVS.

NAPA Pony Stocks driver Billi Miles won by a nose over Kevin Grubbs to capture her second main event victory in a row. Grubbs had held the lead the entire event, but Miles, who made her way through the pack from eighth starting position, had her number in the top spot on the scoreboard at the end of the race, timing in ahead of Grubbs by 0.057 seconds.

Alecia Dalton was another driver to check out with their second main event win this season, capturing the Quale’s Electronics Queen Bee race after taking the lead at lap 3. Misty Greco is getting closer to her real goal this season by finishing second, but had to scuffle to do so – taking the position from Amanda Adema with only two laps remaining in the race.

Legends Cars driver Jimmy Gross of Fruitland made the trip to the winner’s circle for the first time in his second visit to MVS, holding off Bill Osoro, who had been communicating his presence to Gross several times in turns one and two by way of his front bumper.

A good size field of 11 cars participated in the main event race, in what was to be their final trip to MVS this season.

Newhouse rocks the house at MV Speedway

July 6th, 2007

Newhouse started the event seventeenth but as soon as the driver of the No. 26 car took the green flag start he made it look like he’d never once had a problem in the division as he skillfully progressed through the field en route to the victory.

Dave Minegar had led the most laps the first half of the race made up of 24 entrants until Newhouse was able to get under Minegar at lap 42. Once in the lead, not even cautions could deter Newhouse as he got great jumps on the restarts and won the race convincingly.

Not only did Newhouse garner the most points for the night for the second week in a row, the win was one thing Newhouse was glad to have under his belt.

“We broke the first race and had a tire malfunction the second race,” Newhouse said. The last race we had here we ended up third, but this was a great win – we hit the nail on the head tonight. It’s nice to get those wins out of the way, we got one last year and now we have one this year.”

Bobby Latham, who won the previous RMCS race June 9, finished fifth on the night and Steve Jones, fresh off a win the Premier division earlier in the evening, placed ninth in his rookie start in the RMCS division driving a car owned by Tom Hill, who came in second in the main event race.

“It was just great night all the way around,” Jones said. “My Premier car is on a rail right now – me and my car have an understanding, it turns when I need it to and it just follows through so well. But I had a blast in that Rocky Mountain Challenge car and I can’t thank Tom Hill and ESI enough for allowing me this chance. What a thrill – it was just so much fun.”

Local driver Bruce Quale’s night unfortunately ended early after a tangle with Chris Ratterree in the front stretch relegated the driver of the No. 92 car to the pits at lap 19 and Dave Minegar, who started strong in the race after setting the fast qualifying time of the night at 83.348 miles-per-hour, finished tenth. Point’s leader going into the night Bryan Warf placed seventh.

Jones’ win in the Premier series race was his seventh of the season as he continues to set the bar high for his competitors.

David Patrick and Dan Pehrson swapped the lead position for the first 59-laps of the rare 75-lap main event race as Rob Vest, Shelby Stroebel and Jones battled each other several car lengths down track. A caution at lap 39 gave Jones the opportunity to take on Patrick and Pehrson from a better vantage point and it wasn’t long before Jones was able to dive high and low to get around those who were between him and another win in the feature division.

Stroebel, who was able to take the “gray ghost” car off the disabled list for
Saturday’s race, placed in the runner-up position, his best finish of the season. Dan Pehrson held on for a third place finish while Rick Fowble, also driving a modified as does Stroebel, finished fourth.

NAPA Pony Stocks driver Billi Miles seems to have completely recovered from her
recent wreck, winning the 30-lap main event race convincingly from the pole
position. Jonathon Gomez made up the most ground from start to finish – coming from eighth and taking the checkered flag in the runner-up position.

Be sure to catch the famous trailer races Tuesday night at 7 P.M. along with the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks, Quale’s Electronics Hornets and the Super Sixes. A school bus race will also be presented to kick off the Fourth of July holiday -Magic Valley Speedway style.

Lou’s win is sweet at MV Speedway

June 26th, 2007

Andersen qualified ninth fastest but due to the full invert for the green flag
start, he began the race in row one along side Trent Bell. Andersen quickly put a lot of race track between him and the rest of the field, but a caution at lap 17 put the fast-moving Kevan Larson on the outside of Andersen for the restart. Andersen was able to maintain control of the front position while Larson and Jerry Rice – who had worked his way through the group – scrambled for second. At lap 23 Larson and Rice made contact in turn four, damaging Rice’s truck enough he had to exit to the pits for the remainder of the race. Larson however, was able to continue but had to settle for the runner-up finishing spot in the race, crossing the finish line just under two seconds behind the untouchable Andersen who has not seen the winner’s circle since last season when he drove in the Pony Stocks division.

“It felt good,” Andersen said of his visit to Victory Lane. “I thought maybe by the end of the year we might win one – I was hoping we would – these guys work so hard on this truck and it’s nice for the guys that work on it to get a win – they feel like all that work is worth something. And I like to win, too.”

Kenny Vanderham, who was in the lead in the standings going into the Saturday night race, finished third behind Larson while Alan Larson place fourth for the evening. Jerry Rice had the quick qualifying time of 15.827 – or 75.744 miles-per-hour around the one-third mile track.

In the Pepsi Premier division Steve Jones worked his way from the back of the bunch to notch his sixth main event win of the season, with Mike Greco, who was hoping to gain some ground on Jones, coming in second.

Greco took the lead from Rick Fowble on lap three in the feature division race and was holding his own even as Jones had made his way alongside Greco by lap 26. Three laps later the yellow flag came out for fluid on the track from the No. 1 car – and a lengthy delay in the action while clean-up took place gave both Jones and Greco plenty of time to think about the remaining 21-laps.

Just after the restart Rob Vest and Dale Williams collided on the front stretch with Williams taking the brunt of the damage and spent the remainder of the race in the pits. Vest however, was able to continue.

Jones chose the inside for the next restart and Greco placed himself directly behind the No. 3 car with Fowble and TJ Woodhall, who was able to avoid the Vest-Williams tussle starting out on the outside.

After a few laps of side-by-side racing between Jones and Fowble while Greco battled Woodhall, Jones figured he’d had enough and began to pull away from the other three drivers and soon he was making the sharp left turn to the winner’s circle once again.

“ That was the fastest the car has been around the bottom of the track,” Jones said. “We figured out how far we can run on the tires – we can’t run them too long – but we know how to adjust the car for the tires we have on it- or we think we do. Sometimes we think we’re pretty smart and someone throws a curve at us – but we‘ve got a pretty good idea.”

Greco, who remains in second in the standings after the runner-up finish, continues to hang in there despite the red-hot Jones.

“I still think I could have beat Steve (Jones) – I really do,” Greco said. “I made a bad choice when I went on the inside with Fowble on the outside. But I thought I could probably still hang him out and get a run on Steve – but running along side Steve so long earlier – it just cooked up my tires.”

Louis Lopez continues his winning ways in the Budweiser Grand Nationals Division as he makes it look easy no matter where he starts in the field for the main event race. Kenny Hatke, although still clinging to second in the standings, had a rough night and finished fifth. The big battle in the race turned out to be for second, with Kris McKean nipping Jerry McKean at the finish line by less than one-half second.

For Jim Howard in the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stock division, the night started and ended well as he captured his third main event win of the season. Howard started from the pole position in the 30-lap event but has been roughed up in the past couple of races – but this time he managed to avoid trouble on the track. Howard’s teammates Jim Shirley and Craig Nuthak gave him a run for his money in the final laps, but Howard wanted it more and kept the drivers of the No. 38 and No. 36 cars at bay and brought the No. 37 car to the winner’s circle to make the victory speech.

Josh Black took the lead from Marshall Lund with five laps to go in the Quale’s
Electronics Hornet race to capture his first main event win. Jeff Peck currently holds the lead in the standings with a seventh place finish in the race while John Redder, with whom he was tied in the standings going into the night, finished ninth.

Jones takes the fifth at MV Speedway

June 20th, 2007

Jones’ win – his fifth of the season – keeps him at the top of the standings with just four races remaining on the schedule until the chase for the championship begins July 28, but in the meantime Jones also has tire games to play.

“The strategy is to keep the best tires on the car at all times,” Jones explained. “Joe (Thomas) has been writing down every lap of every tire and checks everything. So baring any problems going into the chase were going to have a good amount of tires going into the last five.”

Doan, who was roughed up in his first night out this season in the June 9 race, led the main event race for the initial 19 laps, but had to exit the track with mechanical issues. It was then that Sam Harris, Jr., who had been right up there with Doan, took over the lead – but his time there was short-lived as Jones had already made his moves through the field. Jones took the lead at lap 23 and was on the fast track for the win until a caution at lap 46 threw a monkey wrench in the works. By this time Steve Fisher had moved into second, and the restart placed the pair in line on the high side with just four laps remaining in the race. Another caution was displayed just two laps later, but both times Jones was able to get the advantage and stay ahead of Fisher with Harris finishing third.

Jones is focusing on more than just wins this year after disappointing seasons the last two years.

“My goal is to get maybe in the top fifty in the nation in the short track racing – that would be just cool to me. They rate the top 500 drivers in the nation and there has to be 50 thousand of them. To be in the top 50 would be a pretty good honor.”

Fisher has been holding steady in the point standings but knows every race counts when it comes to where he wants to be four races from now.

“I like to advance so that we could be higher in points when the chase starts,”
Fisher said. “ We had some problems in practice and in qualifying tonight – so we threw something at it hoping it would work and it did. It was a phenomenal car tonight and I’m real proud of my team.”

It only took Louis Lopez six laps to assume the lead in the Budweiser Grand
Nationals main event – and went on to cross the finish line nearly three seconds ahead up runner-up in the race Jerry McKean. With Lopez’ big advantage over the rest of the field, it was McKean and Jonathon Gomez battling for second while Kent Jensen and previous main event winner Kenny Hatke fought for fourth. With the win, Lopez has now collected a 20- point advantage over Hatke in the point standings.

Jonathon Gomez has been on a roll in the month of June, as the NAPA Pony Stocks
division driver scored his second main event victory in two weeks.

Billi Miles, fresh off a wreck the previous weekend, won her qualifying race which earned her a spot in the front row starting next to Kevin Grubbs. Miles held the lead for the first 14 laps until Gomez – who had started the race deep in the field – was able to get underneath Miles and take over the show. Jason Whited gave it all he had to try and catch Gomez, but ran out of laps and had to settle for second.

“Some nights there’s a hole for you to get through and other nights you’re back
there following another guy and you can’t get around them,” Gomez said. “But it
worked out for me tonight.”

A new main event winner emerged in the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks division after Spencer Meyer took command of the race at lap one and never let up, finishing whopping 7.317 seconds over nearest competitor Jim Shirley. Shirley had dug his way out from the rear of the pack to meet with Craig Nuthak and Brian Lopez and the trio immersed in a battle for the runner-up position – with Meyer’s pulling away as they fought amongst themselves.

Meyers was optimistic going into the race – but the weather also played a factor according to the driver of the No. 12 car.

“I wasn’t real confident earlier when it was so hot, but it cooled down and it was really hooking up. We don’t normally run in the second groove but it was handing great there,” Meyer said.

The Quale’s Electronics Queen Bees main event winner was Alesha Dalton, who held off Misty Greco to reel in her first win of the season. Greco’s second place finish in the race brought her to within two points of leader in the standings Darcy Harcourt with five races remaining in the season.

Latham deals win in RMCS race

June 14th, 2007

Latham came in to the night sixth in the standings in the series and was looking forward to having a good run Saturday evening, but right away Latham and his crew had their work cut out for them as problems with the car were noticed as soon as they unloaded the vehicle from the hauler.

“We got here and something happened to the car in transport or something,” Latham said. “The car was too wide and we had to tear the entire front suspension apart and redo do the geometry. In practice we were about twentieth out of 21 cars. The guys worked on it – then we were sixteenth in the second practice and qualified eighth.”

Nick Parker held the lead for the first 10 laps before Nick Gibson took over for the next 14 rounds. Then it was MVS owner/promoter Eddy McKean who charged to the front and led for the next 47 laps over Zan Sharp and later Latham as the two took turns at trying to run McKean down. Meanwhile John Newhouse and Bruce Quale were quietly moving up spots on the scoreboard and at lap 98, all four local drivers were in the top six of the field. The next lap had McKean getting loose in turn four and Newhouse trying frantically to avoid the spinning No.19 car. As the result of the incident, McKean was sent to the rear of the pack for the restart. With just twenty-five laps remaining in the
race, Latham began to put a lot of real estate between him and eventual runner-up in the event Tom Hill – and the driver of the No. 3 car crossed the finish line 1.365 seconds over his nearest competitor.

“Today there were so many highs and lows – when we got here we were down and wanted to go home – then we ended up winning the thing. That was so hard – you don’t know how hard that was,” said an exhausted but ecstatic Latham. “We’re happy Johnny (Newhouse) did well tonight – and all the Twin Falls guys did good. It was awesome.”

Newhouse has had some tough luck so far this season and his third place finish was just what he needed to gain confidence in his program. Newhouse also set the fastest qualifying speed at 82.155 MPH and placed second in his heat race. Quale, coming off a poor showing at Rocky Mountain Raceway in Salt Lake City, Utah, Memorial Day, finished fifth in the 125-lap main event with McKean coming in twelfth.

Dave Minegar of Boise, who entered the night with the lead in the point standings after an outstanding day at the Salt Lake City track, had a rough time at MVS and wound up nineteenth in the main event race.

Steve Jones earned his fourth main event win of the season in the Pepsi Premier
division despite getting mired in traffic for the initial one-third of the feature division race. Mike Greco took the lead at lap four after the third of three quick cautions early in the race caused TJ Woodhall, Sam Harris, Jr., Daryl Wert, Sam Harris, Sr., Dan Doan and previous main event winner David Patrick to make some hasty repairs in order to get back on the track for the green flag restart. Before long Jones and Rob Vest fought their way through the pack with Vest finally able to get around the jam in front of him – and
Jones quickly followed.

Greco was cruising along with a nearly one-half track lead over Dan Pehrson at lap 34 when an untimely yellow flag came out as Pehrson hopped off the track in the turns three and four embankment. This brought Jones underneath Greco up for the restart with Rob Vest now joining the front of the pack. One more caution involving Wert, Patrick and Shelby Stroebel again tightened up the group for another restart, but Jones was able to maintain control and hold on for the win.

“Rob (Vest) is really good in traffic and he’s a good guy to follow through there,” Jones said. “If he’s in front of you just stay behind him – he makes all the holes – that’s for sure. We got a lot of lucky cautions tonight – if the cautions wouldn’t have fallen we’ve never would have caught Mike (Greco) or if TJ (Woodhall) wouldn’t have gotten torn up he would have been long gone – his car was fast. But sometimes being lucky is better than being good.”

Vest was pleased with his second place finish on the night but is still searching for his first trip to victory lane this season.

“The car was handing really well – Steve and I were side-by-side there for a long time until finally they messed up and we took off,” Vest reported. “He has a fast car and he knows how to get around here. One of these days though –I’m going to keep trying my hardest.”

Greco held on for a third place finish and Rick Fowble had an excellent run as he avoided trouble and placed fourth.

Jonathon Gomez determinedly stuck with Kevin Grubbs throughout the first 14 laps of the NAPA Pony Stocks main event race before taking over the lead after Grubbs spun out in turn three. From there Gomez kept his cool through four more cautions – the most spectacular one involving the No. 25 car of Billi Miles as she flipped her ride on the front stretch heading into turn one and landing right-side up – but not without a substantial amount of damage. Thankfully Miles climbed out of the car and gave a big wave to the cheering crowd as they realized she was uninjured. Jason Whited also received damage as he was involved in the caution and he was directed to march himself to the
back of the field with just five laps remaining in the race.

Gomez’ win Saturday night was especially sweet after a mechanical infraction erased his victory the prior weekend.

“I got in a little trouble and had to find some parts to put this car back out here this week,” Gomez said from Victory Lane.” I’d like to thank everybody in the Pony Stock class for helping me with that.”

Gomez explains the difference between the prior “win” and last Saturday night’s.

“I get to take the trophy home this time,” he said.

The Manker’s Landscaping Teen Bees welcomed a new winner in Lane Albright who drove the “cow” car to the front of the herd in the 20-lap main event race.

Highs, lows reign at Magic Valley Speedway

June 6th, 2007

Lopez started the race in fourteenth in a field of sixteen cars after just making to the track minutes before the start of their main event race. Lopez had been participating in a battle of the bands contest and therefore never even got behind the wheel for any practice laps. However, the car was ready to go when Lopez arrived and once the race began he quickly started working his way through the pack.

Shaun Wills started form the pole position in warm evening race but was overtaken by Calvin Jackson who was on the fast track for the lead right from the start. A caution at lap 11 for a wreck on the front stretch resulted in injuries to the No. 37 car of Jim Howard, necessitating a trip to the pits for damage control for the then-leader in the point standings. Fortunately for Lopez the commotion was behind him, and the restart meant the young driver could make up some ground on the leaders.

Jackson assumed the front position as the race resumed and by lap 15 he had a nine car-length advantage over the flock behind. In the meantime, Lopez was determined to make his way toward the front – and was able to take command of the show at lap 19. It was smooth sailing for Lopez at that point, with the No. 55 car crossing the finish line nearly five seconds ahead of runner-up in the race Jackson.

“The caution played into my favor for sure,” Lopez said. “Patience really helps –you never know what’s going to happen. But I was really good on the outside tonight–that’s where I passed most of the cars. It was a good night, I was really happy.”

The win is Lopez’ second of the season – and the victory also propelled him into the lead in the point standing for the first time this year.

Steve Edens continues to run well and his third place showing Saturday night will keep him in the top three in the standings.

By all appearances the winner of the NAPA Pony Stocks race was rookie Jonathan
Gomez, who kept his cool under pressure from Billi Miles and Josh Pitz to cross the finish line first in the main event race. However, a post race inspection discovered a rule violation regarding the intake manifold and Gomez’ win was denied. Gomez purchased the Pony Stock car from Lou Andersen earlier this year – and this is his first season racing in the division.

Budweiser Grand Nationals driver Kenny Hatke tucked away his second main event win as well, narrowly beating Kris McKean and Louis Lopez to the finish line after 25-laps. Hatke, still driving a truck as he anticipates the day he will have his street stock car ready to go, also had cautions play into his favor. It was anything but a given however, with Kris McKean and Lopez putting on the pressure to the bitter end.

Jonathon Gomez rounded out the four cars to finish the main event as the other five vehicles that took the green flag did not complete the race due to damage received during the contest.

The Quale’s Electronics Hornets main event race went caution free – and in the end it was Cory Rutledge who cruised his way to Victory Lane. Rutledge is the third winner in the class in as many races with five regular events yet to go on the schedule for the division.

John Reeder’s second place showing put him in a tie on the top of the points chart with Jeff Peck followed by Tim Ford, Renee Lopez and Justin Slocum.

Daniel Shirley, just 16 years of age, came in fourth in the main event race and is currently shown in ninth in the point standings.

The Legends cars put on a great event, but Jimmy Hansen of Cedar Lake, Indiana, a “guest” driver in the division, stole the show as he proved those Indiana boys know what they’re doing. In Idaho to attend his cousin’s wedding, the 17-year-old also won the Legends race in Meridian the previous evening.

“The only way I was going to come out here is if we brought the car,” Hansen said.

The passionate young racer went on to say he thought the MVS facility was very much to his liking.

“This track (MVS) is closer (size-wise) to my track back home,” Hansen said. “It’s fast and nice and smooth – the one back home is a little rough.”

The high school senior who has aspirations of driving in the NEXTEL Cup series one day taught the other drivers quite a lesson with his eight-second advantage over the rest of the field, but it was one they were grateful to get.

“This series will now be faster because they helped us, Dennis Sonius said. “They shared ideas and it’s going to help us all.”

Sonius, current points leader in the division finished second to Hansen. Alan Larson drove in the qualifying races but former MVS race director Randy Kerr got the nod to drive in the main event in the series and finished seventh while obviously having a great time racing.

Memorial Day weekend memorable for Patrick

May 30th, 2007

The pair started off the race side-by-side after they each won their qualifying
event and continued to run door-to-door for 14 white-knuckle laps before Monett was able to establish a not-so-comfortable lead over Patrick. In the meantime, Rob Vest and Dale Rogers fought it out for third several car-lengths behind as point leader Steve Jones tried desperately to dig his way out of traffic from his position deeper in the pack.

What would be the only caution in the race came out at lap-21 for debris on the
track which setup another door-to-door restart for Monett and Patrick. Monett got the jump for the lead, but now he had TJ Woodhall to contend with as well as Patrick and soon the trio was going around in circles dangerously close to each other as they fought for position.

At lap-40 Monett made a critical bobble in the front stretch which allowed Patrick to slide by. Soon Woodhall also got around the rookie Monett and began to zero in on the 21-car of Patrick with just six-laps remaining in the race. As Woodhall began to make his move on Patrick, he too had a miss-step going into the front stretch which gave Patrick just enough room to reel in his first-ever main event win.

“The five got around me a couple of times because I missed my marks,” said a
relieved Patrick. “Once I started to realize I needed to hit my marks just right I got back around. I thought we were going to race side-by-side the whole race – and I couldn’t believe my car was sticking as well as it did on the outside tonight. When I looked up at the flagman – at Bill (Detamore) – and saw the five laps to go sign I thought ‘oh man – this is it’ – and I knew I really had to concentrate and hit those marks.”

Patrick adds his crew has been a big asset this season.

“Having guys who help – that’s made a big difference so I can concentrate on driving a little bit more.”

Woodhall’s second place finish has become a familiar sight for the driver of the 99 car, with his fourth runner-up finish of the year.

“I’m starting to feel like Mark Martin”, Woodhall explained.

Monett’s third place showing was satisfying – but he is still hungry for that first win. However, the new driver kept his cool the entire race under a lot of pressure. “David Patrick gave me a lot of room,” Monett said. “We raced side-by-side for about thirty laps and it was so much fun. I appreciate him racing me clean – me being the rookie. But I tried to give him room and he gave me room – he did an excellent job. The thing that hurt us was we had a pretty good lead and the caution came out – and had that not come out I think we would have had our first win. But I’ll take third – I’m happy with it.”

Stevie Fisher wound up fourth, followed by Rob Vest and Dale Rogers.

Louis Lopez redeemed himself with a win in the Budweiser Grand Nationals division, his third of the season. Lopez had built up a substantial advantage over the rest of the field after taking over the lead from Jonathon Gomez at lap-9, but a caution 10 laps later put him and the No. 50 truck of nemesis Kenny Hatke as next-door neighbors for the restart. Lopez and Hatke gravitated toward each other more than once as the laps in the race wound down, each wanting the lead position. Jerry McKean, who was keenly aware of the situation ahead of him, was soon battling with Hatke for second when Lopez began to pull away after retaking the lead. At the checkered flag it was Lopez coming across the finish line first, with Hatke just edging out McKean for second.

The Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks presented their fifth race of the season with Jim Shirley netting the main event win. Shirley grabbed the lead from John
Hoogendoorn early in the 30-lap race as he literally smoked his way to his first trip of the season to the winner’s circle – his brakes visibly overheating in the turns. Brian Lopez, last week’s main event winner, managed to wrangle out a second place finish with Hoogendoorn hanging in for third. Jim Howard was able to retain the lead in the point standings with a fourth place finish, while Lopez jumped into second in the ranks.

The Quale’s Electronics Queen Bees stung the crowd with some of the best racing of the season at MVS. On the center ring one-fifth mile track Darcy Harcourt – who was defending her top spot in the standings – and Misty Greco fought to the bitter end to be the first across the finish line in the second of eight events for the division this year. The two battered each other in nearly every turn and as the checkered flag flew at the end of the 20-lap race, the girls crossed the finish line with the cars virtually hooked together. Not having transponders on the cars left the officials with a very tough call as to the winner, but it was Harcourt who got the nod and went home with her second win of the season.

Finally, Bob Bachman came though with somewhat of a surprise win as the Idaho Super Sixes topped of the night of racing. Backman, of Kuna, took control of the top spot on lap fourteen of the 30-lap race from Walter Calkins. In spite of the bold attempts of Jason Skyberg to overtake Bachman on the finals laps, Bachman was able to beat Skyberg to the line by a little more than one-tenth of a second. Pat Quinn, who has practically owned MVS in the past, finished fourth.

Grubbs finally captures once elusive win

May 22nd, 2007

Grubbs started from the pole position in the field of 13 cars for the 30-lap race. At lap two a caution came out as the No. 63 car of Luis Aguilar, Jr. and the No. 21 car of Brent Abbott got together in turn four – and a the race was delayed for several minutes while the two vehicles were unhooked from each other and removed from the track. Once the show got back on the road, Grubbs once again took the lead and allowed son Kevin – whose car had been wounded in an earlier qualifying race – and Shawn Nice fight for second. Nice was sticking like a magnet to Kevin Grubbs’ bumper and gave it all he could to get around the younger Grubbs, but just could not quite make it happen. Meanwhile, Randy Grubbs began to pull away from the rest of the field and as the remainder of the race went caution-free, Grubbs was able to make the long awaited trip to Victory Lane.

Grubbs has been racing five years in the Pony Stocks division and has run well so far this season, but could not finish in the lead.

“Miracles do happen,” an exuberant Grubbs said after the win. “It was great. I know if I could start up front I might have a chance – but usually when I start up front I just lead the most laps.”

Grubbs also said the huge scoreboard in turn two gave him a hint as to whom he may have to deal with as the race went along.

“I looked at the scoreboard more than I have in the three years that it’s been up,” he said. “I was just wondering who was behind me. I kept seeing the 64 and then the seven – that’s as far as I could look. Kevin finishing second –especially after that wreck – it was cool.”

The Pepsi Premier Division race was a whole different story than last time out where collisions and yellow flags ruled the night. The main event amazingly went caution-free as Steve Jones went bell-to-bell to win the 50-lap race – his third win of the season.

Rob Vest, driving a modified, placed second but was never a threat to Jones.

“I wasn’t really sure where Rob (Vest) was but I thought I had a pretty good lead,” Jones said. “New tires really make a difference.”

Vest would have been happy to see a caution as he trailed Jones in second by nearly half the track – as long as he wasn’t the reason for the yellow.

“I was wishing hard for a caution but I new we didn’t have enough for Steve,” Vest said. “He was on new tires tonight and he just checked out and was gone.”

Bobby Latham, who won both main events May 12, placed fourth behind TJ Woodhall. Latham’s car was torn down after his wins in the previous races and was given a clean bill of health by the MVS tech officials.

It was a stellar night for the Lopez family, as Louis and his wife Renee and their son Brian were entrants in three of the five division races at the track. Louis Lopez started from the front in the 25-lap main event race for the Budweiser Grand Nationals but it wasn’t long before Jerry McKean had Lopez on his radar screen and moved in for the pass on lap three. Kenny Hatke in the No. 50 truck was soon in the mix and the three drivers wasted no time fighting for the lead with Lopez winning the battle as he not-so-politely took back the lead position on lap eight. A caution then soon sent Jerry McKean to the rear of the field while Hatke had to exit the track to repair a flat tire. Lopez was now paired with Kris McKean for the restart, but Lopez quickly began to pull away from the group putting more and more real estate between him and the rest of the field with each lap. But as luck would have it, the yellow flag flew with five laps remaining in the race which once again set up the duel between Lopez and Jerry McKean, who at that point powered his way into the runner-up position.

As the two engaged side-by-side for control of the lead, it was Jerry McKean who made it first across the finish line for the victory – his sole win of the season.

Things went better for son Brian in the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks race, as he won his first main event of the year.

Lopez started near the rear of the field of 20 cars for the 30-lap main event and had a big task in front of him as the green flag fell for the start. John
Hoogendoorn maintained the lead for the first half of the race, but had to go to the rear of the pack for the restart after spinning between turns three and four. Several more cautions played into Lopez’ hands however, and the young driver took over the lead at lap 25 and cruised toward his well-earned trip to the winner’s circle. A spin by the No. 8 car in the final lap put the leaders in a dilemma as they raced to the checkered flag, but fortunately everyone skirted disaster and made in through unscathed.

Renee Lopez assumed the lead from Ryan Jund on lap 15 of the Quale’s Electronics Hornets main event race which took place on the one-third mile track this time out. Lopez wound up crossing the finish line a little over three seconds in front of eventual runner-up in the 20-lap race Jeff Peck. In the two Hornet main event races so far this season, female drivers have made the trip to Victory Lane both times, with Alicia Gross the winner of the previous event.

Latham takes two at MVS

May 15th, 2007

Last year the dual main event night for the feature division was jam-packed with racing “incidents” and last Saturday night it only took until lap five to bring out the first caution for a dramatic wreck in turn four.

Rick Van Vooren, Mike Buddenhagen, Kris McKean, Daryl Wert, Rick Fowble and TJ
Woodhall all received various degrees of damage – with Fowble and Wert needing
assistance off the track via tow-truck.

Once the race got back underway Stevie Fisher held the lead for the next 14-laps-but cousin Bobby Latham had been sneaking his way up through the pack and assumed the lead from Fisher on lap 21.

Latham then began to pull away from the rest of the field and the biggest battle on the track was between Steve Jones and rookie Travis Monett for third. The two fought door-to-door with Jones doing everything he could to get and stay in front on Monett, but the rookie stood his ground and along with capitalizing on a late-race bobble by Jones – Monett took the third-place finish. Rob Vest also edged past Jones and finished fourth in the 40-lap race.

The second main was caution-filled with the yellow flag flying 10 times during the 50-lap event.

TJ Woodhall held the lead for the majority of the race despite entering a wounded car in the event. Caution after caution gave Woodhall plenty of practice on restarts, but fortunately he managed to get a good jump on the crowd each time and maintain the lead. However, Latham was obviously not satisfied with just one win on the evening and realizing the main was going to run 50-laps, he made his move for the lead. The two scrimmaged for position in the final laps with Woodhall keeping his composure on the inside lane forcing Latham to try and get around him on the outside. However, the 2006 MVS feature division track champion managed the pass with four-laps remaining in the race and pulled into Victory Lane for the second time in the evening.

“The second win was definitely harder,” Latham said. “With all those cautions I kept getting stacked up there with everybody – I was just going crazy. I thought the race was only 40 laps – and I was driving and driving and driving and I thought a second place finish was alright. Then we got to lap 41 and I thought maybe we were going
50-laps. So then I got up next to TJ and we battled it out.”

Considering the damage to Woodhall’s car in the first main event, his runner-up
finish in the second main was a big accomplishment for the driver of the No. 99 car.

“The first accident I have no idea what happened”, Woodhall said. “Modifieds started piling up and I got spun trying to stop and I got hit again.”

Woodhall then needed to make some quick repairs to make it out for the second event- with not a lot of time to make the car race-worthy.

“The radiator, the complete nose I put on last week – the complete front end again,” Woodhall explained. “My crew did a (heck) of a job – we had help from a lot of different teams over here. There are a lot of guys I need to give credit to for helping me get it back on the track.”

Steve Jones was plagued with ignition woes in the second event and had to leave the track twice to try and make repairs. Jones did get back on the track before the green flag fell for the restarts and finished fifth for the second time that evening.

Dale Rogers had a good thing going in the final main event race for the division, staying up in front and finishing third. Mike Greco placed sixth and fourth to hold on to his lead in the point standings.

Latham’s double win last Saturday night may have some wondering if Latham has second thoughts on his earlier statements to run a limited schedule at MVS.

“I’m just running out here for wins this year,” he said. “Our main focus is the
Rocky Mountain Challenge Series. But it’s great to come out here and get some time and run around with a great group of guys – I really enjoy running with them. But I’m not running for the championship this year.”

The NAPA Pony Stocks race was won convincingly by Billi Miles, her first main event win of the season. Miles had mechanical issues last time out, but got the car back in shape in a big way.

“We ended up changing the oil pump and the distributor gear – now it works great,” Miles said. “It feels great to have a come-back, especially on Mother’s Day.”

Craig Nuthak was first over the finish line for the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks– but just barely. Nuthak nudged out Mike Shewmaker by less than a second as the 2006 Thunder Stocks division champion captured his first win of the season.

The field was once again extraordinary, with 20 cars starting the 30-lap main event show.

Finally, Lane Buddenhagen made it two in a row with a win in the Manker’s Lanscaping Teen Bees race, with Lyndsey Detrey placing second.

Howard doubles wins, Rice scores at MVS

May 6th, 2007

Steve Edens began the main event in the lead and held onto the position for more than half the race with Brian Lopez stalking the No. 23 car at every turn. As the two fought for position, Howard was consistently making moves straightforward, picking off the cars in front of him one at a time. Meanwhile, 2006 champion in the division Craig Nuthak had also made his way to the front of the large pack – and a late race caution would put the drivers side-by-side for the restart. Howard decided to take the inside lane with Nuthak directly on his right – and the five-lap scramble to the finish was soon underway. Howard got a good jump when the green flag dropped on the field and soon Howard’s No. 37 car was back in Victory Lane for the second time in as many races this season.

Howard didn’t have high hopes for the evening, but his perseverance paid off in the long run as he worked his way through the crowd in front of him.

“It was actually easy,” Howard said. “Every time I’d come up and there’d be a group, somebody would bump somebody and a door would open up – and I’d just drive through it and go up to the next group. Things just worked my way – it may never again – but I’ll take it.”

As the cars behind the leaders attempted to improve their finish at the end of the race, a number of vehicles got together in turn one, causing damage to several cars. One of the cars involved in the skirmish was that of the No. 38 car driven by Jim Shirley, who came into the night second in the point standings. Shirley had been put to the back of the pack late in the race after he had contact with the car of Jason Todd, and Shirley would wind up finishing eleventh in the main event.

Jerry Rice may have been nudged out of the Budweiser Grand Nationals track
championship last season, but he was on top of the world Saturday night after
winning his first main event race in the Intermountain Pro Race Trucks Series.

Rice, in his first full year with the trucks, conquered a main event win in only the second race of the season.

Rice started in the lead of the 40-lap main event race which went caution free, but the No. 8 truck of Nick Lynch quickly became Rice’s biggest issue on the track. Lynch has always run well at MVS, and the sight of Lynch in his mirror had Rice playing defense for the remainder of the race.

“I’m pretty amazed I pulled that off,” an exuberant Rice said after the race. “We have radios and mirrors in the truck and my spotter told me he (Lynch) was clear of traffic and he was coming up. He just kept getting bigger and bigger in my mirror.”

However lap traffic late in the race turned into Rice’s favor, with Lynch having some difficulty getting around the slower vehicles.

“I think Nick got stuck in it,” Rice added. “I got under it and he had to go on the outside. I was just hoping there wasn’t going to be a caution.”

Alan Larson finished third in the main event race behind Lynch, with Kenny Vanderham placing fourth.

Budweiser Grand Nationals division driver Louis Lopez came away from the night with a bit of redemption from the previous race where Kenny Hatke won the main event driving a race truck.

Lopez led the race from the get-go, but Hatke was hanging in second until he got loose and did a 180-degree turn in turn two. The battle for second was then between Jerry Rice and Jeffrey Meads, with Meads getting under McKean with just three laps remaining in the race.

The good news for the Grand Nationals class is that they continue to have more
entries as the season moves along – and some keen competition is obviously in the works in the division in the still young season at MVS.

The Quale’s Electronics Queen Bee’s opened their season with six entries for the 20-lap main event on the new one-fifth mile track. Darcy Harcourt was the winner of the inaugural race of the season, with Amber O’Brien a close second.

Last but not least, Brandon Burton of Kaysville, Utah, captured a win in the main event race from a field of the 10 Legends cars that were on the track for the green flag start.

Greco wins wrestling match at MVS

April 30th, 2007

The race started out pretty enough, but soon turned ugly as the action on the field of 16 cars went wild.

Steve Fisher took the lead from Sam Harris Jr., on lap 15 of the 50-lap main event but at lap-25 he found himself having to battle with cousin Bobby Latham III. The pair traveled side-by-side for several laps as they held on for a white-knuckle ride around the track fighting for the lead. Proving racing is thicker than blood however, the two tangled in the front stretch and the drivers of the No. 29 and No. 9 cars were sent to the back of the field for the restart. Meanwhile, Greco had patiently waited for the cousins to settle things in front of him and took over the race. Greco maintained the lead and went on to make the trip to victory lane.

“The one I felt I was going to have to battle with tonight was Bobby (Latham) -
because he had four new tires,” Greco said. “But then he and Fisher were having a run at each other. As soon as they started sliding around I just backed off and I thought ‘you know what, they’re going to make their own bed.’”

Steve Jones, who was going for the three-peat Saturday night, had worked his way up to third at lap-45, but with five laps to go he and Rob Vest tangled in turn two, effectively wiping out any chance he had for his third win in a row.

TJ Woodhall, who came into the night second in the point standings had too close of an encounter with Rick Fowble on the white-flag lap and finished twelfth, two spots behind Jones.

Greco’s race car had sustained major damage after the end of the 2006 racing season when a guest driver pounded the car into the wall.

“I think maybe it was a blessing it got wrecked,” he said. We had to start over from scratch and we weren’t sure what it was going to do when we brought it out this year, but the first week out it was just awesome.”

The hard-fought battles on the track last Saturday night shook up the point
standings and Greco, former Pony Stock champion who has previously struggled in the Premier Series, currently has his name on top of the leader board.

Josh Pitz was the big survivor of a caution-filled NAPA Pony Stocks main event,
winning his first race of the season. Pitz took the lead from Randy Grubbs on lap 21 of the 30-lap race, but soon had 2006 champion and opening night race winner Jason Whited closing up behind him. Whited had been able to avoid late-race incident and with less than10-laps to go tried to reel in Pitz, but ran out of laps.

Billi Miles, who began the night in second in the point standings behind Whited, had mechanical problems throughout the day and did not finish the main event race. Pitz has now taken over her spot in the point standings with Shawn Nice and Randy Grubbs tied for third.

For the winner of the Budweiser Grand Nationals race Kenny Hatke, the former Hornet driver describes his feelings on his return to racing after a two year absence as “magnificent.”

The 21-year-old led the main event from start to finish in the 20-lap race even
though Louis Lopez – who won opening night – tried everything he could to get by the young driver. The two raced car door-to-truck door for several laps, but in the end Lopez just didn’t have quite enough to make it happen and Hatke held on for the win.

“The truck had been loose the whole time and we didn’t know if we could get it back to where it would be stiff up enough to keep up with everybody else – but somehow we just did it,” Hatke said.

Although Hatke has a win and a second in the two Grand Nationals races held so far this year driving a race truck, he says it won’t be long until he has a car ready to go.

“We’re in the process of building it,” Hatke said. “But it’s still a long way from where it should be.”

The debut of the Manker’s Nursery Teens Bees brought out four young drivers who put on a great show racing on the one-fifth mile track. Lane Buddenhagen, son of feature division driver Mike Buddenhagen, proved all those years of watching dad race would pay off someday as he goes in the books as the winner of the inaugural event.

Buddenhagen came form third starting position to take the checkered flag in the
10-lap race, with Anthony Avalos, stepson of feature division driver Steve Jones, placing second.

Pat Quinn of Meridian won the main event race for the Super Sixes – to the surprise of no one. The 2006 Idaho Six Cylinder Racing League champion has dominated at MVS in recent years, and Saturday night he came from mid-pack to win the 30-lap race. Randy Sellars finished a close second, with Tony Ackerland placing third.

Warf Wins Second Straight at Magic Valley

April 24th, 2007

Bruce Quale earned his first career $100 Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time
Award with a quick lap of 14.629 seconds around the fast one-third mile
paved oval. Dave Minegar was second fast followed by Warf, Chris Ratterree,
and Bobby Latham. Less than one second separated the 23-car field and with
the customary RMCS invert Quale would start the 75-lap feature on the
outside of row ten.

Rookie Kellen Frey started the race on the pole with Chris Cook along side.
The race slowed before it really began as Thane alderman from Las Vegas, NV
slowed on the back stretch on lap one setting up a complete restart.
Alderman suffered an ignition failure dropping him out of the race. Also
retiring on lap one was CarbonX Rookie-of-the-Year competitor Mark Bard who
drove to the pits with suspension problems.

On the restart, Cook was able to nose ahead of Frey for the lead and held
the point for the first 14 circuits before heading to the pits with handling
issues. Frey held the point for two laps before Tyler Monroe passed the
rookie on the inside. By lap 19, James Eaton was able to make his way to the
front from his 13th place starting position.

Eaton would hold the top spot over the next 17 laps before eventual race
winner Warf was able to stick his nose under the #85 NAPA sponsored
Chevrolet on lap 37. Warf would hold on to claim his fifth career ESI Rocky
Mountain challenge Series victory and second in a row at Magic Valley
Speedway.

While Warf took the checkers the drive of the night went to Bruce Quale who
worked his way up to finish third after starting the race in the 20th
position. “I was hoping for more laps for a change,” Quale said. “Usually
I’m hoping for the race to be over, but tonight I was sure hoping I could go
a few more. We might have got past Jimmy (Eaton), but Bryan was pretty
fast.”

Warf was thrilled to start the season off with a win. “This series is like
no other and to win from that deep in the field is amazing,” Warf said. “We
have class competition and I know the fans saw a good race. We had the car
set up for a late run and it really came on about halfway. I am really
excited to go to Salt Lake in two weeks. I can’t wait.”

While finishing second would excite most drivers, James Eaton knew one got
away. “I have to give the kid (Warf) credit,” Eaton said. “I gave him the
hole and he took advantage of it. Finishing second is definitely not what we
wanted but all in all it was a good race for us.”

Perhaps the happiest guy on the track was Tyler Monroe after his fourth
place finish. “We bought a new car and we’ll hopefully have it finished for
the next event, but this was a lot of fun and we are happy for a top five
finish in this car,” Monroe said.

Tom Hill rounded out the top five finishers in his new Port City car. “A top
five finish among this group is real good,” Hill said. “It was a little
rough there at the end but it was a great race for the team.”

Rounding out the top ten were Dave Minegar, Bobby Latham, Chris Ratterree,
Nick Parker, and Carbonx Rookie-of-the-Race Kellen Frey. Four different
drivers led laps with Warf leading the most laps (39). Since Quale did not
win the race the ESI Hotshoe money rolls over to the next event making the
bonus $800 for the driver who sets quick time and is able to win the race.

Warf also leaves Magic Valley Speedway as the point leader with an 18 point
advantage over Quale (216). Eaton (187), Minegar (185), and Hill (168) round
out the top five in the standings after round one. The ESI Rocky Mountain
Challenge Series utilizes a 20-car invert for each race and pays passing
points (3) for each position improved in the event.

The next event for the ESI Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is Saturday, May
5 at Rocky Mountain Raceway located in Salt Lake City, UT where local
hotshoe Lynn Hardy is the defending race winner. Please log onto
www.rmcsracing.com for all the latest news and information regarding the ESI
Rocky Mountain Challenge Series.

About the ESI Rocky Mountain Challenge Series

The ESI Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring
series that allows competitors to gain experience on different types of
asphalt oval tracks up to 3/8-mile in length. It is a high-quality,
professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity at an affordable
price serving the Intermountain West. The motto of the series is to “Race
Hard and Have Fun!”

Primary series sponsors include: ESI Construction, A-1 Heating & Air
Conditioning, CarbonX, Western Speed & Fuel, Jensen Jeweler’s, Integra
Springs, and Port City Racing.

Jones collects second win at MVS

April 22nd, 2007

The back-to-back wins mirror Jones’ 2006 season, when he also won the first two
events of the year.

“It’s always a good thing when I win races,” Jones said. “The competition is coming really fast though and it’s getting tougher and tougher to pass anybody. The 99 car (TJ Woodhall) and the 70 car (Mike Greco) – they’re coming fast. TJ went to the back twice and still got second – so, I’m scared if he doesn’t get spun out.”

Rick Van Vooren took the early lead of the feature series main event race from the pole position and held on for seven laps until Stevie Fisher was able to make the outside pass on the No. 6-car. Fisher quickly began to pull away from the rest of the field while Van Vooren stubbornly held on to second, keeping a herd of cars behind him. At lap 20, David Patrick was the one who finally made it around Van Vooren, but then found himself having to contend with Jones, who came along with him for the ride.

As Patrick and Jones fought for second, with Jones the eventual winner of the
battle, Fisher saw his 15-car length advantage erased when the first caution of the main event came out as Mike Buddenhagen and TJ Woodhall collided in turn four.

Buddenhagen and Woodhall were sent to the back of the field while Jones and Fisher lined up side-by-side in front for the restart. Jones was able to pull away from Fisher and by lap-34 Jones had developed his own15-car length lead over Fisher and the rest of the field – but what goes around comes around – and several more cautions placed the Fisher and Jones cars next to each other for restarts with Jones taking the high line each time.

Jones was eventually able to retake his big lead over the field, while Fisher got loose and ended up with a seventh-place finish for the night. TJ Woodhall finished in the runner-up position for the second time in as many weeks and knows what he has to do to land himself in the winner’s circle.

“Beat Steve, that’s what it’s going to take,” Woodhall said. “I just need to get to the front sooner.

We’re still making some changes to the car, but I’m pretty happy with it so far. I just need to finish one spot ahead of where I finished tonight.”

Rookie Rick Fowble had a great run finishing third and Mike Greco continues to hang in there with a fourth place finish Saturday night. David Patrick had one of his best events ever in his sights until a collision with Rick Van Vooren in the back stretch meant a trip to the pits for repairs, just barely making it out on the track for the green flag restart at lap 35.

The Rocky Mountain Challenge Series race included eight cautions in the 75-lap main before Bryan Warf took the checkered flag in the opening event of the season. Warf battled James Eaton for the lead at lap 35 and by lap 37 Warf held the cards for the remainder of the race. Bruce Quale, who qualified with a fast time of 14.629, made his way through the pack into third place with less than 15-laps remaining in the race – and a caution at lap-67 gave Quale a chance to improve his position as the leaders had gained a lot of ground over the rest of the field.

However, Warf got a great jump on the restart – and the five laps remaining in the race were not enough for Quale to work on the two cars in front of him.

“I was hoping for more laps for a change,” Quale said. “Usually I’m hoping for the race to be over, but tonight I was sure hoping I could go a few more. We might have got past Jimmy (Eaton) but Bryan was pretty fast.”

The Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks were out in force for their debut race of the season, putting 21-cars on the track for the main event. Jason Todd took the early lead in the race and looked to have a strong car when Calvin Jackson hit the turn-four wall at lap seven, bringing out the caution flag and delaying the race while the safety crew gathered up the tires that were once in front of the wall but were now strewn across the track after Jackson smacked into them.

At the restart Todd had Jim Howard and Jim Shirley in hot pursuit behind him, and at lap 14 Howard strong-armed his way around Todd in the backstretch, sending him to the infield. However, Todd quickly got back on track and managed a fourth place finish in the race.

The fight for first became a Jim-and-Jim show for the final laps, with Howard edging out Shirley at the finish line as he captured the first main event win of the season.

The Quale’s Electronics Hornets broke in the new one-fifth mile tri-oval and put on a great show for the fans. Alisha Gross was the main event winner.

Magic Valley Gets Opener in

April 17th, 2007

Jones took the feature division main event win Saturday night at Magic Valley
Speedway in a car with a complete new look, removing the familiar red and hoping the new paint would be a good omen for this season. With the win, Jones was optimistic the change was for the best.

“Yeah, it can stay gold for a couple more weeks,” he said.

When the green flag fell for the main event race in the Premier Series, Rob Vest took the lead in the No. 27 modified, but 15-laps into the race Jones was able to take advantage of several re-starts after cautions and powered his way into first position. Jones was able to maintain the lead for the remainder of the event and pulled into victory lane, taking the first main event win of the season in the feature division series.

Jones also captured the win in the first main event of 2006 and was in the points lead going into the final race of the season, but was sidelined with emergency surgery and could not make the event.

“It was disappointing,” Jones said. “This year I’d just like to finish – and not under the knife. I really want an Idaho State Champion’s jacket.”

Jones admitted the cautions played into his favor throughout the race.

“Rob Vest is always one of the harder guys to pass, he said. “I kind-of got lucky on some of the yellow flags and kind-of got a nose ahead.”

Mike Greco had an excellent run in the No.70 late model car, finishing third after TJ Woodhall was able to make the pass on Greco with about 10-laps remaining in the race.

“I replaced the whole front of the car,” Greco said. “It’s the best handling car I’ve had since my pony stock car – with about five times the horse power.”

“He did do really well tonight – he’s a good driver,” Jones said of Greco. “He got his car over to Eddy’s (McKean) shop and got it all fixed up over the winter. He’s got my set-up on it now.”

The NAPA Pony Stocks main event race was won by Jason Whited, one of the two 2006 track champions who started off with an opening night win. Whited was on the pole for the start of the race and even though Billi Miles gave it her best to catch Whited after making her way through the field, it was Whited who took the checkered flag. Jonathon Gomez placed third in his inaugural Pony Stocks race, holding off Josh Pitz and Randy Grubbs for the position.

The Intermountain Pro Trucks main event saw former Premier and Grand Nationals
driver Dan Doan in Victory Lane once again, this time climbing out of a race truck. Doan has not raced at MVS for a couple of seasons, but was offered a ride in the No. 9 truck owned by competitor Alan Larson.

“I miss racing – period,” Doan said. “It was fun to be out here -especially with the Larson crew – they’re a bunch of goof-balls – they’re fun to be around. It was really nice of Alan (Larson) to give me the truck to drive. He told me earlier that if I was in the lead I had to pull over and let him by. But I didn’t know where he was so I left it at that. But it was a blast. He (Larson) gave me a thumbs-up after the race.”

The Budweiser Grand Nationals race was won by another 2006 champion, Louis Lopez. One race truck, driven by Kenny Hatke, competed in the event and finished second.

Latham Captures Championship at MVS

September 18th, 2006

As Latham set up camp in the pits second in the standings, Steve Jones, of Boise, headed to the Magic Valley Speedway with the points lead and a good chance to sew up the 2006 feature division title. But instead, Jones had things sewn up in a very different way.

Jones spent his Saturday night at the Magic Valley Regional Medical Center after a case of appendicitis warranted surgery for the 37-year-old driver just a few short hours before race time, drastically changing his chances for a fourth feature division championship.

Bobby Latham and Mike Buddenhagen, Jones’ closest competitors, therefore had their chances open up to capture the title in the final event of the season.

Rounding the track without the familiar No. 3 car of Jones present, the Premier Division drivers took the green flag for the 50-lap main event race.

Rob Vest and Shelby Stroebel began the battle for the lead in the at lap six and continued to run side-by-side throughout the remainder of the race. Meanwhile, the field of cars behind the pair were fighting their own battles, resulting in several cautions as Latham and Buddenhagen fought to gain as many positions as possible. Latham was able to work his way up to his eventual finishing position of fourth at lap 15, while Buddenhagen made his way into fifth the following lap. On the restart at lap 27 after a caution for T.J. Woodhall, who had drifted off the track in turn three, any luck Buddenhagen had took a turn for the worse. Buddenhagen collided with David Patrick and Allen Williams just yards past the flag stand and the No. 48 car and driver spent the remainder of contest in the pits.

After the restart, Vest and Stroebel once again took up the battle for the lead while Latham seemed satisfied with his position behind Daryl Wert, who finished the race with a season high third place showing.

After a bobble in turn two by Stroebel, Vest was able to pull away and cross the finish line to end the race with his third main event win of the season.

“When Shelby was on the outside of me he started pulling away, so when we got a caution I figured I’d take the line away from him – and it worked,” Vest said. “I think we only touched one time. I feel really bad for Steve (Jones) though. He’s a good guy and it’s too bad it had to end this way for him.”

When it all was over, the 21-year old Latham, in his first full season, had not only captured the track championship, but a spot in the Dodge Weekly Racing Series Division III battle as well.

“It’s definitely not the way you want to win the championship,” Latham said. “But somebody has to represent the track and I’m happy to do it. This is just a fairy tale season for us. We’ve had our ups and downs but the guys stuck with me. It really hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m the track champion – it’s an awesome deal.”

The Budweiser Grand National Division track championship was also on the line, with Jerry Rice atop in the point standings. His lead was slim, however, just five over Jerry McKean and seven over Louis Lopez, 2005 MVS Grand Nationals track Champion.

Lopez began the 25-lap main event race in sixth, with McKean and Rice directly behind.

Lopez took the lead in the race at lap 14 after dancing his way around Willie Dalton and Jeff Meads, while Rice and McKean were mired in traffic. With Lopez pulling farther and farther ahead, the two Jerrys went for broke as the approached the checkered flag. As the two made contact, McKean spun into the infield grass just short of the finish line. As Rice held on to make it across the mark, McKean frantically tried to claw his way back on the track, but not before the rest of the field had passed him by.

Lopez anxiously awaited the call on his second track championship at MVS from the winner’s circle while the officials sorted out the final point standings, but the word eventually came down from the tower that he had captured the title by a single point.

“I saw the one and the eight car get together a little and I thought “Hey, this is good stuff,” – and I was able to fly right by them,” Lopez said. “It took some luck to get where I got tonight, plus a lot of hard work. We just found the sweet spot.”

The 2006 Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stock Division champion Craig Nuthak had a bit of an easier time nailing down his title, finishing fourth and winding up the season 17 points up on race winner Jim Shirley.

Nuthak entered the chase for the championship first in points and never relinquished his hold on the lead in the final five races of the year.

This is Nuthak’s first championship at MVS.

Jim Howard, who entered the race with just a three-point deficit from Shirley, had to exit the track at lap 20 with a flat tire and could not return to complete the race, but held on to third in the final point standings.

The final race of the season at MVS belonged to the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series as the NAPA 150 put a climatic end to an evening already packed with shake-ups.

Mike Minegar of Boise, who held a 205-point lead over Twin Falls driver John Newhouse, developed mechanical problems on the No. 9 car and never took the green flag for the main event race of the season.

Suddenly Newhouse’s statement issued in a press release earlier in the week took on an eery sidebar.

“I still got a shot,” he claimed. “If he screws up qualifying and the engine won’t fire at the start of the main and I pass everybody on the track twice he’s gonna lose,” he laughed.

Newhouse did finish third in the race, but it was not enough to knocked off Minegar. He did however, lock in the runner-up position in the final point standings in his second year the series.

Bryan Warf of Meridian was the main event winner, with Twin Falls drivers Bruce Quale and Bobby Latham finishing fourth and eleventh respectively.

Chris Ratterree of Nampa was Warf’s major contender for most of the final laps of the race, making his way up to the front after being involved in a caution at lap 50.

With less than 10-laps to the finish of the 150-lap race, Warf’s car caught fire and twas attended to by the turn one officials. Warf was able to keep things together for the final few laps, garnering the win in the season finale.

Latham Repeats Win at MVS

August 30th, 2006

After the now traditional white duct tape was in place over the “1″ on both sides of the car, Latham was ready to give it another go in the Pepsi Premier division main event race last Saturday night at the Magic Valley Speedway.

The event got off to a rough beginning as two cautions in the first two laps forced the field of drivers to collect their thoughts for the restarts, but once things got underway Latham took over the lead just six laps into the 50-lap race. Latham’s biggest challenge came from 2005 Premier Series champion Rob Vest, who had worked his way into second at lap eight and then dug in to try and close the gap on Latham’s lead.

With the race running caution free for the next 39-laps, Mike Buddenhagen moved into fourth while point leader Steve Jones struggled to break into the top five. Cautions at laps 41 and 43 put Latham and Vest side-by-side for the restarts with Latham choosing the high lane in both cases. Vest continued his battle with Latham for the remaining seven laps of the race, but Latham stood his ground and soon made his way onto victory lane for the fourth time this season.

“It just ran really awesome,” Latham said of the McKean Motorsports car. “It suits my driving style real well and it sticks to the upper groove – that’s where you got to be if you’re going to win these races. I knew Rob couldn’t get past me because nothing sticks down there. A big thanks goes out once again to Eddy (McKean) and McKean Motorsports, without them, we’d be hurting.”
Vest was second to the checkered flag while Buddenhagen and Jones, who are in heated competition with Latham for the track championship, finished fourth and fifth respectively.

With the win Latham has moved into second in the point standings, five back of Jones and three in front of Buddenhagen. With eight points separating the three drivers going into the final race of the season, the nerves are sure to be on edge when the showdown takes place September 16.

“Coming down to the last race it’s going to be pretty tense,” Latham said. I’m glad that we have a couple of weeks off to get out stuff straight.”

The Budweiser Grand Nationals division championship will also be determined in their final race, as Jerry McKean drove to his third main event win of the season, taking over second in the point standings along the way.

McKean took command of the lead at lap four of the 25-lap contest and left Jerry Rice and Louis Lopez fighting for position several car lengths behind him. Lopez made several attempts to get around Rice, but his efforts proved futile and Rice held on to finish second. Rice also managed to keep his grasp on the points lead for the championship, but only seven points separate the trio with the final race to be held September 16.

The NAPA Pony Stocks Division crowned their 2006 champion Saturday night with Jason Whited capturing the title after collecting a 46-point lead over Dustin Wilson in the final standings. This is Whited’s first track championship and the Filer resident is more than happy to take the championship home, but has mixed emotions now that his season is finished.

“I’m pretty relieved, the last five or six races I couldn’t wait for this to end, but now that it’s over I’m kind of bummed. But all-and-all it was a good season,” Whited said.

Trent Champlin was the main event winner of the race, his second victory of the season. Champlin managed build a quarter-track lead over the rest of the field after taking over the lead from Josh Pitz, who spun into the infield at lap 22. Whited had muscled his way up to second, but could not catch Champlin by the time the checkered flag fell on the 30-lap race which ran caution-free.

Stacey Jensen was the winner of the final race of the year for the Quale’s Electronics Warriors, his first victory of the season. Jensen and Laura Arrington tangled on lap 11 of the 25-lap race, allowing Jensen to take over the lead for the remainder of the contest. Arrington ran into more trouble on lap 19 after contact on the front stretch sent her into the infield grass, however Arrington showed some excellent driving skills to gather things up and continue in the race.

Marshall Lund beat out Kenny Hatke and Kent Jensen for the Warrior division championship. Lund captured the title with a four point margin over Hatke and Jensen who tied for second in the final standings.

The Trailer Race of Destruction did its usual job of making the track a huge mess to the delight of every fan that packed the stands at MVS last Saturday night. Stacy Meyer was declared the winner by a vote from the crowd.
The gauntlet race was another big hit and will no doubt make more appearances in the future at the speedway.

Latham Dodges Bullet for Win at MVS

August 15th, 2006

Latham’s evening did not start out well when the No. 9 feature division car developed major motor issues in practice and the car had to be put down for the night.

“It dropped a valve and put a hole in the piston,” said Shane Prince, Latham’s crew chief.

Fortunately Latham was able to rent the No. 19 car from McKean Motorsports – the same car that points leader Steve Jones used two weeks earlier after wrecking in the qualifying race. Jones drove the car to a second place finish that night, which was key to keeping his “chase ” championship hopes alive.

Latham’s crew took the tires from the disabled car, mounted them on the borrowed car and after Latham got in a few practice laps, just a little fine tuning and covering the ‘1′ with white duct tape was all that was needed to dial in the car to the driver’s liking.

“I got in one practice in the car and it ran fairly well,” said Latham. “But it was really loose, so we did a couple of tweaks and adjustments. I was a little nervous, since it’s definitely not what you want – to have to jump in somebody else’s car – but it was a good car. McKean Motorsports came through once again.”

Daryl Wert and Shelby Stroebel took turns leading the main event race for the first twelve laps, but Wert soon broke the left-rear axle which sent the No. 7 modified onto the north side embankment bringing out the first of three cautions in the 50-lap race.

Mike Buddenhagen, last weeks winner, lead the pack for the next 12 laps, but then Steve Jones, who started in fifth, took over the familiar sight of race leader.

At lap 35, Latham had caught up to Jones and the side-by-side battle for the lead was on for yet another night. At lap 41 the going got rough and Jones and Latham got together in the backstretch – but Jones somehow managed to regain control of the car so the battle could continue. However, a caution with seven laps to go in the race played into Latham’s hands on this night, as he went on to hold off not only Jones but also Buddenhagen, who passed Jones in the final laps of the race.

“It was just a good points night for us,” Jones said after his third place finish. “I guess those guys just wanted it worse than me. I guess I’m just old and not aggressive.”

Rob Vest, who missed the first two races in the “chase”, finished fourth and T.J. Woodhall rounded up a fifth place finish. Jones still maintains the lead in the point standings for the feature division.

NAPA Pony Stock driver Shawn Nice took over the lead from Kevin Grubbs at lap five, but it was the perpetual lap six that caused Nice to have to regroup several times after the caution flag came out for Josh Pitz who headed off the turn three embankment.

A failure to communicate early in the race on restarts involved about half the drivers in the field one way another and had the scoreboard displaying the number six on the lap counter for quite some time.

But when it all was over, Nice held onto win his first main event of the season.

One of the biggest comebacks in the race came from points leader Jason Whited, who finished second after getting past Kristi Fehringer in the final seconds of the 30-lap main event.

Whited was involved in a couple of cautions and had to re-think his strategy several times, but always managed to get back up to towards the front and the runner-up showing on the night has extended his lead in the point standings.

Fehringer also gave it her all in the race, not being nice to Nice for a moment while having her second main event win of the season well in her sites – and Nice was very aware of her presence.

“Oh, just every lap,” Nice said. “But when they’re behind me I let them push me, when they’re on the outside I’ll go faster.”

Spencer Meyer won his first main event of the season in the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stock division – by keeping the chaos on the track behind him for the 25-lap race.

At lap 11 Jim Shirley had to exit the track with a flat tire after he and Calvin Jackson tangled in turns three and four, while the 37 car of Jim Howard muscled his way through the field to fight and soon the win the battle with John Hoogendoorn for second.

At lap 22, the 99 car, driven that night by Premier Series regular Steve Jones, made a slick inside move on Hoogendoorn for the third spot, but Hoogendoorn kept letting Jones know that he was not about to forget about it, and gave Jones a few reminders of his new spot at his rear bumper.

The final lap bought more spinning and crashing, but Meyer was able to avoid trouble and take the checkered flag for the win.

Louis Lopez captured a win in the Quale’s Electronics Warrior division main event race to garnder a victory in yet another division. Lopez now has wins in the Grand National, Thunder Stock and now Warrior divisions this season. Jeff Peck had held the lead for the first 11 laps, but the experienced Grand Nationals driver Lopez got the upper hand on Peck and motored his way to a convincing win.

In the Legends race, three Sonius’ took the field but it was Dan Eckert of Boise who won both the qualifying and main event races.

The Allstate Insurance Box Car races were a big hit with the future MVS drivers and prizes were awarded to all participants. It was a relief to all the kids however, that Louis Lopez opted out of the race.

‘Buddman’ King of Premiers at MVS

August 7th, 2006

Buddenhagen, who drives a modified car in the feature division, has the fourth in a string of wins put together by modified drivers in as many weeks at MVS. With the win, Buddenhagen has propelled his way from fourth to second in the point standings with just three races left in the season.

Steve Jones, on top in the standings going into the ‘Chase for the Championship’, finished second with a wounded car after last weekend’s contact with the front stretch wall and maintained his lead in the battle for the 2006 Premier Division championship.

Buddenhagen finished third in the qualifying race and earned a starting spot near the front of the field for the main event, directly behind Daryl Wert and qualifying race winner Rick Van Vooren. Buddenhagen quickly built a substantial lead for himself, but a hard-charging Bobby Latham was quickly working his way through traffic, bringing along the No. 3 car of Jones right along with him. Jones got past Latham at lap 11 and then began working on reeling in Buddenhagen. Jones made several attempts to get under Buddenhagen, but the win-hungry driver of the No. 48 car kept it together and crossed the finish line more than two-seconds in front of Jones.

Even much later after the race was over, Buddenhagen didn’t have a hard time describing his emotions on the win.

“Unbelievable, it was great,” Buddenhagen said. “It took awhile to get out of the car because I didn’t know what I was going to say. I haven’t gotten the smile off my face since I got out of the car.”

Buddenhagen only had to look at the score board to see that Jones was his closest competitor and try and think on his next course of action.

“I saw Steve (Jones) was coming up and I knew I just had to play my game – try and nail the throttle and beat him down the straightaway, drive into the turns and hope the car holds. I saw him try and put his nose under a couple of times but I thought, ‘Not tonight dude, tonight is mine’.”

Eddy McKean, who drove in both the Premier and Northwest Series races Saturday night, came from the last staring position in the field to finish third in the race.

Budweiser Grand National Division driver Jerry McKean hauled the race car into the pits Saturday night knowing that in order to keep his championship hopes alive, he had to keep Lewis Lopez and Jerry Rice behind him in the main event race.

McKean did even better than that, winning the race by more than three seconds while Lopez and Rice finished second and third respectively.

“We need three more of them now,” said McKean of the win.

The Grand Nationals will be off this weekend, but have three races to go in the championship run.

“But now we stand a chance,” McKean added. “It least it will make it more interesting. “We’re trying to get everyone to run well – and they’re making it more challenging, too.”

Willie Dalton finished fourth, boosting his confidence after several set-backs suffered throughout the season.

Jason Whited is pulling away in the point standings with a win Saturday night and now leads Lou Andersen by 15. Andersen managed a second place finish in the main event race, with Kristi Fehringer right behind him finishing third. In the points shuffle, Fehringer moved into third while husband Brent dropped to fourth after watching most of the race from infield with mechanical issues. Dustin Wilson made the biggest jump in the standings, moving from eighth to fourth with a fourth place finish in the main event race.

Josh Pitz, who missed the first ‘chase’ race after his motor let go before the main event even got underway, had the lead in the race until he got tangled up with the No. 61 car of Mike Christensen on the backstretch. Pitz ended up with a ninth place finish and another disappointing Saturday night.

Thunder Stock drivers Craig Nuthak and Jim Shirley delivered one of the most exciting races to the checkered flag on the night. Nuthak at one point had a quarter-track lead over the field but Shirley, who won last weekend’s main event race, caught up to Nuthak by lap 12 and immediately started applying the pressure to Nuthak’s rear bumper. Shirley actually came across the finish line ahead of Nuthak on laps 23 and 24, but it was lap 25 that counted and Nuthak out-gunned Shirley to the checkered flag by just 0.047 seconds.

The ‘Chase’ Heats up Magic Valley Speedway

July 31st, 2006

Saturday night’s Pepsi Premier division highlights featured Shelby Stroebel winning his second main event of the season, points leader Steve Jones needing to borrow a back-up car for the main event race and a question as to whether Bobby Latham III will return to compete at MVS.

Twelve cars checked in to the Premier division main event race, but most notably absent was the red No. 3 car of points leader Steve Jones. Jones had an unfortunate encounter with the front stretch wall in the qualifying race after contact with TJ Woodhall, putting Jones’ ride out of action for the night. With the championship on the line, Jones was able to get into a McKean Motorsports car and after the pit crew fashioned a big number three out of red duct tape on the sides of the car, Jones was set to defend his points lead in the division, but he would have to do so starting from the rear of the field.

The non-chase qualified car of Shelby Stroebel had the upper-hand from the get-go starting from the pole, but Jones patiently worked his way through the field to challenge Stroebel for the lead by lap 32. The two drivers battled door-to-door with Stroebel on the outside, which was obviously his preferred lane for the night, choosing the high side on every restart. The pair battled lap after lap with the fans on the edge of their seats watching for the impending wreck, but the skilled drivers held on and in the end it was Stroebel who captured the win.

“The outside groove is where we set up to run, Stroebel said. “If you go to the bottom you can run it, but not for along time. I learned the hard way, Jones did it to me about a month ago a won the race, so that’s why we choose the high line.”

TJ Woodhall took over second spot in the standings with an excellent second place finish but Mike Buddenhagen, who had been running strong Saturday night, dropped to fourth after a flat tire sent him to the pits tire late in the race. It was determined that Bobby Latham was involved in the caution and according to the rules, Latham was sent to the back of the pack for the restart. Latham went home with a seventh place finish and after a frustrating night of racing, Bobby Latham III admitted he has a lot to think about this next week.

“It’s something we haven’t made a final decision on yet, Latham said as to the question of his return to MVS. “But it’s a good possibility. I feel that these tire rule changes and last minute decisions are getting ridiculous. There are plenty of other series where I can go race.”

Louis Lopez has moved to within one point of Budweiser Grand Nationals division leader Jerry Rice with his main event win Saturday night. Lopez moved into the lead at lap four, leaving the rest of the field to fight their own battles. By lap 11 Rice and Jerry McKean were putting on their own show, fighting for the second place position while Lopez cruised in the lead. Rice finally put the No. 4 in the second spot on the scoreboard at lap 17, but McKean continued to give it everything he had until the checkered flag fell at lap 25.

Ernie Hall drew the short straw in the in the Grand National division this week, as terminal mechanical issues kept the No.2 car in the pits for the night.

Trent Champlin won his first main event of the season in the NAPA Pony Stock Division after a heated battle with points leader Jason Whited. Champlin took the early lead in the race and had built up a significant advantage over the rest of the field until the half-way point in when qualifying race winner Jason Whited starting applying the pressure. The pair ran door-to-door for several laps, but Champlin held off the always tough Whited like a champion.

Champlin has suffered numerous setbacks this season, but the win last Saturday night helped to ease his pain.

“It’s awesome,” Champlin said regarding his first win. “He (Whited) came up along side of me and we raced hard – but I was doing everything I could out there. I got sideways in one and two and he kind of snuck underneath me – from what everybody said – but I kept it together. After I took the checkered, I couldn’t do anything but scream, I was so stocked.”

Josh Pitz, who was tied for second in the division with Lou Andersen, was looking forward to a good night when disaster struck early. After putting in less than two laps around the track in practice, the motor in the No. 47 car had apparently reached its expiration date and Pitz was forced to spend the rest of the evening as a spectator.

While Pitz did receive last place points for the night, he has dropped from second to a sixth place tie with driver Shawn Nice. After a second place finish on the night, Jason Whited remains in first place in the standings.

Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks driver Jim Shirley made a big move in the point standings with a win in the main event race. Shirley passed pole sitter Shiela Harms on lap nine and was able to put plenty of real estate between he and Craig Nuthak who could not make enough ground on Shirley before the checkered flag fell at lap 25.

However Nuthak, with the second place finish, still has the lead in the point standings with four races remaining for the division.

Pro Truck driver Kenny Vanderham took the lead from Ken Kennedy at lap 14 and seemed to be en route to a win when a caution for debris on the track forced a restart at lap 32 of the main event race. The restart lined up veteran driver Nick Lynch directly along side Vanderham with just eight laps to go and both drivers were determined to get the win. Lynch roughed up Vanderham in the front stretch at lap 36, took the lead and four laps later, the win.

Stevie Fisher and Dan Pehrson were black-flagged off the track in the latter stages of the race for rough driving, while Kevan Larson managed a fourth place finish to hold on to the lead in the MVS point standings.

Vest is Best at MVS

July 24th, 2006

At lap seven Bobby Latham had worked his way into second from a starting position of fourth, but Vest kept his foot to the floor and was able to keep Latham several car lengths behind him.

Meanwhile, Mike Buddenhagen and T.J. Woodhall had worked their way up from the rear of the field to fourth and fifth respectively while points leader Steve Jones, who started twelfth, still had a pack of cars in front of him as he struggled to make his way towards the front.

“It was like rush hour traffic,” Jones said. “I was waiting for somebody to pass somebody – but that’s O.K., it’s a part of racing.”

At the half-way point of the race Vest was all by himself having established a half-track lead over his closest competitor and was hoping everything would go smoothly behind him as the last thing he wanted to see was the caution lights come out on the track.

Daryl Wert in the No. 7 car gave Vest a little scare at lap 41 as he got loose coming out of turn two, but did an excellent job keeping control of the car and the remainder of the race went caution-free.

Even though Bobby Latham’s car faded towards the end and Jones had finally broken through traffic and finessed his way into second, there were just not enough laps left in the race and Vest crossed the finish line more than six seconds ahead of Jones to nail the win.

“We put four new tires on it tonight and at first the car was pushing really bad,” Vest said. “But then we just took some cross-weight out of it and it came alive. I was just hoping there wasn’t going to be a caution.”

But perhaps the best move was actually made by Vest’s crew member Kevin Kuydendall, who recently convinced second in point standings and competitor in the Premier Division Bobby Latham the third’s father, Bobby Latham Jr., to buy Vest the four new tires that helped Vest get the win. “Their really nice people and I really appreciate them doing that for me,” Vest said from the winner’s circle.

Louis Lopez managed to pass Randy Price on the high side of the track and took over the lead at lap five of the Budweiser Grand Nationals main event race. Jeff Meads was Lopez’ closest rival through the next fifteen laps, but a caution at lap 16 brought points leader Jerry Rice closer into the mix after charging his way up to third position.

“I was glad to see the caution come out,” Rice said. “It took a little while to get around Jerry (McKean) and Lopez and Meads were starting to pull away somewhat.”

Lopez, Meads and Rice then ran nose-to-tail with each other for several laps but with three laps to go in the 25-lap race, Rice got into the back of Meads and Meads spent the final few laps of the race as a spectator after his car came to a rest in the turn one infield grass.

Fortunately for Lopez, no caution flag was thrown and Lopez went on to win his second Grand Nationals main event race of the season.

Mechanical woes continue to plague the Grand Nationals division drivers and Saturday night it was Willie Dalton and Jerry McKean who got hit the hardest. Dalton packed up and headed home after the motor in his car let go during practice, but McKean, who was trying to at least maintain his third place position in the point standings, was able to borrow the No. 48 car of Bill Manker and finished fourth.

Although Lopez was happy with the win, he believes that he may need to find a little more power going into the ‘Chase for the Championship’ which begins Saturday night.

“We need to find something to go faster down the straight-aways,” Lopez said. “That’s the only place I think we’re being beat by the other guys – we can get through the turns really well – but we probably just need to do a little more tuning on the motor.”

Dr. Rod Kack wrote his own prescription for a win in the 20-lap Quale Electronics Warriors main event race after establishing a good deal of patience as he managed to avoid the spins and other confrontations on the track. Kack, an experienced feature division driver, got the lead at lap 13 shortly after Jeff Peck took himself out of the lead by exiting the track by way of the turn three- and- four embankment. Other established MVS driver Alan Larson placed third in his ‘cow’ car and rookie Warrior driver Tony Vest finished an impressive sixth.

Two-time MVS main event race winner in the 2006 season Pat Quinn of Meridian had his winning streak put to an end as Jason Skyberg, who finished second to Quinn in both the previous races, was able to get in front and stay in front of the No. 4 car of Quinn. The pair raced side-by-side for several laps and even after having to weave their way through lap traffic, always ended up right next to each other to battle once again. Skyberg had the edge this night however, but just slightly, as he narrowly crossed the finish line ahead of Quinn concluding one of the most exciting races of the evening.

“It’s about time I won here,” Skyberg said.

Vanderham Victorious in InterMountain Pro Trucks

July 17th, 2006

A caution at lap 19 brought the three drivers together after having to choose the inside or outside lane for the restart and Vanderham apparently made the correct decision.

The drivers were then all in contention for the lead as they raced door-to-door, but as usual in that situation when no one wants to give up the position, things have a way of working out for themselves.

It was Koyle who got the nod as he got loose in turn three while riding in the far outside lane of the trio, bringing out the second caution of the race. Koyle then had to make the restart from the rear while Kincheloe exited the track and spent the remainder of the race in the pits.

“At the restart I elected to stay behind Ralph (Kincheloe),” Vanderham said. “Then Dan Koyle came up along side and the battle was on. But I saw an opening in turn two and took it.”

Vanderham’s problems were far from eliminated however, as Kevan Larson and Nick Lynch were quickly closing in with just 10 laps to go in the 40-lap race.

Lynch finessed his way around Larson on lap 33 and then set his sites on Vanderham. However, Lynch ran out of laps as Vanderham kept his foot to the floor, crossing the finish just a half truck length ahead of Lynch for the win.

“Early on tonight we were having troubles with the truck first being loose and then getting tight,” Vanderham said. “But for the main event, we were hooked up.”

Budweiser Grand Nationals driver Jerry Rice successfully fought off a persistent Louis Lopez to win the main event race and take over the points lead in the division. Rice made a key move at lap three, passing Lopez and Willie Dalton to assume the lead, but Lopez was not finished yet. Lopez shadowed Rice while Jerry McKean kept the pressure on Lopez as the three ran nose-to-tail for the remainder of the race. Rice refused to yield to however, holding off Lopez at every turn while going on to win his fourth main event of the season.

“There was no way I was going to the outside this week,” Rice said regarding his inside pass on Lopez. “We really wanted this win tonight.”

Randy Price had some bad racing luck on the evening as the motor of the No. 74 car expired before the main event race, eliminating him from the competition for the night.

NAPA Pony driver Jason Whited will enter the ‘Chase for the Championship’ July 29 in first place after sewing up the position with a win Saturday night. Whited closest competitors in the division, Lou Andersen and Josh Pitz, each had misfortunes in the main event race as they were caught up in separate incidences. Andersen, who was second in the point standings coming into the evening, received damage to the left-front door after making contact with another car in the aftermath of a four-car spin-out on lap one. Pitz was the next victim six laps later after going high in turn three trying to avoid a lap-car and going off the turn four embankment. Pitz then had to make his way into the pits to repair a flat tire but did manage a sixth place finish for the night while Andersen salvaged an eighth place showing. Kristi Fehringer edged Brent Fehringer for second and Shawn Nice had another strong run coming in fifth in the main event race.

Both Oliver Phipps and Bruce Henry needed good performances Saturday night in order to make it into the chase, but both drivers had disastrous outings. Phipps got together with Dustin Wilson in turn one of the heat race, pounded the wall as his hood flew off and flames emerged from the motor area of the car. Fortunately, Phipps was relatively unhurt, but his ride was finished for the evening, as seemingly were his chances to make it into the chase. Henry had his issues in the main event race, exiting the track after being involved in the lap-one incident. Ironically, both drivers ended up with the same point totals for the season and will both be eligible for the ‘chase.’

John Hoogendoorn was ‘robbed’ of a win in the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stock division race after guest driver of the No. 55 car Rob Vest, stole the lead from Hoogendoorn with four laps to go in the 25-lap race. Vest, a regular driver in the Pepsi Premier division, took advantage of a night off for the feature class to try his hand at a Thunder Stock car and earned the title of ‘Thunder-wacker’, which refers to the more experienced Nextel Cup drivers ‘stepping down’ to drive in a Busch Series race.

“I never even sat in the car before tonight,” Vest said. “But it was pretty fun – and the car actually handled good.”

Renee Lopez was crowned Queen Bee Champion for the 2006 season, capturing the title while winning her second main event race of the season. Misty Greco had held the lead up until lap five when a caution came out for a spin by the No. 8 car in the front stretch. Lopez took her position right next to Greco on the restart and quickly took the lead for herself and cruised to the win and season championship.

“I might give the warrior class try,” Lopez said regarding the question of moving up to a different division in the future. “But I’m not moving up to a different division. I like to spectate, I’d rather just sit and watch.”

Stroebel Puts Fork in Win at MVS

July 11th, 2006

Stroebel, who resides in Boise, did not begin making the trip to Twin Falls until June 10, but has had no problem whipping up good finishes at the Twin Falls track. Stroebel finished second in the July 1 Pepsi Premier after running solid races in his previous showings at MVS and it seemed to be only a matter of time before Stroebel would be making the trip to the winner’s circle.

But even more surprising, last Saturday night’s feature division event was only the eighteenth race of his career. Stroebel ran his first race less than a year ago August 6, 2005, at Meridian, but Stroebel has obviously quickly picked up a nack for the track.

The driver, of the No. 24 modified car patiently worked his way through the field after starting ninth in a field of 15 cars – but his toughest challenge was taking on the No. 9 car of Bobby Latham, who took the lead at lap 20 after Latham was able to break through a pack of cars who were holding their position several lengths behind the leaders.

Latham seemed to have the win wrapped up after leading for 26-laps, but Stroebel got just what he needed as Latham’s tires began to go away with four laps to go in the main event race.

“Once I got out into some clean air I pretty much though we had it won,” Latham said.

“I was running out there and I heard something coming – I figured it was another late model – but when I saw it was a modified I couldn’t believe it. A couple of weeks ago when they implemented the new tire rule – that late models only get one tire a week and the mods get as many as they want – when they have a new set every week and I have five races on my tires, the tires just go away – and you fall back.

I was racing hard but I guess I just didn’t have the right car tonight, Latham added.

Stroebel was able to stick on the outside lane, pass Latham and put a modified car in the winner’s circle for only the second time this season after Rob Vest captured the first modified win of the year June 20.

“It had a little bit of a push in the corner but all-in-all it obviously had enough to go to the front,” Stroebel said. “I was kind of battling back there for awhile but people started moving in-and-out – and that opened up some options. Then we were able to weave through traffic – stayed on the outside and it hooked up.”

Latham held on to finish second, while Mike Buddenhagen and Rob Vest, also driving modified cars, finished third and fourth respectively.

It was a good night for Josh Pitz, winning both the qualifying and the main events in the NAPA Pony Stock division races.

Pitz collected a half-track lead by lap 16 of the 30-lap main event race as the rest of the field fought to get around the No. 7 car of Shawn Nice – who stood his ground throughout the entire race to finish third. Jason Whited had the most success of those who started at the back of the field, working his way up to second at lap 24 and putting the pedal to the floor as he gave it his all trying to catch up to Pitz as the laps counted down to the checkered flag. But as often the case, a caution came out with six laps to go, erasing Pitz’ generous lead and putting Whited right along side him for the restart. Both drivers got a good jump on the rest of the field, but Pitz was able to grab hold of the inside lane forcing Whited to try and pass on the outside. But Pitz meant business this night, held his position and went on to win his second main event of the season.

Brian Lopez also captured his second main event win of 2006 as a similar scenario played out in the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stock main event race. Lopez garnered a half-track lead with less than 10-laps to go in the race, but a caution at lap 22 of the 25-lap race brought up a fast moving Jim Shirley along Lopez right-side door for a shoot-out to the checkered flag. The 17 year-old driver handled the pressure like an old pro however, and skillfully held off Shirley to take the win.

A red-flag situation at lap 10 delayed the race for several minutes as several cars got caught up in a wreck on the front stretch. The incident caused enough damage to the cars of Shiela Harms and Dusty Howell to eliminate them from the remainder of the race.

Ryan Bird scored a victory in the Legends Series cars after he flew around the cars of Brandon Burton and Kelly Van Cleve with 10 laps to go in the 25-lap main event race. Bird also netted the fastest qualifying time on the night with a 16.336.

To top off the night, the fans were treated to a roll-over contest between Adam York and Gary Wolf, who were willing to sacrifice their cars in name of entertainment. Launching the car up a ramp with the object of rolling over the car as many times as possible, both drivers put on a great show – but Wolf was hungrier and managed to propel the car off the ramp three times, accomplishing the goal of finishing off the car for good.

Good Things Come in Threes at MVS

July 3rd, 2006

Driving in the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series race, Bobby Latham quickly motored his No. 3 car up to third by lap six and took over the lead at lap 41. Despite pressure from the No. 01 car of Dennis Wurtz for the final 16-laps of the race, Latham held on to win his first RCMS event – and the elated driver was ambushed by his equally ecstatic crew members in the winner’s circle following the victory.

“It was a big win for us,” Latham said. “The car worked well tonight – even though we got a little loose at the end – but it held together.”

Chad Cannon, coming off a win at Meridian last weekend, held the lead through the first half of the race holding off the No. 44 car of Clint Eames while Latham fended off John Newhouse for the third position. The caution flag was then brought out on lap 38 after Matt Faulkner and Tom Hill spun into the infield grass between turns three and four. On the restart, Eames spun out in the backstretch, which brought out another caution and another restart. It was shortly thereafter that Cannon’s car went away and Latham took over the lead with Newhouse, David Minegar and Dennis Wurtz right behind. Wurtz made his way up to second with 16 laps to go in the race, but just could not get around the 21 year-old driver in the as Latham scored the win.

“My spotter was telling me that the No. 1 car was right behind me – and they said maybe he bumped me a couple of times – but I didn’t feel it,” Latham said.

David Minegar, the points leader coming into the night, put up a fast qualifying time of 14.284 and gathered more valuable points after finishing second in his heat race and coming away with a third place finish in the main event after starting ninth.

Bruce Quale, who stood second in the point standings coming into the event, had a mechanical failure in the heat race and hit the front stretch wall hard after a trailing arm bolt broke in the rear end of Quale’s car. Quale had qualified second in the time trials, and needed to somehow at least start the main event race in order to not have the night be a complete loss. It was then that T.J. Woodhall, who had planned on driving his Premier Series car in the RMCS race, generously loaned his car to Quale, who put in seven laps in the race before pulling into the pits.

After the conclusion of the race, Quale surveyed the damage to his RMCS car as it rested outside the car hauler.

“I’ve never had a failure like that happen in all these years,” Quale explained holding the sheared-off bolt in his hands.

Steve Jones made his way into the winner’s circle in his No. 3 Pepsi Premier Series car after starting eleventh in a field of 16 contenders. His toughest battle on the night was with modified driver Shelby Stroebel, as the two drivers fought side-by-side for the lead position for several laps. Jones then found his groove in the outside lane and left Stroebel behind after lap traffic came into play at lap 30 of the 50-lap main event race. A caution at lap 44 gave Jones some cause for concern as the pack was brought back together for the restart, but Jones was able to cash in on the win after quickly assuming the lead position and brought the car around home for his fourth win of the season in the feature division series.

“It was faster on the outside tonight,” Jones said. “And after last weekend, I also learned that Eddy McKean is a lot smarter than me. I went back to where he put it on the set-up and it worked a lot better,” Jones said of the McKean Motorsports built car.

T.J. Woodhall, who was last weekend’s feature division main event winner, worked his way up to a third place finish on the night after starting tenth.

“We moved up there pretty well tonight,” Woodhall said. “For a chicken, it wasn’t too bad.”

Brent Fehringer rode to his first win of the season in the NAPA Pony Stocks division main event race after holding off Randy Grubbs, who was back on track after major damage two weeks ago necessitated a total make over for the No. 26 car.

Fehringer started second in the 30-lap race and was able to prevail over both Grubbs and Jason Whited, who had finessed his way through traffic after starting at the rear of the field and recovering from an early race setback as he was involved in a tangle with Kristi Fehringer and Lou Andersen at lap six.

With Whited’s third place finish and Andersen’s sixth place showing for the night, the two drivers are now tied in the point standings with 358 points apiece.

Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stock driver Craig Nuthak chalked up his second main event win of the season, pulling off the victory after a last-minute sprint to the finish line as he battled Jim Shirley for the win. Nuthak’s wife Kamie had grabbed the lead up until lap 16 when she and Shiela Harms, who had been contending with Kamie Nuthak for most of the race, got loose – giving Jim Shirley the lead with Craig Nuthak right along side. The pair had to contend with lap traffic however, twice splitting the slower cars with Nuthak taking the outside and Shirley choosing the inside passing lanes. Craig Nuthak held his grip on the outside and was able to out-power Shirley in a dash to the checkered flag – giving Nuthak a split-second win in the 25-lap race.

Rocky Mountain Challenge Series Heads to Magic Valley for Round 6

July 1st, 2006

The Sharp Powdercoating Quick Time award went to Dave Minegar of Nampa, ID. with a new track record of 13.530. Minegar now owns track records at two of the three tracks the series runs.

The point lead was also swapped around after the Meridian race. Dave Minegar picks up the points lead over Bruce Quale by only 24 points. John Newhouse sits in third back by only 65 markers.

As the series rolls into Magic Valley Bruce Quale’s confidence level has got to rise. He has won many races and many championships at the venerable 1/3 mile. John Newhouse has to be licking his chops too. He’s getting a home field advantage. Newhouse has done very well in his long career at Magic Valley.

The leader in the Walker Stockcar Service rookie of the year award is Tyler Monroe. He holds a small advantage over Brian Wordelman. Tyler is a veteran even at the tender age of 16.

The action will be tight and the season points battle heats up in the NAPA Rocky Mountain Challenge Series. So come watch our brand of Late Model racing with a 20 car invert and plenty of racing action everywhere on the track.

Woodhall Delivers New Car to Winner’s Circle at MVS

June 26th, 2006

Although it was a very warm evening at the Magic Valley Speedway, Woodhall kept his cool during the 50-lap Pepsi Premier Series main event and took the newly-built Thompson Motorsports car to the winner’s circle in its initial race – although he had to work hard for the win.

Mike Greco, who won the qualifying event, started from the pole in the main event and led the field for the first 39-laps of the race. Cautions at laps 11 and 16 gave Woodhall a couple of chances to get past Greco, trying first from the outside lane and later the inside lane on the restarts. But try as he might, Woodhall just could not get around Greco and now had Steve Jones, who had worked his way up through the field after starting near the rear of the pack, to worry about.

Jones decided to see what he could do on the outside lane and quickly maneuvered his around both Woodhall and Greco, taking the lead with just 10-laps to go in the race.

“I wasn’t as fast as T.J., but he was kind of a chicken to get around Mike Greco,” Jones explained.

However Woodhall, realizing that the laps were counting down and it was now or never, took his cue from Jones and made his way around Greco at lap 42 – and then set his sights on the No. 3 car of Jones. Woodhall then used his new-found knowledge to pass Jones two laps later, taking the lead with just five-laps left to the checkered flag.

But it wasn’t over yet and as luck would have it, another caution came out just as Woodhall assumed the lead when the car of Rob Vest, who was running in fourth, took a side trip off the asphalt and into the infield grass as he came around turn four.

Woodhall now needed a good restart and got it, then stood his ground through the final laps to take brand-new late-model car into the winner’s circle virtually unscathed.

“Once I saw Jones get around Greco on the high side I thought, ‘If Jones can do it then I can do it,’ ” Woodhall said. “There’s a few tire marks and scratches on the car, but that’s racing.”

After giving Woodhall’s car its first small scratch, Jones wrote “#3 was here” next to the mark on the driver’s side door after the race so Woodhall could always remember who did the first bit of damage to the new car.

Jones, with a second place finish, takes over the points lead from Bobby Latham in the Premier Division standings.

Jerry McKean finally has that first win under his belt in the Budweiser Grand Nationals division after struggling for most of the season. Early in the race, Bill Manker had some bad racing luck after losing the left rear wheel of the car in the front stretch of the track. And as the car came to a rest on the infield grass, the wheel bounced its way through turn one, finally coming to a rest in the gravel off of turn two.

McKean took off on the restart leaving the rest of the field to fight their own battles – the biggest one happening between Jeff Meads and Louis Lopez for second position. Lopez made several attempts to pass Meads, but just could not make it happen as Meads denied Lopez’ advances in every turn. In the meantime, McKean cruised to the win and was very happy to finally have the monkey off his back.

“The wife and I worked on it the whole week and this is the best it’s ever been all year,” McKean said. “I was a good night, the car ran well. The car has all new parts and we just have to get all the parts to work together.”

In the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stock race, Brian Lopez passed Sheila Harms at lap seven then held on to win his first main event of the season. The 17 year-old extended his lead to half the track at one point and won the race by several car lengths over Craig Nuthak who had worked his way up through the field to finish second. With the runner-up finish, Nuthak holds on to the points lead in the division and has now harbored a fourteen point lead over Desi Ahrens who finished fourth in Saturday night’s race.

Pat Quinn, of Meridian, once again stole the show in the IRL Super Six race, taking the lead at lap 12 of the 30-lap main event race while leaving everyone but Jason Skyberg far behind. Quinn smoothly made his way around the one-third mile track and crossed the finish line first despite the efforts of Skyberg in the No. 20 car to spoil another Quinn victory.

Quinn was the winner last time out for the Super Sixes at Magic Valley Speedway April 29 and definitely has a good feel for the Twin Falls track.

“I kind of feel bad always winning,” Quinn said. “Well, I don’t feel that bad,” he said on second thought.

Grubbs Goes for Wild Ride on His Pony (Stock) at MVS

June 19th, 2006

A couple of cautions had the field scrambling for position early on the main event, but Randy Grubbs wanted it most and took things over at lap six. At lap 17 however, Lou Andersen snuck under Grubbs as he struggled to make his way around a slower car in front of him, and was able to hold off a hard charging Josh Pitz for the win.

Just after Andersen crossed the finish line, a battle was ensuing behind him as several drivers saw a last minute chance to improve their finish.

It was then that Grubbs and another car made contact just under the flag stand, sending Grubbs into the barriers – riding along on two wheels for several yards and then flipping over onto its roof. The No. 26 car scraped along the asphalt with sparks flying for several more yards, finally coming to a rest just before turn one.

Safety crews were right on the scene, and Grubbs crawled out of the still wrong side-up car to the cheers of the fans.

“It was exciting but spooky,” Grubbs said in the pits after having loaded the damaged car into his trailer. “I climbed the wall and went upside down, and I thought, ‘this isn’t going to be good’.”

Fortunately Grubbs was able to walk away, but the Pony Stock car has definitely seen better days. Hopefully Grubbs can get things back together after a scheduled week off for the Pony Stocks this Saturday.

“It will be time and money,” Grubbs said.

Kenny Vanderham and Doc Stevens each wanted the lead early in the Intermountain Pro Trucks race, but it was Vanderham who was able to cross the scoring line just ahead of Stevens at each of the first five laps. Trent Bell, driving the ‘Q’ truck, took advantage of the first restart which occurred at lap five and powered his way around both Vanderham and Stevens. Bell held the lead for all but one of the next 18 laps but Kevan Larson, who started the race towards the back of the field and had caught up to Bell at this point, made his move in turn three, passing Bell on the inside and taking over the lead.

“Trent (Bell) was running well tonight but I was able to stick the nose of underneath him and get around,” Larson said. “I figured I’d better make my move while I could.”

Even after the goal of taking the lead was accomplished however, Larson was anything but home free, knowing very well that he had the lead late in the race two weeks ago but had to settle for second after he was passed with two laps to go in the race. This time it was the 99 truck of Ralph Kincheloe who was chasing Larson and lap traffic had also come into play with just five laps to go in the race. Larson was not about to be outdone this time however, picking his way neatly through traffic as the rookie went on to win his first main event ever.

Kevan Larson’s father Alan Larson, who finished fifth in the race, then gave son Kevan some heartwarming congratulations in the winner’s circle on this Father’s Day eve.

Jeff Meads captured his second win of the season in the Budweiser Grand Nationals division and also extended his lead in the points standings while doing so.

Jerry McKean maintained the lead through the first 17 laps of the 35-lap main event race but was forced to contend with Meads on the restart after the first caution of the race came out when the car of Terry Lydell went off the turn four embankment. Meads, who was already catching up to McKean at that point, took the high-line restart and was able to get around McKean and took over from there. Another quick caution had McKean giving it a try on the high groove, but it was lonely at the top this time out as all the other drivers chose the low side. Meads once again took over – but brought Jerry Rice and Louis Lopez along with him. The three knocked at each other’s back doors for a few laps but Meads refused to answer and was once again able to accept the win from victory lane.

“I felt someone behind me, although I didn’t know who it was,” Meads said. “I thought it was either Rice or Lopez, but I definitely felt the heat. I got touched by one of them – and I knew I had to step it up. With the yellows it’s hard to get a rhythm going. The longer runs usually help me.”

Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stock driver Jim Shirley became the first repeat winner of the season in the division, after taking the lead from Jim Howard at lap 13. Shirley bobbled in turn two earlier in the race but was able to recover and pass race leader Howard at lap 13. It was not an easy pass for Shirley however, as Howard fought for the position with Shirley for several laps not wanting to give anything up. Craig Nuthak was able to edge Howard at the last second for the runner-up position and Desi Ahrens, who also worked his way up from the back of the field along with Nuthak, finished fourth just behind Howard.

Renee Lopez was the winner of Saturday night’s Queen Bee race, although Misty Greco led the most laps in the 20-lap event. Greco jumped out to an early lead but lap traffic with five lap left in the race gave Heather Todd the chance to challenge Greco for the position. The two touched in turn three, sending Greco down the embankment. Both drivers remained in the race, but were sent to the back of the field for the restart. Lopez now found herself in the lead and held on to win her first main event of the season.

As incentive this night, each race winner was given a rolling tool box or work bench courtesy of Sears who has been a long-time promoter of the Magic Valley Speedway.

MVS Action Brings Out New, Repeat Winners

June 12th, 2006

Alan Larson had the lead early in the 50-lap Pepsi Premier division main event race but David Patrick soon had enough of that and passed Larson for the lead on lap four.

But what goes around comes around, and Norm Hatke decided it was his turn to take over after a caution on lap 19 forced a restart. The caution flag was brought out when the left-front quarter panel sheet metal that was precariously hanging from the 19 car of Bruce Quale for several laps after contact with the No. 8 car of Sam Harris earlier in the race, finally let go.

This gave Hatke all he needed, and he stormed on through the race without ever giving up the lead himself.

“The car was very, very good tonight, Hatke said. “We had little bit of a different set up tonight, and it seemed to work, the car was awesome.”

Rob Vest wove his way through the field after starting eleventh and also took advantage of was what to be the only caution in the 50-lap race, taking over second spot on lap 20, but the No. 3 car of Steve Jones quickly moved in behind him. The two played it out for several laps, but Vest was able to win the game, disregarding a couple of taps from Jones along the way as he tried to maintain his position in front of Jones.

About this time Jones had a new problem on his hands, as Bruce Quale had shed his earlier issues and moved into position to pounce on Jones as soon as he had his chance.

Quale’s chance came at lap 34 where he took over the second spot, after having started at the rear of the field for the start of the feature division race. Bobby Latham was able to get around Jones a couple of laps later, having worked his way up from the 14th starting position and ended up finishing fourth.

“The car wasn’t handling that well but were able to stay up front,” Vest said after his runner-up finish in the main event race. “There were a couple of bumps from behind – just like the good old times – but they were just little taps.”

The Budweiser Grand Nationals were back in action after a couple of weeks off and a rain-out brought them back to the track to see who had made use the best of their time off.

Quickly the race turned ugly, however, with several cars tangling up in turn four on the first lap and sending Jerry McKean, who had been experiencing mechanical troubles all night, to the pits. The field was put back together for the restart and Ernie Hall packed up and left the rest of the field to fight it out for themselves. Willie Dalton settled in for second position -although several lengths behind Hall – while everyone else was kept in a tightly knit bunch for the next few laps.

At lap five, Rice pulled out the trick play and was able to get around Bill Manker, Terrance O’Brien and Randy Price with one swift move in turn three. Having the goal line in mind, Rice passed Hall on lap 13 and powered his way to the finish line without ever being touched. Lap traffic with five laps left in the race gave Rice some cause for concern, but he was able to keep the 55 car of Louis Lopez, who put on a last minute surge to try and catch Rice, behind him.

“Two wins in one year, I can’t believe it,” Rice said. “I hope the car stays just like it is now -‘cause it’s fast.”

Jason Whited came from the rear of the pack to overtake Dustin Wilson with five laps to go in the main event race. Wilson, who had held the lead for 25 of the 30 lap contest, yielded to Whited on lap 26 after a late race caution erased the lead that Wilson had built for himself. Whited went on to capture his third main event win of the season, along with his second victory in a row.

It was the caution at lap 25 that allowed Whited to fulfill his destiny for the night after he had worked his way up to second when the first and only yellow flag of the race came out. Wilson then had to deal with Whited at the restart late in the race, knowing that Whited has been hot lately. Sure enough, Whited took control and won the main event by several lengths and with the win, takes over the points lead.

Wilson mustered a second place finish as he was able to hold off a hard-charging Josh Pitz at the end.

Lou Andersen, who had been on top in the point standings going into the race, finished sixth.

Photo: Norm Hatke, who is introduced to the crowd as the driver of the No. 1 Pepsi Premier Division car, proved he was number one – winning his first race of the season at the Magic Valley Speedway Saturday night.

Once, Twice, Three Times a Winner

June 5th, 2006

Jones cashed in on the win after working his way up from ninth starting position, quietly sneaking his way up to second by lap 13 but then Jones had to contend with Bruce Quale, who was driving the number 19 car of McKean Motorsports for the night. Jones was able to take over the lead from Quale on lap 18 and held on for the remainder of the race despite five more caution flags which forced restarts putting Quale right back up with Jones.

“I was going to hang out there and just ride for awhile but I knew there was going to be some wrecks coming – so I just wanted to get away,” Jones said. “I got mired up in those the last couple of weeks so I just wanted to get out of it,” he added.

Stay out of it he did, and with the win, Jones closed in to just four points in the point standings on leader Bobby Latham, who finished third just behind Quale.

Mike Greco and Rick Van Vooren, who each had a particularly difficult weekend last time out, finished fifth and ninth respectively. Van Vooren showed off the No. 6 car which received a complete make-over during the past two weeks and avoided any major mishaps during the race.

Jones also announced that he will be driving in the Pepsi 125 Northwest Tour Series race at the Magic Valley Speedway June 10.

Intermountain Pro Truck driver Mel Radmall made the trip to the winner’s circle after passing Kevan Larson in the final laps of the 40 lap main event race.

Early in the race, Larson assumed the lead and was able to pull away from the rest of the field leaving a pack of trucks behind him fighting for position.

Although a couple of cautions drew the pack back together for restarts, Larson was able to get out in front once again and looked to have the win sewn up. Radmall, however, had other ideas. Radmall kept the pressure on Larson throughout the final five laps until he was able to make the pass on Larson at lap 38, capturing his first win of the season.

Alan Larson, father of Kevan Larson, was able to pull out a third place finish which will keep him in the lead in the overall point standings with their next race scheduled for June 17, again at the Magic Valley Speedway.

Jason Whited started from ninth position in the NAPA Pony Stocks 30-lap main event but determinedly fought his way towards the front to win his second race of the season. Whited was able to get up to second by lap 16 which then triggered a fierce battle with leader John Urie. The two fought neck-and-neck for the remainder of the race as Whited did everything he could to get around Urie, who was not about to give an inch.

“He (Urie) put up a heck-of a fight,” Whited said. “I was a little quicker through the corners but he sure didn’t want to give up first – and I can’t blame him, I would want to either.”

Whited finally was able to make the pass on the front stretch with just two laps to go in the race and held on for the win. With the victory, Whited has narrowed the gap in the point standings to only two behind leader Lou Andersen who finished fifth in the race.

Another new driver made it into Victory Lane in the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks as Louis Lopez, who took over driving duties for son Brian for the night, overtook Vinny Evans in another race in which saw a last minute pass for the win.

Evans quickly found himself all alone in the lead early in the race as the rest of the field struggled to get around the cars of Steve Edens and Mike Dawson. As Evans seemed to be zeroing in on the win – Lopez made a bold move the front stretch with three laps to go, passing Evans to take over the lead. Craig Nuthak, who had carefully worked his way through the field by this time, edged out Evans for second.

Photo: Steve Jones (3) passes Bruce Quale on the outside lane of the backstretch at lap 18 of the 50-lap Pepsi Premier Series main event race Saturday night at the Magic Valley Speedway. Jones held onto the lead to capture his third win of the season.

Double the Mains, Double the Pains at MVS

May 22nd, 2006

After winning the qualifying race, 2005 Premier division champion Rob Vest started on the pole position and maintained the lead through the first sixteen laps before Eddy McKean was able to catch up to him. A caution at lap 17 for Mike Greco, who lost an axle during the race, put Vest and McKean right along side each other for the restart and three more cautions within the next 23 laps would keep putting Vest and McKean side-by-side to battle for the lead until McKean had to leave the track with a flat tire after running over some debris.

It was after the sixth restart that Bruce Quale, who was driving a McKean Motorsports car, was racing along side Bobby Latham for second when he got jammed into the front stretch wall beginning in turn four and finally coming to a rest in turn one – only after causing major damage to his car which was towed off the track and would not return for the remainder of the night.

“I got tangled up with (Quale) – and I just one little doughnut on the side of my car and I guess they thought I was involved – I guess they said I was involved,” said Latham of the wreck at lap forty. Latham did, however, manage a sixth place finish in the shortened race.

After another restart with just nine laps left in what was originally scheduled as a 50-lap race, David Patrick spun in turn four and sat on the track as the hard charging field came towards him.

As everyone tried to avoid Patrick, chaos consumed the field but Vest, driving a modified car, somehow managed to get across the finish line first and the race was called due to time constraints.

“Man, I’m glad that one is over,” Vest reported from the winner’s circle. “There were a lot of torn up cars tonight but that’s what you get for having fenders,” he said referring to the late-model cars which received the majority of the damage in the race.

The second main event race was won by Bobby Latham after thirteen cars managed to take the green flag for the start of the race.

It was on lap four when Rick Van Vooren, driving the No. 6 modified car, caused the biggest scare of the night. Van Vooren virtually flew of the turn three embankment and rolled four times before coming to a rest wheels-up in the dirt.

Van Vooren was not injured but he was definitely through for the night.

“It started getting loose and I looked down and there was someone down below so I thought I could steer it off between three and four and it whipped on me,” Van Vooren said. “I was suspended upside down and I was mad but I swear by the safety equipment on these things.”

Once the race got underway again Eddy McKean, driving the No. 19 car, took over the lead and was able to maintain his position until Latham was able to get around McKean at lap 32.

Although a couple more cautions put Latham and McKean right back together for the restarts with less than ten laps left in the race, Latham was able to out-power McKean to take the checkered flag by what was several car lengths at the end of the race at lap 50.

“We were leading the race and then the yellow comes out and puts us back nose to tail,” Latham said. “But I just tried to remain cool and drive the wheels off of it – get a good restart and get to work. My car was awesome tonight.”

McKean suffered mechanical problems in the second event in a car they had just barely finished putting together for the Saturday night race.

“In the second race we lost the rear end,” McKean said. “It just started going away and going away.”

After two weeks off, the NAPA Pony Stocks delivered a field of fourteen cars for the 30-lap main event race with Josh Pitz earning the trip to the winner’s circle for the night. Pitz ran a strong race as he began from ninth position but worked his way up to the lead by lap seven. Lap traffic at lap twenty and a hard-charging Jason Whited gave Pitz plenty of cause for concern in the final five laps but Pitz maintained his composure to capture his first win of the season.

Jim Howard became the fifth different winner of the season in the Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stock division race. Howard took off from the pole position for the main event and quickly gained a big lead leaving the rest of the field tied up in traffic. Craig Nuthak and Jim Shirley were able to break free from the crowd about mid-race, but Howard never let up and crossed the start-finish line several car lengths ahead of Nuthak and Shirley who were battling for second. Nuthak narrowly held off Shirley who had made his way up from the rear of the field in the 25-lap race to take the runner-up finish.

The Legends main event race began with the 11x car of Eldon Cahill in the lead, but Lee Hackney of Boise took charge at lap three after Cahill lost power on the first lap. Hackney then had to contend with Dennis Sonius, who put constant pressure on Hackney for the next 13 laps, but didn’t have quite enough to get around the No. 9 car and it was Hackney who was first to the checkered flag.

Photo: Rick Van Vooren (6) and several others get tangled up in what ended up to be the final lap in a shortened main event races for the Pepsi Premier Series at Magic Valley Speedway May 20. This was the first of two main event races for the Premier Series which saw its share of damaged vehicles on the night.

Newhouse, Quale Deliver at Home Track

May 15th, 2006

Newhouse and Quale then ended up delivering the one-two punch at their hometown track finishing first and second respectively in the 75-lap main event race.

At lap 40, Newhouse, who started in eighth position and Quale, who started seventh, built up a significant lead over the rest of the field and within another 10 laps Newhouse had extended his lead over Quale.

The first real test for Newhouse came at lap 71 when a caution eliminated Newhouse’s substantial lead as the pack was put back together for the restart. Newhouse was able to get a good jump however, and was working on extending his lead over Quale when another caution flag flew at lap 73.

“That was a little nerve wracking,” Newhouse said. But we figured if we could get a car length or so on the restart we’d be O.K. We had a good car tonight.”

Newhouse was again strong on the restart facing just two laps left in the race as he pulled away from Quale. Quale was then left to battle with Chris Ratterree, who was looking at his last chance to pull out a second place finish.

“He (Ratterree) bumped me a little bit but let me get straight without wacking too hard,” Quale said. But that’s what they’re supposed to do – is give me a little bit of rattling. I was just trying to hold on to second.”

Newhouse and Quale keep finding themselves next to each other no matter how far they’ve traveled.

“John reminded me that the first time we raced here we were second and third, then fourth and fifth at Salt Lake and now first and second tonight,” Quale said. “It looks like we’re buddies.”

Newhouse has extended his lead over Quale by 42 points over Quale as they head into the next race on the circuit which will be held at Rocky Mountain Raceway in Salt Lake City, Utah, Memorial Day weekend.

“We generally run well there,” Newhouse said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

In the Budweiser Grand National division race, Louis Lopez, who has been plagued with mechanical problems since the beginning of the season, seemed to have the bugs worked out Saturday night as he pulled away from the field early in the main event and into the winner’s circle for the first time this year.

The only caution in the 40-lap race came at lap 35 as Ernie Hall went off the turn-three banking and Lopez saw his substantial lead erased as the pack was tightened up for the restart.

“At first I thought “darn,”" Lopez said regarding the late-race caution. “But I thought ya know, this will make it a better race, it will look better for everybody else – and it worked out really well.”

Jeffrey Meads had lined himself up directly behind Lopez on the inside lane for the restart with Jerry McKean taking the outside lane. Meads was then able to make a run at Lopez, but didn’t have quite enough as Lopez was able to hang on for the win to add to his 38th birthday celebration.

Kamie Nuthak topped off a win in the qualifying race with her first win of the season in a Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stock division main event. Nuthak started from the pole position and led the field the entire race which was filled with plenty of spins, but no cautions. A wreck at the start-finish line involving the no. 77 of Michelle Rouse and the No. 11 of Joe Philips did however, give the safety crew plenty to do.

Saturday night was the debut race of the 2006 season for the Quale’s Electronics Queen Bee division which saw Heather Todd capture the main event win. Renee Lopez was behind Todd the entire race and gave several intensive tries to get around her, but Lopez had to settle for a second place finish.

Photo: (Linda Brittsan) With just four laps to go in the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series race at the Magic Valley Speedway last Saturday night, John Newhouse (26) and Bruce Quale run in first and second position at their hometown track. The pair held on to finish one-two despite another caution at lap 73.

Latham Spoils Jones’ Bid for Three-peat at MVS

May 8th, 2006

Latham began the race at the rear of another record field of Premier division cars -16 in all – for the 50-lap main event. Mike Greco took the lead from Sam Harris, Jr., on lap four with Rob Vest moving up to third by lap nine. Meanwhile, Latham was stuck in traffic as Greco stretched out his lead and Vest coming on strong. When the first caution of the night occurred on lap 19 Latham had made his way up to eighth but still had plenty of work in front of him.

It was the caution on lap 27 that put Latham in the driver’s seat.

“It seemed like until lap 25 or 30 that the leaders were a half a lap ahead of me,” Latham said. “Then the caution came out – yeah, definitely, it was something I wanted to see.”

The restart then put Latham right up with race leader Greco and Jones who had by then worked his way up to second. Latham chose to take the high line on the track right behind Jones with Vest following Greco. By lap 32 the race became a battle for first between Latham and Jones with Latham taking the lead from eight laps to go. Although a few more cautions in the final laps kept Jones right behind Latham, Latham proved he had the stronger car for the night.

Latham’s first win of the season came after some successful testing at the speedway earlier in the week.

“We made some really good changes this last week, we came out and tested and threw in a whole new suspension set up. We knew we had a good car, and obviously it was the best here tonight. It seemed Jones’ car was starting to go away so I switched to the high side and my car held.”

Jones, who won the previous two main events at MVS, holds on to the lead in the point standings with the second place finish for the night, but by a meager two points.

“My car was fast but then it started pushing and got slower,” Jones said. “I knew I was just a sitting duck for Bobby and one way or another he was going to get around me. I was trying to make my car as wide and ominous as possible – but he did a good job tonight.”

Mike Greco came to the checkered flag in third, his best finish in the series to date.

The highest finishing modified car was that of TJ Woodhall, who was involved in some pre-race testing earlier in the week which resulted in a change in the weight restrictions for the modified class finished just behind Greco.

“I finished fourth – it was three late models and then me,” Woodhall said after the race. “There was a difference but I still don’t think we’re fast enough, he added.

Jerry Rice had a perfect night in The Budweiser Grand National division winning both the qualifying and the main event races. Rice quickly took off to a half-track lead leaving Jerry McKean and Jeffrey Meads to battle it out for second. A wreck on the front stretch involving the cars of Ernie Hall and Chris Meads with just nine laps left in the race stopped the action on the track as the 26 car briefly caught fire. Although driver Chris Meads did not sustain any injuries, his car was out for the night. Rice went on to the win after holding off a challenge from Jeffrey Meads in the final laps.

“I knew I had a fairly good size lead when the caution came out,” Rice said. “But when I saw the No. 1 car pull up along side me for the restart I was a little concerned. But my car was really on tonight. It was fun.”

Louis Lopez, last year’s Grand Nationals champion, continues to have mechanical problems and was not able to make it into the main event race.

The Warriors battled with 19 cars taking the track for their first race of the season. The 98 of Ken Jensen and the 68 of Cory Rutledge fought for first position over the first dozen laps but Jensen worked himself into a comfortable lead by lap 15. A wreck involving Rutledge and the 55x car of Chad Hall forced the race to come down to a green/white/checkered finish – with Jensen holding off Dan DeBoer who had moved up to second.

Jeff Keller, of Salt Lake City, Utah was first to the checkered flag in the Intermountain Pro-4 division race. Keller took the lead on lap five from Scott Cook and was not challenged for the lead until Kurt Madsen was able to make up some ground on Keller with less than five laps to go. However, Keller was able to stay in front of Madsen to make the trip to the winner’s circle.

Photo: Bobby Latham (9) takes over the lead late in the 50-lap main event to capture his first win of the season in the Pepsi Premier Division at the Magic Valley Speedway (Linda Brittsan)

Meads Undercuts Price for Grand National Win

May 1st, 2006

“I knew he was getting a little loose and I knew when he gets loose he pushes up a little bit,” Meads said. “We had a lot of good bite on the bottom though. I had to bide a little bit of time – I didn’t have much – but he just missed one and I was able to get underneath him and I just stayed with it.”

Price, who was on his way to his first main event win, started from the pole position but almost immediately had his hands full as a pack of cars consisting of Jerry Rice, Jerry McKean, Louis Lopez and Meads, each believing they had the faster car, wrangled for second position directly behind Price.

The four drivers shuffled back-and-forth for the position as the fans loudly cheered them on at every lap. It was Meads, however, who was in the right place at the right time.

“I thought I had enough car to hold him off,” Price said. “But then I found some water on the track and slid up. Then I saw Jeff and I thought “Oh no, no way”. I didn’t want to let him take it away from me when I was that close. But it’s O.K., it’s only round one. I’m going to win a main, we’re really close.”

Kristi Fehringer was the third different driver in three weeks to be first to the checkered flag in the Pony Stock Division. Fehringer took the lead at lap two, but it was anything but a cruise to the win for Fehringer as a caution with nine laps to go in the race packed the field back together. Fehringer, Josh Pitz and Fehringer’s husband Brent Fehringer – who were running one-two-three — chose the inside lane for the restart as Jason Whited, who was running in fourth, went to the outside lane. Whited was able to pass Brent Fehringer for a third place finish as Josh Pitz held on for second. “It (the car) was a little loose coming out of the corners, but I can deal with loose,” Kristi Fehringer reported from the winner’s circle.

John Hoogendoorn also held the lead for several laps in the main event race for the Thunder Stocks, but after former Magic Valley Speedway champion Desi Ahrens managed to somewhat roughly get around the car of Michelle Rouse, the pressure was on Hoogendoorn. Ahrens managed to pass Hoogendoorn to take the lead at lap 16 and held Hoogendoorn off to take the win. Last week’s main event winner, Jim Shirley, left the track on lap 19 with mechanical problems. Rookie Jim Howard finished third to garner his best finish in the division to date.

Pat Quinn of Meridian had started in tenth position for the 30-lap main event race in the Super Six Series but quickly moved up to lead at lap 11. Quinn, who won two of three races held at the Magic Valley Speedway last season, clearly has the Twin Falls track figured out.

“I had a good set up tonight,” Quinn said. “This is a great track. There’s room to pass – this is one of the best places we race.”
Jason Skyberg finished closest to Quinn, coming in second.

Jones Does It Again

April 24th, 2006

While Wartluft had his hands full in a back-and-forth battle for the lead with Norm Hatke for the first 36 laps, Jones had determinedly worked his way up to third after having started from seventh position. It was on lap 41 when Jones found himself directly behind the leader Wartluft which sent the eight tightly packed cars bumping and scrambling for position.

“He (Jones) got into the back of me a little and got me sideways,” Wartluft said. “My back tires had gotten too warm and caused me to get loose. At least it didn’t bring out the caution and we were able to salvage a good finish.”

Wartluft was able to maintain control of his vehicle but found himself in fifth position, eventually crossing the finish line in sixth.

“I hit him, (Wartluft) oh yeah,” Jones said after the race. “He was getting a little slower and I got into him. I probably didn’t have the fastest car tonight – it was a lot of luck. But think this was the most fun racing I’ve had since the track was dirt.”

Bobby Latham made his way through the jam to go on to a second place finish, with Eddy McKean following in third. The Jones, Latham, McKean order of finish is the second occasion in as many weeks of racing.

Wayne Gunderson maintained a huge lead the first 10 laps of the InterMountain Pro Race Trucks main event race but Dan Koyle of Filer quickly moved up from his seventh starting position and was able to pass Gunderson by lap 15. Kenny Vanderham and Alan Larson were also able to maneuver their way through the field and challenged Koyle after a caution tightened up things between the three drivers even with just four laps to go.

Koyle was able to hold on for the win in the Pro Truck’s first race of season with Vanderham closely in tow across the finish line.

“I thought the 12 (Vanderham) was attached to me,” Koyle said. “Everything was good until about lap 30 – then I was getting loose – it was all I could do to keep it down there.”

The Pony Stock division saw 13 cars do battle in a 30-lap main event with Lou Andersen making the trip to the winners circle. Randy Grubbs held the lead from the pole for the first 23 laps but Andersen proved he had the stronger car as he made his way from his tenth starting position to first by lap 24. Jason Whited, last weeks main event winner, finished third and is now second in the point standings behind Andersen.

Rookie Brian Lopez established a large lead over the rest of the field for the majority of the main event race, but a caution on lap 18 put veterans Desi Ahrens ,Jim Shirley and Craig Nuthak right with Lopez with just seven laps remaining. Jim Shirley was able to take the lead on lap 21 en route to his first main event win of the season.

Lopez was the winner in the second to win race, after a stand-off at the finish line by Jim Howard created a drag race between Lopez and Vinny Evans. Lopez crossed just ahead of Evans to come in second, to win.

Photo: Steve Jones (3) takes the lead on lap 41of the 50-lap main event race as he gets past Norm Hatke (50) Harold Wartluft (52) and Bobby Latham. Jones won the event, his second win in two weeks at the Magic valley Speedway.

Hill is King in RMCS Opener

April 18th, 2006

Former NASCAR Northwest Series champion John Dillon put down the fastest lap in qualifying and scored his third career series Pole Award. Brandon Riehl made the long tow to Twin Falls and posted the second best time with Sharp, Bryan Warf, and James Eaton rounding out the top five qualifiers for the 75-lap feature event.

New to the racing format this year for the RMCS is the inclusion of heat races for all events under 100 laps. Clint Eames, James Eaton, and Dave Minegar all claimed victories in the 12-lap sprints.

The NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series inverts the full field for all of their races putting fast qualifier Dillon at the rear and Chris Ratterree at the point to start the race. Ratterree was making his first start in the series after spending the last several years as car chief and fabricator for Dillon Racing.

Ratterree had a fast car despite his poor qualifying effort and quickly set a torrid pace leading the first half of the race with Minegar and Hill in tow. Ratterree survived three early cautions for spins to keep his ESI sponsored Chevrolet at the point but lost lead after contact in turn one when he and Minegar tried to occupy the same piece of real estate. The contact on lap 45 saw both front runners spin and collect championship hopeful James Eaton.

All three cars were able to continue but had to drop to the back of the field for the restart. Tom Hill assumed the lead and paced the field for the final thirty circuits despite a determined challenge from John Newhouse. Newhouse tried every which way from Sunday to get around Hill but Hill slammed the door at each attempt.

While Hill had his hands full of Newhouse, Bruce Quale quietly drove a deliberate race in his fourth start in the series. The former Magic Valley Speedway champion has his sights set on a championship run this season in the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series and knows that he has to finish and finish consistently in order to contend.

“We had a good run and the car was fantastic,” Quale said. “I enjoy racing and I love racing at Magic Valley. To finish up front tonight is a big momentum boost for our season.”

Continuing to show why he is a two-time champion of the series, Zan Sharp used patience to make his way to the front to score is 18th top-five finish with a fourth place effort. “It was the first race of the year so we were all trying to sort our cars out,” Sharp said. “We aim to win each time out but when you can finish in the top five after starting out back you know you have had a good night.”

Ratterree, Eaton and Minegar all made their way back into the top ten by the time Hill crossed the finish line giving them all a little redemption after a tough night of racing contact.

Hill claimed his first victory in his 23rd start. “I have worked for a long-time to get to victory lane,” Hill said. “Over the final laps all I could think about is last year when Zan (Sharp) got around me on the last lap at Meridian. I was determined to not make the same mistake. John (Newhouse) drove me clean and I thank him for that. This is just a great feeling and I couldn’t be happier to share this win with may dad and the whole team.”

Finishing second may be disappointing but still satisfying for Newhouse. ” I knew I had a faster car than Tom,” Newhouse said. “But as the saying goes, being faster and passing someone is a different story. I was not going to root him to get the win and my hats off to Tom as he drove a great race.”

Sharp left Magic Valley Speedway with the point lead as the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series awards passing points based on original starting position for each competitor. Even though Sharp has the point lead it will not last long as he intends on running only a partial schedule while he focuses on a full assault on the Northwest Series.

The other big winner of the evening were the loyal fans of Magic Valley Speedway. 2006 Promoter of the Year Steve York continues to make MVS the destination for racing action in the region. York and his faithful staff and sponsored had new lighting installed over the winter giving the race track and extremely bright future.

The next event for the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is Saturday, May 6 at Rocky Mountain Raceway in Salt Lake City, Utah. For all the latest news and information regarding the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series please log onto www.rockymountainchallengeseries.com

Official Finish of the NAPA Auto Parts “75″
Magic Valley Speedway
Twin Falls, Idaho
Saturday, April 15, 2006

Finish/Start/Driver/Laps/Status

1. (3) Tom Hill, 75, Running
2. (8) John Newhouse, 75, Running
3. (6) Bruce Quale, 75, Running
4. (14) Zan Sharp, 75, Running
5. (1) Chris Ratterree, 75, Running
6. (12) James Eaton, 75, Running
7. (2) Dave Minegar, 75, Running
8. (16) John Dillon, 75, Running
9. (5) Chad Cannon, 75, Running
10. (9) Joe Miller, 75, Running
11. (13) Bryan Warf, 75, Running
12. (7) Dennis Wurtz Jr., 75, Running
13. (4) John Wood, 75, Running
14. (17) Scott Walker, 75, Running
15. (18) Chris Schrade, 74, Running
16. (19) Bryan Wordelman, 74, Running
17. (11) Eddy McKean, 73, Running
18. (10) Clint Eames, 49, Suspension
19. (15) Brandon Riehl, 1, Clutch

Top Five Point Standings as of April 15, 2006

1. Zan Sharp, 187
2. John Newhouse, 181
3. Tom Hill, 168
4. James Eaton, 167
5. Bruce Quale, 165

Hill, Jones Star in Opener at Magic Valley

April 17th, 2006

At the finish however, it was Tom Hill of Eagle who was the one to make the trip to the winner’s circle.

Hill, who started in third position for the 75-lap race, inherited the lead on lap 46 after race leader Chris Ratterree and David Menegar, who was contesting Ratterree for the lead, made contact on a restart, bringing out the caution flag and sending the pair to the rear of the field. Hill was able to hold off Twin Falls driver John Newhouse, who gave Hill some gentle reminders that he was right on his tail for the remainder of the race.

“John (Newhouse) may have been faster than me, but he raced me clean,” Hill said. “I was a little worried about him because he’s an aggressive and competitive driver – but I was able to hold him off.” It was not only Hill’s first win of the season but his first main event win ever, and the driver was clearly excited to put that first win under his belt.

Newhouse finished second and was pleased to put in a good night at his hometown track.

“We raced well but we had to settle for second,” Newhouse said. “But right now we’re looking at points and we did well with that tonight.”

Bruce Quale, also racing at his hometown track, came through with an impressive third place finish as he competes for his first full season with the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series circuit.

Jerome driver Eddy McKean, who finished third in the Premier Series race earlier that evening, placed seventeenth after having to exit the track at lap 44 to make repairs to his car.

Local division racing

Steve Jones tailed pole sitter Harold Wartluft for 19 laps before taking the lead on lap 20 and held on to win the Pepsi Premier division main event race.

Jones, who was making his debut in a brand-new late-model car, maintained a several car length lead over Bobby Latham III the final 28 laps to take the checkered flag in the opening night race. Wartluft was involved in a spin coming out of turn one shortly after Jones took the lead, sending him to the back of the pack and wound up with a fifth place finish.

Jones finished second in the 2005 point standings in a modified car last season, and the transition to the late-model type vehicle seems to be working out well.

“It’s a whole different feel,” Jones said. “But I’m very happy with it, they did a great job at the shop on it. It’s still racing, and it’s still all about getting the checkered flag.”

Jason Whited lead the entire race from his pole position start in the Pony Stock division main event to make the trip to the winner’s circle after successfully holding off a late race charge from last season’s champion Lou Andersen. Lap traffic on lap 20 allowed Andersen to close in on Whited but Andersen ran out of laps as the checkered flag fell for Whited in the 30-lap contest with Andersen settling for second. Shawn Nice, who has not raced at the Magic Valley Speedway for several seasons, came through with a third place showing.

It was a fight to the finish in the Thunder Stock main event as Craig Nuthak and Jim Shirley battled for the lead the entire race. Shirley made numerous attempts to pass Nuthak on the outside during the 25 lap main event but Nuthak held steady and went on to capture the first win of the season for the division under a yellow-checkered finish.

A collision involving the cars of Brian Lopez, Kamie Nuthak and Jim Howard in turn four had brought out the caution with one lap remaining in the race.

Results:

Rocky Mountain Challenge Series – 1. Tom Hill; 2. John Newhouse; 3. Bruce Quale; 4. Zan Sharp; 5. Chris Ratterree.

Pepsi Premier Series – 1. Steve Jones; 2. Bobby Latham; 3. Eddy McKean; 4. David Patrick; 5. Harold Wartluft.

NAPA Pony Stocks – 1. Jason Whited; 2. Lou Andersen; 3. Josh Pitz; 4. John Urie; 5. Brent Fehringer.

Magic Valley Pipe Thunder Stocks – 1. Craig Nuthak; 2. Jim Shirley; 3. Desi Ahrens; 4. John Hoogendoorn; 5. Jim Howard.

NAPA RMCS Ready for Third Year of Competition

April 12th, 2006

Sharp will not defend his title in 2006 as he will focus his racing efforts on NASCAR’s Northwest Series, but does plan to make several starts during the season. Sharps teammate and previous winner at Magic Valley James Eaton is prepared to fill the shoes left by Sharp and is clearly focused on a title run.

Another driver with championship hopes is David Minegar of Kuna, Idaho. Minegar the track record holder at Magic Valley also has a victory under his belt at MVS and is set to contend for this year’s championship. Joining Minegar from the Boise valley will be former NASCAR champion John Dillon, Tom Hill, Dennis Wurtz Jr., and Chris Ratteree.

NAPA Auto Parts returns as title sponsor of the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series for the second season. NAPA is the most respected name in auto parts and has a long history of supporting racing in this region and around the country.

“To have a company like NAPA Auto Parts involved with our series continues to enhance the stature of the series”, stated Mike Minegar, President of the RMCS. “We basically started with a grassroots campaign three years ago and have been able to generate excitement and quality racing for our competitors, promoters, and fans. We had to prove ourselves to our promoters, the racers, and the fans that this was the real deal. We have delivered and the fans love our brand of racing. We live in a region of the country that is some what removed from mainstream racing and the partnership with NAPA Auto Parts continues to pay bid dividends for racing enthusiasts in the region.”

ESI Construction located in Boise, Idaho continues its three-year association with the series as a major series sponsor and team sponsor of Tom Hill’s ESI Chevrolet. Engineered Structures, Inc. has been a commercial general contractor engaged in projects throughout the western United States since its inception in 1974. >From its Boise headquarters, ESI provides complete general contracting, construction management and design/build services for a variety of private sector clients including retailers, grocers, developers, food processors, private schools and business owners.

ESI obtains work through a 60 percent- 40 percent mix of competitive bidding and private negotiations. Approximately one-half of ESI’s negotiated projects are design/build where ESI controls and directs the architectural and engineering design as well as construction.

Drivers representing four states are expected at this event to battle for one of 24 starting positions in the feature event. Qualifying will be at premium at MVS as the RMCS uses a format not found in other touring series. The fastest twenty qualifiers are locked into the main event but will be inverted, putting the twentieth fast qualifier on the pole. This format produces side-by-side racing action that fans and promoter’s desire. The four drivers that transfer from the non-qualifiers race will line up at the rear of the field for the 75-lap main event.

The RMCS will visit Magic Valley Speedway four times this season including the NAPA 150-lap season championship race on September 16th.

Magic Valley Speedway was constructed as a dirt oval in 1987 and transitioned to pavement in 1990. MVS has been a member of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series since 1990 where local standout Eddy McKean has scored two regional titles (’91 & ‘96). MVS is promoted by Steve York, considered to be one of America’s best short track racing promoters and was honored this past February as the nations top racing promoter.

McKean will lead a contingent from the Twin Falls area including 2005 Rookie-of-the-Year John Newhouse and 2006 rookie Bobby Latham III, and multi-time track champion Bruce Quale how will attempt a title run in 2006. McKean will compete in several RMCS events this season along with his full-time duties on NASCAR’s Southwest Series.

Hoosier Racing Tire is the official tire of the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series in 2006. RMCS contingency sponsors include: NAPA Auto Parts, ESI Construction, Dillon Racing Products, Five Star RaceCar Bodies, Quarter Master, A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning, Port City Racing, Integra Shocks, PPG Paint, Sharp Powdercoating, Walker Stockcar Service, and Frank’s Radio’s.

The NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows competitors to gain experience on different types of asphalt oval tracks up to 3/8-mile in length. It is a high-quality, professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the Intermountain West. The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!”

NAPA was founded in 1928 to meet America’s growing need for a world-class auto parts distribution system. By providing excellent customer service for more than 76 years, NAPA has become the industry leader.

NAPA’s strength is unrivaled, with 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores, 58 Distribution Centers, over 12,000 affiliated NAPA AutoCare repair facilities; over 300,000 parts and accessories in inventory every day, and more ASE-Certified Parts Professionals than anyone in the industry.

In addition to being America’s first choice for automotive parts and accessories, NAPA is also a leading supplier of specialty parts and equipment for the collision repair, heavy-duty truck, and industrial markets. And NAPA tools and equipment set the industry standard for quality and value. NAPA serves automotive consumers through the UAP division in Canada, Auto Todo in Mexico and with other locations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

Race Facts

What: Race 1 of 11 for the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series

Where: Magic Valley Speedway (Twin Falls, Idaho)

When: Qualifying 6 p.m. PST, Racing at 7 pm Saturday, April15.

Track layout: 1/3-Mile Banked Paved Oval

Race length: 75 laps

Format: Fastest 20 qualifiers inverted into main event with four (4) drivers transferring from the 25-lap non-qualifiers race.

Final 2005 Point Standings: Zan Sharp, David Minegar, Bryan Warf, Craig Bell, James Eaton.

2005 Race Winners at MVS: Mike Murgoitio, Zan Sharp, David Minegar, James Eaton.

Track record: David Minegar, Kuna, Idaho 14.316 seconds/83.738 mph August 6, 2005.

Track contact: Steve York (208) 734-3700

Websites:

www.rockymountainchallengeseries.com
www.magicvalleyspeedway.com

Eaton Has Magic Night While Sharp Sows up Second Title

September 20th, 2005

While Eaton celebrated the win, it was teammate Zan Sharp from Wellsville, Utah that collected his second series title in as many years. Sharp used patience throughout the 150-lap race, the kind of patience that he displayed all season, en route to a fourth place finish. Sharp set the mark to beat in qualifying with a 14.487 second lap around the third-mile paved oval. Eaton, championship rival Dave Minegar, Retro-design Rookie-of-the-Year John Newhouse, and Bryan Warf rounded out the top five qualifiers.

Minegar saw his championship hopes diminish when his Chevrolet made contact with the front-stretch wall after posting the third fast qualifying lap. Minegar’s car was damaged beyond repair forcing him to a back up car. Minegar would start the race shotgun on the field after Tom Hill of Boise vacated his mount in order for Minegar to have a chance in the title chase.

Dave Doan started the race on the pole after the top twenty qualifiers were inverted. Doan grabbed the early lead and led the first eleven laps before Mike Marston took the top spot on lap twelve. Marston’s time at the top came to an end on lap 21 when he pitted after losing oil pressure. Doan reassumed the lead under the caution and led the green flag action through lap 32.

Scott Walker, who has started only a handful of races this season, took the lead from Doan on lap 33 before giving way to Bryan Warf who moved to the top spot on lap 40 from his 16th starting position. By lap 50, Warf held onto the lead over Craig Bell. Jimmy Eaton moved into third from the 19th starting spot with rookie John Newhouse, and local star Bruce Quale rounding out the top five in the running order. Walker dropped back to sixth followed by Jeff Hillock, Zan Sharp, Russell Butler, and Dennis Wurtz Jr. rounding out the top ten.

Warf led pack through lap 68 before Eaton took the point. By the half way mark, Eaton had extended his lead over Warf to more than three seconds with Bell glued to Warf’s bumper. Newhouse, Hillock, Sharp, Butler, and Wurtz all maintained their positions in the top ten. Dave Minegar made his way into the top ten on lap 87 and set his sights on the top five.

Hillock saw his top ten run go away after a spin in turn four, bringing out the caution. The caution bunched up the field and erased Eaton’s substantial lead. While Eaton led the field, Warf had his hands full of Craig Bell who pressured the 19-year old for most of the race and finally took the second position on lap 125. Bell then set his sights on Eaton as the top three could have been covered by a blanket.

Sharp moved into fourth but was not able to mount a charge on the top three over the closing laps. A late caution set up a four-lap shootout to the finish with Eaton holding on for the victory. Bell finished second followed by Warf, Sharp, and Wurtz. John Newhouse clinched the Retro-Design Rookie title finishing sixth with Russell Butler, Dave Minegar, Scott Walker, and Clint Eames rounding out the top ten finishers.

“I just want to thank Zan and Vivian (Sharp) for letting me drive their car,” Eaton said from victory lane. “Zan gives me the best equipment to race and that makes my job very easy. I am so happy for Zan and the team for the championship and to NAPA for all of their continued support of our team and this series.”

Finishing second to score his tenth top five finish of the season was Craig Bell. “Jimmy (Eaton) has a fast car tonight and I don’t think I had much for him,” Bell said. “This has been a great season and we are real happy to finish strong. It took a lot to get around Bryan (Warf) and even more to hold him back. We are happy to finish second tonight.”

“We had another great car tonight,” Warf said. It was fun racing tonight.”

Celebrating his second championship in as many years, Zan Sharp was thrilled with his fourth place performance. “We were not going to do anything silly out there tonight,” Sharp said. The car was great and we just picked our spots. I am glad to see Jim win the race and thrilled that we were able to hold on for the title. Dave (Minegar) has done a tremendous job all season and I want to congratulate him on a great season. We did what we set out to do and this championship feels great. It was much harder to defend this year as everyone has stepped up their programs.”

Minegar was philosophical about the evening. “After I made the mistake in qualifying, I just set out to have the best race I could and hold onto second in the points,” Minegar said. “I want to thank Tom Hill for allowing me to race his car and to my team for all of their hard work all season. We’ll go after it again next year.”

Sharp took the title by 165 points over Minegar, with Warf holding on for third. Bell finished fourth with Eaton moving into the top five with the win. Wurtz dropped to sixth with Newhouse finishing seventh. Tom Hill held onto the eighth spot with Dave Doan and Chad Cannon rounding out the top ten in the final standings.

The NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series will celebrate the 2005 season and crown Sharp as champion at an awards banquet scheduled for Saturday, October 22 at Cactus Pete’s in Jackpot, Nevada. For all of the latest news and information regarding the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series please log onto www.rockymountainchallengeseries.com.

NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series Race 13

Magic Valley Speedway, Twin Falls, Idaho September 17, 2005

150-Laps on a 1/3-Mile Paved Oval

Finishing position, starting position, driver, car, laps completed, reason out won.

1. (19) James Eaton, Chevrolet, 150, Running

2. (15) Craig Bell, Chevrolet, 150, Running

3. (16) Bryan Warf, Chevrolet, 150, Running

4. (18) Zan Sharp, Chevrolet, 150, Running

5. (11) Dennis Wurtz Jr., Dodge, 150, Running

6. (17) John Newhouse, Pontiac, 150, Running

7. (13) Russell Butler, Chevrolet, 150, Running

8. (21) Dave Minegar, Chevrolet, 150, Running

9. (6) Scott Walker, Chevrolet, 150, Running

10. (9) Clint Eames, Chevrolet,150, Running

11. (7) John Wood, Chevrolet, 150, Running

12. (12) Bruce Quale, Chevrolet, 149, Running

13. (20) Nick Gibson, Chevrolet, 148, Running

14. (4) Nick Parker, Chevrolet, 143, Mechanical

15. (3) Chris Schrade, Pontiac, 142, Running

16. (1) David Doan, Chevrolet, 103, Mechanical

17. (14) Jeff Hillock, Chevrolet, 83, Running

18. (2) Phil Dugan, Chevrolet, 83, Mechanical

19. (8) Dave Brodigan, Chevrolet, 38, Accident

20. (5) Joe Miller, Chevrolet, 36, Mechanical

21. (10) Mike Marston, Pontiac, 21, Mechanical

22. (22) Tom Hill, Chevrolet, Did not Start

Sharp Psyched About RMCS Season Finale at Magic Valley

September 14th, 2005

Zan Sharp hopes his 99-point advantage over David Minegar of Kuna, Idaho is enough to secure the season title. Sharp knows that a solid qualifying lap will be critical and staying out of trouble during the race will be important if he is to secure the championship. With over 200 points available to the driver that sets fast time and wins the race there is no sure bet for Sharp until the checkered flag falls on the 2005 season.

“I am real focused right now,” Sharp said. “We have stayed out of trouble all year and we just need to finish 150 laps. If we can do that then we can celebrate.” Sharp has completed all 1,050 laps contested so far this season along with two wins and ten top five finishes in twelve starts.

When the RMCS last visited Magic Valley Speedway back in August, Minegar stole the show setting fast time and establishing a new track in qualifying, then went out and won the 75-lap feature. Minegar will need that kind of performance if he is to catch and pass Sharp for the title.

Minegar, who has nearly equaled Sharps stats, has two wins and eight top five finishes in twelve races this season. The only blemish is his record is failing to complete 29 laps. That last statistic could make the difference in the title chase. “We know what we have to do,” Minegar said. “It will take a lot of luck but no matter the outcome it has been a great season.”

Other driver’s hoping to finish strong include three-time winner Craig Bell of Kuna, Idaho. Bell scored the victory two weeks ago at Idaho Motor Speedway and sits solidly in the fourth position. Bell is just 26 points out of third which is occupied by 19-year old Bryan Warf of Meridian. Warf has one win, eight top five and eleven top ten finishes this season and has an outside chance of catching Minegar for second.

John Newhouse of Twin Falls has wrapped up the Retro-Design Rookie-of-the-year title for the RMCS. Newhouse has been the top finishing rookie on eight occasions this season and is currently seventh in the point standings 91 points out of sixth.

Local MVS star Bruce Quale is set to join the field Saturday in a rare 2005 appearance. Quale, a multi-time track champion, has run only a partial racing schedule this season and is preparing for a full-time campaign in 2006.

The top drivers from across the Intermountain West representing four states are expected at this event to battle for one of 24-starting positions in the feature event. Qualifying will be at premium at MVS as the RMCS uses a format not found in other touring series. The fastest twenty qualifiers are locked into the main event but will be inverted to start the race, putting the twentieth fast qualifier on the pole. The RMCS awards passing points for position’s gained from the driver’s original starting position. This format produces side-by-side racing action that fans and promoter’s desire. The four drivers that transfer from the non-qualifiers race will line up at the rear of the field for the 150-lap main event.

NAPA Auto Parts will host its 4th annual four-person Golf Scramble this Friday at 9:00 a.m. at the Jackpot Golf Course. This event has been a favorite of drivers, teams, sponsors and fans and is sure to be a huge success for the fourth straight year. The top drivers from NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series will be in attendance.

Hoosier Racing Tire is the official tire of the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series in 2005. RMCS contingency sponsors include: NAPA Auto Parts, ESI Construction, Maverik Country Stores, Mirage Trailers, Dillon Racing Products, Five Star Racecar Bodies, PowerTrain Technology, Sharp Powdercoating,Port City Racing, Integra Springs, Nesmith Racing Engines, Retro-Design, Frank’s Radio’s.

The NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows competitors to gain experience on different types of asphalt oval tracks up to 3/8-mile in length. It is a high-quality, professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the Intermountain West. The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!” The season finale September 17 at Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, Idaho will feature a 150-lap contest.

NAPA was founded in 1928 to meet America’s growing need for a world-class auto parts distribution system. By providing excellent customer service for more than 75 years, NAPA has become the industry leader.

NAPA’s strength is unrivaled, with 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores, 58 Distribution Centers, over 12,000 affiliated NAPA AutoCare repair facilities; over 300,000 parts and accessories in inventory every day, and more ASE-Certified Parts Professionals than anyone in the industry.

In addition to being America’s first choice for automotive parts and accessories, NAPA is also a leading supplier of specialty parts and equipment for the collision repair, heavy-duty truck, and industrial markets. And NAPA tools and equipment set the industry standard for quality and value. NAPA serves automotive consumers through the UAP division in Canada, Auto Todo in Mexico and with other locations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

Race Facts

What: Season Finale for the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series

Where: Magic Valley Speedway (Twin Falls, Idaho)

When: Qualifying 6:15 p.m. PST, Racing action begins at 7 pm Saturday, September 17.

Track layout: 1/3-Mile Banked Paved Oval

Race length: 150 laps

Format: Fastest 20 qualifiers inverted into main event with four (4) drivers transferring from the 25-lap non-qualifiers race.

RMCS Track record at MVS: David Minegar, August 6, 2005, 14.316 seconds/83.738 mph

Websites:

www.rockymountainchallengeseries.com

www.magicvalleyspeedway.com

Minegar Has Perfect Run in NAPA Rocky Mountain Challenge Series

August 10th, 2005

Minegar’s track record time of 14.316 relegated him to the 13th starting position but it only took him 13 laps to break into the top 5 on his march to the front. Hill would eventually give up second place to Series point leader Zan Sharp on the 51st lap but Sharp needed a yellow that would never come as the last 33 laps were run caution free. It might not have mattered on this night as Minegar looked unbeatable with a great setup. Hill would finish third followed by Bryan Warf and Bruce Quale.

The front row of Joe Miller and John Wood would lead the field to the green as the start of the race proved not so smooth as there were four cautions within the first twelve laps as the drivers attempted to navigate the heat induced slick track. Russell Butler of Pocatello, Idaho had his evening end on lap 4 when he slid into the inside retaining wall while attempting a pass for the second position underneath Hill. On the restart there was a three car incident involving Wood, Quale, and Craig Bell. All were able to continue but from the back of the pack. Hill would eventually catch and pass Miller on lap 8 and would head the field for the next 32 laps before the pass by Minegar. Lap 42 would provide the scariest accident of the year as Craig Doehling and James Eaton would get together on the front chute with both ending up hard into the turn one crash wall. Both cars suffered extensive damage and leaving Doehling with a bruised foot from the accident.

After the debris was cleared the race would run green from there highlighted by Quale and John Newhouse’s run back up through the field to take the fifth and sixth positions. Retro Design rookie of the year leader Newhouse would finish sixth followed by Dennis Wurtz Jr, Bell, Wood, and Dave Doan. Minegar would use his great night to pass Warf for second place in the season point standings and trails Sharp by 8 points going into the tight bullring of Meridian Speedway next weekend where anything can happen. Warf and Bell are still within 94 points of the top spot with four races to finish the season.

In the Sharp Powdercoating Pole Qualifying, Minegar’s track record average of 83.738 was followed closely by Eaton and Newhouse. Newhouse also still enjoys a healthy points lead over Doan in the season long rookie battle.

The Rocky Mountain Challenge Series will resume next Saturday, August 13th at Meridian Speedway in Meridian, Idaho as the RMCS will run the tenth of their thirteen race 2005 schedule. See www.rockymountainchallengeseries.com for further information.

NAPA Rocky Mountain Challenge Series Race 9
Magic Valley Speedway, Twin Falls, Idaho August 6, 2005
75-Laps on a 1/3-Mile Paved Oval

Finishing position, (starting position), driver, car, laps completed, reason out, money won.

1. (13) Dave Minegar, Chevrolet, 75, Running, $800
2. (10) Zan Sharp, Chevrolet, 75, Running, $500
3. (3) Tom Hill, Chevrolet, 75, Running, $350
4. (6) Bryan Warf, Chevrolet, 75, Running, $375
5. (4) Bruce Quale, Chevrolet, 75, Running, $313
6. (11) John Newhouse, Pontiac, 75, Running, $400
7. (9) Dennis Wurtz Jr., Dodge, 75, Running, $313
8. (8) Craig Bell, Chevrolet, 75, Running, $275
9. (2) John Wood, Chevrolet, 75, Running, $250
10. (14) David Doan, Chevrolet, 74, Running, $225
11. (1) Joe Miller, Chevrolet, 74, Running, $200
12. (7) Craig Doehling, Chevrolet, 42, Accident, $200
13. (12) James Eaton, Chevrolet, 42, Accident, $200
14. (5) Russell Butler, Chevrolet, 4, Accident, $200

Sharp on Top as RMCS Rolls into Magic Valley

August 4th, 2005

Zan Sharp form Logan, Utah holds a slim 22-point advantage over 19 year old Bryan Warf of Meridian as the series heads into the final third of the season. David Minegar of Kuna is just nine points back of Warf, with two-time winner this season Craig Bell in fourth place and James Eaton of West Jordan, Utah rounding out the top five competitors in the second year series. 36 points separate the top four drivers.

Sharp has his eyes squarely focused on a second championship and continues to challenge for the top spot at every event. He has scored six top five finishes in eight races this season including one win. He has also completed all 700 laps run this season. His consistency and ability to qualify well has positioned the ten year racing veteran to claim that second title.

“This series has so much going for it,” Sharp said. It is well organized and the other drivers are great to race with.”

Bell, who hails from Kuna, Idaho led the points standings early in the season and is fighting to get back to the top of the standings after his first DNF in two years a few weeks back at Salt Lake City. Bell has seven top five finishes in eight starts this season but has suffered in the points when it comes to qualifying. The RMCS issues passing points to each driver in the event and pays the nightly purse based on total point accumulation for the event. Bell knows improvement in qualifying will be a key factor in his ability to challenge for the series title.

“We race really well no matter where we go,” Bell said. “Qualifying has been tough for us and something that we are working on. Racing this series has been a great learning experience and a lot of fun. It is not over yet.”

Second generation driver David Minegar is looking to back up his first career victory at Meridian (ID) Speedway with a return trip to the winner’s circle this weekend. “We are lot better today then even a few months ago. Winning at Magic Valley is an important goal for us.”

Driver’s outside the top five in points hoping to make a statement at Magic Valley this weekend include Dennis Wurtz, a nine-time track champion at Meridian Speedway, Retro-Design Rookie-of-the-Year leader John Newhouse, Tom Hill, John Dillon, and Craig Doehling. Only Dillon out of the second five has a win this season and eyes to the event this weekend important on two fronts. First Dillon looks to move up in the RMCS standings with another win and he also will use the race this weekend as a test session for the upcoming NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Northwest Series 200 event that will be staged at MVS later in September.

“This is my first full-time year back racing and getting as many laps under my belt has been helpful,” Dillon said.

More than 30 drivers from across the Intermountain West representing four states are expected at this event to battle for one of 24 starting positions in the feature event. Qualifying will be at premium at MVS as the RMCS uses a format not found in other touring series. The fastest twenty qualifiers are locked into the main event but will be inverted, putting the twentieth fast qualifier on the pole. This format produces side-by-side racing action that fans and promoter’s desire. The four drivers that transfer from the non-qualifiers race will line up at the rear of the field for the 75-lap main event.

The RMCS will visit Magic Valley Speedway for the third time this season including the NAPA 150-lap season championship race on September 17th.

Magic Valley Speedway was constructed as a dirt oval in 1987 and transitioned to pavement in 1990. MVS has been a member of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series since 1990 where local standout Eddy McKean scored two regional titles (’91 & ‘96). MVS is promoted by Steve York, considered to be one of America’s best short track racing promoters.

Hoosier Racing Tire is the official tire of the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series in 2005. RMCS contingency sponsors include: NAPA Auto Parts, ESI Construction, Maverik Country Stores, Mirage Trailers, Energy Release, Dillon Racing Products, Five Star Racecar Bodies, Pro Shock, PowerTrain Technology, Simpson Race Products, A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning, Sharp Transportation, Nesmith Racing Engines, Retro-Design, Frank’s Radio’s.

The NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows competitors to gain experience on different types of asphalt oval tracks up to 3/8-mile in length. It is a high-quality, professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the Intermountain West. The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!”

NAPA was founded in 1928 to meet America’s growing need for a world-class auto parts distribution system. By providing excellent customer service for more than 75 years, NAPA has become the industry leader.

NAPA’s strength is unrivaled, with 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores, 58 Distribution Centers, over 12,000 affiliated NAPA AutoCare repair facilities; over 300,000 parts and accessories in inventory every day, and more ASE-Certified Parts Professionals than anyone in the industry.

In addition to being America’s first choice for automotive parts and accessories, NAPA is also a leading supplier of specialty parts and equipment for the collision repair, heavy-duty truck, and industrial markets. And NAPA tools and equipment set the industry standard for quality and value. NAPA serves automotive consumers through the UAP division in Canada, Auto Todo in Mexico and with other locations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

Race Facts

What: Race 9 of 13 for the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series
Where: Magic Valley Speedway (Twin Falls, Idaho)
When: Qualifying 6 p.m. PST, Racing at 7 pm Saturday, August 6.
Track layout: 1/3-Mile Banked Paved Oval
Race length: 75 laps

Format: Fastest 20 qualifiers inverted into main event with four (4) drivers transferring from the 25-lap non-qualifiers race.

Current 2005 Point Standings: 1. Zan Sharp 1272, 2. Bryan Warf 1250, 3. David Minegar 1241, 4. Craig Bell 1236, 5. James Eaton 1106

2005 Race Winners at MVS: Mike Mugoirtio, Zan Sharp

2004 Track record: Zan Sharp, Logan, Utah 14.488 seocnds/82.744 mph May 8, 2004.

Track contact: Steve York (208) 734-3700

Websites:
www.rockymountainchallengeseries.com
www.magicvalleyspeedway.com

An Open Letter From Steve York

May 23rd, 2005

Some have been exciting, some have been close and competitive, some have been with large car counts, some have been with very small ones. I try to very carefully criticize the events we run from the competitor’s side, the spectator’s standpoint, the official’s involvement, and what the sponsors exposure for their dollar brings to their business. And sometimes I probably expect too much from an event at a little track in Southern Idaho.

But I would like to share my viewpoint on the event May 21st with each of you. Saturday night our fans just might have been treated to the best overall show ever produced by the competitors in 3 of our local NASCAR classes and the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series, as well as the officials and staff of Magic Valley Speedway. Not a record crowd by any means, not a spectacular crash for the thrill seekers to witness, not even a crazy novelty event to augment the show. Just flat out some awesome driving skills on display, very competitive cars, quick, decisive officiating, and not one complaint from a fan, competitor, or staff member.

I must say I cannot remember a more pleasant night to have been involved with the motorsports enthusiast in Idaho. From my tiny corner of the racing community I just wanted to say thanks for your contribution and attitude in a most competitive and fun filled evening.

Minegar Rolling into Magic Valley RMCS Event

May 18th, 2005

During the last NAPA Auto Parts RMCS event at MVS Minegar cut a tire while running fourth where he lost two laps in the pits. Luck will be a key factor this weekend. “I have always been fast at Magic Valley but bad luck has taken us out of contention,” Minegar said. “If we can put together a good qualifying lap like we have in the past, and be in contention at the end, then look out.”

Defending NAPA Auto Parts RMCS champion Zan Sharp of Wellsville, Utah likes his chances at MVS Saturday night; a track where has four top five finishes in his last four MVS starts with a best finish of second. “We feel real good about this weekend,” Sharp said. “We have been sorting out a new car so far this season and we decided to go back to what we did last year. All the guys in this series have really stepped up their program and the field is so much tighter so we are going to have to be on our game qualifying in order to gain points and climb in the standings.”

More than 24 drivers from around the Intermountain West will be on hand for round four of the 13-race series. Craig Bell of Kuna, Idaho holds a slim 21-point advantage over Meridian, Idaho’s Bryan Warf in the championship standings after three top five performances so far this season. David Minegar, Zan Sharp, and Dennis Wurtz Jr. round out the top five.

The NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows competitors to gain experience on different types of asphalt oval tracks up to 3/8- mile in length. It is a high-quality, professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the Intermountain West. The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!”

Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, Idaho started life as a dirt track back in 1987. By 1990 the track was paved and has become a springboard to racing success for several Idaho drivers. Most notably is Eddy McKean from Jerome, Idaho who has claimed two NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series regional titles (91, 96) and the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series championship in 2002. Scott Lynch of Burley, Idaho has parlayed success at Magic Valley Speedway to go on and win the NASCAR Grand National West Series championship in 2003.

Steve York, Promoter and General Manager of Magic Valley Speedway, see the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series as an integral part of his racing program. “This series puts on great shows with their invert format,” York said. “They bring a lot of fans and add an exciting element to our program.”

The NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series has staged four events at MVS with no repeat winners. In the series’ last visit back in April, Mike Murgoitio took advantage of a poor qualifying effort that allowed him a second row starting position to go on and win the race. Defending NAPA Auto Parts RMCS champion Zan Sharp is the track record holder with a quick lap of 14.505 seconds/82.744 mph set May 8, 2004. Dennis Wurtz Jr. of Kuna tied that mark this season.

The NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series contingency sponsors include: NAPA Auto Parts, ESI, Mirage Trailers, Hoosier Tire, Energy Release, Sharp Powder Coating, Port City Racing, Five Star RaceCar Bodies, PowerTrain Technology, Nesmith Racing Engines, Retro-Design, and Dillon Racing Products.

NAPA was founded in 1928 to meet America’s growing need for a world-class auto parts distribution system. By providing excellent customer service for more than 75 years, NAPA has become the industry leader.

NAPA’s strength is unrivaled, with 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores, 58 Distribution Centers, over 12,000 affiliated NAPA AutoCare repair facilities; over 300,000 parts and accessories in inventory every day, and more ASE-Certified Parts Professionals than anyone in the industry.

In addition to being America’s first choice for automotive parts and accessories, NAPA is also a leading supplier of specialty parts and equipment for the collision repair, heavy-duty truck, and industrial markets. And NAPA tools and equipment set the industry standard for quality and value. NAPA serves automotive consumers through the UAP division in Canada, Auto Todo in Mexico and with other locations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

To check out the schedule and all the racing results plus an amazing photo gallery, go to www.rockymountainchallengeseries.com.

Fast Facts

What: NAPA “75” Race four of 13 for the NAPA Rocky Mountain Challenge Series

Where: Magic Valley Speedway, Twin Falls, Idaho

When: Saturday, May 21 Racing at 7:00 pm

Track Record: Zan Sharp 14.505 seconds/ 82.744 mph set May 8, 2004

2004 MVS Winners: Lee Hackney, John Nesmith, Mike Murgoitio, James Eaton

Track layout: 1/3-Mile Paved Oval

Race length: 75 laps

Format: Fast 20 qualifiers inverted and locked into main event with 4 “last chance” qualifiers from a consolation main event added to the rear of the starting field.

Posted awards: $6,600

Three Dog Night at Magic Valley

April 25th, 2005

Lopez does however, realize that much of his success has a lot to do with the amount of time and energy that he spends getting the car dialed in each week before the race. “I work a lot on the car, three or four hours a night,” said Lopez. “I also spend time on it on the weekends, as well as other cars too.”

While Lopez’ hard work has paid off for him so far, there was also a lot of work going on behind him on the track Saturday night as a good battle for second position was being fought between Jerry Rice and Dan Doan. Rice however, was the one who was able to scratch his way across the line just ahead of Doan bringing home his second runner-up finish this season.

Dan Doan, who for the second time in two weeks raced in two divisions, followed his Grand National division third place finish by quickly climbing into his modified Premier Series car purchased earlier this season from Harold Wartluft. With Wartluft leading for the majority of the race, Doan was able to work his way up through the field and on a late race restart Doan was able to jump into the lead.

The two ran first and second for four laps until Wartluft and Dale Rogers were involved in an incident down the backstretch. Rob Vest then challenged Doan for the win after David Patrick had to leave the track late in the race in which he was having a very good run. Doan was able to hold off Vest for the last few laps to claim his first victory of the season in either class.

“I let the 71 get in there . . . that was my old car . . . I just relaxed too much on the re-start,” explained Wartluft after the race. Unfortunately, Doan was later disqualified from the win following a post-race inspection and was moved down to a fifth place finish, being placed at the end of the led lap cars. “I’m still happy about it,” said Doan after the news of his penalty. “The track was tough tonight but it was pretty exciting racing.”

The fans saw a familiar sight in the winner circle after what then became a dog and pony show Saturday night as 2004 Pony Stock champion Mike Greco was able to pull off his first win of the season. Greco hopes to have his late model car out racing in the Premier Series before too long as the “For Sale” sign still remains on the number 70 Pony Stock car.
The Thunder Stock division also welcomed a new winner to the infield stage as Jim Shirley brought in his first win of the new season.

Zan Sharp Leads RMCS into Magic Valley

March 30th, 2005

Sharp has raced for the last decade but has only claimed one championship. For much of that time he and his family worked to grow their business (Sharp Transportation) into a regional powerhouse. Although a serious racer, Sharp is happy to be a weekend warrior. “When you have a family and a business it is hard to devote all your time to racing,” Sharp said. “Mike (Minegar) and his team have put together a series that is fun to be a part of. It does not demand every weekend which takes a lot of pressure off the teams. I have raced in other series’ and this is the most fun I have ever had racing.”

With a repeat championship in mind, Sharp has lofty goals for this season. “We have built a new car just for this series and our goal is to repeat as champion,” Sharp said. “A lot of folks kept their eye on this deal last year and now they are ready to join the series. The competition this year is going to be real tough, but that will make it exciting for the fans.”

Joining Sharp in the quest for the series title will be second generation driver David Minegar of Meridian Idaho. Minegar finished a disappointing sixth in the championship chase in 2004 and expects better this season. “We were good at every race track we visited last season,” Minegar said. “We were just unable finish strong. My team has worked real hard over the winter and we are ready to give Zan a run for his money.”

Former Meridian Speedway track champion and two-time RMCS winner John Nesmith is looking forward to getting the season started. “This series is a lot of fun and to compete against this level of talent is exciting,” said Nesmith. Nesmith closed the 2004 season with 2 wins, including the series finale NAPA “150” at MVS last season. He also claimed seven top five finishes and third place in the final standings.

More than 35 drivers from across the Intermountain West representing four states are expected at this event to battle for one of 24 starting positions in the feature event. Qualifying will be at premium at MVS as the RMCS uses a format not found in other touring series. The fastest twenty qualifiers are locked into the main event but will be inverted, putting the twentieth fast qualifier on the pole. This format produces side-by-side racing action that fans and promoter’s desire. The four drivers that transfer from the non-qualifiers race will line up at the rear of the field for the 75-lap main event.

In ten races staged last season, no driver won a race from the pole and the average starting position of race winners was 14th. The RMCS issues passing points to each driver in the event and pays the nightly purse based on total point accumulation for the event. There is little incentive to start on the pole.

The RMCS will visit Magic Valley Speedway four times this season including the NAPA 150-lap season championship race on September 17th.

Magic Valley Speedway was constructed as a dirt oval in 1987 and transitioned to pavement in 1990. MVS has been a member of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series since 1990 where local standout Eddy McKean scored two regional titles (’91 & ‘96). MVS is promoted by Steve York, considered to be one of America’s best short track racing promoters.

Hoosier Racing Tire is the official tire of the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series in 2005. RMCS contingency sponsors include: NAPA Auto Parts, ESI Construction, Maverik Country Stores, Mirage Trailers, Energy Release, Dillon Racing Products, Five Star RaceCar Bodies, Pro Shock,PowerTrain Technology, Simpson Race Products, A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning, Sharp Transportation, Nesmith Racing Engines, Retro-Design, Frank’s Radio’s.

The NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows competitors to gain experience on different types of asphalt oval tracks up to 3/8-mile in length. It is a high-quality, professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the Intermountain West. The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!”

NAPA was founded in 1928 to meet America’s growing need for a world-class auto parts distribution system. By providing excellent customer service for more than 75 years, NAPA has become the industry leader.

NAPA’s strength is unrivaled, with 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores, 58 Distribution Centers, over 12,000 affiliated NAPA AutoCare repair facilities; over 300,000 parts and accessories in inventory every day, and more ASE-Certified Parts Professionals than anyone in the industry.

In addition to being America’s first choice for automotive parts and accessories, NAPA is also a leading supplier of specialty parts and equipment for the collision repair, heavy-duty truck, and industrial markets. And NAPA tools and equipment set the industry standard for quality and value. NAPA serves automotive consumers through the UAP division in Canada, Auto Todo in Mexico and with other locations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

Race Facts

What: Race 1 of 13 for the NAPA Auto Parts Rocky Mountain Challenge Series
Where: Magic Valley Speedway (Twin Falls, Idaho)
When: Qualifying 6 p.m. PST, Racing at 7 pm Saturday, April 9.
Track layout: 1/3-Mile Banked Paved Oval
Race length: 75 laps
Format: Fastest 20 qualifiers inverted into main event with four (4) drivers transferring from the 25-lap non-qualifiers race.
Posted awards: $6,600

Final 2004 Point Standings: Zan Sharp, 810; Craig Bell, 596; John Nesmith, 534; Bryan Warf, 466; James Eaton, 425.

2004 Race Winners at MVS: Lee Hackney, James Eaton, John Nesmith

2004 Track record: Zan Sharp, Logan, Utah 14.488 seocnds/82.744 mph May 8, 2004.

Track contact: Steve York (208) 734-3700

Websites:

www.rockymountainchallengeseries.com
www.magicvalleyspeedway.com