Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Smith and Ripley Claim Midvale Mid-Season Crowns
by Adam Mackey
MIDVALE, Ohio -- The 2012 Mid-Season championships were held this past Saturday, June 30 at Midvale Speedway. Late Models, Modifieds, Pure Stocks, Compacts, and Stock Compacts were in action racing for double points and championship trophies.
The McIntosh Oil Company Late Models put on another exciting show in their 30-lap event. Track owner, Randy Smith, raced into the early lead before a lap two caution created a double file restart. The lineup slated Smith's son, Bryant, on the highside of his dad for the first position. When the green waved, the younger Smith raced out front. Behind him, point leader Rick Sibila was on the move from deep in the pack. Sibila, who has been the fastest car much of the season, passed the elder Smith on lap six and set his sights on the leader. Over the next several laps, the two were turning very equal times. Caution came out again on lap twelve, which put the two side-by-side for the restart. Smith was able to hang on as he again raced into the top spot. The race's final caution came out with two laps to go. On the green-white-checkered, the two drivers ran each other hard, in fact making some contact on an occasion or two. During their battle, Rich Dessecker finished of his great run by making his way past Sibila for second. At the checkered, it was the Canton Auto Salvage/Canton Auto Sales #1 of Bryant Smith claiming his third win of the year. He was followed by Dessecker, Sibila, Bubba Smith, and Randy Smith. Others in the top ten were Larry Baker, Jonathan Reitter, Jesse Page, Roger Linard, and Mike Miller. Reitter and Ed Middaugh won the heats, while Sibila set fast time.
Bill Burkholder led the first two laps of the Summit Racing Economy Modified feature. On lap three, Alex Rosenberry took the top spot. Many knew that once out front, Rosenberry would be tough to beat, unfortunately, the team had problems in practice and qualifying that put him in a bad spot for his breakout time. On lap eleven, caution waved and Rosenberry was given a speeding ticket which sent him to the back. That gave the lead to veteran driver, Todd Ripley, who had his car dialed in. Over the last 14 laps, Ripley held off strong challenges from Kevin McClintock and Doug Meyer to claim the victory. Following the D&C Machine/Stepping Stone Residential #00 were Meyer, McClintock, Adam Stewart, and Rosenberry. The rest of the top ten were Matthew Mills, Bill Westlake, Burkholder, Tom Ertle, and Lee McCreery. Ripley and Westlake won the heats, while Randy Smart set fast time before damaging his racer badly during the feature.
Vince Martin controlled the early pace in the Pure Stock feature. Then, after a lap three restart, four time feature winner Bill Aubihl raced into the lead. Joe Linard moved into second to challenge Aubihl for a while before cutting a tire. Eventually, Mike Martin raced forward and threw name into the hat for possibly picking up a win. However, just as had happened four times before, Aubihl never made a mistake and held off the hungry pack of challengers. The Dover, Ohio driver was followed by Martin, Teddy Oliver, Nick Harmon, and Linard. Tom Earley and Aubihl won the heats, while Don Boron, Jr. set fast time.
Bryce Allensworth led the first nine laps of the 15-lap Compact feature. With the biggest field of the year in the class taking the green, Cliff Cox methodically started working his way forward. On lap ten, Cox took the top spot from Allensworth, as he looked for win number one on the year. As the checkered fell, the Dennison, Ohio driver claimed the victory by 1.334 seconds. The Dennison Yard/CUA Refinishing #37 was followed by Allensworth, Braden Swaney, John McNutt, and Donnie Leggett in the official rundown. Cox and Larry Ennis won the heat races and Swaney set fast time.
In the 12-lap Mid-Season Championship feature for the Stock Compacts, Kohlten Bryan took the early lead and was able to protect the bottom to fend off challenges from Chris Bloom and Dan Buckey. Both drivers gave valiant efforts but came up just short. In what was an exciting but clean race, Bryan claimed the win and was followed by Buckey, Bloom, Tim Frederick, and Corey Evey. Tim Frederick was the heat winner, while Bloom set fast time.
Racing continues on Tuesday night, July 3 with the Main Event Racing Series Super Lates coming to town for a 100-lap feature. Economy Modifieds will run a John Tolloti Memorial 50, while Pure Stocks, Compacts, and Stock Compacts will also race. An impressive firework display will light the sky around 10:00-10:30.
Pit gates open at 3:00, hotlaps and grandstands at 4:00, qualifying is at 6:30, and racing starts at 8:00. Grandstand admission is $18 for adults and seniors, while kids 6-15 will be $10. Pit admission is $30 for members and $35 for non-members.
More information is available at midvalespeedway.com or maineventracingseries.com.