The Main Event Racing Series was at Midvale Speedway this past Saturday, September 3 to run its final tune-up before the season ending Columbus Main Event. In addition to the Super Late Model 75, the Economy Modifieds, Pure Stocks, Outlaw Compacts, Stock Compacts, and the first ever Midvale Skid Plate race put on a thrilling show for fans.
In Main Event Super Late qualifying, Canton, Ohio driver Rich Rohrer picked up the clean sweep in fast time, by setting the quickest lap once again. His lap of a 13.719 was followed by Josh Smith 13.725, Donnie Hill 13.741, Jimmy Carter 13.780, and Brian Short 13.850. Rohrer drew the six pill which put sixth fast qualifier, Scott Baker, on the pole with Short on the high lane.
When the green dropped, Baker raced into the lead, while Carter followed him into second. Baker crossed the line as leader on lap one, but Carter drove to the inside coming off of turn two. He pulled alongside as the two went down the backstretch. Going into turn three, the two drivers got together with both breaking components under the rear of the car. Carter attempted to return, but eventually retired for good.
With the misfortune for Baker and Carter, Smith inherited the lead, while Short and Rohrer moved into second and third. After three failed attempts to complete a second lap because of shoddy decisions back in the pack, the race became much cleaner and fast paced.
During the ensuing 15 lap green flag run, Josh Smith built up a sizable lead, while Rohrer hounded Short for second. Caution bunched up the pack with 16 laps in.
The green flag was a little bigger and went 21 laps without a caution. During this run, Smith's car started to show some signs of slowing down as his lead was evaporation over Short and Rohrer. Meanwhile, those two continued to battle it out for the runner-up spot with Short holding Rohrer off for a number of circuits. On lap 33, Rohrer got the run he needed coming down the backstretch to dive underneath Short in turn three. Over the next few laps, Rohrer cut into Smith's lead quickly, as his car was, some laps, one to two tenths quicker. Caution totally bunched the field on lap 38.
The race saw a short five lap run to take the event to lap 43 with Rohrer on Smith's bumper for those five laps, but it was after the next restart that Rohrer was ready to pounce. With the green back out on lap 44, Rohrer kept nosing under the left rear of Smith, but Smith was able to close the door each time. With 47 laps in, Rohrer decided to try the outside lane, something that no one had successfully done in the race to that point. In the blink of an eye, Rohrer made it work and was out front leading the J.D. Byrider 75.
Only a couple of more short cautions bunched the field, but on each ensuing restart Rohrer was able to gap the field. Smith, who was strong too, never was challenged for the second position as he was running his own race in that spot.
As the checkered waved, Rohrer broke into Midvale Speedway victory lane and ended his 1,156 day winless streak. For the veteran driver, it was his series' leading 18th victory, which is now up by five wins over Tim Felver and seven over Gary Whipkey the two closest on the all time list.
Smith backed up his Shady Bowl win with an impressive second place finish. Short, Hill, and Bud Perry were top five finishers. By way of their strong Midvale runs and Carter's misfortune, Perry took over the point lead, while Rohrer moved into second. It should be a fun point counting weekend at Columbus.