BOISE, Idaho — The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series will open up its ninth season of competition this Saturday night April 21 at the .333-mile paved oval of Magic Valley Speedway located outside Twin Falls, Idaho. The series features a 20-car invert that is unique among Late Model touring series' around the country and will make its 30th series visit to the popular Idaho racing oval.
"New Season Brings New Faces, Fan Favorite Veterans, and the Same Great Racing Action to the Intermountain West"
CarbonX, the world leader in fire protective clothing, returns for the fifth season as title sponsor of the RMCS which will stage 11-races this season at three distinctive tracks within the region. Magic Valley Speedway will host four races including a big 200-lap event in August.
Local Twin Falls business Century Boatland is also back with the series for the third year providing significant event and series support all season long. Since 1985, Century Boatland has been the area headquarters for new and used recreational, pleasure, and fishing boats.
Local fan favorites Bruce Quale and Steve Jones lead a stout field of competitors seeking the 2012 series crown. Jones is looking to backup his 2010 championship while Quale is seeking his first series title. Both drivers are racing icons at Magic Valley Speedway with more than a dozen local championships between them. And while both drivers have had great success at MVS, winning in the RMCS has been a bigger challenge due to the format of the races.
Quale has one series win at MVS while Jones is searching for win number one. Since the series inverts the fast qualifiers and both drivers regularly qualify fast, they have always had their work cut out for them in the race. Quale has one win and 11-top five finishes while Jones has six top five finishes with a best performance of second at Magic Valley Speedway.
Another local driver who has had success at Magic Valley is John Newhouse. Newhouse is the 2007 series champion and will only run a partial schedule this season as he supports his daughter's (Hannah) run for a NASCAR Whelen All American Series championship. Newhouse has two wins and 14 top five performances at MVS.
Former series competitor Bobby Latham III leads all drivers with four victories at MVS while two-time champion Dave Minegar has three wins along with 2009 titlist John Dillon. Six drivers (Jonathon Gomez, Zan Sharp, Tom Hill, John Newhouse, Brian Warf, and Jim Eaton) share two wins apiece while seven different drivers have one win each.
Some of the new faces joining the series this season include Steven Gannon and David Braun who will make the tow from the Redding, California area and Robert Rasmussen from Twin Falls. Familiar faces Travis Monett (Utah), Rick Fowble (Twin Falls), and Thane Alderman from Las Vegas are back for a full campaign, while Tyler Bailey joins the fold for all the events in Idaho.
Bailey's primary sponsor Project Filter is also joining the RMCS family of sponsors for 2012. Project Filter is Idaho's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program aimed at educating the public about the resources available to help individuals quit using tobacco.
Dave Minegar holds the track qualifying record at MVS with a quick lap 14.216 seconds/84.238 mph and leads all drivers with 23 career Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Awards. Sharp and Minegar share the most wins at seven apiece, while Newhouse is the active leader in career starts (63), laps completed (5741), top ten finishes (50) and top five finishes (34).
The RMCS utilizes a racing format not found in ANY other regional touring series around the country. The RMCS inverts up to the top 20 from qualifying putting the fast qualifiers at the back to start each race. 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. Points are also awarded for qualifying and heat race finishes. 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 at each race.
The series is supported by a great family of sponsors including: CarbonX, Century Boatland, Project Filter, ESI, A-1 Heating & Air Conditioning, Sharp Powder Coating, Five Star Racing Bodies, Hoosier Racing Tires, Frank's Radios, Performance Solutions, Kidd's Performance and Dyno, Joes Racing Products, PPG Paint, Circle Racing Wheels, and Mike Minegar's Auto Body.
The racing action gets underway at 6pm with qualifying with heat races and main event action to follow. Also on the racing card will be the Commercial Tire Super Stocks, Street Stocks, and Stingers. Tickets are $15 for adults or a family pack for $39 for two adults and four kids.