|Jeremy Stevenson at left with his two kids, Tanner and Jordon, and Troy Spence at right with his daughter, Tawney, and an unidentified trophy girl and flagman pose for a photo with trophies won in two main event classes and a trophy dash at the Mission Valley Speedway in Pablo.|
September 14, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
by Gary Noland
For the Pathfinder
This is probably not the kind of Sunday afternoon driving you want to do with your wife, if you want to keep her, but it's exciting enough to attract a host of Seeley Lake enthusaists who get behind dual-controlled "Krusers," and run for the gold on weekends.
If you and your wife see "eye to eye" on most things, then you might try it, if you can trust her, or she you, to handle the throttle while the other steers the course at 40 to 60 miles per hour.
It requires teamwork and several "teams" from Seeley Lake are very competitive on the track at the Mission Valley Speedway in Pablo where the last race of the season will be this Saturday, Sept. 16, starting at 6 p.m.
Cody Carpeter, left, and Bill Stevenson with car number 199. The two are in third place in the standings with 413 points.
And, there are no husband-wife teams from Seeley, but there are brothers Ed and Dennis Stevenson; another brother Bill Stevenson teamed up with Cody Carpenter; Bill's son, Jeremy Stevenson and his running mate Troy Spence; and recent newcomers to the competition, Ben Shields and Jeff Drake.
For most of the summer, beginning in May, these fellows have spun around the three-eighth mile track at Pablo, hitting speeds up to 60 miles per hour, with one driver in control of the steering wheel on the left side while the other controls a throttle rigged to the right side of the front seat. The throttle can either be hand operated or foot operated.
"You've got to have a lot of faith in your running mate," Bill Stevenson said, adding that it's lots of fun and good people at the speedway.
It's called the "Duel-Controlled Krusers" class and after last week's races, Bill Stevenson and Cody Carpenter are in third place in Car No. 199 with 413 points.
Close behind in fourth place are Jeremy Stevenson and Troy Spence with 409 points. Jeremy also emphasized that this sport "takes a lot of teamwork." He and Troy proved that recently with two Main Event wins and a trophy dash.
The other "Stevenson" brother team, Ed and Dennis, are further down the list (they've had a few crashes) in tenth place with 183 points, and Shields and Drake have only run their 1981 Malibu in one race this season.
Ed Stevenson, left, and Dennis Stevenson, right, with a 1968 Buick Skylark. They've won one Main Event and had "lots of crashes."
In the races, cars run a timed two laps and the top four cars are then pitted in a Trophy Race of six laps. In the Main Event, cars go a distance of 15 laps.
Safety is stressed, Bill Stevenson said, with all windows removed, or rolled down, except for the front windshield. Safety nets are used in the open front side windows, and a steel bar keeps the doors from flying open if a collision occurs. To minimize any possible gas explosions the regular gas tank is removed and a six gallon tank or eight gallon fuel cell is bolted securely inside the trunk area.
There are other races on tap Saturday besides the duel-controlled cruisers. Bill Stevenson invited anyone to stop over and watch the local racers in the season finale Saturday. The Mission Valley Speedway is between Pablo and Polson (turn left at the Jolly Pack Rat Pawn Shop) roughly three miles north of Pablo, Stevenson said.