Consistency Earns Alberding Second Diamond Cup Titleadmin
MERIDIAN, Idaho—After a wild Friday night shootout, the Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association returned to Meridian Speedway Saturday, June 1, for BOB FM Diamond Cup Championship Night presented by Neil Alan Fine Jewelry. The Supermodifieds, Salt Lake City Midgets, Northwest Tour Truck Series, and West Coast Vintage Sprintcars also returned for their second straight night of racing, while the Teleperformance Street Stocks contested a PitStopUSA.com Shootout race, and the Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers battled for their own YMC Heating and Cooling Feature Flag.
The one-day-built Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers rolled onto the quarter-mile for a fifteen lap feature. On the break Roger Pattan moved his Doc’s Cleaning Service minivan to the lead with Jess Freeman in tow. By lap three Freeman found himself out front with James Sheets on his rear bumper. As the pair dove into turn three Freeman checked up and Sheets piled into the leader’s rear bumper.
As Sheets shook off the blow Pattan and point leader Dalton Justice pounced and moved to second and third on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Sheets’ car would never recover from its earlier run in, which left Pattan and Justice to challenge Freeman.
Justice was first to reach Freeman’s rear bumper. Freeman tried the same brake check move that claimed Sheets, but Justice jinked to the outside and after three door-to-door laps pulled to the lead and the night’s first YMC Heating and Cooling Feature Flag.
Twenty laps separated the West Coast Vintage Sprintcars from finding a Saturday night victor. On the break Jeff Kennedy piloted his machine to the lead with Kelly Newman and Frank Volz Sr in hot pursuit. Newman overpowered Kennedy to lead lap two, but wasn’t safe up front as Volz Sr made his way to the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard one lap later.
Newman wouldn’t settle for second, and the veteran Meridian Speedway competitor raced to Volz Sr’s outside. Newman carried momentum around the high line while Volz Sr motored off the corner to stay ahead. The battle raged until lapped traffic allowed Volz Sr to pull ahead of Newman and cruise across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
Eleven fun-sized flyers zipped to green for the 25 lap Salt Lake City Midgets main event. Middleton, Idaho’s Hunter Stanley grabbed the early lead with Anthony Quintana on his tail tank. Quintana ducked low on lap three and snagged the lead from Stanley, who fell into the clutches of Friday night rival Natalie Waters.
Waters threw her machine into the low groove and passed Stanley for the runner up spot before she set her sights on Quintana. Though Waters could keep pace with Quintana’s sprinter, she never found a way around the Utah speedster and Quintana held on to claim the BOB FM Diamond Cup Championship Night presented by Neil Alan Fine Jewelry victory.
Ten of the fastest short track machines on earth fired their engines and roared to the forty lap JP Memorial Classic. Jim Birges piloted his Supermodifed to the lead on lap one with Ricky Otts right behind him. Birges’ weekend-long engine problems reared their head again on lap three, and the Friday night qualifying feature winner pulled to the pit area and retired from the race.
With Colorado racer Otts out front and Canada’s Ron Brewer second the battle was for third between Jim White, Brian Shaffer, and Donnie Large. This trio sliced and diced for the race’s first 25 laps before Shaffer tagged the front stretch wall and Large spun after contact with White.
On the restart Otts blazed away from the pack while Brewer found his mirrors full of White’s racer. With just a handful of laps left on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard White’s engine went sour and he pulled to a stop in the infield. With the pressure off Brewer focused on reeling in the leader, but Otts was too far ahead and he crossed the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
Saturday night’s Teleperformance Street Stock race had an added layer of urgency as it served as the second PitStopUSA.com Shootout race of the season. The green flag waved and Robbie Hyde piloted his Guppies Hot Rod Grille, Western Sandblasting racer to the lead. Hyde’s younger brother Brian pulled free of the pack and dispatched his older brother for the lead on lap five.
Next to challenge for the lead was Twin Falls, Idaho’s Jeff Peck, who wheeled his Tony’s 2T Automotive, Twin Falls Storage racer around the outside to the top spot. Defending division champion Josh Fanopoulos followed Peck around Hyde for second, while Jesse James Lawson shook slower traffic to take third on lap ten. Now the battle for win commenced.
Peck wound his way through slower traffic while Fanopoulos jabbed low in his bid for the front. Peck held off Fanopoulos, who finally succumbed to the pressure from Lawson’s Dillon Plumbing, Rise Real Estate Group entry. While Fanopoulos and Lawson dueled, reigning rookie of the year Taylor Occhipinti broke into the lead battle, and carved his way to second at the white flag lap. Though a brave dive by Occhipinti into turn three brought him door-to-door with Peck, the youngster came up just short of the victory.
A dozen Northwest Tour Truck Series competitors took the green flag on their second fifty lap feature of BOB FM Diamond Cup weekend. Shane Harris raced to the early lead with Drew Reitsma and Parker Jones on his tailgate. The first caution waved for Jones’ leaking fuel cell and set John Wong outside Reitsma for the restart.
Wong made the most of his shot at Reitsma and took first in his Champion Onion truck. But Wong came under immediate fire from Jerry Rice and Friday night winner John Newhouse. Rice was first to take a turn at Wong, and though he pulled even on lap eighteen, Wong fought back to keep first.
Next to challenge Wong was Newhouse, and on lap 26 the Twin Falls, Idaho racer moved to the high side of the track and put his The Car Store of Twin Falls truck atop the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Lapped traffic was the only thing that could slow Newhouse, but even with a handful of slow trucks to negotiate Wong couldn’t gain ground and settled for second behind weekend winner Newhouse.
After night one of BOB FM Diamond Cup competition three men stood atop the weekend standings. Feature winner Kyle Alberding, quick-qualifier and two-time defending NSRA champion Aaron Willison, and Kyle’s father Andy Alberding sat a mere thirteen points apart heading into main event action.
Mike Anderson and Hunter Stanley led a full field of fire-breathing Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association drivers to green for the fifty lap BOB FM Diamond Cup Championship presented by Neil Alan Fine Jewelry. Stanley was quick out of the blocks and flashed to the early lead while Friday night winner Kyle Alberding struggled to race his way into the top five.
Lap after lap flew off the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard twelve seconds at a time, and each of them saw Kyle Alberding wrestle his sprinter closer to the front. At the race’s halfway point Kyle’s father Andy Alberding pulled to his son’s tail tank, and the duo sliced their way toward the leader. Further back, Willison found himself mired in traffic, desperate to catch his BOB FM Diamond Cup foes.
It took 38 laps, but the Alberding train finally caught Stanley and the fight for first was on. Kyle Alberding waited to find clear track where he could make a move, but only found lapped traffic. A late caution flag reset the field, and when the green flag flew with four laps left Alberding made his move around the outside.
Stanley was ready for Alberding’s late-breaking move, and in an attempt to defend his position made contact with Alberding, who slid sideways down the back chute. When the smoke cleared there was no pile of winged sprintcars in turn three, but there were some had feelings between Stanley and Alberding. NSRA officials deliberated and decided to leave Kyle Alberding at the front of the pack and move Stanley to the back of the pack for the restart.
The green flag waved again and Kyle Alberding sped into turn one with his father in tow. Though Andy Alberding kept the pressure on his son, Kyle Alberding didn’t falter over the race’s final stretch and the young racer sped into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle for the second time in two nights. Andy Alberding and Randy Price rounded out the top three.
Though Kyle Alberding won both main events, Andy Alberding tallied more passing points and claimed his second BOB FM Diamond Cup title by two points.
With another BOB FM Diamond Cup champion crowned Meridian Speedway looks ahead to Saturday, June 8, and the Idaho CDL Training EMS, Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers Night. The regional touring Intermountain Outlaw Modifieds, Factory Motor Parts Mini Stocks, Mulder Engineered Junior Late Models, Pepsi Crate Car and ISRL Sprintcars, Project Filter Pro-4s, Domino’s Legends, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets fill up an action-packed Saturday night where all EMS, Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers get in free. General admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military members, and $7 for kids 7-11 years old. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com to keep up with all the latest from around the quarter-mile and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for exclusive updates. We’ll see you this Saturday, June 8, for Idaho CDL Training EMS, Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers Night at your NASCAR Home Track under the big yellow water tower, Meridian Speedway.