Cristiani, Monroe Claim Late Model Jackpot at Meridian Speedway

Cristiani, Monroe Claim Late Model Jackpot at Meridian Speedway

The Northwest’s best Late Model competitors descended on Meridian Speedway in search of an unprecedented payday Saturday, September 7, for the Kart Idaho 10K Late Model Double Jackpot presented by Factory Motor Parts.  Alongside the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models, the Northwest Tour Truck Series, Teleperformance Street Stocks, Factory Motor Parts Mini Stocks, High School Tuners, and Junior Stingers filled an evening with 386 laps of main event action as they chased the evening’s Atnip Racing Feature Flags. 

Boise, Idaho racer Josh Fanopoulos led a fast field of eighteen NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models to green for Saturday night’s final Kart Idaho Double Jackpot race.  On the break Fanopoulos used the inside line to grab the early lead in his Certified Services, Evolution Auto Body racer ahead of Eagle, Idaho’s Travis Milburn and Lewiston, Idaho racer Kameron McKeehan. 

While McKeehan stalked Fanopoulos for the lead the battle for third heated up as TJ Monroe, Kyle Tellstrom, and new track record holder Brittney Zamora battled each other in the race’s early stages.  A lap twenty restart put Tellstrom’s, PFC Brakes entry on Fanopoulos’ rear bumper, and it took just one circuit for the Ukiah, California native to take the lead.  Zamora, Middleton, Idaho’s Zach Telford, and first feature winner Trevor Cristiani filed into second, third, and fourth on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard while McKeehan and Monroe traded body blows for fifth. 

This would begin the longest green flag run of the second Kart Idaho Double Jackpot 100.  As the race neared its halfway point Zamora decided to make her move, and the Kennewick, Washington native began to jab low on Tellstrom.  It took only two laps of searching for Zamora to find a hole for her Northwestern Auto Glass, The Davis Groupe machine, and as the crossed flags appeared Zamora took the lead. 

Now out front, Zamora immediately faced a pack of heavy traffic.  As Zamora eased into turn one outside a slower car Tellstrom charged, and the two made contact.  Zamora spun, Telford piled into the back of Tellstrom, McKeehan jumped hard on the brakes, and Cristiani ducked into the infield grass.  When the smoke and dust cleared McKeehan was the only top five runner that escaped without damage. 

The green flag waved again over McKeehan, who immediately came under fire from Monroe and his Torch Towing, CF Floor Coverings machine.  McKeehan wheeled his racer hard to protect the inside line, but Monroe had the better handling car, and after several challenges were thwarted by caution flags, Monroe jumped beneath McKeehan and took the top spot with 29 laps left. 

But Monroe soon had company as a resurgent Tellstrom marched through the field and with twenty laps left on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard closed to within one car length of the leader.  With five thousand dollars on the line Tellstrom pushed his machine hard for five laps before the strain became too much and a mechanical failure took him out of the race.  This would be Monroe’s last serious challenge as McKeehan’s attention turned to keeping Newhouse behind him over the final dozen laps.  As the checkered flag waved Monroe sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe two second ahead of McKeehan, Newhouse, and Minegar. 

“We just had to be patient and wait it out,” Monroe said of his winning strategy.  “That’s how these races go.” 

The Northwest Tour Truck Series battled through two 35 lap features on Kart Idaho Double Jackpot night.  Boise, Idaho’s Lonnie Jesser piloted his Champion Produce, Wong Farms racer to victory in race one, while Parma, Idaho racer John Wong parked his Champion Produce, World Star Packaging machine in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle in the division’s second feature. 

Defending Teleperformance Street Stock champion Josh Fanopoulos held off a hard-charging Jesse James Lawson to park his Certified Services, A-1 Towing racer atop the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard for the second time this season. 

Travis Pavlacky motored to his seventh Factory Motor Parts Mini Stock victory of the season.  The Fruitland, Idaho racer outdueled Marysville, Washington’s Mark Creaver to take home the Atnip Racing Feature Flag. 

Jerome, Idaho’s Jody Moen piloted her Fast Lane Automotive, D.L. Evans Bank car to a Junior Stinger main event win, besting John Clever and Delaney Grace. 

The High School Tuner ranks saw James Strickwerda outrun standings leader Cody Castricone to collect his fourth Atnip Racing Feature Flag in a row.  The victory tightens up an already intense point battle that, coming into Saturday night, saw Strickwerda behind Castricone by just two markers. 

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds wrap up their 2019 campaign in style this Saturday, September 14, as they headline the Academy Mortgage by Ryan Shelby Meridian Chamber of Commerce Twin 25’s.  The Winged Pepsi Crate Cars also run their final race of the season, while the Coors Super Stocks, Project Filter Pro-4s, Domino’s Legends, and Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers round out a full night of main event action.  Plus, Saturday night is the final Hungry Onion Bike Race for Kids in 2019.  General admission is just $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military members, $7 for kids 7-11, and free for kids 6 and under.  Gates open at 4:45 p.m. Saturday with races going green at 6:45 p.m.  Log on to to purchase your advance tickets now, and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive race day updates.  We’ll see you this Saturday, September 14, for the Meridian Chamber of Commerce Twin 25’s under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.