Former Late Models champ looks to keep foot on pedal

Former Late Models champ looks to keep foot on pedal

by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho – Maybe a little recent success has changed Chris Fenton’s outlook about the layout of ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway.Bill Crow champ-Chris Fenton

The Wild Child won the last time the NAPA Late Models division raced at the quarter-mile paved oval. The victory was a bright spot in an otherwise rocky couple of years for the hometown driver.

The bad luck had him joking about what he’d like to do with the track when racers gathered for preseason practice in April.

“If we could have a three-corner track, I’d love it,” Fenton said months ago while standing in his car hauler looking at a new racecar. “Hopefully we’ve got that monkey off our back.”

Fenton’s performance over the past month has made him look prophetic – and he didn’t even have to convince track management to shave off Turn 1 where he has wrecked two racecars in the past 2½ seasons.

First, Fenton triumphed in the Bill Crow Memorial 50 on June 8. Then, on the Fourth of July, he won a second straight NAPA Late Models feature.

He looks to stretch his winning streak to three consecutive races on Saturday night when the NAPA Late Models run the Pepsi Twin 25s.

Yup, another 50 laps for the 2011 NAPA Late Model season champion as he pursues the series top spot currently held by reigning track champion Dylan Caldwell of Nampa, Idaho.

Also on the card Saturday night are the Pepsi Sprintcars, the Domino’s Pizza Legends and the TEAM Mini Stocks. The Thunder Dogs will be running the Lowe’s Home Improvement Plywood Race in honor of all the do-it-yourself wizards in the world.

It’s $20 Car Load Night at the track. Cram as many race fans into your car, pay $2 to park in the speedway parking lot or $1 for the budget lot on Franklin Road, and everyone in the car gets if for a flat rate of $20, which is payable to the parking attendant.

For those not parking in either of those lots, admission is $10 for adults, $7.50 for military personnel with ID and seniors, and $6 for children 7-11. A family pass costs $30.

Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 6:30 p.m.

Regular admission tickets are available online at for folks who don’t want to wait in line on race night.

Visit or “like” Meridian Speedway on Facebook to get the latest information.

The Late Model double feature serves as a warmup of sorts for the two-day stay next week for the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series.

During the off-season, the 41-year-old Fenton built a stock car from the ground up to compete for the championship and rookie of the year award in the RMCS, a series owned by local businessman Mike Minegar.

In his 10th year of competition, Fenton has a knack for doing well in every new racing endeavor he tackles.

He was the 2008 rookie of the year in the ASA Modifieds. The next year, he was Driver of the Year, Sportsman of the Year and also Modifieds track champion.

Fenton moved up to the Late Models in 2010 and won divisional Rookie of the Year despite starting just seven races. A year later, he won the track championship as other competitors let him jump he their racecars after his ride was destroyed in Turn 1.

Meridian Speedway

2013 standings

(Through July 6 races)

Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints — 1. Bryan Warf, Meridian, ID, 465 points; 2. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian, ID, 447; 3. Johnny Giesler, Meridian, ID, 412; 4. Sierra Jackson, Middleton, ID, 337; 5. Brandon Johnson, Meridian, ID, 241; 6. Ryan Burdett, West Jordan, UT, 238; 7. (tie) Matt Elliott, Caldwell, ID, 200; and Andy Alberding, Winston, Ore., 200; 9. Jeff Montgomery, Langford, British Columbia, 190; 10. Mark Floyd, Boise, ID, 156

Pepsi Sprintcars — 1. Tony Ackerland, Star, ID, 359 points; 2. Rob Grice, Nampa, ID, 346; 3. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 259; 4. Ryan Wiederich, Nampa, ID, 248; 5. Justin Segura, Caldwell, ID, 231; 6. Michael Anderson, Nampa, ID, 219; 7. Ryan Newman, Caldwell, ID, 198; 8. Tristen Spiers, Adrian, OR, 187; 9. Jimmy Gross, Fruitland, ID, 140; 10. Kevin Kressly, Caldwell, ID, 123

NAPA Late Models – 1. Dylan Caldwell, Nampa, ID, 244 points; 2. Chris Fenton, Meridian, ID, 229; 3. Dennis Wurtz II, Boise, ID, 211; 4. Travis Anderson, Boise, ID, 192; 5. Lee Hackney, Boise, ID, 182; 6. Jake Petero, Ontario, OR, 159; 7. Dan Lowther, Boise, ID, 103; 8. Mike Marston, Boise, ID, 100; 9. (tie) Tyler “TJ” Monroe, Meridian, ID, 97; and Dave Thomasson, Meridian, ID, 97

Domino’s Pizza Legends — 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Boise, ID, 505 points; 2. Casey Tillman, Kuna, ID, 411; 3. Zach Blume, Eagle, ID, 384; 4. Jonathan Davis, Emmett, ID, 283; 5. Camron Madsen, Boise, ID, 277; 6. Caity Miller, Boise, ID, 271; 7. Chase Gilbertson, Boise, ID, 263; 8. Sara Henry, Nampa, ID, 248; 9. Mike Cullum, Meridian, ID, 245; 10. Aubree Wartman, Boise, ID, 221

ASA Modifieds — 1. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 579 points; 2. Rick Fowble, Twin Falls, ID, 482; 3. Cade Hollon, Riggins, ID, 379; 4. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 356; 5. Jentry Pisca, Nampa, ID, 337; 6. Dell Scott, Meridian, ID, 273; 7. Kyle Latham, Boise, ID, 194; 8. Rus Ward, Boise, ID, 155; 9. Gene Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 107; 10. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell, ID, 90

Coors Super Stocks — 1. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 364 points; 2. Justin Ellis, Boise, ID, 352; 3. Gale Carter, Boise, ID, 195; 4. Kim Bradford, Star, ID, 179; 5. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 174; 6. Anthony Boven, Boise, ID, 133; 7. Travis Pavlacky, Fruitland, ID, 61

Project Filter Pro-4s — 1. Kenny Chandler, Kuna, ID, 494 points; 2. Joe Barton, Nampa, ID, 490; 3. Ryan Bailey, Meridian, ID, 393; 4. Larry Hull III, Boise, ID, 328; 5. Jeffery Snethen, Boise, ID, 255; 6. Chet Thorson, Nampa, ID, 221; 7. Terry Sherman, Boise, ID, 162; 8. Ron Hayes, Boise, 144; 9. Kevin Winders, Woods Cross, Utah, 114; 10. Donovan Parker, Boise, ID, 98

College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks — 1. Melissa Weaver, Nampa, ID, 578 points; 2. Rick Baldwin, Middleton, ID, 472; 3. Marv Weaver, Nampa, ID, 447; 4. Jeff Meads, Nampa, ID, 389; 5. Shawn Hansen, Boise, ID, 285; 6. Scott Shoecraft, Boise, ID, 252; 7. Daniel Johnson, Caldwell, ID, 251; 8. Ray Bolinger, Meridian, ID, 229; 9. Shaun Bush, Marsing, ID, 200; 10. Rick Moran, Meridian, ID, 193

TEAM Mazda-Subaru Mini Stocks — 1. Jonathan Hull, Boise, ID, 417 points; 2. Jason Sanders, Caldwell, ID, 375; 3. Brendon Fries, Meridian, ID, 367; 4. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 275; 5. Mary Johnson, Meridian, ID, 252; 6. Duane Gerber, Boise, ID, 242; 7. Brandon Shira, Boise, ID, 217; 8. Nathan Dearing, Boise, ID, 201; 9. Denny Gerber, Meridian, ID, 191; 10. Amber Rogers, Meridian, ID, 189

Budweiser B Modifieds — 1. Randy Keckley, Boise, ID, 426 points; 2. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 381; 3. Jay Cook, Nampa, ID, 370; 4. Sharlet Wilson, Mountain Home, ID, 287; 5. Gene Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 169; 6. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell, ID, 55; 7. Pete Trammell, Boise, ID, 18

Tates Hornets — 1. Lynn Sharp, Nampa, ID, 494 points; 2. Jess Ryska, Meridian, ID, 481; 3. Thomas Harrod, Nampa, ID, 457; 4. Brandon Hild, Boise, ID, 436; 5. Cody Brizendine, Nampa, ID, 426; 6. Drew Crenshaw, Nampa, ID, 405; 7. Cody Garrett, Boise, ID, 339; 8. Chad Barker, Kuna, ID, 336; 9. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 334; 10. James Pahl, Caldwell, ID, 293

Jr. Stingers — 1. Riley Rogers, Meridian, ID, 271 points; 2. Jordan Kirkland, Boise, ID, 215; 3. Daytona Wurtz, Boise, ID, 195; 4. Jordan Harris, Nampa, ID, 162; 5. Kendra Occhipinti, Nampa, ID, 158; 6. (tie) Peter Woog, Meridian, ID, 128; and Taylor Occhipinti, Nampa, ID, 128; 8. CJ Stirm, Nampa, ID, 117; 9. Cherokee Arnold, Star, ID, 89; 10. Cora Munro, Eagle, ID, 88

Thunder Dogs — 1. Hot Pursuit, Meridian, ID, 695 points; 2. Bulldacious (James DeMello, Boise, ID), 690; 3. Sledgehammer (David Jolley, Nampa, ID), 580; 4. Big Tuna (Stan Irons, Boise, ID), 439; 5. Buzz Lightyear (Richard Scott, Meridian, ID), 305; 6. Bumble Bee (Paul Orlando, Meridian, ID), 241; 7. Money Pit (Kennon Irons, Boise, ID), 174; 8. Over Kill, Boise, ID, 163; 9. (tie) M&M, Nampa, ID, 147; and Catfish (John Pinkston, Meridian, ID), 147