Hard Racing Reigns in Meridian Speedway’s Return to Action


Hard Racing Reigns in Meridian Speedway’s Return to Action

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Nampa, Idaho driver Melissa Weaver looked to outrun the bad luck that has dogged her of late as racing returned Saturday night. Photo Credit: MS Staff

Racing returned to Meridian Speedway Saturday night as seven competitive divisions took to the asphalt quarter-mile for Boys and Girls Club Night presented by Sandi Floyd of State Farm. The CT400 Sprintcars, College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Program Street Stocks, Claimer Stocks, Grand American and Budweiser Modifieds, Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks, and Tates Rents Hornets crowded the track as they chased the Allison Concrete trophy and the points that could catapult them closer to a season championship.

The CT400 Spritncars flashed around the quarter mile for a fast 20 lap feature. Boise, Idaho’s Jasen Skyberg piloted his Big D Builders, SPI Transportation machine into the lead while Chris Ratterree and Casey Tillman scrapped for the third spot. This battle picked up so much that the pair reeled in second place Colton Nelson’s Blimpie of Meridian, LFC Cleaning sprinter. As the torrid pace kept up the handling on Tillman’s YMC Inc., Westside Body Works went away and he was forced to the pit area. A late caution bunched the field for a four lap dash for the Allison Concrete hardware. On the restart Skyberg leapt to the lead while Ratterree and Nelson went wheel-to-wheel for second. Nelson held on to claim the second spot, but couldn’t track down winner Skyberg.

The Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks rolled onto the speedway for a 35 lap main event. On the green Mike Davis drove his Bigelow Teas, Nampa Valley Helicopter car to the lead while Blake Coria and Mike Vester hooked up in the high line and raced their way toward the front. On lap three Coria and Vester overpowered Davis to take the top two positions. Vester’s time at the front would be cut short as he and Jayson Wardle got in trouble in turn four.

On the restart Brandon Hild pulled his Allison Concrete, PCAS Concrete Supply car to the outside of Coria’s BC Towing and Recovery, Cutler’s BBQ machine and took the lead. Hild came under immediate attack from Scott Shoecraft’s 208 Picker, Kenny’s Rod Shop machine. Shoecraft motored his way around the high side to take the lead on lap 13 while Jason Sanders and Travis Pavlacky worked their way to second and third. As the leaders worked lapped traffic something had to give, and finally it was Leonard Reed and Terrell Daffron that tangled in turn one. The ensuing caution set up a six lap dash to the checkers.

On the restart Boise, Idaho’s Shoecraft ran back out to the lead while Pavlacky and Sanders went side-by-side for second. Pavlacky was able to peek ahead of Sanders’ Valley Property Management, Xoel Concrete Construction machine with five laps to go, but lost momentum on the low side and had to settle for third behind Sanders and Shoecraft.

Reigning champion Melissa Weaver looked to outrun the bad luck that has plagued her racecar of late as the College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Program Street Stocks and Claimer Stocks ran a tandem 35 lap main event. When the green flag fell Marv Weaver outpowered Chad Bess into turn one for the early lead while JD Ford drove his way around Tommy Kirkland to lead lap one in the Claimer stocks. Weaver’s Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance racer enjoyed four laps atop the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard before Daniel Johnson and Melissa Weaver pulled to his rear bumper. Johnson tried to use lapped traffic to overtake Marv Weaver on lap eight, but the plan backfired and Caldwell, Idaho’s Johnson lost the runner up spot to Melissa Weaver. The lady driver out of Nampa, Idaho would do one spot better on lap eleven as she ran around the high side of her father and took the CWI Street Stock lead.

An early caution allowed Johnson to pull to the outside of Melissa Weaver while the Claimer Stock division bunched up behind Ford’s fast Canyon Truck Outfitters, Allen Mark Fams machine. Johnson didn’t squander the opportunity as he launched to the top spot, but faded to second with sixteen laps to go. Behind the CWI Street Stock crowd Casey hart revved up his Hart Construction, Big Twin Diesel pick up and roared to the outside of Ford for the Claimer Stock lead. As the field slowed just after the halfway point for a caution Melissa Weaver pulled from the racetrack with a flat left rear tire.

On the restart Johnson roared off the line and threatened to charge around Marv Weaver, but the elder weaver put the pedal down and shot out to the top spot. Meanwhile Melissa Weaver started her comeback as she roared around Claimer Stocks in bunches.

With ten laps to go Johnson finally raced his Darlene’s Printing, Dillon Toyota Lift racer around Marv Weaver and worked to open up as big a gap as he could. With seven circuits left Melissa Weaver broke through the pack and set to work tracking down the top two runners. Melissa caught and dispatched her father with two laps left, but simply didn’t have enough laps to catch Johnson, who claimed his second straight main event trophy. Casey Hart brought home the Allison Concrete trophy for the Claimer Stocks.

The Grand American and Budweiser Modifieds kept the tandem action rolling as they rocketed around the quarter-mile for a forty lap feature. On the green Boise, Idaho’s Dave Wurtz Jr. dove beneath Josh Jackson to snag the Budweiser Modified lead while Scott Durbin knifed his way past Pete Trammell and Jay Cook to lay claim to the top Grand American Modified spot on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.

Action in the Budweiser Modified pack heated up as Darvin Ackerland lit the fuse on his Ackerland Construction racer early and motored his way to second in the division on lap five. Ackerland relieved Nampa, Idaho’s Jackson of the lead on lap six before he went to work on the Grand American Modified pack. Ackerland raced around the second place Grand American Modified of Durbin on lap ten and set sail toward leader Dennis Wurtz II’s Glen’s Towing, Curtis Clean Sweep machine. The only thing that slowed Ackerland’s progress was a caution at the halfway point. This respite didn’t last long as Ackerland restarted outside Wurtz II.

Wurtz II outran Ackerland into turn one and with cooled tires began to pull away from his Budweiser Modified foe. Behind the top two Durbin had his hands full with Cook’s County Repair and 24 Hour Towing, Affordable Hardwood and Trim machine. As Durbin fought off Cook’s charge action at the front heated back up as Ackerland surprised Wurtz II and roared around the Grand American Modified leader and roared to another modified win. Wurtz II, Durbin, Cook, and Randy Keckley rounded out the top five.

“This old dirt car…I couldn’t be prouder of this thing,” Ackerland said of his machine in Arctic Circle of Meridian Victory Lane. “That’s a race car.”

The Tates Rents Hornets battled their way through a 35 lap main event to cap the evening’s action. Maverik raced his way to an early lead, but Kenny Driebergen and Cody Garret spoiled the Nampa, Idaho driver’s party and took the top two spots on lap three. Lap four saw DJ Everett power his Discount Tire, Corona Village car around Driebergen and pull to Garret’s outside, which ignited a tooth-and-nail battle for the lead. Garrett finally claimed the top spot after nine paint-trading laps. Garrett seemed to have his first main event win in hand until a spin with a dozen circuits remaining relegated him to the back of the Tates Rents Hornets pack and handed Thomas Harrod the lead.

Harrod led the pack to green, but it was James Pahl who rocketed around the high side of the pack to the lead. While Pahl ran away from the pack the battle raged for fifth between Monica Heath and Bill Allen. Allen slipped past Heath to take the final spot on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard behind Driebergen, Harrod, Charles Youngblood, and winner Pahl.

Action continues next Saturday at Meridian Speedway with the Project Filter Twin 25’s and Stinker Stores Splash and Go night. Chasing the A-1 Chem Dry trophy are the Project Filter Pro-4s, College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Program Street Stocks, Pepsi Sprintcars, Budweiser Modifieds, College of Western Idaho High School Tuners, Junior Stingers, and the Coors Super Stocks as they run the Dee Forrey, Don Van Schoiack Memorial race. General admission to this full night of racing action is only $10.25 for adults, $6.25 for children 7-11. Log onto meridianspeedway.com for the latest news from around the quarter-mile and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to get exclusive updates. We’ll see you next Saturday night under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.