Heavy Hitters Fall on Diamond Cup Night One


Heavy Hitters Fall on Diamond Cup Night One

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Several pre-race favorites ran into trouble Friday. Here Roseburg, Oregon’s Matt Hein, Colville, Washington’s Chris Schmelze, Springfield, Oregon’s Rick Brown, and Snohomish, Washington’s Greg Middendorf tangle in turn three. Photo Credit: MS Staff

The twenty-sixth running of the BobFM Diamond Cup thundered into Meridian Speedway Friday night for the first half of a the annual battle for the Star Diamonds ring.  The Canadian-American Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association and Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcars, Pro Truck Series, Kendall Ford Mini Stocks, College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks, and Coors Super Stocks all took a turn at the quarter-mile asphalt Friday.  With twenty of the Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association and Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcar’s finest racers battling for the YMC Heating and Cooling trophy the action started early and didn’t let up until the final checkered flag waved.

First to test their mettle Friday were the College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks and Coors Super Stocks running a combined feature.  On the green flag Dwayne Dillon and Gale Carter battled for the top Coors Super Stock spot.  Dillon used some muscle to gain the point in his Dillon Performance Engines car while in the CWI Street Stock ranks Boise, Idaho racer Shawn Hansen pulled out to the early lead.  Lap three saw contact as Lynn Sharp tried to work his A-1 Chem Dry, LaSierra Tire and Wheel racer under Dillon in turn three and both spun.  Carter, with nowhere to go in his Associated Pacific Movers, Lee’s Alternator-Starter Service of Nyssa Super Stock, piled into Dillon’s door.  Behind the Super Stocks Marv Weaver and Marsing, Idaho driver Shaun Bush couldn’t check up in time and they both slid into the stack also.  Bush retired from the race while Weaver continued.

The restart saw young Coors Super Stock competitor Jordan Harris lead the pack to green in his Kim’s Kars, PBT Auto Sales racer with CWI Street Stock leader Hansen to his outside.  Hansen used a surge out of turn four to overtake Harris.  Marv and Melissa Weaver followed Hansen around Harris, then the father-daughter pair made their move for the lead.  First it was Marv on lap five that took the top spot.  Melissa was only able to catch her father before Lynn Sharp powered his Coors Super Stock around the Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines-sponsored Weaver Racing duo to take the overall race lead.

Once Sharp motored to the lead Melissa pulled to the outside of the family patriarch and blew past to take the CWI Street Stock lead.  As Sharp encountered traffic Harris caught up to his fellow Coors Super Stock competitor and dispatched the slowing leader.  Sharp’s car would leave the event at the halfway point in a cloud of smoke and fluid.  With Harris and Melissa Weaver settled into the division leads Daniel Johnson’s Darlene’s Printing, Dillon Toyota Lift car came alive.  First he slung his racer around Marv Weaver in the high groove, then set his sights on CWI Street Stock leader Melissa Weaver.  Johnson would pull to the lady racer’s rear bumper before a last-lap slide in turn two allowed Melissa Weaver to race away to the victory.

“Second time in the car,” said a near-speechless Harris of his fast Coors Super Stock.  “Just a rush to drive it.”

“It’s a good thing we didn’t have a couple more laps because Daniel would have had me,” Weaver admitted in Arctic Circle Victory Lane.

The Kendall Ford Mini Stocks roared to action with Garden City, Idaho’s Scott Thomas Keckley and Fernley, Nev. racer Steve Singley on the front row.  Keckley worked Singley over to put his Pegasus Transport and Towing, Advanced Transmissions and Drive Train Services car in the top spot on lap one. Keckley’s lead lasted one lap before Mike Davis took the leaders three-wide into turn three and scooted by both of them for the lead.  Travis Pavlacky tried to come with Davis, but a bonsai move by Emmett, Idaho’s Jamie Leslie moved Pavlacky up the track and to the back of the pack.

While Davis in his Bigelow Teas, Evergreen Sprinklers racer and Leslie set sail up front Rick Brees raced out of the pack and joined the lead battle.  On lap eight Leslie and Brees overtook Davis and put on their own show at the point.  Three laps later Brandon Hild and his Allison Concrete, PCAS Concrete Supply car joined the party up front.  Hild, front wheels churning, muscled his way to the top spot.  A caution at the halfway point slowed Hild’s roll and brought Leslie, Brees, Pavlacky, and the fast cars of Ray Bolinger and Scott Shoecraft into the lead scuffle.

When racing resumed Hild and Pavlacky hooked up in the high line and ran away from Leslie and a surging Bolinger.  As the laps wound down Bolinger caught Pavlacky and Pavlacky caught Hild.  The three-way battle for the lead was spoiled as Mike Davis and Jayson Wardle got caught up with lapped traffic out of turn two.  Davis was hooked head-on into the backstretch concrete.  Davis was okay after the hard hit that demolished his Chevrolet Monza.

On the restart Fruitland, Idaho’s Pavlacky shot to the top spot while Hild fought to hold off Bolinger, Leslie and Shoecraft.  Bolinger got the best of Hild as the laps remaining wound down to single digits and steamed toward Pavlacky’s rear bumper.  With three to go Bolinger got to Pavlacky, but lapped traffic stymied the Bolinger run and allowed Pavlacky to cruise to the victory.

“We’ve been battling the car all day,” Pavlacky said of his home-built Kendall Ford Mini Stock truck.  “But, it came back and took us to the front.”

The Pro Truck Series pulled fourteen heavyweight brawlers onto the quarter-mile for a forty lap main event.  Jason Quale used the pole position to battle John Wong into turn one.  Wong outdueled the second-generation racer on the high side to pull ahead of Quale on lap one while Hagerman, Idaho driver Scott Luttmer and Jeff Hillock out of Cedar Hills, Utah battled door-to-door for third.  At the back of the pack heat race rivals Johnny Pierre and Hannah Newhouse slugged it out as the two Twin Falls, Idaho racers positioned themselves for a run to the front.  This run would never happen as Tanner Wong and Drew Reitsma got together and spun from fourth and fifth.  Wong collected Sam Harris’ Sharp Transportation, Sendoa Homes truck before both bent racers slid down in front of Newhouse, who piled her Boise State University, The Car Store racer into the crash and sustained heavy front end damage.

With turn one cleared racing resumed with John Wong’s Champion Produce truck and Luttmer’s Dutch Garden Florist, Schaeffer Oil truck beating and banging for the top spot.  Something had to give, and it was Wong’s racer that lost traction and spun first.  Luttmer was sent to the back along with John Wong for their part in the caution.  That left Pierre to blow by Quale on the restart while Mason Newhouse and Daniel Shirley clawed their way onto the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.  Pierre paced himself and his D.L. Evans Bank, Elite Restoration truck while Newhouse and Shirley worked their way around Quale.

Shirley was the first to make a move on the leader in his Broadway Automotive racer as at the halfway point Shirley jumped to Pierre’s back bumper and went to work on the leader.  With eighteen laps left this battle for the lead went sour as Shirley and Pierre tangled in turn three.  Now it was Quale and Newhouse in the troublesome first and second positions.  Quale was the first to take off in his Quale Electronics, Dairy Queen truck, but he couldn’t open a gap as Newhouse banged on the back bumper.  With seven circuits left Newhouse rearranged Quale’s tailgate in turn one, but the Twin Falls, Idaho driver Quale kept it together to charge into Arctic Circle Victory Lane.

“Thanks everybody,” second-generation racer Quale said as he collected his first series trophy.  “We figured something out and it went right.”

The BobFM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds kicked off as eighteen lightning-fast Canadian-American Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association Winged Sprintcars raced their way through a forty lap feature.  Pole-sitter and all-time Meridian Speedway track record holder Andy Alberding had his hands full with Duncan, British Columbia racer Darren Yates when the green flag waved.  Alberding and his Sprinter Trucking, WSK Machine racer got the better of that match up and took the top spot as Meridian, Idaho’s Bryan Warf began his charge to the front on the high side.  The roar of engines lasted only two laps as two separate pile-ups in the North end of the speedway stopped the action. Involved in the initial jam up was Roseburg, Oregon driver Matt Hein, Colville, Washington racer Chris Schmelze, and Springfield, Oregon racer Rick Brown.  Involved in the second incident was Veneta, Oregon’s Mitch Holte, Snohomish, Washington racer Greg Middendorf, and 2014 Diamond Cup winner and Middleton, Idaho native Sierra Jackson.  Hein and Jackson were former winners of the Star Diamond ring, and Brown was the evening’s second-quick qualifier.  Hein, Brown and Jackson would all continue with varying degrees of damage.

This left Winston, Oregon’s Alberding, Yates, Victoria, British Columbia’s Matt Mansell, quick-time Scotty Aumen from Duncan, British Columbia, and Warf atop the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard when the green flag fell on the final 38 laps.  Alberding again charged to the front while Warf locked into the low line and tried to dig his way below Mansell.  Deeper in the pack Hein in his Coastline-West Insulation, Independent Motor Rebuilders sprinter and Jackson’s Spiers Construction, Telmate machine hooked up to make their way back toward the front.  This pair worked until lap thirteen when Jackson’s racer broke loose and slid up into first Hein, then the turn three concrete.  This wreck ended Jackson’s night and all but removed her from 2015 Diamond Cup contention.

With the door wide open for a new Diamond Cup winner Alberding stormed his way back into the lead while behind him Mansell was put in the backstretch wall and went for a wild series of barrel rolls through the pack.  Miraculously everyone missed Mansell’s mangled Finish Line Transport, Stan Hope Dairy racer and the Victoria, British Columbia racer walked away unscathed.

Alberding planted himself in the lead when racing resumed again but the battle was on for second as Warf and Yates scrapped hard for the runner up spot.  Yates outlasted Warf to take the runner up spot at the halfway mark.  But Warf wouldn’t settle for second and he used lapped traffic to make his way back to the inside of Yates to try for more precious weekend points.  With ten laps left Warf made his move, but was pinned between Yates and Nampa, Idaho driver Mike Anderson and had to yield.  With six to go Warf tagged Yates in turn two, but Yates held on and drove away to take second behind Alberding.

“He put on a heck of a fight,” Yates said of his race with Warf.  “It was fun being able to race with a local driver like that.”

The race for the BobFM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds concludes Saturday.  Don’t miss your chance to see the next chapter of Meridian Speedway history written as the BobFM Diamond Cup concludes Saturday.  Along with the NSRA Sprintcars the Pro Truck Series, Meridian Vintage Racers, CWI Street Stocks, Claimer Stocks, Tates Rents Hornets rookies and the Idaho Tile and Granite Bike Races for Kids take their turns around the quarter-mile.  Admission to the final night of the BobFM Diamond Cup is $18.25 for adults, 14.25 for kids ages 7-11.  Seats are going fast so grab your tickets while they last under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.

Meridian Speedway

Stinker Stores Family Pass Night at the Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds

Unofficial Results-

5/29/2015

Main Events

Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association Diamond Cup (40 laps)-1.Andy Alberding 2.Darren Yates 3.Bryan Warf 4.Scotty Aumen 5.Chris Ratterree

Pro Truck Series (40 laps)-1.Jason Quale 2.Mason Newhouse 3.John Wong 4.Johnny Pierre 5.Jeff Hillcok

Kendall Ford Mini Stocks (30 laps)-1.Travis Pavlacky 2.Scott Shoecraft 3.Ray Bolinger 4.Brandon Hild 5.Pat McGuire

Coors Super Stocks and CWI Street Stocks (30 laps)-1.Jordan Harris 2.Melissa Weaver 3.Daniel Johnson 4.Marv Weaver 5.Shawn Hansen

Heat Races

(8 laps each)

Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association

A Heat-1.Bryan Warf 2.Mitch Holte 3.Scotty Aumen 4.Greg Minnendorf 5.Justin Mack

B Heat-1.Chris Ratterree 2.Ryan Newman 3.Chris Schmelze 4.Darren Yates 5.Rick Brown

C Heat-1.Matt Elliott 2.Colton Nelson 3.Andy Alberding 4.Matt Mansell 5.Casey Tillman

Pro Truck Series

A Heat-1.John Wong 2.Johnny Pierre 3.Hannah Newhouse 4.Mason Newhouse 5.Jeff Hillcok

B Heat-1.Scott Luttmer 2.Drew Reitsma 3.Tanner Wong 4.Daniel Shirley 5.Sam Harris

Kendall Ford Mini Stocks

A Heat-1.Brandon Hild 2.Pat McGuire 3.Ray Bolinger 4.Scott Shoecraft 5.Jayson Wardle

B Heat-1.Travis Pavlacky 2.Jamie Leslie 3.Mike Vester 4.Rick Brees 5.Brandon Shira

C Heat-1.Steve Singley 2.Mike Davis 3.Michael Capps 4.Scott Thomas Keckley 5.Donavon Parker

                                                              CWI Street Stocks                                              

A Heat-1.Melissa Weaver 2.Marv Weaver 3.Jeff Meads 4.Shaun Bush 5.Daniel Johnson

Coors Super Stocks

A Heat-1.Gale Carter 2.Lynn Sharp 3.Dwayne Dillon 4.Jordan Harris 5.Ray Bolinger

Trophy Dash Winners

(4 laps each)

Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association A-Matt Hein

Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association B-Colton Nelson

Qualifying

Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association-Scotty Aumen, 11.661 seconds

Pro Truck Series-Hannah Newhouse, 14.625 seconds

Kendall Ford Mini Stocks-Ray Bolinger, 15.364 seconds

CWI Street Stocks-Melissa Weaver, 14.886 seconds

Coors Super Stocks-Jordan Harris, 15.009 seconds