Intense Battles Dominate Ladies Night at Meridian Speedway


Intense Battles Dominate Ladies Night at Meridian Speedway

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A full field of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds packed the confines of the concrete jungle Saturday for two hotly-contested features. Photo Credit: MS Staff

The grandstands were packed Saturday as Meridian Speedway hosted Ladies Night. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks, Teleperformance Claimer Stocks, Domino’s Legends, and Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks crowded the quarter-mile asphalt for a full night of door-to-door racing excitement presented by State Farm Agent Sandi Floyd.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds rolled a record-setting field of fifteen fast racers to the first of their two main events. David Wurtz, Jr. was quick to the front of the field in his Haz Tech Drilling machine, but was quickly under siege from Nampa, Idaho driver Jordan Kirkland, who shot to the lead on lap two.  Kirkland and his Simple Harvest, R&R Truck Repair racer weren’t safe at the point, either as Rus Ward raced his way to first two laps later, followed by new track record holder Larry Hull III.

Lapped traffic appeared with a dozen circuits to go and brought Hull III’s Shake N’ Bake Racing, Diversified Carpet Cleaning entry to the lead briefly, but Ward worked the slow cars best and kept his Boise Spring Works, A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning entry the lead. With so many cars on the track Hull III had no room to make a move on Ward and followed the leader until a caution with three laps to go bunched the field for a restart.

Hull III was first to the gas pedal on the green, and the Boise, Idaho driver sped to the win while Ward fell to third behind Colton Nelson.

The College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks took the green flag on their twenty lap main event as winds whipped across the speedway. Jordan Harris was quick to take the top spot in his Kim’s Kars sponsored machine while Kuna, Idaho’s Pat Young wheeled his Bell’s Automotive, Shane Duncan at Snap-On Tools racer hard on the outside.  Young’s charge failed as Harris, Gale Carter, and Melissa Weaver-Arte raced their way into the top three positions.

Harris drove his racer hard through the first ten laps while Carter and Weaver-Arte scrapped for the runner up spot. With ten laps left Carter’s Shake N’ Bake Racing, Associated Pacific Movers machine caught Harris and dove inside the Nampa, Idaho based competitor, but Harris shut the door and allowed Weaver-Arte to make a move on Carter for second.  With five laps to go Weaver-Arte made her own challenge on Harris and took the lead in her Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Auto Craft Performance Engines car.  Harris was able to hold off another furious challenge from Carter, but could do nothing to track down Weaver-Arte, who claimed the main event victory.

The Teleperformance Claimer Stocks rolled to a hard-fought twenty lap main event. Marsing, Idaho racer Micky Lawson, in her GR Farms, Roberts Draft Horses racer, was first to make her way to the top spot, but Casey Hart motored his way around the high side for the lead on lap two, followed by Tommy Kirkland.

A caution bunched the pack with eleven circuits left and brought Kirkland’s Upson, Carson Roofing machine to Hart’s outside. Hart was able to speed away in his Hart Construction, Big Twin Diesel pickup at the drop of the green, but Kirkland roared back into contention and went to work on Hart’s rear bumper.  Kirkland tried the low line, but was stymied.  Next Kirkland looked up top.  With two to go Kirkland pulled even with, then edged ahead of Hart on the back stretch before the two made contact.

Hart and Kirkland went for wild slides through turn three, which brought out a caution flag and relegated both drivers to the back of the pack for the green-white-checkered flag finish. This left Boise, Idaho’s Brian Hyde and his Affordable Rain Gutters, NW Fire Equipment car in control of the race with Lawson to his outside.  Lawson battled hard to take home the hardware on Ladies Night, but Hyde was too strong and outran the lady racer for his second straight main event win.

Fourteen Domino’s Legends swarmed onto the asphalt quarter-mile to contest a 25 lap main event. Ken Frickey was quick out of the gates as he raced his Zamco Powder Coating machine around Gary Luck to take the early lead.  Caity Miller was the first to challenge Frickey, and she raced her way to the top spot on lap two, followed by Darin Turpen, Casey Tillman, and Aubree Wartman.  Quick-qualifier Wartman’s Ladies Night ended early as contact sent her Project Filter, Major Tire and Hitch entry hard to the front stretch wall and then down the track into Boise, Idaho’s Gary Luck.  Both racers emerged from their cars unscathed, but retired from the event.

On the restart leader Miller came under attack from Tillman, who hooked the high line and blasted to the lead in his Taylor Made Upholstery, YMC, Inc. car. Next, Miller came under fire from Kirk Wartman.  Wartman tried to make his racer stick on the high side, but couldn’t complete the pass and yielded both the line and third place to Eagle, Idaho racer Zach Blume.

Blume’s march to the front continued as he picked off Miller with fifteen laps left and turned the heat up on Tillman for the lead. With ten to go Blume arrived at Tillman’s rear bumper and darted low to take the spot.  Tillman wheeled his car hard through the turns and the Kuna, Idaho driver was able to outrun Blume to the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Circle.

“He had the better car tonight,” Tillman said of Blume. “I just had to make this thing wide as a school bus.”

The Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks rolled sixteen speedy racers to the green flag of their thirty lap main event. Garry Hussey and Terrell Daffron battled wheel-to-wheel on lap one before Daffron took the top spot on lap two, followed by Twin Falls, Idaho’s Robbie Hyde, Mike Vester, and Alex Duda.  The battle for second was intense as Vester jabbed high and low in his Discount Tire, All Metal Classics machine.  On lap seven Vester made his move and took the runner up spot while Blake Coria worked beneath Duda for fourth.  Coria took fourth, then raced his Cutter’s Grand BBQ, BC Towing car to third and set sail after Vester.

Lapped traffic hampered Daffron and allowed Vester to move within three car lengths of the top spot on the Pepsi-Cola Scoreboard. As the laps wound down Vester continued to gain on the Daffron’s Gilmore Meats, Weiser Lanes racer, but ran out of time to make his move and settled for second behind Meridian, Idaho’s Daffron.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds retook the speedway to contest their second main event of the evening. On the green, pole sitter Rodney Houpt pulled to the lead in his Boise Spring Works, Royal Purple Oil machine while behind the Meridian, Idaho racer casual contact turned into a caution flag on lap two.  Houpt held the top spot on the restart while Rus Ward and Colton Nelson stormed to second and third.  Nelson was first to make a move and he dove his Integrity Pools, YMC, Inc. modified beneath both Ward and Houpt on lap nine.  Nelson’s quick move left him with a comfortable margin over Ward, who found himself stuck behind lapped traffic.

With the lead over three seconds Ward’s attention turned to holding his runner up spot as Nampa, Idaho’s Dylan Caldwell mounted a charge in his Roadrunner Glass Co., Redline Recreational Toys racer. Ward was up to the test and, despite Caldwell’s best effort, took second place behind Nelson.

“It’s been a long time coming and it feels good to win,” Nelson said.

The high octane short track action continues next Saturday, May 21 at Meridian Speedway for Military Appreciation Night. All members of the military are invited to enjoy the debut of the Tri-Track Project Filter Pro-4 Challenge, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Pepsi Crate Cars, College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks, Junior Stingers, and TATES Rents Hornets free with their military ID.  Gates open at 4 p.m. Saturday, with qualifying just after 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.  Keep up to speed with all the latest news from your NASCAR Home Track by logging onto meridianspeedway.com and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for exclusive updates.  We’ll see you Saturday night under the big yellow water tower for Military Appreciation Night at Meridian Speedway.