Kuna Racer Captures Project Filter All Star Challenge Trophy


Kuna Racer Captures Project Filter All Star Challenge Trophy

Kuna Idahos Kenny Chandler claimed the Project Filter All Star Trophy Saturday night. Photo Credit Tyler Schild MS Staff

Kuna, Idaho’s Kenny Chandler claimed the Project Filter All Star Challenge Trophy Saturday night. Photo Credit: MS Staff

Meridian Speedway put the month of August in the rearview mirror with the Project Filter Twin 25s and Stinker Stores Splash and Go Night. The Project Filter Pro-4s, Pepsi Sprintcars, Budweiser Modifieds, Coors Super Stocks, College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks, College of Western Idaho High School Tuners, and Junior Stingers all packed the quarter-mile to compete for late-season points.

The Project Filter Pro-4s began main event action with their first Project Filter Twin 25. Wes Summers was quick to the gas pedal and put his machine in the lead, but Joe Barton and Ryan Bailey teamed up on the high side to pass the early leader on lap two. Bailey wasted no time before he pulled his Les Schwab Tire, Clothes Line Cleaners racer to the high side of the racetrack and went to work on leader Barton. Bailey wasn’t able to make the move stick and he instead forfeited the runner up spot to Kuna, Idaho’s Kenny Chandler on lap eight. Chandler wasn’t content in second and he roared around the outside of Barton’s Tyco Structural Enterprises racer on lap ten to plant himself atop the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.

Now it was time for Larry Hull III and Brendon Fries to make their move toward the front. Hull III stuck his Mulder Machine, CLPA Properties car in the high line while Fries worked low to track down third place runner Bailey. Lapped traffic broke the pair’s momentum and they would settle for fourth and fifth behind Bailey, Barton and first feature winner Chandler and his Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bob’s machine.

The Junior Stingers continued main event action with a fast 18 lap feature. DJ Sirani wound up his Huskey Auto Electric car and raced to the top spot on lap one. Sirani was immediately under fire from heat race winner Noah Capps and quick time Taylor Occhipinti. Nampa, Idaho’s Occhipinti was the first to Sirani’s rear bumper and on lap six Occhipinti stormed around the outside and took the lead in his Marv’s Tire Service, Bearclaw Graphics racer. Now Sirani slid into the clutches of Capps, who tried his own outside pass with five laps to go. A late caution gave Oasis, Idaho racer Sirani one last chance to overpower Occhipinit and he did into turn one on the restart. Again Occhipinti pinned his racer to the top line and drove around Sirani to take the win.

The Pepsi Sprtincars rumbled onto the quarter-mile for a 25 lap main event. When the green flag waved Nampa, Idaho’s Drew Crenshaw and Tyler Barrow battled wheel-to-wheel for top spot. Crenshaw claimed the lead in his Bender Electric, Discount Tire sprinter on lap two, but was quickly overcome by Mike Anderson, Justin Segura and Tony Ackerland. While Anderson and his Bender Electric, Idaho Plumbing Company car pulled away from the field Segura worked to hold off Ackerland for the runner up spot. On lap ten Ackerland piloted his Banner Promotions machine into the runner up spot. Ackerland used an early restart to power around Anderson and take the lead on lap eleven.

Further back in the pack fast heat winner Riley Rogers fought to race his way out of seventh place. Rogers maneuvered his Extreme Towing and Recovery sprinter into the passing lane and fired around the outside of the speedway to fifth with ten laps remaining. Rogers’ run was spoiled by the third place battle between Segura and Jasen Skyberg. With nowhere to go Rogers settled for fifth behind Skyberg, Segura, Anderson, and A-1 Chem Dry main event trophy winner Ackerland.

“It’s a good group of guys we run with,” Ackerland said of his competition in Arctic Circle of Meridian Victory Lane.

The Coors Super Stocks and College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Program Street Stocks combined to contest the forty lap Dee Forrey Memorial. On the green Josh Jackson motored around the outside of Lynn Sharp for the Coors Super Stock lead while Micky Lawson used the low line overtake Casey Hart in the CWI Street Stock ranks. First to challenge Jackson was Sharp, who piloted his A-1 Chem Dry, LaSierra Tire and Wheel car around the low line. On lap six Sharp edged Jackson, but the side-by-side battle continued until lap eleven when Sharp took the lead outright. Behind the Coors Super Stock battle CWI Street Stock racer Melissa Weaver worked her way into the lead on lap seven, followed by her father Marv Weaver and Daniel Johnson.

By the halfway point both division leaders were in trouble. Sharp was first to lose the top spot as Jackson motored around the high side for the Coors Super Stock lead. Behind this battle Johnson dispatched Marv Weaver and went to work on the low side of Melissa Weaver in his pursuit of two straight main event victories. Weaver was able to use lapped traffic to stall Johnson’s run and build a lead, but Jackson wasn’t able to separate himself from the Coors Super Stock pack. The top four Coors Super Stocks were locked together when Sharp lost the handle on his racer and spun in turn three.

On the restart Chad Bess found himself on the low side of Jackson for the Coors Super Stock lead while Marv and Melissa Weaver lined up in the high groove and raced out to the CWI Street Stock lead. Bess bested Jackson on lap 29 and Melissa Weaver passed her father one lap later. Bess reeled off a flurry of fast laps in his Catapult 3 machine and rocketed to a comfortable lead as the laps wound down. Meanwhile Melissa Weaver in her Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines car enjoyed a margin made possible by her father’s hard racing with Coors Super Stock competitors Jordan Harris and Lynn Sharp behind her. Both Bess and Weaver held onto their leads over the final ten circuits to win.

“I’m happy for Chad that he won it,” Dee Forrey memorial trophy presenter and Coors Super Stock racer Gale Carter said. “He’s going to be a threat next year.”

“We’ve been through a lot of parts on this car but we’ve got it back together,” Weaver said of her winning racer.

The Budweiser Modifieds rolled eight strong competitors onto the quarter-mile for a 25 lap feature. Dave Wurtz Jr. and Robert Rendo came together on lap one as they fought for the top spot. It took six laps for Wurtz Jr. to drive his Haztech Drilling modified around Rendo for the lead. It then took Darvin Ackerland just two laps to overpower Wurtz Jr. for the top spot.

With ten laps in the books Ackerland came under fire from Willie Ransom, who looked both high and low in his attempt to find a way around the leader. Ransom settled on the low line and poured the pressure on Ackerland trying to force the veteran driver into a mistake. That mistake never came and Ackerland again wheeled his Ackerland Construction car into Arctic Circle of Meridian Victory Lane.

“I earned this one,” Ackerland said. “I don’t know where that guy came from but he was all over me.”

The College of Western Idaho High School Tuners rolled a dozen racers to the green flag of their 25 lap feature. Katie Lober raced her Shear Madness Hair Salon, SL Painting car to the top spot on lap one, but Cody Garrett slung his Ray Auto Care machine around Lober to lead lap two and set sail from the field. The big early mover was Nampa, Idaho’s Kendra Occhipinti, who sliced her way up to third in just five short laps. A lap six caution brought Peter Woog and Occhipinti to Garrett’s back bumper. On the restart Woog overpowered Garrett in turn one and took the lead. Occhipinti made her move low and passed first Garret and then Woog on lap nine. Daytona Wurtz followed suit in her Ada County Sheriffs Employee Association, Glen’s Towing car and with fourteen laps left Wurtz cleared traffic and motored toward Occhipinti.

As the laps wound down Wurtz continued to close on Occhipinti’s Marv’s Tire Service, Bearclaw Graphics racer. With five circuits left Wurtz rapped on Occhipinit’s bumper on the front straightaway, then pulled to Occhipinti’s outside. With one lap left and lapped traffic on the low side Occhipinti and Wurtz raced into turn three. The pair made contact and slid sideways, but Occhipinti recovered first and flashed across the line just a fraction of a second ahead of Wurtz.

Main event action finished much the way it started as the Project Filter Pro-4s rolled back onto the racetrack for their second 25 lap feature of the night. Jonathan Hull and his Diversified Carpet and Upholstery, Elda Properties car was first to the top spot, but older brother Larry Hull III took the top spot on lap four. With Boise, Idaho’s Hull III out front Joe Barton worked below the younger Hull and took second. An early caution brought Barton to Hull III’s outside with Brendon Fries and Kenny Chandler in the second row.

On the restart Hull III and the inside line prevailed, which brought Fries and Chandler around Barton and into the lead battle. Something had to give, and with 12 laps left it was the battle for second that went wrong as Chandler ran into the back of Fries going into turn three. Both cars spun, with Chandler collecting Ryan Bailey in the cloud of smoke.

When racing resumed Donavon Parker pulled to Hull III’s outside, but couldn’t stay even with the leader and quickly faded through the field. Now it was up to Barton to catch and pass Hull III. Barton wheeled his machine hard and closed the gap on Hull III. On the white flag Barton drew even with Hull III, but Hull III used his superior momentum to launch off turn four and beat Barton to the checkers.

“Man this feels awesome,” Hull III said as he collected the A-1 Chem Dry trophy.

While Hull III won the feature Chandler was awarded the traveling Project Filter All Star Challenge trophy, which is awarded to the highest point earner over the Project Filter Twin 25 events.

Next weekend the future stars of NASCAR thunder onto Meridian Speedway for the K&N Pro Series West NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208. Joining these Sprint Cup hopefuls are the Super Trucks, Domino’s Legends, and Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks. Tickets for the NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208 are going fast. Check meridianspeedway.com for special pricing on advance tickets and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive updates. We’ll see you for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208 this Saturday under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.