Late Model Legends Duel for $10K NAPA Idaho 208 Victoryadmin
The roar of 25 NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models shook Meridian Speedway on Saturday, August 29, as they took the green flag for a ten-thousand dollar to win NAPA Idaho 208. The big money race, presented by local sponsors PBT Auto Sales, Precision Framing, Maxwell Plumbing, Pit Stop USA, YMC Mechanical, GCAT Towing, Powers Transportation, A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning, Dave Parrie—Dave’s Auto Body and Paint, Gibson Diesel Performance, Trevor Cristiani Racing and Boise Boys Transportation, drew racers from across the West Coast. Alongside the all-star NAPA Big 5 Late Model field, the North West Tour Truck Series, Teleperformance Street Stocks, and Mulder Engineered Race Engines Junior Late Models rounded out a jam-packed night of short track action not soon to be forgotten.
Twenty-five cars crowded the quarter-mile asphalt oval for the NAPA Idaho 208 presented by PBT Auto Sales, Precision Framing, Maxwell Plumbing, Pit Stop USA, YMC Mechanical, GCAT Towing, Powers Transportation, A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning, Dave Parrie—Dave’s Auto Body and Paint, Gibson Diesel Performance, Trevor Cristiani Racing and Boise Boys Transportation. Local racer Tyler Monroe, of Star, Idaho, got out of the blocks first and powered to the lead ahead of Donovan Barr and Larry Hull III.
The inside line was the place to be, and with just five laps in the books, pre-race favorites Kaiden Anderson, John Newhouse, Garrett Evans, Jeremy Doss, and Haeden Plybon found their way to the inside line and started to march forward.
Out front, Monroe entered a knot of lapped traffic on lap ten. As the Star, Idaho racer picked his way through, Hull III saw an opening and pounced to put his Diversified Carpet Cleaning machine atop the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard on lap eighteen. This dropped Monroe into a vicious battle for second with Barr, Anderson, and Doss.
Monroe wheeled his Torch Towing and Transport, Torch Trucking LLC racer hard to keep the second spot until three-wide contact sent him spinning into the turn one concrete on lap 26. This reset the field with Anderson outside of Hull III on the front row, Doss and Newhouse side-by-side behind them.
On the restart Anderson worked the high groove to put his Harvest Chevrolet, Aveera Auto Sales racer up front.
But it was eighth-place runner Dale Wennerberg who overshadowed the lead fight as the East Wenatchee, Washington racer pounded the turn three concrete broadside. The hit catapulted Wennerberg’s Columbia Shops and Storage, Zero Handicap machine upside down, and the wreckage slid inverted into the middle of turn four.
Quick work by the Meridian Speedway safety crew righted Wennerberg, and the young man climbed from his battered machine okay.
On the restart Anderson retook the top spot with Doss in tow. It took just four laps for Upper Lake, California’s Doss to move his Earnest Performance, S&S Sports Enterprises racer into the top spot.
Next into the lead fight was Garrett Evans in his Leonard Evans Used Car Superstore, Doug Betterall Memorial machine. As the veteran looked on, Anderson raced around the outside of Doss to take the lead at the race’s halfway break.
With the green flag back in the air, Anderson and Doss rejoined the battle for first to start the race’s final 104 laps. Doss’ car was better off of the corner than Anderson’s, and the Upper Lake, California driver was able to cut under his Yakima, Washington foe off of turn four, then complete the pass on Anderson through turns one and two after fifteen circuits.
This left Anderson in the clutches of Evans, who wedged his car beneath Anderson and took over second place. Plybon and Newhouse followed Evans through, dropping Anderson from second to fifth in just one trip around the quarter-mile.
As Anderson fell back Plybon forced his way around Evans to put his Cascade Rain Gutters racer second on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard, several seconds behind Doss. The Spokane, Washington wheelman pushed hard to catch the leader, but Doss maintained a comfortable gap even as he worked through lapped traffic.
While Plybon worked through the back markers he made contact with Colton Nelson and sent the Meridian, Idaho racer spinning off of turn two. This sent Plybon to the back of the pack with a mere 35 laps to go.
The race went back green with Doss and Evans ahead of Newhouse’s PFC Brakes, The Car Store machine, Anderson, and Dylan Caldwell in his Hot Box Farms, Conrad and Bischoff racer. Newhouse immediately set to work on Evans, but the Twin Falls, Idaho racer would come up short and settle for third.
But it all happened behind Doss, who cruised across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe a full two seconds ahead of Evans for the win.
“It feels good to be here in victory lane,” Doss said.
Though he came up one spot short, Evans was already looking to next year.
“First, I want to thank Meridian Speedway and all the sponsors that made this [$10,000 to win race] happen,” Evans said. “This is a real cool thing and I hope they keep it going.”
Quincy, Washington wheel man Kasey Kleyn dominated the Mulder Engineered Junior Late Model field as the youngster piloted his Thaemert Farms, Mountain View Polaris machine into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle ahead of Ashton Cristiani and Nevaeh Hull.
The Teleperformance Street Stocks continued their full-contact 2020 campaign with a 35 lap feature. Back in his usual black and metallic blue Certified Services, A-1 Towing racer, Josh Fanopoulos scored his second victory of the year. With his victory, Fanopoulos moves into second in the season standings, a mere fifteen markers behind second place finisher Taylor Occhipinti and just nine ahead of third place Troy Evans.
The North West Tour Truck Series took their turn on the quarter-mile with a fifty lap feature. After a heated door-to-door battle that lasted most of the race’s first half, Drew Reitsma overtook John Wong for the top spot on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard, then held off a charging Jacob Smith to claim the feature flag in his Reitsma Holsteins, Fields 66 truck. Wong lost third place at the line to Jenna Quale, while Dillon Welch rounded out the top five in his first North West Tour Truck Series start.
The action continues this Wednesday, September 2, as Meridian Speedway hosts a rare mid-week race night. The Pit Stop USA NASCAR Modifieds, Project Filter Pro-4s, Domino’s Legends, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets come together on Wacky Wednesday to chase the Discount Tire feature flag. For fans, Walking Sombrero tacos will be available for $1, while Miller Lite is $3 for cans and drafts. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with racing at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. General admission to a full night of door-to-door action is just $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military members, $7 for kids 7-11, and free for kids 6 and under. For advance tickets and all the latest updates from around the quarter-mile, log on to www.meridianspeedway.com. Live coverage will be available on SpeedCast.tv beginning at 7 p.m. We’ll see you this Wednesday, September 2, under the big yellow water tower for Wacky Wednesday in the Concrete Jungle, Meridian Speedway.