Local drivers in dead heat as Western Winged Sprints season draws to a close

Local drivers in dead heat as Western Winged Sprints season draws to a close

by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho – Consistency and dominance clash this weekend as the Canadian-American Western Winged Sprintcar series decides its inaugural championship at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway.

Johnny Giesler of Meridian, Idaho, and Sierra Jackson of Middleton, Idaho, enter Friday’s first-night Tom Elliott Sportsman Classic tied for first in the season standings.
But the pair got there in very different manners.
While Giesler has three of his seven 2012 victories on the Western Winged Sprintcar tour, Jackson has amassed her 451 championship points by finishing in the top 10 in every series race this year.
Jackson is coming off a championship in the WWS-sanctioned Daffodil Cup last month in Victoria, British Columbia. She won the second-night feature at Western Speedway to create the tie with Giesler, who crashed out on the first lap of the Aug. 17 Daffodil Cup opener.
The second-to-last weekend of racing at Meridian Speedway is chock full of action. Giesler’s is also trying to dethrone two-time defending Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints series champion Mike Murgoitio, who also races out of Meridian. Giesler has a 16-point over Murgoitio. Jackson is third in the standings with 316 points.
This weekend’s open-wheel racing will attract top-notch drivers from British Columbia, Washington state, Oregon and Utah.
On Friday, the NAPA Late Models and Jr. Stingers division championships will be decided. The Pit Stop Drive Thru Mini Stocks also will be on tap.
Hometown driver Riley Rogers holds a 27-point lead over Nampa, Idaho’s Hunter Gates in the Jr. Stingers championship race. The division is open to drivers 12 to 14 years old.
Nampa’s Dylan Caldwell holds a commanding lead in the NAPA Late Models division.
On Saturday, the sprintcars will run the WWS Pepsi 75 — the longest race of the year for many sprintcar drivers — and share the track with the Allen Stroebel Modified Open Show II and Street Stocks.
Shelby Stroebel, who just completed an unbeaten championship season in the ASA Modifieds and hasn’t lost a division race at his hometown track in more than a year, lapped the field last summer to capture the inaugural race honoring his dad’s memory
The Street Stocks feature is the last one before the Sept. 14 championship night. Chad Bess is 28 points ahead of reigning division champion and fellow Nampan Melissa Weaver.
World Famous Boat Racing with the Thunder Dogs and a fireworks show will cap Saturday’s action.
Admission each night is $15 for adults, $12.50 for senior citizens and military personnel with ID and $11 for children ages 7-11. Children 6 and younger get in free, as always.
For Friday’s action, fans can buy tickets online and save $5 off each admission.
A family pass costs $46 and allows the admission of a family of two adults and four children (ages 7-11).
For more information on the speedway’s upcoming races, including buying tickets, visit www.meridianspeedway.com. More information is available by calling the track at (208) 888-2813 .
Western Winged Sprints Series information is available at www.wingedsprints.com.
The gates at Meridian Speedway open each day at 4 p.m., followed by qualifying at 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.
Jackson and Giesler created an interesting drama during the Daffodil Cup weekend.
They were neighbors in the pits that weekend, and they’ve been nearly inseparable on the track of competition all season. Giesler has one heat win and two dash victories in the WWS season. He has been the fast qualifier three times.
Jackson has two heat wins and two dash victories.
Whenever Giesler has won on the WWS, Jackson hasn’t been very far behind. In fact, the 20-year-old Jackson has completed 349 of the 350 laps contested on the first-year tour in 2012. She has six top-five finishes.
Another Meridian driver, Bryan Warf, is 106 points behind the leaders, but has started only six of the eight races. He didn’t make the trip north of the border. He and West Jordan, Utah racer Ryan Burdett are the only other racers to get victories this year on the WWS tour.
Two of Giesler’s series victories have come at his home track, and he also picked up a second-night feature victory in the Super Shoe at Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho. He shares the series lead with Jackson despite completing just 270 WWS laps this season. He retired from Super Shoe Night No. 1 with mechanical problems after 14 laps.

Canadian American Western Winged Sprints Series
2012 points standings
After nine of 11 races — 1. (tie) Johnny Giesler, Meridian, ID; and Sierra Jackson, Middleton, ID, 451 points; 3. Bryan Warf, Meridian, ID, 345; 4. Ryan Burdett, West Jordan, UT, 344; 5. Scott Aumen, Duncan, British Columbia, 311; 6. Andy Alberding, Roseburg, OR, 309; 7. Ron Larson, Quesnel, British Columbia, 292; 8. Jeff Montgomery, Langford, British Columbia, 270; 9. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian, ID, 253; 10. Matt Mansell, Victoria, British Columbia, 218

Meridian Speedway
Meridian, ID
2012 points standings
(Through Sept. 2 races)
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints — 1. Johnny Giesler, Meridian, ID, 444 points; 2. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian, ID, 428; 3. Sierra Jackson, Middleton, ID, 316; 4. Bryan Warf, Meridian, ID, 301; 5. Cody Veenstra, Meridian, ID, 255; 6. Sara Henry, Nampa, ID, 254; 7. Ryan Burdett, West Jordan, UT, 227; 8. Wyatt King, Meridian, ID, 191; 9. Jeff Montgomery, Langford, British Columbia, 179; 10. Matt Elliott, Caldwell, ID, 141
Pepsi Sprintcars — 1. Casey Tillman, Kuna, ID, 573 points; 2. Jamie Ransom, Meridian, ID, 532; 3. Josh Allen, Meridian, ID, 521; 4. Erik Miller, Caldwell, ID, 414; 5. Michael Anderson, Nampa, ID, 348; 6. Cody Huddleston, Meridian, ID, 341; 7. Tristen Spiers, Adrian, OR, 329; 8. Ryan Wiederich, Nampa, ID, 321; 9. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 168; 10. Ryan Newman, Caldwell, ID, 87
ASA Modifieds — 1. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 967 points; 2. Rus Ward, Boise, ID, 747; 3. Jentry Pisca, Nampa, ID, 533; 4. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 472; 5. Tim Elam, Boise, ID, 434; 6. Wes Pogue, Star, ID, 391; 7. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 337; 8. Randy Keckley, Boise, ID, 333; 9. Charlie Ham Jr., Kuna, ID, 267; 10. Travis Pavlacky, Fruitland, ID, 256
NAPA Late Models — 1. Dylan Caldwell, Nampa, ID, 742 points; 2. Dan Lowther, Boise, ID, 553; 3. Travis Anderson, Boise, ID, 523; 4. Chris Fenton, Meridian, ID, 521; 5. Dennis Wurtz II, Kuna, ID, 438; 6. Tyler Monroe, Meridian, ID, 312; 7. Dave Thomasson, Meridian, ID, 284; 8. Jeff Wilson, Mountain Home, ID, 277; 9. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 237; 10. Lee Hackney, Boise, ID, 204
Project Filter Pro-4s — 1. Jim Bailey, Middleton, ID, 499 points; 2. Phil Dugan, Meridian, ID, 402; 3. Jordan Fitch, Meridian, ID, 335; 4. Joe Barton, Nampa, ID, 306; 5. Ken Chandler, Boise, ID, 235; 6. DJ Lyons, Nampa, ID, 225; 7. Terry Sherman, Boise, ID, 196; 8. Rob Taylor, Meridian, ID, 140; 9. Chet Thorson, Nampa, ID, 122; 10. Rob Bean, Kuna, ID, 117
Pit Stop Drive Thru Super Stocks (Final) — 1. Dennis Brodigan, Nampa, ID, 471 points; 2. Kim Bradford, Eagle, ID, 423; 3. Gale Carter, Boise, ID, 380; 4. Justin Ellis, Meridian, ID, 344; 5. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 313; 6. David Harris, Meridian, ID, 278; 7. Steven Gilbert, Emmett, ID, 273; 8. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 202; 9. Jeff Meads, Boise, ID, 149; 10. Chris Fenton, Meridian, ID, 77
B Modifieds (Final) — 1. Jay Cook, Nampa, ID, 503 points; 2. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 463; 3. Randy Keckley, Boise, ID, 362; 4. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell, ID, 344; 5. Pete Trammell, Boise, ID, 339; 6. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 148; 7. Caitlyn Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 146; 8. John Hensley, Meridian, ID, 93; 9. Jentry Pisca, Nampa, ID, 75; 10. Skip Taylor, Kuna, ID, 62
Street Stocks — 1. Chad Bess, Nampa, ID, 569 points; 2. Melissa Weaver, Nampa, ID, 541; 3. Marv Weaver, Nampa, ID, 506; 4. Roy Kirkland, Boise, ID, 456; 5. Rick Baldwin, Middleton, ID, 405; 6. Bobby Riggs, Fruitland, ID, 347; 7. Micky Lawson, Caldwell, ID, 275; 8. Bill Lawrence, Grand View, ID, 170; 9. John Weller, Caldwell, ID, 163; 10. Daniel Johnson, Caldwell, ID, 147
Pit Stop Drive Thru Mini Stocks — 1. Larry Hull III, Boise, ID, 949 points; 2. Ray Bolinger, Meridian, ID, 935; 3. Sarah Shaw, Boise, ID, 668; 4. Donovan Parker, Garden City, ID, 631; 5. Jonathan Hull, Boise, ID, 542; 6. Brendon Fries, Meridian, ID, 380; 7. Donovan Johns, Boise, ID, 370; 8. Jason Sanders, Caldwell, ID, 356; 9. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 337; 10. Mike Davis, Boise, ID, 326
Domino’s Pizza Legends — 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Boise, ID, 739 points; 2. Chase Gilbertson, Boise, ID, 649; 3. Casey Tillman, Kuna, ID, 642; 4. Zach Blume, Eagle, ID, 501; 5. Sara Henry, Nampa, ID, 408; 6. Mike Cullum, Meridian, ID, 379; 7. Jimmy Ingham, Meridian, ID, 373; 8. Andrew Clark, Boise, ID, 371; 9. Johnathan Davis, Emmett, ID, 364; 10. Steve Thimsen, Boise, ID, 336
Tates Hornets — 1. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 968 points; 2. Thomas Harrod, Nampa, ID, 837; 3. Cody Garrett, Boise, ID, 736; 4. Chuck Youngblood, Meridian, ID, 708; 5. Art Heath, Nampa, ID, 671; 6. Monica Heath, Caldwell, ID, 666; 7. Lynn Sharp, Nampa, ID, 598; 8. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 556; 9. Sharlet Pataro, Mountain Home, ID, 514; 10. Kevin Johnson, Kuna, ID, 507
Hornet 100 Series (Final) — 1. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 423 points; 2. Chuck Youngblood, Meridian, ID, 329; 3. Thomas Harrod, Nampa, ID, 320; 4. Art Heath, Nampa, ID, 263; 5. Monica Heath, Caldwell, ID, 231; 6. Sharlet Pataro, Mountain Home, ID, 228; 7. Stacy Heath, Nampa, ID, 206; 8. Cody Garrett, Boise, ID, 204; 9. Kevin Johnson, Kuna, ID, 180; 10. Tony Ryska, Caldwell, ID, 169
Thunder Dogs — 1. Sledge Hammer (David Jolley, Nampa, ID), 1,516 points; 2. Bull Dacious (James Mello, Boise, ID), 1,191; 3. The Surfer (Boise, ID), 955; 4. Big Tuna (Stanley Irons, Boise, ID), 900; 5. Cat Fish (John Pinkston, Meridian, ID), 873; 6. Boot Legger (James Ward, Meridian, ID; Sean Hackworth, Caldwell, ID), 845; 7. Vulgar Display (Joe Volm, Meridian, ID), 447; 8. The Other Woman (Boise, ID), 397; 9. Bumble Bee (Meridian, ID), 361; 10. IP Freely (Brian Duval, Kuna, ID), 360
Jr. Stingers — 1. Riley Rogers, Meridian, ID, 403 points; 2. Hunter Gates, Nampa, ID, 376; 3. Jordan Kirkland, Boise, ID, 344; 4. Peter Woog, Meridian, ID, 333; 5. Jordan Harris, Nampa, ID, 292; 6. Kendra Occhipinti, Nampa, ID, 256; 7. Daytona Wurtz, Kuna, ID, 227; 8. Eriq Arnold, Star, ID, 214; 9. Ali Norton, Kuna, ID, 203; 10. CJ Stirm, Nampa, ID, 185