Lockwood Storms to Season Opening Victoryadmin
The thunder of Speed Tour Sprint Cars presented by Pit Stop USA shook Meridian Speedway on Saturday, April 17, as their season kicked off with the Burnt River Farms Speed Tour Sprintcar Opener. The Speed Tour Modifieds presented by Pit Stop USA, Project Filter Pro-4s, Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets, and Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers also took to the Concrete Jungle in search of their own YMC Mechanical Feature Flags.
The Project Filter Pro-4s kicked off main event action. Matt Melby of Hood River, Oregon overpowered Ryan Bailey and the Project Filter Pro-4 field to take home the division’s first YMC Mechanical Feature Flag of the season.
The Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers saw their share of three and four-wide racing early in the going. Kedrick Preston of Hermiston, Oregon took the early lead, but was overpowered by Jeff Matuska on a late restart. Matuska never looked back as he piloted his car across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
Chaos headlined the Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets’ first feature of the year. After a five-wide dash through turn one Morgan Trammel put his Trammel Construction racer out front. Then the caution flags began.
After two relatively minor incidents, a four abreast standing restart led to the night’s biggest pile up, which involved Hunter Ventress, Jerry Knaus, Tommy Harrod, and a host of others. Once the smoke and debris cleared, it was Chuck Youngblood in his PBT Auto Sales entry who stormed around the outside of Trammel and set sail to the victory.
The Speed Tour Modifieds presented by Pit Stop USA rolled ten pavement-pounding cars to green for their second 65-lap feature in as many weeks. On the break polesitter Kyle Latham got to the gas pedal first in his Conrad and Bischoff, KJ’s Super Store machine. But fellow front row starter Caitlin Kerbs held strong on the outside for the first handful of laps until she settled into second place on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard ahead of last week’s winner Wyatt King, Donovan Barr, and Dylan Caldwell.
The battle for fourth heated up early as Caldwell worked Barr’s Sound Hound Stereo, Corner Hustle Neighborhood Bar modified hard. That battle resulted in contact that shoved Barr’s left rear sheet metal onto the tire and drew a black flag from race officials. This retirement moved Caldwell’s Hot Box Farms, Pit Stop USA machine into fourth and brought Meridian, Idaho’s Shelby Stroebel into the top five.
Latham built a two-plus second lead through the race’s middle stages while Kerbs pedaled her Luxery Lawn Care, Mint Barrel Barn racer hard to keep ahead of first King, then Caldwell. Kerbs was able to hold onto her machine until lap fifty, when she spun in turn two.
But the Kerbs spin was the least of the lap fifty drama as Latham’s car erupted in smoke and eventually flames as he formed up with the Fairly Reliable Bob’s Pace Car. With the top two runners now out of contention, Caldwell and Stroebel found themselves on the front row for the restart.
Stroebel made the most of his opportunity and piloted his Gibson Diesel Performance, K13 Mortgage machine to the lead and the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
The rumble of Speed Tour Sprint Cars presented by Pit Stop USA rocked the Concrete Jungle for 35 hard-fought laps. On the break Matt Elliott powered past Tony Ackerland to take the early lead.
On the move early were Bryan Warf and Casey Tillman, who knifed their way from deep in the field to the top five after just ten laps. But as the familiar foes battled for fourth spot, they tangled and spun through turns one and two on lap fifteen. Both drivers would restart at the back of the pack and spin again in the same corner two laps later.
Back up front, Elliott now saw Meridian Speedway dominator Cory Lockwood lined up to his outside for the restart. The green flag waved and Lockwood roared around the outside and took the lead in his sprinter. This dropped Elliott into the clutches of Colton Nelson’s Miller Lite, YMC Mechanical machine.
Nelson would run out of laps to work his way around Elliott and settled for third place. But it all happened behind Lockwood, who tallied yet another victory in the Concrete Jungle.
Lockwood dedicated his season-opening win to his late grandfather from the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
The short track thrills and spills continue next Saturday, April 24, with the Dairy Queen Bike Races 4 Kids, featuring the Bud Light NASCAR Modifieds, Pepsi Sprint Cars, Coors Pro-Late Models, Boise Bath and Kitchen Company Mini Stocks, and Zamp Stingers in pursuit of their Trammel Construction Feature Flags. Plus, kids who bring a bike and helmet can take their turn on the quarter-mile before opening ceremonies. General admission for the Dairy Queen Bike Races 4 Kids is just $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and military members, $7 for kids 7-11, and free for kids 6 and under. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, with the first green flag at 6:30 p.m. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com to purchase your advance tickets now, and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for exclusive text club updates. We’ll see you this Saturday, April 24, for the Dairy Queen Bike Races 4 Kids under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.