Meridian Racer Captures Bob and Tom Naylor Memorial Classicadmin
Meridian Speedway welcomed summer to the quarter-mile Saturday with the Bob and Tom Naylor Memorial Classic. The Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcars, CT400 Sprintcars, Domino’s Legends, Project Filter Pro-4s, and TATES Rents Hornets clashed to kick off the speedway’s Memorial Day weekend double-header.
The TATES Rents Hornets rolled to their first of two main events with Nampa, Idaho drivers Kari Deane and Brandon Kelley on the front row. Kelley motored around Deane on the green flag to take the top spot in his Kelley Rooter, Krung Thai Restaurant machine, followed by Charlie Atkinson, Thomas Harrod and Ron Compton. On the move early was Bill Allen, who worked his Fast Eddy’s, Disaster Kleenup car all the way to fifth place in just five laps. Allen’s progress was slowed as he battled to climb his way to the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Fourth was the best Allen could muster as he settled in behind the lead pack. Kelley held station until the last lap when Harrod piled his PBT Auto Sales racer into Kelley’s rear bumper and moved the leader up the track to cross the finish line first.
The Project Filter Pro-4s assembled to contest the Sean Miller Memorial 40. On the green Wes Summers shot to the lead in his Foundations LLC, Brundage Bone Concrete Pumping racer with Brandon Shira and Jonathan Hull in tow. Hull wasted no time as he blasted around Shira on lap two, then Summers on lap three to take the top spot. Hull had just two laps to breathe before his brother Larry Hull III and Kenny Chandler took second and third and began to close on the leader.
At the race’s halfway point Chandler dove his Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bobs entry beneath Hull III to take the runner up spot and set to tracking down the younger Hull brother. The handling on Hull’s Diversified Carpet Cleaning, All American Towing machine began to sour as Chandler applied pressure to the leader. With a dozen circuits remaining Kuna, Idaho’s Chandler pulled to the outside of Hull’s skidding racer, but a caution flag blunted his charge and put Chandler back in second place.
On the restart Chandler pulled to Hull’s outside, but Hull shot back to the top spot. With eight laps remaining Chandler got loose and Joe Barton pulled to second place and went to work on Hull’s rear bumper. A restart with four laps left put Barton’s Tyco Structural Enterprises machine on the high side and Chandler back to the second row. Chandler immediately pulled to Hull’s outside to make time, but couldn’t pass the younger Hull brother, who slid his racer sideways across the finish line.
“It’s taken us two years now to get a win in this class,” Hull said in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle. “It feels great to finally get one.”
The Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcars rolled seven speedy machines to the green flag of the Bob and Tom Naylor Memorial Classic. Caldwell, Idaho racer Matt Elliott was quick to the gas pedal and he outmuscled Meridian, Idaho’s Chris Fenton to lead lap one. Quick qualifier Bryan Warf wasted no time as he sliced his way through traffic to the runner up spot on lap five. Elliott piloted his machine as hard as he could, but Warf was simply too strong and took the top spot in his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Dave’s Quick Lube machine on lap ten.
Now the battle was on for third as Jerome, Idaho’s Stacey Jensen worked to take the final podium spot away from Fenton’s CF Floor Coverings entry. With ten laps to go Jensen peeked to Fenton’s outside, but Fenton slammed the door. Jensen tried again one lap later, but broke loose and got only a piece of the front stretch concrete for his efforts. Undeterred, Jensen continued his assault on third place until his sprinter encountered a mechanical failure and he was forced to the pit area. At the checkers all the drama was behind Warf, who cruised to his third straight Bob and Tom Naylor Memorial Classic victory.
“I sat in the grandstands watching the Supermodifieds,” Warf said of his childhood watching the legendary Naylor brothers race. “To be able to run for this trophy means a lot to me. I’m just honored.”
Seventeen Domino’s Legends crowded the quarter-mile to compete for the Austin Christopherson and Eldon Cahill 50 trophy. Star, Idaho driver Daytona Wurtz blasted around Gary Luck to take the lead on lap one, but soon had to contend with the likes of Casey Tillman, Cameron Madsen, Ethan Jones, and Zach Blume. Tillman made his move on lap five and put his Taylor Made Upholstery, Air Filter Supply Store machine to the lead as Madsen followed on the high side. Next to move was Eagle, Idaho’s Blume, who passed Madsen for second just moments before Madsen lost control of his racer and spun down the front straightaway. Madsen continued, but had to restart at the back of the pack.
Blume and Tillman went wheel-to-wheel for the lead on the restart. Blume was able to clear Tillman after one lap, but Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Cameron Morga scooted inside Blume and took the lead on lap twelve. Next to challenge Blume was Ethan Jones, who worked both the low and high grooves to make time, but was only able to pull alongside when a caution came out with 28 circuits remaining.
Jones took the runner up spot on the restart, but Blume battled his way back to second at the halfway point. Contact sent the pair sliding through turn one a lap later, and Jones recovered second place. With fifteen laps remaining both Blume and fourth place Aubree Wartman suffered separate mechanical failures and brought out another caution flag. This left Morga in the lead with Jones, Tillman, Chance Davis, and Randy Beddow in the top five.
On the restart Tillman pulled to Morga’s outside, but was no match for the leader and fell into the clutches of Jones and Davis. Jones motored around the outside of Tillman two laps later and again gave chase to Morga, but Jones was unable to close the gap and Morga took the Austin Christopherson and Eldon Cahill Memorial Trophy.
“This was awesome, especially with the great group of guys we were running against,” Morga said of his victory.
The TATES Rents Hornets wrapped up Saturday night’s main event action with a twenty lap sprint race. Trenton Barrington was first out of the gates in his Alic Motors, Northwest Collision Center racer, but Josh Parkkila stormed around the high side to take the top spot for himself on lap two. An early restart bunched the pack and allowed Nampa, Idaho’s Josh Randolph to pull into second place. Deep in the pack a battle between Bill Allen and Thomas Harrod turned ugly with eleven laps to go as the two traded vicious blows at both ends of the racetrack. The brawl was only broken up by a black flag for debris falling off Harrod’s automobile. But all the action was behind Parkkila, who cruised to the main event victory.
Meridian Speedway closes its Memorial Day festivities with Monday’s Bill Crow 50 for the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodels and the LeeRoy Nelson 40 featuring the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds. Also running Monday are the Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks, Teleperformance Claimers, and College of Western Idaho High School Tuners. Then, on Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4, Meridian Speedway hosts another double-header as the BOB FM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds roars onto the asphalt quarter-mile with the Royal Purple Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association winged sprintcars. Friday night also features the Meridian Speedway Pro Trucks, Pepsi Crate Cars, and Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks. Saturday night’s action includes the Meridian Speedway Pro Trucks, College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks, Junior Stingers, and the TATES Rents Hornets. Log on to meridianspeedway.com for ticket information and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to get exclusive updates from around the quarter-mile. We’ll see you at your NASCAR Home Track under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.