Meridian Speedster Wrecks, Rebounds for Smash-O-Rama Winadmin
The Pepsi Crate Cars and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Sprintcars got a jump on the Wendy’s Smash-O-Rama action Saturday, May 11, as they headlined the racing portion of a jam-packed program. The Domino’s Legends, Factory Motor Parts Mini Stocks, Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets, and Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers joined their open-wheeled counterparts in pursuit of their own Wendy’s Feature Flags.
Frank Keller and Steve Howell led the twenty-car Pepsi Crate Car and ISRL Sprintcar field to green. Lehi, Utah’s Keller made the inside line work and claimed the top spot in his Anderson 68 Racing machine while the pack struggled to sort itself out. After three laps of near constant contact something had to give, and it was young Kate Jackson of Middleton, Idaho who found herself spun backward in front of the field.
With nowhere to go Colton Nelson piled into Jackson’s Mulders Machine sprinter, followed by Bryan Warf and Rob Grice. Division rookie Evan Brown hopped a tire and soared into the pile, landing first on Grice before his Pro Power Clean, Extreme Excavation machine cartwheeled clear of the wreckage and came to rest further down the back stretch. After tense moments all drivers emerged from their cars okay and assessed damage. Remarkably, Only Nelson, Brown, and Grice were forced to retire due to the crash.
With the backstretch cleaned up and makeshift repairs done to half a dozen cars the green flag waved again. Nampa, Idaho driver Trevor Anderson was ready to race, and he stormed around the outside from fourth to second on the restart. After a fierce three lap battle with Keller, Anderson took over the top spot, followed by fellow Nampa, Idaho racer Drew Crenshaw.
Also ready to race was Johnny Giesler, who made incredible progress through the pack after being involved in the lap three incident. By lap ten Giesler held third on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard with Crenshaw and Anderson dead ahead. For eight laps the top three sized each other up before Crenshaw blasted his way to the lead.
This opened the door for Giesler, too, and the Meridian, Idaho driver knifed underneath Crenshaw to take the top spot for himself. In the exchange Crenshaw pounded the front stretch wall, and was forced to retire from the event. Once out front Giesler found nothing but open track and steadily marched away from the rest of the field.
Behind Giesler, the racing wounded began their charge forward. Warf, his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Oxarc sprinter hoodless after his early tangle, led Jackson through traffic, and with ten laps left the pair held second and third positions, a full half lap behind Giesler. Content with their rebound Warf and Jackson settled into their own battle for the runner up spot.
With his nose in the wind and just five laps left Giesler looked to be a lock for the Pepsi Crate Car victory. But luck dealt Giesler a bad hand as a spinning lapped car collected the leader in turn four. Relegated to the back of the pack for the restart Giesler’s shot at victory was gone.
This left the lead to Warf, with Jackson second and Anderson holding onto third spot. The green flag waved for the last time, and four short laps later Warf crossed the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
“If you had told me I’d be standing in victory lane earlier today, I’d say you were lying,” Warf said as he collected his Wendy’s Feature Flag. “Johnny definitely had the best car tonight.”
With Smash-O-Rama in the rearview, Meridian Speedway turns its attention to May 18 and the Military Appreciation Night Twin 25’s. The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Coors Super Stocks, Project Filter Pro-4s, Teleperformance Street Stocks, High School Tuners, and Junior Stingers double-dip as each run twin main events, while the first installment of Spectacular Drags rounds out a full night of features. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com for further Wendy’s Smash-O-Rama highlights and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to join our text club and receive exclusive updates from around the quarter-mile. We’ll see you under the big yellow water tower Saturday, May 18, for the Military Appreciation Night Twin 25’s at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.