Meridian Speedway remembers Nampa racer with Hornet Enduro

Meridian Speedway remembers Nampa racer with Hornet Enduro

MERIDIAN, Idaho – It’s a well-established fact that local auto racing is a fraternity. No matter what the rivalries or what the beefs, racers will help racers when thehornetenduro loog time comes.

The “family” at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway is no different, and many racers, crewmembers and others have come together to make sure that Saturday’s Hornet Enduro 200 is the best it can be.

“It’s pretty phenomenal,” Art’s wife, Stacy, said of the decision to run a tribute race. “It means a lot to all of us.”

Up to 84 Hornet racers will take the track to race in honor of Art “The Animal” Heath. The Nampa, Idaho driver, a former Tates Hornets season champion at the quarter-mile oval, died Dec. 21 at the age of 42 in a single-car accident on Idaho highway 55.

His father, Art Sr., from Pocatello, will drive a white Ford Escort emblazoned with the trademark green flames and No. 84 that Art Jr. piloted on the way to earning another nickname, “Master of Disaster,” at the Meridian track.

“We haven’t had an enduro in a few years,” speedway managing partner Adam Nelson said.

“We’re looking forward to using the format again. It’s crazy. No cautions, no holds barred. Couldn’t be a better format when we’re talking about the memory of the Master of Disaster Art “The Animal” Heath.”

Two of Heath’s former Hornet rivals — Thomas Harrod of Caldwell, Idaho, and Chuck Youngblood of Meridian — will have the vintage paint job ready for Saturday.

“I just would like to say thanks to everybody for everything. They’ve done so much,” Art Jr.’s wife, Stacy, said. “Tommy Harrod, Chuck Youngblood, Tony Flores and Lynn Sharp. (Western Idaho Racing Association) has helped me a lot.

“Monica is the only thing that has probably gotten me through.”

“Monica” is Art’s cousin, Monica Heath, whose registered hometown for Saturday’s entry list is Blackfoot.

Both Stacy and Monica returned to the racetrack on April 20 when the Hornets season opened.

“There were a lot of sad feelings: Missing him, wishing he was there,” Stacy said. “I don’t know if I’m honestly going to make it through the year. It’s too hard to catch yourself looking across the track, looking for him and him not being there.

“He was my painter, my husband, my mechanic, my everything.”

Stacy ran as high as second place in the opener last week, but made a strategic decision, leaving the track to preserve her car for Art’s memorial race.

“There was too much water on (the track),” she said. “I had the wrong size tires on (the car) and couldn’t hold the track.

“I didn’t want to take anybody out and miss this race.”

The fact that Stacy even made the opener a little more than four months after her husband’s passing was testament to the tight-knit racing community. Her engine blew up late last season.

“I’ve had a lot of help,” she said. “Meridian Speedway has been really great. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know if I would have been there last week.”

The gates open at 4 p.m. with qualifying after 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.

Race tickets are $10 for adults, $7.50 for military personnel with ID and senior citizens 62 and older and $6 for children ages 7-11. Children 6 and younger get in free. A family ticket good for two adults and up to four children ages 7-11 is $30.

Discount tickets, available for $6, can be purchased and printed at the track’s website,

Meridian Speedway

2013 standings

(Through April 20 races)

Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints — 1. Bryan Warf, Meridian, ID, 72 points; 2. Johnny Giesler, Meridian, ID, 65; 3. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian, ID, 64; 4. Sierra Jackson, Middleton, ID, 58; 5. Ryan Burdett, West Jordan, UT, 52; 6. Matt Elliott, Caldwell, ID, 47; 7. Sara Henry, Nampa, ID, 12

Pepsi Sprintcars — 1. Tony Ackerland, Star, ID, 88 points; 2. Josh Allen, Meridian, ID, 77; 3. Ryan Wiederich, Nampa, ID, 57; 4. Trevor Cristiani, Boise, ID, 54; 5. Jimmy Gross, Fruitland, ID, 47; 6. Tristen Spiers, Adrian, OR, 46; 7. Justin Segura, Nampa, ID, 42; 8. Rob Grice, Nampa, ID, 40; 9. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 38; 10. Michael Anderson, Nampa, ID, 34

ASA Modifieds — 1. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 84 points; 2. Jentry Pisca, Nampa, ID, 69; 3. Dell Scott, Meridian, ID, 60; 4. Rick Fowble, Twin Falls, ID, 59; 6. Tony Ackerland, Star, ID, 50; 6. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 46; 7. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 45; 8. Cade Hollon, Riggins, ID, 38; 9. Tony Flores, Meridian, ID, 35

Budweiser B Modifieds — 1. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 75 points; 2. Randy Keckley, Boise, ID, 66; 3. Jay Cook, Nampa, ID, 64; 4. Pete Trammell, Boise, ID, 18; 5. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell, ID, 4

Tates Hornets — 1. Cody Garrett, Boise, ID, 121 points; 2. James Pahl, Caldwell, ID, 100; 3. Chuck Youngblood, Meridian, ID, 92; 4. Fred Nagele, Caldwell, ID, 85; 5. Jeff Goade, Boise, ID, 83; 6. Cody Brizendine, Nampa, ID, 71; 7. Jess Ryska, Meridian, ID, 68; 8. Jack Martin, Caldwell, ID, 63; 9. Brandon Hild, Boise, ID, 59; 10. Monica Heath, Nampa, ID, 57

NAPA Late Models – 1. Chris Fenton, Meridian, ID, 74 points; 2. Dylan Caldwell, Nampa, ID, 72; 3. Lee Hackney, Boise, ID, 64; 4. Dan Lowther, Boise, ID, 57; 5. Mike Marston, Boise, ID, 52; 6. Tyler “TJ” Monroe, Meridian, ID, 51; 7. Jake Petero, Ontario, OR, 38

Coors Super Stocks — 1. Justin Ellis, Boise, ID, 79 points; 2. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 71; 3. Gale Carter, Boise, ID, 60; 5. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 58; 5. Anthony Boven, Boise, ID, 8

Project Filter Pro-4s — 1. Kenny Chandler, Kuna, ID, 80 points; 2. Joe Barton, Nampa, ID, 78; 3. Chet Thorson, Nampa, ID, 63; 4. Larry Hull III, Boise, ID, 57; 5. Ryan Bailey, Meridian, ID, 48; 6. (tie) Jeffery Snethen, Boise, ID, 42; Terry Sherman, Boise, ID, 42

College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks — 1. Melissa Weaver, Nampa, ID, 79 points; 2. Jeff Meads, Nampa, ID, 69; 3. Marv Weaver, Nampa, ID, 68; 4. Rick Baldwin, Middleton, ID, 60; 5. Bobby Riggs, Fruitland, ID, 50; 6. Shaun Bush, Marsing, ID, 45; 7. Micky Lawson, Caldwell, ID, 39; 8. Tommy Lumpkin-Kirkland, Nampa, ID, 35; 9. Rick Moran, Meridian, ID, 34; 10. Ray Bolinger, Meridian, ID, 29

TEAM Mazda-Subaru Mini Stocks — 1. Jason Sanders, Caldwell, ID, 96 points; 2. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 87; 3. Jonathan Hull, Boise, ID, 85; 4. TJ Labronte, Meridian, ID, 54; 5. Brendon Fries, Meridian, ID, 53; 6. Donovan Johns, Caldwell, ID, 47; 7. Brandon Shira, Boise, ID, 42; 8. Denny Gerber, Meridian, ID, 38; 9. Alex Duda, Boise, ID, 32; 10. Nathan Dearing, Boise, ID, 28

Jr. Stingers — 1. Riley Rogers, Meridian, ID, 88 points; 2. Jordan Kirkland, Boise, ID, 76; 3. Daytona Wurtz, Boise, ID, 74; 4. (tie) Kendra Occhipinti, Nampa, ID, 51; Hunter Gates, Nampa, ID, 51; 6. Taylor Occhipinti, Nampa, ID, 48; 7. CJ Stirm, Nampa, ID, 46; 8. Tyler Marston-Henderson, Boise, ID, 38; 9. Matthew Gerber, Boise, ID, 33; 10. Stafford Smith, Eagle, ID, 31