Meridian sprintcar drivers honor one of their own, race for title

Meridian sprintcar drivers honor one of their own, race for title

by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho – The open-wheel community comes together again Friday night to pay tribute to a man who was a fixture in the pits at ASA-tom elliott 13sanctioned Meridian Speedway.

In addition to a slew of local drivers who will come out to salute the late Tom Elliott during the annual Tom Elliott Sportsman Classic, Californian Cody Gerhardt, who was last seen in Meridian flying dangerously close to the advertisting beyond the Turn 1 wall after a first-lap mishap put his racecar about 20 feet in the air, and Seattle veteran Vern Church — the father of Drew Church — may dust off the helmet and come out the play.

Throw in locals such as Sierra Jackson of Middleton, Idaho, Wyatt King and Brandon Johnson of Meridian, Idaho, Boise, Idaho’s Mark Floyd and (is he retired, is he racing?) Dave Parrie of Boise, and track managing partner Adam Nelson is figuring this Tom Elliott Sportsman Classic will be the best yet.

Oh, and while they’re at it, the locals might as well settle a championship, too.

Meridian’s Bryan Warf brings a 25-point lead into the final Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars feature of the season at the quarter-mile paved oval. Fellow Meridian racer Mike Murgoitio sits in second place poised to capitalize on his second-place showing at the Canadian-American Western Winged Sprintcars Series Salt City 200 two weeks ago at Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah.

Johnny Giesler, who pulled down the 2013 WWS season championship after the Salt City 200, is third in the Mtn. Dew points at Meridian.

The night is run in honor of Tom Elliott, who was known for his willingness to help anyone who needed it in the pits on race night or any other time. Elliott died at the age of 58 in 2009.

Elliott’s son, Caldwell, Idaho resident Matt, returned to open-wheel racing this season. He is seventh in the Mtn. Dew standings and also will run in memory of his dad.

In addition to championship night for the winged sprints, there will be championship races for the ASA Modifieds, Budweiser B Modifieds and Tates Hornets.

Meridian racer Shelby Stroebel is on pace for his third consecutive ASA Modifieds season championship. He owns a 214-point lead over Twin Falls, Idaho’s Rick Fowble.

Randy Keckley of Boise, Idaho, has a 169-point lead over 2012 champion Jay Cook of Nampa, Idaho in the Budweiser B Modifieds.

In the Hornets, Nampa’s Thomas Harrod is 140 points ahead of Meridian’s Jess Ryska for that championship.

In another close points race, Boise’s Jonathan Hull and Caldwell’s Jason Sanders will continue their battle for the TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks season title.

There are two races remaining in the season (the crown will be handed out Oct. 5), and Hull holds a razor-thin 14-point lead over multiple-time track champion Sanders.

Friday marks the second-to-last race of the speedway’s pavement season.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, a final round of championships will be held as part of a makeup night at the racetrack. The bonus action includes a Street Stocks Invitational, which could pay as much as $750 to the winner.

Titles will be decided in the Project Filter Pro-4s, the TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks, the Jr. Stingers and the Coors Super Stocks. Also on tap are the Budweiser B Modifieds in a non-points race, the Pepsi Sprintcars and the NAPA Late Models.

On Friday, the gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets for Friday’s racing are $10 for adults, $7.50 for military personnel with ID and senior citizens and $6 for children ages 7-11. Children 6 and younger get in free.

Tickets are available online at, giving fans the opportunity to buy and print tickets from home and skip the line at the spectator gate.

For more information or to purchased tickets in advance and print them off at home, visit You can follow Meridian Speedway on Facebook, too.


Meridian Speedway

2013 standings

(Through Sept. 21 races)

Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars — 1. Bryan Warf, Meridian, ID, 661 points; 2. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian, ID, 636; 3. Johnny Giesler, Meridian, ID, 485; 4. Brandon Johnson, Meridian, ID, 397; 5. Sierra Jackson, Middleton, ID, 376; 6. Mark Floyd, Boise, ID, 293; 7. Matt Elliott, Caldwell, ID, 248; 8. Ryan Burdett, West Jordan, UT, 238; 9. Andy Alberding, Winston, Ore., 200; 10. Jeff Montgomery, Langford, British Columbia, 190

Pepsi Sprintcars — 1. Tony Ackerland, Star, ID, 819 points; 2. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 623; 3. Ryan Wiederich, Nampa, ID, 569; 4. Michael Anderson, Nampa, ID, 539; 5. Justin Segura, Caldwell, ID, 501; 6. Ryan Newman, Caldwell, ID, 473; 7. Rob Grice, Nampa, ID, 422; 8. Tristen Spiers, Adrian, OR, 313; 9. Kevin Kressly, Caldwell, ID, 288; 10. Tyler Barrow, Boise, ID, 284

NAPA Late Models — 1. Travis Anderson, Boise, ID, 570 points; 2. (tie) Dennis Wurtz II, Boise, ID, 542; 3. Dylan Caldwell, Nampa, ID, 542; 4. Dave Thomasson, Meridian, ID, 379; 5. Jake Petero, Ontario, OR, 346; 6. Chris Fenton, Meridian, ID, 317; 7. Lee Hackney, Boise, ID, 243; 8. Dan Lowther, Boise, ID, 220; 9. Dennis Brodigan, Nampa, ID, 152; 10. Tyler Marston-Henderson, Boise, ID, 117

Domino’s Pizza Legends (final) — 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Boise, ID, 1,013 points; 2. Zach Blume, Eagle, ID, 888; 3. Casey Tillman, Kuna, ID, 795; 4. Jonathan Davis, Emmett, ID, 602; 5. Aubree Wartman, Boise, ID, 596; 6. Caity Miller, Boise, ID, 570; 7. Chance Davis, Emmett, ID, 542; 8. Sara Henry, Nampa, ID, 510; 9. Chase Gilbertson, Boise, ID, 428; 10. Steve Thimsen, Boise, ID, 376

ASA Modifieds — 1. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 838 points; 2. Rick Fowble, Twin Falls, ID, 624; 3. Cade Hollon, Riggins, ID, 583; 4. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 569; 5. Jentry Pisca, Nampa, ID, 470; 6. Rus Ward, Boise, ID, 422; 7. Kyle Latham, Boise, ID, 397; 8. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell, ID, 281; 9. Dell Scott, Meridian, ID, 273; 10. Abe Carter, South Jordan, UT, 221

Coors Super Stocks — 1. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 696 points; 2. Justin Ellis, Boise, ID, 605; 3. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 335; 4. Kim Bradford, Star, ID, 288; 5. Gale Carter, Boise, ID, 195; 6. Travis Pavlacky, Fruitland, ID, 173; 7. Anthony Boven, Boise, ID, 133

Project Filter Pro-4s — 1. Joe Barton, Nampa, ID, 642 points; 2. Kenny Chandler, Kuna, ID, 600; 3. Ryan Bailey, Meridian, ID, 521; 4. Larry Hull III, Boise, ID, 450; 5. Jeffery Snethen, Boise, ID, 350; 6. Ron Hayes, Boise, 252; 7. Chet Thorson, Nampa, ID, 221; 8. Terry Sherman, Boise, ID, 162; 9. Kevin Winders, Woods Cross, Utah, 114; 10. Donovan Parker, Boise, ID, 98

College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks — 1. Melissa Weaver, Nampa, ID, 1,081 points; 2. Marv Weaver, Nampa, ID, 861; 3. Rick Baldwin, Middleton, ID, 635; 4. Shawn Hansen, Boise, ID, 572; 5. Daniel Johnson, Caldwell, ID, 553; 6. Scott Shoecraft, Boise, ID, 518; 7. Jeff Meads, Nampa, ID, 431; 8. Ray Bolinger, Meridian, ID, 489; 9. Shaun Bush, Marsing, ID, 424; 10. Destiny Huber, Caldwell, ID, 221

TEAM Mazda-Subaru Mini Stocks — 1. Jonathan Hull, Boise, ID, 802 points; 2. Jason Sanders, Caldwell, ID, 788; 3. Brendon Fries, Meridian, ID, 617; 4. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 499; 5. Brandon Shira, Boise, ID, 403; 6. (tie) Jayson Wardle, Kuna, ID, 400; Mary Johnson, Meridian, ID, 400; 8. Denny Gerber, Meridian, ID, 335; 9. Nathan Dearing, Boise, ID, 324; 10. Chad Barker, Kuna, ID, 320

Budweiser B Modifieds — 1. Randy Keckley, Boise, ID, 795 points; 2. Jay Cook, Nampa, ID, 626; 3. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 557; 4. Sharlet Wilson, Mountain Home, ID, 516; 5. Gene Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 306; 6. Rodney Houpt, Nampa, ID, 151; 7. (tie) Pete Trammell, Boise, ID, 150; Rod Stiller, Meridian, ID, 150; 9. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell, ID, 138; 10. Darvin Ackerland, Boise, ID, 110

Tates Hornets — 1. Thomas Harrod, Nampa, ID, 1,216 points; 2. Jess Ryska, Meridian, ID, 1,086; 3. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 1,052; 4. Brandon Hild, Boise, ID, 1,047; 5. Lynn Sharp, Nampa, ID, 944; 6. Drew Crenshaw, Nampa, ID, 935; 7. Fred Nagele, Caldwell, ID, 792; 8. Monica Heath, Nampa, ID, 733; 9. James Pahl, Caldwell, ID, 709; 10. Cody Brizendine, Nampa, ID, 641

Jr. Stingers — 1. Riley Rogers, Meridian, ID, 421 points; 2. Jordan Kirkland, Boise, ID, 379; 3. Daytona Wurtz, Boise, ID, 357; 4. Kendra Occhipinti, Nampa, ID, 289; 5. Jordan Harris, Nampa, ID, 276; 6. Peter Woog, Meridian, ID, 239; 7. CJ Stirm, Nampa, ID, 220; 8. Taylor Occhipinti, Nampa, ID, 214; 9. Cherokee Arnold, Star, ID, 142; 10. Cora Munro, Eagle, ID, 130

Thunder Dogs — 1. Bulldacious (James DeMello, Boise, ID), 1,445 points; 2. Sledgehammer (David Jolley, Nampa, ID), 1,278; 3. Hot Pursuit (James Cloud, Meridian, ID), 1,008; 4. Big Tuna (Stan Irons, Boise, ID), 692; 5. Buzz Lightyear (Richard Scott, Meridian, ID), 600; 6. Devil Made Me Do It (Joe or Tiffany Volm, Meridian, ID), 522; 7. Money Pit (Kennon Irons, Boise, ID), 515; 8. Bumble Bee (Paul Orlando, Meridian, ID), 347; 9. M&M (Dan Wylie or Treasure Wylie, Nampa, ID), 294; 10. Over Kill (Mike Bako, Boise, ID), 265