Meridian’s Warf Chases Speedway History Againadmin
For the second time in as many weeks Meridian, Idaho driver Bryan Warf climbed aboard his Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcar poised to add his name to the Meridian Speedway history books as the twenty-sixth running of the BobFM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds concluded Saturday. Warf faced the challenge of racing his way to the front of a field stacked with Canadian-American Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association, local Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcar competitors, and even the famed Pink Lady sprintcar in his quest to win his second Star Diamond ring in three years. Joining the NSRA Sprintcars Saturday were the Pro Truck Series, College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Program Street Stocks, Claimer Stocks, and a rookies only Tates Rents Hornets showcase.
The Tates Rents Hornets ran a twenty lap rookies-only invitational feature Saturday. Katie Lober jumped around Kevin Kurtz to lead lap one to take the early lead in her Steve Lober Painting racer. Deep in the pack Jim Schanz pinballed his way into turn one and spun. Schanz’s Kim’s Kars, Challenger Auto Transport racer finally slid to a halt right in the path of Maverik’s PBT Auto Sales car. Maverik speared into Schanz’s passenger door. Both drivers were okay, but both cars retired from the race.
On the restart Boise, Idaho’s Lober had her hands full with Rob Sturman who tried the high side three times before he found grip and motored his PBT Auto Sales car around the lady racer. On lap five Aaron Harris and CJ Stirm stormed past Lober and went to work on leader Sturman. Just before the race’s halfway point Harris and Stirm picked Sturman off on a lapped car to claim the top two places on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
Stirm, in her Canyon Windshield Repair, Aerial Rentals car, went to work on Harris immediately and used the inside groove to motor her way to the lead as the top two entered a gaggle of lapped cars. Patience prevailed as both Stirm and Harris survived the slow car run-in to battle for the rest of the event. Though Nampa, Idaho’s Harris was able to draw near Stirm he couldn’t muster enough from his racer and settled for second.
The College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks and Claimer Stocks combined to crowd the quarter-mile with sixteen rowdy racecars to settle a thirty lap main event. When the green flag fell Shawn Hansen bolted ahead of Caldwell, Idaho racer Micky Lawson to take the CWI Street Stock lead and Josh Hale shoved Casey Hart into the Claimer Stock lead. While Hale and Hart settled into their positions Melissa Weaver piloted her Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines car to the front of the CWI Street Stock field. The lady racer claimed the top spot in just four short laps.
In the Claimer Stock ranks Hart and Hale now went at each other. Hart had his hands full of a loose Hart Construction, CSDI Construction pickup truck while Hale had his windshield full of the bright orange, sideways behemoth. On lap twelve Hale dove his ASAP Auto Services, Muscle Farm car to the low side of the speedway and took the Claimer Stock lead.
In the CWI Street Stock division Jeff Meads put the loud pedal down and caught second place Marv Weaver. Meads’ run stalled there until Claimer Stock competitor Ben Crow slid his Excel Equipment Company, Trenching Services machine into the elder Weaver and allowed Meads to grab second place. Meads sped toward Melissa Weaver’s rear bumper, but he would run out of laps to catch the reigning CWI Street Stock champion. Further back Hale took the Claimer Stock checkers.
The Pro Truck Series rumbled onto the speedway with seventeen strong racers set to test each other for a forty lap brawl. On the green flag Jason Quale and Ron Larson paced the field with Larson using the high groove to settle in first after lap two. The early battle was for the preferred low line as several bumper and body blows were traded in an attempt to gain an advantage. Finally Doug Dugger made a move to the high side of the racetrack to muscle the runner up spot from Quale. Dugger’s truck would lose fire and he would pull his racer into the pits on lap ten.
Now Hannah Newhouse started to make her presence known as she dug her Pocatello Raceway, The Car Store truck into the low side of the racetrack and passed competitors. No sooner had she pulled her rebuilt into the top eight than she and Daniel Shirley made contact going into turn one. Newhouse was able to keep her truck off the wall, but Sam Harris wasn’t able to keep his Sharp Transportation, 4 Brother Dairy truck off of Newhouse as he was piled into and slid broadside across Newhouse’s nose. Both Newhouse and Harris would retire as a result of their run-in.
Newhouse was quick to shake a fist at Shirley as he rolled by under caution.
When the green flag waved again Orem, Utah’s Cody Backus put on the work gloves and battled Larson on the high side for the lead. Larson was able to barge his way back to the point while John Wong broke out of the pack to take third. With fifteen to go Mason Newhouse and Johnny Pierre made their move on fourth place Quale and put their numbers up on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
With laps winding down to single digits Backus pulled his Emissions Made Easy, We Mark It Specialties truck back up to Larson and knocked on the leader’s tailgate. This battle allowed Wong to bash his way inside Backus and take second while Newhouse and Pierre took advantage of the sideways Backus to move up to third and fourth. While Wong pulled closer to Larson in the closing laps nobody could track down Twin Falls, Idaho’s Larson as he pulled his Agri-Service, Valley View Farms machine into Arctic Circle Victory Lane.
“All the guys in this series are fun to race with,” said Larson as he collected his trophy.
Johnny Pierre used a string of consistent finishes to claim the Pro Truck Series Diamond Cup Weekend Championship in his D.L. Evans Bank, Elite Heating and Cooling truck. This was Pierre’s second-straight Diamond Cup Weekend Championship.
The twenty-sixth running of the BobFM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds concluded Saturday with a full field of Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association and Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcar competitors flying through a fifty lap feature. Amid the roar of high-horsepower engines Matt Hein and Rick Brown led the field into turn one.
Hein launched his Coastline-West Insulation, C and R Striping sprinter off turn two and took the top spot early. The lessons of Friday’s wreckfest weren’t lost on the field as single-file racing prevailed by lap three. Middleton, Idaho racer Sierra Jackson was the first to drop ranks as she raced her strong Spires Construction, Telmate machine toward the front from tenth starting spot.
Hein enjoyed his lead while behind him Colville, Washington competitor Chris Schmelze pulled up to challenge Brown. Brown settled that score quickly as the Sringfield, Oregon racer roared into the runner up spot on lap six. Now Friday night feature winner Andy Alberding thundered onto the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard in pursuit of his first Diamond Cup title.
On lap twelve Alberding and his Sprinter Trucking, Davis Auto Parts machine overtook Darren Yates in turn three to move up to fourth. Bryan Warf followed Alberding through and was finally able to make his way into the top five as well. Up front Hein caught traffic and had to manage both that and a furious assault from Brown and Schmelze as the top three bobbed and weaved for the top spot. On lap fourteen Warf picked Alberding off using the lapped ‘Pink Lady’ racer of Kenny Hamilton and set sail to Schmelze’s tail tank. Warf threw his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Dave’s Quick Lube sprinter sideways and overpowered Schmelze just past the race’s halfway point and started tracking down the lead duo of Hein and Brown.
Just inches from lapped cars and certain disaster Warf worked on Brown and Brown worked on Alberding. Brown jabbed high to no avail. Warf slung his sprinter low, but had no room to advance. The only thing that slowed this three-way scrap for the lead was a caution with eleven circuits remaining. This pinned the Diamond Cup championship hopes of Hein, Warf, and Alberding on one last mad dash to the finish.
Hein was the first to turn one while behind him Warf slammed the door on Brown and took second. With Roseburg, Oregon’s Hein already out of reach Warf went on the defensive. He’d already scored the most passing points of any racer in the field and hoped this would put him atop the weekend standings. Brown had nothing left for Warf as he settled into third.
Behind Brown it was Alberding who made a desperate late-race run at fourth place Schmelze. Schmelze, right rear tire melting under the strain of a long race, was able to hold off 2013 NSRA Champion Alberding to take fourth. But up front the story was Hein and his dominant machine that went wire-to-wire for the victory.
“This is an awesome race to be a part of,” Hein said as he collected his main event trophy. “We weren’t the fastest car by far…with eleven to go I just drove it as hard as I could.”
Before fireworks lit up the early-summer sky the overall Diamond Cup points were tabulated. Alberding held the lead after his Friday night victory, but the gap from him to third place Warf was just five points at the evening’s outset. The final margin of victory was just three markers, but in the end Alberding stood with the Star Diamond ring in Arctic Circle Victory Lane. Warf was second in the weekend standings.
“This is the best weekend I’ve had in Idaho,” Alberding joked about his numerous runner-up Diamond Cup finishes. “This is an awesome event. I’m proud to get this great ring with so many great names.”
Next Saturday Meridian Speedway hosts Emergency Medical Service, Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers night. Racing for the Disaster Kleen-Up Hardware are the Pepsi Sprintcars, Grand American and Budweiser Modifieds, Domino’s Legends, College of Western Idaho Transportation Program High School Tuners, Junior Stingers, Tates Rents Hornets, and Karts. As always check meridianspeedway.com for advance tickets and the latest news and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for special information from under the big yellow water tower. We’ll see you next week for another action-packed night of racing thrills at Meridian Speedway.
BobFM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds Unofficial Results-
Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association Diamond Cup (50 laps)-1.Matt Hein 2.Bryan Warf 3.Rick Brown 4.Chris Schmelze 5.Andy Alberding
Pro Truck Series (40 laps)-1.Alan Larson 2.John Wong 3.Mason Newhouse 4.Johnny Pierre 5.Drew Reitsma
CWI Street Stocks and Claimer Stocks (30 laps)-1.Melissa Weaver 2.Jeff Meads 3.Marv Weaver 4.Josh Hale 5.Shawn Hansen
TATES Hornet Rookies (20 laps)-1.CJ Stirm 2.Aaron Harris 3.Kenny Piatt 4.Rob Sturman 5.Ben Harris
(8 laps each)
Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association Sprintcars
A Heat-1.Sierra Jackson 2.Justin Mack 3.Andy Alberding 4.Kenny Hamilton 5.Darren Yates
B Heat-1.Matt Elliott 2.Bryan Warf 3.Matt Hein 4.Greg Middendorf 5.Rick Brown
C Heat-1.Colton Nelson 2.Chris Schmelze 3.Casey Tillman 4.Mitch Holte 5.Chris Ratterree
Pro Truck Series
A Heat-1.Doug Dugger 2.Jason Quale 3.Tanner Wong 4.Drew Reitsma 5.Hannah Newhouse
B Heat-1.Jerry Rice 2.Mason Newhouse 3.Johny Pierre 4.Daniel Shirley 5.Alan Larson
CWI Street Stocks
A Heat-1.Jeff Meads 2.Melissa Weaver 3.Shaun Bush 4.Daniel Johnson 5.Marv Weaver
A Heat-1.Josh Hale 2.Tim Shelton 3.Ben Crow 4.JD Ford
B Heat-1.Casey Hart 2.Jay Doughty 3.Fred Nagele 4.Ray Otis 5.Jason Reed
(6 laps each)
Meridian Vintage Sprintcars
A Heat-1.Walt Calkins 2.Dean Waltman 3.Jimmy Hamilton Sr.
TATES Hornet Rookies
A Heat-1.Aaron Harris 2.Kenny Piatt 3.CJ Stirm 4.Allen Taylor 5.Steve Villanueva
B Heat-1.Katie Lober 2.Kevin Kurtz 3.Rob Sturman 4.Jim Schanz 5.Maverik
Trophy Dash Winners
(4 laps each)
Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association A-Chris Schmelze
Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association B-Casey Tillman
Meridian Vintage Sprintcars-Dean Waltman
Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association-Andy Alberding, 11.575 seconds
Pro Truck Series-Hannah Newhouse, 14.545 seconds
CWI Street Stocks-Daniel Johnson, 14.723 seconds
Claimer Stocks-JD Ford, 15.642 seconds (Track Record)
TATES Hornets Rookies-Kenny Piatt, 16.548 seconds (Track Record)