Montana’s Denney Resurrects Wrecked Racer, Wins Legends Shootoutadmin
Engines echoed through the empty Meridian Speedway Saturday, May 9, as racing returned to the Treasure Valley with the SpeedCast.tv Opener presented by Pit Stop USA. A limited assortment of Pit Stop USA Modifieds, Domino’s Legends, Mini Stocks, and Mulder’s Engineered Race Engines Junior Late Models kicked off the first of eight productions during a busy, but socially distant, month of May.
Six Mulder’s Engineered Race Engines Junior Late Models rolled to green for the season’s first feature. On the break Jerome, Idaho‘s Jody Moen piloted her Fast Lane Automotive, D.L. Evans Bank machine past Meridian, Idaho’s Nevaeh Hull for the early lead. An early caution for Collin Anderson’s stricken Salt City Speed and Fab, JH Hillock Electric racer bunched the field and allowed Ashton Cristiani to restart on Moen’s rear bumper.
The green flag waved again and Moen shot to the top spot with Cristiani’s YMC Mechanical, RBK Apparel machine in tow. As Cristiani cut into Moen’s lead, young Anthony Latham came to grief in turn four as his Impact Motorz, Conrad and Bischoff entry skated up the track and bounced off the wall.
With Latham’s car repaired the field rolled to green with Moen and Cristiani side-by-side. As the pair battled into turn one contact was made, and Cristiani spun into turn two broadside to the field. Moen got on the binders in time, but 2019 Junior Stinger champion Delaney Grace could not get her CoreTec Waterproof Flooring, AAA Bob’s Lock and Key racer stopped and she piled into Moen. Latham, his car repaired from the earlier incident, also slid into the heap, driving Grace’s car under Moen’s.
Despite the heavy damage, all drivers walked from their machines unhurt. Improbably, both Cristiani and Moen were able to continue on, and lined up behind Hull for the restart.
The green flag waved one final time and Hull drove her Diversified Carpet Cleaning, Cuddy Mountain Transport entry to a commanding lead while Moen and Cristiani once again made contact and spun to the wall in turn three. This left Hull to collect the first Feature Flag of 2020.
A baker’s dozen of Mini Stocks swarmed the quarter-mile for a brisk 25 lap feature. On the break Lacey, Washington’s Ron Wilbur got the jump on Boise, Idaho driver Cody Garret to lead lap one. On the move early was defending Mini Stock champion Travis Pavlacky in his FVC-sponsored pickup. The quick qualifier wasted no time slicing through the pack, taking the lead from Luke Wolverton on lap seven.
With Pavlacky out front, Wolverton settled into second while Wilbur fought hard to keep Garrett, Don Trafford, and DJ Sirani at bay. Trafford turned the wick up on his Trident Plumbing machine, and marched past Garrett to fourth before Sirani picked him off behind lapped traffic. Trafford would spend the rest of the race looking for a way around Sirani while the pair watched Pavlacky cruise to the season’s first Mini Stock victory.
Pavlacky had no time to celebrate his victory as he jumped out of his winning truck and into his new Pit Stop USA Modified. The green flag waved and Pavlacky zipped past Brandon Kelley’s green and white Kelley Rooter machine to lead the first lap.
On the move early was Meridian, Idaho native Colton Nelson, who maneuvered his Integrity Construction, YMC Mechanical entry through the field and into the runner up spot by lap two. But Nelson soon had company, in the form of quick qualifier Brendon Fries and hard charger Josh Jackson.
Fries was first to Nelson’s bumper, but his ICON Credit Union, Academy Mortgage by Ryan Shelby machine skidded high in turn three, which allowed Jackson to pilot his Lestarjette Painting, Jackson Excavation modified into third.
As the race approached its midway point Nelson closed on Pavlacky while Jackson closed on Nelson until the top three were within one second of each other. Something had to give, and as the pack approached the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe Pavlacky’s FVC modified sputtered and died right in front of Nelson.
Jackson, already committed to the outside lane, used this opportunity to shoot past Nelson to the lead. But Nelson battled back and drove to the top spot on the restart. Desperate to make the pass, Jackson pressed hard on Nelson’s bumper. But Nelson held on and sped to the checkers.
A forty lap feature awaited the Domino’s Legends as 14 competitors swarmed the quarter-mile. On the break Emmett, Idaho driver Johnethan Davis got the drop on Pasco, Washington’s Jason Payne and sped to an early lead.
While the field jockeyed two and three-wide behind him, Davis pushed his GCAT Towing, Interstate Battery machine hard to gap the field. But Kalama, Washington’s Gary Wegener was fast, and on lap three juked his way inside of Davis to take the top spot on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
Next to Davis’ rear bumper were Robert Clark and Ben Matheson. The Washington duo made short work of the local racer and set their sights on Wegener.
As Clark and Matheson focused forward, Brock Denney emerged from deep in the pack to challenge for a top three spot. A late addition to Saturday night’s roster, Denney’s day began with a crash in hot laps. But the Kalispel, Montana racer was undeterred, and using both the high and low lines to perfection, moved his Diamond S Trailers, Jerries Saloon entry to the lead.
There was no answer for Denney. A late race caution flag allowed Wegener to line up on Denney’s bumper, but when the green flag few he left the field over a second behind him. This gap only grew before Denney sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe for the night’s final victory.
SpeedCast.tv returns next Saturday, May 16, for the SpeedCast.tv Speed Tour Sprint Car Opener presented by Pit Stop USA. The Project Filter Pro-4s, Coors Super Stocks, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets join the Speed Tour Sprint Cars for the 1 p.m. broadcast, while the Pepsi Crate and ISRL Sprint Cars and Teleperformance Street Stocks complete the 6 p.m. broadcast’s slate of racing. Both productions are available for Pay-Per-View purchase at www.speedcast.tv either individually or as a package. We’ll see you next Saturday, May 16, for the SpeedCast.tv Speed Tour Sprint Car Opener presented by Pit Stop USA, live from Meridian Speedway.