Nampa Racer Conquers Fierce Fourth Fifty-Lapperadmin
A sunny summer Saturday greeted a packed pit area as Meridian Speedway hosted its annual Independence Day feature, the Stinker Stores Firecracker 50. The Speed Tour Sprint Cars and NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models double-headlined a night full to the brim with short track action, also featuring the Mulder Engineered Race Engines Junior Late Models, Domino’s Legends, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets.
Main event action opened with a knockout-style race for the Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets. When the dust settled Dale Bolinger of Emmett, Idaho climbed from his machine victorious.
Next up was the Bill Crow 50 featuring the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models. After ducking a crash on lap seven which took out top contenders John Newhouse and Garrett Evans, Moxee, Washington’s Randy Marshall, Jr sped to the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard and never looked back on his way to the 2020 Bill Crow 50 win.
The Domino’s Legends battled through a physical 25 lap main event. When the smoke and fiberglass settled Graham, Washington’s Levie Jones outlasted Trace Thompson and Chance Davis in a green-white-checkered finish to stand victorious alongside his Quality Auto Resale, Kustom Fab car in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle. While Jones celebrated, tempers flared between Davis and Thompson in the pit area.
Mulder Engineered Race Engines Junior Late Model racer Kasey Kleyn of Quincy, Washington piloted his Thaemert Farms, Mountain View Polaris machine to the Trevor Cristiani Racing Feature Flag early in Saturday’s action.
A season’s worth of frustration was alleviated Saturday night as Middleton, Idaho’s Hunter Stanley powered past the pack to claim his first checkered flag of the Speed Tour Sprint Car season. After a string of disappointing results, including a spectacular over-the-wall wreck in the tour’s last stop at Magic Valley Speedway, the youngster made his Young Automotive Group, Mighty Suspension sprinter stick on the outside and steamed to a comfortable victory in the 50 lap affair.
Thirteen of the fastest NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models in the Northwest crowded the quarter-mile asphalt oval for their second fifty lap feature of Stinker Stores Firecracker 50 night. On the break Boise, Idaho’s Daytona Wurtz pushed her United Metals, All Makes Auto Salvage machine ahead of Ben Crow and TJ Monroe for the early lead.
An early caution for Bill Crow Memorial 50 winner Randy Marshall, Jr and Ben Crow reset the field, with Monroe out front of Wurtz and a surprisingly quick Larry Hull III in only his second NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Model race. Hull III was able to dispatch Wurtz when the green flag waved, but soon fell to pre-race favorite Trevor Cristiani, leaving the Nampa, Idaho’s racer to reel Monroe’s Torch Towing machine in.
Cristiani stalked Monroe through the halfway point of the race, but grew impatient and moved Monroe to take the lead with twenty laps left on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. For his efforts, Cristiani was greeted with a wall of side-by-side lapped traffic, which he navigated with ease to open a two-second lead over John Newhouse, Hull III, and Marshall, Jr.
The green flag waved and Cristiani was gone as Hull III and Newhouse fought hard for the runner up spot. But Hull III’s Diversified Carpet Cleaning, Neil Alan Fine Jewelry machine slowed as its handling soured. This allowed Marshall, Jr to work his Better All Auto Sales, Kustom Fab racer beneath Newhouse for the second spot.
With open race track in front of him and just four laps remaining, Marshall, Jr rattled off a series of fast laps. But Cristiani was faster, and the local NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Model racer collected the night’s feature flag. Twin Falls, Idaho’s Newhouse brought his The Car Store mount home third, still sporting damage from his earlier Bill Crow 50 dust up.
New grandfather Kevin Matuska led the majority of the Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornet special lights-out feature, the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. But in the closing laps it was Nick Durbin who spurred his Viper Gun and Pawn, Racing Parts of Idaho mount to the front and claimed victory.
The thrills and spills of short track racing continue this Saturday, July 11, as Weed Man Lawn Care Boat Race of Destruction night descends on Meridian Speedway. The beating and banging get started early as the North West Tour Truck Series leads the Coors Super Stocks, Project Filter Pro-4s, Domino’s Legends, High School Tuners, and Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers onto the quarter-mile asphalt oval. General admission to Saturday’s action is just $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and military members, $7 for kids 7-11, and as always, kids 6 and under get in free. Tickets are only available online through www.meridianspeedway.com. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. for racing at 6:45 p.m. Can’t make it to the track? Catch all the action from around the quarter-mile on SpeedCast.tv right in your living room! We’ll see you this Saturday, July 11, for the Weed Man Lawn Care Boat Race of Destruction festivities live under the big, yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.