Nelson, Tillman Add Their Names to Diamond Cup History Booksadmin
Fireworks started early Saturday, August 8, as Meridian Speedway played host to the final night of the Bob FM Diamond Cup presented by Neil Alan Fine Jewelry. The Speed Tour Sprint Cars wrapped up the night’s title event, the Super Modifieds concluded the 40 lap JP Classic feature, the Speed Tour Modifieds fought their way through a 65 lap main event, while the Teleperformance Street Stocks and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets battled for their own Hunziker 98x Racing Feature Flags.
The Super Modifieds brought a dozen methanol-burning pavement pounders to bear on the forty lap JP Classic. Even before the green flag waved, front row starters Jim Birges and Ricky Otts traded body blows on the pace laps until the field received the one to go sign, when the pair tangled and spun in turn one. Second row racers Colton Nelson and Kyle Vanderpool, along with the rest of the field, managed to avoid the stricken racers and assembled on the back stretch while the track was cleared.
Despite the contact both Birges and Otts returned to take the green flag, but were relegated to the back of the pack. This left the pole position to Nelson with Vanderpool outside, and Art McCarthy and Richard Castor on row two.
The green flag waved and Nelson piloted his NelKuBe Racing, Knapp Auto machine hard into turn one. Vanderpool couldn’t match Nelson’s pace and settled his Chase’s Chop Shop, McGaughy’s Suspension Parts racer into second.
At the back of the pack Otts and Birges fought their way forward. The strain on Otts’ damaged Scott Losorwith Racing Engines entry proved to be too much and he pulled into the pits just a handful of laps into the race. Birges faired only marginally better as his night came to an end when wall contact on the back stretch sent his Full Circle Brewery, J. Birges Manufacturing and Machine racer sailing into turn three.
On the restart Nelson gapped Vanderpool once again and set his sights on the back of the field. This left Madera, California’s Vanderpool in the clutches of Castor and McCarthy.
As the laps wound down Bennett, Colorado’s Castor piloted his USA Performance Engines, Leary’s Shock Shop super modified into the second spot on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. But Nelson’s machine was too stout
“To win a super modified race was something I never thought I would achieve,” Nelson said as he collected his Powers Transportation Feature Flag in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
Entering the second leg of the Bob FM Diamond Cup presented by Neil Alan Fine Jewelry, Casey Tillman held the weekend points lead with Bryan Warf and night one feature winner Cory Lockwood in tow. When the checkered flag waved Lockwood was second to surprise main event winner Matt Elliott. Tillman had made his way to fourth while Warf crossed the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe in sixth.
Once the points were tabulated, Tillman was declared the winner of the 2020 Bob FM Diamond Cup presented by Neil Alan Fine Jewelry.
“Can I use this as my wedding ring?” Tillman joked. “The biggest thing is we unloaded fast…I have to give a big shout out to the guys in the pits. I don’t think there’s been one time I’ve come off the track and said ‘let’s just leave [the car] alone.’”
Speed Tour Modified points leader Shelby Stroebel continued his reign of dominance as the Meridian, Idaho wheelman piloted his Gibson Diesel, Trinity Construction and Excavation machine to victory over Jesse James Lawson, Aubree Cristiani, Dylan Caldwell, and Kyle Latham.
Troy Evans, at the controls of his Gem State Carpet Cleaning, A&E Sharpening racer scored his second Teleperformance Street Stock win of the 2020 season, ahead of Taylor Occhipinti and Pat Young.
Young Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets competitor Jett Nelson mastered ‘The Switch’ to take home Saturday night’s Hunziker 98x Racing Feature Flag in his YMC Mechanical racer.
This Saturday, August 15, the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models take on the Concrete Jungle as these apex full-boded stock car racers contest the Jeff Russell Road to Recovery 85. The Teleperformance Street Stocks, Mulder Engineered Race Engines Junior Late Models, Mini Stocks, High School Tuners, and Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers chase their own Powers Transport Feature Flags on an action-packed Aaron’s Sales and Lease Night. General admission is just $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military members, $7 for kids 7-11, and free for kids 6 and under. Gates open at 4:45 with races taking the green flag at 6:45 p.m. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com to purchase your advance tickets. Live, flag to flag coverage of Aaron’s Sales and Lease Night is available at www.SpeedCast.tv. We’ll see you this Saturday, August 15, for Aaron’s Sales and Lease Night under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.