New Mexico Native Races to $5K Payday


New Mexico Native Races to $5K Payday

Mother Nature was no match for Meridian Speedway last Saturday, May 22, as the quarter-mile asphalt oval hosted the Pauly’s Bar Room Legends of Cash $5K event.  Alongside over two dozen of the fastest Domino’s Legends from West of the Mississippi River, the North West Tour Truck Series, Bud Light NASCAR Modifieds, and Pauly’s Bar Room Street Stocks fought for short track supremacy on their way to the Walking Sombrero Feature Flag. 

Twenty-two Domino’s Legend drivers from seven different states took the green flag for the 50-lap Pauly’s Bar Room Legends of Cash $5K event.  The action began even before the start-finish line as pre-race favorite Jason Irwin hopped tires in the middle of the field, while Plano, Texas’ Andy Hulcy got turned around on the front stretch.  The resulting stack-up left local competitors Kyle Latham, Chance Davis, and Karnee McCoy with significant damage and led to a full restart. 

Polesitter Phyl Zubizaretta got off to a fast start, but Peoria, Arizona’s Parker Steele was able to jump to the high side and put his machine atop the Pepsi-Cola leaderboard on lap five.  But Steele had fast company up front in the form of Las Vegas, Nevada’s Jaron Giannini, Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Jason Irwin, and Columbia Falls, Montana’s Brock Denney. 

A caution just prior to the race’s halfway point bunched the field and lined Irwin up outside of Steele for the restart.  Steele got the jump and shot back to the lead, but Irwin battled back and moved Steele off the bottom of the racetrack to put his Irwin Racing, LLC machine up front. 

This dropped Steele into the clutches of Giannini and Henderson, Nevada’s Jordan Holloway.  Steele held his own while the 3rd Generation Racing teammates did battle amongst themselves as lapped traffic loomed.  But, a caution with eight laps left allowed the pack to regroup. 

On the restart chaos broke out as Steele drove through Brok Kidd’s The Winning Edge, Vicki’s Country Gardens machine on his way to the front.  This sent Kidd around in the heart of the pack and, once the smoke cleared, six machines lay in a heap at the exit of turn two. 

When the green flag waved again Steele pounded on Irwin’s rear bumper, but the Albuquerque, New Mexico racer held on to the lead.  But not all contact was so innocent, and with five to go contact sent Hulcy up and over on the exit of turn two.  Hulcy jumped out of his mangled Andy’s Sprinkler and Drainage car unscathed and even played to the crowd after his wild ride.   

With one last chance at Irwin, Steele tucked in on the leader’s rear bumper.  But Irwin caught the youngster by surprise and roared across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first. 

The Pauly’s Bar Room Street Stocks chased Nampa, Idaho’s Scott Cooper throughout the first half of their 25-lap feature before Josh Peterson and Tyler Marston made their move to the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.  Marston wheeled his Rocky Mountain Towing, Delsa’s Ice Cream racer hard to lead until two circuits remained, but could not withstand a late-race onslaught from Troy Evans, who scored his first Walking Sombrero Feature Flag of the season in his Matt Compton Race Engines, A&E Sharpening machine.  

Jordan Harris dominated the first half of the North West Tour Truck Series’ first feature, but succumbed to mechanical issues and lost the lead to John Wong’s Wong Farms pickup.  Wong would hold off a late charge by Jenna Quale and John Newhouse to take the first Walking Sombrero Feature Flag of their double main event night. 

It took Neal Latham just a handful of laps to take the lead in the North West Tour Truck Series’ second feature.  Despite heavy pressure from first feature winner Wong and constant threat Newhouse, Latham kept his Conrad and Bischoff machine up front and stormed into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.  

Josh Fanopoulos, at the controls of his Allan Marsh Travel Center, JesusChristInternational.com machine, raced his way around Kyle Latham’s Conrad and Bischoff, KJ’s Super Stores modified on his way to the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle in main event one. 

Brendon Fries looked to hold off first feature winner Fanopoulos, but tangled with lapped traffic as he came out of turn four with ten circuits remaining.  This left the lead fight once again to Fanopoulos and Latham, and once again Fanopoulos scored the main event victory. 

Next week, races move to Monday as Meridian Speedway celebrates Memorial Day with the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125.  The Speed Tour Super Late Models presented by Pit Stop USA headline a night full of action, while the Pepsi Sprintcars, Coors Big 12 Pro-Late Models, Boise Bath and Kitchen Company Mini Stocks, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets chase their own Trammel Construction Feature Flags.  General admission is just $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and military members, $7 for kids 7-11, and, as always, free for kids 6 and under.  Gates open at 4:45 p.m. Monday, with races going green at 6:45 p.m.  Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com to purchase your advance tickets now, or purchase live, flag-to-flag coverage through SpeedCast.tv.  We’ll see you this Monday, May 31, for the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.