Newhouse Edges Monroe for 2020 Late Model Titleadmin
Meridian Speedway celebrated a dozen years of demolition Saturday, September 19, as Eve of Destruction XII took over the quarter-mile asphalt oval. The World Famous KOA Trailer Race, Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets versus The Gauntlet, and the BEAST Jet Car Meltdown joined racers from the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Model, Mulder Engineered Race Engines Junior Late Model, Coors Super Stock, Teleperformance Street Stock, and Firehouse Pub and Grill Bomber divisions for a chaotic night of thrills and spills.
NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Model championship hopeful Tyler Monroe rolled into Saturday night’s final fifty-lap feature in need of a near perfect run. Monroe entered the night 48 points behind long-time Late Model campaigner John Newhouse for the title.
In the first main event the pair battled to essentially a draw, with Twin Falls, Idaho’s Newhouse placing second and Monroe third behind winner Trevor Cristiani. For Saturday’s second main event Monroe and Newhouse lined up side-by-side in seventh and eighth at the drop of the green.
Front row starters Dylan Caldwell and Zach Telford battled door-to-door or five laps before Telford piloted his Project Filter, Precision Framing machine to the top spot.
Deep in the pack Larry Hull and Daytona Wurtz engaged in an intense battle for fifth on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. This battle trapped Newhouse and Monroe in the middle of a tight pack that included Cristiani and Neal Latham. Wurtz would get the better of this battle in her United Metals, All Makes Auto Salvage racer and opened a path on the outside for Newhouse and Monroe to take.
But Monroe pushed his Torch Towing and Transport, Torch Trucking LLC entry too hard, and on lap eleven the Star, Idaho driver clipped the backstretch wall and backed into the turn three water barrels. While Monroe would return to the race minus the majority of his rear end sheet metal, the run-in ended his chance at the 2020 division title.
With the championship in his grasp Newhouse eased his PFC Brakes, The Car Store machine through the pack. With twenty laps left Newhouse powered past Nick Gibson’s Karcher Auto Body, Conrad and Bischoff entry for third, and set his sights on leaders Cristiani and Telford.
A late caution bunched the pack and put Newhouse on the rear bumper of Telford. With three circuits left Newhouse moved into second, but the Twin Falls, Idaho racer would have to settle for the runner up spot behind Cristiani.
In the Mulder Engineered Race Engines Junior Late Model ranks, Ashton Cristiani crossed the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first to extend his points lead over Nevaeh Hull and Jody Moen.
The season-long Coors Super Stock slug fest between Daytona Wurtz and Melissa Weaver continued Saturday, as the championship leaders battled door-to-door throughout their 25 lap main event. Wurtz took home the hard-won Angry Easel Feature Flag in her United Metals, All Makes Towing machine.
Josh Fanopoulos, at the controls of his Certified Services, Evolution Auto Body machine, continued his late-season dominance as the Boise, Idaho driver took home his fifth-straight Teleperformance Street Stock main event win.
In the Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornet ranks, Marc Burchtorf and Morgan Trammel split Saturday night’s mini-main and feature events, respectively.
Craig Jensen and Timber Haskins both scored Angry Easel Feature Flags in the Firehouse Pub and Grill Bomber division Saturday.
Rob Taylor, at the wheel of the Boss Hogg Cadillac, jumped his way through fire and two boats to kick off the Eve of Destruction XII festivities. The Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets stopped The Gauntlet just feet short of the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe to pin yet another victory on their oversized foe. In less than three minutes Jeff Atamian’s The BEAST jet dragster reduced a Volvo Station Wagon to embers in the turn four grass. Timber Haskins beat James Sheets in a fan vote to take home the KOA Boat Race victory in just her first trip to Meridian Speedway.
The month of September wraps up with the two-day Pink Lady Classic this Friday and Saturday, September 25 and 26, featuring the Speed Tour Sprint Cars. The Salt Lake City and Northwest Focus Midgets, and the West Coast Vintage Sprint Cars join in the two-day action, along with the Mini Stocks on Friday and the Pepsi Crate Cars, Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets, Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers, Junior Stingers, and fireworks on Saturday. General admission to each night of the Pink Lady Classic is just $19 for adults, $17 for seniors and military members, $7 for kids 7-11, and free for kids 6 and under. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. with racing at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are still available at www.meridianspeedway.com and, as always, live coverage will be broadcast on SpeedCast.tv. We’ll see you this Friday and Saturday, September 25 and 26, for the Pink Lady Classic under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.