On Track Fireworks Dominate Domino’s Championship Nightadmin
Saturday night Meridian Speedway hosted three championship races on Domino’s Legends Championship night. Settling championships along with the Dominos’ Pizza Legends were the Pepsi Sprintcars and the College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks. Filling an action-packed September evening were the Budweiser Modifieds, Coors Super Stocks, and the Thunderdogs.
Seven strong CWI Street Stocks took to the quarter-mile for a 30 lap brawl to the checkered flag. When the green flag fell Melissa Weaver wasted no time in passing her championship competition as she charged to the high side of Shaun Bush to take third place on lap one. All this action happened behind leader Pat Tully, who finally had his Cyclone Cycles, LCA Framing number 90 car trimmed to his liking. It took ten laps for Melissa Weaver to work her Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines entry around father Marv Weaver and pull up to Tully’s rear bumper. From there the fight was on for first and the next four laps saw Tully dig in low as Weaver worked her way around the high side. Finally with seventeen circuits remaining Weaver cleared Tully and claimed the top spot for good. With the top two spots settled the battle became for third as Bush and Marv Weaver went door-to-door for the final podium spot. Bush and his Walker’s Suspension and Alignment, Marsing Yacht Club car would clear the elder Weaver with fifteen laps to go, and start logging consistently faster laps than the race leader. Even with these fast laps Bush was unable to track down second place Tully or race and championship winner Melissa Weaver.
“I owe the championship to my dad,” said Weaver. “Congratulations to everybody all year. We had a good one.”
A full field of fourteen Pepsi Sprintcars roared through their final 30 lap main event of the season. Laps one and two saw Drew Crenshaw’s Bender Electric machine and Thomas Harrod’s PBT Auto Sales sprinter run side-by-side for the lead before Crenshaw, using a push by Larry Hull III, broke the tie and took the lead. The next lap Hull III moved his Diversified Carpet Cleaning car to the high side of Crenshaw to take the lead. Back in the pack point leader Ryan Newman tip-toed his way through traffic, knowing his mission was to finish the race in order to claim the season championship. By the race’s halfway point Newman held the fourth spot in his Ashley Heating, Katco Promotions car behind Colton Nelson, Justin Segura, and leader Hull III. Even riding in fourth place was dangerous for Newman. The handling on Nelson’s car soured as the race wore on, causing the two to make bumper-to-bumper contact several times in the race’s closing laps. On lap 23 Newman smashed his left front tire into Nelson’s rear bumper, but luckily the damage was minimal and Newman was able to bring his racer home in fifth spot. But up front it was Hull III who claimed his second Pepsi Sprintcar main event win of his rookie campaign.
“Congratulations to Ryan [Newman], but next year it’s going to be a different story,” said Hull III.
Newly crowned Pepsi Sprintcar champion Newman was all smiles as he stood victorious in his sprinter. “We got a championship, baby!”
Meridian Speedway settled three championship races Saturday night, but none was more hotly contested than that of the Domino’s Pizza Legends division. Entering the night Camron Madsen held a scant 22 point margin over Zach Blume with just 30 laps to settle the overall champion. Blume got his title hunt off to a great start by out qualifying Madsen, affording himself more available passing points for the evening.
As the green flag waved on the main event Mark Cirelli Jr. and Ethan Jones dueled side-by-side for the lead in front of a hard charging Madsen. Deeper in the field Blume was mired in a dense pack of traffic. After ten laps of racing Madsen held third while Blume sat patiently in eighth. Then Madsen tried to cut beneath second place Caity Miller’s Contingency Connection-sponsored car with a violent dive in turn one. The turn would upset Madsen’s Sawadee Thai Restaurant, Busted Spur and Welding car, dropping him back to fourth, just one spot ahead of a resurgent Blume. While Blume and Madsen dueled for the championship, new track record setter Peyton Saxton set the pace out front. With fifteen to go Blume made his move, jumping high on Madsen and picking his competition off on the third place car of Johnethan Davis. Blume wasn’t done there as he now pulled his North End Chevron, Idaho Web Printers racer low on Nevada driver Jordan Dean for second. Meanwhile Madsen made short work of Davis for fourth before he also charged around Dean to maintain contact with Blume. This pass would ensure Madsen of the Domino’s Pizza Legend championship trophy while out front Peyton Saxton claimed the overall main event.
“Meridian Speedway is my favorite track in the whole country,” proclaimed main event winner Saxton in Arctic Circle Victory Lane. “It’s got the best fans…that’s why I keep coming back.”
Domino’s Pizza Legends champion Madsen was more reserved as he stood beside his machine. “It was an interesting race, just trying to keep my nose clean,” said Madsen. “It got a little dicey there, but it all turned out okay.”
The Budweiser Modifieds and Coors Super Stocks came together in more than one way for a 40 lap main event. As the green flag fell Rick Moran caught pole sitter Sharlet Wilson by surprise and ran out to a big first lap lead. Relegated to second place Sharlet Wilson in her Cycle City, Les Schwab of Mountain Home modified started to fend off the pack, but contact in turn one caused her to spin in front of the field. The resulting melee collected Budweiser Modified championship contenders Rick Baldwin and Darvin Ackerland, along with Gale Carter, Rod Stiller, and a host of others. With the field effectively cut in half Scott Durbin and Moran occupied the front row on the restart. Moran would be caught asleep at the wheel this time as Durbin rocketed to the top spot. But all was not well up front as Durbin had to slow his Elite Signs and Graphics, Demeray Construction car as damage he received in the pile-up began cutting into his right rear tire. Durbin’s misfortunes allowed Ackerland, his own car partially demolished, to claim the overall race lead in his Curtis Clean Sweep, Music and Sons Auctioneers modified. Rob Powers and his wrinkled O-F Racing, Vapology Coors Super Stock while Baldwin raced his Pioneer Title Company, Bloodyfine.com modified to third. As Powers’ wounded car began to fade Baldwin and fourth place Gale Carter pulled to the runner-up’s bumper. Baldwin was the first to try Powers, but a problem with Baldwin’s brakes wouldn’t allow him make the move, and he would have to settle for third. Up front it was a rerun of the Ackerland show as the veteran racer claimed the overall main event victory in his modified while Powers held off Carter for first in the Coors Super Stock ranks.
“I’m mad,” said Ackerland as he set his main event trophy on a damaged racecar. “I’m just tired of getting worked over. People need to just drive their…cars.”
“We’ve been having a lot of fun with this,” said Powers as he surveyed the damage to his car. “These [modified] guys…they just can’t drive,” he said. There is still one joint main event remaining in the 2014 season.
Saturday was the first of four championship weekends in September. Next Friday and Saturday Meridian Speedway will host the Western Winged Sprintcars’ championship. Joining these winged warriors are the TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks and Junior Stingers on Friday, and the College of Western Idaho Transportation Program High School Tuners and the final Budweiser Modifieds and Coors Super Stocks main event of the season. Also appearing both nights is the 51st reunion of the Canadian American Racing Association. This reunion is sure to draw a number of vintage sprintcars and super modifieds. General admission for each night of the Western Winged Sprintcar championship weekend is $15.25. Log onto www.meridianspeedway.com for more information, and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for special information.
As always this week’s races were a Contingency Connection event. For more information about Contingency Connection contact Meridian Speedway Officials.