Oregon Sprinter on Inside Track for First BOB FM Diamond Cup Winadmin
MERIDIAN, Idaho—The fastest short-track racers in the western United States and Canada joined forces at Meridian Speedway Friday, May 31, as the Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association invaded the quarter-mile asphalt oval for Stinker Stores Family Pass Night at the annual BOB FM Diamond Cup. Alongside the NSRA Winged Sprintcars, the Supermodifieds, Salt Lake City Midgets, Northwest Tour Truck Series, and West Coast Vintage Sprintcars battled for the Hunziker 98 Racing Feature Flags.
Six West Coast Vintage Sprintcars took the green flag for their twenty lap main event. Lafyete, Oregon’s Dick Nelson sped to the early lead with veteran Boise, Idaho racer Kelly Newman on his tail tank. Newman struggled to find a way around Nelson, and after a failed run at the outside, conceded second to Frank Volz, Sr.
But Newman wouldn’t settle, and quickly dispatched Spokane, Washington’s Volz Sr to catch back up to Nelson. With laps winding down Newman stuck his sprinter to the outside and stormed around Nelson for the lead. Once out front, Newman walked away from the field on his way to the night’s first Hunziker 98 Racing Feature Flag.
Ten Salt Lake City Midgets sped to the green on their 25 lap feature. After a false start, Middleton, Idaho’s Hunter Stanley piloted his Mighty Grip Suspension, RedRock entry to the lead. Grantsville, Utah’s Natalie Waters was next to clear the pack, and the two-way battle for first was on.
Waters wheeled her Young Automotive machine hard to catch Stanley, and on lap seven the young racer arrived on Stanley’s rear bumper. Waters committed to challenge Stanley on the inside, but Stanley slammed the door on each and every one of her advances.
As the laps wound down the lead fight grew more intense until, with nine circuits left, Stanley and Waters came together in turn three. Waters spun to the infield, and both drivers were sent to the back of the pack for the restart.
This handed the lead to Waters’ teammate Sid McElreath, who dashed to a comfortable lead while Waters slashed her way forward. The lady racer would make her way to third by the race’s checkered flag, but it was McElreath who crossed the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
Supermodified racing returned to Meridian Speedway with twin 25 lap qualifying features which set the field for Saturday night’s main event. Meridian, Idaho’s Colton Nelson found the handle on his Hunziker 98 Racing machine and overpowered Ron Brewer to finish first on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
The second Supermodified Qualifier kicked off with San Jose, California’s Art McCarthy out front with Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada’s Jim White in hot pursuit. Behind the leaders, weekend favorites Jim Birges and Ricky Otts hooked up and streamed through the field to take first and second, respectively. Otts pushed Birges hard through the race’s closing laps, but couldn’t find a way around the quick Californian as Birges roared into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
The only full-bodied division of the night, the Northwest Tour Trucks rumbled to their fifty lap Meridian Speedway debut. Front row starters Parker Jones and Drew Reitsma took the green flag side-by-side, and stayed that way through the race’s first three laps until Jerome, Idaho’s Reitsma took control of the race.
Deep in the pack, Parma, Idaho’s John Wong and Twin Falls, Idaho’s John Newhouse stormed forward. Free of the pack by lap ten, the Wong-Newhouse duo set their sights on the leader. It took ten laps, but Wong was first to Reitsma’s rear bumper in his Champion Onion, Wong Farms truck. At the halfway point Reitsma, Wong, and Newhouse were bumper-to-bumper with lapped traffic looming ahead.
Newhouse tried to make a move on the inside, but was pinned by lapped traffic and forced to regroup. As laps wound off the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard Newhouse reloaded, and finally wheeled his The Car Store of Twin Falls entry into the runner up spot. With less than ten laps left Newhouse squeezed inside of Reitsma for the lead and charged to his second main event victory in five days.
Levi Rose and Matt Elliott led a field of twenty-two Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association winged sprintcars to the 40 lap Naylor Classic, the final race of BOB FM Diamond Cup’s Stinker Stores Family Pass night. Rose got the better of the first lap battle to put his Carey’s Auto Body, CS Fabworks entry in the lead, but Elliott fought back on the outside and on lap two the Boise, Idaho racer put his Jackson Group Peterbuilt, Westside Body Works sprinter out front.
After a series of early spins the field found its stride, and tore through the next thirty laps caution free. During this stretch, father-son duo Kyle and Andy Alberding of Winston, Oregon, found the handle on their machines and rocketed to the front.
Lapped traffic was heavy for Kyle Alberding, who navigated his Holte Drilling Tools racer high and low to keep ahead of his father’s Rockmount Nassau, Davison Auto Repair sprinter. The younger Alberding kept a comfortable gap over the runner up, but a caution with five laps to go slowed the field and erased all but a car length of his lead.
The green flag waved one last time, and Kyle Alberding blasted out to a two-second lead. Though Andy Alberding would close on his son, he ran out of laps to challenge for the lead and Kyle Alberding claimed the Stinker Stores Family Pass Night victory.
The BOB FM Diamond Cup Championship presented by Neil Alan Fine Jewelry fires off Saturday, June 1 at Meridian Speedway. The Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association, Supermodifieds, Salt Lake City Midgets, Northwest Tour Trucks, and West Coast Vintage Sprintcars all return to action Saturday, while the Teleperformance Street Stocks contest a PitStopUSA.com Shootout event and the Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers round out a jam-packed lineup. Gates open at 4:15 p.m. Saturday, with main events set to go green at 6:45 p.m. Get your advanced tickets now at www.meridianspeedway.com to skip the line at the gate. We’ll see you Saturday, June 1, for the conclusion of BOB FM Diamond Cup presented by Neil Alan Fine Jewelry under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.