Pivotal Weekend Looms for Six Crowded Classes

Pivotal Weekend Looms for Six Crowded Classes

Jeff Russell

Meridian Speedway proudly hosts the Jeff Russell Road to Recovery Race this weekend.

The Meridian Speedway racing community bands together to host the annual Jeff Russell Road to Recovery Race this Saturday. On track the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodels, Pepsi Sprintcars, Project Filter Pro-4s, Claimer Stocks, Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks, and Tates Rents Hornets do battle to position themselves for a late-season championship run.

The NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodels have provided action-packed, full contact races since the 2015 season opened. The intensity in this division will only rise this weekend as after this race one lucky driver will be drawn to have a car in the September 5 NAPA Auto Parts NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Idaho 208. The amount of entries in the drawing relies on the driver’s point position after this critical race. Even after a disastrous NAPA Treasure Valley 125 Chris Fenton holds the division point lead, but there are just 25 markers between him and Dennis Wurtz II. Fourth place point man Tyler Marston-Henderson envies Fenton’s slim cushion, as the young driver holds a fleeting five point margin over Justin Ellis. In fact, the gap between fifth and tenth place is just 29 markers. Don’t miss a race sure to pack battles that last far beyond its 75 lap distance Saturday.

Close racing has been the hallmark of the Pepsi Sprintcar division all year. While all eyes have been on the duel between Ryan Newman and Tony Ackerland atop the standings another battle has been brewing. Justin Segura holds fourth place in the standings followed by Ryan Wiederich, Mike Anderson, and Tyler Barrow. Between these four are just sixteen points. Watch these competitors cut and weave through the teeth of the snarling Pepsi Sprintcar pack Saturday.

After two tumultuous weeks the Project Filter Pro-4s pull onto the asphalt with a new face leading the charge. Brendon Fries finds himself with a 25 marker advantage over both Larry Hull III and Ryan Bailey. Early season point leaders Joe Barton and Kenny Chandler look to race their way off the mat and back into contention as the Project Filter Pro-4 season enters its final three nights.

The Claimer Stocks kicked off the 2015 Eve of Destruction festivities a few weeks early last Saturday night as all but two racers collected damage at some point throughout the evening. Tim Shelton made the most of his challenging night and sped to victory in a car many thought destroyed. With this hard drive Shelton pulled within 9 markers of point leader JD Ford, who himself has serious repairs to make before Saturday.

The Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks always crowd the quarter-mile with competitive racecars, and with just five races left on their season schedule the time to make moves is now. From Travis Pavlacky and Rick Brees’ tussle for the runner up standings spot to the battle for seventh and eighth between front-wheel drive competitors Brandon Hild and Mike Vester don’t take your eyes off this stacked division as one lap can change the complexion of a season.

Drivers in the Tates Rents Hornets division have spent all season racing three and four wide, and this close racing is echoed in the standings. With five races remaining the top six drivers in the class are separated by just 63 points. While the standings are close the drivers themselves could hardly be more different. Rookie Ron Compton leads the class but 18 points over Bill Allen. Past champion Tommy Harrod sits behind Sean Young in fourth position, and is trailed by CWI High School Tuner competitor CJ Stirm and track announcer DJ Everett. Pick a favorite Saturday and hold on as these high-intensity drivers slug it out for the Cyclone Cycles trophy.

General admission to this exciting night of racing thrills is just $10.25 for adults, $6.25 for kids 7-11. The Jeff Russell Road to Recovery fund will be on hand selling raffle tickets with all proceeds going to help fund the racer’s continuing recovery from life-threatening injuries suffered in a Las Vegas supermodified accident. Gates open at 4 p.m. with races taking the green flag at 6:30 p.m. Visit meridianspeedway.com for advance tickets and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for exclusive updates. We’ll see you Saturday under the big yellow water tower for a full night of short track action at Meridian Speedway.