Points Pivotal in Saturday’s Late Summer Shootoutsadmin
With cockpit temperatures approaching one hundred fifty degrees a brave batch of competitors rolled into Meridian Speedway Saturday, August 11, for K&N Fan Appreciation Night. The NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series and PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds provided a double helping of double main events, while the Pepsi Crate Cars and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Super Sixes, Project Filter Pro-4s, and TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks battled for the Boise Boys Transportation hardware.
The TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks had 25 laps to find a main event winner. On the break Blake Coria and Andrew Harbeston fought back and forth for the early lead. After seven hard-fought laps Harbeston cleared Coria to put his Complete Sprinkler Service, Meridian Fence machine in sole possession of first place. But Harbeston wasn’t safe up front as Terrell Daffron raced to his inside. This battle went sour after just two circuits as contact in turn one forced Harbeston to spin into championship contender Jason Sanders.
With the field reset Coria found himself locked in a battle with Luke Wolverton for the top spot. Wolverton dispatched Coria when the green flag waved, but quickly turned his attention to quick qualifier Ian Michael Pedersen and point leader Jayson Wardle. Pedersen put the speed of his SSLP Racing, HYLA North America racer to good use and took the lead from Wolverton with ten laps left on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
Wardle had a harder time working his way around Wolverton, and the five laps spent side-by-side took a toll on Wardle’s Lazee Days RV, Catapult 3 racer. With three laps left Wardle lost fire in turn one and pulled into the pits, which left the win to Pedersen.
Ben Harris and Sean Young led the Project Filter Pro-4 field to green for their 25 lap feature. Young got the better of this battle to lead lap one, but faced intense pressure from Eagle, Idaho’s Alex Duda, who pulled low and piloted his Boise Boys Transportation, Carbon Designs racer to the lead on lap three. This opened the door for teammates Brandon Mclean , Ryan Bailey, and Kenny Chandler to move up the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
The man on the move early was Brendon Fries, who vaulted from the back of the pack to second place in the first eleven laps. With new leader Kenny Chandler in his crosshairs Fries pushed his Chick-Fil-A of Meridian, Boise Boys Transportation racer hard in a bid for the win. Fries motored his way around the outside, and with eight laps left nosed ahead of Chandler. Lapped traffic sealed the pass, and though Chandler was able to fight back, he didn’t have enough for Fries, who sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
Nineteen Pepsi Crate Cars and ISRL Super Sixes crowded the quarter-mile oval for their 25 lap feature. Twin Falls, Idaho’s Frank Keller was quick out of the blocks, but by the end of lap one it was Drew Crenshaw out front. Deeper in the field the fifth through sixteenth place runners went wheel-to-wheel and bumper to bumper for position. Something had to give, and on lap seven it was Middleton, Idaho’s Kate Jackson who spun after contact and collected Nate Little. Both drivers were able to continue, but were sent to the back of the pack for their involvement in the caution.
The restart left Crenshaw and Caldwell, Idaho’s Justin Segura on the front row. Crenshaw rolled the high line back to the lead, which left Segura in the clutches of Ryan Newman. Newman used a restart to take over the runner up spot, then with a dozen circuits remaining worked his North American Recycling, Montes Racing sprinter inside of Crenshaw to battle for the lead. This duel quickly became a full-blown battle as point leader Rob Grice pulled into the lead picture.
With the top three under a blanket any mistake was critical, and a bobble by Crenshaw put Newman up front with Grice’s A.R.T. Speed Equipment, BLG Blue machine in hot pursuit. Inside and out Grice searched for a way around Newman for the win, but his desperate dive came up short and Newman took the checkers.
Low and slow is the way to go next Saturday, August 18, as Meridian Speedway hosts the Ultra Touch Car Wash Hot August Cruze and Drag Night. Along with one of the Treasure Valley’s largest collections of hot rods, rest-mods, and one-of-a-kind customs, the Coors Super Stocks, Teleperformance Claimer Stocks, Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets, Junior Stingers, and Bombers take to the quarter-mile asphalt oval in search of the SCI Insurance trophy. General admission to a full night of racing and cruising is just $11.50 for adults, $6.50 for kids 7-11, and free for those 6 and under. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. Saturday with Time Trials at 5 p.m. and the first green flag at 6:45 p.m. Logon to www.meridianspeedway.com to keep up with the fastest crowd around, and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive updates from around the quarter-mile. We’ll see you Saturday, August 18, for Ultra Touch Car Wash Hot August Cruze and Drag Night under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.