Quale Breaks Through For First Meridian Winadmin
The action was rough-and-tumble Saturday, July 10, as Idaho Central Credit Union Night presented by Zamp Race Products rolled into Meridian Speedway. The North West Tour Truck Series, Bud Light NASCAR Modifieds, Pepsi Sprintcars, Pauly’s Bar Room Street Stocks, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets took on each other and a slick, sunbaked race track as they battled wheel-to-wheel for their Powers Transport Feature Flags.
A dozen North West Tour Truck Series competitors rumbled to life for twin 35-lap features Saturday. On the break Sam Harris overpowered Terrell Daffron for the early lead while the rest of the pack beat and bashed as they jockeyed for position. But Harris’ time up front was short-lived as Lonnie Jesser and Jayden Park worked their way around the Twin Falls, Idaho racer and his Sendoa Homes, Reitsma Holsteins truck on lap five.
Park wasn’t content to ride second, and pulled to the outside groove in a bid for the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. But grip was hard to come by up high, and the Toole, Utah driver slid sideways as Jeff Wade, Jenna Quale, and Kyle Latham roared by.
Wade set his sights on Jesser’s Wong Farms, Champion Produce tailgate, and at the race’s halfway point had the leader within striking distance. For three laps the battle raged until Jesser and Wade came together as they dove into turn three. Jesser spun, Wade was relegated to the back of the pack, and the race resumed with Quale and Latham up front on the restart.
Quale got to the gas pedal first and used the inside line to put her Quale’s Electronics, Custom Auto Repair machine in the lead as Latham fell into the clutches of Park. As the laps wound down Latham broke free of Park’s Pick’s Insulation, King’s Camo entry and rocketed to Quale’s rear bumper, but the Twin Falls, Idaho youngster held on to score her first Meridian Speedway victory.
“This is a track that I really struggle at,” said an ecstatic Quale as she collected her Power’s Transport Feature Flag. “I’m so excited.”
Quale led most of the night’s second feature, but Paul, Idaho’s Wade forced his Dl Evans Bank, Gaylon’s Auto Body truck by with a dozen laps left and ran away with the North West Tour Truck Series’ second victory of Idaho Central Credit Union Night at the Races presented by Zamp Race Products.
Kyle Latham was the class of the Bud Light NASCAR Modified field in the division’s first feature. With his Conrad and Bischoff, Knott Hott Ceramic Coatings machine glued to the inside groove Latham passed division dominator Josh Fanopoulos and held off multi-time winner Colton Nelson to storm across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
Latham was strong in the night’s second feature too, but Nelson found the handle on his Bud Light, Division Construction modified, overcame a two-second deficit after a near-spin in turn two, and motored around the outside of Latham for his third main event win of the year.
Jamo Stephenson sliced his way to the front of the Pepsi Sprintcar pack as Ryan Newman and Nate Little dueled for the runner up spot. With a handful of laps left Newman and Little made contact on the back stretch which forced Little up the concrete barrier and into the air. Miraculously, both Newman and Little kept control of their machines and came home second and third to Stephenson and his YMC Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, Neil Alan Fine Jewelry sprinter.
“I heard that yellow with three to go and I was like, ‘no,’” Stephenson said in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
The Pauly’s Bar Room Street Stocks traded more than a little paint as they battled through a 25-lap feature. Taylor Occhipinti navigated his Marv’s Tire Service machine to the front of the pack early, then held off challenges from Neal Latham, Josh Fanopoulos, and Troy Evans to tally his first win of the year.
Jett Nelson piloted his YMC Mechanical car to the checkers ahead of Tommy Harrod to become the last man standing at the conclusion of the Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornet main event.
The second half of speedway season goes green this Saturday, July 17, with Weed Man Lawn Care Night at the Races presented by Aaron’s Sales and Lease. The Salt Lake City Midgets and a regional qualifying event for the Domino’s Legends headline a night of short track action that includes the Coors Pro-Late Models, Boise Bath and Kitchen Company Mini Stocks, and Zamp Race Products Stingers. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com for further information on upcoming events, and text ‘Speed2021’ to 84483 to receive exclusive updates from around the quarter-mile. We’ll see you this Saturday, July 17, under the big yellow water tower for Weed Man Lawn Care Night at the Races presented by Aaron’s Sales and Lease at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.