Records, Favorites Fall on Aaron’s Sales and Lease Nightadmin
A full night of feature races took the green flag Saturday, June 11, as Meridian Speedway hosted Aaron’s Sales and Lease Night. The Pepsi Crate Cars, Peterson Chevrolet Super Sixes, Project Filter Pro-4s, Domino’s Legends, College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks and the Teleperformance Claimer Stocks all took to the lighting fast quarter-mile for a record-setting night of close racing.
Eight tough Teleperformance Claimer Stocks rolled to green on a twenty lap main event. Joe Thuss got the drop on Caldwell, Idaho’s Rich Lawson to put his Integrity Pools and Construction, Aloha Auto Parts car in the lead on lap one while Casey Hart tore through the pack. Hart challenged the leader on lap two in his Hart Construction, Country Boys Landscape truck before the Meridian, Idaho racer claimed the spot outright one lap later. Next to emerge from the pack was Boise, Idaho’s Brian Hyde, who hooked the high line and worked his Affordable Rain Gutters, NW Fire Equipment machine into the runner up spot after five laps.
As Hyde worked to track down Hart the battle for fifth on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard heated up as Marsing, Idaho’s Micky Lawson fought to work her way past early leader Thuss. Lawson got the better of that battle and set to work reeling in Kuna, Idaho racers Pat Young and Tim Shelton as they went wheel-to-wheel for third and fourth.
A caution with five laps to go bunched the field and brought Hyde to Hart’s outside. Shelton restarted inside row two with Young outside. When the green flag fell Hart overpowered Hyde to regain the lead. Hyde dove to the inside to fend off a charge from Shelton’s La Sasco entry, which surrendered third place to Young. Next, Young roared to Hyde’s outside, but the Kuna, Idaho racer ran out of laps to take the runner up spot and settled for third behind Hyde and winner Hart.
Nine Pepsi Crate Cars rumbled to the start of their twenty lap pre-feature. On the green Tyler Barrow sprinted to the early lead in his Valley Auto Alignment and Repair machine as quick-qualifier Justin Segura picked his way through the pack. The outside line proved the best place to make time and Caldwell, Idaho’s Segura worked it to perfection, taking the third spot on lap four. Segura muscled his way past Mike Anderson for the runner up spot at the halfway point and set his speedy racer to tracking down Barrow.
Two laps later Segura blew past Barrow for the top spot, leaving the Boise, Idaho racer to contend with Anderson’s Bender Electric, Adaptive Graphics entry and Riley Rogers’ charging Extreme Towing and Recovery, H&H Accounting racer. Barrow held off his challengers, but could only watch as Segura stormed to his second feature victory of 2016.
The College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks battled for a 25 lap feature victory. On the start Tim Shelton ripped around the outside of Brendon Fries’ Chick-Fil-A, Boise Boys Transportation machine for the lead, but brought a familiar foe with him to the front in Nampa, Idaho’s Melissa Weaver-Arte. Weaver-Arte relieved Shelton of the top spot on lap three while Todd Seaver, Jordan Harris, Ben Crow and Fries gave chase.
With a dozen laps left Harris tore around Seaver to take second in his Kim’s Kars machine and began to close the gap on Weaver-Arte’s Marv’s Tire Service, Bearclaw Graphics entry. Harris’ cause was helped by a late race caution that re-racked the field with nine circuits remaining. Harris restarted to Weaver-Arte’s outside and fought hard to keep even with the lady racer. After two hard-fought laps Weaver-Arte nosed ahead, but Harris kept the pressure on as the laps wound down. On the white flag lap Harris drove his car deep into turn one, but couldn’t keep enough momentum and Weaver-Arte pulled into the Caleb’s Chop Shop winner’s circle.
The Peterson Chevrolet Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Super Sixes lined nine competitors up for the twenty lap Steve Ward Memorial. Steve Howell battled his way past triple-duty driver Pat Young to lead lap one and was rewarded with a tail tank full of Jasen Skyberg, who sailed past Howell on lap four. Skyberg was immediately beset by Dean Waltman, who waited until the race’s halfway mark to make his move.
Waltman looked high, but lost time. Next Waltman moved low only to find lapped traffic in his way. Waltman mounted one last charge with three laps left, but Skyberg countered every advance on the way to winning the inaugural Steve Ward Memorial.
“Steve drove you clean, but he drove hard,” Skyberg said in tribute to Ward as he collected the memorial trophy.
Fourteen strong Domino’s Legends crowded the speedway for their thirty lap main event. Darin Turpen was quick to the gas pedal and shot to the top spot in his Rocky Mountain Supply, Turpen Motorsports racer while fast heat race winner Daytona Wurtz stormed from her mid-pack starting spot to second in just two short laps. Wurtz wasn’t satisfied with the runner up spot, and the Star, Idaho racer worked every inch of racetrack to put her Glen’s Towing, All Makes Auto Salvage machine in the lead on lap nine. Caity Miller followed Wurtz past Turpen and soon looked to take her turn up front. Wurtz felt the pressure and turned up the wick on her machine, sliding through the corners in her attempt to take the main event victory.
With a dozen circuits left Miller’s Farm Bureau Insurance racer was overcome by quick-time Ethan Jones, who tried to make the jump from third to first in one lap. That bid ended in a heap in turn three as Jones and Wurtz made contact, which sent the leader hard into the turn three concrete and Jones to the back of the pack. Wurtz climbed from her car okay, and Jones was parked for the rest of the event.
On the restart Miller led Casey Tillman, Turpen, and Aubree Wartman to green. Tillman blasted around the outside to take over the top spot in his Taylor Made Upholstery, Air Filter Super Store entry. But Miller fought back in the low line to keep the pressure on. A late race restart put Miller to Tillman’s outside, and the lady racer out of Meridian, Idaho made the most of the opportunity and raced back to the lead.
Tillman didn’t give up, but soon had third place Wartman to contend with. As Tillman’s attention turned so did the tide of the race in favor of Miller. Miller had just taken a two car length advantage when a caution flag appeared and reset the field for one final two lap shootout. This time Tillman wouldn’t be denied and he flew around Miller on the green to claim the main event trophy.
The Project Filter Pro-4s ran the first of four Tri-Track Challenge main events as the sun set over turn four. Boise, Idaho’s Wes Summers led the twelve car field to the start of a fifty lap feature, but it was Rob Taylor who shot out front to lead lap one in his KCR, Motorsports Consulting Service machine. Hood River, Oregon driver Matt Melby raced his way to the top spot on lap two, but was quickly under fire from Jonathan Hull, Kenny Chandler, and Travis Pavlacky.
First to Melby’s rear bumper was Kuna, Idaho’s Chandler. Unable to navigate around the leader Chandler started rapping on Melby’s rear bumper. Finally, with twenty laps down Chandler piloted his Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bob’s racer to the lead in turn four, only to get jammed in the turn one wall as the top three tangled while trying to avoid a spinning lapped car. Melby, Chandler, and Hull all sustained heavy damage in the incident and retired from the event.
After the smoke cleared Payette, Idaho’s Pavlacky found himself in the lead with Joe Barton, Brandon Shira, and Ryan Bailey in hot pursuit. On the restart Pavlacky suffered mechanical issues and yielded the lead to Barton, who held a one and a half second lead on the battle for second place between Bailey and new track record holder Brendon Fries. Fries made short work of Bailey, then rocketed to Barton’s rear bumper.
Fries pushed his Chick-Fil-A, Urban Rifle Supply machine hard to take the top spot, even bashing the front stretch concrete in his bid for the lead. When outright speed didn’t work Fries tried to pin Barton in lapped traffic, but Barton battled back to the top spot in his Tyco Structural Enterprises entry. Lap after lap Fries tried to set Barton up, but Barton held station and out dueled Fries to the finish line.
The Pepsi Crate Cars and Peterson Chevrolet Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Super Sixes joined forces to roll fifteen cars to the green flag of their first challenge race of 2016. Pepsi Crate Car racer Tyler Barrow led the first lap, but was soon wheel-to-wheel with Ryan Newman’s Ashley Heating, Scott Fulcher Trucking machine for the top spot. After seven laps of hard racing Newman surrendered to Barrow, along with Justin Segura and Riley Rogers.
Segura was first around Barrow, but Rogers was hot on his heels, looking to match Segura’s season win total. Rogers’ charge was only slowed by a wicked crash at the race’s halfway point that sent Nampa, Idaho’s Mike Anderson end over end in turn two. Anderson jumped from his battered Bender Electric, Elda Property Services machine and assisted the track crew with clean up before he returned to the pit area.
The battle resumed with Segura out front as Rogers entry faded after contact with a lapped car damaged the left rear suspension. Barrow managed to overtake Rogers, but didn’t have the speed he needed to chase down Segura’s Garage Graffix, Mac Tools machine. Segura took the checkers for his third main event victory of the season.
Next Saturday, June 18, the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodels take the quarter-mile to contest the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks, College of Western Idaho High School Tuners, and TATES Rents Hornets join the chase for the Boise Boys Transportation trophy. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 6:30 p.m. and general admission is just $15.50. Visit meridianspeedway.com for the latest news from your local NASCAR Home Track and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive updates. We’ll see you for a full night of racing action Saturday, June 18, under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.