Rookie Rolls to College of Western Idaho Dairy Days 100 Victory

Rookie Rolls to College of Western Idaho Dairy Days 100 Victory

With the Meridian Dairy Days Carnival rides peeking over the North End grandstands, four fierce racing division rolled onto Meridian Speedway for the College of Western Idaho Dairy Days Races and Carnival. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds , CT400 Winged Sprintcars, College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks, and TATES Rents Hornets went wheel-to-wheel for crucial mid-season victories .

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Modifieds rumbled to the first of their two main events with the sun still beating down on the quarter-mile asphalt oval. On the green flag Meridian, Idaho’s Rodney Houpt piloted his Boise Spring Works, Royal Purple Oils machine to the top spot.  On the move early was fast heat race winner Beau Gillogly, who tore around the high side of the field to put his Razor’s Edge Window Cleaning, GRC Custom Fabrication modified in second on lap three.  Gillogly tried to take Houpt on the low side, but that opened the door for Meridian, Idaho driver Colton Nelson to take the runner up spot.  One lap later Nelson put his track record-holding Integrity Pools, Mobile Dent Specialists racer in the lead.

Dylan Caldwell followed Nelson past Gillogly in his Roadrunner Glass Company, Redline Recreational Toys racer and set his sights on the leader. As Caldwell fought to gain ground the battle for third heated up as Houpt tried to fend off Paul, Idaho racer Jeff Wade.  Wade made his way past Houpt on lap fifteen, and was followed by Josh Jackson, who surged through the field after an early race spin.

Jackson wheeled his, Motor Mayhem Chassis Dyno Tuning machine past Wade before he started to gain ground on second place Caldwell. Try as Jackson might, he wasn’t able to make up the ground already lost as he settled for third behind Caldwell and race winner Nelson.

Thirteen TATES Rents Hornets crowded the quarter-mile to contest the Dairy Days 100. Monica Heath raced away from the pack to lead lap one while Nampa, Idaho’s Brandon Kelley used the outside line to put his Kelley Rooter, Krung Thai Restaurant entry second on lap three.  Kelley’s run to the front was complete by lap nine when he passed Heath’s PBT Auto Sales racer in turn one.  The big mover through the first 25 laps was Boise, Idaho’s Josh Parkkila.  From his back of the pack starting spot Parkkila maneuvered his machine to third as the lead pack hit heavy lapped traffic.

A penalty on lap thirty for Kelley handed the race lead to Nampa, Idaho’s Pat Hellickson, who had a mirror full of Josh Randolph’s Hungry Onion-sponsored car. This pair worked each other over before Randolph claimed the top spot on lap 35.  Only a black flag for heavy smoke out of Helickson’s machine settled the battle, and left Randolph in the lead at the halfway point.  Next to enter the lead pack was Adam Deane in his 2C Auto Sales entry.  The Nampa, Idaho driver worked methodically to close the gap on Randolph, and by the race’s final quarter was on Randolph’s rear bumper.

With his lead shrinking, Randolph pushed his machine harder, and this effort ended in contact with Michael Capps’ Boise Bath and Kitchen Company, Subline Electric machine. Randolph was sent to the back of the pack for being involved in the caution and left Deane alone up front with the lead.  Randolph fought hard to make up his lost ground, and with ten laps left Randolph arrived at Deane’s rear bumper.  Contact with lapped traffic sent Deane sliding up the track and brought Randolph to the inside of the leader.  While Randolph was able to pull alongside Deane, lapped traffic prevented the pass from being completed and rookie Deane claimed the victory.

“I didn’t even know I’d won,” Deane said in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle. “I was just trying not to wreck there at the end.”

The College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks brought seven competitors to their thirty lap main event. Todd Seaver put his foot down and roared to the early lead in his Lucas Oil, Loan Mart machine.  On lap three Tyler Bailey muscled his pickup to the top spot while Nampa, Idaho racer Jordan Harris and Boise, Idaho’s Gale Carter traded some paint for third.  Harris worked his Kim’s Kars racer first to third, then second.

Melissa Weaver-Arte followed Harris through the field and on lap nine pulled her Marv’s Tire Service, Bearclaw Graphics machine to the runner up spot before she went for the lead in the high line. With twelve laps down Weaver-Arte roared past Harris and opened a sizeable gap over the field.

Now the battle for runner up was on as Bailey worked the wheel to keep Harris and Carter at bay. Harris willed his machine to Bailey’s quarter panel, and finally drew even with Bailey with four laps to go.  The side-by-side battle continued until Harris blasted past Bailey on the back stretch to claim the runner up spot behind Nampa, Idaho’s Weaver-Arte.

The CT400 Winged Sprintcars sped through a twelve lap main event. Meridian, Idaho’s Chris Fenton piloted his Blimpie of Meridian, LFC Cleaning machine to the top spot on lap one while Buhl, Idaho competitor Stacey Jensen and Caldwell, Idaho’s Justin Segura gave chase.  The handling on Segura’s Garage Graffix, Mac Tools machine soured early, leaving Jensen alone to try and find a way around Fenton.  Jensen looked high and low, but couldn’t find a way to put his YMC, Westside Body Works machine up front as Fenton thundered across the line for the win.

“This is a great class to run,” Fenton said of the CT400 division. “Getting the opportunity to drive this thing was a lot of fun.”

A full field of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds closed out the Dairy Days Races and Carnival with a 35 lap feature. On the green CJ Stirm put her Allegiant Powder Coating, YMC machine out front for lap one.  Stirm enjoyed her lead until lap two when Rus Ward piloted his A-1 Heating and Air Conditioning, Boise Metal Works entry to the point.  Behind the lead fight contact caused a melee in turn four that swept up Randy Keckley, Rodney Houpt, Josh Jackson, and first main event winner Colton Nelson.  Houpt, Jackson, and Keckley were able to continue while Nelson’s Integrity Pools, YMC machine retired from the event.

On the restart Nampa, Idaho’s Jackson blasted around the outside of the pack and took the lead on lap eight. Dylan Caldwell followed Jackson past Ward four laps later, but found only a three second gap between his Roadrunner Glass Company, Boise Best Detail machine and the leader.

Another racer on the move was Paul, Idaho’s Jeff Wade, who put the pedal down in his Gaylon’s Auto Body, Southwind Farms entry and moved to fifth on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Wade made quick work of Ward, then dove below Beau Gillogly’s Razor’s Edge Window Cleaning, GRC Custom Fabrication racer.  Gillogly worked the outside line to perfection and held onto the third spot until a caution flag with three laps to go reset the field.

On the green Jackson raced back to the lead while Caldwell sliced his way through heavy traffic to maintain second place. Gillogly pulled out every trick in the book to keep Wade at bay, and did so as the pair turned in a mid-pack photo finish.

“We had a lot of fun,” Jackson said of his dominating performance.

The action at Meridian Speedway continues July 2 and 4 as the Royal Purple Modified and INEX Legends regional qualifying races anchor two intense night of short-track racing. Saturday’s Fan Appreciation Night also features the Pepsi Crate Cars, Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks, and College of Western Idaho High School Tuners.  Monday features the Stinker Stores Firecracker 50 with the Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcars, CT400 Sprintcars, Project Filter Pro-4s, TATES Rents Hornets, and the biggest fireworks show in Meridian rounding out a full night of thrills around the quarter-mile oval.  General admission tickets to Saturday’s races are $10.50 for adults, while Monday’s action is just $12.50.  Be sure to check for all the latest news from your NASCAR Home Track and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for access to exclusive updates.  We’ll see you this Independence Day weekend under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.