Stroebel Speeds to Victory in Father’s Memorial Raceadmin
Five racing divisions packed the Meridian Speedway pit area to celebrate the memory of Allen Stroebel for the Allen Stroebel Open Show featuring the Royal Purple Modified Series. The Pepsi Sprintcars, Teleperformance Claimer Stocks, College of Western Idaho High School Tuners, and Junior Stingers also roared around the quarter-mile asphalt oval in pursuit of vital late-season victories.
The future stars of Meridian Speedway kicked off main event action as the Junior Stinger battled through their ten lap feature. Boise, Idaho’s Shane Harris blasted to the early lead with Shane Ahlrich in hot pursuit. While the Shanes ran away from the field Meridian, Idaho’s Cody Castricone drove his Certified Services, Fast Glass racer to third place, with Nampa, Idaho’s James Gates settling in fourth and Lotus, Idaho native Alyse Shcildhauer in fifth.
On lap six Ahlrich made his move and wheeled his machine around the outside of Harris. But Harris battled back to keep the top spot. On the final lap Ahlrich tried a dive bomb move in turns three and four, but Harris kept control of his racer and motored to the checkered flag by less than a car length.
“Shane, he put up a great race,” Ahlrich said of Harris’ run to the victory.
“It was a great race, he was right beside me,” Harris said of Ahlrich’s late race charge.
The Teleperformance Claimer Stocks battled their way through a tough 25 lap feature. The green flag dropped and Meridian, Idaho’s Joe Thuss powered his Integrity Pools and Construction, Aloha Auto Repair entry around polesitter Scott Kelly for the lead. Brian Hyde, Rich Lawson, and Casey Hart followed Thuss by Kelly’s This N’ That Auto Sales, Import Engine Supply machine and began to fight amongst themselves for the runner up spot. Lawson overpowered Hyde to put his Kline Alternators and Starters entry second on lap five.
Lawson wasn’t done there as he drew a bead on Thuss and worked to find a way around the leader. Lawson dug his way beneath Thuss on lap eleven, dropping Thuss into the hands of third place Hart. This battle for the runner up spot went sour one lap later as Thuss and Hart came together on the back stretch. Hart slid his Hart Construction, Ultimate Transmission pickup hard into the turn three water barrels and was forced to the pit area for repairs.
On the restart Caldwell, Idaho’s Lawson rumbled back to the lead with Hyde and Micky Lawson on his rear bumper. Hyde tried to work his Affordable Rain Gutters, Guppies Hot Rod Grille machine around the high side, but couldn’t make his way to the lead. With the top two spots settled Jentry Pisca made a move on Marsing, Idaho’s Micky Lawson for third with just six laps remaining. Pisca’s next target was Hyde, who he moved to the outside of on the white flag lap. Hyde was able to fend off Pisca’s advance to cross the line second to Lawson, who scored his second straight division victory.
Seven fast Pepsi Crate Cars thundered to the start of their 25 lap feature race. Boise, Idaho’s Aaron McPeak roared to the early lead with Tyler Barrow and Justin Segura in his tire tracks. Barrow used lap two to put his Valley Auto Alignment and Repair racer in the top spot, but enjoyed the lead for just a lap before Segura piloted his Garage Graffix, PBT Auto Sales machine to the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Now McPeak fell into a three way battle for third with Brandal Glenn and Mike Anderson. This battle went bad on lap five when Anderson and Glenn made contact, sending Glenn’s Boise Metal Works, Big Nasty Hillclimb entry to the infield and bringing out the caution flag.
On the restart Caldwell, Idaho’s Segura outdueled Barrow through turns one and two to retain the lead while Anderson disposed of McPeak to take third place. Anderson next set his sights on Barrow, and wheeled his Bender Electric, Adaptive Graphics sprinter hard to catch the runner up. Anderson wasn’t able to close on the runner up and settled for third behind Barrow and race winner Segura.
“This car is almost perfect every time we bring it out,” Segura said in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
Nine College of Western Idaho High School Tuners crowded the concrete jungle for a thirty lap main event. On the green pole sitter Bryce Edwards drove his BC Towing, Castle Mountain Home racer past Tayvia Morris for the early lead while Will Ostrum and Hunter Gates roared to the front of the pack. Boise, Idaho’s Ostrum was first around Edwards for the lead, with Nampa, Idaho racer Gates and Meridian, Idaho native Peter Woog on his rear bumper. Woog wasted no time as he drove his Discount Tire, Les Schwab entry below Ostrum’s Diversified Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning machine for the lead on lap five. Next to the front was Taylor Occhipinti, who muscled his way through traffic and put his Marv’s Tire Service, Bearclaw Graphics machine below Woog for the lead on lap eight.
While the action was frantic at the top, Gates maintained a steady pace until lap eleven, when he unleashed his YMC Mechanical, Banner Promotions entry and went to work on Woog. Woog forced Gates to slow for lapped traffic on lap eleven, but the reprieve was short-lived as three laps later Gates forced his way to second. Nampa, Idaho’s Kendra Occhipinti was next past Woog to take third behind Gates and her brother Taylor.
With ten laps to go lapped traffic bunched the top three. With Gates in his rearview mirror Taylor Occhipinti stomped the gas pedal and roared away from his competitors. With three laps left Kendra Occhipinti dispatched Gates to take the second spot, but didn’t have enough laps left to track down her little brother and Taylor Occhipinti took the checkered flag.
A full field of sixteen Royal Purple Modified Series competitors roared to the start of the 75 lap Allen Stroebel Memorial. On the green Nampa, Idaho racer Jay Cook blasted around Twin Falls, Idaho’s Scott Gilligan to put his County Repair and 24 Hour Towing, NAPA Auto Parts of Nampa and Caldwell entry in the early lead. The inside line was the place to be early, and Meridian, Idaho native Shelby Stroebel used the low groove to pilot his Trinity Construction, The Flores Group machine through half the field in the race’s opening ten laps.
A lap fifteen restart put Willie Dalton’s Northwest LED, Babbels Cleaners racer and Lee Hackney’s Advance Auto Parts, Capitol City Heating machine on Cook’s rear bumper. When the green flag fell Hackney pounced, and pull the outside groove, and both Caitlyn and Shelby Stroebel, into the top five. Shelby Stroebel didn’t waste his opportunity at the front as he put his modified in the high line and shot to the lead. Next around Cook was NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 winner Trevor Cristiani, and then 2016 Royal Purple Modified Series Independence Cup winner Zach Webster.
With 45 laps to go the race for fourth got physical, and Cook spun off the front bumper of Hackney to bring out a caution. Shelby Stroebel restarted in the lead with Cristiani, Webster, Rick Fowble, and Caitlyn Stroebel in his rearview mirror.
Nampa, Idaho’s Cristiani battled hard to keep his Idaho Gasket and Door entry in the runner up spot, and once clear of West Valley City, Utah’s Webster, Cristiani rattled off a string of fast laps to draw closer to the race leader. Lapped traffic helped Cristiani’s march to the front when a two-wide battle penned the race leader in on lap fifty. Cristiani pulled even with Stroebel for a brief moment, but as soon as the traffic cleared Stroebel roared off again. A caution with twenty laps later handed Cristiani one more chance to make a move.
Cristiani was out of the blocks fast, and hung with Stroebel as the leader pulled away from the pack. But as the laps wound down Stroebel only continued to speed up. Even lapped traffic and a late restart couldn’t slow Stroebel’s run to once again put his name on his father’s memorial trophy.
Stroebel celebrated his victory with a wild series of donuts in turns three and four before he pulled into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
“I can’t thank you all for coming out, it means a lot,” Stroebel said.
Hot rods and cool customs hit the quarter-mile oval next Saturday, August 20 as Meridian Speedway hosts the Kendall Ford Hot August Cruze and Drag Night. Along with a full slate of events for the classic cars, racing action will feature the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, CT400 Winged Sprintcars, and the TATES Rents Hornets. General admission to Saturday night’s event is just $10.50 for adults, $6.50 for kids 7-11. We’ll see you for a hot night of cool cars this Saturday, August 20 under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.