Tillman, Grice Score Wins in Stinker Stores Firecracker 50


Tillman, Grice Score Wins in Stinker Stores Firecracker 50

Meridian Speedway celebrated Independence Day with the Speed Tour Sprint Cars powered by Pit Stop USA as they contested the annual Stinker Stores Firecracker 50.  Alongside the fastest short track racers in the Northwest, the Pepsi Sprintcars, Mulder Engineered Race Engines Junior Late Models, Project Filter Pro-4s, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets battled the heat and each other to take home a Weed Man Lawn Care Feature Flag. 

Marlon Pense and Aaron McPeak led the Speed Tour Sprint Cars powered by Pit Stop USA to green for the first of their two 25-lap features.  As the pack dove into turn one Pense and McPeak made contact and jumped sideways in front of the field.   

Miraculously, no significant damage was suffered in the ensuing jam up, and the field charged on.   Quick to take advantage of the confusion was Bryan Warf, who piloted his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Ace Powder Coating sprinter around the high line and into third from his mid-pack starting spot after just one lap. 

With ten laps of intense action in the books, defending Speed Tour Sprint Car champion Casey Tillman found himself fourth on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard as a caution flag flew.  This brought Tillman alongside Warf on row two for the restart, with McPeak and Lyons up front.   

The green flag waved again and Warf shot out of the blocks, looking to sneak below Lyons’ Stinker Stores, Sunroc sprinter to take the runner-up spot.  Lyons slammed the door on Warf, which broke the Meridian, Idaho driver’s momentum and allowed Tillman to slingshot past on the outside.     

Lyons would not relinquish the second spot without a fight, and as Tillman blazed a trail around the high side contact was made.  Both drivers slid sideways through turns three and four, but managed to hang onto their machines.   

Tillman emerged with his YMC, Inc., PFC Brakes racer in the runner up spot, and just two laps later would track down an ailing McPeak to take the night’s first Weed Man Lawn Care Feature Flag. 

“Actually, after the 22 car got together with me there it felt really good,” Tillman said.  “So, I just kept driving.” 

As dusk began to fall on the quarter-mile, the Speed Tour Sprint Cars powered by Pit Stop USA roared to life once again for the second half of the Stinker Stores Firecracker 50.   

Front row starters Rob Grice and Preston Henderson blasted through turns one a two without incident as the pack jockeyed for position behind them.  Grice used the inside line to take the lead, and immediately built a comfortable gap between his Fat Guys Fresh Deli, Valley Crankshaft sprinter and the rest of the competition. 

Behind Grice, Warf, Tillman, and Colton Nelson rushed through the pack and staked their claim on the second, third, and fourth spots respectively.  But try as this trio might there was no catching Grice, who cruised to his first Speed Tour Sprint Car victory at Meridian Speedway. 

Mulder Engineered Race Engines Junior Late Model competitor Nevaeh Hull led Delaney Grace and Bently Hull to the checkers in her Drake Mechanical, All American Towing racer. 

Ryan Bailey tightened his grip on the Project Filter Pro-4 standings as he tallied another win in his Project Filter, Dennis Dillon machine. 

After mechanical problems threatened to end his night early, Johnny Giesler and crew got his Giesler’s Auto Repair, Mulder’s Auto Machine sprinter on track for the Pepsi Sprintcar main event.  Forty laps later Giesler sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe to claim the Weed Man Lawn Care Feature Flag. 

The lights went out and the Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets rolled into the Concrete Jungle for their annual tribute to the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.  After sixty laps of beating and banging, Jerry Knaus piloted his Idaho CDL Training machine into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.  As a condition of his win, Knaus’ car was claimed by the speedway. 

“I’ll have another car out here Friday,” Knaus said.  “We’ll just have to build it in a hurry.” 

The North West Tour Truck Series returns to Meridian Speedway this Saturday, July 10, on Idaho Central Credit Union Night at the Races.  The Bud Light NASCAR Modifieds, Pepsi Sprintcars, Pauly’s Bar Room Street Stocks, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets round out a slate of high-octane excitement as they beat and bang for their Powers Transport Feature Flags.  General admission is just $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and military members, $7 for kids 7-11, and free for kids 6 and under.  Gates open at 4:45 p.m. with races beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com to purchase your advance tickets and stay up to speed with the Concrete Jungle.  We’ll see you this Saturday, July 10, for Idaho Central Credit Union Night at the Races under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.