Tillman, Stroebel Replay Race One Drama on Builders First Source 100 Nightadmin
The lightning fast PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds rumbled back into Meridian Speedway Saturday, April 27, on Builders First Source 100 Night at the quarter-mile asphalt oval. The NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models, Project Filter Pro-4s, Teleperformance Claimer Stocks, High School Tuners and Junior Stingers also did battle to capture their own Global Tractor Feature Flag.
A full field of PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds crowded the quarter-mile for a thirty lap feature. Outside pole sitter Jerry Green piloted his HAZ Tech Drilling, Greens Custom Haying racer to the early lead with Boise, Idaho’s Randy Keckley in his tire tracks.
Contact was constant as the pack jockeyed for position, and on lap two a chain reaction shot David Wurtz, Jr. headlong into the turn two concrete. The Nampa, Idaho racer was able to limp his Pegasus Towing, Josey’s Labs modified to the pit area, but was forced to retire from the event. The ensuing restart played out much the same as the first with contact leading to a second melee in turn two, this time sidelining pre-race favorite Josh Jackson and his Meineke of Caldwell, Jackson Excavation machine.
Despite the early caution flags, fast heat race winner Casey Tillman had marched his way onto the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard, taking third from Mark Floyd on lap seven. Two laps later Tillman blasted around the outside of Keckley and Green to put his Ready Made Plastic Trays, Holly Co. Racer in the top spot.
Behind Tillman, fellow Kuna driver Wyatt King found speed in the outside line and took second place, followed by quick qualifier Shelby Stroebel. Stroebel flexed his machine’s muscles in open track and dispatched King’s Major Tire and Hitch, YMC Mechanical entry handily at the race’s halfway point.
This left Stroebel to hunt down Tillman in a replay of the division’s first meeting. Lap after lap Stroebel drew closer to Tillman until with five circuits left less than a car length separated the front runners. But before Stroebel could make his move Tillman ducked into a swarm of lapped traffic and used the slower cars to hold the veteran campaigner at bay on his way to his second feature win.
Scott Cooper and Greg Croasdale led a dozen Teleperformance Street Stocks to green for their thirty lap Builders First Source 100 Night feature. Croasdale got to the gas pedal first and drove his Certified Services, Charlie Brown’s Lounge machine to the early lead while trouble erupted behind him. A steering box failure aboard Robbie Hyde’s Guppies Hot Rod Grille, Western Sandblasting machine sent him up the race track and into rookie Isaiah Peters before the pair slammed the outside wall. Both drivers shook off the hard hit and climbed from their vehicles okay.
The field didn’t fare much better on the restart, when contact sent Cooper spinning from first place. Half a dozen cars emerged from the smoke with new battle scars and lined up for another green flag.
Fast heat race winner Jeff Peck of Twin Falls, Idaho sped to the top spot in his Tony’s 2T Automotive, Twin Falls Storage machine. But the man on the move was Jesse James Lawson, who maneuvered his Dillon Plumbing racer through the pack to second by lap six. Two circuits later Lawson held the top spot on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
Defending Teleperformance Street Stock champion Josh Fanopoulos followed Lawson around Peck to take second a handful of laps later and set to reeling in the leader. But Lawson was inch perfect through traffic as he opened his lead to nearly four seconds before a caution for fluid on the track bunched the field for a restart.
The green flag waved and Lawson motored his way to the lead with Fanopoulos in hot pursuit. Though the defending champ could keep pace with Lawson, he was unable to mount a serious challenge through the race’s closing stages and settled for second behind Lawson.
The Project Filter Pro-4s followed Ryan Bailey and Alex Duda to green for a 25 lap main event. Bailey pushed his Specialty Supply, Les Schwab Downtown racer hard to take the early lead, but quickly came under fire from fellow Nampa, Idaho racer Jordan Harris.
Harris stormed past Bailey on lap five, then set sail from the pack in his Kim’s Kars, H&H Auto machine. Behind the young racer lurked Kuna, Idaho’s Kenny Chandler, and his Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bob’s entry. Chandler, Harris’ car owner, stalked his teammate, but never got close enough to make the pass and Harris sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
Cody Castricone capped his perfect High School Tuner debut with a victory Saturday night. After qualifying fastest and taking home the fast heat race win, the youngster from Nampa, Idaho hustled his Fast Glass machine to victory in his first race since claiming the 2018 Junior Stinger division title.
The eleven to fourteen-year-old Junior stinger competitors put on one of Saturday’s most thrilling races. John Clever piloted his Drug Free Idaho, All Makes Auto Salvage entry through the field twice before he took the checkered flag with Dylan Wardle and Emily Newman second and third.
Meridian Speedway celebrates the ladies this Saturday, May 4, as the quarter-mile oval hosts Factory Motor Parts Ladies Night. The Mulder Engineered Junior Late Models make their speedway debut, with the PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Coors Super Stocks, Factory Motor Parts Mini Stocks, Teleperformance Street Stocks, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets seeking the Construction Service and Repair feature flag. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com to keep up with all the latest news and notes from around the track, and make sure you text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for exclusive event updates. We’ll see you this Saturday, May 4, for Factory Motor Parts Ladies Night under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.