Title Defenses Start as Meridian Speedway Kicks Off 64th Seasonadmin
Saturday, April 18, Meridian Speedway’s 64th season of auto racing roars to life as the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodels take to the quarter-mile asphalt. Joining the opening-day lineup are the Grand American Modifieds, Budweiser Modifieds, Coors Super Stocks, College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks, and the Tates Rents Hornets.
After a resurgent, hard-fought season in 2014 the NAPA Big 5 Latemodel field looks to deliver more of the full-contact, wheel-to-wheel action this year. With just five events on the Meridian Speedway schedule this year each race for these competitors is of the utmost importance. Some drivers are even using their NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel appearances to audition for a seat in September’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Idaho 208 race. With so many differing agendas the only prediction for the season opening race is unpredictability.
Returning to Meridian Speedway in 2015 are the Grand American Modifieds. These high-horsepower racers provided race fans with close finishes and tense battles last year. At year’s end Rus Ward had worked his way to the top of the point standings. Ward will have his hands full as he begins his title defense as Dennis Wurtz II leads a field packed with competitors capable of dethroning him.
The Budweiser Modifieds and Coors Super Stocks renew their battle for Meridian Speedway supremacy Saturday. Darvin Ackerland was the dominant force in the Budweiser Modifieds in 2014. The veteran Ackerland ran away with the championship even after missing the first two races of the season. Following Ackerland’s example Rob Powers took control of the Coors Super Stock championship race early and never relinquished control. Both men look to defend their championships against a bevy of new challengers this year.
The College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks saw a familiar face leading the pack last season as Melissa Weaver stormed her way to another championship. However, her path to the top wasn’t a smooth one. Throughout the year she had to outrun the likes of Roy Kirkland, Pat Tully, and Shaun Bush. Weaver’s late-season battle with Bush was a back-and-forth affair that ended with Weaver taking the win by a slim 5 one-thousandths of a second. With such a strong band of competitors vying for the top spot Weaver will have her hands full each and every lap in 2015.
The fan favorite Tates Rents Hornets also invade the quarter-mile Saturday for their first dash of the year. The mix of experienced racers and novice drivers in this division has led to breathtaking battles for position and a tight title race. Last year Rob Powers’ experience won out, but there’s a big pack of fast cars looking to take his crown in 2015.
Be sure to catch every moment of Meridian Speedway’s season opening race Saturday. Gates open at 4 p.m. with qualifying at 5 p.m. and the green flag drops at 6:30 p.m. Admission for the full night of racing action is $10.25 for adults, $6.25 for kids 7-11, and $7.75 for seniors and military members. You can skip the ticket booth lines by purchasing advance tickets online at www.meridianspeedway.com and you can stay up to date on all the Meridian Speedway news by texting “MERIDIANSPEED” to 84483. Join us Saturday under the big yellow water tower as we kick off another season of racing action at Meridian Speedway.