Title Hopefuls Take Pro-4, Mini Stock Debutsadmin
Early season championship contenders made the most of the ATS Inland Season Opener, the first event of Meridian Speedway’s 69th season. The Intermountain Outlaw Modifieds and PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds double headlined the Saturday, April 13, event, while the Project Filter Pro-4s, Factory Motor Parts Mini Stocks, Teleperformance Street Stocks, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets provided race fans with a full night of racing thrills and spills.
David Pywell and James Pahl led the Factory Motor Parts Mini Stock field to their 35 lap feature. Pahl got the handle on his brand-new machine and motored to the early lead as chaos unfolded behind him. The pack accordioned as it dove into turn three, and in the end DJ Sirani and Luke Wolverton ended up in the outside wall. Wolverton retired from the event with crash damage while Sirani made quick repairs and continued.
On the restart Jason Sanders found the handle on his G2 Logistics, Valley Property Management racer and shot to third on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. In four short laps Sanders picked off second place runner Will Ostrum’s Diversified Carpet Cleaning machine and closed to Pahl’s rear bumper.
Though Pahl put up as much struggle as he could, Sanders was simply too fast to be held back and he took the lead. But the Caldwell, Idaho driver wasn’t safe up front as 2018 division runner up Fred Vigil fought his way through traffic to close on the leader. Sanders sped into a group of lapped cars to keep Vigil at bay, but a caution flag with four laps left cleared the track and left Sanders to fend off Vigil on his own.
The green flag waved and Vigil catapulted to the lead. With the fastest racecar on track Vigil slowly opened an insurmountable lead and took the checkered flag in his Larry H Miller Collision, Ben’s Auto Glass entry.
Perennial favorite Kenny Chandler led a fast field of Project Filter Pro-4s to green for a 25 lap feature. Chandler bested Alex Duda to lead the first circuit with teammates Ryan Bailey and Jordan Harris in tow. As the leaders caught lapped traffic Chandler’s Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bob’s machine began to sputter, and after just eight circuits the Kuna, Idaho driver lost power and pulled to the infield.
This left the lead to Bailey and his Specialty Supply, Les Schwab Downtown racer, who marched away from Harris to claim the feature winner flag.
With the ATS Inland Season Opener settled Meridian Speedway turns its attention to this Saturday, April 20, and the Sprintcar Opener. The Speed Tour Regional Sprint Car Series, Pepsi Crate Cars and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League, Coors Super Stocks, Domino’s Legends, Factory Motor Parts Mini Stocks, and Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers kick off their seasons on $2 Keystone Light Night at the quarter-mile asphalt oval. General admission to this celebration of speed are just $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military members, and $7 for kids 7-11. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. with racing at 6:45 p.m. Stay up to speed with your favorite drivers by visiting www.meridianspeedway.com and don’t forget to text ‘meridianspeed‘ to 84483 to receive exclusive updates from the Concrete Jungle. We’ll see you this Saturday, April 20, for the Sprintcar Opener on $2 Keystone Light Night at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.