Twin Falls’ Newhouse Takes Second Bill Crow 50 Titleadmin
The skies cleared over Meridian Speedway Monday, May 27, as the quarter-mile asphalt oval remembered the legends that put Treasure Valley auto racing on the map with Whelen Night at the Races. The NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models, PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Domino’s Legends, Winged Pepsi Crate Cars, Project Filter Pro-4s, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets filled up a Monday night lineup of racers hungry for the Racing for Smiles memorial trophies.
The Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets brought thirteen cars to bear on their twenty lap Whelen Night at the Races main event. On the break Troy Palmer zipped to the lead while Joe Pettit and Jake Combs battled for second. Caldwell, Idaho’s Pettit got the better of this battle and piloted his Discount Tire, Doterra entry to the runner up spot on lap three. Pettit’s charge continued as three laps later he powered around Palmer’s machine and took the top spot on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
Behind Pettit, Meridian, Idaho racers Jett Nelson and Casey Winter joined forces to work their way through the pack. By lap seven the duo found themselves in the top five, and at the race’s halfway point Nelson and Winter held second and third.
Winter worked his Diane Winter with Century 21 Insurance, Carbon Design Customs racer around Nelson’s YMC, Zach Telford Racing machine, but Nelson was too strong down the stretch and Winter was forced to settle for third behind Nelson and runaway winner Pettit.
Eight Project Filter Pro-4s rolled to green for their thirty lap dash to the checkers. Nampa, Idaho’s Ryan Bailey shot to the early lead in his Specialty Supply, Les Schwab Downtown machine, followed by brothers Ben and Jordan Harris.
Jordan Harris was first to make a move, and on lap seven worked his Kim’s Kars, Ken Chandler Racing entry into the runner up spot. Two laps later Harris dispatched Bailey for the lead, but quickly came under attack from car owner Kenny Chandler and his Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bob’s machine. Harris held onto the lead for two laps before Chandler overpowered him and sped to the lead and the win.
Speedway standout and late 90’s dominator Sean Miller was honored with a 35 lap Winged Pepsi Crate Car shootout. Young Kate Jackson piloted her Mulder’s Machine sprinter to the early lead while the pack jockeyed for position.
The first group to make progress was that of Preston Henderson, Justin Segura, and Bryan Warf. Bumper to tail tank the trio snaked their way through the mid-pack chaos into the top five by lap ten. Warf put his years of winged sprintcar experience to use as he juked around Segura, then Henderson to put his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Rex Hutchinson Race Engines machine second by the race’s first caution flag.
On the restart Warf motored around the outside of Middleton, Idaho’s Jackson to take the lead while Henderson and Segura tried to find a way past Jackson. This bid for second went south on lap twenty when contact sent Jackson sliding in front of the field. The resulting jam-up collected Kyle Tellstrom and Nate Little.
On the restart Warf gapped the field and cruised to his first Sean Miller Memorial victory.
The Domino’s Legends had 25 laps to decide an Austin Christopherson and Eldon Cahill Memorial race winner. On the break Chance Davis overpowered brother Jonathan Davis to take the lead in his GCAT machine, followed closely by Caity Miller.
Miller, winner of each Domino’s Legends race of 2019, stalked the leader looking for a way to put her Armor Performance Coating, Cascade Rain Gutter machine up front. Lap after lap Miller laid siege to Davis, but her runs were either defended or thwarted by lapped traffic.
As the laps wound down Miller stayed glued to Davis’ bumper before finally, with four laps to go, Miller moved her way to the lead. But Davis didn’t give up, and with the white flag in the air Davis launched his car to the inside of Miller. Contact ensued, and Miller spun into Davis before they both came to rest at the exit of turn four.
This left the win to third place runner Jonathan Davis, his first Austin Christopherson and Eldon Cahill Memorial victory.
A full field of fourteen PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds honored Meridian Speedway champion and promoter LeeRoy Nelson with a 35 lap main event. On the break Quentin Duncan outdueled Mark Floyd to take the early lead. But Floyd hung tough on the inside, and for the first six laps Duncan and Floyd swapped the lead.
Behind the lead duo, multi-time modified champion Shelby Stroebel hunted for a chance to make his move, and on lap seven the Meridian, Idaho racer made his move around the outside. With his Trinity Construction, Canyon Windshield machine out front Stroebel sailed to a three-plus second gap over the fight for second on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
Behind the leader, Wyatt King, Casey Tillman, and Josh Jackson went wheel-to-wheel for the runner up shot and a chance to track down Stroebel. Jackson had his Meineke of Caldwell, Jackson Built Racing rig tuned up and knifed his way through King and Tillman with a dozen laps left, then set his sights on Stroebel.
Lapped traffic held Stroebel up as Jackson navigated clean racetrack and erased the veteran racer’s advantage. With four circuits left Jackson arrived on Stroebel’s rear bumper as the leaders encountered double-file traffic. This was as close as Jackson would get as Stroebel dispatched the slower cars and roared across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
The victory was Stroebel’s first in the LeeRoy Nelson Memorial.
Meridian Speedway’s longest-running memorial race, the Bill Crow 50, welcomed fifteen NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Model competitors to green on their shortest race of the season. Rob Powers got the jump on Brent Collins to take the early lead while the field traded paint behind him.
First to break from the scrum was Nampa, Idaho’s Daniel Johnson, who piloted his Dillon Toyota Lift, Idaho Antique Trails racer to Powers’ rear bumper in his bid for the lead. While Johnson stalked Powers, Meridian, Idaho racer Colton Nelson found the handle on his Maxwell Plumbing, Neil Alan Fine Jewelry machine and began his march forward. Nelson made his way to fourth on lap six before a caution flag waved and reset the field for a restart.
The green flag waved and once again the pack jostled hard for position. Something had to give, and on lap sixteen it was Jeff Hillock who found himself climbing the backstretch wall. Hillock landed his JH Hillock Electric, Salt City Speed and Fab machine, but with a hung throttle was helpless to avoid the turn three water barrels.
Hillock slammed into the barrels broadside, catapulted side-over-side, and came to rest upright in turn three. Rescue crews were quickly on scene and after a thorough examination, the Cedar Hills, Utah driver climbed from the remains of his destroyed car under his own power. Several pre-race favorites tangled in the scramble to avoid Hillock’s rolling racer, including Nelson, defending division champion Kyle Tellstrom, and young speedster Zach Telford.
With the track cleared, Powers led Johnson, Travis Milburn, and John Newhouse to green. Milburn wasted no time as he cleared Johnson for second and went to work on Powers for first. As Milburn planned his next move, Twin Falls, Idaho’s John Newhouse found speed in the outside line, and surprised both Milburn and Powers to take the lead on lap twenty.
Once out of the lead Powers faded, which allowed Milburn to keep pace with Newhouse’s The Car Store, Lynch Oil mount. Milburn searched high and low for a way to move his Kart Idaho entry to the lead. As the laps wound down Milburn’s speed faded until a caution with five laps to go allowed him one more shot at the Bill Crow 50.
The green flag waved and Newhouse sped into turn one with Milburn glued to his back bumper. As the white flag waved Milburn lined up for one last shot, but a savage three-car crash in turn four brought out the yellow flag and ended the race with Newhouse out front.
This was Newhouse’s second Bill Crow Memorial 50 win in the last three years.
Open-wheel race fans rejoice this Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1, as the BOB FM Diamond Cup presented by Neil Alan Fine Jewelry invades Meridian Speedway. The Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association, Super Modifieds, Northwest Tour Truck Series, West Coast Vintage Sprintcars, and Midgets pull double duty this Friday and Saturday night. Joining this power lineup Saturday are the Teleperformance Street Stocks and Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers. General admission tickets to each night of the Bob FM Diamond Cup presented by Neil Alan Fine Jewelry are just $19 for adults, $17 for seniors and members of the armed forces, $7.50 for kids 7-11, and free for children 6 and under. Visit your local Stinker Stores location and receive a free family pass to Friday night’s event with any ten dollar purchase while supplies last. Purchase your advance tickets now at www.meridianspeedway.com and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive special updates. We’ll see you this Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June, 1, for the Fire and Fury of the Bob FM Diamond Cup under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.