Veteran Racers Sweep Street Stock Doublesadmin
There may not have been a full moon over Meridian Speedway this Saturday, June 20, but that didn’t stop the action from Back on Track #11 from being as wild as it gets. The Teleperformance Street Stocks, Project Filter Pro-4s, Mini Stocks, Big Daddy’s BBQ Hornets, and Junior Stingers battled to survive twin main events as they battled for the Vapor Loft Feature Flag.
A strong field of thirteen Teleperformance Street Stocks rumbled to green for the wildest 25 laps of the night. In just over six miles of race action point leader Kendra Occhipinti lost power steering, Josh Fanopoulos was black flagged for a fuel leak, Kendra’s younger brother Taylor Occhipinti got tangled up with Le Grande, Oregon racer Jeff Stremcha on the front stretch, and returning Meridian Speedway star Terry Lydell’s car inexplicably caught fire.
T-Roy Evans picked his way through the chaos to park his Gem State Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning, A&E Sharpening machine in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle. Pat Young, Chad Atnip, Josh Peterson, and Shane Barron rounded out the top five.
With chaos in their rearview mirror, the thirteen brave Teleperformance Street Stocks once again sped to green. This time Taylor Occhipinti and Lydell battled door-to-door for the top spot. Lydell proved too strong for Occhipinti’s Marv’s Tire Service, Bearclaw Graphics machine and the Kennewick, Washington racer stormed to the early lead.
As Occhipinti’s attention turned to Fanopoulos’ Certified Services, Evolution Auto Body machine, the full moon feeling struck Young as his window net fell. Despite a valiant effort to re-affix it on track, Young was forced to take his Bell’s Automotive machine to the pits for assistance.
With the fastest car now off the track Lydell could focus on Fanopoulos. As the lead pair dueled for the win the battle for third heated up as Stremcha searched the track for a way around Occhipinti. On lap sixteen Stremcha pushed his machine too far and bounced off the backstretch wall. Without brakes, the Le Grande, Oregon racer hurtled into the turn three water barrels at nearly full speed.
Stremcha climbed from his demolished car under his own power, despite the hit being hard enough to fuse a water barrel to the right front corner of his racecar.
The race went back green after extensive track drying efforts, with Lydell and Fanopoulos on the front row. Fanopoulos didn’t waste his opportunity and powered to the lead, but Lydell worked the low line to perfection and with a quick door check Lydell put himself back out front, where he would cruise to the checkers.
In keeping with the night’s theme of chaos, Lydell’s car reignited at the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe and Atnip’s car expired in the entrance to the pit area.
The Junior Stingers raced their way through a pair of eighteen lap features Saturday. The first race was marred by a spectacular roll over courtesy of Payton Weller. The young Caldwell, Idaho racer would climb from her Idaho State Towing, Can-Do Insurance machine unscathed. When the green flag flew once again Dylan Wardle sped to the front of the pack to score both victories in his TreBar Customs, Padgett Pest Control racer.
The Mini Stocks had two 25 lap tries at the Concrete Jungle. Point leader Don Trafford tracked down early leader Luke Wolverton to score the division’s first Vapor Loft Feature Flag in his Trident Plumbing, American Tire car. In the second main event, Jason Sanders fought hard to fend off a furious late race charge from Trafford and Travis Pavlacky as the veteran Caldwell, Idaho racer parked his Valley Property Management, Interstate Batteries car in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle for the first time this season.
Project Filter Pro-4 action was dominated by the infield in race one as both Ray Bolinger and Kenny Chandler found themselves sliding through the grass in the classification’s first 25 lap feature. Brendon Fries took advantage of Chandler’s misfortunes and piloted his ICON Credit Union, Academy Mortgage machine to the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard in feature one. Fries looked to repeat in the second feature, but couldn’t overcome point leader Jordan Harris and his Allan Marsh RV and Marine Center, H&H Auto entry.
The Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets took on the new infield chicane for the first of their two features. James Pahl continued his dominance of the future family feud between himself and Josh Parkkila as he took home the night’s first Feature Flag in his Cloverdale Plumbing, Boise Bath and Kitchen machine. In the second feature Neil Wassmuth mastered the don’t-lead-two-consecutive-laps strategy as he drove his Neil Alan Fine Jewelry, Xtreme Sound racer across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe.
The short track action rolls on this Friday, June 26, with the Idaho CDL Friday Night races. The Pepsi Crate and ISRL Sprint Cars, Teleperformance Street Stocks, Coors Super Stocks, High School Tuners and Pit Stop USA NASCAR Modifieds close the month of June with a weeknight rumble in the Concrete Jungle. General admission tickets are available for $12 at the gate or online. Tickets for seniors and military members are $10, while kids 7-11 get in for $7. Kids six and under are always free. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. with the first race going green at 6:45 p.m. Stay up to speed with all the news from around the quarter-mile. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter for updates. We’ll see you this Friday, June 26, for the Idaho CDL Friday Night races under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Tracks, Meridian Speedway.