Vigil Fends Off Pavlacky for Back-to-Back Mini Stock Victoriesadmin
The Factory Motor Parts Mini Stocks and the Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers delivered a pair of hotly contested races Saturday, April 20, as they took part in Meridian Speedway’s Sprintcar Opener on $2 Keystone Light Night. Along with the Pepsi Crate Cars and ISRL Sprintcars, the Coors Super Stocks, and Domino’s Legends, these two divisions outlasted the early evening showers to put on a full night of thrills and spills.
Last year’s championship runner up Fred Vigil led a fast contingent of Factory Motor Parts Mini Stocks to the green flag for their second meeting of 2019. On the break outside pole sitter Travis Pavlacky jumped to the lead through turns one and two before contact sent him spinning in front of the field. Miraculously everyone missed Pavlacky’s stricken pickup and the race was restarted one lap later.
This start went much better for Pavlacky and he raced into the lead with Vigil on his tailgate. Vigil worked his Larry H. Miller Collision Center, Ben’s Auto Glass racer hard around the outside of the track, and used this groove to fly around Pavlacky and take the lead for himself on lap five.
But Pavlacky wouldn’t give up that easily, and he stalked Vigil throughout the middle stages of the race. Though Pavlacky could keep pace with the leader, Vigil proved too strong and he cruised to his second straight main event victory.
The Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers brought ten competitors to bear on a 25 lap feature. The green flag waved and James Sheets powered past Doug McGarva for the lead.
On the move early was fast heat race winner Jett Nelson, who sliced his way from a mid-pack starting spot to second by lap five. Nelson held second on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard until quick-qualifier Nick Durbin shot around him with a dozen circuits left.
This left Durbin with only Sheets in his sights, and with just ten circuits remaining Durbin overtook Sheets and stormed to the lead. But even the top spot wasn’t as a spectator caution with eight laps to go slowed the field and relegated Durbin to the back of the pack per the division’s novelty rules. This left Nelson and Sheets alone up front to strategize a second-over-the-line win.
As Nelson eyed Sheets in his rearview and Sheets focused on not passing Nelson, Durbin picked his way through the pack until, with the white flag in the air, Durbin sat second with a head of steam on the outside of Nelson in turn one.
Nelson slowed dramatically as he tried to make Durbin overshoot, but Durbin also slammed on the brakes before he was slammed into by Sheets. Both drivers shook off the blow and continued on, now four car lengths back from the leader. When Nelson again slowed for turn three, Durbin and Sheets sped around the outside trying to push each other over the finish line.
Durbin got his car slowed just before the line, while Sheets locked his brakes in the middle lane and slid across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe. With a slow lurch Durbin got back to the gas pedal and coasted across the line second, which made him the winner.
With the Sprintcar Opener in the books, Meridian Speedway turns its attention to the Builders FirstSource 100. Along with the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models, the PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Project Filter Pro-4s, Teleperformance Street Stocks, High School Tuners, Junior Stingers, and the Hungry Onion Bike Races for Kids. General admission to Saturday night’s action is just $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and military members, $7 for kids 7-11. As always kids 6 and under get in free of charge. For more coverage of the Sprintcar Opener, log on to www.meridianspeedway.com and get your exclusive updates by texting ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483. We’ll see you this Saturday, April 27, for the Builders FirstSource 100 at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.