Weeknight Rumble Crowns New King of the Wing Winneradmin
The fastest short track racing machines on Earth roared onto the asphalt quarter-mile at Meridian Speedway Thursday night with the Royal Purple King of the Wing National Sprintcar Series. The United States Auto Club Honda Performance Development Midgets, Domino’s Legends, College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks, and the TATES Rents Hornets also joined in the rare, midweek clash.
A full field of eighteen TATES Rents Hornets kicked main event action off with a thirty lap race. On the green J.W. Martin grabbed the top spot, but soon had a mirror full of Nampa, Idaho’s Josh Randolph and Sean Young. Young was first dispatch Martin and take the top spot, but had just three laps to enjoy the point before Thomas Harrod stormed his way into the lead battle. Harrod took the first position on lap five and set sail from the field in his PBT Auto Sales entry.
On the move through the race’s middle stages was young Riley Rogers, who screamed from his back of the pack starting spot to second on lap twelve, then started cutting into Harrod’s half-track lead. Lapped traffic helped Rogers close the gap, and with ten circuits remaining the young racer had only one car length between his H&H Accounting, Goodwill Finance machine and the Caleb’s Chop Shop winner’s circle.
Rogers flung his racer around the high groove as he tried to pull even with Harrod. With five laps left Rogers’ machine billowed smoke, and this distraction allowed Harrod to make a three-wide move in traffic to maintain the lead. On the white flag lap Rogers pinned Harrod in the middle of traffic as the two raced three wide. In turn three Harrod saw his opportunity and pitched his racer inside a lapped machine to scoot to the victory.
“That was a heck of a race,” Harrod said. “That boy [Rogers] is fast.”
The College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks rolled onto the quarter-mile for a 25 lap feature. Todd Seaver blasted to the lead in his Lucas Oil, Loan Mart entry on lap one while Nampa, Idaho racers Melissa Weaver-Arte and Jordan Harris battled wheel-to-wheel for fifth on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Once both drivers had cleared Pat Young’s Bell’s Automotive, Sticker Mafia machine the battle rolled in to turn three where Weaver-Arte and Harris made heavy contact. Weaver-Arte got the best of that scuffle as she first passed Harris’ Kim’s Kars racer, then second place Ben Crow, and finally Seaver to take the top spot.
Now the battle was on for third between Crow, Harris, and Caldwell, Idaho’s Daniel Johnson. Harris looked low on Crow, but made contact with Johnson and the pair went for a wild slide down the front stretch. The contact wasn’t done there as with a dozen laps left Harris and Crow came together in turn four over the third spot. The contact sent Harris’ car to the pit area and Crow’s Excel Equipment Company, Trenching Services Inc. machine to the rear of the filed for the restart.
On the green Johnson battled Weaver-Arte hard for the lead, but Weaver-Arte’s Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Auto Craft Performance Engines racer was too strong and she retained the lead. Gale Carter made a late move to pilot his Associated Pacific Movers machine to the runner up spot over Seaver, Kurt Oberdorf, and Crow. Try as the competition might, nobody could catch Weaver-Arte as she cruised to the victory.
“We made a bunch of adjustments to this car throughout the day,” Weaver-Arte said.
Seven quick United States Auto Club Honda Performance Development Midgets zipped through a 25 lap feature. Tom Patterson was quick out of the blocks to lead lap one while Annie Breidinger separated herself from the pack to challenge Patterson for the top spot. Breidinger tried the low line first, but a wild slide under braking sent her sliding back to third behind Mike Daniels. Daniels didn’t waste his opportunity and sprinted to Patterson’s tail tank. On lap eleven Daniels squeezed his machine inside Patterson’s to take over the lead.
Breidinger followed Daniels past Patterson, dropping the early leader into the clutches of Jesse Love IV, who looked high and low for a way into the top three. Patterson countered each of Love IV’s advances to hold onto third behind Breidinger and winner Daniels.
“It was a great race. I don’t think I’ve ever been that far sideways and backwards and been able to save it,” Daniels said of his mad dash to the win.
The Domino’s Legends brought fourteen competitors to their 35 lap main event. On the green Boise, Idaho driver Steve Thimsen shot around pole sitter Evan Brown while Chance Davis and Daytona Wurtz fought their way forward from their mid-pack starting spots. Wurtz’s Glen’s Towing, All Makes Auto Salvage car encountered handling issues early in the going, while Emmett, Idaho’s Davis used lap five to claim the lead.
Now the man on the move was Kuna, Idaho’s Casey Tillman, who knifed his way to third on lap seven, then went high on Thimsen for second one lap later. As Tillman closed on Davis’ Gem County Towing, Rodenator machine, contenders Caity Miller and Zach Blume linked up and followed Tillman forward.
With twenty laps left Tillman ripped around Davis on the high side, followed by Miller, then Blume. Just half a second separated Miller from the lead, and she pedaled her Farm Bureau Insurance legend hard in pursuit of the top spot. The strain proved too much for Miller’s machine and she fell into a battle with Eagle, Idaho’s Blume.
With nine laps left Blume tried the low line, but Miller countered the advance. Blume was undeterred and he raced back to Miller’s bumper. With two to go Blume made his move and overtook Miller for the runner up spot, but didn’t have time to catch Tillman, who parked his Taylor Made Upholstery, Pioneer Sports and Pain legend in victory lane.
“This car’s definitely had some gremlins we’ve had to work out,” Tillman said. “But what fun is racing without struggling to get it dialed in?”
A lightning fast field of nineteen Royal Purple King of the Wing National Sprintcar Series shook the grandstands as they took the green of their forty lap feature. On the green pole sitter Robbie Price put the pedal down but didn’t go as Adrian, Oregon’s Tristan Spiers and the rest of the field scrambled by. The battle for second heated up as Robert Beck and Davey Hamilton Jr. diced through the race’s opening laps. On the move early was Bryan Warf, who worked his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Dave’s Quick Lube machine onto the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard on lap ten.
Lapped traffic hampered Warf’s progress two laps later and drew him to a battle with fellow Idahoan, Meridian’s Sierra Jackson. No sooner had Warf cleared Jackson then the lady racer and Chowchila, Calif. driver Eric Humphries tangled in turn one to bring out the event’s only caution flag on lap 17.
On the restart Spiers piloted his Telmate, Spiers Construction sprinter back to the lead with Hamilton Jr. and Warf in tow. The top three stormed around the quarter-mile until Spiers found the tail of the field with ten laps left. Spiers worked cleanly through the backmarkers, but Hamilton Jr. worked faster and closed the distance on the leader. With five circuits to go Spiers clung to a mere one second advantage. But Hamilton Jr. ran out of laps to make up the distance as Spiers powered his way into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
“The whole team just put in countless hours to make this car win,” Spiers said of his first series win.
Meridian Speedway changes gears Saturday, July 23 as the Outhouse Grand Prix headlines the weekend racing action. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Pepsi Crate Cars, Project Filter Pro-4s, Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks, Teleperformance Claimers, and rookies of the TATES Rents Hornet division all battle for valuable mid-season points. General admission to Saturday night’s full slate of action is just $10.50 for adults, $6.50 for kids 7-11. We’ll see you this Saturday night under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track Meridian Speedway.