Wrecker to Checker: Larry Hull Pulls Improbable Comebackadmin
Five fast racing divisions kicked off the second half of the Meridian Speedway schedule on Kendall Ford of Meridian Used Car Night. The Teleperformance Claimer Stocks ran twin 25 lap main events while the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds ran two 35 lap features of their own. The Pepsi Crate Cars, Project Filter Pro-4s, and Junior Stingers completed the evening’s events.
Eight Teleperformance Claimer Stocks kicked off main event action with a 25 lap battle. Scott Kelly was quick out of the blocks and put his This ‘N That Auto Sales, Boise Gun Company pickup in the lead on lap one. On the move early was Nampa, Idaho’s Tommy Kirkland, who used the first eight laps to work his way from fourth to Kelly’s rear bumper. Kirkland made his Upson, Carson Roofing machine work on the inside line to take lead one lap later.
Now it was time for quick qualifiers Casey Hart and Brian Hyde to move forward. From their last row starting spots Hart and Hyde took just ten laps to work their way to the fourth and fifth positions. Their progress was bunted, however, as third place Mickey Lawson worked to move her GR Farms, Roberts Draft Horses racer past Kelly to the runner up spot.
With nine laps to go Lawson made her way around Kelly, with Hart’s Hart Construction, Big Twin Diesel machine in tow. Hart had nothing for Lawson, but Hyde did and with three laps to go he powered his Affordable Rain Gutters, NW Fire Equipment car first around Hart, then Lawson. But, nobody had enough to run down Kirkland, who sprinted to the checkers.
A full field of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds rolled to the start of their first 35 lap feature. Rodney Houpt blasted to the lead on lap one with Boise, Idaho’s Randy Keckley in hot pursuit. The top spot changed hands three laps later as Keckley drove his Pegasus Transport and Towing, Advanced Transmissions modified around Houpt. Early race favorite Dylan Caldwell had worked his machine up to fourth on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard, but an ambitious move on the back stretch sent Caldwell’s Roadrunner Glass Company, Boise Best Detail machine spinning in front of the field. Houpt, Gene Stroebel, Beau Gillogly and Hunter Gates were all collected in the ensuing melee.
On the restart Boise, Idaho racer Larry Hull III powered past Keckley and set sail in his Diversified Carpet Cleaning entry. Division points leader Colton Nelson and quick qualifier Jeff Wade followed suit two laps later, but had already lost over two seconds to Hull III. That deficit was erased when a mechanical failure sent Hull III hard into the turn one wall on lap eleven. Hull III emerged unscathed from the incident and immediately set to work on repairs in the pit area.
Nelson inherited the point in his Integrity Pools, YMC machine, but wasn’t safe there as Paul, Idaho’s Wade sped to the leader’s rear bumper and turned up the pressure. While Wade stalked Nelson the battle was on for third as Nampa, Idaho youngster Jordan Kirkland worked his Simple Harvest, R&R Truck Repair modified past veteran campaigner Rus Ward with a dozen laps left. Try as he might Kirkland couldn’t make up distance on the lead pair and settled for third behind Wade and Nelson, who collected his fourth victory of the season.
The Junior Stingers rolled to a fifteen lap main event. Notus, Idaho driver Alyse Schildhauer powered past Meridian, Idaho’s Cody Castricone on lap one and never looked back as she wheeled her CCT machine into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
The Pepsi Crate Cars rumbled onto the quarter-mile for a twenty lap battle. On the green Boise, Idaho’s Tyler Barrow shot around Brandal Glenn’s Boise Metal Works, Big Nasty Hillclimb machine to lead lap one. Quick qualifier Justin Segura followed Barrow past, then motored to the low line to take the lead. Now the battle was on for second as Barrow used the high line to keep his Valley Auto Alignment and Repair racer ahead of Riley Rogers’ Extreme Towing and Recovery, Goodwill Finance entry. On lap seven Rogers got a good bite off of turn two and zipped past Barrow to take the runner up spot. While Rogers was able to close on Segura, he ran out of laps to make a pass and settled for second.
“This thing is like a rocket every race,” Segura said of his Garage Graffix, Mac Tools machine.
Eleven fast Project Filter Pro-4s rolled to the green flag of their thirty lap feature. Boise, Idaho’s Rob Taylor got the jump on Donovan Parker to lead lap one. On lap two Brandon Shira tried to move under Taylor to put his Firehouse Subs, Twin Dolphin machine in the top spot, but the two made contact. With the leaders sent to the back of the pack Kuna, Idaho racer Kenny Chandler took over the top spot with Jonathan Hull, Joe Barton, and Brendon Fries in tow.
The battle for second was fierce as Nampa, Idaho’s Barton worked over Hull for three laps before he was able to put his Tyco Structural Enterprises racer second on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Now the fight was on for third as Fries tried to work his Chick-Fil-A, Frogman Trucking machine to the outside of Hull. At the race’s halfway point Fries’ attention turned from Hull to fifth place Travis Pavlacky, who drove his Riparetti Cylinder Head entry to Fries’ rear bumper.
Pavlacky made his move on the inside with nine laps to go. Fries found something in the high line and steamed not only away from Pavlacky, but past Hull’s Diversified Carpet Cleaning, All American Towing racer as well with three laps to go. But all the action happened behind Chandler, who stormed to his second straight division victory.
“This car’s pretty good right now,” Chandler said. “I didn’t know where Joe was, so I never let up.”
The Teleperformance Claimer Stocks rolled back out for their second 25 lap main event of the evening. Josh Hale roared to the early lead while Marsing, Idaho’s Micky Lawson battled her way up to the second spot. Lawson wasn’t content there as she pulled to the inside of Hale on lap seven. Lawson and Hale traded body blows for the top spot for six laps before Lawson took the spot. Hale didn’t give up the fight as he laid a healthy dose of bumper on Lawson.
Behind the lead battle, Boise, Idaho’s Brian Hyde raced his way through the pack and settled the Lawson, Hale dispute by passing Hale for second with nine circuits left. Quick qualifier Hyde wasn’t done there as three laps later he completed his charge to the front and picked up the All Pro Fence trophy.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds closed main event action with a second 35 lap feature. Larry Hull III found himself in the pole position due to his bad luck in the first main event, and on the green he put his rebuilt racer in the lead. Deep in the field, Nampa, Idaho’s Dylan Caldwell and first main event winner Colton Nelson worked their way through the field. By lap eight Caldwell and Nelson held the third and fourth positions, with over one second separating them from second place Beau Gillogly.
Lapped traffic allowed Caldwell and Nelson to close on Gillogly’s Razor’s edge Window Cleaning, GRC Custom Fabrication entry. With thirteen laps to go Caldwell, Nelson and Jeff Wade made their way by Gillogly and set to work tracking down the leader. The gap between Hull III and his pursuers closed from three seconds to just feet on the white flag lap, but Hull III would not be denied as he claimed the victory in the second NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified main event of the night.
“I can’t thank my team enough,” Hull III said. “This win was a total team effort.”
Join Meridian Speedway next Saturday, July 16, for Whelen Night at the Races presented by College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Pepsi Crate Cars, College of Western Idaho Super Street Stocks, Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks, and College of Western Idaho High School Tuners all clash to kick start the second half of the speedway season. General admission to this full night of racing action is just $10.50 for adults, $6.50 for kids 7-11. Log on to meridianspeedway.com for ticket pricing specials and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for exclusive updates from your local NASCAR Home Track. We’ll see you under the big yellow water tower for a full night of intense racing action at Meridian Speedway.