Youth Trumps Experience for Treasure Valley 125 Winadmin
A near capacity crowd invaded Meridian Speedway for the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 presented by Aaron’s Sales and Lease Saturday, June 29. The NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models contested the longest single race on their schedule, while the Pepsi Crate Cars, Project Filter Pro-4s, Factory Motor Parts Mini Stocks, Domino’s Legends, and Coors Super Stocks did battle for their own Emerald Transportation Feature Flags.
Brent Collins and Ben Crow led a full field of seventeen NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Late Models into their longest race of the year, the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125. Collins got the drop on Crow and the Nampa, Idaho racer claimed the top spot as the field jockeyed for position.
On the move early were Star, Idaho’s Tyler Monroe and Meridian, Idaho racer Colton Nelson. In just five laps the pair had surged from their mid-pack starting spots into third and fifth, respectively. While Monroe worked on Crow for second, contact on lap six sent Nelson’s Maxwell Plumbing, Neil Alan Fine Jewelry racer hard into the front stretch wall. With major damage Nelson was forced to retire from the event.
The restart set Collins out front with Monroe and Kyle Tellstrom on his rear bumper. The green flag waved and Tellstrom sliced his way inside Collins and bolted to the lead. This opened the door for Middleton, Idaho youngster Zach Telford to follow while Monroe found himself third. Telford wasted no time going on the offensive and turned up the wick on his ZTR, Builders First Source machine to catch Tellstrom.
While the lead pair motored away from the pack, tensions grew throughout the field. Something had to give, and on lap eighteen the pack flew apart. In turn one a mechanical failure launched early leader Collins headlong into the wall. No sooner had Collins’ car slammed the concrete than Star, Idaho’s Daytona Wurtz lost fire in her All Makes Auto Salvage, United Metals in turn two. Josh Fanopoulos dove low to avoid Wurtz, but Crow was there, and the Meridian, Idaho driver’s Emerald Transportation, Excel Equipment entry launched through the rear of Fanopoulos’ Certified Services, A-1 Towing machine.
Collins climbed from his destroyed racer unhurt, but was forced to retire from the event along with Wurtz. Thanks to quick pit work both Crow and Fanopoulos were able to rejoin the race; Crow missing the majority of his right side sheet metal, and Fanopoulos minus every body panel from the driver’s seat back.
Once the Pauly’s Bar Room Dirt Crew had the track clean racing resumed with Tellstrom out front and Telford in hot pursuit. The young Middleton, Idaho driver stalked Tellstrom for the next dozen laps until a cut tire sent Tellstrom to the pit area. A caution flag saved Tellstrom from falling a lap down, but the Ukiah, California native would restart at the back of the pack.
This left the lead in Telford’s hands, and once the green flag waved the youngster set to building an over half-track lead while Tellstrom fought his way back onto the Pepsi-Cola leaderboard. Telford’s lead seemed insurmountable, but a spin in lapped traffic with 57 circuits remaining sent him to the back of the pack and handed the lead back to Tellstrom with Monroe and Rob Powers in second and third.
The green flag waved and Telford began his march back to the front. Working both high and low lines Telford made his way to second in just fifteen short laps and began to reel in Tellstrom for one final showdown. A caution flag for Powers’ Kart Idaho racer bunched the field and set Telford on Tellstrom’s rear bumper on the restart.
With just 28 laps left the race restarted and Telford went to work on Tellstrom for the lead. Four laps into the run Telford caught Tellstrom, then forced his way by Tellstrom on lap five. The contact cut one of Tellstrom’s left side tires and the former leader parked in turn four to draw a caution and keep himself on the lead lap. With tires changed Tellstrom roared onto the track for one last run at becoming a back-to-back NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 winner.
Tellstrom wheeled his PitStopUSA.com, Joes Racing Products entry hard to break back into the top five, but couldn’t muster enough speed to track down Telford over the race’s waning laps and instead tangled with Monroe’s Torch Towing, CF Floor Coverings machine on the white flag lap as they raced for second. But it all happened behind Telford, who sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe to claim the Emerald Transportation Feature Flag. Daniel Johnson came home second, with Monroe third, while Tellstrom and Crow rounded out the top five.
In Coors Super Stock action, Nampa, Idaho’s Melissa Weaver outdueled Jamo Stephenson to put her Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines machine in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
Kenny Chandler has found the handle on his Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bob’s racer, and the Kuna, Idaho driver took home the Project Filter Pro-4 victory, his fourth straight.
Meridian, Idaho’s Johnny Giesler wheeled his Pepsi Crate Car across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe to take the only open-wheeled main event win of the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 Night presented by Aaron’s Sales and Lease.
In the Factory Motor Parts Mini Stock ranks Travis Pavlacky of Fruitland, Idaho piloted his pickup to his fourth Emerald Transportation Feature Flag.
Chance Davis capped the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 presented by Aaron’s Sales and Lease festivities with his second visit to the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle of the season.
The fireworks continue this Thursday, July 4, as Meridian Speedway hosts the Stinker Stores Firecracker 50, the prelude to the City of Meridian Fireworks Spectacular. The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Mulder Engineered Junior Late Models, Pepsi Crate and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Sprintcars, Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets are all on hand to celebrate the Independence Day. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. with racing at 6:45 p.m. and fireworks about 10 minutes after dark. Tickets are going fast. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com to purchase your advance tickets and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for exclusive updates. We’ll see you this Thursday, July 4, for the Stinker Stores Firecracker 50 at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.