Zubizareta collects thrilling photo finish Legends victory

Zubizareta collects thrilling photo finish Legends victory

by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho – Even in the nuts-and-bolts world of auto racing, computers can be a good thing on occasion.LG 02 Zubizaretta

There’s a chance that no one would have known who won Wednesday night’s Domino’s Pizza Legends feature at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway if it weren’t for trackside telemetry.

Reigning series champion Phyl Zubizareta of Garden City, Idaho, won by an advantage that was about the width of a bumper (or less) in a photo finish against chief rival Casey Tillman of Kuna, Idaho.

“That was an awesome race,” Zubizareta said. “Thanks to Casey for a hard, clean race.”

The division’s top two drivers raced side-by-side for the final six circuits of the 35-lap race. Then they thrilled the midweek crowd with the closest finish in several years at the historic quarter-mile paved oval.

Tillman took the lead briefly from Kirk Wartman of Boise, Idaho, after a two-wide restart with eight laps left.

Zubizareta found himself next to Tillman for a side-by-side restart two laps later when the race’s second yellow flag fell.

The two drivers traded the lead for the majority of the final laps with Zubizareta showing strength out of the turns and Tillman creeping ahead on the straightaways.

Zubizareta got the final inch when he and Tillman sped to the checkered flag with a lapped racecar directly in front of them. Zubizareta stayed low and got the victory.

Tillman pulled in second while driving his backup car.

“I just got to say thank you for my crew,” Tillman said. “We were going to run the other car, but the ignition box (quit) on us. I want to thank my crew for getting it together.”

In other main events:

Brendan Fries of Meridian, Idaho picked up his first TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks main event victory.

Sledgehammer (David Jolley of Nampa, Idaho) won the 20-lap Thunder Dogs feature after dodging a wet track and opponents bent on spinning the racecar out.

John Spencer, representing This N That Auto Sales, won the first of two Brasher’s Auto Auction Hornet Massacre A main events.

Trenton Barrington from Global won the second A main event.

Gary Ballard of Ace Auto Sales won the 15-lap Brasher’s Auto Auction Hornet Massacre consolation main event. He and Jeremy Waddell of Idaho Credit Union advanced to the 20-lap main event.

Brendan Fries had a long list of people and sponsors to thank after his Mini Stocks victory.

Unlike the Academy Awards, though, Fries was given as much time as he needed to show his gratitude after picking up the first TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks main event win of his career.

“It’s such a long time coming,” he said after accepting the trophy.

Fries took the lead seven laps into the 35-lap race and stretched his advantage to a straightaway.

He needed the cushion.

Caldwell, Idaho’s Jason Sanders, who has hung around the top of the points standings after winning the season’s first three features, worked his way from the back of the 15-car field along with series leader Jonathan Hull of Boise, Idaho.

With eight laps left, Sanders drove past Mary Johnson of Meridian to get into second place as Fries began to run in clean air and unchallenged.

With two laps to go, Sanders put the heat on with a strong drive down the backstretch only to have Fries block his progress heading into Turn 3.

Sanders was able to finish a couple of spots ahead of Hull, while Kuna, Idaho’s Chad Barker continued his strong second-half run with a third-place finish.

The racing continues Saturday when the Treasure Valley racing community comes together to help with Jeff Russell Road to Recovery race. Russell is a Meridian, Idaho racer who suffered serious injuries in an October 2010 Supermodified crash in Las Vegas.

The ASA Pro Trucks Series returns for the night, and local divisional racing will be seen from the Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars, Pepsi Sprintcars, Domino’s Pizza Legends and College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks.

The gates open at 4 p.m. with qualifying at 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $7.50 for senior citizens and military with ID, $6 for children ages 7-11 and, as always, free for children 6 and younger. A family pass good for two adults and up to four children ages 7-11 is $30.

Visit www.meridianspeedway.com or “like” Meridian Speedway on Facebook to get the latest information. You can also buy tickets on the track’s website and print them at home.

The racetrack can be reached by phone at (208) 888-2813.


Meridian Speedway

Brasher’s Auto Auction Hornet Massacre

Wednesday’s unofficial results

Main events

TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks (35 laps) – 1. Brendan Fries, Boise, Idaho; 2. Jason Sanders, Caldwell, Idaho; 3. Chad Barker, Kuna, Idaho; 4. Jonathan Hull, Boise; 5. Mary Johnson, Meridian, Idaho

Domino’s Pizza Legends (35 laps) – 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho; 2. Casey Tillman, Kuna, Idaho; 3. Sara Henry, Nampa, Idaho; 4. Aubree Wartman, Boise; 5. Kirk Wartman, Boise

Thunder Dogs winner (20 laps) – Sledgehammer (David Jolley, Nampa, Idaho)

Brasher’s Auto Auction Hornet Massacre A Main No. 1 (20 laps) – 1. John Spencer, This N That; 2. Jeremy Wernhoff, Dennis Dillon RV; 3. Ray Tschohl, Ozzy’s; 4. Ryan, Deals on Wheels; 5. Tim Blais, JFR Warehouse

Brasher’s Auto Auction Hornet Massacre A Main No. 2 (20 laps) – 1. Trenton Barrington, Global; 2. Bobby Peterson, Fairly Reliable Bob’s; 3. Thomas Harrod, PBT Auto Sales; 4. Neal Latham, Boise, Idaho; 5. Pete Cook, Cook’s Car Co.

Brasher’s Auto Auction Hornet Massacre Consolation Main (15 laps; top two advance) – 1. Gary Ballard, Ace Auto Sales; 2. Jeremy Waddell, Idaho Central Credit Union; 3. Shannon Pike, Lithia Ford; 4. Bradley Bradshaw, Maggie Motors; 5. Brad Larson, The Auto Scoot

Heat races

(Eight laps each)

TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks

Fast Dash – 1. Jayson Wardle, Kuna, Idaho; 2. Chad Barker, Kuna; 3. Colton Nelson, Meridian, Idaho; 4. Jonathan Hull, Boise, Idaho; 5. Jason Sanders, Caldwell, Idaho

B Heat – 1. Mike Davis, Boise, Idaho; 2. Brendan Fries, Boise; 3. Denny Gerber, Boise; 4. Brandon Shira, Boise; 5. Amber Rogers, Meridian, Idaho

Domino’s Pizza Legends

Fast Dash – 1. Sara Henry, Nampa, Idaho; 2. Zach Blume, Eagle, Idaho; 3. Caity Miller, Boise; 4. Charlie Fiscus, Star, Idaho; 5. Aubree Wartman, Boise

B Heat – 1. Casey Tillman, Kuna; 2. Chase Gilbertson, Boise; 3. Mark Cirelli, Meridian; 4. Jonathan Davis, Emmett, Idaho; 5. Cody Hollis, Payette, Idaho

C Heat – 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho; 2. Kirk Wartman, Boise; 3. Steve Thimsen, Boise; 4. Ryan Bird, Salt Lake City; 5. Chance Davis, Emmett, Idaho

Brasher’s Auto Auction Hornet Massacre

Pro Heat – 1. Thomas Harrod, Nampa, Idaho; 2. Neal Latham, Boise; 3. Bradley Bradshaw, Melba, Idaho; 4. Al Russell, Meridian; 5. Gary Ballard

Heat No. 1 – 1. John Spencer, This N That; 2. Mark Martin, EZ Money Auto Sales; 3. Joel Pinkston, Allan Marsh Auto Sales; 4. Ray Tschohl, Ozzy’s; 5. Jeremy Waddell, Idaho Central Credit Union

Heat No. 2 – 1. Bobby Peterson, Fairly Reliable Bob’s; 2. Jeremy Wernhoff, Dennis Dillon RV; 3. Gavin, Instant Equity; 4. Tony, Edmark; 5. Shannon Pike, Lithia Ford

Heat No. 3 – 1. Paul Mallory, Mal’s; 2. Tyson Vaughn, This N That; 3. Josh Peterson, Fairly Reliable Bob’s; 4. Ryan, Dealls on Wheels; 5. Nick Hansen, Virden Auto Sales

Heat No. 4 – 1. Pete Cook, Cook’s Car Co.; 2. Andy, The Car Guys; 3. JD Southern, Drive Happy; 4. Patrick West, Peterson Chevrolet; 5. Jim Ramsey, Deals on Wheels

Heat No. 5 – 1. Trenton Barrington, Global; 2. Dave Edmark, Edmark; 3. Butch Peterson, Fairly Reliable Bob’s; 4. Tim Blais, JFR Warehouse; 5. Adam Bradshaw, Maggie Motors

(Six laps each)

Thunder Dogs

Fast Dash winner – Sledgehammer (David Jolley, Nampa)


Fast times

TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks – Barker, 15.528 seconds

Domino’s Pizza Legends – Miller, 15.271