Caldwell rallies for sixth win in seven Meridian Late Model starts
by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho — It didn’t take long for Dylan Caldwell to rebound from an unfamiliar finish during Aaron’s Sales and Lease Night at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway.
The Nampa, Idaho driver won for the sixth time in the past seven main events in the NAPA Late Model division Saturday two hours after seeing Meridian, Idaho’s Chris Fenton ended his five-race winning streak at the historic paved quarter-mile oval.
Racing in the second half of a combined NAPA Late Models/Pit Stop Drive Thru Super Stocks double feature, Caldwell dominated the 30-lap race, beating runner-up Travis Anderson, a Late Model driver from Boise, Idaho, by nearly a second and a half.
Fenton edged Caldwell by 0.16 of a second in the first 30-lap main event for the Late Models.
Justin Ellis of Boise and Dennis Brodigan of Nampa split the two Super Stocks main events. Both drivers were the fifth competitor to cross the line overall.
In other main events:
Nampa’s Chad Bess walked over the field in the 35-lap Street Stocks feature.
Josh Allen of Meridian ended the three-race winning streak of Kuna, Idaho’s Casey Tillman.
Bootlegger, driven by James Ward, came out on top in the 20-lap Thunder Dogs main.
In the Street Stocks main event, old rival Bess spoiled the night for fellow Nampan Melissa Weaver, who was trying to rebound from a dramatic Fast Dash crash during the division’s most recent visit to Meridian.
Weaver was runner-up, but the reigning division champion was 3.328 seconds behind Bess.
Weaver had rebuilt her racecar after a Fast Dash crash during the last Meridian appearance for the
Street Stocks division. Missing the main event earlier this year dropped her into third place in the series standings.
Bess also was fast qualifier for the night.
Tillman racked up the top qualifying time for the Pepsi Sprintcars, circling the track in 13.491 seconds. But his luck ran out in the rain-delayed 25-lap main event.
The Super Stocks and Late Models ran simultaneously in a pair of 30-lap features.
In the first feature, Fenton returned to winning form after spending the season to date switching racecars. The next three drivers steered Late Models to the finish line, including Caldwell and Boise drivers Dan Lowther and Anderson.
Dennis Brodigan finished fifth overall, but was given the Super Stocks checkered flag as the first driver in the division to cross the finish line.
In the second Late Models main event, Caldwell rediscovered the winning formula and lapped all but the second- through fourth-place drivers – all fellow competitors in the division. Anderson was second, followed by Lowther, while Fenton dropped to fourth. Anderson was the top qualifier booking a 13.812-second lap.
Ellis finished a lap down, but took the Super Stocks victory as the first driver from that division to cross the line.
The Pepsi 200 invades the speedway Saturday with 200 laps of main event racing for the ASA and B Modifieds (50 laps), Domino’s Pizza Legends (30), the Jr. Stingers (20) and the third round of the Tates Hornet 100 Series of 100-lap features.
Admission is $10 for adults, $7.50 for senior citizens and military personnel with ID and $6 for children ages 7-11. Children 6 and younger get in free always.
The gates open at 4 p.m. with qualifying at 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.meridianspeedway.com. You can reach the speedway by phone at (208) 888-2813 .
Aaron’s Sales and Lease Night
Saturday’s unofficial results
Street Stocks (35 laps) – 1. Chad Bess, Nampa, Idaho; 2. Melissa Weaver, Nampa; 3. Rick Baldwin, Middleton, Idaho; 4. Marv Weaver, Nampa; 5. Roy Kirkland, Boise, Idaho
Pepsi Sprintcars (25 laps) – 1. Josh Allen, Meridian, Idaho; 2. Casey Tillman, Kuna, Idaho; 3. Jamie Ransom, Boise; 4. Erik Miller, Caldwell, Idaho; 5. Cody Huddleston, Meridian
NAPA Late Models No. 1 (30 laps) – 1. Chris Fenton, Meridian, Idaho; 2. Dylan Caldwell, Nampa; 3. Dan Lowther, Boise; 4. Travis Anderson, Boise; 5. Jeff Wilson, Mountain Home, Idaho
NAPA Late Models No. 2 (30 laps) – 1. Caldwell; 2. Anderson; 3. Lowther; 4. Fenton; 5. Wilson
Pit Stop Drive Thru Super Stocks No. 1 (30 laps) – 1. Dennis Brodigan, Nampa; 2. Gale Carter, Boise; 3. Kim Bradford, Eagle, Idaho; 4. Dave Harris, Meridian; 5. Steve Gilbert, Emmett, Idaho
Pit Stop Drive Thru Super Stocks No. 2 (30 laps) – 1. Justin Ellis, Boise; 2. Bradford; 3. Brodigan; 4. Rob Powers, Meridian; 5. Carter
Thunder Dogs (20 laps) – 1. Bootlegger (James Ward); 2. Sledgehammer (David Jolley, Nampa); 3. Bulldacious (James DeMello); 4. Vulgar Display (Joseph Volm); 5. Big Tuna (Stanley Irons)
(Four laps each)
Pepsi Sprintcars – 1. Ransom; 2. Tillman; 3. Ryan Weiderich, Nampa; 4. Miller
Street Stocks – 1. Kirkland; 2. Melissa Weaver; 3. Bess; 4. Marv Weaver; 5. Baldwin
Super Stocks – 1. Bradford; 2. Ellis; 3. Powers; 4. Brodigan
NAPA Late Models – 1. Caldwell; 2. Lowther; 3. Fenton; 4. Anderson; 5. Powers
(Eight laps each)
A Heat – 1. Tillman; 2. Allen; 3. Ransom; 4. Miller; 5. Weiderich
B Heat – 1. Mike Anderson, Nampa; 2. Huddleston; 3. Tristen Spiers, Adrian, Ore.; 4. Colton Nelson, Meridian
A Heat – 1. Bess; 2. Baldwin; 3. Marv Weaver; 4. Melissa Weaver; 5. Kirkland
B Heat – 1. Bobby Riggs, Fruitland, Idaho; 2. Bill Lawrence, Grand View, Idaho; 3. Micky Lawson, Caldwell; 4. Scott Ward
NAPA Late Models – Anderson, 13.812 seconds
Pit Stop Drive Thur Super Stocks – Brodigan, 14.574
Street Stocks – Bess, 14.988
Pepsi Sprintcars – Tillman, 13.491