Championship Contenders Sweep Treasure Valley 125 Saturday
Picture perfect conditions greeted a packed Meridian Speedway Saturday, June 30, as the quarter-mile asphalt oval hosted the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series for their longest race of the season, the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125. The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds joined the Rebel Modifieds of Idaho to battle through the third of five PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modified Shootout races, while the Project Filter Pro-4s, TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks, Coors Super Stocks, and Junior Stingers raced for their Darlene’s Printing trophies.
The Junior Stinger division kicked off main event action with a twelve lap dash. On the green Logan Castricone rolled around the outside of Hannah Scott’s Western Sandblasting and Powdercoat Service, All Makes Auto Salvage racer to take his Fast Glass, Linder Learning Academy machine to the early lead. Behind the leaders, title contenders Rusty Houpt and Logan’s older brother Cody Castricone charged through the field.
Houpt worked the first half of the field on the outside, then cut to the inside and relieved Nampa, Idaho’s Jessika Harris of the runner up spot. Next on Houpt’s list was Logan Castricone, and on lap five Houpt shot around the younger Castricone to take his Boise Spring Works, All Makes Auto Salvage racer to the lead.
A mid-race restart gave Cody Castricone one last opportunity to catch Houpt, but the Meridian, Idaho racer zipped to the front on the green flag and never looked back as he cruised to victory.
The TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks brought nine hard-charging competitors to their 25 lap feature. James Pahl used his pole starting position to lead lap one, but Melba, Idaho’s Billy Shipp worked the outside line and motored past Pahl to take control of the field on lap two.
Behind Shipp, Terrell Daffron and Luke Wolverton went to war for second place on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Wolverton took those honors on lap seven, then quickly charged past Shipp to put his Julie Hart with Premier Mortgage, Hart Construction machine in the lead. Next past Shipp was championship leader Jayson Wardle, who took his Lazee Days RV, Catapult 3 racer to the runner up spot on lap ten, then ducked beneath Wolverton at the race’s halfway point in a bid for the lead.
Wolverton fought back in the high line to repel the attack, but Wardle kept the pressure up. Corner after corner Wardle looked low, and lap after lap Wolverton held the Kuna, Idaho racer in check. But a lurid slide in turn two with six laps left handed the lead to Wardle, who charged through lapped traffic to take the victory.
Seven Coors Super Stocks rumbled to green for their 25 lap feature. Ron Hayes got to the gas pedal first and stormed around Gale Carter to put his RC Willey, Alpha Home Pest Control racer in the early lead. But Melissa Arte got to the gas pedal too, and the lady race worked her Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines machine up to second place on lap three. Arte quickly went to work on Hayes, and after a hard-fought quarter-mile Arte stood alone atop the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
Next around Hayes was Josh Jackson, who slung his borrowed Jackson Built Racing, Motor Mayhem Chassis Dyno machine hard around the corners. Though Jackson closed on Arte, his effort came too late and Arte sped to the checkers.
Eleven Project Filter Pro-4s took the quarter-mile for their 25 lap feature. Outside pole sitter Sean Young rolled into the top spot on lap one with Alex Duda’s Boise Boys Transportation, Carbon Designs entry and fast heat race winner Brandon McLean’s Traditional Electric, Kenny Chandler Racing machine in tow.
While Duda and McLean battled for the runner up spot, quick-qualifier Kenny Chandler flew through the field to join the lead fight on lap three. Chandler asserted his dominance immediately and by lap seven the veteran racer held the top spot.
Only Brendon Fries had challenged Chandler’s Project Filter, Jim’s Drivetrain car all day, and with a dozen laps left the Meridian, Idaho racer made his way around rival Ryan Bailey for second and set his sights on the lead. Though Fries closed on Chandler as the laps wound down, the Kuna, Idaho racer proved too strong and Chandler cruised across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
Meridian Speedway celebrates Independence Day in style this Wednesday, July 4, with the Stinker Stores Firecracker 100 for the Teleperformance Claimer Stocks. Wednesday’s action also features the annual INEX Legends Regional Qualifier, double PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modified main events, Winged Pepsi Crate Cars, and fan favorite Midnight Ride of Paul Revere for the Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets. Not to be outdone by the on-track fireworks, the City of Meridian Fourth of July Fireworks display closes Wednesday night’s festivities. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday with racing action going green at 6:45 p.m. General admission to a full night of short track racing and the biggest fireworks display in the valley is just $13.50 for adults, $11 for seniors and members of the military, and $6.50 for kids 7-11. Log on to meridianspeedway.com for all the latest news from around the quarter-mile, and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive offers and updates. We’ll see you this Wednesday, July 4, for the Stinker Stores Firecracker 100 and City of Meridian Fireworks at your NASCAR Home Track under the big yellow water tower, Meridian Speedway.