by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho – The championship season begins this weekend at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway.
Local car racers hit the 2012 stretch drive this weekend, kicking off four nights of racing in seven days with back-to-back Labor Day weekend shows.
On Saturday, the Pit Stop Drive Thru Super Stocks champion will be crowned as part of a big night of racing with something for everyone.
On Sunday, the Tates Hornet 100 championship will be settled with the fifth and final marathon race of the series. Sunday’s Tates Rents Fan Appreciation Night schedule also includes the annual running of the Austin Christopherson 50 for the Domino’s Pizza Legends. This year’s race also serves as a qualifier for the INEX Asphalt Nationals, which takes place in late October at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Last year, the INEX qualifier attracted Legends drivers from surrounding states such as Washington, Oregon and California.
The Meridian Speedway Legends drivers will have two points races this weekend.
Phyl Zubizareta of Garden City, Idaho, holds a 38-point lead over Boise, Idaho driver Chase Gilbertson. Kuna, Idaho’s Casey Tillman is third and sits just 77 points out of the top spot.
The body styles of the Legends racers draw inspiration for the old American-made coupes and sedans of the early 1930s. With a tip to the racing helmet to those classic cars and other hot rods, the speedway plays host to the first Kool Oldies 99.5FM Cruise on Sunday. The event will feature up to 50 classic automobiles with a parade around the racetrack, Dash for Cash drag races and a tire burnout contest. Pre-registration is recommended for the event. Classic car owners can email joespecialcar@gmail.com for more information.
Also planned for Sunday is the second annual Jack Links Snack Attack. Track officials will select one of the racing divisions for a fun race around the track. Last year, drivers had to speed around the oval and grab as many Jack Links snacks as they could as they crossed the start-finish line.
Heading into Saturday’s Super Stocks championship race, Nampa, Idaho racer Dennis Brodigan holds a 46-point advantage in the standings over Eagle, Idaho’s Kim Bradford. Boise’s Gale Carter is just five points behind Bradford in third place.
Also on Saturday, fourth-generation driver Colton Nelson of Meridian, Idaho looks to lock up the Hornet 100 Series title. He’ll have to hold off Meridian’s Chuck Youngblood, who enters the final event of the five-race mini-series 97 points behind the leader.
Another championship chase will be highlighted Friday when ASA Member Track National Championship standings leader Shelby Stroebel of Meridian goes in search of two more main event wins in the ASA Modifieds.
The reigning Meridian track champion, Stroebel has won all 12 ASA Modifieds starts in 2012 and has a 14-race winning streak going. He hasn’t lost an ASA Modifieds race at his home track in more than a year.
Stroebel leads the national standings with an average of 4.5261, which puts him slightly in front of Virginia racer Lance Gatlin. Gatlin has built an average of 4.3944 during the Limited Late Model season at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, Va.
Stroebel is 220 points ahead of Rus Ward in his quest to repeat as Meridian Speedway champion.
The ASA Modifieds run two 40-lap main events Saturday. The Street Stocks and an appearance by vintage sprintcars and modifieds are also scheduled that night.
The B Modifieds and the Thunder Dogs are set to race Sunday night.
The gates at Meridian Speedway open each day at 4 p.m., followed by qualifying at 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.
Admission each night is $10 for adults, $7.50 for senior citizens and military personnel with ID, $6 for children ages 7-11. As always, children 6 and younger get in free.
A family pass costs $30 and allows the admission of a family of two adults and four children (ages 7-11).
Meridian’s penchant for doubleheaders continues Sept. 7-8 with the season finale for the Canadian-American Western Winged Sprintcar series. The action kicks off Friday night with the Tom Elliott Sportsman Classic and concludes with Saturday’s WWS Pepsi 75.
For more information on the speedway’s upcoming races, including buying tickets, visit www.meridianspeedway.com. More information is available by calling the track at (208) 888-2813.

Meridian Speedway
Meridian, ID
2012 points standings
(Through Aug. 25 races)
Pepsi Sprintcars — 1. Casey Tillman, Kuna, ID, 573 points; 2. Jamie Ransom, Meridian, ID, 532; 3. Josh Allen, Meridian, ID, 521; 4. Erik Miller, Caldwell, ID, 414; 5. Michael Anderson, Nampa, ID, 348; 6. Cody Huddleston, Meridian, ID, 341; 7. Tristen Spiers, Adrian, OR, 329; 8. Ryan Wiederich, Nampa, ID, 321; 9. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 168; 10. Ryan Newman, Caldwell, ID, 87
ASA Modifieds — 1. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 967 points; 2. Rus Ward, Boise, ID, 747; 3. Jentry Pisca, Nampa, ID, 533; 4. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 472; 5. Tim Elam, Boise, ID, 434; 6. Wes Pogue, Star, ID, 391; 7. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 337; 8. Randy Keckley, Boise, ID, 333; 9. Charlie Ham Jr., Kuna, ID, 267; 10. Travis Pavlacky, Fruitland, ID, 256
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints — 1. Johnny Giesler, Meridian, ID, 444 points; 2. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian, ID, 428; 3. Sierra Jackson, Middleton, ID, 316; 4. Bryan Warf, Meridian, ID, 301; 5. Cody Veenstra, Meridian, ID, 255; 6. Sara Henry, Nampa, ID, 254; 7. Ryan Burdett, West Jordan, UT, 227; 8. Wyatt King, Meridian, ID, 191; 9. Jeff Montgomery, Langford, British Columbia, 179; 10. Matt Elliott, Caldwell, ID, 141
NAPA Late Models — 1. Dylan Caldwell, Nampa, ID, 667 points; 2. Chris Fenton, Meridian, ID, 521; 3. Dan Lowther, Boise, ID, 475; 4. Travis Anderson, Boise, ID, 452; 5. Dennis Wurtz II, Kuna, ID, 358; 6. Tyler Monroe, Meridian, ID, 312; 7. Dave Thomasson, Meridian, ID, 284; 8. Jeff Wilson, Mountain Home, ID, 248; 9. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 194; 10. Lee Hackney, Boise, ID, 141
Project Filter Pro-4s — 1. Jim Bailey, Middleton, ID, 499 points; 2. Phil Dugan, Meridian, ID, 402; 3. Jordan Fitch, Meridian, ID, 335; 4. Joe Barton, Nampa, ID, 306; 5. Ken Chandler, Boise, ID, 235; 6. DJ Lyons, Nampa, ID, 225; 7. Terry Sherman, Boise, ID, 196; 8. Rob Taylor, Meridian, ID, 140; 9. Chet Thorson, Nampa, ID, 122; 10. Rob Bean, Kuna, ID, 117
Pit Stop Drive Thru Super Stocks — 1. Dennis Brodigan, Nampa, ID, 388 points; 2. Kim Bradford, Eagle, ID, 342; 3. Gale Carter, Boise, ID, 337; 4. Justin Ellis, Meridian, ID, 277; 5. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 266; 6. David Harris, Meridian, ID, 227; 7. Steven Gilbert, Emmett, ID, 225; 8. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 158; 9. Jeff Meads, Boise, ID, 149; 10. Chris Fenton, Meridian, ID, 77
B Modifieds — 1. Jay Cook, Nampa, ID, 428 points; 2. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 407; 3. Randy Keckley, Boise, ID, 310; 4. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell, ID, 299; 5. Pete Trammell, Boise, ID, 274; 6. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 148; 7. John Hensley, Meridian, ID, 93; 8. Jentry Pisca, Nampa, ID, 75; 9. Caitlyn Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 73; 10. Skip Taylor, Kuna, ID, 62
Street Stocks — 1. Chad Bess, Nampa, ID, 511 points; 2. Melissa Weaver, Nampa, ID, 464; 3. Marv Weaver, Nampa, ID, 461; 4. Roy Kirkland, Boise, ID, 381; 5. Rick Baldwin, Middleton, ID, 350; 6. Bobby Riggs, Fruitland, ID, 297; 7. Micky Lawson, Caldwell, ID, 229; 8. Bill Lawrence, Grand View, ID, 170; 9. John Weller, Caldwell, ID, 169; 10. Daniel Johnson, Caldwell, ID, 147
Pit Stop Drive Thru Mini Stocks — 1. Larry Hull III, Boise, ID, 949 points; 2. Ray Bolinger, Meridian, ID, 935; 3. Sarah Shaw, Boise, ID, 668; 4. Donovan Parker, Garden City, ID, 631; 5. Jonathan Hull, Boise, ID, 542; 6. Brendon Fries, Meridian, ID, 380; 7. Donovan Johns, Boise, ID, 370; 8. Jason Sanders, Caldwell, ID, 356; 9. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 337; 10. Mike Davis, Boise, ID, 326
Domino’s Pizza Legends — 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Boise, ID, 619 points; 2. Chase Gilbertson, Boise, ID, 581; 3. Casey Tillman, Kuna, ID, 542; 4. Zach Blume, Eagle, ID, 421; 5. Jimmy Ingham, Meridian, ID, 333; 6. Mike Cullum, Meridian, ID, 331; 7. Johnathan Davis, Emmett, ID, 311; 8. Sara Henry, Nampa, ID, 306; 9. Steve Thimsen, Boise, ID, 229; 10. Andrew Clark, Boise, ID, 281
Tates Hornets — 1. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 925 points; 2. Thomas Harrod, Nampa, ID, 743; 3. Cody Garrett, Boise, ID, 701; 4. Chuck Youngblood, Meridian, ID, 662; 5. Monica Heath, Caldwell, ID, 603; 6. Art Heath, Nampa, ID, 599; 7. Lynn Sharp, Nampa, ID, 578; 8. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 536; 9. Al Russell, Kuna, ID, 458; 10. Kevin Johnson, Kuna, ID, 447
Hornet 100 Series — 1. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 380 points; 2. Chuck Youngblood, Meridian, ID, 283; 3. Thomas Harrod, Nampa, ID, 226; 4. Art Heath, Nampa, ID, 191; 5. Cody Garrett, Boise, ID, 169; 6. Monica Heath, Caldwell, ID, 168; 7. Sharlet Pataro, Mountain Home, ID, 157; 8. Stacy Heath, Nampa, ID, 152; 9. Tony Ryska, Caldwell, ID, 149; 10. Lynn Sharp, Nampa, ID, 132
Thunder Dogs — 1. Sledge Hammer (David Jolley, Nampa, ID), 1,407 points; 2. Bull Dacious (Boise, ID), 926; 3. Big Tuna (Stanley Irons, Boise, ID), 859; 4. The Surfer (Boise, ID), 802; 5. Cat Fish (John Pinkston, Meridian, ID), 776; 6. Boot Legger (James Ward, Meridian, ID; Sean Hackworth, Caldwell, ID), 633; 7. Vulgar Display (Meridian, ID), 447; 8. The Other Woman (Boise, ID), 397; 9. Buzz Lightyear (Richard Scott, Meridian, ID), 267; 10. Bumble Bee (Meridian, ID), 261
Jr. Stingers — 1. Riley Rogers, Meridian, ID, 403 points; 2. Hunter Gates, Nampa, ID, 376; 3. Jordan Kirkland, Boise, ID, 344; 4. Peter Woog, Meridian, ID, 333; 5. Jordan Harris, Nampa, ID, 292; 6. Kendra Occhipinti, Nampa, ID, 256; 7. Daytona Wurtz, Kuna, ID, 227; 8. Eriq Arnold, Star, ID, 214; 9. Ali Norton, Kuna, ID, 203; 10. CJ Stirm, Nampa, ID, 185

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