Cool the Rule on Hot August Cruise and Drag Night
Over eighty of the Treasure Valley’s coolest customs and hottest street rods invaded Meridian Speedway for TEAM Mazda Subaru Hot August Cruise and Drag Night. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Project Filter Pro-4s, and Teleperformance Claimer Stocks joined the tremendous field of cruisers as they battled for late-season points.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds kicked off main event action with their first to two thirty lap features. The green flag waved and Nampa, Idaho’s Hunter Gates piloted his YMC, Blue Line Graphics machine to the lead. Behind Gates, Star, Idaho racer Daytona Wurtz fought to move her VooDoo Racing, All Makes Auto Salvage modified into the runner up spot. Wurtz dispatched Kuna, Idaho’s Jerry Green on lap seven before the young racer spun on the backstretch one lap later.
The caution brought Boise, Idaho’s Larry Hull III even with Gates, and on the restart Hull III used the inside line to put his Shake N’ Bake Racing, Diversified Carpet Cleaning machine out front. While Hull III battled his way to the lead, Kuna, Idaho’s Casey Tillman and Meridian, Idaho’s Colton Nelson worked to surge through the field. On lap ten Tillman and Nelson both dove for the same spot off of turn two and made contact. Tillman slid sideways all the way into turn three, but gathered his Integrity Pools, Integrity Construction racer without further incident. The wild slide did cause a caution, which relegated both Tillman and Nelson to the back of the pack for the restart.
With the green flag back in the air Hull III raced back to the lead while Tillman and Nelson sliced back through the field. With a dozen laps left the pair held second and third behind Hull III, who held a four second advantage. Tillman and Nelson were able to halve Hull III’s lead, but ran out of laps to mount a challenge for the win as Hull III sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
A full field of Teleperformance Claimer Stocks joined in a thirty lap battle for the Shake N’ Bake Racing trophy. On the break Boise, Idaho’s Jamie Hyde pushed Caldwell, Idaho’s Fred Nagele to the early lead. Hyde used the outside line to put his Wacky Shacks, Guppies Hot Rod Grille machine in the lead on lap three, but came under immediate fire from Boise, Idaho’s Dan Lowther. On lap five Lowther blasted past Hyde to put his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Firesnacks racer out front.
But something was amiss with Lowther’s machine, and on lap eleven it lost power on the front stretch. The ensuing jam up handed the lead to Boise, Idaho’s Josh Fanopoulos and the runner up spot to Brian Hyde. On the restart Fanopoulos shot back to the lead in his Certified Services racer while Boise, Idaho’s Brian Hyde battled Caldwell, Idaho racer Rich Lawson for second.
With a dozen laps left Hyde cleared Lawson and turned the pressure up on Fanopoulos. Lap after lap Hyde looked for a way to pilot his Affordable Rain Gutters, Pak-Rat racer around Fanopoulos, but Fanopoulos defended the top spot all the way to the checkers.
The Project Filter Pro-4s crowed the quarter-mile for their thirty lap main event. On the green Nampa, Idaho’s Sean Young sprinted to the early lead in his Kim’s Kars, Challenger Auto Transport and Sales machine. First to challenge Young was fellow Nampa, Idaho driver Ryan Bailey, who drove his Les Schwab, Mulder’s Machine entry around the outside of Young for the lead on lap two. Boise, Idaho’s Jonathan Hull and Kuna, Idaho racer Kenny Chandler followed Bailey past Young to take the second and third spots one lap later.
On lap five Hull made his move and powered around the outside of Bailey to move his Diversified Carpet Cleaning, All American Towing machine to the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. But Chandler shadowed Hull, and three laps later Chandler had his Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bob’s entry in the top spot. Chandler wouldn’t look back over the race’s final two thirds as he stormed into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds closed TEAM Mazda Subaru Hot August Cruise and Drag Night with a second thirty lap main event. Meridian, Idaho’s CJ Stirm got to the gas pedal first and piloted her YMC, Pisor Tile machine to the early lead. But Stirm wasn’t safe out front as Meridian, Idaho’s Joe Thuss wheeled his Avis Rent-A-Car Downtown, ABC Grounds Care modified to the top spot on lap three. Thuss made the most of his time out front and opened a sizeable advantage over the rest of the field.
Kuna, Idaho’s Casey Tillman was the man on the move early, and he navigated his Integrity Pools, Integrity Construction machine through the pack to second by lap eight. Four fast laps later Tillman caught Thuss, and with fifteen circuits remaining Tillman completed the pass for the lead. This left Thuss in the clutches of first feature winner Larry Hull III.
After a spirited four lap fight Hull III took over the runner up spot with ten laps left and set off after Tillman. Hull III arrived at Tillman’s rear bumper with two laps left on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard, but lapped traffic stymied his bid for the Saturday night sweep and allowed Tillman to cruise across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
Over a dozen different honors were conveyed to the Hot August Cruise and Drag night participants. Best in Show honors went to Boise, Idaho’s Sandra Krahn and her 1939 Chevrolet Sedan Custom, while Boise, Idaho’s Larry and Diane Peterson picked up the Fan’s Choice Award with their pink 1957 Cadillac Series 62. Kuna, Idaho’s Travis Turner piloted his 1956 GMC pickup to the Stop Light Drags victory and Nampa, Idaho’s Rocky Nelson scored the Burn Out Competition victory.
Meridian Speedway takes next Saturday, August 26 off as competitors prepare for a jam-packed September. Join the quarter-mile on Saturday, September 2 for the TATES Rents Labor Day Bash when the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, Pepsi Crate Cars and Super Sixes, Domino’s Legends, College of Western Idaho Super Stocks and High School Tuners, and TATES Rents Hornets pack the track. We’ll see you Saturday, September 2, for the TATES Rents Labor Day Bash under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.
Hot August Cruise & Drag Night Event Winners
Best in Show – Sandra Krahn/1939 Chevrolet Sedan Custom
Fan’s Choice – Larry & Diane Peterson/1957 Cadillac Series 62
Diamond in the Rough – Beki & Toby Dougal/1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442
Idaho Chariot Club Pick (Non-Member) – Brad Baltzer/1953 Ford F100 Pickup
Outstanding Non-Commercial Build – Jim Livingston/1950 Chevrolet Fleetline
Coolest Cruiser – Craig Day/1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396
Coolest Squirt – Scott & Lonna McDonald/1932 Ford Roadster
Trickest Truck – Bob Vorbeck/1968 F100 Pickup
Awesome Britches – Tina Vorbeck/1935 Ford Phaeton
Most Unique – Shaun Ferguson/1965 Volkswagen Rat Rod
Costume Contest – Bob Huffman
Stop Light Drags – Travis Turner
Burn Out Contest – Rocky Nelson