Dave Minegar makes emotional comeback in 100 lap Latemodel event
MERIDIAN, Idaho, June 25, 2011— The Carbon X Rocky Mountain Challenge Series brings out some of the best drivers in the Northwest and beyond. Last night at Meridian Speedway was no exception. Dave Minegar dominated the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 100 by working his way from ninth to first with two thirds of the race left to go.
In other main events Johnny “The Jet” Giesler scored another win in his Pepsi Sprintcar in a 30 lap main, Colton Nelson won a 25 lap race in the Junior Stinger class and Roy Kirkland won in the Street Stocks 30 lap feature.
After a bit of bump drafting Dave Minegar was able to get a nose inside of Thane Alderman, Las Vegas NV, with 65 laps left in the 100 lap event and turned that into a clean pass and the lead. At the halfway point Minegar still retained the lead and built up a two second cushion over second place Dan Rhodes of Olympia, WA. Minegar, who started ninth, worked his way to the front and never let up to the checkered flag while other drivers spun while battling for lesser positions. Several drivers had their chance but none could come up with the goods. Alderman finished second followed by Rick Fowble of Twin Falls, Rhodes and Tyler Bailey of Middleton, Idaho rounding out the top five.
After the race Meridian Speedway co-promoter Adam Nelson said to the cheering crowd, “Dave Minegar adds his name to the list of the winners of the TV 100” then added to Minegar, “It’s gotta’ feel good to be back in victory lane.” Minegar replied, “Longest 87 laps in my life… you don’t know how much this means to me and my team.” In 2009 on July 4th Minegar crashed in to the turn 3 water barrels heavily damaging his car and ending his season. This was the first race of the season and the first time in Victory lane in three years for the two time former series champion.
Johnny The Jet Giesler, hopped back into his Non Winged Pepsi Sprintcar after spending the first half of the season in a Winged Mountain Dew Sprintcar. Giesler reminded fans why he was the Pepsi Sprintcar champion last year in an action packed open wheel race at the tight quarter mile bullring at Meridian Speedway with a main event win. The only contender in the race seemed to be Eric Ransom of Boise who could bump but could not get inside for a pass.
When asked at the winners circle how it felt to get back into a Pepsi Sprintcar after racing a Mountain Dew Winged Sprint car, Giesler said, “It’s definitely different… about half the horse power… you have to let it do its own thing, it was fun, I had a blast. We just brought it out to thank our sponsors one last time since this is the only time we will race this car this season.” Fans will have to wait until the Winged Sprints come back to see The Jet again.
Roy Kirkland started the CWI Street Stock main event on the pole and through some good luck for him and bad luck for his competitors was able to hang on for 30 laps. It wasn’t all luck though, Kirkland had a definite lead over second place Tyler Nelson of Kuna through most of the race. Melisa Weaver, usually a contender started the 30 lap main event from the back by qualifying first and had to work past several mishaps caused by other drivers but still finished in the top five. It looked like Kirkland was losing ground as the lap count on the Pepsi scoreboard wound down but Kirkland explained it, “We’ve been fighting the car for weeks but the owner of the car took the car home and worked on it…I slowed down a bit near the end of the race to preserve the car.” Kirkland was followed across the finish line by Nelson, Jeffrey Meads of Nampa, Chad Bess, Nampa and Melissa Weaver also of Nampa.
Meridian Speedway’s youngest class, the Junior stingers started the 25 lap main with James Pahl from Caldwell on the pole but with the 12 to 14 year old drivers on the quarter mile oval things change quickly. As the 11 young drivers battled for position Pahl got spun and lost a few positions. After 25 laps, several cautions and even more lead changes Colton Nelson of Meridian took the lead and held on through a green, white, checkered finish to take home the trophy followed closely by Cody Garrett.
Next weekend fans can enjoy three days of racing on July 2nd, 3rd and 4th. On Saturday the speedway brings out the Boys and Girls Club of Idaho Night and Westby’s Bicycle Races for Kids featuring the NAPA Latemodels, Domino’s Legends, Edmark Mini Stocks, Thunder Dogs and the Spectacular Drags. Admission is $10 general admission.
On Sunday the Domino’s Legends Day race with a $12 pit pass, and on Monday July 4th the Stinker Stores Firecracker 50 and Fireworks Spectacular presented by the City of Meridian featuring the Legends Regional Qualifier, Winged Sprintcars, Street Stocks, Modifieds and the Hornets. General admission is $12, $9.50 for Senior and Military and $8 fir kids 7 to 11. Six and under are free. Gates open at 4 on Saturday and Monday and racing starts at 6:30. Call for times on Sunday’s event.