Fries Overcomes Early Wreck to Battle for Pro-4 Win
With no chance of rain in the forecast, seven strong divisions took to Meridian Speedway Saturday, October 13, for the rescheduled Weed Man Lawn Care Championship. The Mountain Dew Interstate Winged Sprintcars, Pepsi Crate Cars and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Super Sixes, Coors Super Stocks, Domino’s Legends, and Bombers took the checkers on their 2018 season, while the Project Filter Pro-4s and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets jockeyed for late-season points in their penultimate showdowns.
Ten Project Filter Pro-4s took the green for their penultimate feature of the season. Front row starters Ben Harris and Wes Summers raced door to door through the first lap until contact sent Summers spinning in front of the field. When the smoke cleared eight Project Filter Pro-4s sat in a heap in turn three with Alex Duda upside down and championship leader Brendon Fries stuffed into the retaining wall. Thanks to quick work by their pit crews, every racer except Summers returned to action for the restart.
New to the front row, James Pahl made the most of his opportunity and charged around Harris to put his borrowed Challenger Auto, Ken Chandler Racing car in the lead. First to Pahl’s rear bumper was Kenny Chanler, who worked the low line to perfection and piloted his Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bob’s machine to the lead. But Fries was on the hunt, and with a dozen laps left the Boise, Idaho racer wedged his damaged nose piece inside of Chandler in a bid for the lead.
Fries continued to work Chandler until a caution with nine laps left lined his Chick-fil-A of Meridian, Academy Mortgage racer inside of Chandler for the green. Fries charged hard into turn one, but Chandler thwarted his advance. Lap after lap Fries worked the inside, and corner after corner Chandler kept the championship leader in his rearview mirror. Fries saved his best challenge for the last lap, but a spin in turn two necessitated a caution flag, which handed the win to Chandler.
The Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets packed the quarter-mile for a twenty lap feature. On the break Nick Durbin continued his hot streak as he took the early lead. First to challenge Durbin was James Pahl who, with a three-wide pass, took his Ray’s Auto Care, Beastly Gents racer to the top spot on lap seven. But Pahl whiffed on his joker lap as he missed the required 360 degree spin on the backstretch. Pahl would make up for it with a slick Rockford-style spin in turn one the next lap. This would prove enough for the officials and Pahl cruised the rest of the way to the win.
The action continues next Saturday, October 20, as the PitStopUSA.com Summer Dirt Series holds its championship event on the twelfth-mile Dirt Track at Meridian Speedway. Asphalt racing concludes with the Trunk or Treat Halloween Championship on Saturday, October 27. Stay tuned to meridianspeedway.com for event details and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive all the latest updates from around the quarter-mile. We’ll see you this Saturday, October 20, for the PitStopUSA.com Summer Dirt Series Championship, and Saturday, October 27 for the Trunk or Treat Halloween Championship at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.