The Middleton, Idaho driver made a triumphant return to the pavement of her home track Thursday night, putting a nearly three-second cushion between her and her nearest competitor to win the Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars main event during the Stinker Stores Firecracker 50 and Fireworks Extravaganza.
In other main events:
• Star, Idaho’s Tony Ackerland ran away from the field in his attempt to shake up the Pepsi Sprintcar season standings.
• Phyl Zubizareta of Garden City, Idaho, tuned up for Saturday’s INEX Regional at Meridian by winning the Domino’s Pizza Legends A Main.
• Don “Rabbit” Gist of Hermiston, Ore., transferred to the big 49-lap feature by winning the Legends B main.
• Meridian, Idaho’s Chris Fenton returned to form with a big victory in the NAPA Late Models
• Kuna, Idaho’s Chad Barker set up the night’s fireworks, sponsored by the City of Meridian, by winning the 20-lap Tates Hornets main event to close the racing.
Jackson’s last appearance at Meridian ended in a Turn 1 crash in the first lap of a preliminary race when she collided with Canadian Robbie Haslum during the second night of the BOB FM Diamond Cup XXV on June 1.
Although that race was part of the Canadian-American Western Winged Sprintcars Series, Jackson saw many of the same competitors Thursday.
She posted a 2.97-second win over Meridian’s Bryan Warf, who is the early points leader in both the tour and the local series.
Another driver who has had his share of bad crashes at Meridian, Fenton put it all together Thursday night to return to victory lane in the NAPA Late Models.
With series leader Dylan Caldwell of Nampa, Idaho, missing half the 40-lap race, Fenton may have taken a big step toward moving up in the standings. His margin of victory over Kuna, Idaho’s Dennis Wurtz II, who is fourth in the standings, was 1.835 seconds.
Caldwell finished sixth.
The reigning local champ must be reckoned with when drivers from three states tackle the Meridian quarter-mile oval Saturday night for the INEX Legends Regional.
Zubizareta picked up another Domino’s Pizza Legends victory in a race that ended after 49 laps. He was nearly two-tenths of a second ahead of Duane Swanson, who made the tow from Des Moine, Wash.
Also in the top five Thursday was Tacoma, Wash., racer Jim Landon, who finished fourth, and former Meridian Speedway track champion Camron Madsen of Boise, who pulled in third.
A total of 22 Legends from Idaho, Washington and Oregon took the green flag for the A main Thursday.
In the Pepsi Sprintcars, Ackerland entered the night four points behind series leader Rob Grice of Nampa, but ended the Fourth of July as a man of determination.
Ackerland walloped the field by 7.137 seconds to win the 30-lap feature.
Meridian, Idaho’s Colton Nelson finished second, while Grice was third more than 7.3 seconds behind his chief challenger.
In the Legends B main, Gist showed what years of waving green and checkered flags can do for a guy.
The Hermiston, Ore., Legends racecar driver transferred into the A main by winning the 20-lap B main earlier in the evening.
Gist, who has dropped the green flag and waved the checkered for the ASA Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association, climbed into a decidedly smaller racer and showed the hometown boys how it’s done.
He beat Star’s Charlie Fiscus by 0.279 seconds. Gist had qualified 17th earlier in the night.
Gist and at least 30 other Legends racecar drivers from Idaho, Oregon and Washington state will return Saturday for the INEX Legends Regional Qualifier, which highlights TEAM Mazda Subaru Free Car Night at the track.
In addition to the Legends, the TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks, the Project Filter Pro-4s, the Budweiser B Modifieds and the Jr. Stingers also will see action.
The lucky winning entry for the free car will be drawn by the driver who wins the Mini Stocks feature Saturday.
Mr. Green’s Scooter Races also will be presented Saturday. There are three classes for young competitors, and the entry is the same as the bicycle races. Competitors must bring their scooters and their helmets and be ready to race. The scooter races start at 6 p.m., right before the big boys get to racing.
Saturday’s admission is $10 for adults, $7.50 for military personnel with ID and seniors, and $6 for children 7-11. A family pass costs $30.
Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at www.meridianspeedway.com for folks who don’t want to wait in line on race night.
Visit www.meridianspeedway.com or “like” Meridian Speedway on Facebook to get the latest information.
Stinker Stores Firecracker 50
Thursday’s unofficial results
Pepsi Sprintcars (30 laps) — 1. Tony Ackerland, Star, Idaho; 2. Colton Nelson, Meridian, Idaho; 3. Rob Grice, Nampa, Idaho; 4. Mike Anderson, Nampa; 5. Justin Segura, Nampa
Domino’s Pizza Legends B main (20 laps) — 1. Don Gist, Hermiston, Ore.; 2. Charlie Fiscus, Star, Idaho; 3. Brent Mack, Burien, Wash.; 4. Erik Miller, Caldwell, Idaho; 5. Jose Zamudio, Hermiston, Ore.
Domino’s Pizza Legends A main — 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho; 2. Duane Swanson, Des Moine, Wash.; 3. Camron Madsen, Boise, Idaho; 4. Jim Landon, Tacoma, Wash.; 5. Caity Miller, Boise
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars — 1. Sierra Jackson, Middleton, Idaho; 2. Bryan Warf, Meridian; 3. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian; 4. Brandon Johnson, Caldwell; 5. Johnny Giesler, Meridian
NAPA Late Models – 1. Chris Fenton, Meridian; 2. Dennis Wurtz, Kuna, Idaho; 3. Rob Powers, Meridian; 4. Jake Petero, Mountain Home, Idaho; 5. Travis Anderson, Boise
Tates Hornets — 1. Chad Barker, Kuna; 2. Antonio Ryska, Caldwell; 3. Lynn Sharp, Nampa; 4. Drew Crenshaw, Nampa; 5. Thomas Harrod, Caldwell
(Four laps each)
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars — 1. Johnson; 2. Warf; 3. Murgoitio; 4. Giesler
Pepsi Sprintcars — 1. Segura; 2. Ackerland; 3. Ryan Newman, Caldwell; 4. Grice
NAPA Late Models — 1. Fenton; 2. Dennis Wurtz, Kuna, Idaho; 3. Dylan Caldwell, Nampa; 4. Travis Anderson, Boise
Domino’s Pizza Legends — 1. Sara Henry, Nampa; 2. Chance Overholt, West Richland, Wash.; 3. Landon.; 4. Randy Schaaf, Fife, Wash.
Tates Hornets — 1. Cody Brizendine, Nampa; 2. Drew Crenshaw, Nampa; 3. Cody Garrett, Boise; 4. Lynn Sharp, Nampa
(Eight laps each)
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars
A Heat — 1. Warf; 2. Murgoitio; 3. Johnson; 4. Giesler
B Heat — 1. Sierra Jackson, Middleton, Idaho; 2. Dave Parrie, Boise; 3. Matt Elliott, Caldwell; 4. Mark Floyd, Nampa
A Heat — 1. Ackerland; 2. Jimmy Gross, Fruitland, Idaho; 3. Ryan Wiederich, Nampa; 4. Grice; 5. Newman
B Heat — 1. Kevin Kressly, Caldwell; 2. Colton Nelson, Meridian; 3. Tyler Barrow, Boise; 4. Mike Anderson, Nampa; 5. Lynn Sharp
NAPA Late Models
A Heat — 1. Wurtz; 2. Travis Anderson; 3. Dan Lowther, Boise; 4. Fenton; 5. Caldwell
B Heat — 1. Dave Thomasson, Meridian; 2. Morgan Rasmussen, Twin Falls, Idaho; 3. Rob Powers, Meridian; 4. Jake Petero, Ontario, Ore.
Domino’s Pizza Legends
A Heat — 1. Johnathan Davis, Emmett, Idaho; 2. Randy Beddow, Lake Tapps, Wash.; 3. Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho; 4. Henry; 5. Schaaf
B Heat — 1. Rick McNeil, Burien, Wash.; 2. Casey Tillman, Kuna; 3. Zach Blume, Eagle, Idaho; 4. Duane Swanson; 5. Chase Gilbertson, Boise
C Heat — 1. Zamudio; 2. Fiscus; 3. Bill Kik, Hermiston, Ore.; 4. Mack; 5. Steve Thimsen, Boise
D Heat — 1. Greg Cortaberria, Hermiston, Ore.; 2. Lloyd Bigler, North Powder, Ore.; 3. Andrew Tuttle, Eagle; 4. Jake Woods, Yakima, Wash.; 5. Jamie Hyde, Boise
(Six laps each)
A Heat — 1. Brandon Hild, Boise; 2. Chad Barker, Kuna; 3. Jerry Davis; 4. Brizendine; 5. Sharp
B Heat — 1. Al Russell, Kuna; 2. Beau Faught, Caldwell; 3. Jeff Goade, Boise; 4. Antonio Ryska, Caldwell; 5. Rick Howe, Meridian
C Heat — 1. Michael Capps, Meridian; 2. Charlie Atkinson, Caldwell; 3. Fred Nagele, Caldwell; 4. Garth Freeman, Meridian; 5. Stacy Heath, Nampa
D Heat — 1. Kedric Preston, Pilot Rock, Ore.; 2. Monica Heath, Caldwell; 3. Allen Arnold, Star; 4. James Pahl, Caldwell; 5. Kayla Harris, Nampa
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars — Murgoitio, 11.496 seconds
Pepsi Sprintcars — Ackerland, 13.405
NAPA Late Models — Travis Anderson, 14.136
Domino’s Pizza Legends —Schaaf, 15.131
Tates Hornets — Sharp, 16.474