Late Restart Key for Nampa’s Wiederich
The Mountain Dew Interstate Winged Sprintcars roared into Meridian Speedway for High Desert Harley-Davidson night at the asphalt quarter-mile. The Pepsi Crate Cars and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Super Sixes, Project Filter Pro-4, TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks, Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets, and High School Tuners filled the action-packed Saturday, July 21 schedule.
Eight High School Tuners took the quarter-mile for a twelve lap feature. On the green Jett Nelson used a daring, three-wide move to take his YMC Mechanical entry to the early lead. But Nelson quickly had company as James Strickwerda charged through the field to second in just one circuit. A spin on lap two brought out a caution flag, and Nelson used the opportunity to serve a penalty for his dangerous opening move.
This left Strickwerda in the top spot, and on the restart he zipped to the lead. Behind Strickwerda, James Gates cleared the pack and the quick-qualifier raced his YMC Mechanical, Blue Line Graphics machine into the runner up spot.
The green flag waved and Gates muscled his way around the outside and took over the point. Strickwerda wheeled his PBT Auto Sales mount hard to catch Gates, but Gates proved too strong and he claimed Saturday’s first Walking Sombrero Taco Truck trophy.
Fourteen TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks mobbed the concrete jungle for a 25 lap main event. The green flag waved and Boise, Idaho’s Blake Coria outdueled Pocatello, Idaho’s Zach Grandstaff to lead lap one. Behind Coria, Fred Vigil dissected the field and within three laps held the third position in his Larry H. Miller Collision Center, Ben’s Auto Glass. After an early restart Will Ostrum worked the outside line and took command with Vigil and Jason Sanders in tow.
Vigil slid around the outside of Ostrum’s Diversified Carpet Cleaning machine and took the lead on lap ten. Sanders followed, and the fight for first commenced. High and low the leaders wound through lapped traffic until a caution with seven circuits to go bunched the pack with Vigil and Sanders on the front row.
The green flag waved and Vigil pinned Sanders against the apron and scooted to the lead. This left Sanders with a mirror full of Jayson Wardle. Wardle searched the racetrack for a way past Sanders, but found none and had to settle for third behind Sanders and feature dominator Vigil.
The Pepsi Crate Cars and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Super Sixes had 25 laps to find a feature winner. On the break Trevor Anderson roared to the top spot, but came under siege from Ryan Newman, who found the handle on his North American Recycling, Montes Racing sprinter and took the lead on lap two. Behind Newman, Ryan Wiederich grabbed second while Pat Young and Kate Jackson split Anderson to take third and fourth.
Wiederich was quick to challenge Newman, and lap after lap piloted his Filter Factory Outlet Store, System Kleen machine low in a bid for the top spot on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. On lap twelve Wiederich made his move but couldn’t clear Newman, who battled back on the outside. As the leaders swapped the top spot Jackson caught the lead duo, and with ten laps to go Jackson tore around the inside for the runner up spot. But Jackson had fast company as Justin Segura, Tony Ackerland, and Nate Little pulled to her tail tank.
With five laps left Segura dove into turn one and made contact with Jackson’s Bardahl Oil and Additives, Spiers Construction sprinter, which send both racers for a spin. When the smoke cleared Jackson, Segura, Little, Young, and Drew Crenshaw sat in a heap in turn two. Jackson was able to make on track repairs to remain in the race, but the rest of those involved were forced to retire with crash damage.
The restart paired Wiederich and quick-time Tony Ackerland on the front row. Wiederich blasted back into the lead as Ackerland fought off championship leader Rob Grice for second. With three to go Ackerland went to work on Wiederich’s rear bumper. But Wiederich was ready and blocked Ackerland’s move to speed across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
The Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets closed Saturday night’s action with a fifteen lap tortoise and hare-themed race. Neil Wassmuth wasted no time as he dispatched the rest of the tortoise pack to take the lead, but Tommy Harrod and James Pahl broke free of the hare pack, and with six laps left caught Wassmuth. With a strong inside move Harrod relieved Wassmuth of the lead and brought Pahl with him to second. Though Pahl kept pace with Harrod he couldn’t catch the Caldwell, Idaho driver as he sped across the finish line first.
Meridian Speedway falls silent next Saturday, July 28, as your NASCAR Home Track prepares for the tenth annual Eve of Destruction. After a nine year hiatus Trailer Racing makes its triumphant return Saturday, August 4, with the Beat Jet Dragster Meltdown, Bid Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets versus the Gauntlet, Spectacular Drags, Fireworks, and more to fill your appetite for destruction. The Royal Purple Modified Series, Domino’s Legends, Teleperformance Claimer Stocks, and Bombers round out the Saturday, August 4, schedule as they beat and bang their way to the checkers. General admission is $18 for adults, $15.50 for seniors and military members, and $6.50 for kids 7-11. Seats are selling out fast. Skip the line at the gate and take advantage of a special pricing offer by purchasing your advance tickets online at meridianspeedway.com. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. with the first green flag at 6:45 p.m. We’ll see you Saturday, August 4, for Eve of Destruction 10 under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.