by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho – Phyl Zubizareta started 2013 at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway the way he finished off last season.MS LOGOsmblk

Out in front.

The reigning Domino’s Pizza Legends champion shot to the lead after the two drivers in front of him tangled with 16 laps remaining the season-opening 40-lap main event.

“We didn’t do much to the car since last year,” the Garden City, Idaho, driver said. “We just went out there to see what we could do.”

In other main events:

Jentry Pisca of Nampa, Idaho became the first driver not named Shelby Stroebel to win an ASA Modified main event at the track since August 2011.

Johnny Giesler of Meridian, Idaho, walked away with the Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints main event victory.

Jason Sanders of Caldwell, Idaho made it 2-for-2 this season in TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks features.

Middleton, Idaho’s Rick Baldwin pushed ahead late to win the College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks main event.

Zubizareta seemed content in third place during the Legends feature while Kuna, Idaho’s Casey Tillman and Meridian, Idaho’s Mike Cullum battled it out in not-so-delicate fashion for most of the race.

With 16 laps left in a caution flag-laced feature, Tillman and Cullum crashed, bringing out another yellow flag and opening the door for Zubizareta.

Under racetrack rules, when drivers are involved in an incident that triggers a caution flag, they are sent to the rear of the field.

Zubizareta pulled away from a crowded field of Legends, cruising out to a two-second lead.

Meanwhile, Tillman and Cullum worked their way back out from the rear of the field to finished second and third, respectively.

Even the guy who ended Stroebel’s 18-race Modifieds winning streak seemed a little remorseful.

“That’s certainly not the way we wanted to take the win away from Stroebel,” Pisca said. “That was bad luck. What a great racer.”

Two laps into the 35-lap main event, smoke began to spew from the rear end of Stroebel’s previously unbeaten racecar. He pulled off the track, opening the door for a new Modifieds feature winner at the track for the first time since Aug. 20, 2011. Mike Reid was the previous Modifieds main event champion not named Stroebel.

Pisca won the inaugural Intermountain Outlaw Modifieds Series appearance at the speedway.

He drove away from the field and led by as many as six seconds.

There was no mystery in the Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints main event. Giesler posted a six-second margin of victory.

“We were struggling a little early today,” Giesler said, acknowledging his pit crew’s hard work that resulted in a winning machine later.

“It was running good. We got it figured out a little better.”

Giesler pulled away from the field as Sierra Jackson of Middleton, and Meridian drivers Mike Murgoitio and Bryan Warf jockeyed for position in second through fourth place behind him.

Fast reflexes and strong cars on the low side of the track worked wonders Sanders and Baldwin in their respective main events.

Baldwin was the benefactor when Melissa Weaver’s Street Stock snapped, crackled and popped out of Turn 4 while she was leading with seven laps to go.

Weaver exited the track, putting Baldwin out front with Jeffrey Meads of Nampa right on his rear bumper.

With three laps left, Caldwell’s Daniel Johnson spun out to trigger a caution flag and side-by-side restart.

Meads, who was the only racer who elected the high side on the cone restart, pulled with Baldwin as the cars paced to the green flag.

Coming low out of Turn 4, Baldwin powered to the lead and held on for the victory.

His Mini Stock Ford Mustang wasn’t running perfect, but Sanders remained perfect in 2013 nonetheless.

Driving with what he described as a glitch in his racecar, Sanders found a way to drive under Larry Hull III on a restart to win the race.

Sanders also picked up the Mini Stocks main event on April 13.

With his brother Jonathan attending a high school prom, Larry Hull III served as a substitute driver in the Mini Stock division he won last year.

He drove his brother’s racecar to the front with 13 laps left in the 35-lap feature when he passed Brenden Fries.

Two laps later, though, Sanders got his shot when Boise, Idaho’s Jayson Wardle spun out in the middle of Turns 3 and 4.

Next Saturday, the Project Filter All-Star Challenge brings the annual Project Filter Pro-4 segment race to the track.

It’s also Military Appreciation Night with special admission for all military personnel.

The Coors Super Stocks, NAPA Late Models, Domino’s Pizza Legends ant Tates Hornets also will be on the track.

Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets at the gate are $10 with a $2.50 discount for senior citizens and a $4 discount for children ages 7-11. Children 5 and younger get in free. A family pass good for two adults and up to four children ages 7-11 is available for $30.

Visit www.meridianspeedway.com or “like” Meridian Speedway on Facebook to get up-to-date news on the track.

The racetrack can be reached by phone at (208) 888-2813.

Meridian Speedway

Domino’s Pizza Legends season opener

Saturday’s unofficial results

Main events

Domino’s Pizza Legends (40 laps) – 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho; 2. Casey Tillman, Kuna, Idaho; 3. Mike Cullum, Meridian, Idaho; 4. Sara Henry, Nampa, Idaho; 5. Charlie Fiscus, Star, Idaho

TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks (35 laps) – 1. Jason Sanders, Caldwell, Idaho; 2. Larry Hull III, Boise, Idaho; 3. Brenden Fries, Meridian, Idaho; 4. Donovan Parker, Garden City, Idaho; 5. Colton Nelson, Meridian, Idaho

College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks (35 laps) – 1. Rick Baldwin, Middleton, Idaho; 2. Marv Weaver, Nampa, Idaho; 3. Jeffrey Meads, Nampa; 4. Daniel Johnson, Caldwell; 5. Shawn Hansen, Boise

ASA Modifieds (40 laps) – 1. Jentry Pisca, Nampa; 2. Charlie Ham Jr., Boise; 3. Dell Scott, Meridian; 4. Josh Jackson, Payette, Idaho; 5. Rick Fowble, Twin Falls, Idaho

Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars (30 laps) – 1. Johnny Giesler, Meridian; 2. Sierra Jackson, Middleton; 3. Bryan Warf, Meridian; 4. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian; 5. Brandon Johnson, Meridian

Ultra Touch Best-looking Car

Domino’s Pizza Legends – Mike Cullum, No. 37, Meridian, Idaho

 

Heat races

(Eight laps each)

Domino’s Pizza Legends

Fast Dash – 1. Sara Henry, Nampa, Idaho; 2. Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City; 3. Casey Tillman, Kuna, Idaho; 4. Mike Cullum, Meridian; 5. Zach Blume, Eagle, Idaho

B Heat – 1. Mark Cirelli Jr., Nampa, Idaho; 2. Chase Gilbertson, Boise, Idaho; 3. Charlie Fiscus, Star, Idaho; 4. Brent Collins, Boise; 5. Johnathan Davis, Emmett, Idaho

C Heat – 1. Aubree Wartman, Boise; 2. Cody Hollis, Payette, Idaho; 3. Daynna Skiver, Meridian; 4. Jamie Hyde, Boise, Idaho; 5. Jenna Cullum, Boise

 

Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars

Fast Dash – 1. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian; 2. Sierra Jackson, Middleton, Idaho; 3. Bryan Warf, Meridian; 4. Brandon Johnson, Meridian

B Heat – 1. Johnny Giesler, Meridian; 2. Matt Elliott, Caldwell; 3. Dave Parrie, Boise; 4. Mark Floyd, Boise

 

ASA Modifieds

Fast Dash – 1. Jentry Pisca, Nampa; 2. Rick Fowble, Twin Falls, Idaho; 3. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian; 4. Charlie Ham Jr., Boise

B Heat – 1. Dell Scott, Meridian; 2. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian; 3. Cade Hollon, Riggins, Idaho; 4. Pete Trammell, Boise; 5. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell

CWI PTD Street Stocks

Fast Dash – 1. Daniel Johnson, Caldwell; 2. Bobby Riggs, Fruitland, Idaho; 3. Melissa Weaver, Nampa; 4. Marv Weaver, Nampa; 5. Rick Baldwin, Middleton

B Heat – 1. Shaun Bush, Marsing, Idaho; 2. Tommy Lumpkin, Nampa; 3. Scott Shoecraft, Boise; 4. Ray Bolinger, Meridian; 5. Shawn Hansen, Boise

 

TEAM Subaru Mazda Mini Stocks

Fast Dash – 1. Larry Hull III, Boise; 2. Colton Nelson, Meridian; 3. Jason Sanders, Caldwell; 4. Donovan Parker, Garden City; 5. Brenden Fries, Meridian

B Heat – 1. Rick Brees, Meridian; 2. TJ Labronte, Meridian; 3. Mary Johnson, Meridian; 4. Brandon Shira, Boise; 5. Amber Rogers, Meridian

C Heat – 1. Donovan Johns, Meridian; 2. Denny Gerber, Boise; 3. Jayson Wardle, Boise; 4. Nathan Dearing, Boise; 5. Scott Gilligan, Filer, Idaho

D Heat – 1. Robbie Hyde, Twin Falls; 2. Duane Gerber, Boise; 3. Alex Duda, Boise; 4. Terry Dodge, Meridian; 5. Keri Ballard, Boise

Fast times

Domino’s Pizza Legends – Casey Tillman, Kuna, Idaho, 15.364 seconds

Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars – Warf, 11.723

ASA Modifieds – Shelby Stroebel, 14.132

CWI PTD Street Stocks – Melissa Weaver, 14.941

TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks – Sanders, 15.521

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