MERIDIAN, Idaho – Just because Caitlin Stroebel is 16, that doesn’t mean that she can’t talk to her dad.
The Meridian High School junior put a year’s worth of talkin’ racin’ with her father to the best possible use Sunday night, winning the B Modified season finale at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway.
The daughter of back-to-back ASA Modifieds champion Shelby Stroebel held the lead in the 30-lap main event for the final 20 laps to secure her first career victory in the division.
She and her dad spent nearly every Thursday at the paved quarter-mile oval honing her skills.
“Spending time out here, I’ve learned to communicate with my dad more about what the car is doing,” Caitlin said.
The car was doing just fine Sunday night during Kool Oldies Classic Car Night at the track.
Nampa, Idaho’s Connie Shumaker won the show’s best-looking car contest as voted on by the spectators at the track. Shumaker drove a 1961 Nash Metropolitan decked out in a hot pink and white two-tone paint job.
Stroebel’s victory came just before the classic cars took to the quarter-mile oval for some parade laps.
She was nearly as pleased with her victory as her father, who was ecstatic watching his daughter race out front from his perch in the pits near the backstretch.
“It feels really good,” she said. “I just took a lot of practice.”
Those practice laps taught her to stay calm during a four-lap duel with series champion Josh Jackson of Payette, Idaho.
Jackson drove high alongside Stroebel and nosed ahead into every corner during their shootout, but Stroebel was able to push ahead out of the turns.
“I just have to keep running as hard as I can and give him his lane, but not give him too much room where he has an easy path,” Caitlin said of her mindframe during the battle.
Jackson, who wrapped up the season championship, eventually drove into Turn 3 too hard and broke traction. When he fish-tailed, it brought out a caution flag and opened the door for Stroebel’s first checkered flag.
Meridian Speedway plays host to the championship weekend for the Canadian-American Western Winged Sprintcar series on Friday and Saturday.
The first night is the 50-lap Tom Elliott Sportsman Classic, and the WWS season concludes Saturday with the WWS Pepsi 75.
Middleton, Idaho’s Sierra Jackson and Meridian, Idaho’s Johnny Giesler entered the final races of the inaugural WWS season tied for the championship lead. Jackson created the tie with her historic Daffodil Cup victory Aug. 17-18 at Western Speedway in Victoria, British Columbia. The 20-year-old became the first woman to win the race that has been contested since 1961.
The gates at Meridian Speedway open each day at 4 p.m., followed by qualifying at 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.
Admission each night is $15 for adults, $12.50 for senior citizens and military personnel with ID, and $11 for children ages 7-11. As always, children 6 and younger get in free.
A family pass costs $46 and allows the admission of a family of two adults and four children (ages 7-11).
For more information on the speedway’s upcoming races, including buying tickets, visit www.meridianspeedway.com. More information is available by calling the track at (208) 888-2813 .
Western Winged Sprints Series information is available at www.wingedsprints.com.
Kool Oldies Cruise Night
Tates Rents Fan Appreciation Night
Sunday’s unofficial results
B Modifieds (30 laps) – 1. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian, Idaho; 2. Jay Cook, Nampa, Idaho; 3. Pete Trammel, Boise, Idaho; 4. Josh Jackson, Payette, Idaho; 5. Randy Keckley, Boise
Jack’s Link Snack Attack (Thunder Dogs) winner – IP Freely II (James Pahl, Caldwell, Idaho)
Kool Oldies Best Car Contest winner – Connie Shumaker, 1961 Nash Metropolitan
INEX Asphalt Nationals qualifier (Domino’s Pizza Legends, 50 laps) – Not completed at press time
NAPA Late Models (30 laps) – Not completed at press time
Tates Hornets 100 Series finale – Not completed at press time
Thunder Dogs (20 laps) – Not completed at press time
(Eight laps each)
NAPA Late Models
Fast Dash – 1. Lee Hackney, Boise, Idaho; 2. Dylan Caldwell, Nampa, Idaho; 3. Dennis Brodigan, Nampa; 4. Travis Anderson, Boise; 5. Dan Lowther, Boise
B Heat – 1. Kane Thomasson, Kuna, Idaho; 2. Jeff Wilson, Mountain Home, Idaho; 3. Rob Powers, Meridian, Idaho; 4. David Harris, Meridian
Domino’s Pizza Legends
Fast Dash – 1. Austin Hager, Boise; 2. Mike Cullum, Meridian; 3. Jim Landon, Tacoma, Wash.; 4. Sara Henry, Nampa; 5. Ben Matheson, Pasco, Wash.
B Heat – 1. Jimmy Ingham, Boise; 2. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian; 3. Mark Cirelli Jr., Nampa; 4. Casey Tillman, Kuna; 5. Andrew Clark, Boise
C Heat – 1. Brent Collins, Boise; 2. Johnathan Davis, Emmett, Idaho; 3. Aubree Wartman, Boise; 4. Chase Gilbertson, Boise; 5. Charlie Fiscus, Star, Idaho
D Heat – 1. Jenna Cullum, Meridian; 2. Chance Davis, Emmett; 3. Lloyd Bigler, N. Powder, Ore.; 4. Dayna Skiver, Meridian
Fast Dash – 1. Josh Jackson, Payette, Idaho; 2. Jay Cook, Nampa, Idaho; 3. Pete Trammel, Boise; 4. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian
B Heat – 1. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell, Idaho; 2. Randy Keckley, Boise; 3. Dell Scott, Meridian; 4. Randy Wilcox, Boise
Domino’s Pizza Legends – Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho, 15.219 seconds
NAPA Late Models – Travis Anderson, Boise, 13.981
B Modifieds – Josh Jackson, 14.472