Meridian Racer Dominates Stinker Stores Firecracker 40
MERIDIAN, Idaho—Scorching heat and a blistering fast race track greeted a packed pit area as Meridian Speedway hosted its annual Independence Day race, the Stinker Stores Firecracker 40. The Interstate Winged Sprintcars, Domino’s and INEX Legends, Pepsi Crate Cars and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Super Sixes, Project Filter Pro-4s, TATES Rents Hornets and Thunderdogs all go in on the Fourth of July action before the City of Meridian Fireworks Extravaganza lit up the night sky.
The Project Filter Pro-4s kicked off main event action with a thirty lap feature. On the break Boise, Idaho driver Wes Summers overpowered Nampa, Idaho’s Sean Young to lead lap one as Young dumped fuel out of his Kim’s Kars, Challenger Auto Transport machine. As Young limped to the pit area, Alex Duda sprinted around Summers to take the top spot in his Boise Boys Transportation, Carbon Designs Custom machine. But Duda’s time at the front was short-lived as Nampa, Idaho racer Joe Barton piloted his Tyco Structural Enterprises entry to the lead on lap three.
Behind the lead pack Kenny Chandler threw his Project Filter, Mulder’s Auto Machine racer around the quarter-mile as the veteran campaigner maneuvered into the top five on lap three. By lap five Chandler held third place and went to work on Ryan Bailey’s Les Schwab, Clothes Line Cleaners entry. Two laps later Chandler claimed the runner up spot for himself and marched toward Barton. It took Chandler just two circuits to catch Barton, and by lap thirteen Chandler moved himself to the point.
Chandler settled into a comfortable lead until Jordan Harris’ Fairly Reliable Bob’s, Kim’s Kars machine let go in turn one. Young found the fluid from Harris’ stricken racer and pounded the turn one concrete before he bounced into Harris. When the smoke cleared both drivers emerged from their vehicles okay and the field was reset for a final six lap shootout.
When the green flag waved Barton wheeled his racer hard to keep pace with Chandler, but it was no use as the Kuna, Idaho driver stormed to back to the lead and claimed his fourth victory of the season.
The Pepsi Crate Cars and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Super Sixes renewed their rivalry as they sprinted through a 30 lap feature. On the green Kuna, Idaho’s Pat Young raced around Caldwell, Idaho’s Rich Montes to take the lead, with Neal Latham in tow. Latham made his move two laps later as he piloted his Dick’s Chevron, J&S Services sprinter below Young’s Dick’s Chevron, LaSasco machine and took the lead on lap three.
Behind the leaders, Kuna, Idaho’s Casey Tillman sliced from his back-of-the-pack starting position into the top five on the high side of the race track. By lap five Tillman was locked in a battle for second with Meridian, Idaho’s Jacob Bell. A mid-race caution flag would bunch the field and bring Bell and his Dick Sola, J&W Custom Homes entry to Latham’s outside for the restart.
When the green flag waved Bell powered past Latham with Tillman in tow. The top three battled through the race’s second third until a spin in turn one brought out the caution. In the slow down Latham’s machine shot into the turn three concrete.
The restart saw Tillman roar around Bell to put his Barn Burner Racing mount in the lead while Meridian, Idaho’s Riley Rogers tore free of the pack and moved his H&H Accounting, Wildside Wraps racer up to second on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. As the laps wound down Rogers closed in on Tillman, but he ran out of laps to make a move and Tillman scored his first win of the season.
The Interstate Winged Sprintcars roared to the green flag for their thirty lap feature. Boise, Idaho’s Aaron McPeak was quick out of the blocks and he sprinted ahead of Mike Anderson to lead the opening lap in his Hugo’s Deli, Royal Purple machine. Behind the leader, Colton Nelson pedaled his Integrity Pools, Bear Bones Training sprinter hard to get through traffic. By lap four Nelson found himself in the runner up spot and quickly closed on new leader Anderson.
A desperate five lap battle broke out as Meridian, Idaho’s Nelson searched for a way around Anderson while division dominator Bryan Warf was stuck in the midst of a competitive pack. Nelson would complete the pass with twenty laps left, but Warf followed Nelson around Anderson and soon had his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Rex Hutchinson Race Engines entry on Nelson’s tail tank. Lap after lap the lead duo diced for position, and each time around Nelson held station ahead of Warf. But a mid-race caution bunched the field and brought Warf to Nelson’s outside for the restart.
The green flag waved and Warf set sail. With Meridian, Idaho’s Warf in the lead, Nelson turned his attention to Adrian, Oregon’s Tristen Spiers, who wheeled his YMC, Stock Construction entry into the runner up battle. Nelson defended the second spot, but had nothing for Warf, who sped to his fifth win of the season.
The Domino’s and INEX Legends packed Meridian Speedway with 22 competitors for the Stinker Stores Firecracker 40. The green flag waved and Garden Valley, Idaho’s Kyle Davis dashed to the point, but it was Nampa, Idaho’s Danny Abbot who fought his way forward to lead lap one in his CMH, CB Tile racer. Next to the lead was Boise, Idaho’s Brok Kidd, who used a good run off of turn four to put his Vicky’s Country Gardens, Grinkers legend out front.
On the move early were Boise, Idaho’s Dayne Amyx and Spokane, Washington runner Alex Bartlett, who occupied the top two spots on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard by lap twelve. Bartlett would dispatch Amyx on lap fifteen and work to open a comfortable lead before a lap nineteen caution bunched the field for a restart.
The green flag waved, Bartlett sped back to the point, and the jockeying started. After two fender-banging laps Amyx found his Fast Enterprises, CCS Sign Shop machine spun out of third place. As the pack piled in Seattle, Washington’s Duane Swanson climbed over Caity Miller’s Farm Bureau Insurance of Darrin Post, Driven Steering Wheel machine and flew into the fray. When the smoke cleared all drivers emerged from their racers okay, and the field was reset for the last half of the feature.
When the green flag waved Bartlett scampered back to the lead with Donovan Barr and Ethan Jones in pursuit. Barr’s Life Advantage, Lawrence Race Engines machine succumb to damage from the mid-race pile up after two laps of hard running, which gave Jones a clear path to Bartlett. With sixteen laps to go Jones made his move and shot past Bartlett on the inside in turn one.
Jones ran away from the field until a late race caution erased his advantage and brought Vacaville, California’s Peter Peirce to his outside. Though Peirce wheeled his machine hard around the outside, Jones’ mount was better and the young driver regained his commanding lead. No one would challenge Jones over the race’s final quarter as the Meridian, Idaho racer collected the Stinker Stores Firecracker 40 checkered flag.
Bumper Sniffer absorbed a flurry of body blows to claim victory in the Thunderdog division while Jamo Stephenson survived a wild TATES Rents Hornets Midnight Ride of Paul Revere event to capture the trophy. With the racecars retired the City of Meridian’s Fireworks Extravaganza lit up the Treasure Valley sky as Independence Day festivities drew to a close.
The best full-bodied stock car drivers in the Northwest invade Meridian Speedway this Saturday night as the Northwest Super Latemodel Series battles the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series in the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 presented by Minegar’s Auto Body. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks, Teleperformance Claimer Stocks, and Six Shooters round out a jam packed short track Saturday night dance card. General admission to Saturday night’s action is just $11 for adults, $8.50 for seniors and military members, and $6.50 for kids 7-11. Gates open at 4 p.m. with qualifying around 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m. Skip the line at the gate and purchase your advance tickets online at meridianspeedway.com. We’ll see you Saturday, July 8 for the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 presented by Minegar’s Auto Body under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.