Meridian racer runs away with NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125
For the second night in a row, the Meridian, Idaho resident dominated and drove off with a checkered flag in the Carbon X Rocky Mountain Challenge Series. On Saturday, he led by as many as six seconds to win the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125.
“It feels awesome,” the 18-year-old said. “I’ve got to thank my crew. My Uncle Troy came up from California to spot for me.”
In other main events:
Another Meridian driver, Bryan Warf, won both 20-lap Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars features.
Cody Garrett led the Cody trio to the line to win the 40-lap Tates Hornets feature. The Boise, Idaho driver out-ran Nampa, Idaho’s Cody Brizendine to the line, and Meridian’s Cody Kirkland pulled in third.
Running his first full season on the Meridian-based Super Late Models tour, Cristiani stormed to the top of the series standings Friday night with a win in the Project Filter 75.
With the series lead in hand Saturday night, Cristiani patiently waded through a rash of yellow flags early in the longest race of the season on his adopted home track.
By the end of the race, he had widened his series lead over Twin Falls, Idaho’s Jonathan Gomez and also cracked into the top 10 for all-time wins on the RMCS, which is in its 10th season.
In the only dead heat he saw all weekend, Cristiani pulled into a tie with Las Vegas, Nev.’s Thane Alderman with three career RMCS wins.
A year after finishing 13th in the series standings as a rookie commuting from Ukiah, Calif., Cristiani now is a Meridian resident and riding a wave of momentum.
In 2012, he ran four RMCS races and notched two top-10 finishes and two top-five finishes.
This season, Cristiani has three victories and five top-five finishes in six starts.
“I take my hat off to the Cristiani crew,” Saturday night runner-up Chris Fenton, another Meridian driver, said. “Those guys are amazing.
“The kid has had a hot rod all season long.”
An RMCS Rookie of the Year contender, Fenton also had a hot rod Saturday. He rolled past Hannah Newhouse of Twin Falls, Idaho, who leads the Rookie of the Year standings to nail down second place on Lap 66.
But there was no catching Cristiani. He led the field by a half-lap at one point in the race and lapped every car on the track except the top five. He nearly caught fifth-place Newhouse, though.
Reigning series champion Bruce Quale, another Twin Falls driver, finished third.
“It was a good car tonight,” Quale said. “This is such a fun place. I wish you guys would have us back more often. I love it here.”
The race started ominously with Fenton, Quale and Gomez wrecking in Turn 2 on Lap 9.
Seven laps later, Gomez was involved in a second crash in Turn 2 that also collected local drivers Dennis Wurtz II (Kuna, Idaho), Tyler Bailey (Middleton, Idaho) and Dave Thomasson (Meridian).
There were four caution flags within the first 50 laps. The fourth yellow saw Parma, Idaho’s John Wong slam into the Turn 1 wall, bounced off the concrete and then clip Bailey, who had skidded sideways when Wong went wrong. Wong was an early race leader.
More thrills and spills are guaranteed Saturday night with Eve of Destruction 5 and fireworks presented by Canyon Honda.
The night includes World Famous Boat Racing, the Gauntlet, a Motorcycle Demolition Derby as well as a full slate of racing including the Project Filter Pro-4s, TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks, Jr. Stingers, Thunder Dogs and Tates Hornets.
With the Hornets and Dogs slated for the same night, fans can surely expect more fireworks on the track before the real fireworks explode over the track at the end of the evening.
The gates open at 4 p.m. with qualifying at 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $9.50 for senior citizens and military with ID, $8 for children ages 7-11 and, as always, free for children 6 and younger. A family pass good for two adults and up to four children ages 7-11 is $36.
Visit www.meridianspeedway.com or “like” Meridian Speedway on Facebook to get the latest information. You can also buy tickets on the track’s website and print them at home.
The racetrack can be reached by phone at (208) 888-2813.
NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125
Saturday’s unofficial results
Carbon X Rocky Mountain Challenge Series NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 – 1. Trevor Cristiani, Boise, Idaho; 2. Chris Fenton, Meridian, Idaho; 3. Bruce Quale, Twin Falls, Idaho; 4. Tyler Bailey, Middleton, Idaho; 5. Hannah Newhouse, Twin Falls
SPI Super Sixes (30 laps) – 1. Kevin Detweiler, Nampa, Idaho; 2. Jasen Skyberg, Boise; 3. Dean Waltman, Boise; 4. Ben Hinkle; 5. Pat Young, Kuna, Idaho
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars No. 2 (20 laps) – 1. Bryan Warf, Meridian; 2. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian; 3. Brandon Johnson, Caldwell, Idaho
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars No. 1 (20 laps) – 1. Bryan Warf, Meridian; 2. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian; 3. Mark Floyd, Boise
Tates Hornets (40 laps) – 1. Cody Garrett, Boise; 2. Cody Brizendine, Nampa, Idaho; 3. Cody Kirkland, Meridian; 4. Brandon Hild, Boise; 5. Kevin Johnson, Kuna
(12 laps each)
Carbon X RMCS
Heat No. 1 – 1. Dennis Wurtz II, Kuna; 2. Jonathan Gomez, Twin Falls; 3. John Newhouse, Twin Falls; 4. Lee Hackney, Boise; 5. Bruce Quale, Twin Falls
Heat No. 2 – 1. Dennis Brodigan, Nampa; 2. Bailey; 3. Cristiani; 4. Morgan Rasmussen, Twin Falls; 5. Hannah Newhouse
(Eight laps each)
SPI Super Sixes
A Heat – 1. Waltman; 2. Colton Nelson, Meridian; 3. Austin Hager, Boise; 4. Jasen Skyberg; 5. Detweiler
B Heat – 1. Steve Howell, Boise; 2. Mike Anderson, Nampa; 3. Hinkle; 4. Andrew Jensen; 5. Kyle Waner, Meridian
(Six laps each)
A Heat – 1. Brizendine; 2. Garrett; 3. Drew Crenshaw, Nampa; 4. Lynn Sharp, Nampa; 5. Hild
B Heat – 1. Rick Howe II, Meridian; 2. Kenny Driebergen, Boise; 3. Chuck Youngblood, Meridian; 4. Beau Faught, Caldwell; 5. James Pahl, Caldwell
C Heat – 1. Michael Capps, Meridian; 2. Charlie Atkinson, Caldwell; 3. Al Russell, Meridian; 4. Kirkland; 5. Johnson
D Heat – 1. Hunter Gates, Nampa; 2. Gary Luck; 3. Brendon Fries, Boise; 4. Jim Longden; 5. Robert Daugherty
Carbon X RMCS – Cristiani, 13.152
SPI Super Sixes – Detweiler, 13.612
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars – Murgoitio, 11.417