Meridian’s Giesler collects sixth sprintcar win of season
MERIDIAN, Idaho — The young guns’ rivalry ignited Saturday at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway’s Eve of Destruction IV presented by Canyon Honda.
Two friends bumped and banged their way through an exciting Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints main event. Driving a new machine, Johnny Giesler held off Mike Murgoitio after 40 laps.
Giesler survived Murgoitio’s determined pursuit over the last half of the race to pick up his sixth main event victory of the season.
Giesler was driving the No. 23 sprintcar owned by Adrian, Ore.’s Darren Spiers after driving a different sprintcar to the first five wins this season, including three victories on the Canadian-American Western Winged Sprintcar Series. The WWS next runs at the two-day Daffodil Cup in Victoria, British Columbia on Aug. 18-19.
One of Giesler’s rivals in the WWS is Murgoitio, the reigning Meridian track champion.
The rivalry heated up Saturday. As top qualifier for the night, Murgoitio had to fight his way through the field, but he eventually deposited his racecar on the rear bumper-bar of Giesler’s racer.
“This thing is still a handful,” Giesler said. “I saw that 80 (Murgoitio) come up through the field, and I knew he would be coming.
“I like racing like that. It’s good for us, and it’s good for everyone here.”
In other main events:
Payette, Idaho’s Josh Jackson won his third consecutive main event in the B Modifieds division.
Chuck Youngblood of Meridian, Idaho became a two-time winner this year in the Tates Hornets.
Bootlegger, driven by Sean Hackworth of Caldwell, Idaho, was a winner in the Thunder Dogs for the third consecutive race.
In the wild competitions that made up Eve of Destruction:
The Other Woman with Kennon Irons of Boise behind the wheel won a fan vote to claim the title after the World Famous Boat Race of Destruction.
In another fan poll, Art Heat of Nampa was named the Master of Disaster for inflicting the most damage during the World Famous Boat Race of Destruction.
A gaggle of 11 Tates Hornets needed five of the eight allotted laps to stop The Gauntlet, a van called Melon Cauley driven by track promoter Adam Nelson and staffed by a group of passengers trying to distract the Hornet drivers with a hail of watermelon and flour. Heath led the charge in trying to knock the van off-course, and the Hornets eventually got Nelson and his cohorts turned around and pinned against the frontstretch wall just out of Turn 4.
Cody Huddleston of Meridian beat Heath in Jet Ski Jousting in which both drivers dragged a personal watercraft around the track for one lap before trying to disengage his opponent’s jet ski.
J.D. “Stacy” Borgman of Boise drove a 1969 Chevrolet Nova to the Spectator Drags title, beating Kuna, Idaho’s Kane Thomasson, who raced a Chevrolet Luv pickup.
Giesler had the early lead in the 40-lap sprintcar race, but he technically didn’t lead wire-to-wire.
With eight laps left, Murgoitio rocketed past Giesler coming out of Turn 2. But by Turn 4, Giesler got the lead back and kept Murgoitio at bay.
Both drivers got loose coming out of Turn 2 with two laps left, but the two friends were able to straighten out their racecars without incident.
“This is our first race in this car,” Giesler said. “I’d like to thank Spiers Construction, Sierra and Mike Jackson, Kelly Newman and all the guys that helped us get this thing going.”
In the 25-lap B Modifieds main event, Jackson showed he has figured out the secret to the division.
The night’s fast qualifier worked his way from the back of the field in four laps, finding himself in fourth when Caldwell’s Rosalee Weller triggered a yellow flag with a spinout.
With 20 laps left, Jackson challenged Pete Trammell of Boise for the lead.
Eventually Jackson was out front, with Caitlin Stroebel of Meridian giving chase.
Stroebel ended the race as runner-up for the best finish of her rookie season in Modifieds.
Chuck Youngblood joked that he wasn’t too happy about the fact that race officials extended the Tates Hornets main event with six laps remaining.
But the additional 10 laps gave the Meridian driver time enough to find the checkered flag.
On the third restart of what became a 35-lap race, Youngblood ran side-by-side with Al Russell of Kuna for one lap before grabbing the lead with a pass coming out Turn 4.
Youngblood won for the second time this season.
Russell finished second, while Monica Heath of Caldwell celebrated her birthday with a third-place finish. Heath won a heat race earlier in the night, beating her dad, Art Heath of Nampa.
Another Nampa driver, Lynn Sharp, broke the week-old track record for the Hornets, running a 16.586-second qualifying lap. He shattered the 16.912 achieved by Meridian’s Rob Powers on July 28.
Because he was the top qualifier, Sharp started at the back of the 22-car field for the main event. He wound up third after picking his way through the field.
The speedway returns to a full card of racing Saturday night in a serious way. Six different race classes will hit the track, including the top driver in the ASA Member Track National Championship standings – Meridian’s Shelby Stroebel – trying to keep his winning streak alive in the ASA Modifieds. Stroebel has won 13 consecutive races dating to last August, including all 11 starts this season.
The ASA Modifieds will run a 50-lap main event.
Also on tap is the third stop of the season by the SPI Transportation Super Sixes open-wheel tour, the NAPA Late Models, the Pit Stop Drive Thru Super Stocks, the Project Filter Pro-4s and the Jr. Stingers.
Admission is $10 for adults, $7.50 for senior citizens and military with ID and $6 for children ages 7-11. Children ages 6 and younger always get in free.
There also is a special admission deal for anyone who comes to the track with a $2 bill.
Tickets are available online at www.meridianspeedway.com. More information about the track and its schedule is available at the website or by calling (208) 888-2813 .
Eve of Destruction IV
Presented by Canyon Honda
Saturday’s unofficial results
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints (40 laps) – 1. Johnny Giesler, Meridian, Idaho; 2. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian; 3. Sierra Jackson, Middleton, Idaho; 4. Cody Veenstra, Meridian; 5. Bryan Warf, Meridian
Tates Hornets (35 laps) – 1. Chuck Youngblood, Meridian; 2. Al Russell, Kuna, Idaho; 3. Lynn Sharp, Nampa, Idaho; 4. Monica Heath, Caldwell, Idaho; 5. Steve Woods
B Modifieds (25) – 1. Josh Jackson, Payette, Idaho; 2. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian; 3. Randy Keckley, Boise; 4. Pete Trammell, Boise; 5. Jay Cook, Nampa
Thunder Dogs Mini Main winner (15 laps) – Bootlegger (Sean Hackworth, Caldwell)
Spectactor Drags final – J.D. “Stacy” Borgman, Boise, Chevrolet Nova, def. Kane Thomasson, Kuna, Chevrolet Luv
World Famous Boat Race of Destruction winner – The Other Woman (Kennon Irons, Boise)
World Famous Boat Race of Destruction Master of Disaster – Art Heath
Tow Mater Reverse Race (for Hornets) – 1. Thomas Harrod, Nampa; 2. Jack Martin, Caldwell; 3. Youngblood; 4. Sharlet Pataro, Mountain Home, Idaho; 5. Allen Arnold, Star, Idaho
Jet Ski Jousting winner – Cody Huddleston, Meridian
Gauntlet result – Hornets pin Melon Cauley after five laps
(Four laps each)
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints – 1. Warf; 2. Sara Henry, Nampa; 3. Jackson; 4. Murgoitio
B Modifieds – 1. Keckley; 2. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell; 3. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian; 4. Josh Jackson, Payette
Tates Hornets – 1. Sharp; 2. Harrod; 3. Cade Hollon, Riggins, Idaho; 4. Cody Garrett, Boise
(Eight laps each)
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints
A Heat – 1. Veenstra; 2. Henry; 3. Warf; 4. Murgoitio; 5. Jackson
B Heat – 1. Giesler; 2. Matt Elliott, Caldwell; 3. Mark Floyd, Boise; 4. Allan Maclean, Weiser, Idaho
A Heat – 1. Jackson; 2. Cook; 3. Stroebel; 4. Trammell; 5. Keckley
(Six laps each)
A Heat – 1. Sharp; 2. Kevin Johnson, Kuna; 3. Colton Nelson, Meridian; 4. Hollon; 5. Harrod
B Heat – 1. Russell; 2. Youngblood; 3. Jess Ryska, Meridian; 4. Brandon Hild, Boise; 5. Woods
C Heat – 1. Monica Heath; 2. Art Heath, Nampa; 3. Stacy Heath, Nampa; 4. Fred Nagele, Boise; 5. Allen Arnold, Star, Idaho
D Heat – 1. Mike Davis, Boise; 2. Lisa Bahr, Nampa; 3. Alex Duda, Boise; 4. James Pahl, Caldwell; 5. Allen Arnold, Star
A Heat winner – Catfish (John Pinkston, Meridian)
B Heat winner – Bootlegger (Sean Hackworth, Caldwell)
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints – Murgoitio, 11.613 seconds
B Modifieds – Jackson, 14.338
Tates Hornets –Sharp, 16.586 (track record. Previous – Rob Powers, Meridian, 16.912, July 28, 2012)