Monsters Rock Meridian Speedway with Weekend Double-Header
Thunder rumbled Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6, as the Malicious Monster Truck Tour invaded Meridian Speedway. Along with the high-flying, car crushing monster trucks, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, TATES Rents Hornets and Six Shooters battled for victory on the asphalt quarter-mile.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Modifieds rolled to green for the first of their two 35 lap main events as the clouds cleared Friday. Meridian, Idaho’s Joe Thuss took the inside line to the lead in his Avis Rent-A-Car Downtown, Aloha Auto Repair entry while Jerry Green and CJ Stirm battled for second. Green got the best of that fight and by lap three the Kuna, Idaho racer was outside of Thuss for the lead. Green took that spot on lap five, but was anything but safe as Nampa, Idaho’s Beau Gillogly piloted his Razor’s Edge Window Cleaning, GRC Custom Fabrication modified to the top spot two lap later.
Next to mount a challenge for the lead was Hunter Gates, who worked the low line in his YMC, Blue Line Graphics modified. Further back in the pack action was intense as a battle for third bottled up the field on lap ten. Josh Jackson and Colton Nelson were first to break through the log jam as the two quick-qualifiers worked to track down the leaders.
With a dozen circuits left Gates turned the pressure up on Gillogly, and after two laps of hard fighting the pair made contact in turn four. Both drivers kept their cars under control, but the contact wounded Gates’ machine and allowed Gillogly to open a sizeable gap.
With five laps left Jackson and Nelson caught Gates. First around was Jackson in his Motor Mayhem Chassis Dyno Tuning, Cyclone Cycles entry with four to go, then Nelson’s Integrity Pools, YMC machine with three. With two laps on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard Gillogly was slowed by lapped traffic, which allowed both Jackson and Nelson to first catch him at the white flag, then flank him coming out of turn number four with the checkered flag in the air. But Gillogly put his foot down hard and blasted across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
Thirteen fast NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds rumbled to the green flag of their second 35 lap main event. Pole sitter Rodney Houpt was quick out of the gate to claim the top spot in his Boise Spring Works, Royal Purple Oil machine while a midfield scrum sent Caitlin Stroebel, Colton Nelson, and others scrambling to avoid contact. The field sorted itself without major incident as Larry Hull III pulled to Houpt’s rear bumper in a bid for the lead.
Hull III pedaled his Shake N’ Bake Racing, Diversified Carpet Cleaning modified hard to gain on Houpt and on lap ten Hull III roared by to take the lead. While Hull III worked to open some distance on the field, Nelson tore through the pack and put his Integrity Pools, Carbon Designs and Vinyl machine second with seventeen laps left. A caution two laps later brought Nelson even with Hull III for a fifteen lap shootout.
With the green flag in the air Hull III shot back to the lead. Nelson worked to track Hull III back down, and with ten laps left Nelson arrived at the leader’s rear bumper. Nelson settled on the low line and with four to go Nelson drew even with Hull III. Paint was traded, both racers slid sideways, but through it all Hull III held onto his machine and raced his way to the win.
A flock of fourteen TATES Rents Hornets sprinted through a twenty lap main event Saturday night. Joe Pettit ran to the early lead in his Drop Tine Oil Fields Service, Les Schwab of Caldwell racer as the pack beat and banged for position. First out of the crowd was Brandon Kelley, who tangled with Pettit in turn one to hand the lead to Josh Randolph on lap three. On lap seven a new challenger emerged as Boise, Idaho’s Josh Parkkila blasted past third place Neil Wassmuth’s Neil Alan Fine Jewelry, Del Taco entry to take the runner up spot.
A midrace caution brought Parkkila to Randolph’s inside, and on the restart Parkkila dashed to the top spot. A late race caution gave the field one last shot at Parkkila, and with seven laps left Pat Hellickson in his Hungry Onion machine made his way to the outside of Parkkila and after some contact took the lead.
Hellickson looked to sail to victory, but a spinning lapped car slowed the leader and allowed Randolph to race past in his Hungry Onion sponsored car. But Hellickson wasn’t done, and he used the final three laps to track Randolph down and pull nearly even at the checkered flag. Thought the margin was razor thin, Randolph was scored the winner.
The TATES Rents Hornets and Six Shooters capped Saturday’s racing action with a fifteen lap dash through the dirt at Meridian Speedway’s first Hornet Jamboree. Jamo Stephenson was fast through the infield grass as he held off a hard charge from Casey Tillman to claim the victory.
Meridian Speedway returns to its dirt track roots this Saturday for Aaron’s Sales and Lease Night at the quarter-mile. While the College of Western Idaho Super Stocks, Teleperformance Claimer Stocks, and Junior Stingers battle the asphalt quarter-mile, the Outlaw Karts will compete on the infield Dirt Track at Meridian Speedway in their 2017 debut. General admission for Saturday night’s full slate of racing is just $11 for adults, $8.50 for senior citizens and military members, and $6.50 for kids 7-11. Official results and the latest news and notes from around the quarter-mile are posted at meridianspeedway.com and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for exclusive updates. We’ll see you this Saturday, May 13, for Aaron’s Sales and Lease Night under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.