Nelson Powers Past PitStopUSA.com Modified Field for Shootout Win
Meridian Speedway capped a Memorial Day weekend double-header Monday, May 28, as the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodels contested the Bill Crow Memorial 50. The Teleperformance Claimer Stocks and Project Filter Pro-4s ran their own memorial races in memory of LeeRoy Nelson and Sean Miller respectively. The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds joined forces with the Rebel Modifieds of Idaho to run the second PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modified Shootout event of the season, while the High School Tuners and Junior Stingers battled for crucial early season points.
Hannah Scott and Logan Castricone led the Junior Stinger field to green on their fifteen lap feature. Castricone was quick in the outside line and drove his Linder Learning Academy, Fast Glass to the lead on lap one. But the man on the move early was Logan’s older brother Cody, who sliced from his back of the pack starting spot to fourth in two laps.
Lapped traffic slowed the younger Castricone in the early going, which allowed Nampa, Idaho’s Jessika Harris and Meridian, Idaho’s Rusty Houpt to take over the top two spots. Houpt wasn’t content with second, and he immediately stuck his Boise Spring Works, Catapult 3 racer in the inside line and went to work on Harris. Harris wheeled her Kim’s Cars, Challenger Auto machine hard to keep pace with Houpt, and at the race’s halfway point the lady racer lost control and spun.
This left Houpt with a mirror full of Cody Castricone on the restart. Castricone slung his racer high and low through the corners in his bid for the top spot. But Houpt countered every advance and sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe for the night’s first main event trophy.
The High School Tuners had a ten lap sprint to determine a Memorial Day Weekend winner. On the break Caldwell, Idaho’s James Strikwerda overpowered Jett Nelson’s YMC Mechanical machine to take the early lead. This left Nelson in the clutches of Nampa, Idaho racer James Gates.
Nelson drove hard to keep Gates at bay, but while the battle for second on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard raged Strickwerda set sail from the field. Strickwerda wouldn’t waver in the race’s closing laps en route to his second feature victory of the season.
A full field of PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds and Rebel Modifieds of Idaho crowded the quarter-mile Monday for their second PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modified Shootout of the season. The green flag waved and the field roared two-by-two through the first three circuits. Jerry Green made the top groove the place to be as his Josey’s Labs Dog Wash and Boarding Facility entry found grip and sped to the lead with Tony Ackerland in tow. An early caution set the leaders side-by-side, and when the green flag waved contact was made and Green pounded the front stretch wall.
With Green’s machine destroyed and Ackerland relegated to the back of the pack, Josh Jackson and Casey Tillman lined up on the front row for the restart. Jackson got to the gas pedal first and shot to the lead in his Jackson Built Racing, Sticker Shack entry. Behind Jackson, quick-qualifier Colton Nelson carved a path through traffic to plant his Integrity Pools of Idaho, YMC Heating and Air Conditioning modified in the top three on lap seven. Three laps later a yellow flag slowed the field and allowed the defending division champion to restart alongside Jackson.
The green flag waved and Nelson blistered the inside line on his way to a three second lead. Behind Nelson, young Dalton Cristiani piloted his Rebel Modified of Idaho onto the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. With fellow Rebel Modified racers Donovan Parker and Mike Davis mired in heavy mid-pack traffic, Cristiani soon held a sizeable advantage over his nearest competitor and fourth overall.
Cristiani’s machine faded over the final laps, but the Meridian, Idaho racer held on to claim the Rebel Modifieds of Idaho’s debut event. But it all happened behind Nelson, who dashed out to a half track lead and never looked back on his way to the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s circle.
With the Memorial Day weekend in the books Meridian Speedway sets its sights on Saturday, June 2, and EMS, Police, Fire, and Correctional Officer’s night presented by Aaron’s Sales and Lease. The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds get two shots to take home a Maxwell Plumbing trophy, while the Pepsi Crate Cars and ISRL Super Sixes, Teleperformance Claimer Stocks, Bid Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets, and Bombers compete for hardware of their own. Plus, don’t miss the next installment of Meridian Speedway’s Spectacular Drags. General admission is free for EMS, Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers Saturday, while adults get in for $11.50, seniors $9, and kids 7-11 $6.50. Log on to meridianspeedway.com for more highlights from Monday’s action, and don’t miss out on your exclusive info and offers by texting ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483. We’ll have a seat waiting for you this Saturday, June 2, for EMS, Police, Fire, and Correctional Officer’s Night presented by Aaron’s Sales and Lease at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.