Oregon Racer Claims Tom Elliott Sportsman Classic
Championship season rolled into its penultimate week Saturday, October 7, as Meridian Speedway hosted the Tom Elliott Sportsman Classic presented by The Flores Group Keller Williams and Jeremy Lucas of Willamette Valley Bank. The NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series, Mountain Dew Interstate Winged Sprintcars, and Project Filter Pro-4s crowned their champions Saturday, while the TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks and TATES Rents Hornets fought to position themselves for the 2017 season finale.
Thirteen TATES Rents Hornets packed the quarter-mile for their twenty lap feature. Travis Pavlacky got to the gas pedal first and led lap one over Meridian, Idaho driver Michael Capps. Capps worked his Boise Bath and Kitchen Company, Subline Electric racer on the low side of the racetrack to take the top spot on lap two before he went for a wild spin in turn three. On the restart Chuck Youngblood bashed his way from his second row starting spot into the lead.
But Youngblood wasn’t safe up front as Tommy Harrod and Jamo Stephenson pulled into the lead fight. Harrod was first to make a move and he slashed to the lead in his PBT Auto Sales entry on lap six. Harrod set sail out front until a caution with eight laps left bunched the field for a three-wide restart.
The green flag flew and Harrod raced back to the top spot. This left Stephenson to fend off Brandon Kelley and Youngblood while Caldwell, Idaho’s Harrod steamed to the victory.
The TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks zipped through their 25 lap feature. On the green Katie Lober held off Fred Vigil to lead lap one, but Vigil used the high groove to slingshot to the top spot one lap later. Vigil drove his Larry H. Miller Collision Center, Ben’s Auto Glass machine to a one-second lead over the race’s first six laps as championship contender Ray Bolinger sliced his way trough the field. By lap ten Bolinger held third, and two laps later the Kuna, Idaho driver sat second in his Mulder’s Auto Machine, 208 Picker racer.
Vigil ran into lapped traffic with ten circuits left, which allowed Bolinger to erase Vigil’s advantage. Three laps later the lead duo found clean racetrack and the battle for the top spot began. Bolinger searched the low line, but Vigil moved down to take it away. Next Bolinger peeked high, but again Vigil held him off. Despite Bolinger’s best efforts, Vigil held on to take the checkered flag.
The Project Filter Pro-4s rolled into the Concrete Jungle for their final feature of 2017. On the break Nampa, Idaho’s Sean Young overpowered Alex Duda to put his Kim’s Cars, Challenger Auto Transport entry in the lap one lead. But with a three-wide pass Jordan Harris shot out of the pack into the lead on lap two. With clear racetrack in front of his KCR, Fairly Reliable Bob’s racer, Harris soon held a one and a half second lead over Jonathan Hull, Brendon Fries, and Kenny Chandler.
But Harris’ lead didn’t last long, as by lap ten Hull had closed on the leader’s rear bumper. But Harris hung tough in the top spot as he eyed a group of lapped traffic. Harris navigated the lappers beautifully, but a yellow flag at the race’s halfway point bunched the field and brought Hull to Harris’ inside.
On the restart Boise, Idaho’s Hull edged his Shake N’ Bake Racing, Diversified Carpet Cleaning machine ahead of Harris, who fell into the clutches of Fries and Chandler. Fries worked the inside of Harris while Chandler looked for a way around the runner up battle. Back and forth Fries and Harris traded second place on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard until a slide with three laps left dropped Harris back to fourth.
This left Fries and Chandler to settle the second spot. Chandler worked hard to find a way around Fries, but traffic stalled the veteran campaigner’s advance and he settled for the third spot. But it all happened behind Hull, who sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe.
After a dominant 2017 season Kenny Chandler claimed the Project Filter Pro-4 championship.
For the eighth time the Tom Elliott Sportsmanship Award was presented prior to the Tom Elliott Sportsman Classic. For his tireless dedication to helping his fellow racers, Tom Elliott’s son Matt Elliott was awarded the honors. Earlier in the evening Elliott set quick-time in his Westside Body Works, Boise Peterbuilt entry.
Eleven fast Mountain Dew Interstate Winged Sprintcars rumbled into the ninth running of the Tom Elliott Sportsman Classic. On the green Adrian, Oregon’s Aiden Spiers shot past Aaron McPeak to lead the first of 35 circuits in his Bardahl, Spiers Construction entry. On the move early was Aiden’s brother Tristan Spiers, who worked his way through the field to claim fifth by lap five.
Tristan Spiers used an early restart to work his YMC, Stock Construction sprinter into fourth before he raced to third place Kyle Bergner’s tail tank. Spiers searched high and low for a way around Bergner’s West Tech Electric machine, but the Salt Lake City, Utah racer refused to yield until a caution flag with nineteen lap left brought Spiers to his outside.
The green flag flew and Spiers shot past Bergner for third and applied heavy pressure to second-place runner Justin Segura. Segura wheeled his TEAM Mazda Subaru, MacTools machine hard to stay ahead of Spiers, but the strain was too much and with a puff of smoke Segura’s sprinter lost power.
This left Tristan Spiers alone as he stalked his brother Aiden. With ten laps left Tristan moved his machine to the high line and blasted to the lead. This proved the winning pass and Tristan Spiers cruised into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
Though absent from the division’s final race, Bryan Warf claimed the Mountain Dew Interstate Winged Sprintcar championship.
The NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series settled their season with a 75 lap main event. Meridian, Idaho driver Dave Thomasson shot to the lap one lead while Justin Ellis and Daytona Wurtz battled for second. Star, Idaho’s Wurtz got the best of that battle, and on lap two she piloted her VooDoo Racing, All Makes Auto Salvage machine to the lead. Morgan Rasmussen followed Wrutz to the front, and the battle for the lead began.
Rasmussen worked the low side of the track in his Second Sun Solar, The Car Store racer, but Wurtz proved too strong on the high side. Lap after lap Rasmussen worked to wedge his machine beneath Wurtz, and lap after lap Wurtz held off the Twin Falls, Idaho racer. After a lap twelve caution Rasmussen changed tack and tried the outside, but only a dense pack of lapped traffic would allow Rasmussen to cut back inside and take the top spot with 56 laps to go. Once out front Rasmussen raced to an over two second lead.
Behind Rasmussen, Chris Fenton worked his Big O Tires of Nampa, Precision Framing machine through the field and onto the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. By the race’s halfway point Fenton held the runner up spot and had Rasmussen in his sights. With thirty laps left Fenton caught Rasmussen, but before a lead battle could break out Rasmussen’s front suspension failed and he spun into the turn one wall. The ensuing caution flag bunched the field and brought Tyler Monroe and Wurtz to Fenton’s rear bumper.
The green flag waved and Wurtz dashed to the runner up spot with Dylan Caldwell in tow. Caldwell worked Wurtz on the low side, but Wurtz had her car hooked up in the high groove and she hung tough until lap 57, when Caldwell took over second and set to work on Fenton’s three second lead. Though Caldwell wheeled his Pro Power Clean, Hot Box Farms entry hard as the laps wound down, the Nampa, Idaho racer couldn’t catch Fenton, who sped into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.
With his third main event victory of 2017 Fenton claimed the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series championship.
In three weeks Meridian Speedway wraps up its 2017 season with the Trunk or Treat Halloween Championship on Saturday, October 28. The TATES Rents Hornets, Pepsi Crate Cars and ISRL Super Sixes, TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks, and Teleperformance Claimer Stocks join in their final battle before the quarter-mile oval falls dormant for winter. General admission to the final short track showdown of 2017 is just $11 for adults, $8.50 for seniors and military members, and $6.50 for kids 7-11. Trunk or treating begins at 10:00 am with racing set to start at 3:30 p.m. We’ll see you Saturday, October 28, for the Trunk or Treat Halloween Championship under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.