Rough and Tumble Racing Concludes TEAM Mazda Free Car Night
A raucous crowd packed the Meridian Speedway grandstands as the quarter-mile asphalt oval hosted Boise State Alumni and TEAM Mazda Free Car night. The Pro Truck Series, PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds, Rebel Modifieds of Idaho, Pepsi Crate Cars and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Super Sixes, Project Filter Pro-4s, TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks, and High School Tuners fill a non-stop program with thrills in pursuit of the Champion Onion hardware.
James Strickwerda and Jett Nelson led the High School Tuner field to their fifteen lap feature. Strickwerda got to the gas pedal first to take the lap one lead, but on the move early was Oasis, Idaho’s DJ Sirani. From his back of the pack starting spot Sirani knifed his way forward, and on lap three slung his Husky Auto Electric racer low to claim the top spot.
Behind the lead duo Riley Rogers found the handle on his H&H Accounting machine and surged forward. At the race’s halfway point the new group qualifying record holder blew past Strickwerda for the second spot and set his sights on Sirani. With just two laps left on Pepsi-Cola scoreboard Rogers took command and sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
The Team Mazda Mini Stocks brought eleven competitors to their thirty lap main event. Boise, Idaho’s Nate Little charged around the outside of Andrew Harbeston’s Complete Sprinkler Service, Meridian Fence machine to lead the field through turns one and two, but second row starter Luke Wolverton threw caution to the wind and sped around Little to lead lap one at the stripe. But Wolverton was in fast company as championship contenders Fred Vigil and Jayson Wardle took up residence on his Julie Hart with Premier Mortgage, Ryan’s Repair and Diagnostics machine’s rear bumper.
As Wardle and Vigil looked for a way to the lead, contact between Terrell Daffron and quick-qualifier Ian Michael brought out a lap ten caution flag in turn one. Under caution Michael slammed into Daffron in front of the Big Smoke Tobacco Connection North End Animals to display his displeasure. Daffron responded, and after a brake check of his own shifted to reverse and backed hard into Michael’s SSLP Racing, HYLA North America racer. For their actions Daffron was disqualified and Michael received a position penalty.
Racing resumed with Wardle and Wolverton on the front row. Wardle was quick out of the blocks and piloted his Catapult 3 racer to the top spot. Vigil followed Wardle, and as soon as the pair hit open track the Nampa, Idaho driver closed on Wardle. Wardle held Vigil at bay through the race’s closing stages and looked to cruise to victory before a mechanical issue sent Michael hard in the turn one wall. The ensuing caution brought Vigil abreast with Wardle for the green-white-checkered restart, but Wardle was too strong and he claimed the Champion Onion trophy.
But Wardle’s duties weren’t done as he was tapped to draw the winning ticket for TEAM Mazda Subaru’s free car giveaway. As a result one lucky Meridian Speedway fan cruised home in her new 2010 Ford Fusion.
Saturday night’s action wrapped up with a thirty lap Pepsi Crate Car and ISRL Super Six grudge match. On the break Frank Keller piloted his Bender Electric, Paramount Pipe and Supply racer to the front while the field jockeyed for position. As sprinters darted high and low in search of space contact in the front of the pack caused a chain reaction that pitched second place points runner Nate Little over the top of Colton Nelson. When the smoke cleared Little climbed from his battered Biz Print, Fishers Technology to survey the damage before he was towed to the pit area for the evening.
After the early scramble ISRL Super Six driver Drew Crenshaw found himself out front with Kate Jackson and championship leader Rob Grice on his tail tank. Jackson fought off Grice’s advances through the race’s middle stages, which allowed Crenshaw to build a healthy lead. But with a dozen laps left Grice motored to second and set his sights on Crenshaw. Grice got close, but ran out of laps to catch Crenshaw, who scored the first win for an ISRL Super Six this year.
Meridian Speedway gets back to its roots this Sunday, September 2, as the Idaho Speedway and Outlaw Karts contest Al Russel’s The Dirty Cup. Don’t miss your chance to catch the fastest racers on dirt lap the twelfth-mile dirt oval in pursuit of The Dirt Track at Meridian Speedway’s most prestigious event. General admission to a full evening of hard-charging, mud-slinging action is just $6. Gates open at 2:30 p.m. with qualifying at 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m. Stay tuned to www.meridianspeedway.com for all the latest news and notes from around the quarter-mile, and join our text club by sending ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive updates. We’ll see you this Sunday, September 2, under the big yellow water tower for Al Russel’s The Dirty Cup only at The Dirt Track at Meridian Speedway.