Support Series Shine on BOB FM Diamond Cup Weekend
Over twenty of the fastest short-track racers in the Northwest converged on Meridian Speedway Friday, June 8, for the first night of the BOB FM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds. Supporting Friday night’s action the Domino’s Legends and Project Filter Pro-4s sped through a pair of intense features. Saturday night the High School Tuners, Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets, and TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks capped BOB FM Diamond Cup with a trio of dramatic dashes.
The Domino’s Legends brought eight racers to bear on a 25 lap Friday night feature. On the break, Boise, Idaho’s Brok Kidd bolted to the lead while Donovan Barr worked over Gary Luck to put his Life Advantage, Lawrence Race Engines mount for the second spot. But Ethan Jones was on the move, and the quick-qualifier made his way through the field to the lead on lap five.
An early caution bunched the field and brought Evan Brown’s Pro Power Clean, Wildside Wraps racer even with Jones, but when the green flag fell Jones blasted back to the lead. At the race’s halfway point Camron Madsen’s Blue Line Graphics machine came alive, and the Boise, Idaho racer sped through the pack and into third spot. But Madsen had company in the form of Caity Miller. Miller worked Madsen high and low in her bid for a podium position, but Madsen held onto the spot behind Brown and feature winner Jones.
Eleven Project Filter Pro-4s sped to green for a 25 lap feature. The green flag dropped and Sean Young took his Challenger Auto, Ken Chandler Racing machine to the top spot. Early movers Alex Duda and Jordan Harris quickly shed the pack and motored around Young on the outside as they lay claim to first and second on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Harris wasn’t content to ride in the runner up spot, and on lap six the Nampa, Idaho driver hung the inside line and put his Kim’s Kars, Fairly Reliable Bob’s machine up front.
But Harris had fast company in the form of Ken Chandler Racing teammates Ryan Bailey and Kenny Chandler. Bailey looked low on Harris, and by the race’s halfway point Bailey and Harris had traded paint for the top spot.
The physical fight for first soon invited fourth place runner Brendon Fries into the fray. The Meridian, Idaho driver stuck his Chick-Fil-A of Meridian, Frogman Trucking racer in the outside line and tore his way to third. Lapped traffic allowed Fries to take second place with six circuits remaining, and with four laps left Fries motored to the point.
But Chandler was on the move, and the veteran campaigner wheeled his Project Filter, Les Schwab Tire Centers machine hard to catch Fries. With the white flag in the air the lead duo sped into lapped traffic and Fries held on to take his first victory of the season.
With a light sheen of Saturday night’s rain on the racetrack, the High School Tuners rolled to green on their fourteen lap feature. Fast heat race winner James Gates raced around the outside to put his YMC Mechanical, PBT Auto Sales machine out front first. But Oasis, Idaho’s DJ Sirani got a handle on the slippery conditions and piloted his Husky Auto Electric racer to the lead on lap five.
But Gates wouldn’t settle for second, and the Nampa, Idaho racer found a fast line and kept pace with the leader. Sirani put the pedal down as Gates applied pressure, but a mechanical failure sent the young racer hard into the turn three concrete. Sirani climbed from his machine okay, but was forced to retire from the event.
This left the lead to Gates with Arin Flagstade second and James Strickwerda third. Strickwerda made it around Flagstade and set his sights on Gates. But Strickwerda ran out of laps and Gates streaked across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
The Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets brought thirteen machines to bear on a flip-flop themed twenty lap feature. On the break Jordan Yano jumped to the top spot, but Chuck Youngblood was fast, and he raced past Yano and into the lead on lap six. While the leaders dueled for the top spot, Caldwell, Idaho’s James Pahl pulled into the lead mix. The three-way fight for the front ended at the race’s halfway point when a yellow flag flew. Per Saturday’s flip-flop rules Pahl and Youngblood were relegated to the back of the pack while Joe Pettit was moved into the lead in his Discount Tire, Quality Alignment and Mechanical racer.
The green flag waved and Pettit stormed away from the field. It looked as though the Caldwell, Idaho driver would speed to the victory, but with five laps left his engine expired on the back stretch. The ensuing flip-flop put Youngblood back in the lead with Jett Nelson second and Tommy Harrod third.
Nelson worked Youngblood over on the restart, and contact sent both sliding into turn three. Youngblood somehow recovered to stay in the lead while chaos ensued behind him. With the pack scrambled Youngblood dashed to his first victory of the season.
A full field of TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks crowded the quarter-mile Saturday for a 25 lap main event. The green flag waved and James Pahl dashed to the lead with Melba, Idaho’s Billy Shipp and Meridian, Idaho racer Terrell Daffron in his tire tracks. Daffron wasted no time and worked his 208Tire.com, Weiser Elks machine into the lead on lap three.
Next to work his way forward was quick-qualifier Fred Vigil. Vigil piloted his Larry H Miller Collision Center, Ben’s Auto Glass racer into the top three on lap ten, then blew past Shipp to take the runner up spot on lap eleven. Next on Vigil’s radar was Daffron’s two second advantage.
Vigil chopped into Daffron’s lead until a lapped car sent him sliding up the race track in turn one. Jason Sanders seized this opportunity and moved his Divel Services, Excel Concrete Construction machine into second. Sanders laid down fast lap after fast lap to pull within three car lengths of Daffron on the white flag lap, but it was too little too late and Daffron claimed the main event checkers.
With another exciting installment of the BOB FM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds in the books, Meridian Speedway turns its attention to Saturday, June 16 and the Teleperformance Twin 25s. The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds get two cracks at the quarter-mile asphalt oval Saturday, with the Coors Super Stocks, Project Filter Pro-4s, Domino’s Legends, Teleperformance Claimer Stocks, and Junior Stingers rounding out a full night of racing thrills. General admission to the Teleperformance Twin 25s is just $11.50 for adults twelve and older, $9 for seniors and military members, and $6.50 for kids 7-11. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. with the first green flag at 6:45 p.m. We’ll save a seat for you this Saturday, June 16, for the Teleperformance Twin 25s at your NASCAR Home Track under the big yellow water tower, Meridian Speedway.