SURPRISES RULE WILD SATURDAY NIGHT AT MERIDIAN SPEEDWAY
by Tyler Schild, MERIDIAN, Idaho—Action at Meridian Speedway came early and often Saturday as six competitive classes took their talents to the quarter-mile. Practice dust ups, first time winners and hard racing for the lead combined for a night of racing that can only be described as wild.
The Team Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks brought a huge, 22 car contingent to the season opener. The main event saw Robbie Hyde jump from the pole to an early lead before the field was slowed by Mike Davis’ expiring engine. Using cone strategy Jason Sanders translated this early caution into a sixth place restart. In just ten laps Sanders would join Hyde, Quentin Ward and Jayson Wardle, who’d effected repairs after a practice crash, in a four-way battle for the lead. With just 5 laps to go Drew Crenshaw edged his racer ahead of Sanders and set his sights on leader Wardle. The three drivers would come together in turn one and spin. When the smoke cleared Mary Johnson inherited the lead and held off a charge from Ward for the win.
“Can you believe it,” yelled an exuberant Johnson. “I won that.”
Super Six action saw fast qualifier Casey Tillman carve his way through the field early. But his run at Ben Hinkle lost steam as Tillman was forced to manage a problem in the right front corner of his racer. With no pressure from second place Hinkle rode his early lead to a victory.
The Budweiser Modifieds and Coors Super Stocks ran a combined main event, which was dominated early by Walt Calkins. Randy Keckley would work steadily toward the lead and finally take it at the race’s halfway point. But with five laps to go Keckley would face a challenge from the lone Super Stock left on the track Lynn Sharp. Sharp pulled alongside Keckley and was on his way to an inside pass when lapped traffic thwarted his run. Keckley would hang on to win with Sharp second and Calkins third.
Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcars took to the track next for a shakedown sprint before the Naylor Memorial and BobFM Diamond Cup races later this month. The surprise here was that the race went mostly according to script. Bryan Warf made quick work of the field, assuming the top spot after just six laps. From there he set sail to a full lap win over Colton Nelson and heat race winner Justin Segura.
“The car was really good,” said Warf. “We really want another Diamond [Cup victory]. That’s important to us.
Finally it was the Tates Rents Hornets’ turn to test the track. Once the green flag dropped Lynn Sharp and Thomas Harrod set to work knifing their way through the field trying to catch early leader Rob Powers. With 21 caution free laps in the books the yellow flag flew for a stalled car. On the restart Powers lost the handle on his car and slid deep in the field. Once the action settled it was Harrod who found himself first at the line, followed by Powers and Al Russell.
“I just pulled it off the trailer today,” said Harrod. “It’s just a good car.”
Next weekend’s racing promises more of the same thrills with the Project Filter All-Star Challenge. Pro-4’s, Pepsi Sprintcars, Modifieds and Budweiser Modifieds, Street Stocks, High School Tuners and Go-Karts will all invade the speedway. Tickets for next Saturday’s action are $10.25. As always gates open at 4 p.m. and races go green at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday’s unofficial results
Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcars (30 laps)—1. Bryan Warf, 2. Colton Nelson, 3. Justin Segura, 4. Richard Miranda, 5. Dave Parrie
Budweiser Modifieds (30 laps)—1. Randy Keckley, 2. Walt Calkins, 3. Sharlet Wilson, 4. Rick Baldwin, 5. Chase Hanish
Coors Super Stocks (30 laps)—1. Lynn Sharp, 2. Rob Powers, 3. Jess Ryska
Super Sixes (30 laps)—1. Ben Hinkle, 2. Casey Tillman, 3. Dean Waltman, 4. Jasen Skyberg, 5. Pat Young
Team Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks (35 laps)—1. Mary Johnson, 2. Quentin Ward, 3. Blake Coria, 4. Brandon Shira, 5. Drew Crenshaw
Tates Rents Hornets (35 laps)—1. Thomas Harrod, 2. Rob Powers, 3. Al Russell, 4. Lynn Sharp, 5. Rick Howe
(8 laps each)
Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcars
A Heat—1. Justin Segura, 2. Bryan Warf, 3. Dave Parrie, 4. Richard Miranda, 5. Colton Nelson
Budweiser Modifieds and Coors Super Stocks
A Heat—1. Randy Keckley, 2. Walt Calkins, 3. Rob Powers, 4. Sharlet Wilson, 5. Rick Baldwin
B Heat—1. Jess Ryska, 2. Lynn Sharp, 3. Chase Hanish, 4. Rick Moran, 5. Jordan Kirkland
A Heat—1. Ben Hinkle, 2. Jasen Skyberg, 3. Dean Waltman, 4. Casey Tillman, 5. Michael Anderson
B Heat—1. Morgan Rasmussen, 2. Stacey Jensen, 3. Pat Young, 4. Paxton Kautman, 5. Dave Skyberg
Team Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks
A Heat—1. Drew Crenshaw, 2. Blake Coria, 3. Brandon Shira, 4. Rick Brees, 5. Jason Sanders
B Heat—1. Mary Johnson, 2. Chad Barker, 3. Pat McGuire, 4. Kerri Ballard, 5. Amber Rogers
C Heat—1. Robby Hyde, 2. Donovan Parker, 3. Jayson Wardle, 4. Duane Gerber, 5. Brandon Hild
Tates Rents Hornets
A Heat—1. Rick Howe, 2. Lynn Sharp, 3. Rob Powers, 4. Pat Sorrell, 5. Linda Parkkila
B Heat—1. Thomas Harrod, 2. Jim Longden, 3. Fred Nagele, 4. Kenny Driebergen, 5. Bill Allen
C Heat—1. Charlie Atkinson, 2. Mike Vester, 3. Kodi Newberry, 4. Stacy Heath, 5. Al Russell
D Heat—1. Monica Heath, 2. Michael Capps, 3. Jay Bigham, 4. Kyle Vorse, 5. Jessie Hagwood
Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcars—Bryan Warf, 12.062 seconds
Budweiser Modifieds—Rick Baldwin, 15.018 seconds
Coors Super Stocks—Rob Powers, 14.682 seconds
Super Sixes—Casey Tillman, 13.548 seconds
Team Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks—Jason Sanders, 15.661 seconds