Tellstrom Races to NAPA Big 5 Latemodel Title
Championship season started Saturday, September 8, as the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series wrapped up their season with the Jeff Russell Road to Recovery 85. The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds, Domino’s Legends, Teleperformance Claimer Stocks, and Junior Stingers filled an action packed Saturday night slate of short track racing.
The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds brought a full field of racers to their first 25 lap feature. Joe Thuss put his Aloha Auto Repair, Integrity Construction his machine in the early lead, but came under fire from brothers Jonathan and Larry Hull on lap eight. After two hard fought laps Jonathan held the top spot on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard while older brother Larry battled Thuss for second.
This battle went bad on lap fifteen when a slide in turn two sent the elder Hull hard into the backstretch concrete. Though the damage to his Diversified Carpet Cleaning, Shake ‘N Bake Racing modified was extensive, Hull climbed from his wrecked racer unscathed.
On the restart defending division champion Colton Nelson pulled abreast of the remaining Hull, and took the top spot when the green flag waved. Point leader Bryan Warf followed Nelson past Hull, and pushed his Integrity Pools, Allan Marsh Travel Center modified hard to catch the leader. Though Warf closed the gap on Nelson he didn’t have enough and Nelson piloted his Integrity Construction, Julie Hart Home Loans by Premiere Mortgage modified to victory.
The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds returned to action for their second 25 lap feature behind Tommy Harrod and Joe Thuss. Harrod got to the gas pedal first and rocketed to the early lead, but a flat tire sent him to the pit area on lap four. This handed the lead to Jonathan Hull, who struggled to keep Bryan Warf and Shelby Stroebel at bay in his Diversified Carpet Cleaning modified.
On lap eight Warf ducked low and took his Integrity Pools, Dave’s Quick Lube modified to the lead, which left Hull in the clutches of Shelby Stroebel and Colton Nelson. Nelson used lapped traffic to overtake Stroebel, then moved inside Hull for the runner up spot. While Nelson wheeled his racer hard to catch Warf, there was nothing he could do but watch the championship leader take the checkers.
NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series competitors Dave Thomasson and Dylan Caldwell led the field to green for the Jeff Russell Road to Recovery 85, the division’s final race of the season. Caldwell found speed in the high groove early and took the lead with former NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 winner Brooke Schimmel and championship leader Kyle Tellstrom in his tire tracks.
Tellstrom swung into the outside line and moved his PitStopUSA.com, PFC Brakes racer to the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard on lap seven. Behind Tellstrom lap thirteen proved unlucky for Caldwell and Schimmel, as contact on the front stretch sent them both into the wall. Caldwell’s Hot Box Farms machine weathered the hit better and continued, while Schimmel was forced to retire from the event with suspension damage.
This left youngster Zach Telford in the runner up spot, and lap by lap Telford reeled in the leader. On lap 28 Telford saw his opportunity, and muscled his Precision Framing, Builders FirstSource into the top spot. As Telford settled into the lead Tellstrom started to fade as engine problems struck. Just after halfway a brake explosion brought out a caution flag and Tellstrom pulled into the pit area to attempt repairs. These repairs proved ineffective, and Tellstrom would retire from the race four laps later.
This left the race in Telford’s hands, and the youngster paced himself well over the Jeff Russell Road to Recovery 85’s final third, and he claimed the evening’s final Certified Services trophy in his first NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series start. Despite his early engine trouble, Tellstrom hung on to his points lead and emerged the 2018 NASCAR Division II NAPA Big 5 Latemodel Series champion.
The intensity ratchets up this Saturday, September 15, for Money Tree Twin 25s Night at Meridian Speedway. The Winged Pepsi Crate Cars, NASCAR Modifieds, Rebel Modifieds of Idaho, Coors Super Stocks, Project Filter Pro-4s, High School Tuners, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets join forces for a night of double main events for all classes. General admission to a full night of features is just $11.50 for adults, $9 for seniors and military members, and $6.50 for kids 7-11. Stay tuned to meridianspeedway.com for all the latest news and notes from around the quarter-mile, and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive text club updates. We’ll see you this Saturday, September 15, for Money Tree Twin 25s night under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.