Stroebel, Nelson pad Meridian points leads with repeat victories
by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN — Racecar drivers who have won multiple feature events this year at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway were out in force Saturday.
Meridian, Idaho’s Shelby Stroebel — who pulled double duty Saturday night — collected his 13th consecutive victory in the ASA Modifieds Pepsi 50 main event and kept his edge in the ASA Member Track National Championship standings with his 11th straight victory in 2012.
Other feature winners on Pepsi 200 Night at the paved quarter-mile oval included:
• Meridian’s Colton Nelson grabbing his second Tates Hornets 100 Series victory of the season — and fourth overall — in the Hornets Pepsi 100.
• Another Meridian driver, Riley Rogers, collecting Jr. Stingers feature victory No. 2 in the Pepsi 20
• Josh Jackson of Payette, Idaho winning for the third time in the B Modifieds in the Pepsi 50, which was run concurrently with the ASA Modifieds feature
• Boise, Idaho’s Chase Gilbertson breaking through in the Pepsi 30 for the Legends, out-classing the field by nearly six seconds.
Several new faces showed up at the racetrack Saturday to give Stroebel a run for his money, including former Carbon X Rocky Mountain Challenge Series champion Steve Jones of Meridian and former Magic Valley Speedway champion Rick Fowble.
Driving one of Stroebel’s own racecars, Jones beat the reigning Meridian champino to the line in the four-lap Trophy Dash, but Stroebel fired back with a victory in the eight-lap A Heat.
In the Pepsi 50 showdown Stroebel beat all of his ASA Modifieds competitors by 4.232 seconds. Second-place Jackson, who was running a B Modified (different rules package) trailed Stroebel by 3.847 seconds. Jones ended up a lap down and finished 10th.
Stroebel also hopped in his daughter’s Domino’s Pizza Legends racecar and finished third to Emmett, Idaho’s Johnathan Davis in the division’s eight-lap C Heat. He finished sixth in the main event. Although Stroebel was on the lead lap, he crossed the start-finish line 13.831 seconds behind race leader Gilbertson.
Gilbertson ran away with the Legends Pepsi 30 on Saturday night, beating Kuna, Idaho’s Casey Tillman by 5.811 seconds.
It was Gilbertson’s first victory of the season after several top-five showings. He also won Saturday’s eight-lap A Heat.
Jackson won his second B Modifieds main event of the month, turning in an impressive performance. He was the only B Modifieds driver to finish on the lead lap and finished a half-second ahead of Boise’s Rus Ward, who has been a track record-holder and last year was Stroebel’s chief nemesis in the ASA Modifieds division.
In the third installment of the Tates Hornets 100 series, fourth-generation racer Nelson continued to extend his lead in both the 100 series and the overall Hornets standings with a dominating performance.
The teenager lapped every car in the field except second-place Tony Ryska of Caldwell, Idaho. Ryska finished 4.132 seconds behind the leader. A total of 31 cars started the race.
Nelson has won two of the three Hornets 100 Series races this season, and has a feature win in each of the first four months of the 2012 season. Meridian’s Chuck Youngblood has the other 100 Series victory this season.
Rogers picked up his second Jr. Stingers feature victory of the season on the same night that his uncle, former Chaparral Speedway Mini Stocks standout Mark Cirelli Jr., made his return to racing.
Rogers beat second-place Eriq Arnold of Star, Idaho by 3.385 seconds.
Earlier in the night, Rogers had finished third in the A Heat, while Arnold won the B Heat for the division that is open to 12- to 14-year-olds. Kuna’s Daytona Wurtz, whose father Dennis Wurtz II races NAPA Late Models, won the Jr. Stingers A Heat. She finished fifth in the 20-lap main event.
Meanwhile, Cirelli finished third in the Legends D Heat and was 11th in a 19-car field in the main event.
Meridian Speedway will host two nights of racing this weekend as the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series makes its return to the quarter-mile oval.
The RMCS Project Filter 75 will be held Saturday night, but the Late Model touring series drivers will run preliminary races Friday night, too.
Friday’s schedule is highlighted by the annual Preacher Feature to find the Fastor Pastor as well as the Pepsi Sprintcars, Street Stocks, Pit Stop Drive Thru Mini Stocks and the Thunder Dogs.
Saturday features the RMCS Project Filter 75 as well as the Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Tates Hornets.
Gates open at 4 p.m. each night with qualifying at 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.
Friday tickets are $12 for adults, $9.50 for senior citizens and military personnel with ID and $8 for children ages 7-11. A family pass good for two adults and up to four children ages 7-11 costs $36.
Saturday night admission is $15 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and military and $11 for children 7-11. A family pass costs $46.
Both nights, as always, children 6 and younger get in free.
Tickets are available online at www.meridianspeedway.com. More information about the track and its schedule is available at the website or by calling (208) 888-2813.
Pepsi 200 Night
Saturday’s unofficial results
Domino’s Pizza Legends Pepsi 30 – 1. Chase Gilbertson, Boise, Idaho; 2. Casey Tillman, Kuna, Idaho; 3. Andrew Clark, Boise; 4. Jonathan Davis, Emmett, Idaho; 5. Zach Blume, Eagle, Idaho
ASA Modifieds Pepsi 50 – 1. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian, Idaho; 2. Rus Ward, Boise; 3. Wes Pogue, Star, Idaho; 4. Rick Fowble, Twin Falls, Idaho; 5. Kirk Wartman, Boise
B Modifieds Pepsi 50 — 1. Josh Jackson, Payette, Idaho; 2. Randy Keckley, Boise; 3. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell, Idaho; 4. Jay Cook, Nampa
Tates Hornets Pepsi 100 (Tates Hornets 100 No. 3) – 1. Colton Nelson, Meridian; 2. Tony Ryska, Caldwell; 3. D.J. Everett; 4. Sharlet Pataro, Mountain Home, Idaho; 5. Thomas Harrod, Nampa
Jr. Stingers Pepsi 20 – 1. Riley Rogers, Meridian; 2. Eriq Arnold, Star; 3. Jordan Harris, Nampa; 4. Hunter Gates, Nampa; 5. Daytona Wurtz, Kuna
(Four laps each)
ASA and B Modifieds – 1. Steve Jones, Meridian; 2. Shelby Stroebel; 3. Fowble; 4. Ward; 5. Jackson
Domino’s Pizza Legends – 1. Jimmy Ingham, Boise; 2. Zach Blume; 3. Gilbertson; 4. Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho
Tates Hornets – 1. Nelson; 2. Chuck Youngblood, Meridian; 3. Harrod; 4. Tony Ryska
Jr. Stingers – 1. Gates; 2. Rogers; 3. Ali Norton, Kuna; 4. Jordan Kirkland, Boise
(Eight laps each)
ASA and B Modifieds
A Heat – 1. Shelby Stroebel; 2. Jones; 3. Jackson; 4. Ward; 5. Fowble
B Heat – 1. Jentry Pisca, Nampa; 2. Pogue; 3. Kirk Wartman; 4. Rosalee Weller; 5. Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian
C Heat – 1. Tim Elam, Boise; 2. Rodney Houpt, Nampa; 3. Keckley; 4. Tony Flores; 5. Cook
Domino’s Pizza Legends
A Heat – 1. Gilbertson; 2. Mike Cullum, Meridian; 3. Zubizareta; 4. Zach Blume; 5. Ingham
B Heat – 1. Johnathan Davis; 2. Tillman; 3. Shelby Stroebel; 4. Aly Clark, Boise; 5. Sara Henry, Nampa
C Heat – 1. Andrew Clark, Boise; 2. Darin Turpen, Nampa; 3. Aubree Wartman, Boise; 4. Charlie Fiscus, Star; 5. Rod Stiller, Meridian
D Heat – 1. Steve Thimsen, Boise; 2. Jenna Cullum, Meridian; 3. Mark Cirelli Jr., Meridian; 4. Chance Davis, Emmett; 5. Dayna Skiver, Meridian
A Heat – 1. Daytona Wurtz, Kuna; 2. Gates; 3. Rogers; 4. CJ Stirm, Nampa; 5. Harris
B Heat – 1. Eriq Arnold, Star; 2. Andrew Hale, Eagle; 3. Peter Woog, Meridian; 4. Kendra Occhipinti, Nampa; 5. Delaney Blume, Eagle
A Heat – 1. Jack Martin, Caldwell; 2. Cody Garrett, Boise; 3. Harrod; 4. Nelson; 5. Ryska
B Heat – 1. Rob Powers, Meridian; 2. Kevin Johnson, Kuna; 3. Stacy Heath, Nampa; 4. Donovan Parker, Garden City; 5. Pataro
C Heat – 1. Fred Nagele, Boise; 2. Monica Heath, Caldwell; 3. Brendon Fries, Meridian; 4. Michael Capps, Meridian; 5. Alex Duda, Boise
D Heat – 1. Ben Driebergen, Boise; 2. Lynn Sharp, Nampa; 3. James Pahl, Caldwell; 4. Mike Bako; 5. Shelly Bledsoe, Nampa
ASA and B Modifieds – Shelby Stroebel, 14.426 seconds
Domino’s Pizza Legends –Zubizareta, 15.309
Tates Hornets – Youngblood, 16.934
Jr. Stingers – Jordan Kirkland, 17.034