by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho – Dave Thomasson has 30 years in at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway, but – truth be told – the thrill of roaring around the paved quarter-mile oval isn’t the primary reason he keeps coming back.
“It’s the people out here that are all like one big family,” the Meridian, Idaho resident said.
“To me, that means more than building the car or driving the car.”
But the wintertime spent thrashing and the early-spring test and tunes – and, yes, the raindrops from last Saturday’s wet practice – are the means to the end.
“I’m just out to have fun,” the veteran said.
Thomasson will start another season of fun Saturday night when Meridian kicks off 2013 with races in its stockcar divisions – NAPA Late Models, Coors Super Stocks, Project Filter Pro-4s, College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks, the TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks and the Jr. Stingers.
The season opener also means the first Westby’s Bike Races 4 Kids of the year.
The gates open at 4 p.m. with qualifying at 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.
Race tickets are $10 for adults, $7.50 for military personnel with ID and senior citizens 62 and older and $6 for children ages 7-11. Children 6 and younger get in free. A family ticket good for two adults and up to four children ages 7-11 is $30.
Buy tickets or get information on how to register a child for the bike races at www.meridianspeedway.com.
Thomasson finished seventh in the NAPA Late Models series last year as Nampa, Idaho’s Dylan Caldwell brought home the title.
Thomasson has been racing the Meridian oval since the 1980s. His racecar began life as Western Idaho Racing Association Hall of Famer Steve Mason’s Pepsi Flyer.
There have major changes over the year to the car that Mason drove to the 1985 championship, of course. In the most recent modification, Thomasson built a new front clip on the car.
But the history in the racer isn’t lost on Thomasson.
“When I started racing, Steve Mason was the top dog and somebody I looked up to, and to have his car, for me, is pretty special,” Thomasson said.
2012 championship recap
ASA Modifieds – Shelby Stroebel, Meridian, Idaho
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints – Mike Murgoitio, Meridian, Idaho
Pepsi Sprintcars champion – Casey Tillman, Kuna, Idaho
NAPA Late Models champion – Dylan Caldwell, Nampa, Idaho
Project Filter Pro-4s champion – Jim Bailey, Middleton, Idaho
Coors Super Stocks – Dennis Brodigan, Nampa, Idaho
College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks champion – Chad Bess, Nampa, Idaho
Domino’s Pizza Legends champion – Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho
TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks champion – Larry Hull III, Boise, Idaho
Budweiser B Modifieds champion – Jay Cook, Nampa, Idaho
Tates Hornets champion – Colton Nelson, Meridian, Idaho
Hornet 100 Series champion – Nelson
Thunder Dogs champion – Sledgehammer (David Jolley, Nampa, Idaho)
Jr. Stingers champion – Riley Rogers, Meridian, Idaho