by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho – The stellar season continues for hometown driver Bryan Warf.
Already leading the Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars series at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway, the Meridian, Idaho racer drove through the field and then held on through a late restart to collect another main event win.
Warf, who sits third in the Canadian-American Western Winged Sprintcars Series tour, drove to the front seven laps into the feature that capped Jeff Russell Road to Recovery benefit night.
Warf brought fellow Meridian drivers Johnny Giesler and Mike Murgoitio with him when he passed Caldwell, Idaho’s Matt Elliott.
In other main events:
John Newhouse made the trip from Twin Falls, Idaho, pay off with a victory in the rough-and-tumble (as usual) ASA Pro Trucks feature.
Melissa Weaver completed the sweep with a win in the College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks. She set the track record and then won the Fast Dash and the 30-lap feature.
Star, Idaho’s Tony Ackerland was declared the winner in the Pepsi Sprintcars. Ackerland had finished second to Justin Segura of Caldwell, Idaho, but race officials disqualified the 14-year-old Caldwell, Idaho driver when he pulled into his pit before reporting to the scales at the end of the race.
Phyl Zubizareta of Garden City, Idaho, won a Domino’s Pizza Legends feature for the second time this week. The series leader had a little more breathing room this time around, but not much more.
Warf looked ready to check out and cruise in the Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars main event. He was stalking fifth-place Elliott with 16 laps left.
Four laps later, however, Wyatt King slowed and pulled onto the apron on the backstretch with seven laps remaining.
King’s misfortunate brought out the race’s only caution flag and bunched up Warf, Giesler and Murgotio for an exciting shootout to the end.
Warf ran off to a comfortable lead again as Murgoitio and Giesler engaged in a duel for second place.
Murgoitio tried the high line and then went low in his campaign to get around Giesler. Each time, he was forced to fall back and run nose-to-tail with Giesler.
Murgoitio’s final run came with five laps left when he dove low into Turn 3 and nearly pulled even with Giesler before running out of room.
In the ASA Pro Trucks series second stop of the season, the Newhouse family showed up in the top five. Dad John stayed away from the carnage that brought out three caution flags to win the 40-lap feature.
He didn’t pick up much ground of series leader Johnny Pierre, though. Another Twin Falls driver, Pierre entered the night with a 21-point lead in the standings. Pierre finished second behind Newhouse on Saturday.
Newhouse’s daughter, Hannah, stayed in the top five at the end, but another Twin Falls driver, Alan Larson, got to the line a hair quicker for fourth place.
Weaver’s fast time of 14.760 seconds shattered fellow Nampan Chad Bess’ track record of 14.799. Weaver actually broke the Street Stocks mark with her first qualifying lap of 14.767.
After she wrapped up the Fast Dash win, Weaver found herself starting at the back of the nine-car field.
She was running in fourth when race leader Destiny Huber spun out after fellow Caldwell, Idaho driver Daniel Johnson rear-ended her as they entered Turn 4.
When the cone came out to reset the field at the end of the caution period, Weaver was side-by-side with division rookie Scott Shoecraft of Boise, Idaho.
Shoecraft got a strong jump when the green flag dropped, but Weaver kept up her hard-charging pursuit and drew even coming out of Turn 4 with 18 laps to go.
Weaver grabbed the lead for good on the next lap and checked out.
Marsing, Idaho’s Shaun Bush posted his strongest finish of his rookie season, holding off Melissa’s dad – Marv Weaver, who had won the last time out.
In the Legends main event, Zubizareta was gracious in his win, complimenting Eagle, Idaho Zach Blume on his tough, competive run through the second half of the 35-lap race.
“That was a real great job by Zach Blume,” Zubizareta said.
The reigning champion won Wednesday’s feature by a nose. On Saturday, he crossed the line by himself but with strong pressure from Blume.
Blume actually had the lead seven laps in when he passed Star, Idaho’s Charlie Fiscus. But the second and third caution flags of the race – which came on back-to-back laps – gave Zubizareta enough daylight to roar to the front.
Zubizareta never got any farther ahead than about two car lengths as Blume kept up the pressure.
Segura, who recently turned 14 years old, walked away from the Pepsi Sprintcars field for his second career checkered flag on pavement, but Ackerland picked up the win in unofficial results when Segura was DQ’d. All race results are reviewed and finalized after all the action is completed for the night.
Segura had led by as much as half a lap during the race.
Meridian Speedway holds its annual wall-to-wall racing action for the Labor Day Weekend next week.
There will be back-to-back nights of racing with Tates Rents Fan Night on Saturday and the Kool Oldies 99.5 Cruise ‘N’ Drag Night on Sunday.
Saturday night will feature a quick return for the Pepsi Sprintcars and College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks, the second 50-lap feature of the month for the ASA Modifieds, Tates Hornets and the Jr. Stingers.
On Sunday, the ASA Modifieds and Budweiser B Modifieds will run double features, while the SPI Super Sixes tour comes into town and the TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks race.
The gates open each night at 4 p.m. with qualifying about an hour later and racing at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets each night are $10 for adults, $7.50 for senior citizens and military with ID, $6 for children ages 7-11 and, as always, free for children 6 and younger. A family pass good for two adults and up to four children ages 7-11 is $30.
Visit www.meridianspeedway.com or “like” Meridian Speedway on Facebook to get the latest information. You can also buy tickets on the track’s website and print them at home.
The racetrack can be reached by phone at (208) 888-2813.
Jeff Russell Road to Recovery Night
Saturday’s unofficial results
ASA Pro Trucks (40 laps) – 1. John Newhouse, Twin Falls, Idaho; 2. Johnny Pierre, Twin Falls; 3. John Wong, Parma, Idaho; 4. Alan Larson, Twin Falls; 5. Hannah Newhouse, Twin Falls
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars (35 laps) – 1. Bryan Warf, Meridian, Idaho; 2. Johnny Giesler, Meridian; 3. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian; 4. Brandon Johnson, Meridian; 5. Matt Elliott, Caldwell, Idaho
College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks (30 laps) – 1. Melissa Weaver, Nampa, Idaho; 2. Shaun Bush, Marsing, Idaho; 3. Marv Weaver, Nampa; 4. Daniel Johnson, Caldwell, Idaho; 5. Scott Shoecraft, Boise, Idaho
Pepsi Sprintcars (30 laps) – 1. Tony Ackerland, Star, Idaho; 3. Tyler Barrow, Boise; 4. Cody Huddleston, Meridian, Idaho; 5. Colton Nelson, Meridian
Domino’s Pizza Legends (35 laps) – 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho; 2. Zach Blume, Eagle, Idaho; 3. Aubree Wartman, Boise; 4. Chase Gilbertson, Boise; 5. Chance Davis, Emmett, Idaho
(Eight laps each)
CWI PTD Street Stocks
Fast Dash – 1. Melissa Weaver, Nampa, Idaho; 2. Marv Weaver, Nampa; 3. Shaun Bush, Marsing, Idaho; 4. Shawn Hansen, Boise, Idaho; 5. Daniel Johnson, Caldwell, Idaho
B Heat – 1. Rick Baldwin, Middleton, Idaho; 2. Destiny Huber, Caldwell; 3. Scott Shoecraft, Boise; 4. Ray Bolinger, Meridian, Idaho; 5. Josh Hale, Boise
Fast Dash – 1. Ryan Newman, Caldwell; 2. Jimmy Gross, Fruitland, Idaho; 3. Ackerland; 4. Nelson; 5. Tristen Spiers, Adrian, Ore.
B Heat – 1. Segura; 2. Huddleston; 3. Barrow; 4. Riley Rogers, Meridian; 5. Michael Anderson, Nampa
ASA Pro Trucks
Heat No. 1 – 1. Drew Reitsma, Jerome, Idaho; 2. Dan Doan, Twin Falls, Idaho; 3. Hannah Newhouse, Twin Falls; 4. Tanner Wong, Parma, Idaho; 5. Jeff Anderson
Heat No. 2 – 1. John Wong, Parma; 2. John Newhouse, Twin Falls; 3. Kendel Woll, Buhl, Idaho; 4. Johnny Pierre, Twin Falls; 5. Scott Luttmer, Hagerman, Idaho
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprintcars
Fast Dash – 1. Bryan Warf, Meridian; 2. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian; 3. Johnny Giesler, Meridian; 4. Wyatt King, Meridian
B Heat – 1. Matt Elliott, Caldwell, Idaho; 2. Mark Floyd, Boise; 3. Sierra Jackson, Middleton
Domino’s Pizza Legends
Fast Dash – 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho; 2. Zach Blume, Eagle, Idaho; 3. Tom Matheson, Pasco, Wash.; 4. Caity Miller, Boise; 5. Johnathan Davis, Emmett, Idaho
B Heat – 1. Steve Thimsen, Boise; 2. Charlie Fiscus, Star, Idaho; 3. Chance Davis, Emmett; 4. Chase Gilbertson, Boise; 5. Casey Tillman, Kuna, Idaho
C Heat – 1. Darin Turpen, Nampa; 2. Cody Hollis, Payette, Idaho; 3. Lloyd Bigler, North Powder, Ore.; 4. Chuck Miller, Caldwell; 5. Jamie Hyde, Boise
CWI PTD Street Stocks – Melissa Weaver, 14.760 seconds (track record; previous record: Chad Bess, Nampa, Idaho, 14.799, Sept. 3, 2011)
Pepsi Sprintcars – Ackerland, 13.577
Domino’s Pizza Legends – Caity Miller, 15.033 (tied track record of Phyl Zubizareta, Garden City, Idaho, Sept. 1, 2012)
ASA Pro Trucks – Scott Luttmer, Hagerman, Idaho, 14.842
Mtn. Winged Sprintcars – Murgoitio, 11.626