Washington Racer Claims Treasure Valley 125
The Northwest’s top Super Latemodel drivers descended on Meridian Speedway Saturday, July 8, for the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 presented by Mike Minegar’s Auto Body. The Northwest Super Late Model Series and NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds, TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks, and Teleperformance Claimer Stocks battled each other and a scorching hot quarter-mile oval in pursuit of their Carl’s Cycle Sales trophies.
The Teleperformance Claimer Stocks were first onto the 150 degree asphalt for their 25 lap feature. Boise, Idaho’s Jamie Hyde took advantage of the high line to pull his Wacky Shacks, Guppies Hot Rod Grille machine to the lead. But pole sitter Rich Lawson battled back on the inside and kept his Kline Alternators and Starters, Franklin Auto and Truck Repair entry even with Hyde through the race’s opening laps.
On lap three Lawson and Brian Hyde came together on the front stretch. Both drivers maintained control of their machines, but Hyde was able to move his Affordable Rain Gutters, Glen’s Towing racer into the runner up spot. With Hyde Brothers Racing in the top two spots, Boise, Idaho racer Dan Lowther turned up the wick on his machine and sped into the lead fight.
Lowther took the high line around Brian Hyde, but couldn’t find his way around Jamie. Lap after lap Lowther jabbed high, but each time Jamie Hyde closed the door. After a fierce five lap battle Lowther squeezed his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Firesnacks entry into the lead. Brian Hyde would make his way around brother Jamie, but wouldn’t have enough to track down Lowther, who scored his fifth division victory of the season.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds crowded the quarter-mile for their 35 lap main event. The green flag waved and Kuna, Idaho’s Jerry Green took his Dog Wash and Boarding Facility, Josay’s Labradors machine to the top spot. Green wasn’t safe out front as Hunter Gates stormed from his mid-pack starting spot to put his YMC, Blue Line Graphics entry in the lead on lap three. Gates’ advantage was anything but comfortable as the Nampa, Idaho driver first had to fend off Meridian, Idaho driver CJ Stirm, then Boise, Idaho’s Larry Hull III. On lap thirteen, Hull III would dive below Gates in turn four to put his Diversified Carpet Cleaning modified out front.
But Hull III had fast company behind him, in the form of quick qualifier Colton Nelson and heat race winner Casey Tillman. Nelson got to Hull III first and used the outside line to race his Integrity Pools, Julie Hart Home Loans by Premier Mortgage into the top spot. Kuna, Idaho’s Tillman followed suit and set his sights on the leader. Though Tillman closed the gap in the race’s final laps, Nelson was too strong and he stormed across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
A full field of Northwest Super Late Model Series and NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series competitors rumbled to green on the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 presented by Mike Minegar’s Auto Body. On the break Woodland, Washington’s Brooke Schimmel overpowered Jan Evans to put her Custom Fab machine in the early lead. Twin Falls, Idaho’s John Newhouse and Meridian, Idaho’s Chris Fenton were next past Evans as they took second and third on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard before an early caution bunched the field.
When the green flag waved Schimmel shot back to the top spot with Newhouse and Fenton in tow. Fenton used a lap fifteen restart to put his Big O Tires of Nampa, Precision Framing machine in the runner up spot. Fenton stalked Schimmel, and by lap 26 he arrived at the young racer’s bumper. As Fenton searched for a way around the leader, Lewiston, Idaho’s Kameron McKeehan drove his Bob Jacks, Signs by Fred entry into the lead fight.
While the top three sized each other up, Kennewick, Washington’s Brittney Zamora began her march to the front. With 45 laps down the Northwest Super Late Model Series’ most recent winner went to work on Newhouse for fourth. After an eight lap battle Zamora had her Leonard Evans Used Car Store, North Tech machine up to fourth and set her sights on the lead trio.
As Zamora caught third place McKeehan, the Lewiston, Idaho racer lost power, and Zamora piled into his rear bumper. The contact would send Zamora back to sixth place and McKeehan would limp to the pit area for repairs. With McKeehan and Zamora out of the way, Quincy, Washington’s Mitch Kleyn moved his Racing Dynamics, Pizza Man entry into third at the race’s halfway point.
While the field settled into the second half of the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 presented by Mike Minegar’s Auto Body, Fenton laid down fast laps as he gained on Schimmel. But the extra effort took a toll on his racer, and with thirty laps left Fenton’s machine started to billow smoke. Fenton nursed his machine around the quarter-mile until a caution flag waved with ten laps left.
On the restart Fenton got a good launch, but Schimmel’s was better and she once again rocketed to the top spot. This dropped Fenton into the clutches of Kleyn. After four hard fought laps Kleyn and Fenton made contact in turn one. Fenton gathered his machine and continued, but Kleyn spun into the infield and brought out the race’s fifth caution flag.
Schimmel was flawless on the final restart and walked away from Fenton and the rest of the field to claim the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125 presented by Mike Minegar’s Auto Body victory.
The TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks wrapped up Saturday’s main event action with a 35 lap dash. On the green contact sent Meridian, Idaho’s Alex Hibbert spinning from the second row. Boise, Idaho’s Ian Michael Pedersen and Kuna, Idaho’s Jayson Wardle piled into the melee. Only Wardle would make repairs and return for the restart.
The green flag waved again and Meridian, Idaho’s Doug Woods piloted his Cyclone Cycles machine to the top spot. On the move early was Terrell Daffron, who took just five laps to slice his way from mid pack to the lead.
With Daffron’s Gilmore Meats of Weiser, 208tire.com racer up front, the battle for second raged as Woods fought to keep his machine ahead of Donovan Johns’ Volt Vapes, March Financial Services entry. Johns would get the better of that battle on lap ten, and made his way to second with Caldwell, Idaho racer Jason Sanders in his tire tracks. After a five lap scrum Sanders worked his Divel Services, Print Craft of Caldwell machine into the runner up spot.
Sanders sliced into Daffron’s lead as the leader navigated lapped traffic, but with three to go a side-by-side battle trapped Daffron. Sanders sped to the leader’s rear bumper and by the white flag lap the lead duo were side by side. As traffic broke Sanders tried a desperate dash through turns three and four, but he didn’t have enough for Daffron, who motored to the victory.
The asphalt quarter-mile falls silent this weekend as the Dirt Track at Meridian Speedway hosts the 2017 Al Russell’s Dirty Cup. Don’t miss the region’s best Outlaw and Flat Kart racers as they fly through Friday and Saturday night’s action. General admission for a full night of dirt track racing is just $11 for adults, $8.50 for seniors and military members, and $6.50 for kids 7-11. General admission gates open at 2:30 p.m. with practice at 4:30 p.m. and racing action at 7 p.m. We’ll see you this Friday and Saturday night for dirt track racing under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.