Wild Claimer Stock Tilt Solidifies Championship Picture
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.
Eight quick Junior Stingers rolled to green for their fifteen lap feature. Logan Castricone led the field on lap one in his Fast Glass, Linder Learning Academy entry, but soon surrendered to fast heat race winner Jessika Harris. Though Harris’ Kim’s Kars, Challenger Auto Transport machine was fast, she soon faced a challenge from quick-qualifier Cody Castricone, who dispatched his younger brother Logan and set his sights on the lead.
Something had to give, and with five laps left Harris pushed too hard and spun in turn two. This put title foes Cody Castricone and Rusty Houpt nose to tail for the restart. The green flag waved and Castricone sprinted to a one second lead. Try as Houpt might his Boise Spring Works, Drip Catchers LLC machine couldn’t make up ground on Castricone, who cruised to the victory.
A dozen Teleperformance Claimer Stocks rolled onto the quarter-mile oval for a 25 lap rumble. On the break Scott Cooper edged Scott Kelly for the lead while the rest of the pack erupted in chaos. Ed Griffith III muscled his way three wide through turn two, Preston Henderson and Jamie Hyde came together in turn four, and the caution flag waved.
On the restart Kelly dispatched Cooper while Griffith found his machine in the middle of more action which resulted in another yellow flag. This gave Scott Lawson a crack at Kelly, and the Caldwell, Idaho driver moved into the top spot with Kendra Occhipinti in tow. Occhipinti committed to the outside, but her Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines entry faded, which allowed Henderson to take the runner up spot.
Henderson used the inside line and relived Lawson of the lead on lap eight, but soon faced pressure from Pat Tully and Todd Seaver. Tully hooked the inside line and tore past Henderson for the lead with a dozen circuits remaining. Lapped traffic prevented any serious challenge to Tully’s lead, and he roared across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
The Domino’s Legends followed Brok Kidd and Ken Frickey to green for a 25 lap feature. Kidd was quick out of the blocks and piloted his Vickie’s Country Gardens, Grinker’s Arcade machine to the early lead. But fast heat winner Camron Madsen was on the move and took over the lead on lap two. This brought Caity Miller and quick-qualifier Ethan Jones to his rear bumper.
Jones was first to make a move, and after he passed Miller on lap seven, he steamed past Madsen to the lead on lap nine. Miller dug hard in her Farm Bureau Insurance by Darrin Post, Custom Fab racer, but could only keep pace with Jones as laps wound off the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Jones didn’t falter in the race’s closing stages, and he claimed the Certified Services trophy.
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.