Young guns, seasoned vets race Meridian for regional Late Model tour


Young guns, seasoned vets race Meridian for regional Late Model tour

by Jon Brown, MERIDIAN, Idaho — With the first 2012 ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway appearance of the Carbon X Rocky Mountain Challenge Series looming, this may seem like old home week for the drivers, whether they be from the Treasure Valley or elsewhere.
The fourth running of the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 100 on Saturday night brings several racers who are familiar with the quarter-mile paved oval nestled on Meridian’s main drag.
Meridian, Idaho resident Steve Jones, the 2007 NASCAR Whelen All American Series champion, heads to his hometown race as the RMCS points leader after two races. The series scoring mechanism is such that it rewards consistency, and Jones proves that by leading despite not winning yet on the circuit.
Jones, who won the RMCS season crown in 2010, and others are expected to try out the track on Friday beginning at 3 p.m. for a practice session. Spectator admission is free.
One of the guys who will be on the track this weekend, according to series president Mike Minegar, is Craig Bell of Kuna, Idaho. Bell is making his return to the series. He has the fourth-highest amount of purse money won in RMCS history, and he’s tied for fifth on the RMCS career victories list with five checkered flags.
Other locals expected to roll out for Saturday’s 100-lap race include Meridian’s John Nesmith, Lee Hackney and TJ Monroe and Nampa, Idaho’s Dylan Caldwell.
Monroe and Caldwell already have feature wins in Meridian’s local NAPA Auto Parts Late Models series this year. Hackney finished second to Monroe on April 21. Caldwell won on May 5.
All the local racers are sure to echo Minegar’s words about bringing the RMCS back to Meridian Speedway.
“It’s fun to be home,” Minegar said. “It’s a hell of a lot less stress for me to be in my backyard.”
But there’s more to the RMCS than Idaho racers. Drivers are expected from California, Nevada and Utah for this weekend’s race.
Among them is 15-year-old Jeremy Doss of Upper Lake, Calif. Although still in high school, Doss is no stranger to turning heads on the racetrack, including Meridian. Doss won the 75-lap 2012 RMCS opener on April 21 at Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, Idaho.
“When I left Twin Falls that night, I thought I may have witnessed another Kyle Busch,” Minegar said of the Doss performance.
“I’m very impressed with the kid, and every one of my racers was impressed with him. He raced cleanly.
Doss burst on the scene at Meridian Speedway 10 months ago when he blew into town and dominated a Domino’s Legends matinee.
Minegar is proud of the respect his racers show one another, and says that why guys like Thane Alderman of Las Vegas, Nev., whose last RMCS win came in September 2010 at Meridian; Lynn Hardy of West Valley City, Utah, who won on May 5 at Rocky Mountain Raceways in his hometown; and Shasta Raceway Park standout Steven Gannon from Red Bluff, Calif., travel great distances to compete.
In addition to the Late Model tour stop, Meridian will play host to the Pepsi Sprintcars, Mini Stocks and Thunder Dogs. The season’s first Spectacular Drags for fans will be held, too.
Tickets are available at the Meridian Speedway box office: $15 for adults, $12.50 for senior citizens and military personnel with ID, $11 for children ages 7-11. Children 6 and younger always are admitted free at the track.
Race fans can save $2 off the ticket price for each age group by getting their tickets online through Easy Tix. Visit a participating NAPA Auto Parts store to pick up a promo code to save another $2 off the online purchase.
You can link to Easy Tix online off
A family pass is available for $46, allowing admittance of two adults and up to four children ages 7-11.
The gates open at 4 p.m. with time trials start at 5 p.m. with racing at 6:30 p.m.
The RMCS racers will hold a Friday night test and tune at the track from 3 p.m. to dark. Spectator admission is free.
For more information on driver profiles and the weekly racing action, visit You can reach the racetrack by phone at (208) 888-2813.

Carbon X
Rocky Mountain Challenge Series
2012 points standings
(After two races)
1. Steve Jones, Meridian, ID, 378 points; 2. Bruce Quale, Twin Falls, ID, 353; 3. John Nesmith, Meridian, ID, 322; 4. Thane Alderman, Las Vegas, 275; 5. Tyler Bailey, Middleton, ID, 270; 6. Steve Gannon, Red Bluff, Calif., 248; 7. Rick Fowble, Twin Falls, ID, 239; 8. Travis Monett, Spring Creek, Nev., 236; 9. Jeremy Doss, Upper Lake, Calif., 206; 10. Lynn Hardy, West Valley City, Utah, 204

Meridian Speedway
Meridian, ID
2012 points standings
(Through May 12 races)
Pepsi Sprintcars — 1. Josh Allen, Meridian, ID, 68 points; 2. Jamie Ransom, Meridian, ID, 65; 3. Michael Anderson, Nampa, ID, 57; 4. Casey Tillman, Kuna, ID, 50; 5. Tristen Spiers, Adrian, OR, 48; 6. (tie) Erik Miller, Caldwell, ID, 47; Ryan Wiederich, Nampa, ID, 47; 8. Cody Huddleston, Meridian, ID, 44
ASA Modifieds — 1. Shelby Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 223 points; 2. Rus Ward, Boise, ID, 157; 3. Tim Elam, Boise, ID, 151; 4. Jentry Pisca, Nampa, ID, 145; 5. Wes Pogue, Star, ID, 127; 6. Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 92; 7. Montie Potter, Boise, ID, 91; 8. Randy Keckley, Boise, ID, 88; 9. (tie) Caitlin Stroebel, Meridian, ID, 69; and Charlie Ham, Kuna, ID, 69
Mtn. Dew Winged Sprints — 1. Mike Murgoitio, Meridian, ID, 90 points; 2. Johnny Giesler, Meridian, ID, 78; 3. Sara Henry, Meridian, ID, 63; 4. Cody Veenstra, Meridian, ID, 56; 5. Matt Elliott, Nampa, ID, 51; 6. Bryan Warf, Meridian, ID, 49; 7. Ryan Burdett, West Jordan, UT, 43; 8. Wyatt King, Meridian, ID, 41; 9. Sierra Jackson, Middleton, ID, 37; 10. Dick Ingham, Boise, ID, 30
NAPA Late Models — 1. Dylan Caldwell, Nampa, ID, 149 points; 2. Chris Fenton, Meridian, ID, 148; 3. Tyler Monroe, Meridian, ID, 126; 4. Dan Lowther, Boise, ID, 117; 5. Dave Thomasson, Meridian, ID, 96; 6. Travis Anderson, Boise, ID, 91; 7. Lee Hackney, Boise, ID, 67; 8. Dennis Wurtz II, Kuna, ID, 65; 9. Jeff Wilson, Mountain Home, ID, 43; 10. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 39
Project Filter Pro-4s — 1. Jim Bailey, Middleton, ID, 81 points; 2. Phil Dugan, Meridian, ID, 74; 3. Jordan Fitch, Meridian, ID, 72; 4. DJ Lyons, Nampa, ID, 43; 5. Terry Sherman, Boise, ID, 40; 6. Rob Bean, Kuna, ID, 35; 7. Kyle Latham, Boise, ID, 32; 8. Ken Chandler, Boise, ID, 10; 9. Joe Barton, Nampa, ID, 6
Super Stocks — 1. Dennis Brodigan, Nampa, ID, 144 points; 2. Gale Carter, Boise, ID, 125; 3. Kim Bradford, Eagle, ID, 122; 4. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 60; 5. Jeff Meads, Boise, ID, 92; 6. David Harris, Meridian, ID, 79; 7. Chris Fenton, Meridian, ID, 77; 8. Justin Ellis, Meridian, ID, 73; 9. (tie) Phyl Zubizareta, Boise, ID, 47; and Josh Jackson, Payette, ID, 47
Street Stocks — 1. Melissa Weaver, Nampa, ID, 161 points; 2. Marv Weaver, Nampa, ID, 142; 3. Chad Bess, Nampa, ID, 128; 4. Roy Kirkland, Boise, ID, 111; 5. Rick Baldwin, Middleton, ID, 102; 6. Micky Lawston, Caldwell, ID, 91; 7. Bobby Riggs, Fruitland, ID, 78; 8. Daniel Johnson, Caldwell, ID, 50; 9. Bill Lawrence, Grand View, ID, 40; 10. Doug Loon, Caldwell, ID, 34
Mini Stocks — 1. Larry Hull III, Boise, ID, 193 points; 2. Ray Bolinger, Meridian, ID, 160; 3. Sarah Shaw, Boise, ID, 121; 4. Mike Davis, Boise, ID, 97; 5. Donovan Parker, Kuna, ID, 77; 6. (tie) Richard Brees, Meridian, ID, 71; Brendon Fries, Meridian, ID, 71; 8. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 70; 9. Jason Lampman, Middleton, ID, 65; 10. Robby Hyde, Twin Falls, ID, 64;
Domino’s Pizza Legends — 1. Phyl Zubizareta, Boise, ID, 160 points; 2. Chase Gilbertson, Boise, ID, 138; 3. Johnathan Davis, Emmett, ID, 136; 4. Casey Tillman, Kuna, ID, 103; 5. Mike Cullum, Meridian, ID, 100; 6. Camron Madsen, Boise, ID, 85; 7. Sara Henry, Nampa, ID, 82; 8. Alyson Clark, Kuna, ID, 77; 9. Zach Blume, Eagle, ID, 72; 10. Darin Turpen, Nampa, ID, 70
Tates Hornets — 1. Colton Nelson, Meridian, ID, 259 points; 2. Art Heath, Nampa, ID, 220; 3. Chuck Youngblood, Meridian, ID, 184; 4. Lynn Sharp, Nampa, ID, 160; 5. Cody Garrett, Boise, ID, 156; 6. Monica Heath, Caldwell, ID, 120; 7. Al Russell, Kuna, ID, 106; 8. Jess Ryska, Meridian, ID, 102; 9. Rob Powers, Meridian, ID, 96; 10. Stacy Heath, Nampa, ID, 80
Thunder Dogs — 1. (tie) The Sledgehammer, 109 points; 2. The Bulldacious, 109; 3. Vulgar Display, 102; 4. Boot Legger, 89; 5. No Mercy, Nampa, ID, 50; 6. The Surfer, Boise, ID, 43; 7. The Other Woman, Boise, ID, 74
Jr. Stingers — 1. Riley Rogers, Meridian, ID, 62 points; 2. Ali Norton, Kuna, ID, 56; 3. Peter Woog, Meridian, ID, 54; 4. Hunter Gates, Nampa, ID, 52; 5. Kendra Occhipinti, Nampa, ID, 47; 6. Eriq Arnold, Star, ID, 45; 7. Erin Huddleston, Meridian, ID, 40; 8. Jordan Harris, Nampa, ID, 39; 9. (tie) Kallie Weiz, Nampa, ID, 32; and Jacob Maxwell, Eagle, ID, 32


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