MERIDIAN, Idaho—Picture perfect condition greeted a packed Meridian Speedway Saturday, June 30, as the quarter-mile asphalt oval hosted the NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodel Series for their longest race of the season, the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125. The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds joined the Rebel Modifieds of Idaho to battle through the third of five PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modified Shootout races, while the Project Filter Pro-4s, TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks, Coors Super Stocks, and Junior Stingers raced for their Darlene’s Printing trophies.
The Junior Stinger division kicked off main event action with a twelve lap dash. On the green Logan Castricone rolled around the outside of Hannah Scott’s Western Sandblasting and Powdercoat Service, All Makes Auto Salvage racer to take his Fast Glass, Linder Learning Academy machine to the early lead. Behind the leaders quick-qualifiers Rusty Houpt and Logan’s older brother Cody Castricone charged through the field in their bid for victory.
Meridian, Idaho’s Houpt worked the first half of the field on the outside, then cut to the inside to relieve Nampa, Idaho’s Jessika Harris of the runner up spot. Next on Houpt’s list was Logan Castricone, and on lap five Houpt took to his preferred groove and shot around the younger Castricone to take his Boise Spring Works, All Makes Auto Salvage racer to the lead.
A mid-race restart gave Cody Castricone one last opportunity to catch Houpt, but the Meridian, Idaho racer zipped back to the front on the green flag and never looked back as he cruised to victory.
The TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks brought nine hard-charging competitors to their 25 lap feature. James Pahl used his pole starting position to lead lap one, but Melba, Idaho’s Billy Shipp worked the outside line and motored past Pahl to lead lap two.
Behind Shipp, Terrell Daffron and Luke Wolverton went to war for second place on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Wolverton took those honors on lap seven, then quickly charged past Shipp to put his Julie Hart with Premier Mortgage, Hart Construction machine in the lead. Next past Shipp was championship leader Jayson Wardle, who took his Lazee Days RV, Catapult 3 racer to the runner up spot on lap ten, then ducked beneath Wolverton at the race’s halfway point in a bid for the lead.
Wolverton fought back in the high line to repel the attack, but Wardle kept the pressure up. Corner after corner Wardle looked low, and lap after lap Wolverton held the Kuna, Idaho racer in check. But a lurid slide in turn two with six laps left handed the lead to Wardle, who charged through lapped traffic to take the victory.
Seven Coors Super Stocks rumbled to green for their 25 lap feature. Ron Hayes got to the gas pedal first and stormed around Gale Carter for the early lead. But Melissa Arte got to the gas pedal too, and the lady race worked her Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines machine up to second place on lap three. Arte went to work on Hayes, and after a hard-fought quarter-mile Arte stood alone atop the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
Next around Hayes was Josh Jackson, who slung his borrowed Jackson Built Racing, Motor Mayhem Chassis Dyno machine hard around the corners. Though Jackson closed on Arte, his effort came too late and Arte sped to the checkers.
A full field of pavement-pounding NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodels rolled to the starting grid for the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125. On the break Dylan Caldwell stormed to the top spot while chaos erupted behind him when Daytona Wurtz and Ben Crow made contact. Crow’s Trenching Services, Emerald Transportation machine spun, Wurtz’s All Makes Auto Salvage entry pounded the backstretch concrete, and the race’s first caution flag flew.
Pre-race favorites Kyle Tellstrom and Trevor Cristiani, both of Ukiah, California, weaved their way through the carnage to restart third and fifth respectively. When the green flag flew Tellstrom dispatched second place runner Dave Thomasson, then flew around Caldwell to put his PitStopUSA.com, Joes Racing Products machine up front on lap three. But Cristiani was eager to take the top spot, and two laps later he cleared Caldwell and set to work on the leader.
Cristiani worked the inside line on Tellstrom, but didn’t have enough in his Pepsi-Cola racer to make the pass. This would change thanks to a lap forty caution which allowed Cristiani to pit for a chassis adjustment. This left Daniel Johnson in pursuit of Tellstrom on the restart with Cristiani at the back of the pack.
Johnson wheeled his Darlene’s Printing, Dillon Toyota Lift car hard to keep pace with Tellstrom as the leaders wound through lapped traffic. With the leaders hampered by slower cars Cristiani marched his way forward. With fifty laps left Cristiani pulled to Johnson’s rear bumper and the fight for second was on.
Cristiani worked the high line, but Johnson held station on the inside. For eight laps the battle raged until Johnson broke loose, which allowed Cristiani to take second on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. A late race caution bunched the field and set up a twenty lap dash to the checkers.
Tellstrom sprang to the lead on the green, but Cristiani followed suit and immediately looked to the low side in the corners. Lap after lap Cristiani jabbed low as Tellstrom’s car slid into the second groove, but lap after lap Tellstrom used his momentum to stay ahead. With the white flag in the air Cristiani tried a valiant dive into turn one, but Tellstrom drove in hard too and kept the spot. Lapped traffic stalled any run Cristiani could put together in turns three and four, and Tellstrom charged across the line to claim the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125.
Next onto the quarter-mile were the Project Filter Pro-4s. Outside pole sitter Sean Young rolled into the top spot on lap one with Alex Duda’s Boise Boys Transportation, Carbon Designs entry and fast heat race winner Brandon McLean’s Traditional Electric, Kenny Chandler Racing machine in tow. While Duda and McLean battled for the runner up spot, quick-qualifier Kenny Chandler flew through the field to join the lead fight on lap three. Chandler asserted his dominance immediately and by lap seven the veteran racer held the top spot.
Only Brendon Fries had challenged Chandler’s Project Filter, Jim’s Drivetrain car all day, and with a dozen laps left the Meridian, Idaho racer made his way around rival Ryan Bailey for second and set his sights on the lead. Though Fries closed on Chandler as the laps wound down, Chandler proved too strong and he cruised across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.
The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds crowded the quarter-mile for their third fifty lap PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modified Shootout feature. Outside pole sitter Casey Tillman blew by qualifying main event winner Chris Fenton to lead lap one while the pack jockeyed for position behind him. An air cleaner malfunction on lap three drew a caution flag and sent Fenton’s CF Flooring entry to the pits. This left Tillman in the lead with Donovan Parker, Joe Thuss, and Tommy Harrod in control of the field for the restart.
The green flag waved and Tillman rolled around the outside line to put his YMC, Tailor Made Upholstery racer up front again. Behind Tillman, Meridian, Idaho drivers Colton Nelson and Bryan Warf tore through the pack, eager to put their Integrity Pools of Idaho, Mulder Auto and Machine modifieds atop the Pepsi-Cola Scoreboard. On lap seventeen Nelson caught Tillman, and one lap later Nelson flew around the outside into the lead. Not to be outdone Warf followed and the teammates settled into a duel for the third PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modified Shootout.
Warf surprised Nelson on a mid-race restart and scooted around his teammate for the lead. But Nelson refused to surrender and tried to muscle his modified around Warf on the high side. Wheel-to-wheel and door-to-door the pair slid around the quarter-mile before Nelson asserted himself in the top spot.
Lapped traffic was heavy and slowed Nelson enough that Warf stayed planted in his rearview mirror. This pressure paid off as with three laps left Nelson spun as he worked to find clear track.
This handed the lead to Warf with Larry Hull III second and Josh Jackson third. Warf sped away from the field on the green-white-checkered finish while Jackson picked Hull III off to claim second.
Meridian Speedway celebrated Independence Day in style this Wednesday, July 4, with the Stinker Stores Firecracker 100 for the Teleperformance Claimer Stocks. Wednesday’s action also features the annual INEX Legends Regional Qualifier, double PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modified main events, Winged Pepsi Crate Cars, and fan favorite Midnight Ride of Paul Revere for the Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets. Not to be outdone by the on-track fireworks, the City of Meridian Fourth of July Fireworks display closes Wednesday night’s festivities. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday with racing action going green at 6:45 p.m. General admission to a full night of short track racing and the biggest fireworks display in the valley is just $13.50 for adults, $11 for seniors and members of the military, and $6.50 for kids 7-11. Log on to meridianspeedway.com for all the latest news from around the quarter-mile, and text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive offers and updates. We’ll see you this Wednesday, July 4, for the Stinker Stores Firecracker 100 and City of Meridian Fireworks at your NASCAR Home Track under the big yellow water tower, Meridian Speedway.
Saturday’s Unofficial Results
NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125
PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modified Shootout #3
NAPA Auto Parts Big 5 Latemodels
Quick Time – Trevor Cristiani, 13.214 seconds
Trophy Dash A – Kyle Tellstrom
Trophy Dash B – Neal Latham
Trophy Dash C – Dylan Caldwell
Main Event 1. #91 Kyle Tellstrom Ukiah, CA
2. #90 Trevor Cristiani Ukiah, CA
3. #29 Jeff Wade Paul, ID
4. #4 Daniel Johnson Nampa, ID
5. #5 Ben Crow Meridian, ID
PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds
Quick Time – Bryan Warf, 13.660 seconds*
A Heat Winner – Colton Nelson
B Heat Winner – Jonathan Hull
Main Event 1. #70 Bryan Warf Meridian, ID
2. #00 Josh Jackson Nampa, ID
3. #51 Larry Hull Boise, ID
4. #07 Colton Nelson Meridian, ID
5. #92 Casey Tillman Kuna, ID
1. #83 Chris Fenton Meridian, ID
2. #92 Casey Tillman Kuna, ID
3. #4 Joe Thuss Meridian, ID
4. #08 Donavan Parker Eagle, ID
5. #14 Nick Cunningham Los Gatos, CA
Project Filter Pro-4’s
Quick Time – Ken Chandler, 13.574 seconds*
A Heat Winner – Brandon McLean
B Heat Winner – Sean Young
Main Event 1. #33 Ken Chandler Kuna, ID
2. #34 Brendon Fries Boise, ID
3. #77 Ryan Bailey Nampa, ID
4. #39 Brandon McLean Meridian, ID
5. #22 Jordan Harris Nampa, ID
Coors Super Stocks
Quick Time – Melissa Weaver-Arte, 14.245 seconds
A Heat Winner – Melissa Arte
Main Event 1. #92 Melissa Arte Nampa, ID
2. #00 Josh Jackson Nampa, ID
3. #82 Tommy Harrod Nampa, ID
4. #36 Ron Hayes Boise, ID
5. #55 Gale Carter Boise, ID
TEAM Mazda Subaru Mini Stocks
Quick Time – Fred Vigil, 15.406 seconds
A Heat Winner – Luke Wolverton
B Heat Winner – Terrell Daffron
Main Event 1. #24 Jayson Wardle Kuna, ID
2. #87 Jason Sanders Caldwell, ID
3. #15 Fred Vigil Nampa, ID
4. #4 Luke Wolverton Boise, ID
5. #41 Andrew Harbeston Star, ID
Quick Time – Rusty Houpt, 16.622 seconds
A Heat Winner – Jessika Harris
Main Event 1. #64 Rusty Houpt Meridian, ID
2. #11 Cody Castricone Meridian, ID
3. #22 Logan Castricone Meridian, ID
4. #84 Jodi Moen Jerome, ID
5. #2 Hannah Scott Star, ID