Caldwell’s Pahl Claims Neil Alan Race for Hunger 125 at Meridian Speedway

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MERIDIAN, Idaho—The pit area was packed Saturday, August 24, as 28 Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets invaded Meridian Speedway for the 125 lap Neil Alan Fine Jewelry Race for Hunger on Domino’s Pizza Night at the quarter-mile asphalt oval. The Pepsi Crate Cars and Idaho Sprintcar and Roadster League Sprintcars, Coors Super Stocks, and Teleperformance Street Stocks held their own battles for the Carl’s Cycle Sales Feature Flags.

Chase Henstock and Doug McGarva led an enormous field of 28 Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets to green for the 125 lap Neil Alan Race for Hunger to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission. On the break McGarva sped to the lead, but halfway down the back stretch the hood on his Poorboy Racing, Touchdown Automotive machine flew up and he jammed on the brakes. In the resulting stack up point leader AJ Collins was turned head on into the wall. Destroyed, Collins was forced to retire his Touchdown Automotive, Trammel Construction machine from the action without completing a lap.

On the restart Josh Jackson and Joe Ransom shot to the top of the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Ransom got the best of this battle and settled his BLG entry in to the race lead just in time to catch lapped traffic.

Behind the leader Tommy Harrod and Nick Durbin joined forces to work their way to second and third. Harrod’s PBT Auto Sales car was hooked up and it took him just a handful of laps to track Ransom down and apply pressure to the leader.

No sooner had Harrod caught Ransom than the leaders entered a swarm of three-wide lapped traffic. In the scrum Ransom was forced into another car and spun headlong into the turn one concrete. Under the red flag Harrod’s car was found to be leaking fluid and was subsequently black flagged.

This left the lead to Nick Durbin, with Josh Parkkila, Riley Rogers, and James Pahl in hot pursuit. Pahl wasted no time as he dispatched Rogers and Parkkila to take second. But Rogers fought back and soon had his H&H Accounting, Goodwill Finance car beside Durbin’s.

A lap 47 caution bunched the field for a three-wide restart, and when the green flag waved Rogers, Pahl, and Jeff Matuska sped past Durbin for first, second, and third. Rogers opened up a two-second lead while Pahl worked to keep Matuska’s Top Wrench Repair, 5C Motorsports machine behind him.

Next to make his way up the ranks was Joe Pettit, whose Discount Tire, Doterra machine shifted to high gear and began to threaten the runner up. No sooner had Pettit caught Pahl than mechanical problems slowed Rogers. With the lead in his sights Pettit pushed his car hard, but contact with lapped traffic in turn four caused a caution flag and relegated him to the rear of the field.

On the restart Pahl piloted his Haze Gray Line Outdoors, Factory Tech Auto and Diesel Repair machine to the lead, followed by Durbin and Matuska. Traffic kept the leaders in touch with one another as laps wound off the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. The strain of the race’s final green flag run began to take its toll on machinery, and with just half a dozen circuits left the handling on Durbin’s TI Company, Idaho State Towing racer soured, which allowed Neil Wassmuth to move his Neil Alan Fine Jewelry, Jan’s Hair Design car into the runner up spot with Matuska on his rear bumper.

But it all took place behind James Pahl, who sped across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe a full four seconds ahead of Wassmuth. Matuska held on for third while Durbin came home fourth ahead of Casey Winter, the first car one lap down.

Bryan Warf held off a furious charge from championship foe Johnny Geisler to park his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Dave’s Quick Lube machine in Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle. The victory was Warf’s fourth Pepsi Crate Car and ISRL Sprintcar win of the season.

After a practice crash destroyed her Coors Super Stock, division leader Melissa Weaver took over her son Taylor’s Teleperformance Street Stock to salvage her evening. Weaver’s closest championship competitor was Daytona Wurtz, who led the majority of the race until a mechanical issue forced her All Makes Auto Salvage racer to the pit area with just two laps left. This left the door open for Chuck Youngblood, who drove his PBT Auto Sales racer to his first division victory.

The Teleperformance Street Stocks feature became a battle of survival as caution flags slowed the race’s early stages and inflicted damage on a number of front runners. When the smoke cleared the familiar Dillon Plumbing, Jump Time Idaho car of Jesse James Lawson pulled into the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.

Racing returns to its usual time this Sunday, September 1, for Ultra Touch Car Wash Ladies Night. The Speed Tour Regional Sprintcars and Intermountain Outlaw Modifieds cap a two-tracks-in-two-days Labor Day double-header, the PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds throw out the rule book for their annual Allen Stroebel Open Show, while the Factory Motor Parts Mini Stocks, Mulder Engineered Junior Late Models, and Big Daddy’s Barbecue Hornets chase their own Construction Services and Repair Feature Flags. Gates open at 4:45 p.m. Sunday with races going green at 6:45 p.m. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com to purchase your advance tickets and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive updates from around the quarter-mile. We’ll see you this Sunday, September 1, for Ultra Touch Car Wash Ladies Night under the big yellow water tower at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.