MERIDIAN, Idaho—Meridian Speedway crowned a NASCAR Division I champion Saturday, September 14, as part of the Academy Mortgage by Ryan Shelby Meridian Chamber of Commerce Twin 25’s. The PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds and Winged Pepsi Crate Cars settled their 2019 campaigns, while the Coors Super Stocks, Project Filter Pro-4s, Domino’s Legends, and Firehouse Pub and Grill Bombers did battle for vital late-season victories.
Entering Saturday night’s first of two 25 lap features, Wyatt King held a 64 point margin over second place point earner Casey Tillman. Tillman shot past King in the race’s opening stages, quickly working his Ready Made Plastic Trays, Flores Group machine into third on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. But King was also working his way forward, a methodical march that put his Major Tire and Hitch, YMC Mechanical racer on Tillman’s rear bumper with ten laps to go.
With the championship on the line Tillman tried to duck under Shelby Stroebel for second, but contact sent Stroebel around on the back stretch, relegating both he and Tillman to the back of the pack. This left King second to Nampa, Idaho’s Josh Jackson, where he would finish the evening’s first feature. Tillman roared back through the pack to place fourth, which left him just one more shot at the championship.
With a near-full moon hung high over the back stretch the PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds rumbled onto the quarter-mile asphalt oval for their final fight of the season. On the break Michael Parker stormed around the outside of Mike Davis to take the early lead in his Lestarjette Painting, Impact Motorz machine as Joe Thuss and Stroebel followed the young driver forward.
Stroebel wasted little time with Parker as on lap three he dove to the inside line and took the lead in his Trinity Construction, Canyon Windshield entry. King and Tillman followed Stroebel around Parker and went to war with one another as the division title hung in the balance. Tillman got the better of this battle in just five short circuits and set to work tracking down Stroebel.
With ten laps left Tillman sat within one second of Stroebel as the pair entered a pack of lapped traffic. Off of turn two contact sent Thuss’ Aloha Auto Repair, ABC Grounds Care machine hard into the outside wall. Stroebel ducked low to miss the stricken racer, but Tillman was committed to the high line and piled into Thuss. His right front suspension destroyed Tillman retired from the event, leaving the championship to King.
On the restart Stroebel powered to the lead and cruised to the season’s final victory.
But it was King who won the season-long points battle by 97 markers over Tillman.
“I’m just so grateful,” King said in the Caleb’s Cho Shop Winner’s Circle. “I’ve won plenty of other championships kart racing, but never here at Meridian [Speedway] and it feels great to be back.”
The Winged Pepsi Crate Cars saw Bryan Warf overcome a bevy of engine problems with his Allan Marsh Travel Centers sprinter to score his eighth division championship since 2013. Nate Little and Bob Massey took home Saturday night’s first and second features, respectively.
Coors Super Stock championship rivals Melissa Weaver and Daytona Wurtz split their Meridian Chamber of Commerce Twin 25’s.
The Project Filter Pro-4 title fight tightened up as Jacob Harris scored a second place finish behind defending champion Brendon Fries in the night’s first main, then outdueled Kenny Chandler to win the division’s second main event.
Caity Miller swept both of the Domino’s Legends features Saturday night, outrunning Chance Davis to take home both of the Academy Mortgage by Ryan Shelby Twin 25 Night’s feature flags.
Firehouse Pub and Grill Bomber point leader James Sheets swept both of Saturday’s races to extend his standings advantage.
This Friday and Saturday, September 20 and 21, the fastest short track racers on earth pilot their speed machines around the quarter-mile asphalt oval as the King of the Wing series invades Meridian Speedway. Friday night features the Elliott Sportsman Classic, while Saturday plays host to the Pink Lady Classic and the season’s final Boat Race of Destruction. Log on to www.meridianspeedway.com for more information on the biggest open wheel show of the year, and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 to receive exclusive updates. We’ll see you this Friday and Saturday, September 20 and 21, for the King of the Wing national sprintcar series at your NASCAR Home Track, Meridian Speedway.