Gomez Dominates Pro Truck Series 75 at Meridian Speedway

Meridian Speedway gave back to its youngest fans Saturday, July 7, as forty lucky kids scored a new set of wheel at the Mega Massive Bike Giveaway presented by DL Evans Bank.  The Pro Truck Series ran 75 hard-fought laps around the asphalt quarter-mile, while the TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks contested a duo of 25 lap dashes, and the Coors Super Stocks, Project Filter Pro-4s, High School Tuners, and Bombers battled the July heat as they chased the Allison Concrete by Design hardware.

The TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks were first onto the scorching asphalt for part one of their double 25 lap features.  James Pahl burst into the early lead in his Ray’s Auto Care machine, but soon relinquished the top spot to outside pole sitter Everett Meeks on lap two.  Three laps later Melba, Idaho’s Billy Shipp dispatched Meeks to the second spot with Terrell Daffron on his rear bumper.

While Meeks battled Will Ostrum for the third spot, Daffron wound his 208Tire.com, The Wrap Shop racer up and flew past Shipp on the outside to take the lead.  With the pack mired behind the Ostrum-Meeks battle Daffron sped away to claim the checkers.  Ostrum piloted his Diversified Carpet Cleaning entry to second, and quick-qualifier Fred Vigil brought his Larry H. Miller Collision, Ben’s Auto Glass machine home third.     

A full field of wild and wacky Bombers has twelve laps to find their first main event winner of the night.  On the break minivan man James Sheets rolled around Lance Brown’s Ford Bronco to take the early lead.  But Sheets had company in the form of Mirinda Miles, who pushed her old Thunderbird hard to catch Sheets. 

The strain proved too much for Miles’ machine, and after a wild slide through turns one and two the lady racer found herself in a battle with Richard Scott and Chad Atnip for the runner up spot.  Miles held her ground to cross the finish line second, but it all happened behind Sheets, who parked his van in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle.

A trio of High School Tuners took the green flag for a twelve lap shootout.  Sierra Lawrence got to the gas pedal first and drove her Commercial Tire racer around Arin Flagstade to lead lap one.  But Lawrence had company, and at the race’s halfway point James Strickwerda piloted his PBT Auto Sales machine around Lawrence to take the point.  This proved to be the winning pass as Strickwerda cruised to victory.

Disaster struck the Project Filter Pro-4s early in their 25 lap main event.  As Scott Shoecraft shot out to the early lead Kenny Chandler and Alex Duda came together in turn one and spun in front of the field.  Brendon Fries was first to pile in, and contact tore the left front corner of his Chick-fil-A of Meridian, Academy Mortgage Corporation racer.  Ben Harris also sustained heavy damage in his Kim’s Kars, Vitality Massage machine.

With Fries and Harris’ disabled machines cleared and repairs made to over half of the field, the green flag waved again.  Undamaged, Ray Bolinger overpowered Shoecraft to take the point while Brandon McLean stalked the top two.  McLean wasted little time, and the Meridian, Idaho racer worked his way into second on lap five, then to the top spot on lap eight.  But behind the leader Chandler and Ryan Bailey found the handle on their battle damaged machines and began their run forward.

Chandler worked the outside line, and with a dozen circuits remaining the Kuna, Idaho racer tried to put his Project Filter, Fairly Reliable Bob’s entry up front.  But Chandler’s run wasn’t enough, and he instead fell to Bailey, who climbed into the high groove and took his Les Schwab, Specialty Supply machine past both Chandler and McLean to the front.  Despite the damage, Bailey’s car held together long enough for him to take the checkers.

The Coors Super Stocks crowded the quarter-mile as they battled through a 25 lap feature.  On the break Boise, Idaho’s Gale Carter stormed to the lead while chaos erupted behind him as Josh Jackson, Jamo Stephenson, and Ron Hayes tangled in turn four.  Though fiberglass and sheet metal littered the asphalt, all three competitors returned to the race.

On the restart Chuck Youngblood worked past Carter for the lead and drove desperately to open a gap over second place Harrod and quick-qualifier Melissa Arte.  But Youngblood’s dash to safety was unsuccessful as Arte scooted past Harrod and then pounced on the leader.  By lap six Arte had her Marv’s Tire Service, Dillon Performance Engines entry out front, which left Youngblood and Harrod to fight it out for the runner up spot.

The scrap for second went sour with seven circuits remaining when Harrod and Youngblood made contact in turns three and four.  The resulting spin sent the pair to the back of the pack and put Carter side-by-side with Arte for the restart.  But Arte’s entry was too strong and she motored across the Caleb’s Chop Shop Victory Stripe first.

Eleven tough Pro Truck Series competitors rumbled to green for their 75 lap main event.  The green flag flew and Trevor Arnold wrestled his Blue Mule Auctions, Arnold Construction entry into the top spot.  But an early caution drew Townsend, Montana racer Ron Lawser to Arnold’s rear bumper, and on lap six Lawser had his Mountie Moose Bakery, JLG Industries mount in the top spot.

While Lawser opened a comfortable lead. action was hectic mid-pack as Twin Falls, Idaho’s John Newhouse and Buhl, Idaho competitor Jonathan Gomez sliced their way through traffic.  After ten laps Newhouse sat third behind Lawser and Drew Reitsma, and with a strong run on the outside put his The Car Store of Twin Falls, Coca-Cola machine in the runner up spot. 

Gomez was next to work his way up the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard as the third place runner employed a pair of inside passes to get around both Newhouse and Lawser.  This left Gomez to show the way in his Century Motorsports and Marine entry, while Reitsma and Newhouse scrambled to track him down.

Gomez continued out front through the race’s middle stages while Newhouse passed Reitsma and brought a whole crowd of contenders with him.  As the laps wound down Gomez enjoyed a three second advantage over Newhouse, Jason Quale, and Hannah Newhouse.  The only chance the field had to beat Gomez was a caution flag, and with seven laps to go the yellow flag flew and bunched the field for one last restart.

When the green flag dropped Gomez and John Newhouse left the rest of the field behind.  Though he kept pace with Gomez, John Newhouse was never able to mount a challenge for the lead and he settled for second behind race dominator Gomez.  Behind the lead duo, John’s daughter Hannah Newhouse outdueled Quale to bring her truck home third.

As darkness fell over Meridian Speedway the TEAM Mazda Mini Stocks rolled back onto the quarter-mile for their second Saturday showdown.  Pole sitter Fred Vigil was quick to the early lead but faced early pressure from Jayson Wardle, who used a daring three-wide pass on the opening lap to put his Lazee Days R.V., Catapult 3 machine into second.  Wardle worked to track down Vigil until a mid-race caution flew and allowed Wardle to pull even with Vigil on the restart.

But Vigil held the preferred outside groove, and when the green flag waved the Nampa, Idaho racer overtook Wardle for the lead.  Undeterred, Wardle fought back and reeled the leader in lap after lap.  With the white flag in the air Wardle dove hard into turn three, but wasn’t close enough to make the pass and Vigil took the night’s second Allison Concrete by Design trophy.

The Bombers finished off main event action with a fifteen lap skirmish.  Doug McGarva was quick out of the blocks and took the early lead, but quickly came under fire from Jess Freeman, who took the top spot on lap two.  But a caution flag on lap five scrambled the pack and put Mirinda Miles up front with Richard Scott second and first main event winner James Sheets third. 

On the restart Scott got the jump on Miles and dashed to the point with Chad Atnip in hot pursuit.  Atnip wheeled his green machine as hard as he could to make time on Scott, but his run came up short and Scott claimed the evening’s final checkered flag.

Meridian Speedway kicks off the second half of speedway season this Saturday, July 14 as the PitStopUSA.com NASCAR Modifieds celebrate Whelen Night at the Races with double main events.  Also on the card Saturday are the Coors Super Stocks, Domino’s Legends, twin Teleperformance Claimer Stock 25 lap features, and the Junior Stingers.  General admission to Whelen Night at the Races is just $11.50 for adults and $6.50 for kids 7-11.  Log on to meridianspeedway.com for all the latest news and notes from your NASCAR Home Track, and be sure to text ‘meridianspeed’ to 84483 for exclusive updates.  We’ll see you this Saturday, July 14 for Whelen Night at the Races under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.

Meridian Speedway PR