Heavy hitters take a beating on Diamond Cup night 1
May 29,2015, Tyler Schild.
The twenty-sixth running of the BobFM Diamond Cup thundered into Meridian Speedway Friday night for the first half of a the annual battle for the Star Diamonds ring. The Canadian-American Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association and Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcars, Pro Truck Series, Kendall Ford Mini Stocks, College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks, and Coors Super Stocks all took a turn at the quarter-mile asphalt Friday. With twenty of the Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association and Mountain Dew Winged Sprintcar’s finest racers battling for the YMC Heating and Cooling trophy the action started early and didn’t let up until the final checkered flag waved.
First to test their mettle Friday were the College of Western Idaho Professional Truck Driving Street Stocks and Coors Super Stocks running a combined feature. On the green flag Dwayne Dillon and Gale Carter battled for the top Coors Super Stock spot. Dillon used some muscle to gain the point while in the CWI Street Stock ranks Shawn Hansen pulled out to the early lead. Lap three saw contact as Lynn Sharp tried to work his way under Dillon in turn three. Carter, with nowhere to go, piled into Dillon’s door. Behind the Super Stocks Marv Weaver and Shaun Bush couldn’t check up in time and they both slid into the stack also. Bush retired from the race while Weaver continued.
The restart saw young Coors Super Stock competitor Jordan Harris lead the pack to green with CWI Street Stock leader Hansen to his outside. Hansen used a surge out of turn four to overtake Harris. Marv and Melissa Weaver followed Hansen around Harris, then the father-daughter pair made their move for the lead. First it was Marv on lap five that took the top spot. Melissa was only able to catch her father before Lynn Sharp powered his Coors Super Stock around the Weaver Racing duo to take the overall race lead.
Once Sharp motored to the lead Melissa pulled to the outside of the family patriarch and blew past to take the CWI Street Stock lead. As Sharp encountered traffic Harris caught up to his fellow Coors Super Stock competitor and dispatched the veteran campaigner. Sharp’s car would leave the event at the halfway point in a cloud of smoke and fluid. With Harris and Melissa Weaver settled into the division leads Daniel Johnson’s car came alive. First he slung his racer around Marv Weaver in the high groove, then set his sights on CWI Street Stock leader Melissa Weaver. Johnson would pull to the lady racer’s rear bumper before a last-lap slide in turn two allowed Melissa Weaver to race away to the victory.
“Second time in the car,” said Harris of his fast Coors Super Stock. “Just a rush to drive it.”
“It’s a good thing we didn’t have a couple more laps because Daniel would have had me,” Weaver admitted in Arctic Circle Victory Lane.
The Kendall Ford Mini Stocks roared to action with Scott Thomas Keckley and Steve Singley on the front row. Keckley worked Singley over for the top spot on lap one before Mike Davis took the leaders three-wide into turn three and scooted by both of them for the lead. Travis Pavlacky tried to come with Davis, but a bonsai move by Jamie Leslie moved Pavlacky up the track and to the back of the pack.
While Davis and Leslie set sail up front Rick Brees raced out of the pack. On lap eight Leslie and Brees overtook Davis and put on their own show at the point. Three laps later Brandon Hild joined the party up front. Hild, front wheels churning, muscled his way to the top spot. A caution at the halfway point slowed Hild’s roll and brought Leslie, Brees, Pavlacky, and the fast cars of Ray Bolinger and Scott Shoecraft into the lead battle.
When racing resumed Hild and Pavlacky hooked up in the high line and ran away from Leslie and a surging Bolinger. As the laps wound down Bolinger caught Pavlacky and Pavlacky caught Hild. The three-way battle for the lead was spoiled as Mike Davis and Jayson Wardle got caught up with lapped traffic out of turn two. Davis was hooked head-on into the backstretch concrete. Davis was okay after the hard hit that demolished his Chevrolet Monza.
On the restart Pavlacky shot to the top spot while Hild fought to hold off Bolinger, Leslie and Shoecraft. Bolinger got the best of Hild as the laps remaining wound down to seingle digits and steamed toward Pavlacky’s rear bumper. With three to go Bolinger got to Pavlacky, but lapped traffic stymied the Bolinger run and allowed Pavlacky to cruise to the victory.
“We’ve been battling the car all day,” Pavlacky said of his home-built Kendall Ford Mini Stock truck. “But, it came back and took us to the front.”
The Pro Truck Series pulled fourteen heavyweight brawlers onto the quarter-mile for a forty lap main event. Jason Quale used the pole position to battle John Wong into turn one. Wong used the high side to pull ahead of Quale while Scott Luttmer and Jeff Hillock battled door-to-door for third. At the back of the pack heat race rivals Johnny Pierre and Hannah Newhouse slugged it out as they positioned themselves for a run to the front. This run would never happen as Tanner Wong and Drew Reitsma got together and spun in front of the field. Wong collected Sam Harris before both bent racers slid down in front of Newhouse, who piled into the crash and sustained heavy front end damage.
With turn one cleared racing resumed with John Wong and Luttmer beating and banging for the top spot. Something had to give, and it was Wong’s racer that lost traction and spun first. Luttmer was sent to the back along with John Wong for their part in the caution. That left Pierre to blow by Quale on the restart while Mason Newhouse and Daniel Shirley clawed their way onto the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard. Pierre paced himself while Newhouse and Shirley worked their way around Quale.
Shirley was the first to make a move as at the halfway point Shirley jumped to Pierre’s back bumper and went to work on gaining the lead. With eighteen laps left this battle for the lead went sour as Shirley and Pierre tangled in turn three. Now it was Quale and Newhouse in the troublesome first and second positions. Quale was the first to take off but couldn’t open a gap as Newhouse banged on the back bumper. With seven circuits left Newhouse rearranged Quale’s tailgate in turn one, but the Twin Falls, Idaho driver Quale kept it together to charge into Arctic Circle Victory Lane.
“Thanks everybody,” second-generation racer Quale said as he collected his first series trophy. “We figured something out and it went right.”
The BobFM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds kicked off with eighteen lightning-fast Canadian-American Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association Winged Sprintcars raced their way through a forty lap feature. Pole-sitter and all-time Meridian Speedway track record holder Andy Alberding had his hands full with Duncan, British Columbia racer Darren Yates. Alberding got the better of that match u and took the top spot as Bryan Warf made his move to the front on the high side. The roar of engines lasted only two laps as two separate pile-ups in the North end of the speedway slowed the action. Involved in the initial jam up was Roseburg, Ore. driver Matt Hein, Colville, Wash. racer Chris Schmelze, and Springfield, Ore. racer Rick Brown. Involved in the second incident was Mitch Holte, Greg Middendorf, and 2014 Diamond Cup winner and Middleton, Idaho native Sierra Jackson. Hein and Jackson were former winners of the Star Diamond ring, and Brown was the evening’s second-quick qualifier. Hein, Brown and Jackson would all continue.
This left Alberding, Yates, Matt Mansell, quick-time Scotty Aumen, and Warf atop the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard when the green flag fell on the final 38 laps. Alberding again charged to the front while Warf locked into the low line and tried to dig his way below Mansell. Deeper in the pack Hein and Jackson hooked up to make their way back toward the front. This pair worked until lap thirteen when Jackson’s racer broke loose and slid up into first Hein, then the turn three concrete. This wreck ended Jackson’s night and all-but removes her from Diamond Cup contention.
With the door wide open for a new Diamond Cup winner Alberding stormed his way back into the lead while behind him Mansell was put in the backstretch wall and went for a wild series of barrel rolls through the pack. Miraculously nobody else hit him as the car came to rest and Mansell walked away unscathed.
Alberding planted himself in the lead when racing resumed again but the battle was on for second as Warf and Yates scrapped hard for the runner up spot. Yates outlasted Warf to take the runner up spot at the halfway mark. Warf wouldn’t settle for second and he used lapped traffic to make his way back inside Yates to try for more precious weekend points. With ten laps left Warf made his move but was pinned between Yates and Mike Anderson. With six to go Warf tagged Yates in turn two, but Yates held on to finish second behind Alberding.
“He put on a heck of a fight,” Yates said of his race with Warf. “It was fun being able to race with a local driver like that.”
The race for the BobFM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds concludes Saturday. Don’t miss your chance to see the next chapter of Meridian Speedway history written as the BobFM Diamond Cup concludes Saturday. Along with the NSRA Sprintcars the Pro Truck Series, Meridian Vintage Racers, CWI Street Stocks, Claimer Stocks, Tates Rents Hornets rookies and the Idaho Tile and Granite Bike Races for Kids take their turns around the quarter-mile. Admission to the final night of the BobFM Diamond Cup is $18.25 for adults, 14.25 for kids ages 7-11. Seats are going fast so grab your tickets while they last under the big yellow water tower at Meridian Speedway.
BobFM Diamond Cup presented by Star Diamonds Unofficial Results-
Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association Diamond Cup (40 laps)-1.Andy Alberding 2.Darren Yates 3.Bryan Warf 4.Scotty Aumen 5.Chris Ratterree
Pro Truck Series (40 laps)-1.Jason Quale 2.Mason Newhouse 3.John Wong 4.Johnny Pierre 5.Jeff Hillcok
Kendall Ford Mini Stocks (30 laps)-1.Travis Pavlacky 2.Scott Shoecraft 3.Ray Bolinger 4.Brandon Hild 5.Pat McGuire
Coors Super Stocks and CWI Street Stocks (30 laps)-1.Jordan Harris 2.Melissa Weaver 3.Daniel Johnson 4.Marv Weaver 5.Shawn Hansen
(8 laps each)
Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association
A Heat-1.Bryan Warf 2.Mitch Holte 3.Scotty Aumen 4.Greg Minnendorf 5.Justin Mack
B Heat-1.Chris Ratterree 2.Ryan Newman 3.Chris Schmelze 4.Darren Yates 5.Rick Brown
C Heat-1.Matt Elliott 2.Colton Nelson 3.Andy Alberding 4.Matt Mansell 5.Casey Tillman
Pro Truck Series
A Heat-1.John Wong 2.Johnny Pierre 3.Hannah Newhouse 4.Mason Newhouse 5.Jeff Hillcok
B Heat-1.Scott Luttmer 2.Drew Reitsma 3.Tanner Wong 4.Daniel Shirley 5.Sam Harris
Kendall Ford Mini Stocks
A Heat-1.Brandon Hild 2.Pat McGuire 3.Ray Bolinger 4.Scott Shoecraft 5.Jayson Wardle
B Heat-1.Travis Pavlacky 2.Jamie Leslie 3.Mike Vester 4.Rick Brees 5.Brandon Shira
C Heat-1.Steve Singley 2.Mike Davis 3.Michael Capps 4.Scott Thomas Keckley 5.Donavon Parker
CWI Street Stocks
A Heat-1.Melissa Weaver 2.Marv Weaver 3.Jeff Meads 4.Shaun Bush 5.Daniel Johnson
Coors Super Stocks
A Heat-1.Gale Carter 2.Lynn Sharp 3.Dwayne Dillon 4.Jordan Harris 5.Ray Bolinger
Trophy Dash Winners
(4 laps each)
Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association A-Matt Hein
Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association B-Colton Nelson
Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association-Scotty Aumen, 11.661 seconds
Pro Truck Series-Hannah Newhouse, 14.625 seconds
Kendall Ford Mini Stocks-Ray Bolinger, 15.364 seconds
CWI Street Stocks-Melissa Weaver, 14.886 seconds
Coors Super Stocks-Jordan Harris, 15.009 seconds