Newhouse, Caldwell Duel for Treasure Valley 125 Titleadmin
The Speed Tour Super Late Models presented by Pit Stop USA stormed Meridian Speedway on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, for the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley 125.
Thirteen Speed Tour Super Late Models presented by Pit Stop USA shook the grandstands as they roared to green for their 125-lap main event. Early to the lead was Boise, Idaho’s Daytona Wurtz, who piloted her United Metals, All Makes Auto Salvage machine to the lead from the pole position.
But long-time late model racer John Newhouse was strong early, and with just six laps in the books worked his PFC Brakes, The Car Store entry alongside Wurtz. A caution slowed Newhouse’s advance temporarily, but just a handful of laps after the restart the Twin Falls, Idaho driver took over the top spot on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
This dropped Wurtz into a furious battle for second with Dylan Caldwell, Aubree Cristiani, and Ashton Cristiani. Caldwell worked the inside line in his Hot Box Farms, Conrad & Bischoff racer, and took the runner up spot on lap twenty before a caution flag bunched the field and lined Newhouse and Caldwell up side-by-side for the restart.
The green flag waved again, but not for long as contact in turn three sent Caldwell spinning in front of the Speed Tour Super Late Model field. Somehow, heavy contact was avoided in the melee, though Wurtz and Ashton Cristiani did lose some body panels in the exchange.
When the smoke cleared and racing resumed, the pack settled into an extended green flag run. As the laps ticked by, Caldwell climbed his way back through the ranks until a caution flag for third place Nick Gibson’s Karcher Auto Body, Trevor Cristiani Racing machine put Caldwell into fourth on the Pepsi-Cola scoreboard.
On the restart, Newhouse roared past Aubree Cristiani to retain the lead while Northwest late model legend Garrett Evans wheeled his Leonard Evans Used Car Superstore racer beneath Cristiani for second place. Behind Evans, Caldwell’s car came to life and the Nampa, Idaho speedster hooked the inside line in his bid for the runner up spot.
Once again the caution flag flew when Aubree Cristiani and Chris Fenton tangled on the front stretch. Newhouse and Evans both picked the low line for the restart, which left Caldwell to take the outside front row when the green flag waved.
As he had all night Newhouse rocketed off of turn four to take the green, but Caldwell hung with the veteran racer. Door-to-door Newhouse and Caldwell charged through turns one and two, before Caldwell inched ahead off of turn four. No sooner had Caldwell taken the lead then Ashton Cristiani’s machine broke loose and pounded the turn two wall.
For the last time the green flag flew, and Caldwell ripped around the outside of Newhouse for the lead. For eight laps Caldwell held the top spot, but Newhouse’s car was strong on the long run, and he closed in on Caldwell’s rear bumper.
After a fierce three-lap battle which saw paint traded and blows exchanged, Newhouse emerged with the lead. It was a lead he would never relinquish and for the first time, Newhouse added his name to the illustrious Treasure Valley 125 winner’s list.
“We had a great time,” Newhouse said in the Caleb’s Chop Shop Winner’s Circle. “I knew I had a fast car long run…I just couldn’t get anywhere on those short runs.”
The Speed Tour Super Late Models presented by Pit Stop USA swing back into action for the NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208 on Friday and Saturday, August 27 and 28 at Meridian Speedway. Stay tuned to www.speedtoursprintcars.com for further information as this marquee event draws near.