Treasure Valley Racers Shine at Magic Valley Speedwayadmin
TWIN FALLS, Idaho—Triple digit track temperatures greeted the Speed Tour Modifieds and Speed Tour Sprint Cars Saturday, June 20, as the one-third mile Magic Valley Speedway hosted the Bud Light Bash on Brennan’s Carpet Night.
As the summer sun sank behind the grandstands as fifteen Speed Tour Modifieds swarmed Magic Valley Speedway for a fifty lap feature. On the break Dylan Caldwell powered past Tim Fahrner to put his Hotbox Farms, Conrad and Bischoff modified up front on lap one.
As the field fought for real estate on lap eight, Fahrner’s First Service Mechanical, Hillcrest Glass and Paint machine erupted in a cloud of smoke. Fahrner limped to the pit area but left behind a strip of fluid in the high groove of turns one and two. Officials tried to give the spill time to dry, but after six laps the caution flag was thrown and cleanup commenced.
When the green flag waved again Caldwell hooked the inside line and took the lead over Zach Telford, Dalton Cristiani, and Lynn Hardy. Hardy wasn’t content to run fourth, and with a daring move to the outside in turns one and two the veteran racer moved his Red Bone Trucking, Fat Boy Ice Cream racer to third place. Next in Hardy’s sights was Telford, who pushed high in turns one and two and allowed Hardy to make the pass for second on the inside.
But Hardy wasn’t alone in his march to the front as West Valley City, Utah’s Zach Webster matched Hardy move-for-move and settled onto his rear bumper in third.
With the Hardy-Webster duel in his rearview mirror, Caldwell put his head down and logged laps, and quickly built a three-second lead. Though Caldwell drew further and further distant, Webster continued to jab high and low on Hardy. It looked as though this physical battle would continue to the checkered flag, but a spin with just nine circuits remaining reset the field for one final shootout.
Caldwell led the field single file to green with Hardy, Webster, and Eric Rhead in tow. With four laps left Hardy broke away from Webster and turned his aggression on Caldwell. Hardy launched a pair of bold challenges as the race drew to a close, but Caldwell weathered the storm to take home the main event hardware.
“I’ve been racing with Lynn so long now, he makes me better every time I race against him,” Caldwell said post-race. “Were going for a championship…and we’re going to get it this year.”
The Speed Tour Sprint Cars thundered to green to close Saturday night’s action with a 35 lap feature. On the break outside polesitter Matt Elliott sped around Mike Straub’s SRC Industries car to lead lap one. Next to Straub’s tail tank were Rob Grice, Colton Nelson, and new all-time track record holder Casey Tillman.
First to make his move was Nelson, who piloted his Miller Lite, Maxwell Plumbing sprinter low around Grice and into second place with Tillman’s PFC Brakes, Ready-Made Plastic Trays entry right in his tire tracks. But all was not well with Nelson’s machine and he was forced to slow with an apparent tire puncture. The defending Speed Tour Sprint Car point champion continued to limp around the track for as long as he could, and caught a break when Mike Anderson’s Bender Electric, Elda Property Management racer went up in smoke on the front stretch. Nelson immediately pulled into the pit area for some fresh rubber while the field lined up double-file behind Elliott and Tillman for the restart.
The green flag waved and Tillman juked his way inside of Elliott’s Desert Sage Wall Systems, LLC, The Sign Shoppe sprinter for first place. But sparks flew behind the lead battle as Middleton, Idaho’s Hunter Stanley hopped Grice’s right rear tire and pounded the concrete wall in turn three. The speed carried Stanley’s Young Automotive Group, Grip Suspension machine first on top of and then over the wall before it dug into the dirt and spun to rest upright in the weeds.
Stanley emerged from his wrecked racer shaken, but okay. Grice would continue with what appeared to be minimal damage.
This restart placed Tillman behind Elliott, and again the Kuna, Idaho racer ducked low and motored to the top spot. But familiar foe Bryan Warf was on the move in his Allan Marsh Travel Center, Knapp Arms entry. The Meridian, Idaho wheelman closed the gap on Tillman and looked to make a move until Grice’s Fat Guys Fresh Deli, BLG Blue car lost fire and coasted to a stop on the back stretch, which set up a pivotal restart.
As the leader Tillman had the option to choose the high or low groove for the restart. Though he initially signaled his intent to restart on the inside, Tillman instead changed his mind and swapped to the outside coming to green.
Thinking quickly Warf adjusted his strategy and pinned his machine tight to the bottom in turn one. But Tillman cut back under Warf to take the lead on the apron of the racetrack. Warf countered with a huge run off of turn two before the yellow flag flew for a spin deep in the field.
With this electrifying start undone, Tillman and Warf realigned stem to stern for their second attempt at a lap 24 restart.
Tillman got the jump on Warf as he pulled to a commanding five car-length lead. Lapped traffic was heavy as the laps wound down, and Tillman navigated it to perfection, expanding his lead to over three seconds en route to his first Speed Tour Sprint Car win.
“I wouldn’t say we had the dominant car,” Tillman said post-race. “We ripped a good one in qualifying, but Bryan was by far the fastest car all day.”
“We had a long run car and every single little yellow was hurting us,” Warf said.
The Speed Tour Sprint Cars swing back into action Saturday, July 4, at Meridian Speedway in Meridian, Idaho for the Stinker Stores Firecracker 50. The Speed Tour Modifieds’ next appearance is also at the quarter-mile bullring in downtown Meridian, Idaho as they take part in the Saturday, July 25, Builder’s First Source Modified Double Down presented by ICON Credit Union on Walking Sombrero $1 Taco Night. For tickets, visit Meridian Speedway online at www.meridianspeedway.com, and catch all the news from around the Speed Tour at www.speedtoursprintcars.com or www.speedtourmodifieds.com. We’ll see you under the iconic yellow water tower in downtown Meridian, Idaho for the next chapter in the Speed Tour schedule.