Quale Claims Wild Meridian Feature
BOISE, Idaho – The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series staged the second of two-straight nights of racing at Meridian Speedway, with Bruce Quale winning a wild main event Saturday.
Steve Jones paced the 23-car field in qualifying to record his eighth Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Award. Times were a bit slower across field from the previous night so a 16-car invert was in place for the starting grid. John Dillon, Trevor Cristiani, Dave Minegar, and John Nesmith rounding out the top five qualifiers. The 12-lap heat races were won Craig Bell, Chris Fenton, and Tyler Bailey.
While Friday’s feature only had three caution flags, Saturday’s feature was a bit less orderly having three cautions in the first 20-laps. With the event starting later than expected after several local classes were on track, the pressure of the noise curfew was looming, so everyone had to make the most of track position.
Morgan Rasumussen led the first lap giving way to Lee Hackney after the first restart. TJ Woodhall took over on lap six and led the next 34 circuits.
Friday night’s winner Brandon White made his way to the front on lap 41 and looked to make it a repeat performance before tangling on lap 74 handing the lead over to Trevor Cristiani on lap 75.
Cristiani had worked his way to the front from his 14th starting position keeping his nose clean and looked the have the car to beat. But two late cautions bunched up the field with Quale, Nesmith, Jones, White, and Marston all in the mix.
The race lap count was cut on the last caution from 100 to 85 setting up a green white checkered finish. Cristiani led the final circuit but experience battery problems stacking up the field behind.
Nesmith was glued to his bumper but Quale drove his Chevrolet deep into turn three on the outside to take the advantage as the trio exited turn four.
Quale edged Nesmith who got around Cristiani in the last one hundred feet to finish second. Mike Marston started 20th on the night but rallied to finish fourth with Jeremy Doss finishing fifth for the second time this weekend.
“It has been a long time to get back to victory lane,” Quale said. “This series is not easy to win in and tonight was certainly tough. I have always wanted to win at Meridian and that final caution really helped us.”