MERIDIAN, Idaho — Junk on the track was golden for Twin Falls racer Doug Dugger on Saturday at ASA-sanctioned Meridian Speedway.
The ASA Pro Trucks driver had been chasing fellow Twin Falls racer Jeff Pohlman for the first 26 laps of the 40-lap main event for the touring series. Then race officials called for a yellow flag because of debris on the racetrack in Turn 2.
Dugger rocketed to the lead on the ensuing side-by-side restart and left the rest of the field to beat and bang on one another as he cruised to the victory. Dugger was behind the wheel of a truck owned by fellow ASA driver Alan Larson, also of Twin Falls.
"I had a lot of fun and drove my heart out," Dugger said. "These trucks are a lot of fun."
In other main events during Jeff Russell Benefit Race Night:
Kuna’s Casey Tillman put a little more distance between himself and second-place Josh Allen of Meridian in the Pepsi Sprintcars by sweeping the wingless open-wheel division’s double feature.
Nampa’s Bruce Gilogily won the final Meridian Speedway main event of 2012 for the SPI Transportation Super Sixes.
Payette’s Josh Jackson continued to dominate the B Modifieds with another easy victory in that division’s 20-lap main event.
Running only his second race of the year, DJ Everett drove to a victory in the 40-lap Tates Hornets nightcap.
The Pepsi Sprintcars ran 50 green-flag laps Saturday night, and Tillman found himself out front when the checkered flag flew at the end of both features.
Tillman worked his way from the back of the field in each race. He started Main No. 1 in the back after grabbing the top qualifying time of the night, and his victory in the first 20-lap main event won him the honor of starting at the rear again as the field was inverted for the 30-lapper.
"We’re finally starting to get this car figured out again," Tillman said. "We had a couple of off-weeks, but I think we’re back on our game."
With 10 laps left in the first main event, Tillman found himself in second place and knocking on the back door of Caldwell, Idaho’s Ryan Newman. Newman was making his 2012 season debut.
With eight laps remaining, Tillman’s car was running loose, but he still managed to get around Newman for the lead despite the squirrelly sprinter.
"The car wasn’t handling, but I just had to be patient and wait it out," Tillman said.
The double wins probably gave Tillman a little more breathing room in his quest for the 2012 track championship. He entered the night with an 11-point lead over Josh Allen in the series standings. There is one race left on the schedule this year.
In the SPI Sprintcars, Gilogily led for most of the 30-lap feature race, holding off reigning series champ Jasen Skyberg of Boise and former series champion Bob Bachman of Kuna.
"They’re my teammates, and they worked me over pretty good it felt like tonight," Gilogily said. "I had a lot of fun tonight, and those guys helped out so much over the years. It felt pretty good tonight."
The three nearly got extremely close midway through the race when slower car driver by Steve Howell got into the mix.
While he and Skyberg approached Howell heading toward Turn 1, Gilogily drove his car into the middle of the track – and between Howell and Skyberg -- in a daring three-wide move to maintain the lead. Bachman hung back to watch the show and preserved his third-place run.
Turning what could have been another dose of bad luck into a positive, Josh Jackson got a helping hand in his quest to track down Nampa’s Jay Cook in the chase for the B Modifieds season championship.
"One of the truck drivers loaned me a fuel pump because mine broke during the (Fast Dash) trophy presentation," Jackson said.
Jackson, who has rebounded from early-season misfortune, entered the night trailing Cook by 33 points in the championship standings. Cook finished second in the main event and fourth in the Fast Dash in an attempt to hold on to the top spot.
The racing season begins to wind down next weekend with back-to-back nights of action. The Labor Day races kick off four nights of racing in six days for the speedway.
Saturday marks the Pit Stop Drive Thru Super Stocks championship night. The division’s 2012 finale will be accompanied by an appearance of vintage modifieds and sprintcars as well as twin 40-lap main events for the ASA Modifieds. The Street Stocks and Domino’s Pizza Legends also will compete, and the final round of Spectacular Drags for spectators will be held.
Sunday night is Tates Rents Fan Appreciation Night, which will feature a Legends regional race, the B Modifieds the final race of the Tates Rents 100 Series and the Thunder Dogs.
Tickets prices each night are $10 for general admission, $7.50 for senior citizens and military personnel with ID and $6 for children ages 7-11. As always, boys and girls 6 and younger get into the races free.
The gates open at 4 p.m. with qualifying at 5 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.
To get tickets online or more information about the track, visit www.meridianspeedway.com. The speedway can be reached at (208) 888-2813.
|Pepsi Sprintcars No. 1 (20 laps)|
|1. Casey Tillman, Kuna; 2. Ryan Newman, Caldwell; 3. Jamie Ransom, Boise; 4. Mike Anderson, Nampa; 5. Josh Allen, Meridian|
|SPI Transportation Super Sixes (30 laps)|
|1. Bruce Gilogily, Nampa; 2. Bob Bachman, Kuna; 3. Jaysen Skyberg, Boise; 4. Kevin Detweiler; 5. Kevin Chipman, Eagle|
|Pepsi Sprintcars No. 2 (30 laps)|
|1. Tillman; 2. Allen; 3. Ransom; 4. Erik Miller, Caldwell; 5. Cody Huddleston, Meridian|
|ASA Pro Trucks (40 laps)|
|1. Doug Dugger, Twin Falls; 2. John Newhouse, Twin Falls; 3. Jeff Pohlman, Twin Falls; 4. Scott Luttmer, Hagerman; 5. Dan Doan, Twin Falls|
|B Modifieds (20 laps)|
|1. Josh Jackson, Payette; 2. Jay Cook, Nampa; 3. Pete Trammel, Boise; 4. Randy Keckley, Boise; 5. Rosalee Weller, Caldwell|
|Tates Hornets (40 laps)|
|1. DJ Everett; 2. Chuck Youngblood, Meridian; 3. Art Heath, Nampa; 4. Thomas Harrod, Nampa|