The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series staged the first of two consecutive nights of racing at Meridian (ID) Speedway tonight and it was 15-year Brandon White from Eureka, CA coming out on top in the 75-lap feature event sponsored by Project Filter and ESI Express. White started the race from the 15th position and held off a fierce challenge from championship rivals Steve Jones and Bruce Quale for the win.
Jones paced the 22-car field in qualifying and would start 20th on the gird for the main event after the customary series invert. John Nesmith, Chris Fenton, Dylan Caldwell, and John Dillon rounded out the top five qualifiers.
The 12-lap heat races were won by were won by Jermey Doss, Mike Marston, and Craig Bell. RMCS competitors earn points for qualifying , heat race finishes, passing points (3-points per position based on original starting position) and main event finish.
The race was slowed just two times for single car spins. The first caution came out on lap 27 with Mike Marston at the front of the field leading the first 27 circuits. But Marston lost power under caution turning the lead over to Trevor Cristiani, another 15-year from northern California.
Cristiani held the top spot until lap 43 when his ignition went sour and he pulled his #90 into the infield and was a spectator the rest of the race. White took over the lead and never looked back although he was challenged over the closing laps by Jones and Quale.
“I can’t believe I won at Meridian tonight,” White said. “This track is awesome to race on and I had a blast. It was my first time in the car and man was it a rocket.”
White drove a Ford powered car out of the Mike Doss stables and team car to previous series winner and fellow northern California 15-year Jeremy Doss. “This is a fun series,” White continued. “I have never raced with an invert and never started that far back in the field but it was great racing with these guys. There is not a mark on the car. I went side-by-side with the #92 (Bruce Quale) for ten laps and he raced me hard and clean. What a fun night.”
Following White to the finish was Steve Jones who was the top point earner for the event and shaved 51-points off Quale’s lead even though Quale finished third. The difference was Jones qualified 1st and Quale tenth.
“It was a great points night for us and that is what I wanted,” Jones said. “Saturday is a whole different and animal but I am shooting for the same result.”
“Steve got me on that final restart,” Quale said. “I was a bit too tentative but the bigger deal was qualifying. He made up a ton of points on me and we are going to have to step it up in qualifying. But I am thrilled to score another top three.”
Rounding out the top five where TJ Woodhall in fourth and Jeremy Doss in fifth. The second five were led by local hotshoe Dylan Caldwell, rookie point leader Tyler Bailey, Dave Mineger, Rick Fowble, and Lee Hackney.
Quale holds only a 26-point advantage over Jones in the standings heading into Saturday’s race. John Nesmith who was runnning third with four laps to go lost a distributor and finished 15th dropping him 140-points behind Jones. Bailey sits fourth and Rick Fowble rounds out the top five after seven of eleven races.The action resume’s Saturday at Meridian Speedway and 24-cars are expected to be on hand for the race.
Post Race Notes:
*Thane Alderman lost a engine on lap 65 and he and the crew are working over night to make a swap.
*In 84 series races, no driver has ever won a race from the pole position.
*TJ Woodhall had his best career finish Friday with a 4th place performance.
*Dyaln Caldwell drove a new (used) car he just purchased out of California and it was his best effort in the series in two years.
*This is the third time this season a 15-year driver has won in the series.
*Tonight’s race marked the return of two former champions. Dave Minegar (06 &08) finished 8th, and John Dillon (09) finished 11th.
*Four drivers made their first start in the series at Meridian tonight.
*Nine of the top ten finishers started outside the top ten to begin the race.
*Steve Jones improved the most positions in the race (18)
CarbonX, the world leader in fire protective clothing, is in its fifth season as title sponsor of the RMCS. Along with Century Boatland based in Twin Falls, the two companies provide significant event and series support. Since 1985, Century Boatland has been the Magic Valley headquarters for new and used recreational, pleasure, and fishing boats.
The RMCS utilizes a racing format not found in ANY other regional touring series around the country. The RMCS inverts up to the top 20 from qualifying putting the fast qualifiers at the back to start each race. This format ensures race fans see what they paid for and that is passing. Each driver is awarded three points per position gained in the event. Points are also awarded for qualifying and heat race finishes. Through the history of the series, the winning driver has averaged a 12th place starting position. To ensure competition, the RMCS pays it purse based on total point accumulation for the event and provides several special performance awards at each race.
The series is supported by a great family of sponsors including: CarbonX, Century Boatland, Project Filter, ESI, A-1 Heating & Air Conditioning, Sharp Powder Coating, Five Star Racing Bodies, Hoosier Racing Tires, Frank’s Radios, Performance Solutions, Kidd’s Performance and Dyno, Joes Racing Products, PPG Paint, Circle Racing Wheels, and Mike Minegar’s Auto Body.
About The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series
The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is a regional touring series that allows all competitors to race and gain experience on different types of racetracks. It is a high-quality professional racing series that offers maximum opportunity at an affordable price serving the intermountain West. The motto of the series is to “Race Hard and Have Fun!” For all the latest news and information regarding the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series log on to our website at www.rmcsracing.com.
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