The CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series staged the second of two consecutive nights of racing at Meridian (ID) Speedway and while night one was tame and mild, night two was anything but. In the end it was series veteran Bruce Quale who edged rival John Nesmith and 15-year old Trevor Cristiani for the win.
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 6 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.”
While Quale won and maintains his point lead on the strength of eight consecutive top four finishes, championship rival Steve Jones finished seventh and gained six points based on events points to cut the championship lead to just 45-points with three races left on the schedule.
“This championship will come down to the final night,” Quale said. “I would love to have a big lead but racing Steve and John for the title is going to come down to who qualifies best and who does not have any bad luck.”
The next race for the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is Saturday, August 11 at Magic Valley Speedway for a 200-lap event. Log on to www.rmcsracing.com or www.magicvalleyspeedway.com for complete details. For a complete race recap visit www.rmcsracing.com or their Facebook page.
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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