ST: Meridian Adds Whelen All-American Sanction

Idaho Track Also Announces Return Of K&N Pro West

By Jason Christley, NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A year after Meridian Speedway welcomed the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, the quarter-mile asphalt oval just west of Boise, Idaho, is set to make an even bigger splash.

In addition to hosting the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West again, NASCAR and Meridian announced today that the track will be part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in 2016.

“We are eager to build on the excitement generated by the series’ first visit to Meridian in more than 30 years,” said Meridian managing partner Adam Nelson. “The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series offers tremendous programs for our drivers, and our drivers are undoubtedly looking forward to the state championship battle with our NASCAR neighbors to the east of us – Magic Valley Speedway.”

Meridian will again be part of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule, hosting the return date on Sept. 24. The event, which featured 15 lead changes among five drivers, is expected again to play a big role in determining the series champion. It will be the penultimate event on the West calendar, before the champion is crowned a month later at All American Speedway in Roseville, California.

The track operates on Saturdays and will kick off the season with its opener on Saturday, April 16. Under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship program, the top division will be its Modifieds. In addition, the track’s other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will be the Pepsi Crate Cars (Division II), CWI Super Street Stocks (Division III) and Kendall Ford of Meridian Mini Stocks (Division IV).

Meridian also hosts a variety of weekly and traveling series that will round out the schedule including Winged Spring Cars, Big 5 Late Models, INEX Legends, Pro Trucks, Super Sixes, Open Mods, Junior Stingers, Tates Rents Hornets, CWI HS Tuners and Thunderdogs.

In continuous operation since 1951, Meridian was paved in 1963. The race track is set on the Meridian Dairy Grounds, and the annual Dairy Show and Carnival are held on the site every June. In addition to Nelson, a third-generation promoter and racer, the ownership group includes Al Russel and Don Newman. Russel raced at Meridian in the 60s, won multiple titles, and is still racing at the track track at 82 years old; while Newman is a former pit steward and Super Modified/Sprint Car owner who won the track title in 1961.

Ray Elder won the West Series race in 1972 en route to his fourth straight title under the old NASCAR Winston West banner, while rising star Noah Gragson dominated last year’s event.

For more information go to meridianspeedway.com, follow them on Facebook and Twitter at @MeridianSpeed.

Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s championship program for weekly short track auto racing with paved and dirt tracks throughout the United States and Canada.

Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering is the series’ title sponsor. Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. NASCAR tracks and pace cars across North American are among many showcases for Whelen products.

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Last year’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West featured 15 lead changes and the series will return to the track in September. NASCAR via Getty Images