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Northwest Super Late Models Gear Up for Idaho 208

The Northwest Super Late Model Series presented by RaceCals will visit Meridian Speedway (ID) for only the second time in its history on August 19th.


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Event: The Northwest Super Late Model Series presented by RaceCals will visit Meridian Speedway (ID) for only the second time in its history on August 19th. Brooke Schimmel was the winner in 2017. It will be the first time the series has participated in the “Builders First Source Idaho 208”, the richest annual event at the ¼-mile facility. It will be the ninth annual running of the “208” and will pay $10,000 to the winner.

History: The first “Idaho 208” was run in 2015 as a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race, as were the first five editions. NASCAR Cup Series star and 13-time XFINITY Series winner Noah Gragson won the first “NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208” over a 23-car field. NASCAR Cup Series sophomore Todd Gilliland landed in Victory Lane in 2016, defeating a 21-car entry. Michael Self beat Gilliland in the third addition with 21 cars in attendance. Popular NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series star Hailie Deegan used a bump and run move on the last lap to grab the victory in 2018 as 15 “West” cars made the start. Former NASCAR Truck Series competitor Derek Kraus beat an 18-car field in 2019, leading 100 laps of the 221 extended lap affair. Three of the five “West” races ran beyond the scheduled distance.

In 2020, the Super Late Models took center stage with Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series champion Jeremy Doss beating Pacific Northwest Legend Garrett Evans, when 25 Super Late Models started the feature event. Preston Peltier took home $20,000 the following year beating Zach Telford to the finish line after 18 cars took the green. In 2022 the Speed Tour Super Late Model Series headlined the event and Kyle Tellstrom took the $20,000 win over 23 Super Late Models in the “NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208”. The Northwest Super Late Model Series will sanction the event for the first time in 2023 with 31 Super Late Models currently planning to attend.

Manager’s Note: Adam Nelson is the former promoter of Chaperel Speedway (ID) and Douglas County Speedway (OR). He is now in his 15th season as the General Manager of Meridian Speedway and will be promoting the Ninth Annual “Builder’s Source Idaho 208”. Nelson has followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, but he will now see this year’s “208” sanctioned by the Northwest Super Late Model Series (NWSLMS). He is looking forward to the diversity that this year’s event will offer.

“Just that having the NWSLM series sanction this year’s “208” will have the most diverse driver’s roster of any “208” in the recent past”, Nelson stated. “There are so many drivers that can take home the $10K. It’s gonna be an epic shootout of the fastest cars, against the teams that know how to make the speed last on the long run, on the shortest track on the schedule.”

Championship Standings: 2023 Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist Haeden Plybon leads the championship standings heading into this weekend’s event. Plybon (255 points) leads Max Schroeder (213) by 42 points with Rookie-of-the-Year leader Zach Riehl (209) four additional markers back. Rookie Wyatt King (197) and Ken Bonney (177) round out the top-five. Christopher Kalsch (174), Kasey Kleyn (171), Dave Garber (144), Andy Beaman (141), and Nick Gibson (121) round out the top-10.

Large Field: 31 Super Late Models are currently entered for this weekend’s event, travelling from five different states. There are no former series champions on the roster. Four competitors have NWSLMS victories. Those include Haeden Plybon, Kasey Kleyn, Max Schroeder, and Kyle Tellstrom. Tellstrom was the 2022 “Idaho 208” winner.

Race Procedure: 26 teams will start the “Idaho 208”. 20 will qualify directly into the feature event. There will be two NWSLMS Provisionals based on the 2023 championship standings. Two Promotor Options will be added. Two starters will come from the 40-Lap “B”-Main. The “Idaho 208” will feature a halfway break at lap 104. The teams will have 15 minutes to make adjustments and change two tires before the final 104 laps will be contested.

Long Haul: Thane Alderman will make the trip from Las Vegas, NV to Meridian Speedway this weekend. The former Bullring at LVMS Super Late Model track champion and two-time “Fall Classic 150” winner is a former winner at Meridian Speedway. He is looking forward to his return, and to the crowd that will meet him.

“Meridian is a great racing environment”, the veteran racer stated. The crowds are amazing. I won there in 2010 with the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series. They open a gate and push your car between the two grandstands and sign autographs until the next race is over, then the crowd pushed my car to tech. When they announced the NWSLMS was part of the “208” I thought I would try and make it there. I haven't raced there since 2019 (I think). We go to every race to win, but it’s tough to go and beat the regulars. Mainly we just try and have fun.”

Former Winner: Kyle Tellstrom is the only former “Idaho 208” winner entered in this weekend’s event. Despite that status, Tellstrom feels he has something to prove, after winning the 2022 version in a “Wedge” bodied Late Model. Nevertheless, the multi-time Meridian Speedway track champion feels he has a strong shot at bringing home the $10,000 prize.

“I feel every time I run at Meridian I have a strong shot to contend for the win”, Tellstrom stated. “I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of success there in Lee Hackney’s #91 car. Winning last year was huge for our team. It’s the reason we now have a newer Senneker Performance car. Last year people stayed home because we had a 2008 Port City car with a Wedge Body, and a 602 crate motor, and people felt they couldn't compete. I work hard to run up front. I hope to reinforce last year’s win and log another big win for this season.”

SRL Champion: Jonathon Gomez had been out of Super Late Model racing for several years, but his return is starting to pay dividends. The team has a new to them Port City Racecars Phase 2 Super Late Model and they are coming off a victory their last outing at Meridian Speedway. It gives Gomez momentum and a little confidence heading into this weekend.

“I am always excited to climb in any race car”, Gomez began, speaking about his new ride. “The new car is great, but without Duane, Ryan, and Chris, it is just a new car. It is the whole team that makes it fast and gives us a chance to win, wherever we go. I am excited for the sport right now. To have over 30 fast cars coming to this race really says something about our sport. I really hope to be fighting for the win, but it will be tough against the field of cars coming.”

Young Spud: Zach Telford finished second to Preston Peltier in the 2021 version of the “Idaho 208”. He made his first start in the event in 2019, finishing ninth in the ARCA Menards Pro Series West event at the age of 15. A year later he finished seventh in his Super Late Model. This year, it is his goal to cross the line first, and grab the richest victory of his career.

“The 208 has been on my list since I ran it in the K&N car (now ARCA Menards Pro Series West)”, Telford recalled. “Getting second place finishes isn’t enough. I feel super strong and confident in our car for the “Idaho 208”, for sure.”

Last Hurrah: John Newhouse was third in this event in 2020. He experienced a stuck throttle in 2021 during qualifying, and in 2022 he decided the rules package wasn’t favorable for his Super Late Model and did not participate. But in 2023, Newhouse is ready to challenge the field for a win, in what could be his last opportunity to do so.

“There should be over 30 cars for the race, with some big hitters and high dollar cars we’re gonna have to beat. But we have always been pretty good with making chicken salad out of chicken sh**! This may be my last year racing Super’s. I'm gonna sell it all and go play with some other toys in the garage! I’ve been circle track racing since 1995 and have probably won 100 main events. I think that's enough for a lifetime. So yep, it's all for sale.”

Live Stream: For those unable to attend this weekend’s “Idaho 208” the event will be live streamed on Racing America. After taking one for the team at Tri-City Raceway, DJ Everett will be back behind the microphone with Shari Garber working the cameras.

Schedule: Pit Gates will open at 12:00 PM with paid practice beginning at 12:30 PM. The Pit Meeting is scheduled for 3:00 PM. Practice for all divisions begin at 3:50 PM, with line-ups set through practice for the local divisions. Front Gates open at 4:30 PM. Qualifying for the NWSLMS is scheduled for 5:50 PM. The National Anthem is set for 6:28 PM with the Pro 4 Main at 6:30 PM. The “B” – Main (40 laps) for the NWSLMS is next. Feature events for the Bandoleros, Street Stocks, Sprintcars, and Trucks follow. 7:55 PM will see the NWSLMS grid for the “Idaho 208”. The “Idaho 208” is scheduled to roll off at 8:15 PM.

Expected Entry:

1 Kasey Kleyn Quincy, WA
3 Andy Beaman Selah, WA
3K Ken Bonney Hermiston, OR
7 Zach Riehl Corbett, OR
8 Tyler Brown Kennewick, WA
8 Troy Evans Kuna, ID
09 Thane Alderman Las Vegas, NV
10 Justin Ellis Boise, ID
11 Nick Gibson Nampa, ID
17s Max Schroeder Tacoma, WA
17 Zach Telford Middleton, ID
21 Josh Fanopolous Boise, ID
22 Jonathon Gomez Twin Falls, ID
22P Ryan Phipps Burley, ID
23 Emilee Newman Marsing, ID
24 Jacob Smith Maybe
26 John Newhouse Twin Falls, ID
27 Skip Taylor Melba, ID
33 Christopher Kalsch Hillsboro, OR
35 Neveah Hull II Meridian, ID
40 Dylan Caldwell Nampa, ID
51 Larry Hull II Meridian, IDS
53 Alex Lessor Kalispel, MT
55 Haeden Plybon Spokane, WA
63 Dan Lowther Boise, ID
66 Gary Groves, Emmitt, ID
80 Wyatt King Boise, ID
81 Ray Clever Boise, ID
83 Dalton Cristiani Boise, ID
91 Kyle Tellstrom Boise, ID
93 Dave Garber Spokane, WA
94 Ashton Cristiani Boise, ID Maybe
96 Aubree Cristiani Meridian, ID


The Northwest Super Late Model Series is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Northwest. The series has many valued partners including RaceCals, Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, Gibson Diesel Performance, AR Bodies, Joes Racing Products, Penske Racing Shocks, Five Star Bodies, AFCO/Longacre Racing Products, Atomic Screen Printing and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Racing, Impel Motorsports, and The Ti Company. For more information on the series visit www.nwslms.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

-Story by: Kevin Peters/Northwest Super Late Model Series