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Longest Side by Side in History? 24th Annual Idaho 200 Wins Hearts

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

July 28th - 29th, Findlay Stadium Stateline Speedway

The 24th Annual Idaho 200 was not just a success. It created new fans, awakened seasoned fans, and reminded all of us just why we love this sport. As usual we had some of the best drivers come from all over the region (and one from Alabama!) to compete in the 200 lap race. Let's start with the entry list. With 32 entries this was actually one of the lower counts over the past few years, with some folks wondering if the high count of big races is stretching fields thin. On the other hand each entity deserves to have its big race. And there's only so many months in the season. If anything this is a quality problem to have. We've all been trying to grow racing in the Pacific Northwest. Large races are a sign of that growth.


32 Entries

1 Kasey Kleyn Racing

3 Ken Bonney

5 Kaidyn Moran

5 Jess Havens

5t Shelby Thompson

7 Dillon Huffines

8 Casey Jeske

8 Mitch Kleyn

9 Josh Roberts

11 Danica Dart

11 Nick Gibson

12G Rick Gerard

21 Dawson Cox

22 Terry Spessard-Auckerman

22 Garret Sawyer

23 Ryan Wells

26 John Newhouse

27 Derek Ball

28 Mathew Schoen

29 Jason O'Neil

31 Trayten Tarr

41 Marshall Hallet

45 Aleena Schovaers

54 Grant Thompson Racing

55 Haeden Plybon

75 Corey White Jr.

77 Scott Murphy

78 Haley Constance

81 Ray Clever

83 Dalton Cristiani

93 Dave Garber

94 Aubree Cristiani


Day 1 Pit Walk with Greg Rentz and Scott Mader

Greg and Scott made last year's popular pit walk and interview session a tradition by repeating it this year. Check that video out here.


Feel Good Story of the Weekend

This weekend marked a record for Findlay Stadium Stateline Speedway for the most women drivers to enter the Idaho 200. We are really proud of this and want to encourage more ladies to enter the sport.

(Thank you Dishaw Photography for the photos!)


From left to right:

  1. Aubree Cristiani

  2. Danica Dart

  3. Kaidyn Moran

  4. Haley Constance

  5. Aleena Schovaers

Unfortunately Aleena Schovaers suffered a blown motor during one of the qualifying heats. Kaidyn Moran and Danica Dart competed in the qualifying heats. Aubree Cristiani and Haley Constance made it to the 200. Overall we are excited about this improving trend.


Friday - Idaho 200 Day 1

Friday is always the perfect prelude to the 200 because we get to see all the entrants qualify and then a couple excellent support classes like Bandoleros and Modifieds take the stage. Really the modifieds could be on their own so it was a treat to have them on Friday. The Bandolero kids did an excellent job of putting on some good racing. There were a few cautions but they stuck it out and gave the fans a show.

Qualifying

  1. 11 Nick Gibson 13.930

  2. 55 Haeden Plybon 13.943

  3. 54 Grant Thompson 13.996

  4. 5T Shelby Thompson 14.045

  5. 5 Jess Havens 14.055

  6. 77 Scott Murphy 14.059

  7. 8K Mitch Kleyn 14.066

  8. 29 Jason Oneil 14.073

  9. 78 Haley Constance 14.075

  10. 96 Aubree Cristiani 14.082

  11. 22S Garret Sawyer 14.107

  12. 1 Kasey Kleyn 14.108

  13. 27 Derek Ball 14.111

  14. 83 Dalton Cristiani 14.130

  15. 7H Dillon Huffines 14.138

  16. 93 Dave Garber 14.139

  17. 23 Ryan Wells 14.151

  18. 7D Dawson Cox 14.165

  19. 26 John Newhouse 14.171

  20. 3 Ken Bonney 14.201

  21. 9 Josh Roberts 14.215

  22. 05 Kaidyn Moran 14.252

  23. 11D Danica Dart 14.254

  24. 31 Trayten Tarr 14.263

  25. 41 Marshall Hallett 14.293

  26. 8 Blake Williams 14.316

  27. 81 Ray Clever 14.352

  28. 22 Terry Auckerman 14.394

  29. 28 Mathew Schoen 14.476

  30. 12 Rick Gerard 14.764

  31. 75 Corey White Jr. DNS

Heats

After qualifying the top 14 are locked into the 200. So two heats are used to help choose eight more cars, with the top four from each heat transferring to the 200.

Heat - Even

  1. 93 Dave Garber

  2. 7D Dawson Cox

  3. 3 Ken Bonney

  4. 8 Blake Williams

  5. 05 Kaidyn Moran

  6. 12 Rick Gerard

  7. 22 Terry Auckerman

  8. 31 Trayten Tarr (DQ)

The big story of the evening was the disqualification of Trayten Tarr. During prep the week before he had many things to do to get ready, and unfortunately neglected to check the RPM chip. It was a 6500 chip instead of the required 6400. This car had been raced a couple times the year before so he didn't think to check it. Trayten took responsibility immediately saying that he should have checked the chip.

Heat - Odd

  1. 26 John Newhouse

  2. 23 Ryan Wells

  3. 9 Josh Roberts

  4. 7H Dillon Huffines

  5. 41 Marshall Hallett

  6. 81 Gordon Clever

  7. 28 Mathew Schoen

  8. 11D Danica Dart

  9. 75 Corey White Jr. (DNS)

Transfers

93 Dave Garber

7D Dawson Cox

3 Ken Bonney

8 Blake Williams

26 John Newhouse

23 Ryan Wells

9 Josh Roberts

1 Dillon Huffines


Finally we would have a Last Chance Qualifier on Saturday (The Western Rail 100) plus two provisionals and our final lineup for the 200 would be set.


Fan Fest

We had fan fest on Friday and so of course it was a fun time for folks to come down to the track and meet the racers and sit in race cars. We had Bandoleros and Modifieds racing on Friday so there was a decent variety of interesting cars on display. After Fan Fest we had the Bandolero and Modified mains to close out the evening's racing.


Caanan Smith Concert

(Thank you Dishaw Photography for the photo!)


But that wasn't all for the evening. Starting what will hopefully be a new tradition, a concert closed out day one of the Idaho 200. Canaan Smith put on an excellent show and all who attended we're talking about it on social media the next day. Caanan and the band even got a ride in the two seater from last year's Idaho 200 winner, Haeden Plybon! They loved it!


Saturday - Idaho 200 Day 2

Saturday began with qualifying for the Tire Factory Tristate Challenge Series Hobbystocks. The 200 is always a big race day for the Hobbys and so we usually have a decent car count but we were pleased to have 32. What a great count! With that being the case, track officials adjusted the schedule in order to give each racer a chance to race. So Hobby Stocks had qualifying, four eight lap heats, a 25 lap last chance qualifier and finally the 50 lap main event.


Day 2 Pit Walk with Greg Rentz and Scott Mader

Greg and Scott made one more pass through the pits and you can check out that video here.


Last Chance Qualifier

Here is your lineup in pictures followed by the race results.

Before the Hobby Stock main, we had the late model LCQ. This was the final chance for two racers to make the 200. It was a pretty clear victory for Trayten Tarr and Marshall Hallet. Here are the results.

  1. 31 Trayten Tarr

  2. 41 Marshall Hallett

  3. 11D Danica Dart

  4. 05 Kaidyn Moran

  5. 81 Ray Clever

  6. 28 Mathew Schoen

  7. 12 Rick Gerard

  8. 22 Terry Auckerman

  9. 75 Corey White Jr.

Provisionals

Every year two provisionals are chosen to round out the 26 entrants to the 200. This year the two were taken from Tri-State point standings and Stateline Speedway point standings. That made Ray Clever and Mathew Schoen the final two entrants.


Dice Roll

With Nick the number one qualifier his job was to roll the die. However with his TERRIBLE luck at previous attempts, he opted to ask his girlfriend Brianna to help this time. By terrible luck we mean absolute horrid. Like he should never gamble. It would not end well. For the past three dice rolls, since Nick is constantly a top qualifier, he has rolled a 10. It's definitely made for great racing to start but we're sure he'd rather have a lower number. So anyway she rolled for him this time.

BRIANNA ROLLED A 10! Oh boy we were all dyin'. What are the odds anyway? Surely the die is rigged and it must be inspected. Matt Alexander, you have some answerin' to do because there are questions about that die. ;)

Final Lineup for the Idaho 200

The Roll Out

The Idaho 200 roll out ceremony is always the perfect ramp up to the race. Each team rolls their car out on track and pushes it up to their starting position. Fans are starting to get excited.

As is the custom for the Idaho 200, the drivers were announced while walking down the stadium stairs to the track. It's always a really cool affair. After they come down to their car the crews say a couple more good lucks and it is time to "start your engines."

First 100

The first 100 laps seemed to go by quickly. It makes sense since there were zero cautions. We are fairly sure this is also another first for the Idaho 100. It was clean racing. With the invert Nick Gibson, Haeden Plybon, and Grant Thompson started at positions 10, 9, and 8.


Nick made some quick moves and was in second by the break. Haeden was in third and Grant Thompson was in fifth with Kasey Kleyn in fourth. Aubree Cristiani had the lead.


RaceCals went live on Facebook for the intermission so we don't have any photos. But you can watch that video here. We talked to a few of the racers. One was fairly satisfied with their results but most were talking about being too tight or loose and needing to make some adjustments. Let's see if you can guess which one was happy with their progress.


Second 100

We saw a bunch of cars exit the race in the second half. Jess Havens lost power, Shelby Thompson got too loose, Haley Constance and Kasey Kleyn both suffered damage at separate incidents. Sometimes the attrition is low, and with very low cautions you would have expected a higher finishing count, but by the time we neared the end there were twelve cars left.


Nick Gibson and Haeden Plybon

These two put on a show! They battled it out for 30-40 laps in the cleanest yet most exciting side by side racing of the year. One slip by Nick and Haeden would have taken the lead. But as it was Nick drove excellently and after a while being on the outside, Haeden couldn't keep it up. He fell back to second and it began to feel more clear how the race would end.


Then there was a caution at about lap 22 and Haeden tried one more time to pass Nick. But there just wasn't enough tire left. Grant Thompson started gaining on Haeden and perhaps if there had been some more laps we might have seen a different ending. But as it was the race ended with Nick Gibson your Idaho 200 winner, followed by Haeden Plybon in second and Grant Thompson in third.


Congratulations Idaho 200 Winners!

(Thank you Dishaw Photography for the photos!)


Nick Gibson - 1st Place

Nick Gibson and his team have been dialed in and it is awesome to see them on the podium of the 200. It was really only a matter of time considering how great of a racer he is and the company he keeps. Congratulations Nick! Looking forward to seeing what you do next.


Haeden Plybon - 2nd Place

Talk about determination - that side by side racing was incredible. We lost track of how many laps Haeden and Nick battled for the lead. HPR has already had an incredible season so 2nd place at the Idaho 200? It's just more fuel for the KDDP.


Grant Thompson - 3rd Place

Not surprised to see Grant Thompson on the podium. We are grateful that he can make the trip because he contributes to racing in the Pacific Northwest in a big way. GTR and the Racing Dynamiks crew are top notch. Look forward to the next time!


This year was really important for us - it's now been three years that RaceCals has been involved with Findlay Stadium Stateline Speedway. If the past three years are any indication, we are all set up for an increasingly great experience. Thank you Stateline Speedway crew! Also the Hermiston Raceway, Wenatchee Valley Super Oval, and Tri City Raceway crews all came to help. Y'all are awesome.

Up next for the RaceCals Pro Late Models is the August 19th Saturday Night Racing. Get your tickets now.


August 19 Saturday Night Racing


Visit raceidaho.com for all Findlay Stadium Stateline Speedway ticketing and event information. Make sure to support your local race track. Buy a burger and a beverage.


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