Doss takes home win in inaugural PCS late models
By Mark Evan Smith
Special to the Madera Tribune

The roar of Pacific Challenge Series Late Model cars was heard throughout the Valley on Saturday night, and once the LoanMart Madera Speedway's headlining 75-lap main event got into gear, in its first appearance ever at the "Fastest 1/3 Mile in the West," the 24 vehicles put on a racing war with Jeremy Doss eventually standing atop the wreckage.

Every second was a highlight, and every turn was excitement, perhaps capped by a huge wreck in lap 22 which caused a red flag for more than 15 minutes, forced two cars from the race, and had dozens in the audience on their feet as spills were mopped up and drivers were confirmed to be in safe health.

It appeared going into turn one of lap 22 that the motor blew in the 53 car of Kyle Gottula, which forced his front end into the turn two wall with several drivers, including the 3 car of J.R. Courage, behind as liquids spewed from Gottula's engine.

After Gottula hit the wall, Courage then slammed head first into Gottula's vehicle with major damage to his car, followed up with minor contact by the 39 car of Jimmy Stillman, who later left the race after a brief return. Gottula and Courage, however, remained gone.
Once the chaos was cleaned up, the race returned for a relatively-clean finish with some yellow flags along the way.

A PCS Late Model Dash earlier in the night established the event's front eight racers, led by Mike Beeler in the number 6 car, Justin Westmoreland in the 9 car, and the 5 car of Chris Scribner.
By lap 2, Beeler managed to zip out for a clean solo lead, later followed by Scribner, the 16 car of Jacob Gomes, and Doss, the event's top qualifier at 14.210 to Gomes's next-in-line 14.310.
Going into lap 25, Scribner wrested control of the race from Beeler on the outside line, followed up by Doss charging to the front underneath Scribner in Lap 30 for a lead he refused to relent.

After a yellow flag restart, Doss pushed back against Scribner's advances, then fended off the attack from Gomes who challenged him repeatedly leading into turns 1 and 3 from laps 40 through 45 on the inside line.

Upon several restarts for the final 30 laps, Doss chose to take the outside line every time and Gomes, though he finished second, was unable to find a way to utilize his slightly-faster best lap times to take the checkered flag.

"I felt like my car turned better through the lines," Doss said as he stood in victory lane. "Jacob might have been faster but he couldn't get the runoff on the bottom, I kind of struggled with that too all night. I'm just stoked to get a win here in Madera."

Doss said to be a part of the PCS series in its first-ever race at the LoanMart Madera Speedway was a challenge in itself, but one he and other drivers relished.

"It's a completely different setup than what we usually run," Doss said. "I was watching videos like Jim Pettit, Derek Thorn (Spears SRL SouthWest Tour), trying to learn how to run this track. I'm always running it hard, then hard on the brakes, back to the gas, but this was all about momentum, keeping it easy, and a lot of finesse it's just always a great feeling to come out on top and not put many marks on the car. That's a huge win."

Gomes said he felt pretty good with second place, and that he'd welcome coming back to the track.
"It's not bad for our first race here, in this car," Gomes said. "I like the track a lot. We've been working hard on these cars, and we finally got them figured out. It was a great race and felt good to be a part of."

Six other divisions helped put on their own breathtaking races Saturday night, with a Twisted Tea modifieds victory for Scot Alves, a win for Lance Tatro in the 360 Super Modifieds, Tyler Herzog in a tough MST win, Tim Curtis in a strong Toyota Sedans performance, Tom Patterson holding the checkered in the USAC HPD Midgets, and Tommy McCarthy victorious in the USAC HPD Restricted Midgets.

The Speedway will return to action Saturday, Aug. 22 for the 805 Extreme Series, with a barrel race extreme Enduro series 70-lap sprint, the Madera Late Models, Madera Hobby Stocks, 4-Bangers, and the Boost Drifting Series.

For information, visit, call (559) 673-7223, and visit the Speedway's Facebook page at for free ticket giveaways and photos from all events.

Headlines of the night

Alves swoops in for Twisted Tea trophy

In the Twisted Tea Modifieds, Scot Alves waited until the final seven laps of the 60-lap race to take over the lead from Robbie Knittel, and came away with the victory.
For more than 40 laps, Knittel held his place at the top, though Victor Machado in the 21 car kept things close and seemed ready to push for his own lead.

But in lap 53, Machado went into the wall of turn 4. Though he managed to recover as he spun out and looked to continue his hunt as he kept his car running in second place across the line, the yellow flag was already flying and Machado, because of the crash, was sent to the back of the pack.

From there, Alves, who had sat in third place for at least 30 laps, knew it was his time.
With Batman's classic logo atop his front end, Alves used a bit of his own detective skills to see a shot for the top on the restart from Machado's spinout slam, and ran his car hard to take the lead immediately once the green flag flew.

"I knew the only way I could get it is if I got a run on the start and pushed the car as hard as I could until the end of the race," Alves said. "I held off a little bit early in the race to conserve the car, and it paid off in the long run. We learned a lot today and we hope to do it again."

Alves added he was "overwhelmed with the win, and didn't think he'd come away with the trophy.
"It's great to be here, Kenny Shepherd (track owner and promoter) puts on such a good show, we love being here with great competition," Alves said. "These guys are a great group of guys to run with, real clean. I didn't think I would have it there on the last couple laps, they're all so competitive, but it's nice to finally be back out here with a win."

Knittel said he was disappointed that the yellow flag was perhaps thrown a bit too soon, but overall, it was a good night and he applauded Alves in the win.

"It's just a racing deal where they threw the yellow too early," Knittel said. "They were trying to save (Machado's) car and everything, that's fine. It just didn't work out too good for us tonight. We had a good run, but Alves outran us on the restart, he was hooked up. Second place is good, it worked well for points, but we're still a bit disappointed. Hopefully we'll be in that top spot next time."

Herzog MST master through exhausting race

In the 25-lap MST race, 17-year-old Tyler Herzog fought off dehydration and a gashed hand to survive for a hard-fought victory.
Starting in the pole under a reverse-qualifying start, Herzog first fended off Elliott Stjerne until by lap 12, longtime MST racer and past season champion John Bowersox began to press for the lead.
On lap 19, Bowersox cut underneath Herzog's inside line, but the young driver fended off the past champ and took the checkered flag.
Afterwards, Herzog appeared lightheaded and limp as he was helped out of the car by his father Darrel Herzog, who finished fourth in the race.
Darrel Herzog said afterwards, as his son was helped off the track to recuperate, that Tyler suffered deep cuts to his hand when they went deer hunting earlier in the day, which likely contributed to his dehydration and severe exhaustion.
But, perhaps true to the Herzog nature, Tyler refused to quit and his dad was filled with pride.
"I'm really proud of him," Darrel Herzog said. "He didn't want to miss the race, he wanted to be out here and he did great."

Tatro looking super in the 360s

After Herzog's win, Lance Tatro also held his top spot for a win in the 360 Super Modifieds division as he jumped from second place on the pole to first by the end of lap 1.
The rest of the way, Tatro, the second-top qualifier at 13.430, was challenged by both Jim Birges and AJ Russell, who led qualifying at 13.422.
In lap 15, Birges left the track for unspecified mechanical failures and didn't return. From there, Tatro held the lead against Russell the rest of the way.
"It was a good drive, a good race, and I'm proud to bring the win home tonight," Tatro said.

Patterson holds the line for USAC win

Though it took 30 laps, and a visible bump from Tommy McCarthy going into the final turn, 16-year-old Tom Patterson found himself in victory lane for the second time this season.
"He was trying to get me a little loose going in so he could go under me going into the turn," Patterson said of McCarthy's bump in lap 30. "But I punched the gas, drove it through, and I feel wonderful."
Patterson, who led from the pole, managed to first battle with past winner Dylan Nobile who later left the track after a collision in lap 15.
From there, McCarthy nearly took the lead after he moved into second by lap 22, then continuously pushed against Patterson.
But McCarthy's efforts - which earned him a win in the USAC restricted midgets - proved not enough as Patterson closed out the event after his last win in April.

Curtis rolls in the Toyota Sedans

Tim Curtis continued his dominance as points leader in the Toyota Sedans class with a solid win, followed by Brennen Mankin and Donnie Large Jr. in the top three.

Starting near the back of the pack, Curtis quickly moved his way up the field, taking third place by lap 2, second place a lap later, and first place by lap 5 over Thomas Magray.

From there, Curtis, who posted times more than two tenths of a second faster than Mankin each pass across the line, seemed unstoppable as he coasted to the win.

Afterwards, Curtis sad though he had at least a 40 points lead over Jason Lawton and other competitors, the season championship was "still up for grabs."

"It's still a pretty good points race," Curtis said, "so it can be anybody's championship."
Curtis said the track earned the win more than his car, as it really helped him maintain control through turns and build on his lead.

"I haven't done a lot to the car, it's just loosening up," Curtis said. "They've done a lot of stuff to the track to help it be a lot faster. I think it's the track that's coming in, and not the car."



PCS Late Models (75 laps):
Jeremy Doss
Jacob Gomes-(-0.519)
Mike Beeler-(-2.705)
Travis Minburn-(-3.353)
Cole Moore-(-3.946)
John Nesmith-(-4.221)
Don Swartz-(-6.097)
John Moore-(-7.042)
Austin Gant-(-7.851)
Jeff Bischofberger-(-8.695)
Ryan Philpott-(-10.632)
Ronn Chunn-(-12.316)
Danny Malfatti-(-14.534)
Michael Hite-(1 lap)
Chris Scribner-(2 laps)
Bryce Napier-(8 laps)
Justin Westmoreland-(24 laps)
Hunter Corbitt-(30 laps)
Bobby Hodges-(34 laps)
Justin Philpott-(37 laps)
Jimmy Stillman-(51 laps)
Kyle Gottula-(53 laps)
J.R. Courage-(53 laps)

Twisted Tea Modifieds (60 laps, 30-lap split):
Scot Alves
Robbie Knittel-(-0.717)
TY Carlson-(-1.524)
Elliott Stjerne-(-2.429)
Brian Collins-(-2.688)
Rick Avila-(-3.063)
Brandon Jones-(-4.920)
Victor Machado-(-10.862)
Nathan Smith-(7 laps)

360 Super Modifieds (30 laps):
Lance Tatro
AJ Russell-(-0.651)
Justin Tuey-(-12.581)
Lance Jackson-(1 lap)
Austin Carter-(16 laps)
Jim Birges-(14 laps)

MST's (25 laps):
Tyler Herzog
John Bowersox-(-0.313)
Elliott Stjerne-(-2.036)
Darrell Herzog-(-3.142)
Zachary Cook-(-3.324)
Kevin Thompson-(-3.466)
Bert Stephens-(-3.687)
Patrick Geiger-(1 lap)

USAC HPD Midgets (30 laps):
Tom Patterson
Tommy McCarthy-(-0.210)
Cody Jessop-(-0.928)
Toni Breidingar-(-1.259)
Dylan Nobile-(-1.364)
Annie Breidingar-(-3.005)
Ethan Lesser-(-10.310)
Jesse Love IV-(-12.544)

USAC HPD Restricted Midgets (15 laps):
Tommy McCarthy
Cody Jessop-(-2.254)
Jesse Love IV-(-2.832)
Annie Breidingar-(-3.003)
Ethan Lasser-(-4.451)
Blake Brannon-(-8.875)
Jesse (James) Burks-(12 laps)

Toyota Sedans (25 laps):
Tim Curtis
Brennen Mankin-(-2.317)
Donnie Large Jr.-(-3.722)
Jason Lawton-(-3.999)
Jillaun Holden-(-7.844)
Thomas Magray-(-11.279)
Lucy Carmona-(-13.265)
Shirley Curtis-(-17.132)

PCS Late Model Dash (8 laps):
Mike Beeler
Justin Westmoreland-(-0.706)
Chris Scribner-(-0.905)
Travis Minburn-(-1.160)
Jeremy Doss-(-1.604)
Bobby Hodges-(-2.056)
Michael Hite-(-3.307)
Jacob Gomes-(-3.755)


360 Super Modifieds (8 laps):
Lance Tatro
AJ Russell-(-0.713)
Lance Jackson-(-1.820)
Justin Tuey-(-4.091)
Austin Carter-(-18.707)
Jim Birges-(2 laps)

USAC HPD Midgets (Heat 1, 8 laps):
Toni Breidingar
Dylan Nobile-(-0.750)
Tommy McCarthy-(-3.116)
Ethan Lesser-(1 lap)

USAC HPD Midgets (Heat 2, 8 laps):
Tom Patterson
Cody Jessop-(-0.595)
Annie Breidingar-(-1.046)
Jesse Love IV-(-6.684)

MST's (6 laps):
Darrell Herzog
Kevin Thompson-(-1.466)
Tyler Herzog-(-1.730)
Elliott Stjerne-(-1.893)
Zachary Cook-(-2.206)
John Bowersox-(-3.733)
Bert Stephens-(-4.601)
Patrick Geiger-(-13.388)

Toyota Sedans (6 laps):
Brennen Mankin
Tim Curtis-(-0.287)
Jason Lawton-(-0.957)
Donnie Large Jr.-(-1.069)
Jillaun Holden-(-2.017)
Lucy Carmona-(-3.161)
Thomas Magray-(-3.686)
Shirley Curtis-(-4.315)


PCS Late Models
Jeremy Doss-14.210
Jacob Gomes-14.310
Chris Scribner-14.318
Mike Beeler-14.389
Michael Hite-14.389
Travis Minburn-14.409
Justin Westmoreland-14.409
Bobby Hodges-14.411
John Moore-14.427
Jeff Bischofberger-14.451
Ronn Chunn-14.468
Don Swartz-14.486
Bryce Napier-14.486
Justin Philpott-14.495
Hunter Corbitt-14.501
Adam Coonfield-14.535
Ryan Philpott-14.570
John Nesmith-14.574
Cole Moore-14.581
J.R. Courage-14.640
Jimmy Stillman-14.701
Austin Gant-14.711
Kyle Gottula-14.840
Danny Malfatti-14.878

Twisted Tea Modifieds:
Nathan Smith-15.188
Robbie Knittel-15.203
Scot Alves-15.236
TY Carlson-15.321
Elliott Stjerne-15.392
Victor Machado-15.410
Brandon Jones-15.599
Brian Collins-15.599
Rick Avila-15.803

360 Super Modifieds:
AJ Russell-13.422
Lance Tatro-13.430
Jim Birges-13.511
Lance Jackson-13.628
Justin Tuey-13.891
Austin Carter-15.390

USAC HPD Midgets:
Toni Breidingar-14.713
Cody Jessop-14.856
Dylan Nobile-14.915
Tom Patterson-14.925
Tommy McCarthy-14.932
Annie Breidingar-15.017
Ethan Lesser-15.405

USAC HPD Restricted Midgets:
Tommy McCarthy-15.377
Cody Jessop-15.464
Jesse Love IV-15.614
Annie Breidingar-15.630
Jesse (James) Burks-15.810
Ethan Lesser-15.932
Blake Brannon-15.997

Darrell Herzog-16.791
Bert Stephens-16.799
John Bowersox-16.838
Kevin Thompson-16.998
Zachary Cook-17.024
Elliott Stjerne-17.087
Tyler Herzog-17.211

Toyota Sedans:
Brennen Mankin-17.677
Jason Lawton-17.688
Tim Curtis-17.716
Donnie Large Jr.-17.854
Lucy Carmona-17.889
Jillaun Holden-17.902
Thomas Magray-17.925
Shirley Curtis-18.207

Local classes entertain fans of all ages at the LoanMart Madera Speedway
By Ronald Montez / The Madera Tribune

Although it was a special evening that was dedicated to children, the drivers weren't kidding around on the racetrack at the LoanMart Madera Speedway.

Those in the local classes had plenty of motivation to race hard, do their best and leave an impression for the youths in grandstands on Kids Night presented by JBT Foodtech.

Young fans gazed and were all smiles as drivers in the Madera Late Models, Hobby Stocks, Toyota Sedans/4-Bangers and MST's combined for 130 laps of jousting for positions, clever tactics and maximum effort-racing.

"It's very important to put on a show for the kids and they give you inspiration," said Atwater's "Racing" Jason Aguirre, the Late Model main event winner. "When you got these kids that come up and actually want your autograph, that's something special. Some of the biggest nights that we've had here are based on signing autographs for those kids. When you see the glimmer in their eyes and they're looking up to you like you're some kind of hero, it's like, 'man I want to get back to another one of those nights'."

Aguirre joined Josh Whitfield (Hobby Stocks), Jason Lawton (Toyota Sedans) and Tyler Herzog (MST) as the winning drivers who made Saturday (August 1) a memorable night for the youngsters in attendance.

"We're very proud to bring a car here and get a win," said Aguirre, who took the lead after Lap 5 and zoomed past the rest of the field in the 40-lap victory. "To get a win for the kids tonight was very special."

It was certainly a great way to spend a Saturday for Henry Perez, who brought his grandchildren Christian, 12, and Jordan, 9.

"It's fun come to out here and enjoy looking at the races," said Perez. "I'm pretty sure we'll be back."

"It's awesome and I just love it," said Christian, of Visalia. "This is my fourth time going to the Speedway. Pretty much every time we come here, there's usually a free food BBQ that we go to and we usually get stuff. I also love seeing the cars race."

For Jordan, the best of part of racing is moments before the yellow caution flag is waved and chaos ensues on the track, or a car is completely covered in smoke.

"My favorite part is when some cars spin around and do burnouts," said Jordan, of Clovis. "I like when that happens and one also had flames coming out of the side."

For Christian and Jordan, the main event is always worth the wait.

"My favorite events are the final ones because I like seeing how relaxed the drivers are at the end of the race because you could tell that they were nervous at the beginning," said Christian.

"My favorites are the main events too," Jordan added.

Aside from watching the competitive display of driving on the "Fastest 1/3 Mile in the West", there were a number of activities for the next generation of fans to enjoy including prize giveaways, ticket raffle drawings, driver autograph sessions and scooter races among others.

Before the main drivers could show what they were made of, it was Jacob Rogers-Lehman, 9, and Tyler Burkhalter, 15, who each won first-place trophies in the scooter challenge to begin the evening.

Following opening ceremonies, Rogers-Lehman, of the Madera Ranchos, showed his blazing speed and easily won the two-lap race around the cones on the front straightaway.

Despite bumping with Rogers-Lehman to start the next race, Burkhalter, of Madera, kept his balance and used all of his might to push forward while going around the full racetrack - crossing the finish line on the way to a well-earned victory.

After Rogers-Lehman and Burkhalter received their winning hardware, the main drivers went to work on the track.



While Aguirre began the race in the fourth spot, it only took him five laps to get past the top-two drivers.

With Loren Kutz and Alexander Mead battling up top, Aguirre saw a slight window of opportunity to make a much needed pass on Turn 4.

Although it wasn't the smoothest maneuver, Aguirre zipped through both cars and took over the lead for the duration of the 40-lap, non-stop main.

"The move was a little aggressive," Aguirre admitted. "The 40 car (Mead) had the lead and was having a good little battle with the 96 (Kutz). When I seen him pull the 96 car going into Turn 3, I saw a hole and shot through the gap. I cut the No. 96 off just a little bit and rubbed the 40 car a little but I had the rocket here tonight and had to put it out front."

From that point, Aguirre built a nearly six-second lead over Mark Blanton, the division's top qualifier (15.546) and the six-lap heat race winner.

"I think it was a little aggressive but not too aggressive," Aguirre said of defending his move. "If I didn't put it out front, I'd let my sponsors and my crew down."

Following Blanton was Rick Thompson in third place.


Although his car wasn't in the best working condition, Jason Lawton wasn't going to let that be the deciding factor in the Toyota Sedans race.

Behind sheer will and a never give up-attitude, Lawton pushed forward and won the 30-lap main.

"I think it was more determination than anything because we actually have a burned up clutch in the car," said Lawton, who also won the six-lap heat race. "The car's actually broke right now but we did everything that we possibly could to make it go and it went."

If dealing with car's problems weren't enough, Lawton had to worry about his extremely talented competitors including Donnie Large Jr. and fast time qualifier Tim Curtis (17.484), who was aiming for his fourth straight main win.

"Everybody came out here to battle and run," said Lawton, who earned his first main win of the season. "It all went well tonight. For everybody who races out here, it's good to switch it around a little bit. We're glad we got first but congrats to second and third place."

Lawton, who entered Saturday's event second in total points behind the leader Curtis, began the main race in the sixth position.

While Lawton was moving toward the front, Dean Gould and Jillaun Holden were in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, early in the race.

However, both were eventually passed by Large while Lawton also got into second.

On Lap 14, Lawton finally caught up to Large and got around him.

According to Lawton, maintaining the lead for the final 15 laps was just as tough as taking it.

"You can't ever let up if you're going to race because there's always somebody hunting for your spot, it doesn't matter what place they're in," said Lawton, who held off the runner-up Large and Curtis, who took third.


For the second week in a row, Herzog was presented with a first-place trophy in victory lane.

However, it wasn't easy for the young driver.

Herzog had a number of obstacles to overcome including a maddening driver, a number of cautions and motor issues.

Despite all of that, Herzog was able to take the lead and hold his position on the way to a 30-lap victory.

"I just had to stay in my line and keep going my race," said Herzog. "When you're in the lead in these cars, you just have to run your line and you can't mess up. You just have to keep going and run your best."

Just three laps in, Herzog passed Zachary Cook to head the leader board.

His stay in first wasn't pleasant as veteran driver and 2013 track champion John Bowersox repeatedly nudged Herzog's car from the back.

"Just because I'm a rookie, he likes giving me little love taps here and there - it's just racing," said Herzog of the tactic. "He wants that top spot and is racing for the front."

After a restart on Lap 13, Herzog continued to stay in the lead while Bowersox left the race because of car issues.

Although Bowersox was out, Herzog still had mechanical trouble to handle while trying to fend off the rest of the cars including top qualifier Darrell Herzog (16.845), Cook, and Kevin Thompson, who won the six-lap heat race earlier in the day.

"I actually like the yellows because I like getting in people's heads and messing with them on those restarts with fast ones then slow ones," said Tyler. "My motor was overheating so I just slowed down and kept my motor cool so that I could keep going. It worked in my favor."

Darrell Herzog took second while Cook rounded out the top three.

Like Tyler Herzog, Whitfield earned a first-place trophy for the second consecutive Saturday and was hard to catch after taking the lead in the MST race.

Before earning the 30-lap victory, Whitfield also posted the best qualifying time of 16.020 and won the six-lap MST heat race.

Early in the main, Whitfield was racing side-by-side in first with Howard Holden.

As the two were approaching Jason Sitton, who was at the rear of the race, Whitfield had the slight edge ahead and pulled completely away from Holden as the two passed the lapped car.

Although Holden stayed in the area of Whitfield for awhile, he wasn't able to pass him.

While Whitfield opened up his lead again after a Lap 23 restart, Holden ended in second place and Kyle Fortney took third.

After going dark for a week, the LoanMart Madera Speedway will return Saturday (August 15) for the PCS Super Late Model Series (Pacific Challenge Series), Race No. 5 of the $1,000 to win Twisted Tea Modifieds, 360 Super Modifieds, USAC HPD Midgets, NCMA Sprints, Open Vintage Super Modifieds, MST and Toyota Sedans races.

Erickson wins 100-lapper in comeback fashion at the LoanMart Madera Speedway
By Ronald Montez / The Madera Tribune

In the 100-lap race of the LoanMart Late Model Series, winning driver Matt Erickson delivered a simple yet powerful message to the fans and fellow competitors: never give up hope, no matter what the situation is.

Despite trailing for all but three laps on Saturday night (July 25), Erickson kept at it and stayed in a close enough distance to position himself for a comeback win in Race No. 5 of the $10,000.00 to win LoanMart Open Late Model Series 100-lap (split 50's) main event.

"At the halfway break, I thought I wasn't even going to come close to winning," said Erickson, who was in third place after 46 laps. "I was going to settle for a top-five finish. We worked on the car and made a couple of adjustments, it actually woke the car up."

It was the first race of the season for the defending Open Late Model champ, who had to sit out the first four events for disciplinary actions stemming from last year's series finale.

Back racing on the "Fastest 1/3 Mile in the West", Erickson gave the loyal Speedway fans a memorable finish as he passed fellow competitor and runner-up Bryan Herzog in the closing moments of the 100-lap saga.

The veteran driver Herzog was aiming for his third straight win after posting victories on June 20 and May 30.

"I think we have the same amount of laps on this track," said Erickson. "I've lost count on how many I've ran but he's been racing here probably his whole life and I've been here since 2007. We know how this track works. He's what they call a bottom feeder because he likes to stay on the bottom (part of the racetrack). I'll move around and go to the high-side or I'll go wherever and do whatever I have to do to at least try to win the race. It's either win or go out trying."

In a battle of strong wills, it was those in the grandstands who got to witness the electrifying made for MAVTV finish between the two drivers.

"That's what we try to do," Erickson said about giving the crowd an exciting and fierce show. "Without them, we wouldn't be here and the place would be closed down. So hopefully the fans liked that race and next month, they'll bring some more of their friends out and we'll have even more people out here."

That race is set for August 29.

With the 100-lap victory, Erickson joined a list of winner's on the night including Josh Whitfield (Open Hobby Stocks), Robby Czub (Legends of the Pacific), Ronnie Davis (Southwest Tour Trucks), Tim Curtis (Toyota Sedans), Tyler Herzog (MST's) and Andrew Payne (WSRA Mini Cups).


Before Erickson could claim the 100-lap main, he and Herzog had some ground to make up in the 22-car field.

"Obviously a full field is better," Erickson said of the big car count. "It makes it more interesting for the fans and gives you more cars to race against. When you come up to lapped cars, it's like going past traffic on the freeway. You have to dice and hopefully you pick the right lane. You have to have a lot more strategy out there."

Chad Holman, Ryan Hart, Joey Licata, Emma Tucker, and Buddy Shepherd were among the number of drivers who didn't make it easy for Erickson or Herzog early on.

Holman was the leader to start and continued to hold that position despite three restarts including one where the race came to a complete stop because of a seven-car mix-up caused by Shepherd, who turned Hart around on Lap 5.

"The first part of the race was a little frustrating because it seemed like we were going three laps and then there was a caution, then three more laps and another a caution," said Erickson, who eventually got into fourth after the restart. "It's like, 'come on guys, get your head on straight'- type of a deal."

Once Speedway officials sorted out the jumble, Holman still led with Licata, Tucker, Erickson, and Herzog behind in the top five.

Herzog built his way to third to only trail Holman and Licata before passing each of them following a Lap 26 restart.

Using his inside line, Herzog passed Holman on Lap 28 and didn't let three more yellows cost him his lead heading into pits after 46 complete laps.

Following Herzog in the No. 2-10 spots was Licata, Erickson, Holman, top qualifier Ryan Philpott (15.441), Rick Thompson, J.R. Courage, Bryce Napier, Shepherd, and Gabe Herzog.

When the cars returned to the track for the final 50 laps, Herzog stayed in front of Licata, Philpott and Erickson.

A flat tire by Licata, a piece of debris on the track and a spinout by Dennis Byers didn't keep Herzog from losing any momentum in the top spot.

According to Erickson, Herzog was tough to get around on the restarts.

"He just has a big motor in that car of his, he's running an open motor and we're running a crate motor," said Erickson, who was in fourth behind Herzog, Philpott and Shepherd before getting into second on Lap 83. "We're 200 pounds lighter but on the restarts and all that, it's hard to get position. Then when you get on the outside of him, you get the position in the middle of the corner but by the time you're coming off, they clear you with the big motor that they got, so you're still behind them. To do it (pass Herzog), you have to be side-by-side with him the whole time in the corner. It's just real hard to beat, you have to let your car roll. After that adjustment, it was rolling pretty good for us. With 25 to go, I was reeling him in on the outside and passing the second place car and I was thinking that I may have a chance to win this deal. "

After the cars of Garland Tyler, Gabe Herzog and Tucker got crunched together to force a red flag with 10 laps to go, Erickson caught up to Herzog on the restart as the two were neck-and-neck followed by Philpott and Shepherd.

"That was an upbeat pace that we were doing," said Erickson. "The top four of us were bumper to bumper. I think we were touching each other and you couldn't fit much between us."

On the Lap 94 and 96 restarts, the two continued to battle before Erickson grabbed the lead with three laps remaining.

Herzog didn't back off in the down-to-the-wire finish before Erickson could breathe a giant of sigh of relief once crossing the finish line.

"Those last two restarts helped me," said Erickson. "I got the jump on him and he raced me clean. We were able to pull out a win by a car length or so."

After Herzog was Philpott in third, Shepherd in fourth and Trevor Schlundt in fifth.



Like Erickson, another defending champion had to patiently climb up the position ladder.

Although he was the fastest qualifier (17.519) and a six-lap heat race winner, Curtis didn't reach the front of the Toyota Sedans race until there were 10 laps to go in his 25-lap main win.

While Curtis had to produce yet another come-from-behind victory, he got a strong challenge in the beginning of the race from Matt Doran, Jillaun Holden, Donnie Large Jr., Lucy Carmona and Jason Lawton, who also won a six-lap heat race.

With Doran and Holden battling in the top two spots, Curtis trailed Large before passing him on Lap 7.

Following a restart, Curtis began to close in on Doran, who was staying on the outside.

Running on the inside of him, Curtis pulled ahead for good on Lap 15.

Even though a restart with three laps to go lined the cars back together, Curtis held onto his lead while Large was runner-up, Doran placed third, Carmona took fourth and Holden rounded out the top-five.


Although it took some laps to do, Whitfield and Czub inevitably made their way to the front and finished strong in their respective races.

It was no coincidence that both drivers posted the top qualifying mark in those divisions as Czub (16.311) and Whitfield (16.049) have combined for nine main wins on the Speedway's track this season.

Whitfield, who began the 50-lap main in the fifth position, trailed early behind Kyle Fortney, who led for the first nine laps.

Whitfield passed Paul Beatty and Eloy Bazan to get into third behind Fortney and Howard Holden.

On Lap 10, Holden and Whitfield passed Fortney before a spinout and a couple of flat tires caused yellows to be waved with five laps to go in the first half of the race.

From that point, Whitfield went into the break ahead of Holden, Shelden Cooper, Joseph Riechmuth, Justin Lovelace, Fortney, Thomas Saurez and Beatty.

In the second half, Whitfield began to pull away while him and Holden created a distance between them and the rest of the field.

Behind Whitfield and Holden's finish was Cooper, who took third.

Before Whitfield's win, Czub had to track down Pete Pierce in 35-lap Legends race.

Once he got past the early leader, Czub was tough catch as Cody Winchel (2nd) and Josh Fleming (3rd) all made trips to the top-three winner's circle.

Czub and Bob Kuebler each won an 8-lap heat race earlier in the day.


MST driver Herzog got the fantastic evening started on the right foot with a win in the 25-lap main.

Herzog outlasted six-lap heat race winner John Bowersox, who took second.

Darrell Herzog also had a big outing as the top qualifier (16.829), six-lap heat race winner and third place finisher.

Although he didn't qualify first, Davis saved the best for last and led the entire 30-lap main in the Southwest Tour Truck Series.

Fast qualifier Ron Nava (16.164) took second despite being spun out by Ed Cutler on Lap 20.

Cutler also bounced back and took third while Zack St. Onge was fourth and Roger Harder - the six-lap heat race winner - was fifth.

Just as Davis did, Andrew Payne led from the first lap on in the 20-lap WSRA Mini Cups main.

Payne was also the No. 1 qualifier (17.803) and four-lap trophy dash winner before building a giant lead in his main.

The Madera Speedway is back this Saturday (August 1) for Children's Hospital Kids Night Presented by JBT FoodTech featuring the Madera Late Models, Madera Hobby Stocks, 4-Banger, Toyota Sedans, and MST's.

For more information please visit,

Results (unofficial)


LoanMart Late Model Open - 100 Laps
1. Matt Erickson
2. Bryan Herzog
3. Ryan Philpott
4. Buddy Shepherd
5. Trevor Schlundt
6. Chad Holman
7. Ryan Hart
8. Rick Thompson
9. Bryce Napier
10. J.R. Courage
11. Alexander Mead
12. Ronnie Roberts
13. Carl Pearce
14. Emma Tucker
15. Loren Kutz
16. Dennis Byers
17. Garland Tyler
18. Gabe Herzog
19. Joey Licata
20. Del McIntosh
21. Jason Aguirre
22. Larry Pasquale

Open Hobby Stocks - 50 Laps
1. Josh Whitfield
2. Howard Holden
3. Justin Lovelace
4. Shelden Cooper
5. Kyle Fortney
6. Joseph Riechmuth
7. Thomas Saurez
8. Steve Schetrmerhorn
9. Paul Beatty
10. Eloy Bazan

Legends of the Pacific - 35 Laps
1. Robby Czub
2. Cody Winchel
3. Josh Fleming
4. Nick Grossi
5. Pete Pierce
6. Jason Figura
7. John Bowman
8. Rob (Nasty) Nascimento
9. Tony Peffer
10. Seth Holman
11. Clayton Travels
12. Bob Kuebler
13. Johnny Morrissy

Southwest Tour Trucks - 30 Laps
1. Ronnie Davis
2. Ron Nava
3. Ed Cutler
4. Zack St. Onge
5. Roger Harder
6. Austin Edwards
7. Dennis Parkhouse

Toyota Sedans - 25 Laps
1. Tim Curtis
2. Donnie Large Jr.
3. Matt Doran
4. Lucy Carmona
5. Jillaun Holden
6. Sarah Vivian
7. Craig Nichols
8. Shirley Curtis
9. Jason Lawton

MST - 25 Laps
1. Tyler Herzog
2. John Bowersox
3. Darrell Herzog
4. Zackary Cook
5. Kevin Thompson
6. Patrick Geiger
7. Dave Lander
8. Elliot Stjerne
9. Bert Stephens

WSRA Mini Cups - 20 Laps
1. Andrew Payne
2. Sammy Nuno
3. Justin Scantlen
4. Austin Herzog
5. Alec Acevedo

Heat Races

Legends of the Pacific (Heat 1) - 8 Laps 1. Bob Kuebler 2. Jason Figura 3. John Bowman 4. Pete Pierce 5. Rob (Nasty) Nascimento 6. Tony Peffer 7. Seth Holman

Legends of the Pacific (Heat 2) - 8 Laps 1. Robby Czub 2. Johnny Morrissy 3. Josh Fleming 4. Cody Winchel 5. Clayton Travels 6. Nick Grossi

Southwest Tour Truck - 6 Laps
1. Roger Harder
2. Ed Cutler
3. Austin Edwards
4. Dennis Parkhouse

Toyota Sedans (Heat 1) - 6 Laps
1. Tim Curtis
2. Donnie Large Jr.
3. Lucy Carmona
4. Sarah Vivian
5. Craig Nichols

Toyota Sedans (Heat 2) - 6 Laps
1. Jason Lawton
2. Jillaun Holden
3. Matt Doran
4. Shirley Curtis

MST (Heat 1) - 6 Laps
1. Darrell Herzog
2. Tyler Herzog
3. Kevin Thompson
4. Dave Lander
5. Zackary Cook

MST (Heat 2) - 6 Laps
1. John Bowersox
2. Bert Stephens
3. Patrick Geiger
4. Elliot Stjerne

Trophy Dash

WSRA Mini Cups - 4 Laps
1. Andrew Payne
2. Justin Scantlen
3. Austin Herzog
4. Sammy Nuno
5. Alec Acevedo

Qualifying - 2 Laps

LoanMart Late Model Open
1. Ryan Philpott 15.441
2. Buddy Shepherd 15.448
3. Chad Holman 15.487
4. Bryan Herzog 15.516
5. Matt Erickson 15.560
6. Garland Tyler 15.625
7. Ryan Hart 15.644
8. Joey Licata 15.666
9. Emma Tucker 15.680
10. Gabe Herzog 15.691
11. Rick Thompson 15.759
12. Trevor Schlundt 15.805
13. Alexander Mead 15.869
14. Bryce Napier 15.885
15. Jason Aguirre 15.912
16. J.R. Courage 15.927
17. Carl Pearce 15.928
18. Larry Pasquale 15.970
19. Del McIntosh 16.107
20. Ronnie Roberts 16.298
21. Loren Kutz 16.338
22. Dennis Byers 16.942

Open Hobby Stocks
1. Josh Whitfield 16.049
2. Howard Holden 16.085
3. Joseph Riechmuth 16.456
4. Justin Lovelace 16.481
5. Shelden Cooper 16.492
6. Kyle Fortney 16.537
7. Paul Beatty 16.750
8. Eloy Bazan 16.898
9. Thomas Saurez 16.969
10. Steve Schetrmerhorn 18.571

Legends of the Pacific
1. Robby Czub 16.311
2. Johnny Morrissy 16.566
3. Cody Winchel 16.570
4. Josh Fleming 16.633
5. Clayton Travels 16.699
6. Nick Grossi 16.744
7. Jason Figura 16.901
8. Rob (Nasty) Nascimento 16.935
9. Pete Pierce 16.954
10. Bob Kuebler 17.051
11. John Bowman 17.122
12. Tony Peffer 17.994
13. Seth Holman 18.279

Southwest Tour Trucks
1. Ron Nava 16.164
2. Zack St. Onge 16.227
3. Ronnie Davis 16.380
4. Ed Cutler 16.483
5. Austin Edwards 16.649
6. Roger Harder 16.889
7. Dennis Parkhouse 17.637

Toyota Sedans
1. Tim Curtis 17.519
2. Jason Lawton 17.718
3. Donnie Large Jr. 17.851
4. Jillaun Holden 17.940
5. Lucy Carmona 18.098
6. Matt Doran 18.309
7. Sarah Vivian 18.429
8. Shirley Curtis 18.531
9. Craig Nichols 18.984
10. Del McIntosh

1. Darrell Herzog 16.829
2. John Bowersox 16.880
3. Kevin Thompson 16.964
4. Bert Stephens 16.982
5. Tyler Herzog 17.029
6. Elliot Stjerne 17.097
7. Zackary Cook 17.243
8. Patrick Geiger 17.419
9. Dave Lander 17.464

WSRA Mini Cup
1. Andrew Payne 17.803
2. Austin Herzog 18.313
3. Justin Scantlen 18.320
4. Alec Acevedo 18.435
5. Sammy Nuno 18.447

AN ENDURO OVERHAUL, the Madera Enduro Extreme Series is here!

Madera, CA (7.13.15) - Enduro racing has always meant low cost, fun racing for most everyone that has ever been involved with this type of competition. The Enduros came from a place where a car could be built in a week or two using wrecking yard parts then raced against 50 other cars or more in one off special events that filled grandstands with action seeking fans.

The enduro class has evolved from bone stock cars with a single roll bar in the 80's and 90's with 50-100 car fields competing in push and shove log jam style events into being just another bomber/hobby stock class with short car counts in the modern era.

At the LoanMart Madera Speedway, we are passionate about cost effective, fun forms of racing. We have been searching for a way to put the fun back into the Enduro division for the fans and drivers alike, while at the same time controlling the cost of a competitive car as a priority.

For several years we have been saying it is time for a makeover with the Enduro division, and we believe the time is now or never to save this fun style of racing. With that, the Madera Enduro Extreme Series is BORN!

We in vision having several different track layouts for the drivers to compete on during a season. Plus a new race format that allows for more fun for both fans and drivers. We are in the process of redesigning the infield of the LoanMart Madera Speedway to allow live pits stops for our stock car races, and a drifting course. This will allow us to build different race courses for the Enduro Extreme Series in the future at Madera once this project is complete.

For the balance of 2015, which involves three races in the 2015 championship with events on August 22nd, September 26th and October 24th, we will use a Barrel racing challenge to level the playing field and to provide more entertainment for the fans in the Enduros. For the Pumpkin Smash on October 24th, the event will be a three part challenge to win the BIG Pumpkin Smash Trophy and $2,000 payday!

For the August 22nd and September 26th races, drivers will qualify, run an eight lap heat race, and run a split 100 lap main event (50 laps each direction). All of this will be run around a Barrel Race.

For the Pumpkin Smash, drivers will qualify (around the barrel), then run a barrel heat race, then run a 100 lap Barrel Race (split 50's), then run a 150 lap Enduro race without the Barrel, but there will be a set of "S" turns on the back side of the track, plus all of the soap and pumpkins making it a slick track. 50 points will be awarded to the winner of each challenge (50 for qualifying, 50 for the 100 lap Barrel race, and 50 for the 150 lap Pumpkin race), 48 for second, 46 for third and on and on. The driver with the most points from the three different challenges at the end of the Pumpkin Smash is the Pumpkin Smash Champion and will earn the $2,000 bag of cash and the 4' tall trophy!

4-Banger BONUS! If a Stock 4 cylinder car can win anyone of the three events left in 2015, there is an extra $250 bonus that will be paid to that driver!

The rules will remain the same as they are for the balance of 2015, but we are looking at cost saving measures for 2016 and beyond for the Madera Enduro Extreme Series.

For more information about dates and rules go to

Drivers show moxie in Gerhardt Classic at the LoanMart Madera Speedway
By Ronald Montez
The Madera Tribune

Crashes, controversy and classic finishes is the best way to sum up the Gerhardt Classic at the LoanMart Madera Speedway.

From the vintage cars to the winged sprints, drivers in all the divisions certainly gave fans a pleasing show on Saturday night (July 11).

It was an open wheel event that had a little bit of everything including the 100-lap three-wide start BCRA Midgets race, Round No. 4 of the Pacific Region King of the Wing Sprint Series, Race No. 4 of the $1,000 to win Twisted Tea Modifieds, USAC HPD Midgets, NCMA Sprints, 360 Super Modifieds, Vintage BCRA Midgets, Vintage HardTops and the Vintage Open Super Modifieds that was presented by Hoosier Tire.

Although Nick Chivello (BCRA Midgets), DJ Hamilton (Winged Sprints), Victor Machado (Twisted Tea's), Dylan Nobile (USAC HPD Midgets), Eric Humphries (NCMA Sprints) and AJ Russell (360 Super Modifieds) each triumphed in their respective mains, they also had plenty of challenges to overcome.

Whether it was figuring out the intricacies of the track, reverting back to a winning setup, making some mid-race adjustments, having to perform double duties, or patiently waiting to make that last-second key pass - the wins weren't as easy as some of the drivers made them look.



Although he was in fourth place with less than three laps to go, Hamilton took advantage of the opportunities presented to him and pulled out an improbable win with a daring move that he greatly benefitted from.

With Kyle Vanderpool gunning for a win, Hamilton was two spots behind and knew time was running out.

With two laps to go, Hamilton darted forwarded - brushing Vanderpool's car from the side in the process - and eventually took the lead on the way to the 30-lap victory.

"I went in there full-throttle, hoping it was going to stick and it did," said Hamilton, who also won the eight-lap heat race earlier in the day. "I bounced off him (Vanderpool) and kind of used him as a cushion, but you know what - it's racing. On dirt, you do slide jobs, so even though we're on pavement, it didn't matter - racing is racing and I was happy with it."

Hamilton also finished third in the 100-lap BCRA midgets race.

While Dylan Hutchison, also a heat race winner, took second in the main, Vanderpool placed third but wasn't too fond of the situation.

"I talked to the King of the Wing officials and if they're going to let that stuff slide, it's pretty sad but it is what it is," said Vanderpool. "We'll regroup, come back and win the next one."

Although he started in the sixth position, the dominant Vanderpool worked his way up and inevitably took the lead.

After a caution lined the cars back together, it was Cody Gerhardt who got out in front after the restart and led for a portion of the race.

Gerhardt was aiming for a big win on a night that honored his great father and local racing legend Fred Gerhardt.

On Lap 27, Gerhardt's quest for a win came to an abrupt end after he went out of the main.

"This race really means a lot to me," he said of the annual Gerhardt Classic. "The last few years, I haven't really had the luck but I've had good equipment. We just need some luck around here. I've been having some steering issues in the last few races and just clipped the wall coming out of Turn 4 with five laps to go and broke something on the car. I couldn't finish but hopefully we'll come back in a month stronger and get the car fixed and get a win."

While Gerhardt was in the lead, Hamilton was just hoping to make a trip to the podium.

"My mindset at that point was to get a top-three," said Hamilton, who was behind Gerhardt, Vanderpool and Hutchison. "Honestly, Gerhardt had the car to win. I'll admit that he had the victory and deserved it. He was fast and doing everything right but unfortunately he had a spinout."

On the restart, Vanderpool was in the lead before Hamilton followed his instincts and took a big risk.

"I saw him (Vanderpool) being tight and going up the track while I was running the bottom of the whole race, so I thought on those last few laps I was going to give it my all because I wanted to win," said Hamilton, who passed Vanderpool on the final lap.

Vanderpool wasn't impressed with Hamilton's racing methods.

"His strategy is like his dad's - take people out at the end of the race," said Vanderpool. "That's how his dad got to where he is. Daddy's money has got him (DJ) to where he is and he's a spoiled brat. He'll be going for a ride soon. He needs to be taught a lesson and he will."

Vanderpool and Hamilton will potentially square off again in a September race.

"That was an awesome race," Gerhardt said of the finish.

"Absolutely," Hamilton answered when asked if he would do the same all over again. "Honestly, my strategy is to get a good start, get in front early and lead the whole race but that didn't happen tonight. Unfortunately, the car that we had was not very good and I was just racing with what I had."

Vanderpool hopes to put this race behind him.

"We'll keep chugging along and get the car back together, come out here and win some more races," he said. "Thanks to all my sponsors and team for busting their butts all day long. Everybody worked hard today."

In the BCRA Midgets main, Chivello never dropped below second and won the 100-lap main.

Chivello followed the leader Scott Pierovich, who led for the first 20 laps before exiting the race for good.

After assuming the lead position, Chivello stayed ahead of Frankie Guerrini, fast qualifier Chad Nichols (14.074), Hamilton, and Michael Snider on the top-five leader board.

Avoiding lapped cars and strong push from Guerrini, Chivello stayed the course and won the race that only had two restarts and was 24 minutes long.

"I was really conserving as long as I could in the last portion of the race there," Chivello said in a post-race interview with track announcer Outback Andy Foster. "I figured it was going to be green until the end."

Following Hamilton was Snider in fourth place and Gerhardt in fifth.

"The Madera Speedway is pretty much our home track," said Gerhardt, who had to immediately get ready for the Winged Sprint race. "It's great to have this 100-lap midget race here and start three-wide. I wish my great grandfather (Fred Gerhardt) was here to watch me race. Hopefully next year I can come back stronger and better and get the win for him."

A TWISTED TEA TALE OF TWO HALVES FOR MACHADO After a relatively quiet first half of the split 30-lap Twisted Tea Open Modifieds main, Victor Machado couldn't be stopped in the second part of the 60-lap race.

"We started in the back and that was kind of tough," said Machado, who was behind leader Elliot Stjerne, Terry Deal and top qualifier Todd Lynch (15.276). "We avoided some wrecks and worked our way up to third, so it helped us in the second 30-lap main event. I was able to avoid another wreck and we got some really good starts to get up front."

Stjerne led for the first 30 laps while Deal, Machado, Scott Alves, and Robbie Knittel followed in that order heading into the break.

Once returning from the pits, Machado felt ready to make a first-place run for the finish line.

"We made some adjustments that actually helped the car and I felt more confident going into the corners," he said. "I kept my mid-corner speed up, so that definitely helped. I was pretty happy. Once we got out front, I just had to run my line and hopefully I was fast enough to stay out front and maintain the lead and we did."

Machado didn't have much leeway with Alves and Nathan Smith pressuring him for the final 20 laps.

"He (Alves) was working me a little bit but my spotter was telling me that he was right there, so it was pretty intense there for awhile," said Machado.

Alves stayed in second and Smith placed third overall.

A NOBLE WIN FOR NOBILE IN USAC HPD MIDGETS Although it took him 26 laps to get into the lead, it was worth the wait for Dylan Nobile in the 30-lap USAC HPD Midgets race.

From his fourth place position, Nobile had to watch early as Cody Jessop and fast qualifier Tommy McCarthy (14.925) were battling for the top spot with Tom Patterson in third.

After a restart on Lap 10, Patterson took the lead while Nobile was now in second.

Patterson also won an eight-lap heat race earlier in the day.

Nobile's win was prolonged after the race came to a complete stop on Lap 15 to allow Speedway crew members to clean up leaked fluids on the track.

Once the race resumed, Nobile was doing everything in his power to try to pass Patterson low and inside on each turn.

His persistence paid off on Lap 26.

"I was trying to get by him throughout the whole race," said Nobile. "We just kind off kept on touching tires when we got side-by-side and I was just trying to get around him cleanly. The last lap, I just ended up driving in there as hard as I could and it stuck. I got by him cleanly and took the race win from there."

While Nobile took the checkered flag, Jessop bounced back and finished second while Patterson placed third.

Nobile didn't have much time to celebrate his victory in the winner's circle. He had to gear up in the pits for the 100-lap BCRA Midgets race.

"Getting in this BCRA car after my USAC race was a little difficult but we got it done," said Nobile, who finished seventh in the BCRA race. "I was a little sore after but it was a fun race. It's just about getting fluids in me and keeping me hydrated throughout the day. I've been preparing for today by staying hydrated throughout the week."

When Humphries was searching for a winning formula, he simply had to look no further back than a few of seasons ago.

Whatever he did to prepare the car, Humphries was clearly tough to catch in the 30-lap NCMA race.

"We've been working on a setup for awhile that we've been happy with but it seemed like it never put us in victory lane," said Humphries, who never trailed in the main and also won the division's eight-lap heat race. "We went back to what we were doing about two years ago and we just threw the kitchen sink at it for the heat race. We liked it a lot better, so we made more changes to it. I think we're finally getting back to where we were once at with the setup and the car is liking it there."

Humphries took lead and stayed ahead of points leader Audra Sasseli, who posted the top qualifying time of 14.542.

"You always show up to the track expecting to win," Humphries said. "That's what you come here for, but she's a tough, good competitor and on any given night, any of us can win it. It was one of those deals where I think it was our luck tonight. Everything fell in the right spot and hit in the right cylinders. We got lucky on the setup tonight."

While Humphries continued to build momentum after each lap, a red flag on Lap 19 stopped the race.

After the restart, Sasseli inched closer to Humphries for the remaining 10 laps.

"The red hurt me a bit," said Humphries. "The tires cooled off and I lost some forward grip but all in all, it wasn't to a point where we ended up losing it. I was better on that long run when I just got settled in and hit my marks. After that red, I got a little antsy and started overdriving the car. I had to tell myself to settle back down, be smooth and go and it worked."

Sasseli finished runner-up while Denny Burell placed third.

Humphries was quick to point out that he had a lot of help in obtaining the win.

"It's a team deal, it's not just all me," he said. "It's all the guys who bust their butt for us to make us go racing. It's all the crew guys putting the hard hours in and all the hard work in making these changes here at the track and in the shop."


Not only did Russell have to worry about Lance Tatro, who had the fastest 360 Super Modifieds qualifying time of 13.737 and won the eight-lap heat race - he also had to figure out the ways of the unpredictable track.

"The track has been quite challenging for the last three or four shows, it's taken on such a weird character," said Russell. "One session is one way - it's real loose and you think you have to adjust for it. Then you go out in the next session and the car's over-tight. So you adjust for that and you come back to go qualifying and the track's gone completely different. It's been kind of frustrating since the start of the year. You just can't get a handle on what's going on with your car and the surface. You try to adjust and make changes but within hours it's a different ballgame. We just started dialing in on trying to predict what the track was doing and tonight we just hit it."

Those calculated measures paid off for Russell in the 30-lap victory.

"We have a lot of confidence in our team, in who we are and what we've got," he said. "Most of the time, we just focus on our team and the car. The rest should pay off on Saturdays."

In the main, Russell beat out Tatro, who placed second while Lance Jackson was third.

"The race wasn't too bad and we kind of took the lead early," said Russell. "I kind of tried to establish a little bit of a lead and at that point, I kind of just backed off a little bit and cruised to a finish. There's always the unknown of what's happening behind you and how quick the guy behind you is going."

Although he remained guarded against possible hazards, Russell knew all he had to do was keep his stride going.

"I think there's always that confidence when you get out front that you can kind of relax at that point, know that you're in the catbird seat, and all you have to do is maintain what you doing for 30 more laps and you'll be good to go,"he said.

While Russell hopes for a repeat performance in his next race, he also wishes the numbers on the track can continue to grow.

"I believe this division will get the 410s back on the track," he said. "It has to be strong first and once it is, this division will be strong and it will be exciting for the fans. I'm hoping for a good, strong competitive class with a good car count."

In two weeks, the Madera Speedway will return back to action on Saturday, July 25 for Race No. 5 of the $1,000 to win LoanMart Open Late Model Series 100 laps (split 50's), Race No. 5 of the $500 to win Super Hobby Stock Series, Legends of the Pacific, MST, Toyota Sedans, 4-Bangers, Mini Cup, and 18 South West Trucks.



BCRA Midgets - 100 Laps
1. Nick Chivello
2. Frankie Guerrini
3. DJ Hamilton
4. Michael Snider
5. Cody Gerhardt
6. Dan Gundo
7. Dylan Nobile
8. Floyd Alvis
9. Gary Conterno
10. Chad Nichols
11. JR Williams
12. Scott Pierovich
13. Mark Maliepaard
14. Alan Beck

Twisted Tea Open Modified Series - 60 Laps 1. Victor Machado 2. Scott Alves 3. Nathan Smith 4. Robbie Knittel 5. Terry Deal 6. Elliot Stjerne 7. William Camara 8. Rick Avalia 9. Todd Lynch 10. Billy Bowerman Jr.
11. Dave Campbell

Winged Sprints - 30 Laps
1. DJ Hamilton
2. Dylan Hutchison
3. Kyle Vanderpool
4. AJ Russell
5. Anthony Simone
6. Jim Birges
7. Cody Gerhardt
8. David Goodwill
9. Tom Baker
10. Tim Barber
11. Marvin Mitchell

USAC HPD Midgets - 30 Laps
1. Dylan Nobile
2. Cody Jessop
3. Tom Patterson
4. Tommy McCarthy
5. Toni Breidingar
6. Jesse Love IV
7. Ashley Hazelton

NCMA Sprints - 30 Laps
1. Eric Humphries
2. Audra Sasseli
3. Denny Burell
4. Jerry Kobza
5. Justin Kawahata
6. Pat Ariaz
7. Jeff Burrows

360 Super Modifieds - 30 Laps
1. AJ Russell
2. Lance Tatro
3. Lance Jackson
4. Justin Tuey
5. Carl Johnson


Winged Sprints (Heat 1) - 8 Laps
1. DJ Hamilton
2. Cody Gerhardt
3. AJ Russell
4. Kyle Vanderpool
5. David Goodwill
6. Marvin Mitchell

Winged Sprints (Heat 2) - 8 Laps
1. Dylan Hutchison
2. Tim Barber
3. Anthony Simone
4. Tom Baker
5. Jim Birges

USAC HPD Midgets - 8 Laps
1. Tom Patterson
2. Toni Breidingar
3. Dylan Nobile
4. Cody Jessop
5. Ashley Hazelton
6. Jesse Love IV
7. Tommy McCarthy

NCMA Sprints - 8 Laps
1. Eric Humphries
2. Denny Burell
3. Audra Sasseli
4. Justin Kawahata
5. Jerry Kobza
6. Pat Ariaz
7. Jeff Burrows

360 Super Modifieds - 8 Laps
1. Lance Tatro
2. AJ Russell
3. Lance Jackson
4. Carl Johnson
5. Justin Tuey


BCRA Midgets
1. Chad Nichols 14.074
2. Cody Gerhardt 14.233
3. Mark Maliepaard 14.290
4. Frankie Guerrini 14.304
5. Scott Pierovich 14. 312
6. Nick Chivello 14.332
7. DJ Hamilton 14.360
8. Michael Snider 14.384
9. Dylan Nobile 15.077
10. Dan Gundo 15.231
11. Gary Conterno 15.247
12. Floyd Alvis 15.404
13. JR Williams 15.556
14. Alan Beck 16.297

Twisted Tea Open Modified Series
1. Todd Lynch 15.276
2. Nathan Smith 15.279
3. Terry Deal 15.358
4. Robbie Knittel 15.425
5. Victor Machado 15.484
6. Scott Alves 15.555
7. Elliot Stjerne 15.558
8. Dave Campbell 15.585
9. Aaron Coonfield 15.745
10. William Camara 15.789
11. Billy Bowerman Jr. 15.799
12. Rick Avalia 16.013

USAC HPD Midgets
1. Tommy McCarthy 14.925
2. Tom Patterson 15.057
3. Toni Breidingar 15.086
4. Cody Jessop 15.096
5. Dylan Nobile 15.156
6. Ashley Hazelton 15.773
7. Jesse Love IV 15.914

NCMA Sprints
1. Audra Sasseli 14.542
2. Justin Kawahata 14.809
3. Denny Burell 14.849
4. Eric Humphries 14.862
5. Jerry Kobza 15.318
6. Jeff Burrows 15.465
7. Pat Ariaz 15.564

360 Super Modifieds
1. Lance Tatro 13.737
2. AJ Russell 13.857
3. Lance Jackson 14.072
4. Carl Johnson 14.569
5. Justin Tuey 14.614

Fireworks, drivers delight fans at the LoanMart Madera Speedway By Ronald Montez The Madera Tribune




Those words not only described the Grade A fireworks show that was displayed for the fans at the LoanMart Madera Speedway - the same could be said for the drivers on the evening.

With the oval asphalt's infield sky illuminated by the dazzling fireworks show - combined with a five-main spectacular, the crowd celebrated Independence Day - short track racing-style - on Saturday night.

In the Jeff Doran Grass Roots Racer Classic, victories by Robert Slagle (Enduros), "Racing" Jason Aguirre (Late Models), John Bowersox (MST), Tim Curtis (Toyota Sedans), and Josh Whitfield (Hobby Stocks) were as equally impressive as the Fourth of July fireworks exhibition that left the spectators beaming in amazement.

"It was an awesome and great show," said Slagle, who witnessed the fireworks display from the pits before the Enduro race put on an entertaining performance of its own.


Although it was easier said than done, Slagle drove efficiently and outlasted the rest of the 14-car field in a bizarre and wacky 150-lap (split 75) Enduro race.

Not only did those drivers have to go around the "Fastest 1/3 Mile in the West" but they also had to circle past a tire each time - causing early congestion on the front straightaway near the finish line.

"It's survival for the first part of the race because when you're going around here (the tire), the pack was real close and it was a major traffic jam," said Slagle, who took the official lead on Lap 5 after he got around James Cooke and Antonio Mentzer. "I turned on my road rage, didn't use a turn signal and just shoved my way through the holes."

Competing in his second Enduro race, Slagle faced many challenges while trying to keep his lead in a race where a cautions didn't exist.

"As soon as you think you got a good line, somebody bumps you or there's another car that spun in front of you," said Slagle, who briefly lost his top spot to Robert Smith on Lap 18 before retaining it. "You can never do the same thing twice in that corner because there's always new scenarios unfolded in front of you."

With the first half of the race winding down, Slagle continued to stay ahead while getting a strong challenge from his son, Devin, who was in second place before exiting to the infield.

"He was really pressuring me with 10 laps to go before the intermission," said Robert, who led after the first 75 laps. "I was sad to see him go out but if he wasn't out, I might have had a tougher night. The car also was overheating really bad, so my pit crew cooled it off."

After returning from the brief break and reversing the direction from the first half of the race, Slagle had to work to regain his lead while other cars began to make permanent stops to the infield.

"The traffic really started dying down and then you could find some really clean holes around the poles," said Slagle, who never trailed after taking the lead back for second half of the main.

After 100 laps, Slagle's car was one of six still running along with David Etheridge's, Jake Kirby's, Randy Gens', Scott Cristy's and Cooke's.

"I didn't think she was going to hold up but it did," Slagle said his '78 Pontiac Firebird that features an American Flag decal on the roof. "The last 10 laps, I couldn't stop looking at that ticker board. The car was totaled as of Friday afternoon, so I worked on it all Friday night and my guys came over and helped me this morning. We got it back together in time."

Etheridge finished in second while Kirby placed third.


In the Toyota Sedans division, Jason Lawton gave the defending track champion and fast qualifier (17.533) Curtis a run for his money in the 48-lap (split 24) main that ended on a red-checkered flag.

Although Curtis led the 16-car division from the first lap on, Lawton kept him company up in the front along with Kyle Fortney and Donnie Large Jr.

Curtis and Fortney each won a six-lap heat earlier in the day.

After the first half of the race wrapped up, Curtis went into the pits with the lead while Lawton, Fortney, Large and Brennen Mankin held the top-five spots.

To start the remaining 24 laps, there was no letup from Lawton as he kept up with Curtis.

After a restart on Lap 34, the two were door-to-door with Curtis occupying the inside line and Lawton on the outside on the turns.

As Curtis began to briefly separate, Lawton was trying to hold off Large Jr. while Fortney was nearby.

With one lap to go and Curtis maintaning the slight advantage, Large's car got into Fortney's from the back and flipped it on its side.

Fortney, who also raced in the Hobby Stocks division, was announced to be okay as Speedway officials and crew members tended to the overturned car.

As the race came to a complete stop, Curtis was declared the official winner while Lawton took second and Mankin finished third.


Like Lawton did with Curtis, Darrell Herzog closely tailed Bowersox in the beginning of the 48-lap (split 24) MST race.

Bowersox took the lead early with Herzog - the top qualifier (6.934) and six-lap heat race winner - in second while John McCollum Sr. was in third.

While Bowersox was in the lead after 24 laps, McCollum eventually passed Herzog to get into second before the cars traveled to the pits.

Although there was early contact to begin the second portion of the race, Bowersox continued to stay ahead but couldn't afford to get too comfortable with McCollum, Herzog and Kevin Thompson giving chase.

McCollum patiently worked his way up to the top and overtook the lead position with Bowersox dropping a place.

McCollum appeared to be headed to victory lane before spinning out with less than two laps remaining.

That opened the door for Bowersox, who finished in front of Herzog (second) and Thompson (third), to take the checked flag.

While Bowersox, Slagle and Curtis earned hard-fought first-place hardware, Aguirre and Whitfield also had nights to marvel at.

Both drivers posted their respective division's top qualifying time, won a six-lap heat and were the winners of a main.

Whitfield (16.272 fast time) led for all 30 laps in the Hobby Stocks race while at one point building a 13-second lead between him and the third place driver.

"The car loves this track," Whitfield told the audience in a post-race interview.

With Whitfield leading throughout, Fortney held his spot in second and also built a distance between him and the rest of the pack.

Aguirre, who qualified with a time of 15.883, also led wire-to-wire in the 40-lap Late Models main.

Despite three restarts that grouped the cars close together, Aguirre still didn't surrender his position while runner-up Rick Thompson also stayed in second for the entire main.

Gabe Herzog took third while Adam Coonfield, who won a six-lap heat race as well, was fourth.

The Madera Speedway returns this Saturday (July 11) for the Gerhardt Classic 100 Lap three-wide start BCRA Midget Race, Round No. 4 of The Pacific Region King of the Wing Sprint Series, USAC HPD Midgets, NCMA Sprints, 360 Super Modifieds, Vintage BCRA, Vintage Super Modifieds, Open Vintage Super Modifieds, Race No. 4 of the $1,000 to win Twisted Tea Modifieds, and NCPRO 4 Modifieds.


Enduros - 150 Laps
1. Robert Slagle
2. David Etheridge
3. Jake Kirby
4. James Cooke
5. Randy Gens
6. Scott Cristy
7. Antonio Mentzer
8. Britt Wasson
9. Robert Smith
10. Devin Slagle
11. Richard Herzog
12. Austin Gens
13. Marisa Ogders
14. Jesus Hernandez

Late Models - 40 Laps
1. Jason Aguirre
2. Rick Thompson
3. Gabe Herzog
4. Adam Coonfield
5. Alexander Mead
6. Bryce Napier
7. Loren Kutz
8. Del McIntosh
9. Manny Gonzalez
10. Jason Mullins

MST's - 48 Laps
1. John Bowersox
2. Darrell Herzog
3. Kevin Thompson
4. John McCollum Sr.
5. Elliot Stjerne
6. Dave Lander
7. Jason Bowersox
8. Tyler Herzog
9. Rian Bowman
10. Zackary Cook
11. John Benedict
12. Patrick Geiger
13. Matt Doran

Toyota Sedans/4-Bangers - 47 Laps
1. Tim Curtis
2. Jason Lawton
3. Brennen Mankin
4. Thomas Magray
5. Dean Gould
6. Jilluan Holden
7. Candee McIntosh
8. Lucy Carmona
9 Chris Altuvilla
10. Ed Rodriguez
11. Jed Gilman
12. Kyle Fortney
13. Sarah Vivian
14. Rick Carlie (4-Banger)
15. Donnie Large Jr.

Hobby Stocks - 30 Laps
1. Josh Whitfield
2. Kyle Fortney
3. Eloy Bazan
4. Shelden Cooper
5. Dillion Blanton
6. Richard Herzog
7. Thomas Saurez
8. Josh Hensley
9. Larry Pierini


Late Models (Heat 1) - 6 Laps
1. Jason Aguirre
2. Rick Thompson
3. Del McIntosh
4. Gabe Herzog
5. Trevor Schlundt

Late Models (Heat 2) - 6 Laps
1. Adam Coonfield
2. Loren Kutz
3. Manny Gonzalez
4. Jason Mullins
5. Alexander Mead

MST (Heat 1) - 6 Laps
1. Darrell Herzog
2. John Bowersox
3. Zackary Cook
4. Patrick Geiger
5. Jason Bowersox
6. Elliot Stjerne
7. Matt Doran

MST (Heat 2) - 6 Laps
1. John McCollum Sr.
2. Tyler Herzog
3. Dave Lander
4. Kevin Thompson
5. John Benedict
6. Rian Bowman
7. Jed Gilman

Toyota Sedans/4-Bangers (Heat 1) - 6 Laps 1. Tim Curtis 2. Jason Lawton 3. Brennen Mankin 4. Ed Rodriguez 5. Jillaun Holden 6. Dean Gould 7. Chris Altuvilla 8. Eric Woods

Toyota Sedans/4-Bangers (Heat 2) - 6 Laps 1. Kyle Fortney 2. Donnie Large Jr.
3. Thomas Magray
4. Candee McIntosh
5. Lucy Carmona
6. Jed Gilman
7. Sarah Vivian
8. Rick Carlie (4-Banger)

Hobby Stock - 6 Laps
1. Josh Whitfield
2. Shelden Cooper
3. Eloy Bazan
4. Thomas Saurez
5. Dillion Blanton
6. Richard Herzog
7. Larry Pierini
8. Josh Hensley


Late Models
1. Jason Aguirre 15.883
2. Trevor Schlundt 15.932
3. Rick Thompson 15.933
4. Gabe Herzog 15.953
5. Bryce Napier 15.993
6. Del McIntosh 16.149
7. Adam Coonfield 16.190
8. Loren Kutz 16.660
9. Manny Gonzalez 17.084
10. Jason Mullins 17.110
11. Alexander Mead 17.926

Toyota Sedans
1. Tim Curtis 17.533
2. Kyle Fortney 17.642
3. Jason Lawton 17.718
4. Donnie Large Jr. 17.896
5. Brennen Mankin 18.009
6. Thomas Magray 18.027
7. Ed Rodriguez 18.127
8. Candee McIntosh 18.148
9. Jillaun Holden 18.208
10. Lucy Carmona 18.346
11. Chris Altuvilla 18.370
12. Jed Gilman 18.455
13. Dean Gould 18.493
14. Sarah Vivian 19.045
15 Eric Woods 19.473
16. Rick Carlie 20.570 (4-Banger)

1. Darrell Herzog 16.934
2. John McCollum Sr. 16.955
3. John Bowersox 17.058
4. Tyler Herzog 17.090
5. Elliot Stjerne 17.399
6. John Benedict 17.490
7. Jason Bowersox 17.508
8. Dave Lander 17.547
9. Zackary Cook 17.565
10. Kevin Thompson 17.573
11. Patrick Geiger 17.587
12. Rian Bowman 17.808
13. Matt Doran 18.330

Hobby Stocks
1. Josh Whitfield 16.272
2. Kyle Fortney 16.677
3. Richard Herzog 17.067
4. Shelden Cooper 17.082
5. Thomas Saurez 17.199
6. Dillion Blanton 17.302
7. Eloy Bazan 17.402
8. Larry Pierini 17.799
9. Josh Hensley 21.900


LoanMart Open Late Model Series:
Buddy Shepherd-15.680
Bryan Herzog-15.839
Garland Tyler-15.870
Ryan Hart-15.902
Bryce Napier-16.025
Jason Aguirre-16.043
Adam Coonfield-16.100
J.R. Courage-16.175
Jeff Belletto-16.223
Carl Pearce-16.256
Emma Tucker-16.260
Rick Thompson-16.269
Alexander Mead-16.3334
Del McIntosh-16.387
Gabe Herzog-16.453
Aaron Mullins-16.686
Manny Gonzalez-17.222
Dominic Lopez-17.371

Open Hobby Stocks:
Howard Holden-16.385
Joseph Riechmuth-16.536
Verg Beatty-16.653
Josh Whitfield-16.658
Richard Herzog-16.856
Nick Silva-16.869
Shelden Cooper-16.911
Kyle Fortney-17.052
Les Wasson-17.854
Eloy Bazan-18.166

John Bowersox-17.339
Darrell Herzog-17.430
Tyler Herzog-17.446
Elliott Stjerne-17.582
Dave Lander-17.659
Kevin Thompson-17.772
Rian Bowman-18.108
Patrick Geiger-18.137
Zackary Cook-18.147

Legends of the Pacific:
Robby Czub-16.436
Cody Winchel-16.675
Logan Zampa-16.677
Clayton Travels-16.875
Brian Hill-16.904
Josh Fleming-16.943
John Bowman-17.022
Rob "Nasty" Nascimento-17.024
Nick Grossi-17.100
Bob Kuebler-17.130
Jason Figura-17.189
Seth Holman-17.664
Tony Peffer-18.075

Toyota Sedans:
Tim Curtis-17.591
Donnie Large Jr.-17.899
Brennen Mankin-17.943
Jason Lawton-18.070
Jillaun Holden-18.106
Matt Doran-18.237
Lucy Carmona-18.529
Dean Gould-18.615
Jed Gilman-18.875
Craig Nichols-19.112
Thomas Magray-19.257
Shirley Curtis-19.850

360 Super Modifieds:
Lance Tatro-14.399
Lance Jackson-14.416
AJ Russell-14.726
Carl Johnson-15.508
Larry Hines-15.897

WSRA Mini Cups:
Andrew Payne-18.050
Cameron Legue-18.349
Austin Herzog-18.510
Jarod Cronk-18.569
AJ Jahr-19.002
Joshua Terry-19.936
Justin Scantlen-20.181