MADERA, CALIFORNIA (April 26, 2023) – The third round of the 2023 MAVTV-televised Late Model season at Madera Speedway hits the one-third mile this Saturday night. Championship battles continue in the Lunkerdaddy Pro Late Models, 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models, and INEX Bandoleros. The ground-pounding NCMA Sprint Cars make their first 2023 appearance at the Madera Fairgrounds as well. Photo by Ethan Smith
All tickets will be sold at the track ticket booth. Adult tickets are $25, seniors are $20, youth ages 6-12 are $15 and kids five and under are free. Race fans can “Join” www.YouTube.com/ShortTrackTV for $19.99 per month for a members-only live stream as well. Opening ceremonies are slated for 6pm.
The first two races for the Lunkerdaddy Pro Late Models have had a combined winning age of just 32 years old. 26-year-old Shelden Cooper is the oldest driver to lead lap out of the 180 laps staged so far. 17-year-old Robbie Kennealy of Madera, Calif. won the season opener on the strength of 44 laps led. 2021 Jr. Late Model champion Brody Armtrout of Smartsville has led laps in both rounds this season, leading the series with 74 laps led but no top-five finishes to show for it.
15-year-old Ethan Nascimento of Manteca took over the lead from Armtrout on lap 35 in round two, charging to his first career Pro Late Model win. The series looks poised to gain another first-time winner in Saturday’s 80-lap contest. A pair of podium finishes has propelled Tyler Herzog into the championship lead by just four points over five-time Open and Pro Late Model champion Matt Erickson of La Grange.
Kennealy ranks third while another driver aiming for a first career win, Kenna Mitchell of Loomis, sits in fourth and just 11-points out of the lead. Eagle, Idaho’s Jacob Smith rounds out the top-five in the standings. Herzog, Erickson, Kennealy, and Nascimento are the only drivers in the top-ten of the championship with a MAVTV-televised Pro Late Model win on their resumes.
Saturday’s race uses the traditional Madera format with a 50-lap opening segment followed by a break for adjustments and MAVTV interviews. A 30-lap run to the finish settles the score.
The tough and talented band of 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model drivers ages 10-16 years old will battle 90-degree temperatures and the competition in Saturday’s 70-lap contest. Vito Cancilla of Martinez looks to become the first driver to win the opening three rounds of the series, after a pair of dominating wins at the beginning of the year.
The rapidly evolving impact of the 51FIFTY series on the motorsports scene in North America continued throughout April. Between three ARCA national races, a standalone ARCA East race, and two standalone ARCA West races, all but one checkered flag has been claimed by series alumni in 2023. Two-time Madera The rapidly evolving impact of the 51FIFTY series on the motorsports scene in North America continued throughout April. Between three ARCA national races, a standalone ARCA East race, and two standalone ARCA West races, all but two checkered flags has been claimed by series alumni in 2023. Two-time Madera champion Jesse Love of Redwood City was the latest to win, taking the win at Talladega last Saturday afternoon.
Chase Hand of Wilton, Calif., son of road racing great Joey Hand, is second in the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model standings. Bakersfield’s Taylor Mayhew, son of NASCAR Truck Series and West Series veteran driver David Mayhew, is third. Cameron Carraway of Castro Valley is fourth in the points followed by San Antonio, Texas’ Tristan Pena.
Rookie Kaine Betancourt won the second race of the season in the INEX Bandoleros to take over the points lead from Andrew Williams. Williams escaped unharmed after a wild flip on the backstretch ended round two prematurely. A 20-lap feature is on deck this weekend.
NCMA Sprint Cars return for their first of four appearances this season in Madera. One of the oldest pavement open wheel series in the world is competing in its 35th season of competition. Pat Goodwill and Justin Kawahata split the four Madera NCMA features in 2022. Goodwill drove on to the series championship ahead of David Burchett and Rob Hammond.
Action gets underway on Friday with practice from 5pm until 8:30pm with pit gates opening at 3pm. On Saturday, pit gates open at noon with practice at 1:30pm. Qualifying hits the track at 4:00pm. Heat races will follow, followed by opening ceremonies at 5:45pm.
For more information about the Madera Speedway including how to advertise with a race team on MAVTV please visit www.racemadera.com or call the race office at 209-356-1968.
The 2023 season would not be possible without the support of Lunkerdaddy Fishing Lures, 51FIFTY LTM, Mission Foods, 805 Beer, Race 2B Drug Free, Competition Carburetion, Hoosier Tires, and Sunoco Race Fuel.
Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Monday nights in primetime at 5:00pm Pacific and 8:00pm Eastern. Round two of the Lunkerdaddy Pro Late Model Series of 2023 airs on May 1st.
2023 MADERA MAVTV LATE MODEL SCHEDULE
March 18 – $5,000-to-win
May 20 – Military Tribute Night
June 24 – Reverend Ron Spencer Red, White Blue Classic
July 22 – $5,000-to-win
October 7 – $10,000-to-win Short Track Shootout