MADERA, CALIFORNIA (August 22, 2023) – Round seven of the MAVTV-televised Lunkerdaddy Pro Late Model and 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model championship battles hits the Madera Speedway on Saturday night. INEX Bandoleros will also be competing in a three-division card of racing at the one-third mile asphalt oval at the Madera Fairgrounds. 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. Madera Speedway will have plenty of cold drinks for sale along with a covered main grandstand for fans to enjoy.
Just nine points separate the top-two drivers in the Lunkerdaddy Pro Late Model championship battle. Tyler Herzog of Fresno has one main event win while Eagle, Idaho’s Jacob Smith has tallied two wins. Herzog holds the edge thanks to five podium finishes throughout the six race series.
The Pro Late Model champions list from Madera Speedway reads like a who’s who of West Coast short track racing over the past decade. Champions have included Las Vegas’ Kyle Keller, Bakersfield’s Buddy Shepherd, Clovis’ Austin Herzog, and La Grange’s Matt Erickson. Both Tyler Herzog and Smith are aiming for their first career televised championships. Smith carries momentum after dominating the 100-lap Summer SpeedFest on July 22 for a $5,000 payday.
Clovis’ Shelden Cooper is having his career-best Pro Late Model season after rising through the grassroots ranks at Madera Speedway. Cooper is third in the standings and still within reach of the points lead with a 31-point margin. Kenna Mitchell of Loomis has had race-winning pace on several occasions this year and will continue to search for her first win from fourth in the standings. Season-opening winner Robbie Kennealy of Madera runs in fifth.
51FIFTY Jr. Late Model champion Brody Armtrout, Bass Lake’s Mike Hensley, Fresno’s Rick Thompson, 2022 Jr. champion Ethan Nascimento, and Erickson round out the top-ten.
Saturday’s event is an 80-lap contest with a 50-lap opening segment followed by a break for adjustments and MAVTV interviews. A 30-lap sprint will determine the winner.
11-year-old Vito Cancilla enjoys a 17-point lead in the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series for drivers ages 10-16 years old. Cancilla has been nearly as red hot as the central California summer temperatures, winning five of the six features and five of the six fast-times this year.
Wilton’s Chase Hand has also had one of the most consistent seasons in track history, scoring six runner-up finishes and the fast-time on July 22.
Beyond the Cancilla vs. Hand duel is a battle for third in the standings. Rookie driver Taylor Mayhew of Bakersfield is third in the standings followed by Madera’s Joey Kennealy and Cameron Carraway. Texas’ Tristan Pena is also looming large in sixth in the standings.
The 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series races in 70-lap main events. They will race for 40-laps before the scheduled Mission Racing Style Tortilla Chips halfway break. A 30-lap race to the finish determines the winner.
Kaine Betancourt is atop the INEX Bandolero standings followed Andrew Williams and Brandon Glick. A 20-lap event is on tap for the youngest drivers at Madera Speedway.
Action gets underway on Friday with practice from 5pm until 8:30pm with pit gates opening at 3pm. On Saturday, pit gates open at 2pm. Practice hits the track at 3:40pm Opening ceremonies are set for 6:00pm with all three main events to follow.
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.
2023 MADERA MAVTV LATE MODEL SCHEDULE
March 18 – $5,000-to-win
May 20 – Vukovich Classic
June 24 – Reverend Ron Spencer Red, White Blue Classic
July 22 – $5,000-to-win Summer SpeedFest
October 7 – $10,000-to-win Short Track Shootout