MADERA, CALIFORNIA (May 12, 2024) – Fresno’s Olivia Manke won her first career Madera Late Model feature on Saturday night, claiming the 40-lap season opener for the non-televised local championship division at the one-third mile Madera Speedway. Manke, a graduate of the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series program, recently celebrated her 21st birthday and followed it with the coveted breakthrough win.

“I started all of this with my dad when I was 12. I started off with a Jr. Late Model here. He has supported me since day one and I couldn’t have done it without him and without the team behind me,” Manke said. “This is huge for me and my family.”

Madera Speedway MAVTV Pro Late Model champion Kyle Keller of Las Vegas led qualifying. He then dueled with multi-time champion Matt Erickson of La Grange throughout the first half of the feature.  Former Madera Late Model champion Jason Aguirre moved into second on lap 23 then closed in on Keller for the top spot.

Aguirre edged ahead on the inside of Keller to lead lap 28. Aguirre and Keller then collided into turn three, collecting Erickson, Trevor Schlundt of Clovis, and Rick Thompson of Fresno in a grinding crash.

The fracas thrust debuting driver Hunter Holden and Manke onto the front row for a 12-lap shootout for the Madera Late Model victory. Manke used the outside line to sweep past Holden to lead lap 29. Manke paced Holden, Aguirre, and Schlundt in a tightly-wound top-four to seal the narrow win. Mike Johnson rounded out the top-five finishers.

Opening round winner Patrick Geiger won the 30-lap Mini Super Toyota feature. Joseph Holliday hounded the back bumper of Geiger for the first ten laps of the race. The leaders quickly approached the slower car of Marty Baker with Holliday spinning in turn one to surrender the second position.

Another incident on the restart collected Freddy Irvin into the turn four wall. Geiger held off round two winner Tyler Ridley and Holliday in an action packed second half of the race. A last-lap incident boosted Tucker Sedgwick into a third-place finish at the checkered flag as well.

Tyler Holden won the inaugural round for the new Pro Sportsman division ahead of Brian Taylor and Drew Ries.

MAVTV-televised stock car action returns at Madera Speedway on May 18 with the Madera Pro Late Model Series presented by Mission Foods, 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series, INEX Legends Tour Series, and INEX Bandoleros competing.

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 2024 season would not be possible without the support 51FIFTY LTM, Mission Foods, 805 Beer, Race 2B Drug Free, Competition Carburetion, Hoosier Tires, Franks Radio, Sunoco Race Fuel, and Sealmaster.

Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Monday nights at 6pm Pacific and 9pm Eastern. Check www.MAVTV.com for program listings.

About Steven Blakesley

Steven Blakesley is a motorsports announcer and public relations specialist with more than 15 years of experience. His biggest pet peeve is race fans who only enjoy one form of racing over all others.