Holmes wins big payout on Championship Night at the LoanMart Madera Speedway By Ronald Montez

While winning a tall first-place shiny trophy is a nice and well-earned token for victorious drivers at the LoanMart Madera Speedway, competitors in the Open Late Model Series had another incentive to come out on top - $10,000.00 was also on the line.

In front of a packed house on Saturday night (October 14, 2014) in the "Best of the West" Short Track Shootout, it was the Open Late Model drivers who we're hoping to get their hands on the trophy that also came attached with the sizable monetary price.

The entertaining show also featured Race No. 8 of the Hobby Stock Open Series, the USAC HRD Midgets and the final points race of the season for the exciting Toyota Sedans and MST's.

In the main event of the evening, it was Eric Holmes who won the all-important Race No. 8 of the Open Late Model Series 125 as he was presented with a giant check in the winner's circle.

Although it may have not been the easiest prize money to get, it certainly was the sweetest for Holmes, who outlasted the 22-car field in a 125-lap race that was spilt up into three racing segments (50 laps, 50 laps, and 25 laps).

In order to win the final main of the season against what many would consider some of the top drivers from the West Coast, Holmes had to do his best to conserve his car for the long-haul while at the same not sacrificing his upper position in the race.

In the first 50 laps of the main, Buddy Shepherd was in the leading spot with Brian Herzog, Holmes, and Ryan Cansdale in the No. 2-4 positions.

"The whole night was just really long and I knew I had to save the car until the end," Holmes said after the race. "I knew I wanted to be in the top four but in the second half I kind of lost handle of the car and we ended finding something bent on it, so we fixed it and came back in the second half."

After the drivers returned from the pit area to run Laps 50-100, Shepherd continued to stay ahead of everyone else while Cansdale quiet sat behind in second within striking distance.

On Lap 70, Shepherd unexpectedly gave up his lead after he took a trip to the infield which opened the door for Cansdale to get into first with Holmes, points leader Matt Erickson - who was a six-time main winner this season - and top qualifier (15.368) Trevor Huddleston following behind.

Despite a caution on Lap 75, Cansdale remained in first while Holmes, Erickson, and Huddleston closely trailed after 100 laps.

When the drivers once again returned from the pit area to complete the final 25 laps, they all knew that it was still anyone's race to take as tension clearly began to grow especially on the restarts.

Every racer also understood the importance of getting good restarts which had several in the final 20 laps.

After waving the pink flag - substituting for green in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month - on Lap 103, it was Holmes who eventually emerged to the front but at the slight expense of Cansdale.

"I knew it would be really hard to beat the 51 (Cansdale) and I tried to do it nicely in the first lap but it didn't work so I knew the second time I'd have to just get by him," Holmes explained. "I felt like I left him enough room to race me and we just banged off each other. I think that's just good hard short-track racing and that's what I had to do to win it and I knew if I got out front, I'd be hard to beat."

As the race began to draw to a close, Holmes knew he had no choice but to make the move to pass Cansdale.

"That's just how you got to run somebody up when the higher grove is that much faster than the bottom grove, you just have to try to take their line away and that's what I did," Holmes said. "The kid did a good job, he raced me hard and clean. We both came out alright and I don't think it beat my car up too bad so I must've not been too hard on him."

With each passing lap and other competitors bowing out here and there, Holmes' odds of winning the race - not to mention the large amount of money - steadily increased before a caution with five laps to go briefly delayed his momentum.

"Yeah, I didn't want to see that caution there in the last laps but I knew I had a good car on the top," Holmes said.

He was right and saved his best for last with a strong takeoff on the Lap 120 restart. Holmes held off runner-up Garland Tyler and Herzog, the third place finisher. Cansdale bounced back to take fourth while Emma Tucker rounded out the top five.

It was Holmes' first Open Late Models win in two tries at the Madera Speedway this season.

"We come here to win but we came here last month, raced and we weren't happy with the car at all," he said. "These tires and rules are different from anything I've ever raced or anything our pit crew has done before, so we went home and changed a lot of stuff. We were fast yesterday, struggled all day today and we were kind of scratching our heads. Then the race started tonight and the car was fast, so we did something right."

In the Open Late Hobby Stocks division, both Josh Whitfield and Shelden Cooper had plenty of reason to celebrate and it showed with their simultaneous post-race burnouts.

While Whitfield - who produced the top fast time (16.585) - used his speed to blaze past the rest of the 19-car pack in the 70-lap main, Cooper celebrated earning the track championship for the class.

Cooper entered the night as the leader in points with 320 and added to that total with a fourth place finish behind Whitfield, Howard Holden and Ben Lewis Jr.

Despite having to deal with five restarts, Whitfield showed he was head and shoulders above the rest and won his fourth race out of four tries on the "Fastest 1/3 Mile in the West".

Also celebrating a track championship on the night was Tim Curtis in the Toyota Sedans division.

Curtis capped the title-winning season with a trifecta as he won the 30-lap main, the six-lap heat race and posted the fastest qualifying mark at 17.519.

Although he started near the back of the race in the sixth position, Curtis - like in the other previous mains he's come back to win in this season - once again worked his way to the front while Jason Lawton led for a majority of the time.

After a caution on Lap 20, Lawton was still in the lead but knew the dangerous Curtis was sneaking up on him with 10 laps to go.

On Lap 28, Curtis pulled ahead of Lawton for yet another improbable victory - his 10th of the season.

"It was really great to win the last race of the season but truthfully if that yellow doesn't come out, there was no way I was going to get past him," Curtis said.

Lawton finished second while Chris Altuvilla took third.

Coming into Saturday, Curtis had a substantial 172-point lead in the championship standings but never really envisioned he'd be in this spot when he first started as a rookie in the 2012 season.

"When I first started racing here, I was in the back all of the time," he said. "I was the slowest one. I had a lot of people help me out namely the Tickels (2011 and 2012 champion Jarred Tickel). They helped me out a bunch and after that I just got faster and faster. You talk to people and learn what set-ups need to be done and you just keep tweaking everything. I just try to help everybody else to get them to go faster."

Although Curtis was named the Most Improved driver in his second season, he had no idea coming into this year that he'd be a serious title contender.

"At the beginning it wasn't going well," Curtis said. "The first two races I wrecked the car so those races were shot but once Kyle (Fortney) left - he was my biggest opponent - it became wide open after that and was basically just handed to me, so it was my job to make everybody else faster."

Hoping to pass on some sound advice to other drivers aspiring to win titles, Curtis offered some valuable tips.

"The main deal is just seeking out the knowledge," Curtis said. "Most of the drivers in our class will help you out. There's not a lot of people who actually work on their stuff and just figure everything is going to be good but if they want a championship, they need to actually work on it and ask for help if they don't know what's going on."

After winning the title, Curtis still has many big plans for racing next season.

"I've got a Lucas Oil Modified that I'm working on but I probably won't have it ready next year so I'll be back next season in the Toyota Sedans and the MST," he said.

Like Curtis, it was MST driver Kevin Thompson who earned the track title this season with a superb effort in the season finale.

As the division's top qualifier (16.998), Thompson held a 17-point lead in the standings ahead of Jason Bowersox, who won a six-lap heat race earlier in the day.

Thompson, who also won the championship in 2012, padded his point total with a 30-lap victory in the main and a six-lap heat race win.

Despite starting seventh and getting turned around early in the race, Thompson recovered to take the lead away from John McCollum Jr. on Lap 19 on the way to the finish line. McCollum took second while Dave Lander finished third.

While Thompson and Curtis were very successful, Dylan Nobile also had an impressive night in the USAC HPD Midgets class.

Nobile had the fast time (14.853) and won the 8-lap heat race before finishing his remarkable evening with a 30-lap win in the main. Toni Breidingar came in second and Cody Jessop was third while Shawn Buckley also won an 8-lap heat race.

The Madera Speedway returns next Saturday (October 25, 2014) for its final race of the month in 8th Annual Pumpkin Smash Halloween Bash and Blow Up featuring the $2,000 to Win 250 Lap Enduro, Boat Drags, Destruction Derby, and Trick or Treat in the Pits and on the track Pumpkin Smash for the kids. For information, please visit racemadera.com


Main Races

Open Late Models - 125 Laps
1. Eric Holmes
2. Garland Tyler
3. Brian Herzog
4. Ryan Cansdale
5. Emma Tucker
6. Rick Thompson
7. Blaine Rocha
8. Jason Aguirre
9. Zane Smith
10. Brandon Loverock
11. Trevor Huddleston
12. Matt Erickson
13. Ryan Hart
14. Mike David
15. Carl Pearce
16. Del McIntosh
17. Danny Guider
18. Buddy Shepherd
19. Tony Schmitz
20. Luis Martinez Jr.
21. Charles Price
22. Kyle Gottula

Open Hobby Stocks - 70 Laps
1. Josh Whitfield
2. Howard Holden
3. Ben Lewis Jr.
4. Shelden Cooper
5. Richard Lavallee
6. Verg Beaty
7. Kyle Fortney
8. Ben Lewis
9. Richard Herzog
10. Sam Williams
11. Chuck Aguirre
12. Rob Dueck
13. Jeremy Tucker
14. Guido Bindi
15. Joseph Richmuth
16. Les Wasson
17. Eloy Bazan
18. Christopher Williams
19. Mark Blanton

Toyota Sedan - 30 Laps
1. Tim Curtis
2. Jason Lawton
3. Chris Altuvilla
4. Dean Gould
5. Thomas Magray
6. Sarah Vivian
7. Brennen Mankin

MST'S - 30 Laps
1. Kevin Thompson
2. John McCollum Jr.
3. Dave Lander
4. John Bowersox
5. John Benedict
6. Tyler Herzog
7. Zackary Cook
8. Tim Kammerer
9. Jason Bowersox

USAC HPD Midgets - 30 Laps
1. Dylan Nobile
2. Toni Breidingar
3. Cody Jessop
4. Tom Patterson
5. Courtney Crone
6. Shawn Buckley
7. Christine Breckenridge
8. Duke Love
9. Annie Breidingar
10. Joel Rayborne
11. Jesse "James" Burks
12. Antonia Boscacci
13. Ashley Hazelton

Heat Races

Toyota Sedans - 6 Laps
1. Tim Curtis
2. Brennen Mankin
3. Dean Gould
4. Jason Lawton
5. Chris Altuvilla
6. Thomas Magray
7. Sarah Vivian

MST'S (Heat 1) - 6 Laps
1. Kevin Thompson
2. John McCollum Jr.
3. John Benedict
4. Dave Lander
5. Zackary Cook

MST's (Heat 2) - 6 Laps
1. Jason Bowersox
2. John Bowersox
3. Tim Kammerer
4. Tyler Herzog

USAC HPD Midgets - 8 Laps
1. Dylan Nobile
2. Toni Breidingar
3. Courtney Crone
4. Duke Love
5. Annie Breidingar
6. Joel Rayborne
7. Antonia Boscacci

USAC HPD Midgets - 8 Laps
1. Shawn Buckley
2. Tom Patterson
3. Cody Jessop
4. Christine Breckenridge
5. Ashley Hazelton
6. Jesse "James" Burks

Qualifying - 2 Laps

Open Late Models
1. Trevor Huddleston 15.368
2. Buddy Shepherd 15.382
3. Ryan Cansdale 15.492
4. Charles Price 15.521
5. Brian Herzog 15.551
6. Luis Martinez 15.578
7. Mike David 15.598
8. Eric Holmes 15.598
9. Blaine Rocha 15.641
10. Garland Tyler 15.660
11. Matt Erickson 15.708
12. Zane Smith 15.709
13. Danny Guibor 15.724
14. Kyle Gottula 15.731
15. Jason Aguirre 15.775
16. Brandon Loverock 15.799
17. Emma Tucker 15.888
18. Ryan Hart 15.964
19. Tony Schmitz 16.038
20. Rick Thompson 16.045
21. Del McIntosh 16.086
22. Carl Pearce 16.306

Open Hobby Stocks
1. Josh Whitfield 16.585
2. Howard Holden 16.623
3. Shelden Cooper 16.626
4. Richard Lavallee 16.650
5. Ben Lewis 16.685
6. Kyle Fortney 16.836
7. Ben Lewis Jr. 16.855
8. Mark Blanton 16.927
9. Richard Herzog 17.008
10. Verg Beaty 17.032
11. Eloy Bazan 17.038
12. Sam Williams 17.056
13. Joseph Richmuth 17.158
14. Chuck Aguirre 17.227
15. Jeremy Tucker 17.364
16. Les Wasson 17.467
17. Rob Dueck 17.562
18. Guido Bindi 17.661
19. Christopher Williams 18.563

Toyota Sedans
1. Tim Curtis 17.519
2. Brennen Mankin 17.819
3. Jason Lawton 17.896
4. Dean Gould 17.898
5. Chris Altuvilla 17.962
6. Thomas Magray 18.485
7. Sarah Vivian 18.685

1. Kevin Thompson 16.998
2. John Bowersox 17.140
3. John McCollum Jr. 17.182
4. Jason Bowersox 17.197
5. Dave Lander 17.314
6. Tim Kammerer 17.330
7. John Benedict 17.374
8. Tyler Herzog 17.499
9. Zackary Cook 17.931

USAC HPD Midgets
1. Dylan Nobile 14.853
2. Shawn Buckley 14.905
3. Toni Breidingar 14.939
4. Cody Jessop 15.043
5. Courtney Crone 15.058
6. Tom Patterson 15.100
7. Duke Love 15.141
8. Christine Breckenridge 15.182
9. Joel Rayborne 15.219
10. Ashley Hazelton 15.266
11. Annie Breidingar 15.323
12. Jesse "James" Burks 15.371
13. Antonia Boscacci 16.100

Full course of racing served up at the LoanMart Madera Speedway By Ronald Montez

If people had a huge appetite for racing, then the LoanMart Madera Speedway was the place to be to satisfy that hunger.

Seven racing classes put on memorable shows on Saturday night (September 27) that certainly left the crowd gratified in Race No. 7 of the Open Late Model Series featuring a 100-lap adventure in the Open Late Models race while the Open Hobby Stocks Series, the Legends of the Pacific, the Toyota Sedans, MST's, 4-Bangers and Mini Cup championship race were also on the menu.

Prior to the start of the main, Open Late Model drivers did a well-deserved tribute lap to the late Ron Strmiska, a former legendary short track racer who passed away earlier in the month.

The main course of the night was clearly the Open Late Model Series, won by talented driver Matt Erickson.

For the sixth time this season, Erickson claimed the 100-lap main but fellow competitors Eric Holmes, Garland Tyler and Jason Aguirre didn't make it easy for him.

Erickson, who virtually ran away with his last main win on August 30, had company this time throughout the entire race and his first-place trophy was never entirely secured until crossing the finish line.

Just a shade ahead of Erickson and Aguirre, Garland led for the first 20 laps of the spilt 50 main. Those three drivers would soon form a racing 'triangle' with Garland in the slight lead and Erickson and Aguirre parallel to each other.

After passing Tyler to get into first on Lap 21, Erickson never quite cleanly broke away from the rest of the field.

From Laps 25-50, there were three cautions including one red flag that briefly delayed the main and slightly broke Erickson's momentum.

On two of those cautions, Madera's Emma Tucker spun out Danny Guibor on one lap and Madera's Del McIntosh on another while on Lap 29, the race came to a complete stop after Ryan Hart's car began to leak oil on the track.

Once everything was sorted out, Erickson went into the pits with the lead after 50 laps followed by Aguirre, Tyler, Buddy Shepard, and Brian Herzog - the fastest qualifier on the day (15.612).

To restart the main after the long break, Erickson was the first one out of the gate and led for the final 50 laps.

However, it was Holmes, Tyler and Aguirre who constantly pressured him while in front.

On two more occosians, the yellow flag was waved that grouped the drivers together once again - putting Erickson's lead in jeopardy.

Whether it was when Tucker's car hit the wall or a big collision between Rick Thompson and Guibor that prompted the cautions, Erickson didn't panic and continued to bolt ahead on the restarts.

Despite the scary wreck, Thompson and Guibor were announced to be okay following the wreck.

Erickson finished just a 0.301 second ahead of Tyler, who passed Holmes in the final three laps to place second overall.

The other entreé on the night was the Open Hobby Stocks main won by Sheldon Cooper - his first of the series.

He entered the day leading in points with 262 - just two ahead of Erick Ray.

To start the 50-lap (split 25) main, Cooper had to scratch and claw to get up to first.

Cooper was in sixth behind drivers Chuck Aguirre, top qualifier Howard Holden (16.709) , Eloy Bazan, Ray and Verg Beatty, who led the race at beginning in his No. 17 car.

Beatty and Ray were heavily battling for the lead in the race while approaching Scott Tilley, who was on the verge of being lapped. Ray avoided Tilley but Beatty got caught up behind the lapped car which caused him to spinout another driver.

That caution left Ray in first with Holden and Cooper just behind on Lap 9.

With Tilley behind once again clogging up the traffic, a quick maneuver by Holden allowed him to get into the lead on the next lap.

Holden's grasp on the front position was short-lived as Cooper got into first to lead after 25 laps - picking up five more points in the process.

After returning from the pits, Cooper retained the lead and stayed ahead of Holden on the way to victory lane.

Once the main was over, Cooper wasn't shy about showing his emotions as he celebrated in his car - spinning wheels and all on the front straightaway.

Holden came in second, Ray placed third and Aguirre claimed fourth to make the October 18 championship race even more intriguing.

Although it came before the main courses, a victory by Madera's Dave Lander could have been considered dessert for how sweet the victory was for him.

Lander was ecstatic after his 22-lap triumph in the MST's race - his first in the division.

Lander had reason to celebrate as he topped a class filled with outstanding Speedway drivers including Jason Bowersox, and fastest qualifier (17.018) Kevin Thompson, who each won a six-lap heat race earlier in the evening.

After taking the lead, Lander was on a mission to uphold it while Bowersox - who won the previous week - trailed behind in second.

Once Lander drove past the checked flag, he was jubilant in the winner's circle while the runner-up Bowersox congratulated him on his finish. Thompson was third overall.

The side dishes served up on the night were also fulfilling with the Toyota Sedans, Legends of the Pacific and WSRA Mini Cups races.

Despite starting the main in the back, points leader Tim Curtis found yet another way to win in a season full of amazing races for him.

Curtis won the 30-lap main while also posting the top qualifying time of the class (17.740) and grabbing a six-lap heat race win.

However, Curtis had to work extra to get his win in the main as the rest of the class showed they came ready to drive.

Thomas Magray led for the first 10 laps while Curtis was steadily passing drivers on the way to the front.

After Chris Altuvilla's car was turned around on a Lap 12 caution, Jason Lawton pulled into the lead and was looking to win back-to-back mains after winning last week.

On a caution that saw Dean Gould and Brennen Mankin bump cars, Curtis was suddenly in second behind Lawton.

On the Lap 18 restart, Lawton tried his best to keep the lead but eventually Curtis was able to obtain it and pull out another first place finish.

Donnie Large, who started the race near the end by Curtis, also battled back to take second while Lawton rounded out the top three.

The Legends of the Pacific main saw Tony Magnini top the rest of the 12-car field in the 35-lapper.

This win certainly wasn't a gimme for Mangini, who had to race just right to hold off Cameron Austin, Tim Mangini and Logan Zampa - who had the No. 1 qualifying time (16.280) for the Legends.

Geoff Shaw and Keith Clement were also eight-lap heat race winners on the night in the Legends division.

To end the season, WSRA Mini Cup top qualifier Andrew Payne (17.935) earned the track title for his division.

Payne finished with 379 total points while Austin Herzog, who won the four-lap trophy dash and took third overall in the main, was second in points with 367.

On triple-the-points night for the division, Payne place fifth overall in the 20-lap main which was gallantly won by Lawrence Massone - in his "James Bond"-looking 07 car.

Massone took the lead ahead of Payne and stayed in front of Cameron Legue, who finished second in the main and third overall in the point standings.

The appetizer for show began with the 4-Bangers as Dave Kong won the 15-lap main.

Kong - who credited luck with being on his side in the win - was also the division's top qualifier (19.038) and six-lap heat race winner.

Kong dominated the main with an 11-second difference between him and runner-up Jadon Harrigton.

After two weeks off, the Madera Speedway will return on Saturday (October 18, 2014) for the 125-lap $10,000 to win Calfornia Gold Classic Short Track Shootout in Race No. 8 of the LoanMart Open Late Model Series 125 laps along with Race No. 8 of the Hobby Stock Open Series 70 laps, USAC HRD Midgets and the Final point race of the season for the exciting Toyota Sedans, MST's and the 18-Second Bracket Championship Bracket Race!

For information please visit www.racemadera.com or call 559-673-7223.



Open Late Models - 100 Laps
1. Matt Erickson
2. Garland Tyler
3. Eric Holmes
4. Buddy Shepard
5. Blaine Rocha
6. Aaron Mullins
7. Emma Tucker
8. Danny Guibor
9. Jason Aguirre
10. Rick Thompson
11. Brian Herzog
12. Britt Wasson
13. Del McIntosh
14. Ryan Hart
15. Patrick Selsor

Open Hobby Stocks - 50 Laps
1. Sheldon Cooper
2. Howard Holden
3. Verg Beatty
4. Erick Ray
5. Eloy Bazan
6. Chuck Aguirre
7. Les Wasson
8. Scott Tilley
9. Matt Manolis

Legends of the Pacific - 35 Laps
1. Tony Mangini
2. Cameron Austin
3. Tim Mangini
4. Logan Zampa
5. Hunter Corbitt
6. Johhny Morris
7. Keith Clement
8. Clayton Travers
9. Bob Kuebler
10. Donnie Darter
11. Nick Grossi
12. Geoff Shaw

Toyota Sedans - 30 Laps
1. Tim Curtis
2. Donnie Large
3. Jason Lawton
4. Dean Gould
5. Chris Altuvilla
6. Brennen Mankin
7. Thomas Magray

MST'S - 22 Laps
1. Dave Landera
2. Jason Bowersox
3. Kevin Thompson
4. John Bowersox
5. Tim Kammerer
6. Tyler Herzog
7. John Benedict
8. Zackary Cook

WSRA Mini Cups - 20 Laps
1. Lawrence Massone
2. Cameron Legue
3. Austin Herzog
4. Joshua Strandwold
5. Andrew Payne
6. Jared Cronk
7. Matt Strandwold

4-Bangers - 15 Laps
1. Dave Kong
2. Jadon Harrington
3. Kelly Brownell
4. Michael Congdon

Heat Races

Legends of the Pacific (Heat 1) - 8 Laps 1. Keith Clement 2. Johhny Morris 3. Clayton Travers 4. Bob Kuebler 5. Nick Grossi 6. Donnie Darter

Legends of the Pacific (Heat 2) - 8 Laps 1. Geoff Shaw 2. Tim Mangini 3. Tony Mangini 4. Cameron Austin 5. Hunter Corbitt 6. Logan Zampa

Toyota Sedan (Heat 1) - 6 Laps
1. Tim Curtis
2. Jason Lawton
3. Donnie Large
4. Chris Altuvilla
5. Dean Gould
6. Brennen Mankin
7. Thomas Magray

MST'S (Heat 1) - 6 Laps
1. Kevin Thompson
2. Tim Kammerer
3. Dave Lander
4. Tyler Herzog

MST'S (Heat 2) - 6 Laps
1. Jason Bowersox
2. John Bowersox
3. Zackary Cook
4. John Benedict

4-Bangers - 6 Laps
1. Dave Kong
2. Jadon Harrington
3. Michael Congdon
4. Kelly Brownell

Trophy Dash - 4 Laps

WSRA Mini Cup
1. Austin Herzog
2. Cameron Legue
3. Joshua Strandwold
4. Lawrence Massone

Qualifying - 2 Laps

Open Late Models
1. Brian Herzog 15.612
2. Buddy Shepard 15.619
3. Garland Tyler 15.671
4. Jason Aguirre 15.689
5. Blaine Rocha 15.704
6. Eric Holmes 15.714
7. Danny Guibor 15.743
8. Emma Tucker 15.744
9. Matt Erickson 15.819
10. Ryan Hart 15.829
11. RIck Thompson 15.969
12. Del McIntosh 16.130
13. Aaron Mullins 16.176
14. Britt Wasson 16.369
15. Patrick Selsor 16.816

Open Hobby Stocks
1. Howard Holden 16.709
2. Sheldon Cooper 16.784
3. Matt Manolis 16.889
4. Erick Ray 16.988
5. Chuck Aguirre 16.998
6. Verg Beatty 17.103
7. Eloy Bazan 17.169
8. Les Wasson 17.590
9. Scott Tilley 18.867

Legends of the Pacific
1. Logan Zampa 16.280
2. Tim Mangini 16.306
3. Cameron Austin 16.366
4. Hunter Corbitt 16.391
5. Tony Mangini 16.450
6. Geoff Shaw 16.613
7. Johhny Morris 16.792
8. Clayton Travers 16.826
9. Keith Clement 16.888
10. Bob Kuebler 17.246
11. Donnie Darter 17.450
12. Nick Grossi 17.578

Toyota Sedans
1. Tim Curtis 17.740
2. Donnie Large 17.777
3. Chris Altuvilla 17.785
4. Jason Lawton 17.848
5. Brennen Mankin 17.997
6. Dean Gould 18.162
7. Thomas Magray 18.237

1. Kevin Thompson 17.018
2. John Bowersox 17.210
3. Tyler Herzog 17.215
4. Jason Bowersox 17.251
5. Tim Kammerer 17.290
6. Zackary Cook 17.480
7. Dave Lander 17.486
8. John Benedict 17.635

WSRS Mini Cups
1. Andrew Payne 17.935
2. Lawrence Massone 18.010
3. Cameron Legue 18.026
4. Austin Herzog 18.192
5. Joshua Strandwold 18.239
6. Jared Cronk 18.768
7. Matt Strandwold 19.189

1. Dave Kong 19.038
2. Jadon Harrington 19.241
3. Michael Congdon 19.497

Schmitz clinches Late Model title, Reagan wins wild 100-lap Enduro at the LoanMart Madera Speedway By Ronald Montez

As the 2014 season begins to wind down at the LoanMart Madera Speedway, chances for all drivers to earn any last-minute precious points are dwindling.

On Saturday night (September 20), those drivers in the local classes and 100-lap Enduro race showed their urgency as they put on yet another impressive performance while two driver's had their seasons end with the ultimate prize - a track championship each in their respective class.

There was even more on the line as it was triple the points night for all the divisions including the LunkerDaddy Late Models, Hobby Stocks, MST'S, Toyota Sedans, 4-Bangers and the Enduro division.

While tripling the points could certainly help drivers boost their chances of claiming a track title for the upcoming championship race in October, it nearly cost Tony "The Tiger" Schmitz another LunkerDaddy Late Model crown.

Schmitz - the 2012 champion and 2013 runner-up - captured this season's championship trophy by the skin of his teeth with a third place finish in the 30-lap main won by Aaron Mullins.

"It took a lot of luck," Schmitz said of winning his second title in three years. "It's a lot of work and coming into tonight we just had to stay one spot in front of or behind the No. 88 car (Emma Tucker). That was our goal. If we could see her car, then we're going to win the championship."

It was easier said than done as Tucker - the division's runner-up - wanted a championship of her own and challenged Schmitz the entire 30 laps.

While Mullins clearly led from start to finish, Schmitz was in a steady second while Tucker shadowed him in the third position.

Because of the number of points that could be earned, Schmitz knew coming in that he couldn't afford to have a major let down in his final race of the season.

"These triple the point nights just seem to kill me," he said. "We went into last year leading the points and lost the championship by one on triple points night. Just like last season, we came in with a good lead and almost lost it all but we ran hard tonight."

On the final lap, Schmitz was heading for the finish line before his car was nudged by Tucker which caused him to spin around. While most drivers would be upset with the situation, Schmitz was well aware that Tucker's move officially clinched the championship for him.

"I knew what I had to do to finish in front of her," Schmitz said. "I was doing that and then she got into me and turned me around coming to the checkered (flag). The rule is if you spin somebody out, then you go to the back and it worked out. My spotter told me on the radio that she was going to spin me and she did."

The spinout by Schmitz allowed Madera's own Del McIntosh to take second in the main.

Overall, Schmitz officially finished with 588 points and three main wins this season while Tucker fell just short with 573 points. She began her evening by posting the top qualifying time (16.032) and winning the six-lap heat.

After the race, Schmitz took a victory lap around the "Fastest 1/3 Mile in the West" and celebrated with a donut burnout on the front straightaway.

"We're going to run as many LoanMart Late Model Series as we can but we're not going to chase points next year," Schmitz said when asked about his goals for next season.

Also taking part in the race was Hobby Stocks champion Don Selsor.

After the Late Models and Hobby Stocks exited the track, 16 Enduro drivers began to occupy the asphalt surface for the 100-lap main.

In the 'just about anything goes' race, it was Enduro driver Robert Reagan who once again earned the win just as he did in his last appearance in the Mountain Man 150 on August 16.

"It just takes a lot of work and time put into it," Reagan said after the race in victory lane.

Reagan began the race in fifth and passed three cars to get completely into second behind Steve Schermerchorn, who roughly led for the first 25 laps.

With his No. 810 car resembling that of an old-fashioned police car complete with flashing red and blue lights, it looked as if Reagan was pursuing Schermerchorn on a high-speed 'cop-and-robbers' chase.

"It's just for show and it's a lot of fun for the fans," Reagan said of his car's design.

The hunter became the hunted after Reagan passed Schermerchorn to lead the race.

In a loony main that had cars right and left either spinning out, heavily smoking from their engine, or bumping into each other - Reagan remained in front until his car hit the wall on Lap 38.

Despite the setback, Reagan eventually regained his lead after the drivers returned from their brief break on Lap 50.

"There's always doubt," Reagan answered after being asked if he thought it would be tough to comeback.

Reagan eventually found his winning groove and finished 8.160 seconds ahead of David Etheridge while Loren Chitwood took third.

With the 250-lap Enduro championship race set for October 25 in the 8th annual Pumpkin Smash, Etheridge still remains as the points leader while Reagan closed the gap to 26 with his recent triumph.

Big triple point main winners on the night also included Jason Lawton (Toyota Sedans, 30 laps), Jason Bowersox (MST's, 30 laps) and Miles Humphreys (4-Bangers, 15 laps).

The Madera Speedway returns Saturday (September 27, 2014) for Race No. 7 of the $1,000 to win (plus Bonus Bucks by LoanMart and Hoosier) featuring the LoanMart Open Late Model Series 100 laps (split 50's), Race No. 7 of the Hobby Stock Open Series, Legends of the Pacific, MST's, Toyota Sedans, 4-Bangers, Mini Cup and 18-Second Bracket race.


Enduros - 100 Laps
1. Robert Reagan
2. David Etheridge
3. Loren Chitwood
4. Jacob Robert
5. Richard Herzog
6. Steve Wasson
7. Steve Schermerchorn
8. Marisa Odgers
9. Jason Sitton
10. Antonio Mentzer
11. Rick Anderson
12. Randy Gens
13. Britt Wasson
14. Cody Gibson
15. Robert Smith
16. Austin Gens

LunkerDaddy Late Models - 30 Laps
1. Aaron Mullins
2. Del McIntosh
3. Tony Schmitz
4. Emma Tucker
5. Howard Holden (Open Hobby Stocks)
6. Don Selsor (Hobby Stocks)

Toyota Sedans - 30 Laps
1. Jason Lawton
2. Tim Curtis
3. Dean Gould
4. Brennen Mankin
5. Donnie Large
6. Chris Altuvilla
7. Thomas Magray
8. Sarah Vivian

MST's - 30 Laps
1. Jason Bowersox
2. Kevin Thompson
3. John Bowersox
4. Dave Lander
5. Zachary Cook
6. John Benedict
7. Tim Kammerer

4-Bangers - 15 Laps
1. Miles Humphreys
2. Jadon Harrington
3. Michael Congdon
4. Kelly Brownell

Heat Race - 6 Laps

LunkerDaddy Late Models
1. Emma Tucker
2. Aaron Mullins
3. Del McIntosh
4. Tony Schmitz
5. Howard Holden (Open Hobby Stocks)

Toyota Sedans - Heat 1
1. Tim Curtis
2. Jason Lawton
3. Dean Gould
4. Brennen Mankin

Toyota Sedans - Heat 2
1. Donnie Large
2. Chris Altuvilla
3. Thomas Magray
4. Sarah Vivian

MST's - Heat 1
1. Kevin Thompson
2. Jason Bowersox
3. Dave Lander
4. Zachary Cook

MST's - Heat 2
1. John Bowersox
2. Tim Kammerer
3. John Benedict

Hobby Stocks - 4 Laps
1. Don Selsor

1. Michael Congdon
2. Miles Humphreys
3. Jadon Harrington
4. Kelly Brownell

Qualifying - 2 Laps

LunkerDaddy Late Models
1. Emma Tucker 16.032
2. Tony Schmitz 16.053
3. Aaron Mullins 16.145
4. Del McIntosh 16.350

Toyota Sedans
1. Jason Lawton 17.763
2. Donnie Large 17.776
3. Tim Curtis 17.855
4. Chris Altuvilla 17.876
5. Brennen Mankin 17.979
6. Sarah Vivian 18.202
7. Dean Gould 18.220
8. Thomas Magray 18.583

1. Kevin Thompson 17.081
2. John Bowersox 17.137
3. Jason Bowersox 17.284
4. Tim Kammerer 17.464
5. Dave Lander 17.517
6. John Benedict 17.517
7. Zachary Cook 17.613

Hobby Stocks
1. Don Selsor 18.908

1. Miles Humphreys 19.627
2. Michael Congdon 19.698
3. Kelly Brownell 19.742
4. Jadon Harrington 20.043