Madera Speedway Readying for Big Military Tribute Night

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by Steven Blakesley email: steven@norcalmedia.com

Madera, CA – It has been an action packed 2016 season for the LoanMart Madera Speedway, with another big race this weekend with the annual Military Tribute Night. MAVTV cameras will shine down on the one-third mile asphalt oval once again with round three for both the LoanMart Open Late Models and the 51FIFTY Energy Drink Jr. Late Models in a double-header show. Twisted Tea Modifieds, MSTs, Toyota Sedans, and the future starts of the Mini Cups round out the nearly 300 laps scheduled.

ALL MILITARY are in for FREE in the grandstands. Adult tickets are only $15, Seniors are $13, youth ages 6-12 are $7, and kids five and under are free.

Multi-time track champion Matt Erickson is undefeated this year in Late Model competition at Madera. The La Grange, CA driver of the dark blue #42 has won both of the Open Late Model TV races and both local Late Model races this year. His victory in the April 30th race was a thrilling duel with Altamont track champion Ryan Philpott as the two charged through lapped traffic.

Philpott ranks second in the Open Late Model standings with a pair of runner up finishes. Southern California import David Ross is third in the points standings. Ross ran third in the season opener but was relegated to tenth after a few dustups in the April event. Fellow Southern California driver Joey Licata, Jr. is a multi-time ASA Truck Series champion and sits fourth overall with Garland Tyler in the fifth spot.

The balance of the top-ten includes local favorites Atwater’s Jason Aguirre, Dos Palos’ Ryan Hart, Ronnie Roberts, division rookie Shelden Cooper, and Howard Holden. More new drivers are expected to join the series that has averaged 25 cars in 2016. 100 laps are on tap for Saturday.

The world’s first ever full size Late Model division for drivers ages 10-16, the 51FIFTY Energy Drink Jr. Late Models have delivered plenty of excitement this year. 15 year-old Ryan Vargas of Southern California has been steady en route to the points lead with a pair of top-three finishes. Las Vegas’ Dezel West is second in the standings while 13 year-old season opening winner Austin Herzog is third. Micro Sprint graduates Ben Silliker, 11 from Canada, and 15 year-old Jarrett Gilmer round out the top-five in the points.

April’s Jr. Late Model 50 lapper was swept by Bandolero graduates with 2015 California state champ Austin Edwards, 11, getting the win. Vargas, 2014 state champ, ranked second with Kyle Keller from Las Vegas in third.

Twisted Tea Modifieds are scheduled for 60 laps in their third of six events for 2016. The open wheel field should see a boost as drivers will use this race as a tuneup for the huge Lucas Oil Summertime Horsepower Nationals on June 11th. Both Lucas Oil and North State Modifieds will have points races on the 11th, so some of those 40+ competitors are expected on Saturday. They’ll be chasing points leader Robbie Knittel for the top prize. Aaron Coonfield ranks second ahead of Brian Collins and Rick Avila.

Several second and third generation drivers make up the California Mini Cups this season as one of the fastest growing divisions at Madera. The MSTs and Toyota Sedans have staged a busy points season already with Kevin Thompson and Jillaun Holden atop each division respectively.

Friday night kicks the racing weekend off with open practice before racing on Saturday. Pits open at 10 a.m. followed by practice, with qualifying at 2:15 p.m. The grandstands are always open at Madera Speedway but ticket gates will open at 4 p.m. before heat races at 4:30 p.m. and opening ceremonies at 5 p.m. Don’t miss a very special Military Tribute and early start time for this big show! More information at www.RaceMadera.com

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