The annual Labor Day Holiday race at the LoanMart Madera Speedway was loaded with driving talent and produced some of the best racing of the 2016 season. Drivers, fans and crew members enjoyed a perfect California evening that produced a lot of smiles around the speedway and in the racing world.
In what was perhaps the best race of the night, Thomas Suarez went three wide to take the lead in a Hobby Stock race that featured a wheel-to-wheel battle between Suarez and Jessie Hernandez.
Suarez had an ill-handling race car in the closing laps and Hernandez had, what appeared to be a perfect-handling race car, but somehow Suarez was able to hold off the late race charge by Hernandez and ended up with the first place trophy. Eloy Bazan worked his way back to third to stand on the podium.
Matt Erickson won the Madera Late Model race, but it was Rick Thompson, for the second race in a row, that has been the fastest car at the speedway. Thompson led the early laps of the race, but Erickson worked his way by to take control of the race. Dillion Tucker continued his great late season run by driving past Thompson for second early in the 40-lap main event.
There was only one yellow flag in this race and that restart was all Jason Aguirre needed to make a late race charge on the outside past both Tucker and Thompson for second place. When the checkered flag went into the air it was Erickson taking the win, followed by Aguirre and Tucker.
Erik Woods is driving his Toyota Sedan like he is trying to get to Daytona for a race. He won the sedan race in commanding fashion, followed by Kyle Fortney and Lucy Carmona.
Carmona did double duty and ran her new late model as well and looked very strong. Everyone is expecting big things from her in the 2017 late model division where she will be competing for a rookie of the year title.
The MST division delivered another one-two punch from Kevin Thompson and Bert Stephens. These two drivers really know how to get around the LoanMart Madera Speedway and they know how to put on a show for the fans. Zachery Cook brought home third place in a car that is owned by John Bowersox. When the checkers went into the air it was Thompson that crossed the finish line first in the Mini Super Toyotas.
In what many are calling the “biggest little win of 2016,” Jaden Rocha won the Jr. Late Model club race against some very fast competitors, becoming only the second young woman in speedway history to win a late model race. Rocha will compete on Sept. 24th in the MAVTV televised 511FIFTY Jr. Late Model race against the best 10-16 year old late model drivers in the country.
This was a very popular win as the Rocha team has worked hard to overcome a very tough season while making the jump to late model racing, and many if the big teams have kind of “adopted” Jaden in a roundabout way to help her get to victory lane.
One social media post hit more than 10,000 people thanks to other teams blasting news of her win everywhere. Rocha was followed by Anthony Guaimano, Cody Jessop, Jacob Smith, and Jackson Dukes in the Jr. Late Model race.
The next race at the speedway is the 45th annual Harvest Classic presented by Protect the Harvest on September 16-17. All of the Madera drivers that competed in the Labor Day show on September 3rwill be in action on Friday and September to kick off the Harvest Classic, and for fans that Friday night is only a $5 ticket.