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The Madera Tribune

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Hampton Inn night at the speedway

September 1, 2018

Racing continues at the Madera Speedway tonight with Hampton Inn and Suites Night at the Speedway.


Madera Late Models, Madera Hobby Stocks, MST’s, Toyota Sedans, F4 and the Jr, Late Model 30-lap exhibition race are on tap.


Bakersfield drivers continued their stranglehold on the RPM Mortgage Pro Late Models with Racin Vernon earning his second victory of 2018 while Tanner Reif won his first career 51FIFTY Energy Drink Jr. Late Model Series race at the Madera Speedway on Aug. 25.


For Vernon, the win avenged a two-year stretch of ups and downs in the tough series.


Incoming points leader Austin Herzog earned fast-time before drawing fourth in the redraw. Logan Zampa won the pole and led the first four laps of the event. Vernon started third after qualifying fifth and nosed inside Zampa to take the lead on lap five.


The first caution flew on lap nine when double-duty racer Kayla Eshleman spun in turn two. Ross Strmiska used the restart take over second from Zampa on lap 11. Herzog followed suit, moving into third on lap 15 with both passes made on the outside.


Herzog looked poised to dash to the front before a rear end failure brought his car to a halt at the top of turn two for a lap 15 caution. This played to the favor of 2016 champion Matt Erickson, who entered the night second in points, but started a dismal 11th.


Leading rookie Adam Lemke rolled the bottom to grab third from Strmiska and brought his teammate Jesse Love with him. Love, with eight career Jr. Late Model wins, is the youngest starter in series history at age 13.


Lemke took over second from Zampa on lap 22. Lapped traffic tightened up the top-five cars on lap 33 before a caution flew when Jason Aguirre and JJ Ferguson bounced off the front stretch wall with heavy damage.


The caution flew again on lap 35 when Nick Grossi slowed with apparent issues in the rear end as well. Lemke closed down on Vernon for the lead coming into the lap 50 break with Zampa third, ahead of Strmiska and Love.


Vernon slid sideways on the restart but maintained the lead making for a wild two-by-two battle behind him. The caution waved on lap 55 and Love took over third from Lemke on the restart.


Dillon Tucker briefly looked outside Lemke for fourth as well. Tucker had driven from 13th to fifth before he suffered mechanical issues.


Zampa and Love closed down on Vernon in lapped traffic on lap 61 before he managed to pull away again. Vernon pulled away for the win with Zampa holding off a great battle with Love for second.


Erickson unofficially took over the points lead by finishing fourth while Strmiska was fifth.


Tanner Reif got his first career win in the 70-lap feature.


Sixth starting Dylan Zampa, the incoming points leader, was the driver on the move as he worked his way up in to third by lap 10.


Reif set a new track record in qualifying and drove from fifth up to second to challenge Love. The duo ran nose-to-tail for many laps until a caution on lap 23.


The restart allowed Zampa to snake into second, but Reif took the position back on lap 34. Reif hounded Love all the way to lap 38 when Eshleman had an incident with Joey Iest in turn one.


The scheduled lap 40 break occurred two laps early and Eshleman was removed from the race by officials for her involvement.


The intensity level never faltered in the second half of the race as Tyler Reif took over third.


Tanner Reif stormed to the lead on lap 48 and his lead over Love see-sawed from one car length to third car lengths over the rest of the race distance. Tanner Reif earned his first career win by .840 seconds over Jesse Love with Zampa third followed by Tyler Reif and Iest.


MAVTV cameras were also rolling for the 14-car, 20-lap Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros. Kercie Jung took the lead on lap four and never looked back for the Bandolero win along with the overall win.


Aaron Thomas held off Madera’s Joseph Holiday for the Mini Cups trophy. The Bandoleros swept the overall top-five, led by Jung ahead of Seth Wise, Hank Hall, Zachary Ginn, and Trenton Eurto.


Legends of the Pacific presented 15 cars for a 35-lap feature and it was yet another redemption story. Sheldon Crouse lost the Aug. 11 race with a turn three spin on the final lap that involved Cody Winchel.


The pair picked up where they left off, entertaining the fans with a battle that included four lead changes. Crouse finally made the decisive pass for the lead on lap 22. A caution on lap 26 brought the field back together,r but Crouse drove away from Winchel. The top-five at the finish were Crouse, Winchel, Pete Soto, Chad Nascimento, and Braden Rogers.


Toyota Sedans was dominated by Jason Lawton, taking over the lead for the final time on lap 17 en route to a commanding victory. Recent race winner Greg Tyler was second ahead of 2016 champ Jillaun Holden and rookies Kyle Labrie and John Tevis, Jr.


For information on RPM Mortgage and to obtain loan information, visit www.rpmwins.com and for information about 51FIFTY Energy Drink visit www.51fiftyenergydrink.com.


Madera Speedway is presented by major partners RPM Mortgage, 51FIFTY Energy Drink, Nut Up Industries, NICERIDE, iPull-uPull, and Color Fast Industries.


Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Thursdays re-runs of the 2017 season every week. The show airs at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. PST and is also available on the Lucas Oil Racing TV app. The fourth round of the RPM Mortgage Pro Late Models airs Aug 30.

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