Tyler Herzog put together the best 40 laps of his young career, topping a strong field of drivers for his first career Madera Late Model victory at the Madera Speedway
The opener for the non-televised portion of stock car action at Madera Speedway was part of a busy night, with six different main events.
Herzog jumped ahead of 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model regular Joey Iest, who was making his Open Late Model debut. Two-time 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model champion Jesse Love filed into third ahead of a great duel between another Jr. Late Model standout Jay Juleson along with his teammate Matt Erickson.
Herzog went on for a victory ahead of Love and Iest. Erickson cleared Juleson for fourth at the finish.
Iest’s night wasn’t limited to just his success in the Madera Late Models. The 16- year-old also won his first career USAC Western US Midget feature. Iest led all 30 laps in the non-stop feature. Elvis Rankin briefly challenged Iest but eventually drifted seven seconds behind.
The POWRi BCRA Midgets opened their campaign in a fast-paced 40-lap feature. Jesse Love nipped Jerome Rodela by .019 seconds in time trials.
Rodela was relentless in his pursuit for victory, winning by nine seconds while Dylan Nobile and Cody Gerhardt battled for third. Nobile pulled away in the late stages while Gerhardt’s car started to tighten late in the run to finish fourth.
The 2017 Modified Super Toyota champion Bert Stephens won an exciting 30-lap main event that saw the top-four run under a blanket for the duration of the race. Each driver in the pack made attempts to overhaul Stephens but was unable to do so. Stephens paced Shaun Reynolds, 2018 champion Ryan Reynolds, and Patrick Geiger across the stripe after the action-packed race. Kyle Labrie’s debut in the division netted a fifth-place effort.
Jason Lawton returned to victory lane in the Toyota Sedan division with a comfortable win. Lawton had a sizeable advantage nullified by a spin in turn four by JJ Brandsen. Andrew Davison came home second. Brandsen worked his way through the pack to take third ahead of Thomas Magray and Andrew Parr.
2018 Hobby Stock champion Steve Schermerhorn continued his winning ways by claiming their season opening feature win as well.
Madera Speedway continues next Saturday with the Smokey Hanoian Classic with Madera Late Models, Madera Hobby Stocks, MST, Toyota Sedans, Legends of the Pacific, Jr Late Model Exhibition race and Legends of Kearney Bowl.