The Madera/BCRA Midgets roar back to Madera Speedway tonight to headline the 17th Gerhardt Classic.
A host of other divisions will be competing including the 100-lap California Challenge Cup feature plus the debut of the Central Valley Mini Stocks with a large field expected. Legends of Kearney Bowl, Focus Midgets, and NCMA Sprint Cars round out the scheduled divisions.
Jerome Rodela is the defending winner of the Gerhardt Classic and will look to continue his streak of success at the speedway. Rodela has been on a tear as of late winning both the 2018 and 2019 Vukovich Classics along with March’s season opener for the MAVTV-televised division.
Rodela took a break from driving in 2017 to hand the controls to female sensation Courtney Crone, who added two wins of her own that season. One of the few drivers to break Rodela’s spell on the series has been Jesse Love. The 14-year-old is a two-time champion of Madera’s 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series while also winning the 2018 BCRA Midget title.
The 50-lap feature will be augmented by a pair of six-lap heat races. Racing action will include Fred Gerhardt’s grandson, Cody, in search of his first Madera Midget win.
The race honors Fred Gerhardt’s accomplishments and contributions to motorsports, which include many innovations still used today. His most notable contribution was serving as the chief constructor for rear-engined Indycars throughout the late 1960’s. Gerhardt’s best Indianapolis 500 as a car owner came with a third-place finish in 1969.
Two-time Pro Late Model champion Buddy Shepherd will try to go two in a row in the California Challenge Cup. The race will feature the three most successful drivers of the Late Model television-era at Madera: Shepherd, 2019 Nut Up Pro Late Model points leader Austin Herzog, and two-time Pro Late Model champion Matt Erickson. The series is designed as a low-cost way to prepare drivers for regional and national stock car racing. It bridges the gap between the affordable Nut Up Pro Late Model Series and professional racing.
The Central Valley Mini Stocks will make its first appearance at Madera and first-ever pavement appearance with a healthy field expected. The series primarily competes on the diminutive 1/5th mile Lemoore Raceway. Dan Myrick is the current points leader.
Madera’s Joey Iest, who leads the points standings in the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series, leads the way in the Focus Midgets division with two victories this year.
Saturday’s program begins with pit gates opening at 1 p.m. Practices run from 3–4:30 p.m. with qualifying and heat races to follow. Heat races start at 5:30 p.m. before opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $7 for youth ages 6-12, and kids five and under are free.
For information about Madera Racing on MAVTV, visit www.racemadera.com or www.mavtv.com.
Madera Speedway is presented by major partners Nut Up Industries, 51FIFTY Energy Drink, iPull-uPull, and Color Fast Industries. Contingency sponsors include Five Star Bodies, Maita Motorsports, McAllister Precision Marketing, Shenanigan’s Restaurant and StopTech Brakes.
Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Thursdays every week. The show airs at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and is also available on the Lucas Oil Racing TV app