Bakersfield drivers repeat at speedway
The drivers from the streets of Bakersfield continue to dominate the season at Madera Speedway, with Buddy Shepherd and Seth Wise repeating for their second 2020 wins in the MAVTV-televised Late Model competition at the one-third mile oval.
Shepherd, the two-time Nut Up Pro Late Model champion, recovered from bouncing off the wall to win Saturday’s 80-lap contest.
“From the last time to when he ran her two weeks ago, to today, Matt (Eshleman) has improved so much crew cheifing this thing. At the halfway it wasn’t too looking too good out there after getting into the wall,” Shepherd said. “This car is really good. I never thought I would be in a great car. This season sure has been off to a strong start, but we know it can go south really quick.”
Shepherd led time trials but it was four-time 2019 winner Jeremy Doss drawing the pole after the redraw. Michael Mitchell used a slide job to move past Blaine Rocha for second and brought Matt Erickson with him into third.
Shepherd started eighth and bounced off the backstretch wall, but continued. The caution flew on lap 14 with John McCollum Jr. spinning in turn two. Doss restarted inside Mitchell, allowing Erickson to knife into second position.
2019 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model champion Joey Iest of Madera slid into the front stretch wall, sparking a multi-car crash that also ended the race for Hans Beeler. Iest was uninjured.
Erickson used the outside line to sweep past Doss for the lead on lap 18. Shepherd advanced quickly back through the pack to take fifth on lap 33. Doss hounded Erickson, before an incident for the lead in turn one. The contact sent Erickson spinning and relegated Doss to the rear, as well.
With 16 laps to go to the break Shepherd started to close in on the lead. Shepherd took over the top spot on lap 39. He led the final 11 laps into the lap 50 break for adjustments and MAVTV interviews.
Coming out of the break, Dylan Zampa moved inside Mitchell, but Mitchell was able to drive off the outside to maintain second. Doss moved forward to fifth position after the restart while Ryan Philpott and Mitchell battled for third.
Mitchell ended up getting freight trained back to eighth in the closing laps but all the battling was far behind Shepherd. He won by 2.396 seconds over Zampa, Philpott, Doss, and Rocha.
Seth Wise outfoxed 17 of the best drivers ages 10-16 years old for his third consecutive 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series victory. Wise made the decisive pass on lap 53 for the win and remains the only active driver in the division with a victory.
Jeffery Erickson won his second consecutive Bandolero race and Rebecca Dubie won her second straight Mini Cup main event, as well in the Mini Cup vs. Bandoleros competition. Nathaniel Edwards overcame a spin to finish second in the Bandos, ahead of Trenton Eurto.
Madera Speedway’s MAVTV-televised racing continues July 25 with round No. 1 of the Race 2B Drug Free Big3 for $5,000 to win for the Nut Up Pro Late Models. 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models and Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros will also be competing.
For information about Madera Speedway, visit www.RaceMadera.com The 2020 season would not be possible without the support of Nut Up Industries, 51FIFTY LTM, Race 2B Drug Free, Competition Carburetion, Hoosier Tires, and Sunoco Race Fuel.