Courtesy of Jason Wedehase/Madera Speedway
The Pro Late Model Series take the main stage tonight at the Madera Speedway to highlight the Race 2B Drug Free Big3 Series with $5,000 going to the winner.
The highest-paying Late Model program in Madera Speedway history begins tonight as the Race 2B Drug Free Big3 Series within the Nut Up Pro Late Model Series at the one-third mile oval.
Drivers will duel for $5,000 to win the 100-lap feature, which will also be televised on MAVTV. More than $75,000 in bonuses are also up for grabs throughout the lucrative three-race affair.
“I’m sure some more stout cars will come down. That bonus money is going to be really really tough to get too,” points leader Buddy Shepherd said. “We have more laps to make stuff happen. I think with the car we have right now, we have a really good shot at making some good money. Can’t wait to go run with those guys.”
51FIFTY Jr. Late Models will race for 70 laps and Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros go for for 30 laps during the event.
Grandstands remain closed due to COVID-19 industry guidance, but Madera Speedway and Nut Up Industries will provide a free live stream. Race fans can tune in to Short Track TV on YouTube at 6 p.m. for the coverage at https://bit.ly/3h98YqH.
The Race 2B Drug Free Big3 includes multiple bonuses for driver performance. Drivers in the Big3 will be competing for a special point fund with $5,000 for the champion, $2,500 for second, and $1,000 for third.
A $10,000 bonus has been offered if any driver can sweep all three races. A $10,000 “Triple Main Challenge” will be offered for the fast-time qualifier. If that driver can win the C Main, B Main, and feature, all from the rear of the field, they will win the bonus. An additional $5,000 bonus will be awarded if a driver can sweep all three fast-time awards. A $5,000 bonus has also been posted for finishing in the top-three in all three races, leading the most laps in all three Big3 races, and a bonus for winning all three B Mains.
Saturday’s $5,000-to-win feature will also pay $3,000 for second and $2,000 for third. The event on Sept. 5 is round two of the Big3, while the finale of the big three will be the Nut Up Short Track Shootout paying $10,000 to win on Oct. 3. In addition, tonight’s 25-lap B Main will pay $1,500 to win. If a driver can win all three B Mains during the series, an additional $5,000 will be awarded.
The goal of the Race 2B Drug Free Big3 Series is to bring awareness to programs designed to help those fighting addiction and to promote the stories of people that have fought their way out of addiction.
Shepherd has won the first two rounds of the Nut Up Pro Late Model Series, but the defending winner of the $5,000 to win July special was Jeremy Doss. He won four of his five starts in 2019 with a dominant performance. Doss will have to come out ahead of the best in the west to repeat in 2020. Shepherd won the 2018 edition of the event.
Shepherd’s championship advantage after two rounds in 2020 stands at 26 points over Ross Strmiska. Ryan Philpott is having a strong start from third in the points. Blaine Rocha and Matt Erickson round out the top-five. Erickson was winless at Madera Speedway in 2019, despite an unrivaled resume of success in the Pro Late Model division. Erickson won the 2016 event and parlayed that into the championship that year.
The 100-lap event will be spread across two 50-lap segments, with a break in the middle for adjustments and MAVTV interviews.
The supporting 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series will compete for 70-laps, with nearly 20 drivers competing in each race, so far. Topping them all has been 15-year-old Seth Wise, with three consecutive victories ahead of the field of drivers ages 10-16 years old.
Bradley Erickson has run second into the lap 40 race break in both events this year to rank second overall in the standings. Jadan Walbridge has parlayed his qualifying prowess to third with Cole Brown and Jake Bollman rounding out the top-five. Sixteen drivers have competed in both rounds this year, but Wise is the only driver in the field with a victory under his belt.
Jeffery Erickson has led the charge for his family in the Mini Cup vs. Bandolero division, taking both Bandolero wins and leading the championship. Bandolero rookies Caden Cordova and Joey Kennealy round out the top-three. Rebecca Dubie has won both Mini Cup portions of the main events this year, leading Harley Kennealy in the standings. The youngest drivers at Madera Speedway will compete for 30-laps this weekend.
On Saturday, pit gates open at noon with practice beginning at 2 p.m. Qualifying will be at 3:30 p.m. with the Mini Cup and Bandolero heat races and the $1,500-to-win Nut Up Pro Late Model B Main to follow. Main events will begin at 6 p.m.
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.