Courtesy of Jason Wedehase/Madera Speedway
Buddy Shepherd leads the pack of Pro Late Model cars during a Madera Speedway race. Shepherd is looking to win his second Short Track Shootout Victory after winning the event in 2017.
A competitive 2020 campaign of Nut Up Pro Late Model racing at Madera Speedway reaches its peak tonight with the eighth Short Track Shootout 150 for $10,000-to-win, which also serves as the final round of the Race 2B Drug Free Big3.
$4,500 will be on the line for the winner of the 30-lap B-Main, along with numerous bonus awards, courtesy of Race 2B Drug Free and 51FIFTY.
The grandstands will remain closed for the biggest stock car race in Central California of the year, but Mission Foods, 51FIFTY and Nut Up Industries will be present a free live stream of the event. Race fans can tune in to Short Track TV on YouTube at 5:20 p.m. for the coverage at https://youtu.be/WIro_dqjQvM.
Buddy Shepherd will aim at his second Short Track Shootout victory after winning in 2017. He also aims for the Race 2B Drug Free Big3 championship, which pays $5,000-to-win along with preserving his lead in the Nut Up Pro Late Model championship. Tonight’s races serve as the eighth round of the nine-race series televised on MAVTV.
Shepherd nearly won round two of the Big3 on Sept. 5 before a late race skirmish relegated Shepherd, 2019 California State champion Trevor Huddleston, 2019 Short Track Shootout winner Jeremy Doss, and Carlos Vieira to the end of the lead lap finishers.
With the victory awarded to Ryan Philpott, Sheperd, trails Doss by just six points in the Big3 championship battle. Philpott trails Shepherd by 65 markers in the overall Pro LM fight as well. Rounding out the top 10 in the Nut Up Pro Late Model standings are: Blaine Rocha in third, ahead of Ross Strmiska, Dylan Zampa, Shelden Cooper, 2019 champion Austin Herzog, Joey Iest, Glen Cook, and Jay Juleson.
Huddleston, Vieira, and Philpott headline a deep lineup of drivers who wish to add their name to the illustrious history of the Short Track Shootout this weekend. Also expected to join the action will be 2019 All American Speedway champion Jason Romero, Orange Show Speedway champion Barry Karr, current Irwindale Late Model points leader Dean Thompson, and multi-time MAVTV winner Racin Vernon.
Some of the Big3 bonus awards up for grabs include a $5,000 bonus for sweeping all three series’ fast-time awards, with Doss eligible after claiming quick-time in the first two rounds. Saturday’s 150-lap contest will be split across a 100-lap opening segment followed by a 50-lap sprint to the finish.
Also competing will be the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series with their eighth 70-lap event of the year. The drivers ages 10-16 years old have chased 14-year-old Bradley Erickson throughout the season. Erickson has won four times along with four fast-times, leading Cole Brown by 64 points in the championship. Brown broke the track record in the last event before finishing third. Jake Bollman, Kercie Jung, and Kabe McClenny round out the top five.
The balance of the top 10 sees Brody Armtrout, Cassidy Hinds, Kale McClenny, Kasey Kleyn, and Robbie Kennealy in the hunt. The youngest stock car drivers in the West compete in a 40-lap opening segment followed by the Mission Racing Style Tortilla Chips halfway break. Following the break for adjustments and MAVTV interviews, the drivers battle for 30-laps to the finish.
Jeffrey Erickson, 11, has had a perfect season in the Bandolero action at Madera, winning all seven main events. His advantage over rookie Caden Cordova is now 46 points with 2019 Mini Cup champion Joey Kennealy sitting 70 points out of the lead. Erickson may clinch the championship in the 30-lap race that also includes Mini Cups in a race-within-a-race. Rebecca Dubie has won six of the seven events for a strong point lead in that division as well.
On Saturday, pit gates open at 10 a.m. with practice beginning at noon. Qualifying will be at 2 p.m. with the Mini Cup and Bandolero heat races and the $4,500-to-win Pro Late Model B-Main to follow. Opening Ceremonies and live racing on YouTube is scheduled for 5:20 p.m. with all three features afterwards.
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, Mission Foods, Race 2B Drug Free, Competition Carburetion, Hoosier Tires, and Sunoco Race Fuel.
Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Monday nights at 4 p.m. with new 2020 episodes now airing.