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Erickson edges out Tyler in Late Models

Matt Erickson (42) leads Garland Tyler (73) in the Late Models on Saturday. Erickson pulled out a victory over Tyler at the Madera Speedway. (Courtesy of Rachel Cam)


Matt Erickson has enjoyed one of the most winning Late Model seasons in 2016, but contrary to what one would think, it has not been a dominant season by him.

Now that sounds contradictory. But what is means is that Erickson has rarely been the best car on any given night, and, in many races, another driver has had Erickson beat, but somehow Erickson found a route to victory lane.

Saturday night Garland Tyler out qualified Erickson by two-tenths of a second, and Tyler appeared to have the best race car in the main event, and especially through the middle of the corners. But when the checkered flag fell, it was Erickson rolling into victory lane, again.

Another example of Erickson’s mastering of track position was on display in the last MAVTV televised race held on July 30 where Erickson was in third place in the closing laps in the 100-lap race, but when a mechanical failure forced race leader Bryan Herzog to the pits and then new race leader Ryan Philpott caught lapped traffic, Erickson was able to slip by for the win. Erickson only led a couple of laps in that entire race, but he led the right lap that got him to victory lane.

Tyler has found a lot of speed in his race car the last month and he came home in second place on Saturday. Shelden Cooper came in third, followed by Dillion Ticker and newcomer Mike Shapiro rounding out the top five in the Madera Late Model race.

The Southwest Tour Truck Series had a nice race at LoanMart Madera Speedway and it was Zack Green that won in the No. 27 truck followed by Zack St. Onge, Roger Harder, William Martin, and Dan Coburn for the top five.

Tim Curtis won the Toyota Sedan race, followed by his good friend Kyle Fortney for second. Lucy Carmona came in third with a great drive holding off her fellow lady competitor Jillaun Holden. Mike Marley came in fifth.

In what was one of the more action packed races of the night, Bert Stephens made his way back to victory lane in the Mini Super Toyota division, followed by Zackery Cook, DJ Lander, Kevin Thompson, and Rian Bowman. Fans were yelling, cheering and having a good time watching the door slamming action the MST’s provided as there was more contact in this one race than all other divisions combined.

Thomas Suarez won the Hobby Stock race, with Quintin Harris in second, Steve Schemerhorn in third, Ivan Scorsur in forth and Eloy Bazan taking fifth.

Jackson Dukes picked up a victory in the Jr. Late Model exhibition race over Jadan Rocha.

The next race at LoanMart Madera Speedway is a a dual-headliner show on Saturday that will give valley race fans the best of both worlds with the Pacific Challenge Series Super Late Models brings the thunder and North State Modifieds bringing the lightning to the fastest one-third mile in the west. MAVTV cameras will again be rolling for the 75-lap feature for the PCS while the modifieds will race for 60 laps. The CSS 360 Super Modifieds headline an undercard that includes USAC HPD Midgets, MSTs, and Toyota Sedans.

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