Best in the West ready to battle at Madera Spedway
A giant field full of the top stock car talent in the country will converge on Madera Speedway for the $10,000-to-win Nut Up Short Track Shootout tonight.
The MAVTV-televised season finale for the Nut Up Pro Late Models is the seventh running of the prestigious 150-lap race.
Championships will also be decided in the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series in a 70-lap race and the Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros in a 20-lap race. A $1,000-to-win B-Main for the Pro Late Models and a possible C-Main are also in the cards.
From the championship perspective, Saturday’s event has long been regarded as the wild card of the season. A combination of racers competing for points versus drivers racing for simply the five-figure paycheck creates an unpredictable collision course for excitement. That fact must be weighing heavily on the top-two in the standings, both teenagers.
Austin Herzog leads Dylan Zampa by 19 points heading into the finale. The Short Track Shootout victory has eluded the Herzog family while Zampa’s older brother, Logan, claimed the 2018 edition. Carlos Vieira is a scant 21 points out of the lead while Jason Aguirre is also still in the hunt just 26 points behind Herzog.
The championship foursome will tackle a star-studded field. It includes NASCAR California State Champion Trevor Huddleston along with his teammates Jace Jones, the grandson of the legendary Parnelli Jones, and Dean Thompson. Two-time Pro Late Model champion and 2017 Short Track Shootout winner Buddy Shepherd returns after scoring a victory in August.
The last five Pacific Challenge Series SLM champions are entered including Mike Beeler, John Moore, and Jeremy Doss. The 2018 PCS champ Jason Romero recently clinched the 2019 All-American Speedway NASCAR Late Model title and will return to Madera Speedway. A win at Madera has eluded Romero in his racing career.
Doss, on the other hand, has the hot hand this year with three Madera Pro LM victories including a narrow win over Herzog in September. Doss is also the 2018 SRL Southwest Tour champion, with 2019 SRL points leader Cole Moore among the entries for the Short Track Shootout.
Ryan Philpott and soon-to-be 2019 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model champion Joey Iest are also expected as part of this star-studded field.
Iest’s bid for the 2019 championship in the Jr. Late Model Series is nearly complete after his remarkable fifth win of the year two weeks ago. Iest enjoys a 51-point margin over leading rookie Seth Wise in the standings. The Jr. Late Model Series has enjoyed its best car count in series history and that trend continues Saturday with several new entrants.
One of the most highly anticipated debuts in the series will come in the form of Grant Thompson, who will drive for Naake-Klauer Motorsports, as a result of winning the inaugural Jr. Late Model Challenge Camp in August. After four wins at Cycleland Speedway in Outlaw Karts this season, Preston Carr will debut in the series as well.
Riley Massey will try to repeat her 2018 Bandolero championship as she takes a 19-point cushion over Ethan Nascimento into tonight’s race. Joey Kennealy will close out a championship in the Mini Cup division as well on Saturday.
Today’s program begins with pit gates opening at 11 a.m. Practices run from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. with qualifying to follow. The Nut Up Pro Late Model C Main starts the action at 4 p.m. followed by Mini Cup vs. Bandolero heat races and the $1,000 to win B-Main. Opening Ceremonies are at 6 p.m. with 240 laps of feature racing to follow.
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. The fifth round of the 2019 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series airs on Oct. 10.