Smith earns first career Madera Late Model win
For the second consecutive week, a Bakersfield driver reigned supreme at Madera as Jacob Smith won his first feature at the one-third mile asphalt oval.
Smith won the qualifying and his heat race, then led all 40 laps of the feature for the non-televised series. The racing action was shown on ShortTrackTV on YouTube with fans from across the country viewing.
Smith jumped out to the lead at the start with outside polesitter Jay Juleson falling backwards quickly. Trevor Schlundt knifed into second while Juleson drifted back to seventh. John McCollum spun in turn four which allowed Juleson a reset to get moving on the inside from row four.
A wreck in turn four brought the race to a halt, with Hans Beeler, Lily Mead, McCollum, and Joey Brasil all suffering significant damage. All were able to make repairs and continue.
Former Pacific Challenge Series champion Mike Beeler moved into second while Juleson ran down Schlundt for third. At the halfway point, Loren Kutz started to reel them in for a nearly three car battle for third. Juleson muscled underneath Schludnt down the backstretch to take third on lap 24.
With seven laps to go, Smith encountered four lapped cars, including several from the earlier incident. Smith managed to get through the fray to persevere for victory, ahead of Beeler, Juleson, Kutz, and Schlundt.
2017 Modified Super Toyota champion Bert Stephens returned to victory lane after navigating through a wild crash that ended the race for many.
Jason Kerns led the opening lap before Stephens took the lead. A spin for Haley Bugg set up a restart where Ryan Reynolds swept past Stephens for the lead. Shaun Reynolds moved into second as well.
The race changed dramatically when Ryan Reynolds lost his engine entering turn three. Shaun Reynolds and Tim Kammerer were eliminated from contention while Kearns continued with damage on the right front.
Stephens assumed the lead which he never relinquished, topping Dennis Brannon, Kerns, and Kyle Labrie as the only finishers.
Tyler Rogers topped Manny Gonzales, Jr. in the Madera Hobby Stocks main event while Thomas Magray won the Toyota Sedans.
A big slate of action is on deck for next weekend at Madera Speedway with Madera Late Models, Jr. Late Model exhibition race, Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros, Toyota Sedans, and Hobby Stocks. For more information, visit RaceMadera.com
A special thank you goes to Nut Up for supporting this week’s events on ShortTrackTV.