Shepherd and Erickson lead Madera racing in MAVTV Late Models

Buddy Shepherd and Bradley Erickson lead the MAVTV-televised stock car action at Madera Speedway, with both the Nut Up Pro Late Model Series and 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models charging into round five of the nine-race series.

Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros and Legends of the Pacific are also scheduled for tonight’s loaded card of racing.

Grandstands remain closed due to COVID-19 industry guidance, but Madera Speedway, Mission Foods, 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://youtu.be/FqPdh8CreYo.

14-year-old Bradley Erickson has used a trio of fast-times and back-to-back wins to launch to a 33-point advantage in the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series. Erickson’s 2020 success story includes 157 laps led and guidance from T.J. Clark, father of the late NASCAR XFINITY prospect Spencer Clark. Seth Wise entered 2020 with the hot hand, winning both the 2019 season finale and this year’s first two races. A crash into the front stretch wall ended his run on August 8, bouncing Wise to a 33-point deficit behind Erickson.

The series has tightened up considerably behind Wise, with Cole Brown running third in the standings at just 48 points out of the lead. Kercie Jung is just five points adrift of Brown, overcoming a spin in the first half of the latest race to finish fourth. Jake Bollman used a career-best second place finish to advance to fifth in the standings as well.

The 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model action will again be a 70-lap contest, with a 40-lap opening segment followed by a 30-lap sprint to the finish.

Buddy Shepherd won qualifying then led all 80-laps to win the fourth event for the 2020 Nut Up Pro Late Models. The two-time series champion enjoys a 35-point advantage with 177 laps led across his three victories this year.

A consistent campaign from the Nut Up-sponsored No.90 of Ross Strmiska has pushed the veteran driver to second in the standings. Ryan Philpott continues to claw towards his first MAVTV-televised stock car win, using a best finish of third this year to find himself third in the championship. Blaine Rocha opened 2020 with back-to-back top-fives and is yet to finish outside the top 10, giving him possession of fourth in the standings ahead of brothers Dylan and Logan Zampa.

Shelden Cooper has had a standout season with a career-best sixth place finish in the most recent event. The finish gives him a three-way tie for seventh in the championship ahead of 2019 Nut Up Pro Late Model champion Austin Herzog and 2019 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model champion Joey Iest of Madera.

Cooper will try to keep the 17-year-old Iest and 18-year-old Herzog at bay when the series returns on Saturday for their 80-lap affair. The event opens for 50-laps before a break for adjustments, the Mission Racing Style Tortilla Chips halftime show, and MAVTV interviews. The race concludes with a 30-lap finale.

Bradley Erickson’s younger brother, Jeffrey, leads the Bandolero standings after a perfect start to the season. Rookie Caden Cordova and Joey Kennealy round out the top-five. Rebecca Dubie is also 4-0 in the Mini Cup portion of the combined main events.

The touring Legends of the Pacific saw Nick Halen complete a Danny Sullivan-like spin and win two weeks ago. Halen will look to have a more straightforward path to victory this weekend, as the popular spec racers compete in another 35-lap contest.

Today, pit gates open at 12 p.m. with practice beginning at 2 p.m. Qualifying will be at 4 p.m. with the Mini Cup, Bandolero, and Legends heat races to follow. Opening ceremonies and live streaming coverage will begin at approx. 5:55 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, Mission Foods, Race 2B Drug Free, Competition Carburetion, Hoosier Tires, and Sunoco Race Fuel.

Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Monday nights at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. with new 2020 episodes now airing. Round No. 2 of the Nut Up Pro Late Model Series airs on August 31.

Speedway adds Mission Foods as major partner

Mission Foods, one of the world’s largest producers of tortillas, has joined forces with Madera Speedway to promote grassroots racing through Madera Racing on MAVTV.

Mission’s Racing Style Tortilla Chips will be prominently featured throughout the series, which airs Mondays at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on MAVTV.

Mission will have trackside billboards promoting their chips and the hashtag #2FAST2TASTY. Each 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series and Nut Up Pro Late Model Series race broadcast will include the Mission halftime show. Each episode of Madera Racing on MAVTV will also include two onboard cameras. The Mission Foods cameras will help talented drivers gain more exposure and will rotate onto different cars each race.

The speedway pioneered the Jr. Late Model concept in 2016, bringing drivers ages 10-16 years old to a national television audience in full size stock cars for the first time.

Partnerships with industry-leading companies such as Mission Foods allow Madera Speedway to further its goal of being one of the best farm systems in the nation for young racing talent.

“Our passion is Short Track Racing and our ‘Mission’ is building stars from it,” Kenny Shepherd, President of Short Track Management, said. “I’m extremely excited to have Mission Foods join our program at Madera Speedway.”

They were one of the first major brands onboard my race car 26 years ago as I joined the NASCAR Southwest Tour. They are passionate about helping us in our efforts to help young talent grow in motorsports, while at the same time provide a fun short track racing platform for their consumers to enjoy in person and on national television.”

The 2020 racing season at Madera Speedway has already included several groundbreaking achievements, despite the global pandemic taking place. The speedway is hosting a three-race Pro Late Model series for drug awareness under the Race 2B Drug Free Big3 moniker, offering the largest purses and bonuses in track history.

Regional community partnerships such as those with the Carlos Vieira Foundation and the Valley Children’s Hospital are enhanced as the speedway grows through national sponsorship and notoriety. The MAVTV program began at Madera in 2015 with eight, 30-minute episodes. It has since grown to encompass a weekly show in prime time that features a new episode every two weeks with more than twenty hours of programming from the one-third mile oval each year.

The remaining dates for the Madera Racing on MAVTV Late Model filming schedule include events on Sept. 5, 19, Oct. 3, 17. Two special events and several documentaries are also planned for broadcast. New episodes air every other week in tape delay for a primetime television format.