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Aguirre continues Hanoian Classic tradition with win

Courtesy of Madera speedway

Jason Aguirre ran at the front from the beginning to win his third Smokey Hanoian Classic on Saturday at the Madera Speedway.


The Madera Speedway is celebrating 51 years of racing at the fastest 1/3 mile in the West in 2022 with a variety of motorsports action.

The first club race of the season took place on a beautiful California afternoon where fans enjoyed perfect weather to celebrate one of the longest running events at the Madera Speedway known as the Smokey Hanoian Classic.

It was traditional many years ago for the Madera Speedway to open with an afternoon spring race, so this was how they celebrated the memory of the late Smokey Hanoian on Saturday.

The headliner for the event was the Madera Late Models, and after winning each of their heat races, Jason Aguirre and Darrel Herzog started on the front row for the main event. Aguirre secured the lead right away with Herzog, Ryan Reynolds, Kabe McClenny, Trevor Schlundt, Eloy Bazan, Alexander Mead, Rick Thompson, Olivia Manke, Cameron “Money” Carroway and Bobby Hurst in hot pursuit right behind the leader.

The first and only caution of the race fell right at the halfway point when Herzog and McClenny got tangled up going into turn one while battling for the second position. Both cars restarted the race at the rear of the field. On the one and only restart of the race Aguirre took the inside position and that set Reynolds on the front row in the outside position. Aguirre outdueled Reynolds for the lead while Olivia Manke charged into the third position.

Herzog put on a show for the fans coming from the back of the pack to charge his was back towards the front in his Crown Homes hotrod. Manke spent most of the second half of the race in firm control of the third position after holding off the charge of Rick Thompson, but when Herzog got to the back bumper of Manke after clearing Thompson, he had to work hard to pass the rapidly improving young lady, and did so, but burned up several valuable laps in the process. Herzog, then ran down Reynolds and passed him on the white flag lap for the second position as Aguirre took the wire-to-wire Smokey Hanoian Classic Victory.

Aguirre noted in a ShortTrack TV documentary interview from nearly 10 years ago that the Smokey Hanoian Classic was a must win race for him, and now with a couple to his credit, you could see the mile wide smile from the top of the grandstands as he climbed out of his Corbin Cash/Waterford Irrigation Late model in victory lane.

Rounding out the top five behind Aguirre was the hard charging Herzog in his first late model start at Madera, then the smooth driving Ryan Reynolds, the fastest lady of the event, Olivia Manke, and the veteran Rick Thompson.

The undercard below the late models included The Madera Super Stocks, the Legends of Kearney Bowl, the MST’s, and the Madera Mini Stocks.

The Madera Super Stocks put on one of the most actioned-packed races of the night. Steve Schermerhorn battled his way to the early race lead after an impressive eight laps at the point position by Rich Childress. Schermerhorn lost his father a short while ago and you could feel his emotions and desire for a win in a pre-race conversation between Steve and the events trackside announcer, Johnny Williams.

With Schermerhorn driving elbows up in the lead position, young Hailey Bugg was impressing everyone in the grandstands with how fast she was passing cars via the high side and low side that led her to a heat race victory earlier in the day.

Bugg battled past Donnie Large Jr., Rich Childress, Manny Gonzales, and Tyler Holden to get to the back bumper of the hard charging Schermerhorn. It was game on between the leaders until they entered into turn one and made contact with each other causing a caution and ending each of their chances at victory in the season opener.

Bugg had to retire her car due to mechanical issues and Schermerhorn restarted at the rear of the field for the remaining laps in the 30-lap event.

On the restart, 2021 champion Manny Gonzales Jr. battled with Donnie Large Jr., but it was Gonzales that got to the finish line and doubled checkered flags first giving him the victory. Large bought home second with Schermerhorn, Tyer Holden and Rich Childress filling in the top five positions.

The MST’s are always entertaining and this event was no exception, Patrick Geiger took out his teammate, Bill Gorden for the lead, then was sent to the back after the caution, and then ended up winning the event. Geiger had a big smile when he told Williams, “You have to do what you have to do to win,” while in victory lane.

Gorden was not smiling when it was his turn for an interview. Tyler Ridley rounded out the podium with a third-place finish.

Greg Baronian won the Madera Mini Stocks presented by Dan Myrick, followed by Nick Thompson and Kevin Thompson for the podium positions.

The next race for the Madera Speedway is round two of the MAVTV-televised Lunker Daddy Pro Late Model and the 51FIFTY Jr Late Model Series on Saturday. Main events start at 6 p.m.

For information about Madera Speedway and to see the entire 2022 racing schedule, visit The 2022 season would not be possible without the support of 51FIFTY, Mission, Lunker Daddy, 805, Colorfast, Franks Radio, Competition Carburetion, Hoosier Tires, and Sunoco Race Fuel.


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