Herzog extends points lead with Round 3 win
Courtesy of Jason Wedehase/Mader aSpeedway
Austin Herzog drives his No. 11 Pro Late Model to the win in the MAVTV main even Saturday at Madera Speedway.
2019 Nut Up Pro Late Model champion Austin Herzog became the third different winner of the season at Madera Speedway, holding off Matt Erickson to grab the victory to extend his points lead.
Herzog leaves Saturday’s round three with a win, a second-place finish, and a fast-time for a strong start to his season. The events were taped for a future MAVTV telecast as well with Herzog joined by a fellow No. 11 car in victory lane as Jacob Smith won the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models as well.
“My crew made some really good adjustments. Last year it was hard for us. I never lost faith in my team. We’re just going to keep digging and see what we can do this year,” said Herzog.
Seth Wise started on the outside pole over the 24-car field for the 80-lap Pro Late Model feature, working around the outside of 2020 Jr. Late Model champ Bradley Erickson to lead lap one. A caution flew on the opening lap and Wise used the outside to maintain the lead on the restart.
Herzog and Jason Aguirre followed suit as they each passed Erickson around the top. A bottleneck on the front stretch ended with Adam Lemke tagging the turn four wall while Glen Cook stopped in turn one with a flat left rear, with the caution flying on lap six. Erickson had a throttle linkage issue that forced him to the infield on lap 18, dropping him from fourth position.
Wise led the field into lapped traffic but earned a reprieve when Jay Juleson stopped in turn four on lap 27 for a caution. Wise restarted outside Herzog with both drivers finding their way to the top line. Colby Potts briefly looked inside Herzog for second while Eric Nascimento, Jr. and Matt Erickson rolled into the top five on the outside line. Tyler Herzog and Dylan Zampa collided for a caution on lap 42, relegating both to the rear of the field.
Wise led Herzog, Potts, Nascimento, and Aguirre into the scheduled break on lap 50. Wise, again, picked the outside of Herzog to maintain the top position. Herzog ran down Wise and the pair made contact in turn two, giving Herzog command of the event on lap 54. A caution on lap 60 gave Matt Erickson a chance to challenge Wise for second, going around the outside of him to take second on lap 67.
Erickson then challenged Herzog for the win. Erickson dove underneath Herzog on lap 78 with two laps remaining into turn one. Herzog drove ahead and crossed the line first over Erickson, Wise, Nascimento, and Potts.
Smith won his second consecutive 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series race, again leading all 70-laps of the competition for drivers ages 10-16. Smith qualified first, drew the pole, and immediately jumped ahead while Kercie Jung took over second early as well. Outside pole sitter Kenna Mitchell drifted back to seventh in the early stages of the event.
The first 40-laps went non-stop with Smith leading comfortably into the Mission Racing Style Tortilla Chips break. Jung ran second over a close pack of Barrett Polhemus, Brody Moore and Holly Clark in nose-to-tail formation.
The first caution fell on lap 42 when Kasey Kleyn had an issue on the backstretch. On the restart, Moore looked inside Jung for second. Moore took over the position then ran his best lap of the main to that point on lap 49, but the lap was still a 10th slower than Smith’s strong pace up front. A caution fell on lap 50 for Lane Anderson on the backstretch and Mitchell entered the pits as well.
2020 Bandolero champion Jeffrey Erickson drove into the top-five on the restart before a caution on lap 53 for a crash involving Ethan Nascimento and Brody Armtrout. Jung and Polhemus went side-by-side for third for multiple laps in the closing stages of the event before Jung won the battle.
Jacob Smith claimed a 2.6 second victory over Moore, Jung, Polhemus, and Clark. The victory marked 140 consecutive laps led for Smith in his rookie season at the one-third mile speedway.
Logan Chambers is a perfect three-for-three in the Bandolero portion of the Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros at Madera Speedway leading the final 12 laps of the 30-lap affair. After recently relocating to Madera, Joey Kennealy led the opening 18-laps of competition before a mechanical issue bounced him out the event. Chambers topped Cam Carraway and Caden Cordova in the Bandolero portion while Sam Wedehase won his second Mini Cup checkered flag of the year over Kellen Keller.
After a pair of lengthy red flags, Josh Gross found his way past Cody Winchel to win the Legends of the Pacific feature. The 35-lapper was halted twice, first for a flip on the backstretch for Michael Stearns. The driver was uninjured.
The race was halted again on lap 16 for a multi-car melee on the front stretch that ended the race for Keith Clement, Jason Elf, Eddie Garone and Aidan Phillips. When the race resumed, Gross took over the lead on lap 20 and brought Christian Bazen with him. Gross, Bazen, Winchel, Josh Ayers, and Kevin Travels were the top-five at the conclusion of the feature.
Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Monday nights at 4 p.m. with new 2020 episodes now airing. The Turkey Triple Open airs on April 26.