SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — The Pacific Challenge Series presented by PenneyLawyers.com returns to racing this Saturday night at Loanmart Madera Speedway for its 2016 season opener. Super Late Model teams from all over the west will invade the one-third asphalt oval for a 75 lap feature to be televised on MAVTV.
The stop at Madera sets in motion a busy 13 race campaign with 12 points events plus a non-points season finale in Roseville, CA. Drivers will use points earned from their ten best finishes to try to take the championship. Madera’s two PCS rounds are the first series races ever to be televised, with both being produced locally by promoter Kenny Shepherd and Short Track Management to air on MAVTV in tape-delay later this year.
Three of the last four series champions saw their PCS title as their first career SLM championships. The series’ all-time winningest driver Upperlake’s Jeremy Doss claimed the crown in 2012 at just 15 years old before Modesto’s Mike Beeler won in 2014 and Granite Bay’s John Moore is the defending champion from 2015. All three are set to run the full season this year in one of the most competitive points fields in PCS history.
Doss won the inaugural trip to Madera last August after a barn burning battle with 2015 SRL Southwest Tour champion Jacob Gomes. Gomes is also expected on Saturday night. Beeler led the first 24 laps and won the dash last year before ultimately finishing third in the race. Beeler came up just ten points short of Moore in his bid to become the first repeat series champion.
Moore’s son Cole Moore was the 2015 Rookie of the Year without a win but with eight top-tens in his debut asphalt oval season. Cole ranked third in the points standings ahead of Elk Grove’s Ron Chunn and Grass Valley’s Don Swartz.
Another early title contender for 2016 is Travis Milburn, a St. Mary’s College (CA) business graduate originally from Eagle, ID. With extensive touring experience in the NASCAR West Series, Milburn had an average finish of fourth in his seven starts last season including a win at Roseville last June.
Others expected at Madera include sixth in 2015 points Mike Hite, April Roseville winner and 2006 Westcar champion Shannon Mansch, and top 20 in the points drivers Chris Scribner of Loomis, Bobby Hodges of Carson City, NV, Hayward’s Danny Malfatti, John Nesmith, and Tracy Bolin.
Kyle Gottula of Modesto won the September Roseville event last year and perhaps has the most Madera experience of anyone expected on Saturday. JR Courage will set sail on a planned inaugural full-time PCS campaign on Saturday night as well.
Saturday’s action begins a series that will travel to Roseville’s All American Speedway on four occasions, Stockton 99 Speedway and Ukiah Speedway each on three occasions, two trips to Madera, and a single trip to Shasta Speedway in Anderson.
Madera Speedway has served up a busy night of racing with the King of the Wing Western Sprint Cars and local Twisted Tea Modifieds sharing the card for three features in one night of racing.
An extended practice will kick things off Friday afternoon, with gates opening at noon and practice running from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. There is no car fee just a $50 pit pass fee with concessions being offered for sale as well. On Saturday night, the first practices will begin rotations at 11:30 before qualifying at 2:30, a Dash for Cash at 6 p.m. and the Pacific Challenge Series 75 is the final race of the night at approx. 9:30 p.m.
For more information on the Pacific Challenge Series, visit them online at www.PacificChallengeSeries.com or on Facebook and YouTube.
-Pacific Challenge Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Pacific Challenge Series