MADERA, CA — Austin and Bryan Herzog achieved an unprecedented feat for Father’s Day weekend, with the father and son duo each claiming Late Model victories in Saturday’s MAVTV-televised action at Madera Speedway. Austin, 13, won an outstanding 51 Fifty Jr. Late Model race for his third win of the year. Bryan later won the 100 lap LoanMart Open Late Model for his first victory of the season.
Austin’s win was yet another come-from-behind victory in the 50 lap contest against a 15 car turnout. Herzog navigated through entire field in just 16 laps after a mid-race incident, and used a stunning turn four pass on the outside of Ryan Vargas on lap 48 for the win. Herzog’s wins in the last two races have seen him lead just six total laps.
Las Vegas’ 12 year old Dezel West took quick time and led the field to green. Herzog kept West in sight throughout a series of early race caution periods. A strong battle developed between 11 year-olds Idaho’s Zachary Telford and Jesse Burks for fifth. Burks dove inside Telford in turn one on lap 13 but spun to bring out the caution.
Canadian Ben Silliker, also 11 years old, used the ensuing restart to overhaul Telford and bring Austin Edwards from Southern California with him. The pair then applied pressure on Las Vegas’ Kyle Keller for fourth. West led Herzog,15 year-old Ryan Vargas, Silliker, and Keller into the halfway break at lap 25.
After a five minute break for adjustments, the action continued with Edwards using the restart to get fifth from Keller. Edwards and Silliker showed great driving ability as they drove out of some sideways contact a few laps later. Edwards eventually slid to a halt in turn one to bring out a lap 33 caution. Slowing for the caution, West and Herzog made contact on the front stretch with West spinning. West blended back in for third place with Vargas assuming the lead over Silliker. Herzog was relegated to the rear.
West turned up the wick to try to gain the lead back as he made contact with Silliker in turn four with Silliker spinning. Jarrett Gilmer sliced through the traffic to take over second on lap 39 while Herzog slowly chipped away at the leaders. Things escalated when West tagged Gilmer in turn one on lap 44, with Gilmer spinning. Kolby Berry assumed second and Herzog found himself third.
Ali Gay had made her way to fifth but got tangled up on the restart in an incident that ended the race for April winner Austin Edwards. Herzog moved his way past Berry and put his sights on Vargas for the lead. On lap 48, Herzog jumped to the outside of Vargas in turn three. Vargas drifted wide in turn four with the pair making slight contact. Herzog raced past a sparking Vargas and never looked back for the victory. Vargas nursed a flat right front tire to ultimately finish eighth. Herzog led Berry, Silliker, RJ Smotherman, and Gilmer the top-five finishers across the stripe.
Bryan Herzog’s LoanMart Open Late Model 100 win avenged his narrow loss to points leader Matt Erickson in round #3 on May 28th. Herzog took over the lead on lap 15 and defended from countless challenges from Erickson down to the wire.
Dos Palos’ Ryan Hart led the opening ten laps of the race with Garland Tyler making his way forward to second place. The top eight cars ran side-by-side often in the early stages as the first half of the race was run under rare sunlight conditions. Hart picked the bottom line on a lap 10 restart and surrendered the lead to a hard-charging Tyler. Herzog moved past Hart as well. A lap 14 caution was all it took for Herzog to use the bottom to take the lead from Tyler.
Dominic Lopez, fresh off of a career-best top-ten in round #3, went up in smoke with electric problems on lap 18. There were still 17 lead lap cars at that stage of the race. Hart and Glen Cook staged a furious battle for third position with the pair sliding down the backstretch sideways at one stage. The contact caused eventual mechanical problems for Hart that his team was able to repair under a later caution.
Round #2 runner-up Ryan Philpott of Tracy dropped from contention with mechanical woes on a lap 23 caution for Del McIntosh’s mechanical-caused spin in turn one. Philpott eventually rejoined the race several laps down.
Erickson moved up to second position and battled closely with Herzog through several restarts. Rick Thompson and Alexander Mead had a grinding crash on lap 41 that ended Mead’s evening. The first half was ended prematurely during a lap 48 caution.
The second half of the race resumed several hours later under total darkness. Tracy’s Justin Philpott picked up the pace to duel with Hart for fifth in a battle that would continue for much of the remaining laps. Erickson kept Herzog within a car length with the final 52 laps have abundant green flag racing. Erickson took many looks inside Herzog throughout lapped traffic with Tyler in the nose-to-tail trio. Contact between the leaders got the fans on their feet on lap 86 as they charged out of turn four. Herzog was able to drive away from Erickson as his door panels.
Hart eventually spun in turn three on lap 86 in the midst of the great battle with Philpott for the race’s final caution. Cook used that stoppage to wrestle third away from Tyler, but Tyler claimed it back on lap 98.
Erickson tried a few slidejob attempts that fell short as Herzog rolled the top side. Herzog was credited with a .366 lead over Erickson under the double checkered flags with Tyler, Philpott, and Cook the top-five.
Lucy Carmona won her first career Toyota Sedan race in one of the earlier main events of the evening. Carmona took over the lead from Thomas Magray on lap three and never relinquished it with Erik Woods second and points leader Jilliaun Holden in third. Magray eventually finished fourth. Carmona has aspirations to move into the Late Model division and has been doing extensive testing at the speedway leading up to a possible July debut.
Rocklin’s Robby Czub continued a perfect 2016 season in Legends cars, winning his sixth straight win state wide in the Legends of the Pacific-sanctioned action. The 35 lap race actually had four different leaders with John Bowman at the helm for the first four laps before Jack Wood took over. Wood was spun from the lead by Bakersfield’s Braden Rogers on lap nine handing fellow Bakersfield driver Colton Page the lead. Page’s lead only lasted a lap before Czub moved past him.
Czub eventually gained more than five seconds on the field for the comfortable win. Page, Stockton winner Pete Peirce, Wood, and Kern County champion Eddie Garone were the top-five at the finish.
Clovis’ AJ Russell knocked off the dominate Bakersfield driver Justin Tuey for a popular win in the CSS 360 Super Modifieds. Russell has been one of the busiest drivers at Madera in open wheels, running both the Super Modifieds and the Madera Winged Super Sprints. Tuey led the first four circuits before surrendering to Russell.
Russell’s lead waned in the closing stages with Tuey closing to within 1.533 seconds at the stripe. Lance Jackson scored another top-three in third although he was one lap down on the leaders.
Chuck Dozhier and Joseph Riechmuth resumed what has been a dogged battle for Super Hobby Stock supremacy at Madera in 2016. Saturday night belonged to Dozhier as he won the 40 lap race. The fast-paced feature was concluded in just 11 minutes as Dozhier’s lead over Reichmuth ebbed and flowed through the race. The pair came nose-to-tail several times before Dozhier pulled away at the end for a .800 margin of victory. Eloy Bazan ran a steady race from third position ahead of Thomas Suarez and Jesus Hernandez.
Modified Super Toyotas (MSTs) had a wild race that saw a very deserving win for John McCollum, Jr. McCollum was racing in honor his late grandfather George McCollum who recently passed away.
Patrick Geiger led the first three laps before McCollum took over. Incoming points leader Kevin Thompson slowly but surely made his way towards the front and was to third by lap nine. An incident involving Thompson and Bert Stephens sent them back to the rear.
McCollum was undeterred in a narrow .134 second win ahead of the late run by Thompson with Stephens in tow. Geiger settled for fourth over DJ Landers.
The Loanmart Madera Speedway is off on June 25th before returning to racing on July 2nd for the Grassroots Racer Classic with a giant fireworks show!
MAVTV coverage of Madera Speedway continues on Thursday June 23rd with another original episode of “Madera Racing” Thursday’s broadcast features the April 30th race for the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models and the March 19th 75 lap race for the Pacific Challenge Series Super Late Models. “Madera Racing” airs Thrusdays on MAVTV at 8 p.m. Eastern / 5 p.m. Pacific.
-Madera Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Madera Speedway