MADERA, CA — Two-time Pacific Challenge Series champion Jeremy Doss of Upperlake, CA made the most of his RPM Mortgage Pro Late Model Series debut, winning Saturday’s 100 lap event at Madera Speedway. The winner of nearly 30 Super Late Models in his young career handled a pressure-filled second half of the event before earning the $2,000 win. Jesse Love IV won his fourth 51FIFTY Energy Drink Jr. Late Model race as well as he edged closer towards the series championship.
The sixth round of the MAVTV-televised competition had 26 Pro Late Models competing. Doss and incoming second in points Logan Zampa traded spots atop the board in practice and qualifying with Zampa earning five points for the fast-time. The fan-led redraw placed multi-time MST track champion Kevin Thompson on the pole with Zampa and Doss coming out of row two.
Thompson was quickly passed by outside pole sitter Joey Licata. Doss and former series champion Matt Erickson moved into second and third with side-by-side battling behind them. Shane Butler spun in turn four for the first caution on lap five. Thompson had fallen back to seventh and gathered up Zampa, the June winner, back to eighth. Licata slowed under caution and retired to the pits with mechanical woes to surrender the lead.
Doss assumed the lead position and powered past Erickson on the restart with five-time Jr. Late Model winner Austin Herzog of Clovis up to second. The top four of Doss, Herzog, Erickson, and tenth starting Garland Tyler of Modesto ran nose-to-tail all up stairs with Bakersfield’s Racin Vernon and Zampa side-by-side for fifth. Zampa used the inside to pass Vernon and Tucker tried to do the same. Zampa scrambled back to the top but Tucker remained on the bottom in traffic.
The gap between Doss and Herzog grew to nearly a straightaway. A caution flew on lap 21 for Shane Butler tagging fourth running Tyler while being lapped. Tyler smacked the turn two wall and drove back to the pits with significant right front damage.
Herzog briefly showed his nose on the inside of Doss on the restart before they separated. Tucker worked his way up to the inside of Erickson for fourth. Jr. LM graduate Jarrett Gilmer spun out of the top ten down the front stretch for a lap 28 caution. Doss again picked the outside and Herzog slid up the hill trying to run with him off the corner. That allowed Zampa to slide job Herzog on the following lap. Herzog bumped into the back of Zampa and also made contact with Dillon Tucker. The accordion affect ended with half a dozen cars stopped in turn three and a total of 11 cars suffering various degrees of damage. Four drivers were out of the race but all the leaders continued. Bakersfield’s Racin Vernon was one of those with heavy damage who soldiered on.
Zampa emerged second and drag raced Doss on the following restart with a comfortable advantage over the battle for third between Eric Nascimento, Jr. and Erickson. A spin for Quintin Harris in turn four slowed action again.
Zampa challenged Doss repeatedly on restarts and successfully took the lead on lap 33 when he edged forward by a nose before Doss took the lead back by a nose on lap 34. The side-by-side action brought Erickson into the fold on lap 35.
The race went green into the lap 50 break with Doss leading Zampa, Erickson, Nascimento, and Jason Aguirre of Atwater. Aguirre fell back to ninth within the first seven laps after the break. Racin Vernon found a way to come back from the earlier crash to battle side-by-side with Tucker for seventh. Lapped traffic was two wide in front of Doss briefly on lap 65. Quintin Harris spun on the front stretch which evaporated Doss’ newfound lead on Zampa.
The lead battle was as close as it had been with Zampa nosing inside Doss numerous times. A caution on lap 71 for Gilmer spinning gave the duo a breather. A severe crash stopped the action on the restart when Herzog slid up the race track and was hit in the right rear by Aguirre. Aguirre flew into the starter’s stand before landing on the passenger side window of Herzog. All parties involved, including the officials, were uninjured.
Zampa and Doss again went toe-to-toe after that 20 minute red flag. Doss never lost the lead but had to drop to the inside several times to make a defensive maneuver. Zampa worked inside Doss again out of turn two on lap 78 and Doss managed to lead by a nose before Doss drove to the bottom again to block the following lap. Zampa never relented from the inside as Doss searched high and low to defend. Zampa led the 80th lap by inches before Doss came back once more.
The battle spilled over when Zampa spun in turn three and got hit by Nascimento which ended Nascimento’s evening. The fracas placed a Cinderella in second with Racin Vernon set to challenge Doss. Vernon went up the hill into turn one which allowed Doss to drive away. Erickson took over second from Vernon in the process. Zampa found himself in an absolute soup with a lot of contact as he attempted to drive into the top-five and take the points lead.
A final caution on lap 94 set up Doss versus Erickson, but Erickson was unable to seal the deal. Jeremy Doss took the big victory ahead of Erickson, Jarrett Gilmer, Racin Vernon, and Logan Zampa. With incoming points leader Buddy Shepherd absent, Zampa took over the points lead by four points heading into September 23rd.
Jesse Love IV’s fourth win in the 51FIFTY Energy Drink Jr. Late Models nearly clinches the title in a dominant season so far. The June and July races were the only hiccups in Love’s season so far.
Love qualified third for the 75 lapper but grabbed the pole after the fan redraw. He led lap one ahead of fast-time qualifier Kolby Berry of Redwood Valley. Jr. Late Model first-timer Adam Lemke of Hollister jumped up into third ahead of Las Vegas drivers Tyler Reif and Kyle Keller.
Gracie Trotter of Denver, NC slowed out of turn four on her first career start but gathered it back up in the 13th position on lap four.
Jr. Late Model exhibition race winner Dylan Zampa of Napa ran sixth early on in his first televised series start. Good battling took place outside the top-five when July runner-up Kabe McClenny of Bakersfield passed Anthony Guimano for seventh and brought Jesse Burks with him.
Duxbury, VT’s Peyton Lanphear spun in turn one for the first caution on lap 18. Another brief caution for debris slowed the action on lap 23. Keller spun from fifth for a caution on lap 24. Mead and Trotter came together in turn three while battling for eighth place sending Mead for a spin on lap 25. Both had to restart from the rear. McClenny got around Zampa for fifth coming through three and four to complete lap 33.
A crash on lap 37 brought out a red flag when Lanphear and Guiamano hit the wall in turn three. Guiamano managed to continue on in the event. Reif tagged the wall from fourth on the restart and was forced to try to nurse the car to the lap 50 break.
Mead and Guiamano collided on lap 47 in turn four to bring the race to its lap 50 break prematurely. On the restart the trio of Love, Berry, and Lemke took off comfortably from fourth running McClenny. Lemke worked his way underneath Berry and took second on lap 55. He had a straightaway deficit to Love and began crawling towards him before Mead spun with help from Reif. Berry spun from third on the following restart and collected McClenny who suffered severe front end damage to end McClenny’s night.
Lemke hounded his teammate Love for the lead with ten laps to go. Jesse Burks took over third from Dylan Zampa and led a line of six cars in the intense battle. Keller nearly spun out of the group but kept going to keep the race green with two to go.
Love was able to pull away from Lemke in the closing stages in a possible championship drive with Burks maintaining third for his career best finish ahead of Zampa. Gracie Trotter charged back to fifth as well.
The 20 lap Mini Cup main event saw a first time female winner. The 2017 series for the youngest drivers at the speedway had been dominated by Tyler Reif of Las Vegas, but the 10 year-old was denied on this night by Avery Vivian. Vivian used a car she purchased the night before to lead the entire distance, with Reif working into second with five laps to go and settling for that position. Aaron Thomas finished third.
A competitive field of Modified Super Toyotas dueled for 25 laps with Dave Lander getting the win. Lander led the first nine laps of the feature before a caution for Rian Bowman spinning in turn four tightened up the pack. Lander jumped ahead of second running Ryan Renyolds on the double file restart, allowing Patrick Geiger to nose up the inside of Renyolds.
Lander took a .666 second victory over Geiger with points leader Bert Stephens in third. Renyolds failed to finish with mechanical problems.
11 Legends of the Pacific took the green flag for a 35 lap main event with a ten car invert. Stockton’s Keith Clement led early before Chad Nascimento took the lead. Nascimento drove to a five car length lead over Modesto’s Michael Ray. Tenth starting Luis Tyrrell, who leads the points at Kern County Raceway Park, passed Ray for second on lap six in a quick zip through the field.
Tyrrell wasted little time taking the lead on the following lap on lap seven. Heather Hadley tagged the turn four wall for a lap 15 yellow flag. A caution for Rob Nascimento spinning gave his cousin Chad a brief look at Tyrell before a two-by-two battle for second developed. Another set of restarts allowed Ray to swoop into second.
Tyrrell claimed victory for his second Madera Legends win of the season ahead of Ray, Rob Nascimento, Bakersfield’s Braden Rogers, and Josh Fleming.
Up next for Madera Speedway is the Hampton Inn and Suites Night on Labor Day weekend! Madera Late Models, Race #6 of the Super Hobby Stock Series, NCPRO 4 Modifieds, MST’s, Toyota Sedans, F4’s, and the Jr, Late Model 25 lap exhibition race make up the busy evening
For more information about Madera Racing on MAVTV please visit www.racemadera.com or www.mavtv.com. For more information about RPM Mortgage and to obtain loan information please visit www.rpmwins.com and for more information about 51FIFTY Energy Drink visit www.51fiftyenergydrink.com
-Madera Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Jason Wedehase