SACRAMENTO, CA — The Pacific Challenge Series presented by PenneyLawyers.com will make its fourth ever appearance the fast one-third mile asphalt oval in Madera, CA when the Super Late Model series begins its 2017 season at Madera Speedway on Saturday night. Saturday’s 75 lap Madera event will begin a journey of ten races across five race tracks for California’s premier short track touring series.
With 2012 & 2016 champion Jeremy Doss not returning to defend his championship, 2017 appears to be one of the most wide-open and competitive fields in recent history. A variety of veterans and rookies will take on the series this season. A new points system with five bonus points awarded for each start and no throwaways will reward the full-time competitors in the tour as they travel across the state.
Mike Beeler of Modesto has been a mainstay of the series with perfect attendance the last three years to win the championship in 2014 before a pair of runner-up championship finishes. He will aim to turn that trend around starting this weekend. Perhaps the most highly anticipated driver on the tour will be Jason Romero of Cameron Park. Romero swept all four All American Speedway PCS races in 2016 after winning the track’s 2009 Late Model championship. He earned a new track record in his first ever Madera start last August with a 14.126 second lap but a spin early in the feature cost him a shot at victory.
2016 PCS Rookie of the Year Matt Wendt returns to the series for his sophomore campaign, as does 2015 PCS Rookie of the Year Cole Moore and 2014 PCS Rookie of the Year JR Courage. All three are searching for their first career series victories. All three have also led several laps in their careers while searching for the elusive victory. Cole’s father John Moore won the 2015 PCS championship and will hope to turn around his fortunes after a frustrating 2016 campaign where he ended the year ninth in the standings.
Valley Springs’ Tracy Bolin set the track record at Madera in last March’s race, before the mark was lowered in August by Romero. Bolin appeared snake bitten with a litany of bad luck but broke through for his first series victory last June at Shasta Speedway in Anderson, CA.
A new two-car family effort will debut on Saturday night with series veteran Travis Milburn of Eagle, ID joining his cousin Jack Wood in cars #18 and #19. Milburn won the September Tri-Holiday #3 at Stockton last year. Jack is a Legends graduate whose father John has been involved in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West as both an owner and a driver for several years.
Carlos Vieira will make his first career series start on Saturday night. He is a veteran of several series in California including the SRL, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West, and local NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races. The popular driver ran sixth with the SRL series last July at Madera.
Another new face for 2017 will be Watsonville’s Alexander Mead. Mead began his career on dirt in Micro Sprints and IMCA Sport Mods before joining Madera Speedway’s Late Model ranks in 2015. He finished fifth in the Madera Late Model points last year.
Other drivers attempting to compete on Saturday include Hayward’s Danny Malfatti, Elk Grove’s Mike Hite, Fresno’s Justin Westmoreland, and Fortuna’s Leonard Ward.
This weekend’s racing includes season openers for the Western Winged Super Sprints, Legends of the Pacific, the reboot of the Super Hobby Stock Series for 50 laps, USAC HPD Midgets, and F4s. Cody Gerhardt will be looking to defend his series championship in the Winged Sprints this weekend!
An open practice kicks off the weekend on Friday before another full day of action on Saturday. Pit gates open at noon with practice from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Qualifying will follow with heats and dashes at 5:15 p.m. Opening ceremonies and the main events begin at 6:00 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and military, $10 for youth ages 6-12, and kids five and under are free! Madera Speedway is located on the Madera Fairgrounds on Cleveland Ave and 99. For more information, visit www.RaceMadera.com
-Pacific Challenge Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Pacific Challenge Series