An abundance of spills, thrills, and chills marked Saturday’s Military Tribute Night at the LoanMart Madera Speedway as drivers delivered some of the season’s most exciting racing and all in attendance honored America’s soldiers during a slew of patriotic events.

It was clear after opening ceremonies that races were going to be wilder than usual as increased car counts – more than 100 drivers were on the track Saturday – led to aggressive racing and a multitude of spinouts across the board.

To that end, there was no moment more chaotic than when Brian Herzog, in the LoanMart Late Model Open Series, slammed into Garland Tyler late in the race immediately after Tyler moved cleanly into the lead.

The two had battled for dozens of laps with points leader Matt Erickson and eventual winner Trevor Huddleston in the mix until lap 70, when things really heated up.

Side by side, Herzog and Tyler zipped around turns, each refusing to yield their position.
Tyler appeared to be faster on the outside line, though, and after several strong laps managed to solidify his spot in first on the back-end straightaway of lap 74, perhaps on his way to a checkered flag.
Then chaos broke loose.

Tyler was just ahead of Herzog as the two entered turn three, and he said after his spotter told him he was clear of Herzog, he moved down to take the inside line.

“I raced the guy for 73 laps clean and even when I had him cleared I still gave him plenty of room,” Tyler said.

Herzog, however, wasn’t ready to relinquish his spot and didn’t slow down, causing him to slam straight into the side of Tyler’s car.

“I went to the bottom and he just drove straight through me,” Tyler said.
The ensuing carnage was plain to see, with fans loudly booing – some cheering – Herzog’s initial decision.

Erickson, in a very close third at the time, was caught up in the wreck which he blamed entirely on Herzog.

“[Tyler] passed [Herzog] cleanly,” Erickson said, “and it looked to me like [Herzog] didn’t like it, so he drove in way over his head, took [Tyler] out, took himself out, then backed into me and put me in the fence. That’s how he drives  he just drives over his head and doesn’t know how to drive.”
Erickson pointed to a moment earlier in the race as evidence of Herzog’s allegedly-reckless style, when the two battled for first and sparks flew from Erickson’s car as result of contact.

“He practically took out half of the field back in the first 50 laps,” Erickson said. “In those laps I was on the inside, he came in on me and cut my tires down. And they’re blaming me for it. That’s the Herzogs. They can never do nothing wrong, they think they’re angels and all that.”
Herzog, however, said he didn’t know what happened – he was simply racing as hard as he could.
“I think Erickson and I were racing real hard together,” Herzog said. “And we both charged into the corner real hard  the two of us got together a little bit then. I don’t know what happened with [Tyler]. I don’t know how Erickson and I both got into him at the corner. It was all a big wad after that.”
Herzog said unlike what some fans may have thought about the move – grandstand boos outweighed the cheers – it wasn’t intentional.

“None of us as drivers show up here with the intention of wrecking somebody,” Herzog said. “When stuff happens on the track we’re all out here driving as hard as we can to get as many positions as we can and that’s it. “As for the fans? “I’m not worried about it,” Herzog said. “I’ve been booed, I’ve been cheered. It’s just fans being fans and I love them even if they’re screaming at me or rooting for me because they’re fans and they’re enjoying the show we’re out here to put on  They love you or hate you anyway so you roll with it.”

Trevor Huddleston, the winner of the race, said he tried not to get involved with the collisions.
“Just surviving, that was the key to our success,” Huddleston said. “Everybody was running really, really hard out there. So that was our key, just watching them take each other out basically.”
Huddleston said the win was “the best birthday present,” as he turned 18 the same day.
“I’m an adult now,” laughed Huddleston, who said Madera was his favorite track in the United States. “But this was amazing. Best birthday present ever, I would say.”

Other winners on the night included: Chase Majdic in the Legends of the Pacific class; Chad Holman in a wild Open Hobby Stocks race; Kyle Fortney in his last Toyota Sedans event; Cameron Legue in the WSRA Mini Cups; and Dave Kong in the 4-Bangers.

Before the races began, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion honored veterans – who were given free admission to the event – with a posting of the colors, 21-gun salute, and a rendition of “Taps” for those fallen in combat.

Dozens of drivers – many of them veterans as well – also customized their cars with special American-themed paint jobs and stickers and parked on the track with flags in their windows as “The Star Spangled Banner” was sung.

The Speedway will host its Pombo/Sargent Classic Saturday, June 7, with Round #3 of the Super Modifieds vs. Winged Sprints, BCRA/USAC Midgets, USAC HPD Midgets, Race #3 of the Twisted Tea Modifieds, Vintage Super Modifieds, NCMA/PBR Spec Sprints, and Vintage BCRA cars.

For information including points standings and schedules, call (559) 673-7223 or visit On its Facebook page, the Speedway also posts photos and videos from events and holds free-ticket giveaways for fans. Visit for information.
The Speedway’s Military Tribute Night was sponsored by California Solar.

By Mark Smith of The Madera Tribune – Photo Madera Speedway Facebook Page


Main Events:

LoanMart Late Model Open Series (100 laps, 50 lap split)
Trevor Huddleston
Aaron Mullins-(-0.792)
Ryan Hart-(-5.521)
Ronnie Roberts-(-10.292)
Blane Perkins-(1 lap)
Del McIntosh-(1 lap)
Jason Aguirre-(3 laps)
Rick Thompson-(25 laps)
Brian Herzog-(25 laps)
Garland Tyler-(26 laps)
Matt Erickson-(26 laps)
Brice Napier-(26 laps)
Emma Tucker-(30 laps)
Blaine Rocha-(53 laps)
Ryan Cansdale-(54 laps)
Brock Munroe-(54 laps)
J.R. Courage-(71 laps)
Buddy Shepard-(85 laps)

Legends of the Pacific (35 laps)
Chase Majdic
Hunter Corbitt-(0.209)
Cameron Austin-(-1.358)
Logan Zampa-(-1.377)
Codi Wilton-(-2.138)
Eddie Garone-(-2.310)
Keith Clement-(-2.984)
Geoff Shaw-(-3.972)
Bob Kuebler-(-5.073)
Clayton Travels-(-8.493)
Brandon Weaver-(1 lap)
Pete Pierce-(1 lap)
Brian Hill-(1 lap)
Seth Holman-(1 lap)
Colton Page-(5 laps)
Logan Taylor-(10 laps)

Open Hobby Stocks Series (50 laps, 25 lap split)
Chad Holman
Ben Lewis Jr.-(-9.855)
Chuck Agurrie-(-11.375)
Ben Lewis-(-12.484)
Sheldon Cooper-(-16.326)
Mark Blanton-(1 lap)
Rob Dueck-(1 lap)
Les Wasson-(3 laps)
Ivan Scorsur-(4 laps)
Erick Ray-(5 laps)
Matt Manolis-(8 laps)
Russell Johnson Jr.-(12 laps)
Matt Anderson-(24 laps)
Howard Holden-(44 laps)

Toyota Sedans (28 laps)
Kyle Fortney
Dean Gould-(-2.732)
Chris Altuvilla-(-3.889)
Tim Curtis-(-5.662)
Jason Lawton-(-11.168)
Matt Doran-(2 laps)
Sarah Vivian
Brennen Mankin-(3 laps)
Tyler Johnson-(12 laps)
Ed Rodriguez-(27 laps)
Thomas Magray-(27 laps)

WSRA Mini Cups (20 laps)
Cameron Legue
Andrew Payne-(-0.398)
Lawrence Massone-(-2.547)
Austin Herzog-(-3.906)
Dillon Blaton
Joshua Strandwold
Mya Gilmore-(-0.493)
Colten Haney-(2 laps)

4-Bangers (15 laps)
Dave Kong-(-0.206)
Austin Blanton-(-0.825)
Blondie Stacy-(-2.375)
Kathy Williams-(-6.135)
Kelly Brownell-(-10.264)
Jadon Harrington-(-12.223)
Miles Humphries-(1 lap)
Michael Congdon-(7 laps)
Chris Williams-(12 laps)
Larry Alarcon-(Finished 1st, DQ)

Trevor Huddleston Wins at Madera Speedway