Sunday, August 14, 2016

Lake County Drivers Sweep Features At Madera On Saturday

Darrin Knight won the North State Modified feature (Photo Courtesy Patriot Photography)

MADERA, CALIFORNIA (August 13, 2016) – Jeremy Doss and Darrin Knight both extended their points leads, taking touring series victories on a busy night at LoanMart Madera Speedway. Doss, from Upperlake, CA, and Knight, from Kelseyville, CA, both hail over 250 miles north of the 1/3rd mile speedway. Doss' win came in the MAVTV-televised Pacific Challenge Series presented by while Knight won the Sunoco Fuels 60 for the North State Modifieds.

Doss' win was his 18th career victory in the series. Jason Romero made his first career Madera start after sweeping both Roseville races this year. He led practice, set a new track record at a 14.162, and proceeded to win the American Racer Tire dash for a set of tires and the pole position.

Romero's pole was short lived at the start of the feature as Valley Springs' Tracy Bolin swept around the outside to lead lap one. Romero fell into the clutches of Doss for second in a back-and-forth battle until Doss spun with contact from Ross Strmiska on lap five. Lodi's Matt Wendt suffered a flat right front tire and slight damage trying to avoid the spin. Mike Beeler also was caught up in the incident.

Doss took over the lead from Bolin on the restart and Herzog used the restart to get around Jeff Bishofberger for third. Travis Milburn started turning up the heat as he got around Chris Scribner for sixth on lap 24 and then overhauled Shannon Mansch for fifth on the outside on lap 32.

The Herzog and Bischofberger battle was very physical with the drivers snaking three-wide through lapped traffic. The long 34 lap green flag run ended on lap 40 for a brief caution. Lap 41 proved to be difficult to overcome with a series of spins. Most notably Matthew Wendt suffered damage when he tangled with Strmiska.

Colby Potts suffered heavy front end damage to his Camaro and a few laps later tangled hard with Don Swartz' Mustang for a lap 45 caution. Potts was done for the evening.

All the following restarts were single file which gave Doss a cushion over the continuing battling between Bolin and Herzog. Herzog got around on the outside for second on lap 49 to turn his attention to Doss. Mansch spun with contact from Strmiska for a lap 51 caution that set up the battle to the finish.

Herzog made his mark, diving inside Doss several times and making contact in turn four to lead lap 55. Doss charged back on the outside to lead lap 56 and would not be deterred as he drove away for a 1.7 second win ahead of Herzog, Bolin, Bischofberger, and Romero for a comeback run to fifth.

Knight's win in the North State Modifieds was convincing as he led Charlie Collins in a close duel throughout the closing laps. Nick Lyons started on the outside pole and took the lead from Terry Deal on the initial start. Charlie Collins and Mike Collins navigated the pack from eighth and sixth starting positions respectively. Knight lined up on the fifth row with June 11th North State Madera winner Jason Philpot of Sacramento alongside. Knight was quickly on the move and was up into third on lap five using the outside line.

Knight then took over second with Charlie Collins up third behind him by lap ten. Lyons, Knight, and Collins staged a nice battle before a red flag when Benny Moon lost an engine in turn one. Lyons took over the lead on the restart and Collins went to work on Lyons. The battle continued until Lyons was finally shuffled to the outside line and freight trained back to sixth position.

At the halfway point of the 60 lap race Charlie Collins was in pursuit of Knight. Heavy lapped traffic in the final five laps of the season allowed Collins within half a second but never closer. Knight got the win over Collins, Philpot, Mike Collins, and Darrin Sullivan. Lyons eventually finished sixth. Kevin Barba won the dash as well.

The USAC HPD Western Midgets main event was a 30 lap main event with many twists and turns. Race winner Toni Breidinger had to do her work from the back of the field and it took her several laps to get to the front. David Prickett led early in his guest appearance before a spin that allowed Tom Patterson to take over on lap three.

Jesse Love IV stayed close with Patterson for many laps while Breidinger continued to chip away at the field. The exclamation point was a spin by Cody Jessop in the Honda house car on lap 23 that dropped him from fifth place. Breidinger seized the opportunity and took the lead from Patterson on lap 28 to take the narrow half a second victory. Her sister Annie worked her way up to third with Blake Brannon and Antonia Boscacci the top-five finishers.

The CSS 360 Super Modified race was abbreviated by mechanical problems but ended up making for a drama filled race. Clovis' AJ Russell was the odds on favorite for the race win after winning both the heat race and qualifying over Bakersfield's Justin Tuey. The main event was again a battle between the duo as Tuey led the opening five laps before Russell took over.

Tuey went up in smoke for a caution on lap nine which gave surprise hard charger Donnie Large, Jr. a chance to get Russell. Large went up the inside of Russell several times in a high speed duel that ended when Large's engine blew on lap 12. The race was halted prematurely with Russell, Large, and Austin Carter the final finishers.

Lucy Carmona got her second Toyota Sedan victory of the year leading the whole distance of the race with Mike Marley on her bumper. Erik Woods spun out on the 23rd lap of the race to set up a shootout. Carmona had no problems to fight off Marley, while points leader Jilliaun Holden slowed dramatically allowing Woods to snake through for a third place finish as well.

The MSTs opened up with wild action which caused DJ Lander to slow to a stop and forced Dennis Brannon to the pits and out of the race. After things settled down it was Kevin Thompson and Bert Stephens anchoring the front of the field. A caution on lap eight saw Rian Bowman bounce off the front stretch wall in contact with Zachary Cook. Another caution gave Bowman time to rejoin the field.

Thompson held on for a .410 second win to extend his points lead with Cook coming back to run third.

LoanMart Madera Speedway is dark on August 20th before returning on August 27th. The program includes: Race # 6 of the MAVTV Televised $1,000 to win LoanMart Open late Model Series split 50's, Race #5 of the $1,000 to win Twisted Tea Modifieds, Race #5 of the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series 50 laps (split 25's), Race #6 of the Super Hobby Stock Series, MST, Toyota Sedans, 4-Bangers, Mini Cup.

Race fans can catch up on LoanMart Madera Speedway action every Thursday with "Madera Racing" on MAVTV at 8 p.m. Eastern / 5 p.m. Pacific.

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