Friday, March 18, 2016

Licata Opens Madera Late Model Season With Fourth Place Run

Photo by Don Thompson / Patriot Photography

From Blakesley Sports Media

LAKE BALBOA, CALIFORNIA (March 18, 2016) – Two-time ASA Truck Series champion and multi-time national karting champion Joey Licata began his 2016 championship run in the televised Loanmart Late Models at Madera Speedway on Saturday night with a fourth place finish. The finish came among a 22 car field in a wild 100 lap race, the first eight in the series which sees all of its races aired on MAVTV.

Licata has raced numerous forms of racing throughout his career including his highly successful years in both karting and the former ASA Truck division. He has made several starts in various NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions including Late Models, Modifieds, and Irwindale Race Trucks, as well as an ARCA start at Daytona. 2016 will be Licata's first season back on the points trail and Saturday's performance kicked that off in strong fashion.

The one-third mile asphalt oval in Madera was completely green on race day after a week of record rainfall. Licata found himself 12th after the second practice session fighting a tight race car. Champion driver and crew chief Matt Scott made changes to the Pacific Homeworks #70 Chevrolet hoping to improve for qualifying.

The changes worked as Licata timed in seventh with a 15.595 second lap. After the redraw he started fifth for the feature. The original race distance was to be 125 laps over a pair of 50 lap segments plus a 25 lap third segment. Instead, the race was littered with caution periods with the first segment abbreviated to 19 laps and the overall race distance limited to 100. Licata ran within the top-ten throughout the first segment and was eighth when the caution flew.

Licata's team made adjustments to the car for the second segment and he moved to the front. Licata advanced to fourth before being spun on lap 26. The race stayed green as Licata did a 360 degree maneuver on the front stretch to keep going and only fall to 12th position still on the lead lap.

From there on Licata chipped away at the leaders and by lap 61 had advanced all the way to third position using both the high and low lines on the multi-groove race track. After a second unscheduled break, Licata went back to work running within the top-five in contention for as high as second place all the way to the lap 100 checkered flag. Licata had a front row seat for a great side-by-side duel for second place but he was unable to capitalize and ultimately finished fourth.

Fourth place gives Licata great momentum as the series takes an extended break until April 30. Race fans can follow updates all season long at

Joey Licata Racing is presented by Pacific Homeworks, Royal Purple, Wildwood Brakes, and Hampton Inn Madera.