Showing posts with label Justin Johnson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Justin Johnson. Show all posts

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Zampa Cashes In With $10K Short Track Shootout Victory At Madera

Logan Zampa stood tall after winning the Short Track Shootout (Photo Courtesy Jason Wedehase)

MADERA, CALIFORNIA (October 6, 2018) – Napa’s Logan Zampa cashed in the biggest win of his career, scoring the 6th Annual $10,000 to win Nut Up Industries Short Track Shootout on Saturday night at Madera Speedway. Zampa’s unlikely victory was his first in nearly 18 months and came from 11th starting position. More than 40 RPM Mortgage Pro Late Models from across the Western United States competed at the one-third mile asphalt oval.

Saturday’s MAVTV-televised races also crowned the 2018 series champions as well with Matt Erickson emerging with his second series title.

Erickson led qualifying but it was Bakersfield’s Racin Vernon who drew the pole position for the start of the 150 lap contest. Second in points Austin Herzog dove inside Randy Hedrick for fourth in turn three on lap six before Herzog spun, sending them both around. Both drivers had to restart at the rear with front end damage in a costly incident.

Vernon picked the outside on the restart against Shepherd and they ran side-by-side while Erickson and Zampa closed down for a four car lead pack. Shepherd tucked in on the high line behind Zampa, allowing Erickson to take second. Erickson then applied pressure on Vernon for the lead.

Lapped traffic bottled up the leaders a bit and the caution flew when lapped car Rick Thompson and fifth place running Ross Strmiska crashed hard in turn one. When racing resumed, Zampa used the outside to charge past Erickson for second on lap 42. Nick Grossi had a blown transmission for a spectacular red flag on the following lap, with the fluid sending both Adam Lemke and Jagger Jones around. All three were done for the evening.

A lap 50 caution allowed Buddy Shepherd to take the lead away from Vernon on lap 51.

Dillon Tucker drove from 23rd up to eighth as he avoided all the melees. Meanwhile, three-time Short Track Shootout champion Eric Holmes started to make his presence felt after starting eighth. Holmes went past Zampa for third and then challenged Vernon for second. Vernon had a slide coming into turn three that dropped him back to fifth. A top four lead pack emerged in lapped traffic of Shepherd, Holmes, Zampa, and 13 year-old Jesse Love all running nose to tail on the high side.

Holmes went for it, going three wide in and out of traffic to take the lead from Shepherd on lap 96 in a thrilling move. Holmes led the field into the lap 100 break ahead of Shepherd, Zampa, Love, and Herzog who had recovered from the earlier spin to fifth.

Coming out of the break, Shepherd challenged Holmes before tucking up behind him on lap 108. Carlos Vieira had a mechanical failure that sparked a serious crash in turn one that ended Cole Moore’s race as well.

Zampa went outside of Holmes on lap 114 and took over the lead on lap 115. Shepherd tried to go inside of Holmes into turn three and they made some contact for second as well. Herzog hopped into the fray as he looked outside Shepherd not long after. The furious battling at the front got a break when Christian Roche hit the turn three wall on lap 129.

The following restart was the maddest scramble of them all with Holmes eventually spinning down the backstretch. He lost a lap in the infield, but was saved when Jarrett Gilmer hit the turn three wall for a caution that gave Holmes the free pass and his lap back.

Zampa restarted outside Shepherd but drove away easily while Herzog fell out with a rear end issue to end his possible championship hopes. Shepherd slid into turn two on lap 136 and fell back to fourth as a result. Erickson emerged in second but had to watch Zampa drive away to a five car length advantage.

Erickson ended up having a great duel with Love but it was for a distant second place. Zampa went on for a 1.5 second victory over Erickson, Love, Shepherd, and 26th starting Blaine Rocha. Travis Milburn of Eagle, ID won the 40 lap B Main event worth $1,000 as well.

Love’s third place finish in the RPM Mortgage Pro Late Model Series was just one part of his night, as he added his ninth 51FIFTY Energy Drink Jr. Late Model win and second consecutive series championship. The ninth and final round for the series had 15 drivers ages 10-16 years old racing for 70 laps.

The Jr. Late Model feature had almost an immeasurable number of lead changes. Love led the opening ten circuits before things intensified. Anthony Guiamano from Basking Ridge, NJ and Las Vegas’ Tyler Reif, 11, had some contact coming out of turn two. In Reif’s attempt to save the car, he spun exiting turn four and clipped both Joey Iest and the turn four wall. Reif and Iest were both out of the race prematurely.

Reif’s brother Tanner put up the challenge to Love and led lap 11, before Love led lap 12. Tanner Reif then led laps 13-16 and did all of his bidding from the outside line in a seemingly endless side-by-side affair. Reif bobbled and yielded the lead back to Love for lap 17.

Reif was undeterred, using the outside to come back at Love and take the lead on lap 22. Love fought back and took over laps 30 and 31, before Reif took over yet again! Meanwhile second in points Dylan Zampa had a front row view of all of it from third. Reif brought Love, Zampa, Guiamano, and Kabe McClenny across the line for the lap 40 break.

After adjustments on the front stretch and MAVTV interviews, Love and Reif continued to trade the lead back-and-forth. Reif seemed to have the edge by lap 51 and that allowed Love and Zampa to go into their own back-and-forth affair for second.

With four laps to go, Zampa was up to second and challenging inside Reif for a move that would have likely won him both the championship and the race. They went nearly three-wide in traffic coming to lap 68 in turn four, before making contact down the front stretch. Reif went spinning and the caution flag flew. Zampa and Reif were both relegated to the rear for their involvement.

The incident gave Love a clear path to sail to victory and to the championship, leading the final two laps ahead of Guiamano, McClenny, Jesse Burks, and Jay Juleson.

Nevada’s Justin Johnson kept his slim championship hopes alive as he won his first career Lucas Oil Modified race, topping the 22 starters of the 75 lap event. Taylor Miinch had a chance to close out the title fight but was only able to muster sixth in the series’ penultimate round. Kyle Tellstrom followed Johnson closely over a long final green flag run to settle for second by just .398 seconds ahead of Cody Kay, former Madera track champion Scott Winters, and former series champion Dylan Cappello.

Kale McClenny and Riley Massey each wrapped up championships in the Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros division. Their 20 lap feature was won by the Bandolero of Kercie Jung who also unofficially won the California state championship with the effort. Seth Wise finished second while Massey was third. McClenny won the Mini Cup portion of the field by narrowly topping a late move by Madera’s Joseph Holliday. Aiden Phillips rounded out the Mini Cup top-three.

Racing continues at Madera Speedway on October 20th with the iPulluPull 11th Annual Pumpkin Smash Halloween Bash and Blow Up!, Madera Hobby Stocks, MST's, Toyota Sedans, $2,000 to Win 200 lap Enduro, the Extreme Barrel Racing Series, a Trick or Treat thru the Pits and on Track PUMPKIN SMASH for the KIDS!

For more information about Madera Racing on MAVTV please visit or For more information on RPM Mortgage and to obtain loan information please visit and for more information about 51FIFTY Energy Drink visit

Madera Speedway is presented by major partners RPM Mortgage, 51FIFTY Energy Drink, Nut Up Industries, NICERIDE, iPull-uPull, and Color Fast Industries.

Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Thursdays every week. The show airs at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. PST and is also available on the Lucas Oil Racing TV app. The fifth round of the 51FIFTY Energy Drink Jr. Late Model Series airs on October 11th!

Madera Speedway 2018 Schedule Celebrating 47 years of Racing!

October 20th - 11th Annual iPull-uPull Pumpkin Smash Halloween Bash and Blow Up and Monster Trucks!, Madera Hobby Stocks, MST's, Toyota Sedans, $2,000 to Win 200 lap Enduro, the Extreme Barrel Racing Series, a Trick or Treat thru the Pits and on Track PUMPKIN SMASH for the KIDS!

October 27th - Closed

November 10th - 2018 Championship Awards Banquet