MADERA, Calif. – Jeremy Doss added his name to a prestigious list of Nut Up Short Track Shootout champions, fending off numerous challengers for the $10,000 victory in Saturday’s 150-lap event at Madera Speedway.
Austin Herzog finished seventh, which was enough for the the third-generation driver to win the season-long Nut Up Pro Late Model championship.
Cole Moore and Matt Erickson occupied the front row with side-by-side racing early on. Erickson led the first three laps from the outside before Moore took over on lap four from the inside. Doss used a lap seven caution to knife inside Erickson for second position. A lap 13 caution period allowed Doss a shot at Moore for the lead. A brief side-by-side battle ended with Doss in the lead on lap 18.
Erickson drifted to eighth while two-time Pro Late Model champion Buddy Shepherd fell as low as 16th during the run. Jacob Gomes and Carlos Vieira tangled into turn three to draw the next caution on lap 38. Ninth starting Jason Romero, the 2019 Roseville champion, took over second position from Moore on lap 42. 2019 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series champion Joey Iest charged from 18th on the grid into the top-ten by that point. Doss maintained the lead over Romero over a series of restarts although Romero kept Doss within arm’s length.
Battery issues ended up unhinging Romero’s night on lap 80. John Moore entered the fray, sliding in front of incoming second in points Dylan Zampa for second position. Moore then reeled in Doss for the lead by lap 88. Doss and Moore ran the top line in close formation before an incident involving Carlos Vieira and Erickson on lap 98 incident brought out the scheduled break two laps early.
With 52 laps to go, Doss and Moore continued their battling for the top spot after the break. Championship leader Herzog was shuffled backwards to 11th after a grinding three-wide restart that sent him briefly through the turn one infield. 15th starting Blaine Rocha started to make gains on the field, challenging outside of John Moore for second position on a lap 109 restart.
Moore hounded Rocha for many laps, unable to complete a pass for second. The battle allowed Doss to increase his lead over the pack. Dylan Zampa’s championship hopes were ended when he had a flat right front tire that drew the yellow flag on lap 131. A bottleneck on the restart caught out Cole Moore and allowed John Moore to remain in third position.
One additional restart on lap 134 saw Doss continue to lead Rocha and John Moore. Rocha ran a series of his best laps of the race, with the trio running lap times in the 15.1-second and 15.2-second range all the way to the finish line on a sizzling fast evening. Doss ripped underneath the checkered flags .620 seconds ahead of Rocha, John Moore, Cole Moore, and Jacob Gomes. Cole Moore was later disqualified for refusing engine tech.
Shepherd came back for sixth ahead Herzog in seventh. Herzog is the first Jr. Late Model graduate to win the Pro Late Model title.
51FIFTY Jr. Late Model fans were treated to a feature worthy of headline status on its own. Twenty-one of the best young drivers ages 10-16 concluded the fourth season of the division in a 70-lap romp. Champion Joey Iest drew the pole position which he used to lead the entire opening 40 lap segment.
Jay Juleson started seventh and made the most maneuvers, advancing to third after several battles with Jake Bollman over the course of the run. Iest led Seth Wise, Juleson, Bollman, and Jadan Walbridge into the break. Mobile, Alabama’s Grant Thompson, winner of the Jr. Late Model Challenge Camp, made his debut and ran sixth by that point as well.
After the break for adjustments, Wise pounced on Iest. He swept past Iest on lap 41 from the outside. The caution flew and Wise picked the inside for the following restart. The choice worked well beforee a big pileup on the backstretch required another restart attempt. Wise again went inside Iest and again outfoxed the champion.
A wild restart on lap 60 saw Walbridge drive up onto the left side of Bollman’s car with debris strewn across the backstretch. Both drivers had to restart at the rear of the field.
Wise picked the outside on the restart for a lap 63 caution. The move proved troublesome with Iest taking the lead back on lap 64. Wise fought back to lead lap 65 from the outside. Iest led lap 66 as the field crossed the stripe before the caution came out again.
Iest picked outside on Wise, which set up a thrilling side-by-side duel. The duo raced door-to-door for the remaining four laps. Wise finally edged Iest coming out of turn four to the checkered flag, with the Bakersfield driver getting his first win by just .021 seconds. The thrilling conclusion earned Iest the championship and Wise a popular victory. Jay Juleson finished third to wrap up third in the standings. Bradley Erickson and Kyler Berry from the 13th starting position rounded out the top-five finishers.
Ethan Nascimento won his second Bandolero vs. Mini Cup main event of the season, taking the lead on lap nine from Kenna Mitchell. Mitchell drove to a second-place finish ahead of Jeffrey Erickson. Despite a DNF, Riley Massey won the 2019 championship for back-to-back titles in the division. Joey Kennealy won the Mini Cup championship as well.