Hot Wood
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Source — Madera Speedway Media Relations/db
Date Posted — August 27, 2008
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While the summer racing schedule is quickly coming to its conclusion, the action at the Madera Speedway continues burn red hot as the “Fastest 1/3 Mile in the West” closes out the month of August with another fantastic NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series program.

Headlining the bill this Saturday, August 30th will be the Western Late Models (WLM) doing battle in twin 75-lap features for round #5 of the exciting HotWood 750 Series. Also racing will be the American Limited Stock Cars, Toyota Sedans, Modified Super Toyotas and the wild & crazy Hornets.

A $1,500 to win purse will fatten the wallets for each of this Saturday’s HotWood 750 Series WLM feature victors and the results will count toward the special $6,000 bonus points fund that will be paid out at the conclusion of nine HotWood designated races over six programs at the Madera Speedway.

A total of 150 laps of WLM green flag racing are guaranteed this Saturday as yellow caution laps never count in HotWood events.

Stockton’s Joey Stearns picked up his fourth win of the season two weeks ago to lengthen his lead over Modesto’s Jeff Belletto by a 935 to 923 advantage in the “Chase for the Championship” fight for the coveted 2008 Madera Speedway season title. Although Belletto has yet to win a feature this season, he has stayed in the thick of the hunt by consistently posted top five finishes.

With only one HotWood 750 Series event and a total of four Western Late Model races remaining on the 2008 Madera schedule, this Saturday’s twin-75s promises to play a pivotal role in both the HotWood and regular season championships. Stockton’s Ross Strmiska currently holds the top spot in the HotWood points while Modesto’s Kyle Gottula (168 points), Stearns (166), San Jose’s Dave Byrd (163) and Jeff Belletto (157) are all right on his heels.

There will be plenty of other drivers looking to put a crimp in the contenders championship aspirations including 65-year-old racing legend Harry Belletto of Modesto, Austin “Awesome” Murphy, the 16-year-old legend in the making from Lancaster and Rick Thompson, of nearby Clovis, who finished a heartbreaking second to Stearns in the last event after leading 48 laps.

Although Howard Holden, of Clovis, continues to lead the American Limited Stock Car (ALSC) standings by a comfortable 87 point margin over Modesto’s Dennis Saunders Jr., the division has produced more winners than the Chinese gymnastics team. Six different drivers - Holden, Saunders, Coulterville’s Matt Erickson, Stockton’s Donny Darter, Atwater’s Jason Aguirre and Modesto rookie Nic Belletto - have taken the checkers in the last six ALSC features.

Two 2007 season champions Stan Hankins, of Fresno in the Toyota Sedans and Humphreys, the 68-year-old racing great grandpa out of Clovis in the Hornet class, appear to be well on their way to successfully defending their crowns. Both drivers posted wins in their last event giving Hankins six victories in 10 starts and Humphreys eight victories in 11 starts thus far in the 2008 campaign.

Randy Fleming Jr. also holds a comfortable lead over veteran John Bowersox, of Chowchilla, in the Modified Super Toyota division and he will be itching for a return to victory lane for the seventh time this season on Saturday. After winning six consecutive races Fleming has watched Jason Bowersox, the son of John Bowersox and Madera’s CJ Dizney each post their first career wins in the division during the last two races.

Ticket prices on Saturday, August 30th are only $20.00 for adults, $18.00 for seniors 65 years of age or older, $15.00 for students, active duty military and juniors age 13-17, $5.00 for kids age 6-12 and kids 5 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult. A family pack ticket (two adults and up to two kids 12 years old and under) is also available for the bargain price of $45.00. VISA and MasterCard are welcome at window #3.

This Saturday, Madera Speedway registration will begin and the pits will open at 1:00 PM, the grandstands open and practice will begin at 2:00 PM, heats & trophy dashes will commence at 5:00 PM and the evening’s opening ceremonies will kick off main event racing at approximately 6:00 PM.

An open practice is scheduled for Friday, August 29th. Registration begins at 3:00 PM and the track will be hot from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM. Call (209) 983-1689 or (209) 479-9956 or contact track manager Pat Patnaude at for costs and other details.

Also, after going dark for the county fair on the first weekend of month Madera Speedway will return to action with “Fan Appreciation Night” on Saturday, September 13th. The NASCAR Whelen All American Racing Series program that evening will feature twin 50-lappers for the Western Late Models and an open comp Grand American Modified 50-lap feature.

As a very special thanks to the speedway’s loyal fans track president Kenny Shepherd will open the grandstands on “Fan Appreciation Night” FREE of charge. That’s right FREE of charge to all fans of all ages! There will also be plenty of prizes given away and discounts on various items at the vending booths that evening.

The Madera Speedway is conveniently located at the Madera County Fairgrounds just off to the west side of Highway 99 at the Cleveland Avenue exit.

For more Madera Speedway information visit the track’s website at or call the Info/Race Line phone number at (559) 673-RACE and for information on the Madera Speedway Spectator Racing Series program go to on the web or call (209) 476-8123.

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Article posted by staff on August 27, 2008.