Keller Wins $ 10,000 Nut up Short Track Shootout Jackpot at Madera Speedway
Kyle Keller of Las Vegas took home the biggest jackpot of his career, leading 148 rounds of the 9th Annual Nut Up Short Track Shootout for the $ 10,000 win. The Pro Late Model Series season finale saw Vancouver’s Jadan Walbridge of Wash also win the championship on the 1/3 mile oval.
Keller started alongside Seth Wise of Bakersfield for the 150 towers affair. The field of 26 starters has been reduced from 31 qualifiers to a 30-lap B-Main event.
Wise led the first two home runs from the inside groove before Keller passed outside to lead the third lap. Walbridge and Matt Erickson were some of the few cars that tried to progress from the inside line in the early stages. Erickson eventually drifted from his starting fifth position to ninth. F
Bakersfield’s quick qualifier Racin Vernon drew card nine in the toss, but climbed to fifth place in round 19. Keller and Wise ran nose to nose as traffic approached on lap 21. Erickson tried to reload by looking inside Jason Aguirre for seventh place behind them.
Wise showed his nose to Keller before the first yellow on the 44th lap for Glen Cook to spin around the third corner. Keller restarted outside Wise, allowing Vernon to move up to second on the outside line as well. Ethan Nascimento, 14, of Manteca also looked away from Wise, but Wise successfully defended third place.
Bakersfield’s Kercie Jung sparked with a flat right front for a warning on lap 49 into the third corner. The restart saw a wild ride as Vernon walked up the racetrack. Walbridge turned back on the front stretch after a contact from Howard Holden. Walbridge did a 360-degree spin in front of the field but was never contacted, falling back to tenth as the race remained green.
Carlos Vieira and Nascimento suffered a heavy crash on turn three to end their evenings for the next yellow flag on lap 74. The outside line was rolling on the restart, with Wise coming back to fourth behind Keller, Howard Holden and Erickson. $ 1,000 B-Main winner Brody Moore of Colorado was fifth after starting 17th.
A warning for Cook on lap 97 brought the race to its scheduled stop three laps earlier with Keller leading Holden, Erickson, Wise and Moore. Texan Barrett Polhemus sped on the restart after the break and recovered Aguirre, ending both of their runs with damage. Wise ended up slipping into the infield in turn after scrambling for position, but joined the field at the tail of the order.
Erickson tried to pass Holden several times for second place, allowing Keller to take the lead by a wide margin. Erickson passed Holden in the second lap on lap 117 with a 2.2 second gap to catch up with the leader. Linny White collided with Vernon at the exit of turn four in a wide three battle for third place on lap 130 requiring a warning. The warning erased Keller’s advantage, giving Erickson an inside glimpse on the restart. Erickson did spin the tires, however, and fell to third place behind Moore as the green flag fluttered.
Keller was never opposed in the final laps again, claiming the coveted $ 10,000 victory in the Nut Up Short Track Shootout. Moore was second with Erickson third. Wise passed Holden for fourth place with 11 points remaining. A seventh place also won the championship for Jadan Walbridge.
Madera Robbie Kennealy became the final winner of the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series, while Brody Armtrout of Smartsville took the championship on Saturday night. The 70-lap race for riders aged 10-16 was dramatic until the last lap with Armtrout and incoming points leader Jacob Smith of Eagle, Idaho.
Loomis Kenna Mitchell led the first three circuits from pole position before Kennealy took over. A quick 40-lap opener saw Kennealy lead to the break. Mitchell fended off Bakersfield’s Kercie Jung for second place while Armtrout was patient in his battle with Riverside’s Cody Kiemele for fourth place. Smith’s lead over Armtrout was only two points after the break as he finished seventh at the end of the segment.
Kennealy and Kiemele used the outside line on the restart to run first and second. An extended red flag was pulled out for water on the track in the second turn. When the action resumed, Kennealy picked Kiemele’s outside to maintain the lead. Barrett Polhemus used the outside to take second place. Armtrout fought with Mitchell for the third while Smith fought with Jung for the seventh in a battle over who would win the championship. A multiple-car crash in turn involving Ethan Nascimento, 2020 Bandolero champion Jeffrey Erickson of Phoenix and Holly Clark of Colorado set up a green-white checkered finish. The point leaders were tied in the standings as they headed for the green flag.
Kennealy again belonged to first place while Armtrout made an away offer to take second. The exciting bridge shuffling saw Smith drop to ninth place at the checkered flag. Kennealy took his first victory in the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series and Brody Armtrout took the championship in second. Mitchell had a career best third, followed by Polhemus and Jung.
Logan Chambers of Bakersfield won his seventh feature film INEX Bandolero to win the series championship. Joey Kennealy of Madera was second for second in the standings while Caden Cordova of Bakersfield was also third for third in the series.
Madera Speedway will host the second annual Turkish Triple Open pointless race for MAVTV on October 16. The event includes the Open Late, 602 Spec / Pro Modifeds, Open Hobby Stocks and the Challenge Cup Series models.
The 2021 season wouldn’t be possible without the support of Nut Up Industries, 51FIFTY LTM, Mission Foods, 805 Beer, Race 2B Drug Free, Competition Carburetion, Hoosier Tires and Sunoco Race Fuel.
Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Monday nights at 4:00 p.m. Pacific and 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
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