By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Escalons Holmes earns NASCAR win at Madera Speedway
Placeholder Image
Escalon’s Holmes earns NASCAR win at Madera Speedway

The NASCAR Camping World Series West returned to Madera Speedway for the first time since 2003 last Saturday with the NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150 presented by Exclusive Energy Drink.

After an initial tussle between front row starters Jason Bowles (No. 6 Sunrise Ford Ford) of Ontario and Paulie Harrake (No. 12 NAPA Autocar/Adaptive One Brakes Toyota) of Fairline, N. J. for the first 25 laps, the race developed into a classic three way battle between defending champion Eric Holmes (No. 20 Napa Toyota) of Escalon, Mike David (No. 2 Bennett Winery Toyota) the 2007 series champion from Modesto and David Mayhew (No. 17 MMI Services/Ron’s Rear Ends Chevrolet) of Atascadero.

For the next 100 laps the trio swapped the top spot between themselves, mostly coming off of caution restarts where the outside position seemed to have the advantage. David held the lead in the closing stages of the race, but fell to third after Mayhew used a bump and run maneuver on him coming out of the fourth turn on lap 127.

The seventh caution on the night, coming on lap 139 set up a crucial restart. Mayhew, well aware that the highside had been faster lane all night, drifted high to stall Holmes’ momentum, but Holmes was able to dart to the inside of Mayhew coming out of turn 2 to take the lead.

Holmes survived one final single-file restart on lap 147 to take his second victory of the season in front of the near capacity crowd.

“The high groove was the place to be tonight because the bottom was hard to hold with these big cars. It was slick out there with all this weight and horsepower,” explained Holmes, who now has two wins in just four outings this season. “We’re off to good start, but there is still a long season ahead of us. We know how to win championships and my team just keeps giving me good cars like tonight.”

Mayhew, who was looking for his first career win finished a disappointed second, and David third.

The SPEED Channel will replay the race on Thursday, May 7, beginning at high noon.

Stockton 99
Hometown driver Vito Ranuio started on pole and fought off the hard charging Justin Philpott of Tracy to take his second straight win and third overall this season in last Saturday’s the Western Late Model feature at the Stockton 99 Speedway. Modesto’s Aaron Coonfield grabbed the Street Stock main and Stockton’s David Pabst outlasted the field to take the Enduro.

Madera Speedway
This Saturday in Stockton the USAC Western Sprint Cars, USAC Midgets, USAC Ford Focus Midgets, NCMA Sprint Cars, Grand American Modifieds and  Legends of the Pacific will be racing in an open-wheel special while the Western Late Models in twin 50-lap features, Grand American Modifieds, American Limited Stock Cars, Modified Super Toyotas, Toyota Sedans and Hornets will all be going at it in Madera.

Speed finishes fifth at Talladega
Manteca’s Scott Speed got a much needed shot in the arm as he deftly steered around two major crashes in his No. 82 Red Bull Toyota to finish fifth in last Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

“This is the most intense thing that I’ve experienced in my racing career,” said Speed following the race which saw Carl Edwards get airborne and crash hard into the cyclone fence near the finish line on the final lap as he tried to fend off race winner Brad Keselowski.

“It was certainly crazy, especially the finish. I saw a car flipping through the air. I mean high,” Speed said. “I thought, ‘Man, I hope he is OK.’”

Edwards was. And so was Speed after he earned his first top five finish in Sprint Cup. Even more important, Speed picked up 84 points to climb within 18 points of the magic 35th spot in owner standings. The top 35 entering each race are guaranteed a starting spot in the race regardless of qualifying time.

It was a wild ride for Speed the whole afternoon. He started the race a lap down after pitting with brake concerns during the pace laps and eventually went from 43rd to leading at one point to earn five bonus points.

“As it turned out it was a really lucky day. It was a good finish for us,” Speed said. “It is definitely great to make steps forward as this whole adventure has been into the stock car scene. Every time you make a step forward you make progress, you get better.”

Speed will be back in action this Saturday night in the Crown Royal presents the Russ Friedman 400 at the Richmond International Speedway. The race will be shown live beginning at 4 p.m. on FOX.

To contact Dale Bosowski, e-mail