Manteca’s Jacob Gomes broke a three year SRL victory drought by winning the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour 125 presented by 51FIFTY Energy Drink at Madera Speedway on Saturday night.
It was Gomes’ first SRL win since he picked up a pair of victories during his 2015 championship winning season.
Gomes was fast all night, setting fast time in qualifying. He started the race in third due to the invert and fell as low as sixth in the 18-car field during the opening laps. The 2006 champion, Eric Schmidt of Roseville, drew the pole position and led lap one while Oakdale’s Blaine Rocha made a quick move up the order as he drove from eighth to fifth early on.
While Schmidt battled with Atwater’s Carlos Vieira for the lead, Gomes fought with leading Rookie of the Year contender Cole Moore of Granite Bay for third on lap 26. Vieira would eventually grab the lead only to get tangled up with the hard charging Craig Raudman, of Cottonwood, on lap 49 which resulted in both drivers spinning out.
Schmidt was now back in front as a hungry pack of drivers that included Gomes, Upperlake’s Jeremy Doss and Bob Lyon all attempted to chase him down. On lap 62 Doss attempted an ill-fated move by diving inside Schmidt in turn #3, which resulted in the pair coming together, sending Schmidt spinning.
The reshuffling put Ricky Schlick into a lead that would only last until Lyon spun on lap 67 to bring out another caution. Schlick was never the same after the lap 70 restart as he slowly but steadily faded into the pack giving Gomes the lead over Raudman.
Gomes deftly maneuvered through traffic as Rocha attempted to run him down, but Gomes would remain in the top spot over the final 55 laps to take a .814 second victory over Rocha. Raudman was able to hold off Doss for third and Schmidt rounded out the top five.
The SRL series has two rounds remaining, at Kern County Speedway on Oct. 28 and The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Nov. 17, as Doss tries to maintain his lead in the point standings over Schmidt.
Madera Speedway will be hosting one of its largest races in track history on Saturday, Oct. 6 with the Nut Up Industries Short Track Shootout, the sixth annual event for the RPM Mortgage Pro Late Model Series. Saturday’s 150 green flag lap contest, with $10,000 on the line for the winner, is expected to draw over 50 entries in this MAVTV-televised event.
The Stockton Dirt Track, located on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, will be hosting two big nights of Monster Truck Madness on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5 and 6.
The Stockton 99 Speedway will be back in action again on Saturday, Oct. 20 when the regular season comes to a close with Championship Night, which will feature a 100 lap feature for the Stockton Late Models plus the Bombers, B-4s and Mini Cups.
In the first-ever season of Americas Rallycross (ARX), Manteca native Scott Speed raced his way to a fourth-consecutive rallycross championship with Andretti Autosport in his No. 41 Oberto Circle K Volkswagen Beetle. Speed narrowly edged out his teammate, Tanner Foust (No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle), and Subaru’s Patrick Sandell finished third.
The two Beetles were neck and neck all season, with Foust winning the first race in the history of ARX at Silverstone in May. Speed didn’t let his teammate stay out front for long, knocking off back-to-back wins at both Circuit of the Americas and Trois-Rivieres earlier this summer. However, Foust kept the gap small all season long, as both drivers finished on the podium at every race.
Faust finished just over two seconds ahead of Speed in Sunday’s finale at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas but Speed’s runner-up finish was good enough to earn him the title by a 112 to 107 margin in the point standings.