By Floyd Busby
Honoring the memory of one of the region’s premier Indy Car and midget owners, Fred Gerhardt, the Bay Cities Racing Association midgets took the drop of the green flag in three-car rows to begin the 100-lap trek on the fast Madera Speedway paved oval.
From the onset, the five fastest qualifiers began pulling ahead of the remainder of the field with Scott Pierovich in the Morris Motorsports Beast/Esslinger edging into the lead from his middle front row starting berth. Nick Chivello, aboard the Tres VanDyne Beast/VanDyne secured second over Frank Guerrini III, Chad Nichols and Davey Hamilton Jr.
Cody Gerhardt, Great Grandson of the event’s namesake, brought out the first of two caution flags with a solo spin in turn-one. Twelve laps later the final caution appeared as Mark Maliepaard solo-spun his Beast/Esslinger in turn-two.
It was at the point of the first caution that leader Pierovich slowed and retired to the infield with the loss of a cylinder in the Morris Esslinger. At the drop of the green Chivello was the heir-apparent and led Guerrini’s F&F Beast/Esslinger into lap 22 with Nichols in his Beast/Esslinger, Hamilton aboard the Bob Rosen’s Mr. Espresso Beast/Fontana and Michael Snider’s Beast/Mopar in pursuit.
The top-six pulled away from the field while lapping slower cars as Snider and Gerhardt battled for the fifth spot. The closest Chivello came to losing the lead was on the 31st circuit when Guerrini was able to stick a wheel under the leader as they maneuvered past two lapped cars exiting turn-two. But, following that, Chivello began a steady withdrawal of space between himself and his pursuers. Nichols began fading, then retired with engine problems on the 63rd round.
Chivello continued to show his superiority over the field, gliding onward to the checkered flag with a 0.960 edge over second place Guerrini. Hamilton brought up third over Snider, Gerhardt and Gundo.
- Chad Nichols #17n, Nichols Beast/Esslinger 14.074
- Cody Gerhardt #29, Paul Eskesen Beast/Mopar 14.233
- Mark Maliepaard #51, Malieppart M/S Beast/Esslinger 14.290
- Frank Guerrini Jr. #63, F&F Beast/Esslinger 14.304
- Scott Pierovich #17K, Morris M/S Beast/Esslinger 14.312
- Nick Chivello #5, Tres VanDyne Beast/VanDyne 14.332
- Davey Hamilton Jr. #4, Bob Rosen Beast/Esslinger 14.360
- Michael Snider #6k, Lauren Snider Beasr/Mopar 14.384
- Dylan Nobile #40, Gerhardt Beast/Focus 15.077
- Dan Gundo #6, Gundo Stealth/Esslinger 15.231
- Gary Conterno #55, Conterno Beast/Mopar 15.247
- Floyd Alvis #18, Champion Automotive Stealth/VanDyne 15.404
- J.R. Williams #74, J&J Associates Stealth/Mopar 15.556
- Alan Beck #74x, J&J Associates Stealth/Eco-Tech 16.297
- Toni Breidingar #60, Breidingar Beast/Focus NT
MAIN EVENT (100 laps): 1. Nick Chivello, 2. Frank Guerrini III, 3. Davey Hamilton Jr. , 4. Michael Snider, 5. Cody Gerhardt, 6. Dan Gundo, 7. Dylan Nobile, 8. Floyd Alvis, 9. Gary Conterno, 10. Chad Nichols, 11. J.R. Williams, 12. Scott Pierovich, 13. Mark Maliepaard, 14. Alan Beck.