By Mark Sublett
05-04-19 Madera, CA………Veteran driver Jerome Rodella from El Monte won the MAVTV-Madera/POWRi-BCRA Midget portion of the 29th annual “Vukovich Classic” Saturday night at Madera Speedway. Rodella made it back to back Vukovich Classic wins in his Gerhardt/Ed Pink Toyota after capturing his first 17 years prior. “I want to thank my sponsors Trench Shoring, Tom Malloy and Family, Ed PinkRacing Engines, Mobile One oil, TRD and my crew.” said a happy Rodella. The event is held in honor of the famous Vukovich family from nearby Fresno.
At the start of the 50 lap main event Rodella and Dylan Nobile from Clovis traded the lead the first couple of laps until Rodella took the top spot coming off turn four. The two raced close followed by last week’s Stockton 99 Speedway POWRi-BCRA winner Mark Maliepaard from Ripon in third with Napa’s David Goodwill fourth. Blake Brannon from Morgan Hill ran fifth followed by Clovis’ Cody Gerhardt, Carson City’s JR Williams and Robert Carson from Concord. The red flag was thrown on lap 26 after Brannon had problems and hit the turn one wall. He was uninjured but his injured car leaked fluids across the track requiring a cleanup. Once racing resumed Rodella raced out front the rest of the distance to win his third Vukovich Classic midget main event. With the win Rodella swept the event posting fast time, winning his heat and main event. Nobile raced close the entire distance but just couldn’t get by Rodella. Goodwill got by Maliepaard on lap 40 to finish third. Gerhardt finished fifth and Williams sixth. Brannon was scored seventh and Carson had troubles and pulled in on lap 14. Toni Breidinger from Hillsborough had mechanical troubles and was forced to the infield before the start.
Heat races were won by Rodella and Goodwill. Rodella set fast time with a lap of 13.963, 85.855 mph average around Madera Speedway’s 1/3 mile paved oval. Next race for the POWRi-BCRA Midgets is Shasta Speedway May 11th.
MAVTV-Madera/POWRi-BCRA Midgets: 29th “Vukovich Classic” – Madera Speedway, Madera, CA.
Main event: (50 laps) 1. Jerome Rodella 2. Dylan Nobile 3. David Goodwill 4. Mark Maliepaard 5. Cody Gerhardt 6. JR Williams 7. Blake Brannon 8. Robert Carson 9. Toni Breidinger
Heat 1. (8 laps) 1. Rodella 2. Maliepaard 3. Gerhardt 4. Breidinger 5. Carson
Heat 2 (8 laps) 1. Goodwill 2. Nobile 3. Brannon 4. Williams
Fast Time: Rodella 13.963