Gerhardt captures Harvest Classic victory

By Kevin Triplett

The POWRi Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) midgets took part in the action-packed 47th annual Harvest Classic at Madera Speedway on Saturday night September 14th, 2019 for the series’ final 2019 visit to the Madera District Fairgrounds.

David Goodwill was the fastest qualifier with a best lap of 14.000 seconds in his own #3g midget, which edged out Cody Gerhardt in the Lucas Oil-sponsored # 60 midget who posted a 14.100 second lap.  The third fastest qualifier was Cody Jessop in the #00 midget at 14.136 seconds with Blake Brannon fourth with his best time around the 1/3-mile Madera oval recorded at 14.202 seconds

BCRA overall points leader Robert Carson was unable to complete his qualifying run in the Howard & Karen Segur #99, and BCRA stalwart JR Williams did not present his #74 Fontana-powered midget for qualifying. Unfortunately, shortly after time trials were completed, the Brannon #40 was withdrawn from the rest of the program with power steering issues

The Cody’s’, Jessop and Gerhardt, shared the front row for the start of the 8-lap heat race and battled side-by-side for the entire first lap. As the pair entered turn one for the second time, Jessop forged ahead and held the advantage for the rest of the race with Gerhardt second, Goodwill third, Williams fourth and Carson fifth at the drop of the checkered flag.

With the points totaled from the heat race finish using the POWRi system Jessop ad Gerhardt again shared the front row for the start of the 30-lap feature race for the POWRi BCRA midgets which was video-taped for later airing on the MAVTV network. At the drop of the green, Jessop leapt into the lead hounded by Gerhardt as Goodwill lurked close behind in third place.

The race’s only caution flag flew on lap seven as Robert Carson coasted the #99 to a stop at the entrance to turn one. After Carson was pushed to safety into the infield, the race resumed after the initial restart was called back as the field was not aligned nose-to-tail at the start/finish line.

Once underway, Gerhardt looked high and low for a way past leader Jessop, and he got the #60 midget alongside Jessop’s #00 in the third and fourth turn on the twelfth lap and completed the pass with an outside move in turns one and two. Once in front, Gerhardt laid down some quick laps and pulled away with his 20th lap his fastest at 13.898 seconds, faster than his qualifying time. Over the final few laps of the race, Goodwill made several attempts to pass Jessop but just could not get close enough to make a move.

At the drop of the checkered flag, Gerhardt held a 3.4 second advantage over Jessop with Goodwill in third close behind. JR Williams soldiered on for a fine fourth place finish two laps behind the winner, with non-finisher Robert Carson in fifth place.

As the POWRi/BCRA midgets continue their 80th anniversary season, the next scheduled event is on the ¼-mile dirt oval at Siskiyou Golden Speedway in Yreka California on September 28th.