Harvest Classic to Gerhardt
GERHARDT TAKES HARVEST CLASSIC MIDGET WIN
By Floyd Busby
MADERA, CA., SEPT. 19: Cody Gerhardt grabbed the lead on the 26th lap of the 30-lap Bay Cities Racing Association midget feature at the Madera Speedway Harvest Classic following a caution flag for a spin by the race-long leader Michael Snider. Gerhardt coasted to the win aboard the Eskesen Beast/Mopar following the restart with Frank Guerrini III and fast qualifier Chad Nichols following.
Snider, aboard the Lauren Snider Beast/Mopar, charged into the initial lead over pole-starting teammate Jimmy Screeton in the second Snider Beast/Mopar. For the first third of the race on the banked paved oval, Snider ran unchallenged, until sixth-starting Nichols bested Screeton for second on the ninth lap and moved his Beast/Esslinger up to challenge the leader. Nichols took the high groove in his pursuit as Snider held the lower position in the turns, nearly moving alongside the leader on several occasions. Third-running Screeton lost three positions on the 19th circuit with Gerhardt, Guerrini and Mark Maliepaard making the pass as Screeton exited thrn-2 on the high side.
Nichols continued his high-track assault on Snider as the top-four ran nose-to-tail. The pursuit lasted to the 24th round when Nichols, expecting Snider to retain the lower groove, found the leader moving up into the first turn as his brakes began fading, causing Nichols to ricochet off the leader and dropping back to fourth-place.
One lap later as the leaders encountered lapped cars, Snider’s loss of brakes took it’s toll and he spun in turn-four to bring out the only caution flag of the race. Racing to the checkered flag, it was Gerhardt, with Guerrini making several unsuccessful attempts for the win, followed by Nichols with Mailepaard claiming fourth over Screeton, Snider and Gary Conterno with lapped Floyd Alvis and Alan Beck rounding out the finishers.
QUAL.:1. Chad Nichols #17, Nichols Beast/Esslinger 13.983; 2. Mark Maliepaard #51, Maliepaard M/S 14.154; 3. Cody Gerhardt #29, Paul Eskesen Beast/Mopar 14.182; 4. Frank Guerrini III #63, F&F Racing Beast/Esslinger 14.276; 5. Michael Snider #6k, Lauren Snider Beast/Mopar 14.439; 6. Jimmy Screeton #2k, Lauren Snider Beast/Mopar 14.442; 7. Floyd Alvis #18, Champion Automotive Stealth/VanDyne 14.808; 8. Gary Conterno #55, Conterno Beast/Mopar 14.925; 9. JR Williams #74, J&J Associates Stealth/Mopar 15.414; 10. Alan Beck #74x, J&J Associates Stealth/EcoTech 15.521.
HEAT-1: Snider, Gerhardt, Alvis, Williams, Nichols.
HEAT-2: Guerrini, Screeton, Maliepaard, Conterno, Beck.
MAIN (30 Laps): Cody Gerhardt, 2. Frank Guerrini III, 3. Chad Nichols, 4. Mark Maliepaard, 5. Jimmy Screeton, 6. Michael Snider, 7. Gary Conterno, 8. Floyd Alvis, 9. Alan Beck, 10. J.R. Williams.
Photo Credit: M&M Photos