By Steven Blakesley
MADERA, CALIFORNIA (July 10, 2019) – The mighty Madera/BCRA Midgets roar back to Madera Speedway on Saturday night to headline the 17th Gerhardt Classic. A host of other divisions will be competing including the 100 lap California Challenge Cup feature plus the debut of the Central Valley Mini Stocks with a large field expected. Legends of Kearney Bowl, Focus Midgets, and NCMA Sprint Cars round out the scheduled divisions.
Jerome Rodela is the defending winner of the Gerhardt Classic and will look to continue his streak of success at the one-third mile asphalt oval north of Fresno, CA. Rodela has been on a tear as of late winning both the 2018 and 2019 Vukovich Classics along with March’s season opener for the newly MAVTV-televised division.
Rodela took a break from driving in 2017 to hand the controls to female sensation Courtney Crone who added two wins of her own that season. One of the few drivers to break Rodela’s spell on the series has been Jesse Love. The 14 year-old out of Menlo Park, CA is a two-time champion of Madera’s 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series while also winning the 2018 BCRA Midget title.
The 50-lap feature will be augmented by a pair of six lap heat races. Racing action will include Fred Gerhardt’s grandson Cody in search of his first Madera Midget win. The race honors Fred Gerhardt’s accomplishments and contributions to motorsports which include many innovations still used today. His most notable contribution was serving as the chief constructor for rear-engined Indycars throughout the late 1960s. Gerhardt’s best Indianapolis 500 as a car owner came with a third-place finish in 1969.