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Schrader Steers ‘Stay in School’ Super Truck to Vado Victory

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May 8, 2022  |  by Chris Stepan

The Vado Speedway Park in Vado, NM was back in action on Saturday night, May 7th for the track’s Mother’s Day weekend celebration and featured a guest appearance by NASCAR veteran Kenny Schrader, who competed in the USRA Modified and Southwest Super Truck divisions and was able to race into Rio Grande Waste Services Victory Lane in the Truck feature event for his efforts.

The S.H. Automotive Pure Stocks were the first feature onto the track for their 15-lap main event, which proved to be a good one with point leader Michael Hartman racing from his 11th starting spot to hold off a hard charging Sherrii Minks for his third win of the season at Vado. Chase Ortiz took the lead at the start of the main and lead several laps early until Raymundo Lopez worked by into the lead but that lead was short lived as Hartman was able to make the pass into the top spot and race away from the field to the victory. Minks recorded a career best second place finish with Diego Alvarado nipping Lopez at the line for third.

Aydan Saunders hopped back into his 2021 track championship winning Legend car for the night in the Hulsey Racing INEX Legend division and raced from his 9th starting spot in the main event to victory lane. Saunders wasted no time charging from his 5th row starting spot to the lead and opening up a sizeable lead early on in the 20-lapper, but as the laps clicked off, Dave Smith and Josh Jackson began to put some pressure on Saunders out front with Sean Salazar in the mix as well. Saunders was able to hold off all competition for the victory as Smith was able to charge by Jackson late in the race to secure his second straight runner up finish. Jackson crossed the line with a third place finish.

The POWRi Jackson Compaction Non-Winged Sprint Car 25-lapper was up next with a pair of Albuquerque hot shoes on row number one. Caleb Saiz and Spencer Hill paced the field to the green flag and Saiz took control early out front with Hill, Rick Ziehl and Colt Treharn all in the mix just behind the leader. Saiz continued to lead with Ziehl to his outside and Treharn to his inside, while circling the Vado Speedway Park two and sometimes three-wide for the top spot. Ziehl was able to slide by into the lead momentarily until Caleb Stelzig shot by on the bottom and took over the top spot and began to run off into the night. The best battle on the track was for second between Ziehl, Treharn and Saiz, while Stelzig continued to dominate out front. Some contact between the 2nd and 3rd place running cars of Saiz and Ziehl brought out a late race caution and sent both drivers to the tail for the restart. Stelzig took back off and was able to race away for the win with Troy Treharn crossing the line in second and Josh Shipley rounding out the podium when the checkered flag flew.

The Johnstone Supply Super Trucks were the fourth feature on the track and provided one of the best races of the night with NASCAR veteran Kenny Schrader racing from his 7th starting spot to the lead and besting the field for his first ever win at Vado in his first appearance. Schrader, who was in a Mike Garcia-owned #10 truck worked his way from row four through traffic and was able to take the lead from Cliff Evrage just before the mid-point of the race and then was forced to hold off early challenges from Rusty Bowen and then charges from both Sherman and Christy Barnett and a late charge from 14th starting Devan Smith to get the win. Schrader wasn’t even scheduled to drive a Super Truck until a late week decision to compete in it and it paid off by getting the win. Smith completed the 14th to 2nd charge and Bowen came across the line third.

The final event of the night was the Rancho Milagro USRA Modified main event and it proved to be worth the wait as the 25-lap race was a great one with 4th starting Jake Gallardo getting by early leader Jake Boles and holding off a charge late from Donavon Flores for the win. Boles and Terry Tipton began to battle out front for the top spot at the drop of the green with Boles edging Tipton for the lead early with Gallardo in tow. Just behind the leaders Ricardo Olague Jr., Kenny Schrader and Rocco Gallardo were racing hard for position, while Fito Gallardo, Royal Jones and Jimmy Ray were all making progress through the field from starting at the tail. Boles continued to lead with Gallardo working hard to overtake the top spot, which he was finally able to do and then was able to drive away from Flores, who snuck by Boles as well. With the leaders driving away out font, Fito Gallardo made his way into the top five from his 22nd starting spot and began to battle with Tipton and Olague for third as the laps wound down. Jake meanwhile drove off to the victory with Flores a solid second and Olague, from 11th, crossed the line in third ahead of Fito and Tipton in the top five.

Full results

The Vado Speedway Park will be back in action this coming Saturday night, May 14th with another Hot City Nights event where residents of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico will be admitted into the grandstand area for just $5 with a valid id. Gates open at 5 and racing begins at 7:30.

For fans not able to attend in person, all events held during the 2022 season at the Vado Speedway Park will also be live streamed online by PayPerView at www.WatchFYE.tv.

For upcoming schedule information and tickets, visit www.VadoSpeedwayPark.com.

Chris Smith Photography