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Imperial Impresses and Schildmeyer Speeds To First Vado Victories on Saturday Night

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September 4, 2022  |  by Chris Stepan

Austin Hood Photography

Austin Hood Photography

Vado Speedway Park’s annual Labor Day Weekend Doubleheader concluded on Saturday, September 3rd with JT Imperial and Jeff Schildmeyer racing to their first ever Vado feature wins for their efforts to cap off a great weekend.  

The S.H. Automotive Pure Stock feature event was up first and similarly to Friday night, the event was plagued with multiple issues causing the event to be shortened for the second night in a row. Before the laps were cut, Jeremy DuBois charged to the front from his 16th starting spot and held off 15th starting Diego Alvarado for the win. Raymundo Lopez crossed the line third but was removed from the finishing order after not passing post-race tech, elevating Mel Romero to third, just ahead of a charging Michael Hartman, who started 17th. Chris Dominguez ran fifth.  

Aydan Saunders came home second in Friday night’s feature by inches but was not going to let that happen tonight as he started on the pole and drove off from the field early before Josh Jackson and Dusty Riggs moved in to battle for the top spot mid race. The race for the lead was good with Zach Rodriguez and Mike Money in the top five as well, along with Dave Smith, to started 15th working his way forward. As the laps wound down Saunders was able to hold the top spot and race to the win ahead of Jackson and Rodriguez in the top three. Jackson didn’t pass post-race tech, so Rodriguez was elevated to second and Riggs to third in the final running order. Money and Smith rounded out the top five finishers.   

Third in the feature order was the POWRi 360 Wing Sprint Car Desert Series 30-lap feature event with the series championship on the line as well. Don Grable and Jesse Baker were tied for the series point lead heading into the night with Lorne Wofford a close third as the feature race took to the track. JT Imperial paced the field to the green flag and took the lead from the pole and never looked back leading wire to wire for the victory working flawlessly through lapped traffic during the non-stop race. With Imperial out front comfortably, Caleb Saiz, Lorne Wofford and Wes Wofford put on a great show for second for much of the event, with 12th starting Colton Hardy working into the top ten early and then into the top five mid race and progressing forward even further to finish third, just behind Friday night’s winner Saiz. Lorne bested son Wes for fourth and clinched the championship in the process.    

Mike Rosales tasted victory on Friday night and wanted more on Saturday, so he proceeded to storm from his 12th starting spot in the feature race to win the main event for the second night in a row. Sherman Barnett emerged as the early race leader after Jacob Dart spun while leading and while Barnett lead, Rusty Bowen, Devan Smith and Christy Barnett battled just behind with Rosales picking his way forward. Once Rosales took the lead, he raced off to his second straight victory followed by Christy Barnett, Smith, Bowen and Dawson Manicki in the top five. Bowen and Smith failed post-race tech, so Manicki was elevated to third with Sherman Barnett fourth and Art Viramontes fifth.  

Las Vegas, Nevada’s Jeff Schildmeyer raced from 15th up to 2nd on Friday night and was able to gain one more position tonight as he raced from his 5th starting spot and came out on top of a thrilling side-by-side battle for the lead with Javier Zapien Jr, Philip Houston, Jeremy Stamper and Eric McNutt to claim his first career Super Late Model victory in the process. The race was great from start to finish as many side by side battles ensued during the entire 25-lap affair with Schildmeyer taking the lead just past the mid-point of the event and holding off Zapien toward the end for the hard fought win. Zapien crossed the line second with Houston rallying from the tail to finish third, just ahead of Stamper and McNutt in the top five. 

The Vado Speedway Park is off on Saturday, September 10th, but gets back to action on Saturday night, September 17th with First Responders Appreciation Night where anyone working in the first responder field will get into the grandstand are for FREE with a valid id. Gates open at 5pm 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