Vito Cancilla Wins His Second Madera Pro Late Model Race in Saturday Night Thriller

It took 2023 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series champion Vito Cancilla of Martinez just three rounds of Pro Late Model Series action to get to his first two wins, with Cancilla outmatching 2023 series champion Tyler Herzog of Fresno in an 80-lap thriller. The exciting 80-lap race was presented by Mission Foods and part of a five-division program at the one-third mile.
“Just a lot of trust in the car. This car was really good on the bottom. It was alright on the top but you know, we made it happen. It means a lot (to get two wins). The Nascimento team has been working really hard to get this car in tip top shape and up front,” Cancilla said.
Yorba Linda’s Nathan Quella scored fast-time then drew the pole position. But Quella faltered under pace laps with a mechanical failure, thrusting second round winner Shelden Cooper of Clovis into the pole. Herzog pounced at the drop of the green flag on the outside pole, leading lap one by .020 seconds. Cooper dug back on the bottom to lead lap two.
Cancilla quickly advanced from tenth up to fifth by lap three. Herzog hounded the back bumper of Cooper before the caution flew for the first time with fluid and smoke billowing from Jay Juleson’s machine on lap 26.
Cooper selected the outside line for the restart with Herzog on the inside. The pair ran side-by-side for several laps, then Herzog stuck his nose inside on multiple occasions. The battling persisted for over 20 laps. Cooper edged Herzog by just .030 seconds on lap 42, then Herzog was credited with a .043 second advantage and the lead on lap 46. Herzog cleared Cooper and led him into the lap 50 break for adjustments and MAVTV interviews, followed by Henry Barton of San Fransisco, Cancilla, and Chase Hand of Sacramento.
When racing resumed, Herzog chose the outside of Cooper while Barton started inside of Cancilla. Cancilla nabbed third from the bottom lane. Hand then approached Barton for the fourth position. On lap 62, Hand dove inside of Barton in turn three which led to contact and Barton spinning. Both drivers were relegated to the rear of the field.
On the restart, Kenna Mitchell of Loomis used the inside to advance all the way to the front row alongside Herzog. Mitchell attempted to make the bottom work inside of Herzog for several laps. Cancilla overhauled Cooper for third on the inside on lap 68. Cancilla then slid underneath Mitchell, with slight frontstretch contact allowing Cancilla to steal the second position on lap 71.
Cancilla put Tyler Herzog in his crosshairs over the final nine circuits. Herzog narrowly led laps 75 and 76 before Cancilla made it happen officially on the bottom. He narrowly led laps 77 and 78 then cleared Herzog for good on lap 79. Cancilla scored his second win of the season followed by Herzog, Mitchell, Cooper, and Matt Erickson of La Grange who started shotgun on the field.
After scoring fast-time in the opening two rounds of the season, Jacob Ryan of Livermore won round three of the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model Series for drivers ages 10-16 years old. Ryan is the third consecutive first-time winner in the series.
San Antonio, Texas’ Tristan Pena led the first 17 laps before fourth-starting Cam Carraway of Castro Valley took the lead on lap 18. Carraway led Manteca’s Jace Hale, Pena, Eli Black of Santa Rosa, and Ryan into the lap 40 break.
Carraway slid up the hill on lap 41 after racing resumed, tagging Hale and sending Hale for a spin. Both drivers were forced to restart at the back of the field. Pena assumed the lead with Ryan using the chose cone to navigate to the second position.
The top-four drivers broke away while Hayden Stepps of Oakdale paced a second pack from fifth. Carraway made use of a lap 54 restart to make daring moves on the outside line, driving into the lead on lap 55. Stepps emerged into the third position as well.
Pena used the inside to seize the lead back from Carraway on lap 57. A caution flew on lap 64 for Kylie Glick spinning that would change the complexion of the race. The following restart saw Black and Stepps collide with both suffering heavy damage on the backstretch and ending their events early.
Pena and Carraway raced hard for the lead when racing continued. Pena slid up into Carraway into turn one on lap 66, giving Hale an opening to go three-wide on the backstretch. Pena and Hale made contact while three-wide, sending Carraway spinning into a hard crash which Skyler Schoppe into the turn three wall. Carraway was able to rejoin but Schoppe’s night was over.
Jacob Ryan assumed the lead and fended off Pena for the win. Hale finished third followed by Kylie Glick of Lincoln and Jayda Mack of Los Angeles.
Tyler Ridley claimed the 30-lap Mini Super Toyota feature. The race was slowed at the start when polesitter Joseph Holiday spun, unfortunately ending the race for Freddy Irvin. Corey Sedgwick impacted the turn one wall on lap six to end his night early as well.
Ridley topped a resurgent Holiday, Patrick Geiger, Kyle Labrie, and Shay Gouldy at the checkered flag.
Brenden Ruzbarsky returned to Madera Speedway for the INEX Legends and won the 30-lap feature. Ruzbarsky took the lead from Madera’s CJ Dizney on lap six and never relinquished it. Dizney finished second followed by Colton Hale of Manteca in third. Clayton Travels and Kyle Labrie rounded out the top-five.
2023 INEX Bandolero champion Kaine Betancourt faced his toughest challenge of the year in Saturday’s 15-lap contest. Kellen Keller grabbed the lead on lap 11 but spun from the spot in turn four and nearly collected Betancourt. Betancourt led the final four circuits over Keller and Andrew Williams.
Madera Speedway returns on May 11th with the $5,000 to win Super Late Models Hoosier May Magic 100 plus Madera Late Models, Pro Sportsman, Mini Stocks, Mini Super Toyotas, and Legends of Kearney Bowl.
For more information about the Madera Speedway including how to advertise with a race team on MAVTV please visit or call the race office at 209-356-1968.
The 2024 season would not be possible without the support 51FIFTY LTM, Mission Foods, 805 Beer, Race 2B Drug Free, Competition Carburetion, Hoosier Tires, Franks Radio, Sunoco Race Fuel, and Sealmaster.
Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Monday nights at 6pm Pacific and 9pm Eastern. Check for program listings.

Madera Speedway PR