Taylor Miinch

CORONA, California (October 2, 2018) – This is the last weekend Taylor Miinch’s rivals in the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by MAVTV will be able to keep the door of opportunity from slamming shut.

That’s why there’s a double dose of incentive for everyone in Saturday’s (October 6) K&N Engineering 75 presented by FAST EZ-EFI at Madera (California) Speedway. There’s a $3,000 check awaiting the winner of the 75-lap contest on the racy 1/3-mile paved oval, and since this race will set the stage for the series’ championship finale October 27 at Havasu 95 Speedway in Arizona it’s the last chance for anyone to make any significant inroads on the points lead Miinch has held all this season and for the past 17 races over two years.

Miinch, who is in position to join Jim Mardis (2010-2011) as a back-to-back series champion, took his first lead in the Hoosier Tire West point standings after the second race of the 2017 season, at Tucson, Arizona, and hasn’t relinguished it.

The 23-year-old from Blossom Valley, California, won the 2017 title by a record 123 points over 2014 champion Dylan Cappello and opened the current seasonby winning the first four races. The fourth of those wins came at Madera on June 9 and Miinch left town leading rookie Justin Johnson by 36 points, Cappello by 72, Jason Irwin by 76 and rookie Cody Kay by 80.

The door of opportunity has been open since then, however, because in the past four races Miinch hasn’t returned to victory lane. No one has been able to take advantage of the opportunity, though, because Miinch continued to perform with his trademark consistency and finish fifth, fourth, second and third.

Johnson had a couple of productive outings and cut Miinch’s lead to 28 points after the race in Utah July 21, then fell back and now trails by 48. The only one to make a gain is Cappello, who’s 11 points closer than he had been after the contentious June race at Madera but still 61 behind in third in the standings.

Last year Miinch left Madera in October with a 96-point lead over Cappello and the title secured before the final points race. He needs to finish Saturday night with a 78-point lead to make that happen again and his track record – a win and four top 5s in the eight races at the Madera County Fairgrounds – indicates that’s a possibility.

Cappello has two wins in that same span, as do Winters and Kyle Tellstrom, who has run a limited schedule this season. That quartet should be on the list of favorites this weekend, along with Johnson, Ryan Schartau, Cody Kay, Eddie Secord and Wes Miller.

Johnson was second, Schartau was third and Kay fifth in the first outing at Madera for each of the standout members of the Downforce Racing Products Rookie of the Year class. Veterans Secord and Miller have been consistent top 10 occupants.

Madera Speedway regular Tyler Herzog will make his Lucas Oil Modified Series debut and some drivers from the North State Modified Series also are expected to join a field that series promoter Greg Scheidecker expects to number two dozen cars or more.

The K&N Engineering 75 is part of a Madera Speedway program that includes a 150-lap, $10,000 to win Open Late Model race and a 70-lap affair for the track’s Jr. Late Model division.

Racing will get under way at 3 p.m. with the Lucas Oil Modifieds Trophy Dash and Open Late Model B and C mains. Main events will begin following opening ceremonies at 5 p.m.

General admission tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and military and $10 for youth ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under are free.