Adam Baggett in Madera Speedway victory lane. (Madera Speedway Photo)

Baggett Notches First Madera Pumpkin Smash Win

MADERA, Calif. — Adam Baggett led 194 of the 200 laps in Saturday’s 17th annual Pumpkin Smash Halloween Bash Enduro for his first Madera Pumpkin Smash triumph.

Baggett topped a field of 22 competitors on a one-third mile speedway covered in smashed pumpkins and soaked in water before each 100-lap segment.

“This is pretty much our Indy 500 and our Daytona 500,” Baggett said. “This was quite a race. We seemed to have it pretty well sewn up at the beginning. I couldn’t believe it! We were able to find a lot of traction on the low line and I was a bottom feeder and it worked out.”

The first segment was run in the opposite direction around the track. Scott Wasson led the opening lap before Baggett took over control on lap seven. The race had its first red flag on lap 13 with Jason Sitton stopped in the middle of turns one and two.

2022 winner Ryan Hart mixed it up with Mia Cancilla in turn four, relegating Hart from third back to sixth. Hart then stopped in the infield for a tire change on lap 36, drifting back to eighth position and many laps in arrears.

Baggett led Scott Wasson into the halfway break followed by a resurgent Hart. Hart’s race ended when he was collected on the frontstretch on lap 116, causing rear end damage that led to a brief fire and a red flag. Baggett cruised the rest of the distance for a comfortable win by seven laps over Wasson.

Rich Denman struggled with handling in the second half to finish third after running second in 2022. Dave McEwen earned his second consecutive fourth-place finish. Dave Ski used a diminutive Toyota Paseo to solider home in fifth place.

In earlier action, Denman won the 10-lap barrel race in a close battle with Wasson. Drivers were required to do a complete 360 degree turn around a barrel on the frontstretch on each lap. ProSolved held an exciting drifting exhibition and Audra Sasselli completed exhibition laps in her Winged Sprint Car as well.