JR LATE MODEL CHALLENGE CAMP
About the camp...
The camp was created to give young talented drivers the opportunity to experience what it's like to get behind the wheel of a full-bodied stock car. The camp experience was also designed to provide a wealth of knowledge through seminars that covered interview skills, marketing and sponsorship, chassis setups, and safety and other off track skills that it takes to be successful in today's sport. But most important drivers are selected on merit and the camp is free of charge, truly giving all applicants an equal opportunity. The camp attendees will compete for the chance to drive a Naake-Klauer Motorsports-prepared junior late model during the 51FIFTY Championship Weekend at Madera in October at no cost to the driver.
The camp concept was created through the combined efforts of Madera Speedway’s Kenny Shepherd, Naake-Klauer Motorsports’ owners Mike Naake and Tom Klauer, and Race Face Brand Development founder Rod Wortham.
Jr Late Model Series History
The Jr Late Model Series is the brainchild of Madera Track owner Kenny Shepherd who formed the series in 2016 giving young racers the opportunity to hone their skills in full-size race cars and compete on a National Stage broadcasted by MAV-TV. The idea for the 51FIFTY Jr Late Model Series came to life in 2006, when Shepherd saw the need to develop the best of the best talent in a full-size late model at a young age to keep pace with the changes in our sport that were driving the age of the drivers down at the top of the sport. I also saw the need to engage young drivers at a high level to ensure our youth would remain in car racing vs other options.
Many challenges delayed the series from coming to life, Shepherd began testing with 10-12-year-old drivers in restricted late models in 2013. He operated several test races in 2015, and finally, in 2016 he officially launched the series on MAVTV, and the rest is history.
Graduates of the 51FIFTY Jr Late Model program are making their mark on the sport today. TRD driver Hailie Deegan is winning on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Austin Herzog is the point leader on MAVTV in the Nut Up Pro Series and has a part-time late model touring series ride. Adam Lemke is part of the Chevrolet Drivers Edge Development Program and drives for JR Motorsports in the CARS late model tour. Dylan Zampa is making waves across the country with his wins on MAVTV in the Pro Series. Jesse Love is also TRD and has one of the top midget rides in the country plus a super late model touring ride.