"Central California Racing Legend"
Jerry Thompson began his racing career in 1965 at the famous Kearney Bowl Speedway in
Fresno California. In only his second year of racing he began winning Semi-Main Events at
both Kearney Bowl and Clovis Speedways. In 1967 Jerry Captured the Crown of Kearney
Bowl Semi-King and finished 8th in the Points Championship at Clovis Speedway.
On August 8th,1969 Jerry won his first Feature Main-Event at Kearney Bowl beating some of
the most famous drivers in California history such as Al Pombo, Howard Kaeding and Bill
Scott. He then backed it up with another win at Kearney the following week. 1969 turned out
to be a banner year for Jerry as he finished the Championships 3rd at Clovis, 4th at Kearney
Bowl, and 7th at San Jose Speedway's; giving him 2nd in the overall Nascar State of
California Points Championship! Jerry was also awarded Nascar Super Modifieds' Most
1970 was the final year for racing at Kearney Bowl Speedway. Jerry ended up the year 6th
in points for Kearney Bowl and 5th in the Nascar State Championship. Jerry spent the next
few years racking up the trophy's in the circle 77 and finishing in the top 3 or 4 in points at
Clovis, San Jose, and the newly opened Madera Speedway.
1976 was Jerry's best year in racing. He raced at both Madera and Clovis Speedways,
making it to the final race of the season leading the points for both tracks! Unfortunately both
Madera and Clovis had their Championship race on the same night. Jerry had to choose
which track he wanted to win the Championship for. He chose Clovis Speedway because of
his love for dirt racing. Jerry ended up being the last Champion of Clovis Speedway as it
closed for good that year.
In 1977 the Thompson team raced mostly at Madera Speedway ending up 2nd in the Nascar
State Points Championship.
The next decade brought a lot of changes in Super Modified racing. The cars changed from
inexpensive, build it your self cars, to the 850 hp $35,000 - $50,000 cars of today. Jerry stuck
with the sport he loved, even as an underdog, until 1986. Even though he lacked the
sponsors to really compete he was able to win races up to the end, winning his last main
event in 1983 and his last trophy dash in 1985.
Jerry wasn't able to stay away from Madera Speedway for long as his first son starting
racing there in 1987. The Thompson name has stayed in the books with Kevin Thompson
winning the Super Toyota Championship in 1997, 2010 & 2011 and holding the Toyota Track
Record for 9 years, and Rick Thompson winning the Super Toyota Championship in 1997 and
the Late Model Stock Car Championship in 2006. The Thompson's are very proud that they
are the only family that has had a family member driving at Madera Speedway every year
since it opened in 1972!
Kearney Bowl 1968
This Page was built by Rick Thompson