By Janelle Bates
PRICE, Utah (Aug. 20, 2022) – Payce Herrera won both Friday and Saturday Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact features at Desert Thunder Raceway. He brought home the $1,000 grand prize sponsored by the Desert Thunder Raceway Foundation.
Torrential downpour and brief flooding postponed Saturday’s races but the crew at Desert Thunder worked tirelessly to keep everything running smoothly.
The young Herrera was not deterred. The busy eighth grader ranks first in Utah state point standings and Saturday’s trip to victory land marked his 11th win of the season.
“I felt pretty good winning this weekend,” he said. “It was fun and exciting.”
Earlier this month, Herrera completed pre-registration for the 40th annual IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s at Boone Speedway in Iowa.
“I feel good about going to Super Nationals. I have wanted to go since I was little,” said Herrera, who turns 14 two days after the Sept. 6 Sport Compact program at Boone. “I have been working all summer to achieve this goal.”
Herrera is a third-generation dirt track racer and began racing at age four when he took his first drive in a quarter midget. His father J.R. raced Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods and won the 2020 track title at Price, and his grandfather raced mini stocks.
“I went out to the track with my dad quite often,” Herrera said. “What I like about racing is that once you strap into that car, everything disappears. I love how we have race families, and we all take care of each other.”
“It’s so hard to explain the huge sense of emotions I feel when I watch him race,” said Herrera’s father. “He puts his heart into his race car, and he has a passion that is unteachable. I’m very proud of what he does on and off the track. He teaches me a lot about life that I take for granted.”
When Herrera isn’t racing, he’s competing in soccer and wrestling.