Young Guns Doss and Moore Take Home SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Honorsadmin
Two of the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series young guns, took home the two most coveted titles for the series, in its 19thseason. Jeremy Doss became the youngest SRL Champion in the series history, at the age of 21 years and 364 days, supplanting a 22 year old Jacob Gomes. Cole Moore won the series Rookie-of-the-Year Award, also at the age of 21, despite this being his fourth year in a race car. Both drivers had their most successful year of their careers behind the wheel, and both are sure to have many wins in their future.
Doss’ 2018 SRL Championship season followed two runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2014. The 2013 Rookie-of-the-Year, in the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series, already had two Super Late Model championships in the Pacific Challenge Series in 2012 and 2016, and was ready to take home his first Southwest Tour Championship. Doss scored a career high three SRL victories, and eight top-five finishes, in his championship effort. The culmination of the season was his $10,000 victory, in the “Retro Custom Metals 150 presented by Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse San Dimas” at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (NV).
“Winning the SRL finale and the championship on the same night was pretty special”, Doss told the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series. “Being crowned the SRL champion is probably the highlight of my career so far. To be honest, I don’t think it’s really sunk in quite yet. It’s been such a quick turnaround, trying to get the car ready for the (Snowball) Derby. I haven’t really had too much time to think about it. I think once we get back from Pensacola, and have some time to relax, it will really sink in.”
Moore entered the 2018 season with just a single Super Late Model victory in the Pacific Challenge Series, after transitioning from dirt bikes in 2015. The 2015 PCS Rookie-of-the-Year had several additional opportunities for wins in that series, but mechanical woes took several wins away. In 2018, Moore scored a series leading three wins in the PCS, while competing full-time in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series.
“We got the Rookie of the Year and it means a lot to me”, Moore said. “I came into the season wanting a championship, but we came in unprepared. Coming out with the Rookie of the Year is awesome, and we have a good setup and package for next year.”
Moore scored three top-five finishes and six top-ten’s in his Rookie-of-the-Year campaign, which was good enough for fourth in the final SRL standings. His best two events were at the Bullring, where he finished second and fourth, in 30 plus car fields.
“The highlight of the season was probably going head to head with Jeremy and Eric (Schmidt) for the win at both of the Vegas races”, Moore proclaimed. “It was an absolute blast, that kind of racing is why we do it.”
Moore started out the season slowly, but finished with consecutive top-five’s proceeded by a top-ten at Madera Speedway (CA). Moore attributes the improvement to the time spent with his Crew Chief Mario Isola, over the course of the season.
“The key to the improvement was the continuous growth of me, and my crew chief Mario’s relationship”, Moore admitted. “I continue to get better at communication on the racecar and it really showed. We were also able to test more towards the end of the season, and that was also a big help.”
Doss had a great season in 2018, also winning the season opener of the Budweiser Crown Series at Evergreen Speedway (WA), the Montana 200 at Montana Raceway Park and the Senator’s Cup at The Bullring. But his season still had its share of challenges, with a DNF at the second SRL race of the season at Kern County Raceway. But the low point of the season was a practice crash at Irwindale Speedway (CA), in race number five of the season.
“At the second Irwindale race, I wrecked the car in Friday practice”, Doss recalled. “We had the car loaded up, and were going to call it a weekend, but we decided we couldn’t give up the points lead that way. Luckily I’ve got the best crew in the business. They busted their butts to get it fixed, and we ended up finishing second.”
Moore also had his challenges throughout the year, as qualifying was an issue for the first part of the season.
“The biggest challenge I overcame this year was putting together successful qualifying runs”, Moore recalled. “I feel like I hindered a lot of early performances, because I had to start too far back in the pack. Towards the end of the year I was able to get it done.”
The 2018 season was a memorable one for Moore, as he scored three victories in the Pacific Challenge Series. But what he remembers most was the competition in the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series.
“I will remember this season as probably the year with the most competition”, Moore told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “The field was always full of past champions, and up and coming young studs. You had to earn every spot.”
Moore continued, “Competing in the SRL is awesome, I really respect the way it is officiated. It has a professional feel at the race track, and I believe it prepares drivers and teams for the next level. You won’t find a more organized operation.”
Doss has had many successes on the track in the past, winning big races and championships. But he hopes that this championship, in the SRL, will get him additional exposure, and in some ways it already has, with racing’s elite.
“Mark Martin congratulated me”, Doss began. “He took an interest in my racing career at the beginning of the year and he’s been keeping up with my season, so that’s really cool.”
Doss continued, “I hope this championship cements my spot, as not only one of the top racers on the west coast, but in the nation. I wish it would lead to a greater opportunity at a higher level, but unfortunately talent and achievements can only get you so far in this sport. We just don’t have the funding to take the next step.”
Doss is thankful to his family, sponsors and the fans, which have supported support him throughout his career.
“I would really like to thank my parents as well as Earnest Performance, Senneker Performance, Peters Racing Engines, S&S Sports Enterprises, Franks Radios, Swift Springs, PFC Bakes, Speedy Signs and Pit Stop USA. Also, thank you to all my fans for all the support, not just this season, but my whole career. I hope to bring home the Tom Dawson Trophy to the west coast this weekend.”
Moore is also thankful for those who help him get to the track, and the fans which support his racing career.
“To the fans I would say thank you, you guys are awesome, and I hope this year was entertaining. From my view behind the wheel it was extremely thrilling and I know next year will be just as good or better. To my sponsors, JM Environmental, Thryv, Naake Suspension, Big Dog Transport, RT Painting, Wiley X Sunglasses and Berco Redwood Inc. / Berry Lumber Inc., thank you and I will see you all at the (Winter) Showdown!”
When the Winter Showdown arrives on February 1stand 2nd, don’t be surprised to see these two young guns running at the front of the field. With a little luck, one of them could take home the $30,000 winner’s share of the $150,000 purse.