2015 SERIES CHAMPION – Jacob Gomesadmin
We now continue our 20th season celebration, of our previous Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series Champions, by stopping at the year 2015. That season found a champion who scored several records that will never be broken in SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series competition. That driver is the “Ironman” of the series and a seven-time series winner, Jacob Gomes.
The 2010 SRL Rookie-of-the-Year had a great season in 2015, scoring two victories, four top-five and seven top-10’s in nine starts. Gomes led 147 laps and scored one Fast Time. He won $20,500 during the season, but his biggest accomplishment was a first in series history. By winning the championship, he became the first driver to win the Rookie-of-the-Year Award and the championship. It was a great feeling for the Manteca, CA driver, as Gomes described.
“It meant a lot to me, knowing that our team was always there to contend every weekend. To win races and to win both titles meant a lot.”
But an achievement just as impressive, if not more extraordinary, is something the Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats, Dell’Osso Farms, Dennis Arbini backed team accomplished over the course of 12 seasons in the series. At the January 31st event at Irwindale Speedway, Gomes made his 100th start in the series, to become the first driver in history to hit that mark. Even more remarkable was the fact that the team achieved the feat without missing a single event. It is an accomplishment that is unrivaled in the series, and could not be achieved by another team in at least a half dozen seasons.
“To get to 100 (starts) was cool, but to get 100 straight was amazing though” Gomes explained. “It just shows how strong my team is, and the great the people who support me are. We had a lot of bad streaks, but we just never gave up.”
Gomes achievements have not gone unnoticed by the ownership and team members of the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. Gomes can be counted upon to be at each event, and be a threat to win on any given weekend. He has won a championship, won events and shown the ability to come back, even when the chips are down.
“In order to win a championship at any level, it takes perseverance”, the SPEARS Southwest Tour’s Brian Olsen commented. “Jacob couldn’t have demonstrated that trait any better on his run to the 2015 championship. I remember he was sitting 9th in points, heading into the Stockton race, with four races to go in the season. He got back-to-back wins at Stockton and Rocky Mountain Raceways, along with two solid top 5’s in the final races, to claim the 2015 title. That perseverance has continued to be on display throughout his entire career, which is highlighted by 100 career series starts. Even more impressive is the fact they are in a row!”
Olsen continued, “We’ve been very fortunate to have some great kids come up through the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series, and Jacob is definitely one of those kids. I remember him having to wait to be old enough to run in the series, and now he’s 27 years old, and getting married later this year. 100 career starts, 7 wins and a championship…that’s pretty surreal.”
Gomes’ 2015 season is one he will remember, for the rest of his racing career. And although there were many great memories that season, the overall championship is what he will remember best.
“I mean by far it would be winning the championship, but I had multiple rememberable moments that year”, Gomes stated.
With Gomes having participated in the series over the last 12 seasons, he has had the opportunity to assess the series over time.
“I mean the way the cars are setup, and stuff like that have changed, but other than that, not much. We have the same tracks, for the most part, and the competition by far, has always been the same. Some past champs, and fast winners, have come and gone, but they always have a competitive group there every weekend.”
Over the years, Gomes has had a great deal of success in the SRL. He has seven victories (tied for 6th all-time), 33 top-five’s (4th all-time), 60 top-10’s (second all-time), five Performance Friction Brakes Zero Drag Fast Time Awards (tied for 5th all-time) and 46 Qualifying efforts in the top-five (2nd all-time). In addition, Gomes has two Pacific Challenge Series victories to go along with Late Model wins at The New Stockton 99 Speedway, ALL AMERICAN SPEEDWAY – ROSEVILLE CA and Madera Speedway. In the ARCA Menards Series West, he scored a pole in very limited starts.
With all his success, there are a laundry list of people who have contributed to that success. But the gentlemen who has influenced “Bacon Boy” the most behind the wheel, is a man who has championship experience both behind the wheel and behind the wrenches.
“I mean there’s a lot who have influenced my career in many ways. But in the most ways as a driver, I’d say Mike David has been the biggest influence for me. He has been in so many ways. He’s been with me since 2011, not only as just a spotter, but driver coach. He has just been great at all around support at the track. He has been great with the team, for helping us and directing us in all around ways. All around, I’d say Mike has been a great part of my career, and helped me become better.”
The next event, on the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series schedule, is a trip to Roseville, CA. Last year’s event at All American Speedway was a thriller, with the 2020 edition promising to be just as exciting. The “JM Environmental 127 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM.” will take place on May 16th, and will pay a minimum of $7,000-to-win. A $5,000 bonus will be available to any driver who qualifies in the top eight, and elects to start in the back. If that driver wins, they will head home with a $12,000 victory. In addition, John Moore will give each driver who makes the feature race, a “black bad a** cowboy hat, made by Lonestar. It’s a hat that makes you look handsome and sexy at the same time”, commented Moore.