2016 SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Championship Standings – 4th Place: Bobby Hodgesadmin
Hodges Consistent in Fourth Place SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Effort
Carson City, NV driver Bobby Hodges, and his Naake-Klauer Motorsports team, completed all 1,064 laps this season, in route to a fourth place finish in the final SPEARS (SRL) Southwest Tour Series Championship Standings. It was the eighth time, in series history, that a driver had completed all the laps run in a season (Jim Pettit II 3, M.K. Kanke 2, Steve Belletto 1, and Derek Thorn 1). Hodges season finished with three top five, and eight top ten finishes, in nine series events. He had a best finish of second at Madera Speedway, with his worst result, a twelfth, at Kern County Raceway in May.
For Hodges, it was only his second campaign, running for a series championship, after winning multiple championships at his home track, the now defunct Champion Speedway (NV). Hodges was coming off a strong finish to the 2015 SRL season, with two runner-up finishes, and was looking for his first touring series championship. His season started off a little slow with ninth, seventh, twelfth and tenth place finishes. At Madera Speedway, race number five of the season, Bobby finished second. Hodges managed three top five’s, in the final five events of the season, to finish the second half of the season off strong.
“I’d say the season went well”, Hodges told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “I’ve got to thank Mike Naake and the entire Naake – Klauer Motorsports team. They are ironmen. We went into the season with high hopes, and overall, we came out and competed with the best teams, in the best series on the West Coast every race. And while we didn’t punch through for the wins, we were in position to get them, if the cards had fallen any differently. We were right there in the hunt.“
Hodges continued, “This was only the second time in my career that I competed in every race, in a Late Model Series. To come home fourth overall, and be only the fifth driver in series history to complete every lap in the season, we’ve got something to hang our hats on. I really need to thank my parents for making it all possible.”
In a season that had many highlights, one particular race stood out to Hodges as his favorite event of the season.
Hodges recalled, “I’d have to say my favorite race of the season was Tucson (Speedway). We were solid the entire weekend, and I was racing on no sleep, after working overseas, and went door to door for the win. In the closing laps, we came within a few inches of clearing the leader before I cooked my tires.”
For 2017, Bobby will take his Nevada Automotive Test Center, Naake Suspension Specialists and JRI Shocks Chevrolet, along with the experience he gleaned in his first full season in the SRL, to the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway on February 9-11. Beyond that, you will find Bobby racing with the SRL, on a sponsorship dependent basis. If Bobby is able to race the entire season, look for him to make another push for his first touring series championship, in one of the toughest series in the country.