2016 SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Championship Standings – 5th Place: Blaine Rochaadmin
Rocha Rebounds to Fifth in SPEARS Southwest Tour Championship Standings
Finishing fifth, in the SPEARS (SRL) Southwest Tour Series Championship Standings, was Fresno State Freshman Blaine Rocha. The 18 year old, from Oakdale, CA finished the season with one win, and six top five finishes, in the nine starts. He also qualified an impressive second, in the 2016 Winter Showdown, at Kern County Raceway in Bakersfield, CA. Rocha had a difficult start to the season, but he closed it out on a strong note, having the best average finish over the final four events, while scoring his first series victory.
The 2016 season started off with the Winter Showdown for Rocha. Blaine qualified second in the field of 43, but an early accident relegated him to a 28th place finish. The championship season started off with a top five run, but alternating good and bad events saw Blaine complete the first half of the season eighth in the standings. The second half didn’t begin well either with another DNF at Madera Speedway, but race number six at Redwood Acres Raceway would turn the tide. Rocha would reel off a third, second, fourth and his first series victory at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was an event in which he would lead all 125 laps. Blaine would advance from eighth to fifth, in the championship standings, falling two points short of Bobby Hodges in fourth.
For Rocha, it was a breakthrough win, in series start number 24. After suffering a crash during final practice, the Willie Allen led team brought out the back-up car, which qualified second before the dominant $10,000 win.
“Getting that win in Vegas just showed how good we were all year”, Rocha told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “When we finally got some luck, it all fell into place. I think it shows that next season we are going to be a contender. My 2016 season had its ups and downs, but I really felt like we made a lot of progress on speed. It makes me excited about next year”, Rocha concluded.
The season, for the MASROC Farms, Rocha Valley Enterprises and Masellis Drilling Chevrolet, will begin at the $30,000 to win 2017 Winter Showdown, at Kern County Raceway, on February 9-11. The championship season will commence at Irwindale Speedway on March 25th, with a double header co-featuring the NACAR K&N Series. Rocha will be looking for win number two in a row, and from his recent success, he should have the means to do so.