2019 NASCAR Whelen All American Series State of Arizona Champion

2019 NASCAR Whelen All American Series State of Arizona Champion

2019 NASCAR Whelen All American Series State of Arizona Champion Kole Raz Racing has entered the $25,000-to-win “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame” on February 1 at Irwindale Speedway. The Lake Oswego, OR driver scored six victories at Tucson Speedway to earn the state accolade, while driving for TMI – Tucson Motorsports Inc. (TMI). He will be pulling the double, by racing back to back weekends, and participating in both the Chilly Willy 150, from Tucson Speedway, and the All-Star Showdown the following week.

The All-Star Showdown will be his Raz’s first career start with the “Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series presented by Lucas Oil”, as well as his first at Irwindale Speedway. In 2020, Raz is looking to participate in some bigger events, and he will kick off those efforts with back-to-back weekends of racing. The All-Star Showdown effort is with the help of his big brother, Gracin Dean Raz.

“We decided to run both the Chilly Willy, along with the All-Star race, as I have been wanting to compete in bigger Super Late Model events”, Raz told the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series. “We had the Chilly Willy lined up first, but then it came down to my brother Gracin Raz, who will be spotting for me that weekend. He is giving me the chance to have my time, and run these big shows.”

The younger Raz is coming off a great rookie season in a Super Late Model, with the aforementioned State Title, participating at Tucson Speedway. He drove for the well established and successful TMI team, with multi-time championship drivers Brandon Farrington Racing and Paul Banghart as teammates. In 2019, Farrington and Raz were the duo to beat at Tucson.

“We were able to compete last year for the NASCAR State Championship in Tucson, Arizona with TMI (Tucson Motorsports INC). Brad Corneliusenand Joan Corneliusen had faith in me for my rookie season in the Super Late Model division. We were able to pick up six Main Event wins last year, as my teammate Brandon Farrington and I battled neck and neck for the track and state championship. At the end of the day, I came out with the State Championship and Brandon won the Track Championship.”

The current racing season will see Raz return to Tucson to run for the championship. He will also mix in several venues in the Northwest and hope for a birth in the Kulwicki Driver Development Program. A program that 2018 SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Champion Jeremy Dosscompleted at its 2019 champion.

“Our 2020 season starts off with the Chilly Willy and the All-Star Showdown’, Raz began. “We are then running the full SLM season at Tucson Speedway, with TMI again. Adding some races up in the Northwest is on the horizon, to add to the schedule. We’ve also sent our entry into the Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) again this year, and hope to be a part of the honorable seven, to represent Alan and his legacy, which will be announced in March!”

Something that may help Raz, with his KDDP application, would be a strong run in the All-Star Showdown. The venture will be his first visit to Irwindale Speedway, and he is looking forward to competing against some strong competition. He hopes that he will stack up well with the opposition he will face, in his Team Raz Super Late Model.

“I want to be competitive in the All-Star race”, Raz commented. ‘I haven’t run Irwindale before, but feel comfortable in my ability to adapt to the track quick. I don’t just want to run the All-Star race, I want to compete and run alongside the best. I’m looking to start making a name for myself in this racing world, and know I got the team backing me to do just that.”

Raz is excited to be able to compete in a premier Super Late Model event like this. He has one Chilly Willy 150 under his belt, as well as a Summer Showdown start at Evergreen Speedway. He finished fifth in the Mark Galloway 150, also at Evergreen Speedway, so he has an idea of what to expect. But with the excitement he will experience, the 16-year-old will also experience nerves. But once he straps himself into the driver’s seat, it be business as usual.

“My thoughts on the All-Star Showdown are very mixed”, Raz admitted. “I’m very excited that Irwindale, and the West Coast, have added such a big event back on the schedule. The nerves will trickle in as the day gets closer, but once we get on track, I know those nerves will be out of the picture, and it will be another day in the office!”

Kole is thankful for the opportunity to participate in the All-Star Showdown and would like to express his thanks to those who make it possible.

“I first got to start off by thanking my brother Gracin Raz, for letting me race his car”, Kole stated. “Also, The The Master Wrench, Brad and Joan Corneliusen, and Jeff Jefferson Fan’s Page, who will be back on the 27 team for the weekend!”

The resumption of the All-Star Showdown, after a nine-year hiatus, will take place on February 1st. It will pay $25,000 to the winner of the 200-lap Feature Event, thanks to Sunrise Ford’s, Bob Bruncati and Ken Clapp from the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. Over $75,000 will be paid out to the 36 starters, plus additional cash bonuses for the drivers eligible for the Spears Manufacturing Frequent Flyer Program. If needed, the Last Chance Qualifying race will pay $1,000 to those on the SPEARS Frequent Flyer Program, who do not make the Feature Event.

The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Super Late Models will be joined by the Spears Modified Series, as well as the Pro Late Models for a huge weekend at the speedway. The Pro Late Models will race for a $10,000 payday. The purse for the Modifieds will be announced soon.

Celebrating its twentieth season in 2020, the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is a regional stock car series competing on paved ovals in the southwestern portion of the U.S. “The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series…Where the Champions Race”.

Photo Credit TMI #21: J. Scott Read Photography
Photo Credit Black #21: Kyler Hope, Speed51.com