2019 TOP TEN – Jacob Gomesadmin
2015 Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series Champion Jacob Gomes is the next driver in our countdown to this year’s champion. Gomes finished sixth in the 2019 “SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series presented by Lucas Oil” Championship Standings. Gomes came up 23 points shy of his sixth appearance in the top-five of the standings. He ended the season with two top-five and five top-10 finishes, while leading 48 laps in the nine event 2019 schedule.
One statistic, that doesn’t show up in the books, is his near victory at Kern County Raceway. The popular Manteca (CA) driver, nicknamed “Bacon Boy”, entered the final lap of the “Bulwark ‘FR 50/50 presented by SPEARS Manufacturing’s 50th Anniversary” with the overall lead in the segmented feature. But with Linny White’s last turn pass of Bob Lyon for fourth, Gomes was relegated to the runner-up position in the second segment and as well as overall.
Gomes knew the stakes going into the green-white checkered finish, but couldn’t get by Cole Moore for eventual career win number eight.
“When we got that last restart, I knew I was either going to have to get Cole, or let him go and hope Linny didn’t get around anybody. I guess he got him (Lyon) on the last lap, I just don’t know. I really thought we had it, but with those split combination races, it was a little tougher. You have got to do well in both halves. You want to do good no matter what, but changing it up with the format like that, really keeps you on your toes.”
As most drivers in the second half of the top-10, in the championship standings, Gomes was not happy with their results. His finish average of 11.8 was one of the poorest of his career. The team was good in qualifying, however. They had the third best qualifying average, in relation to the season regulars, at 7.6. In the events Gomes completed his finish average was 9.0.
“Our results were not good at all”, Gomes stated. “It was a huge struggle for the season, and we had a lot of not the best results, but we ended the year with a some-what decent points result.”
In looking ahead to 2020, the Ironman of the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series will make his 100th career start in the SRL. He will be the first driver to accomplish the feat. The Sunrise Ford sponsored All-Star Showdown will set the stage for Gomes accomplishment on February 1st at Irwindale Speedway. What makes the achievement even more remarkable is that he has not missed a start since his first event in 2009. It is a testament to the team’s resilience and fortitude over the years.
“I’m just excited to be racing still, and have the support of my dad and Dell’Osso Family Farms, Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats, with Bill Andreettaand Treva Holmes Andreetta, and Dennis and Julie B. Arbini. Without all of them, I wouldn’t have even made one start. To get to 100 is just unbelievable! I hope it can make history forever.”
As is usual for the SunnyValley Race Team, their 2020 plans are not set in stone at this point. But it appears it may be more of the same for the championship team.
Gomes began, “I’m not too sure what we are doing. We really don’t make a plan until the year starts. We are gonna be at Irwindale to make start 100, and most likely trying to run for the SRL Championship again. We are also gonna run some Pro Late Model races at Madera, that fit into our work schedule.”
To be able to participate in 100 SRL starts, it takes support from many sources. Gomes is thankful for that support.
“I would really like to thank my dad and mom, SunnyValley Smoked Meats, David’s Racing Products, Arbini Farms, Dell’Oso Family Farms, Valley Pacific Petroleum Services, Frontier Performance Lubricants, Luxor Hotel and Casino and my whole entire race team.”
The 2020 season, for the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series, will begin on February 1st, at Irwindale Speedway. The resumption of the All-Star Showdown will pay $25,000 to the winner of the 200-lap Feature Event thanks to Sunrise Ford and Bob Bruncati. 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.
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”.