After Two Attempts, Owen Riddle Looks to Make His First All-Star Showdown Start a Successadmin
When it comes to heavy hitters in the Pacific Northwest, the name Owen Riddle is one of the first names to come to mind. The Naches, WA driver would like to add to his impressive resume, as the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series heads to Irwindale Speedway for the “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame” on February 6th. The $30,000 to win Feature Event will start 36 of the finest Super Late Model racers in the west, in addition to several drivers making the long haul from the center and eastern portions of the country.
Riddle was scheduled to participate in this event in 2020, but an illness in the family prevented his attendance. Another misfortune prevented him from racing in the 2011 version of the All-Star Showdown, when bad luck reared its ugly head, in the final practice session before the event.
“I actually attempted to compete in the 2011, at the then the Toyota All-Star Showdown, but was involved in a final practice crash that ended our day”, Riddle recalled. “Other than those few laps a decade ago, Irwindale is a whole new track for us.”
Despite Riddles lack of track-time at Irwindale, he will be able to lean on his brother Tayler’s experience from the 2020 version of the event. Tayler was able to make the trip last year and finished third, before a slight weight miscalculation cost him the position. But with Tayler’s experience at the progressively banked ½-mile, Owen is hopeful to have a good baseline setup, as he heads to the facility for the first time in a decade.
“Tayler and I have talked about how last year went, and what he experienced at Irwindale”, Owen described. “I feel I have a good place to start, going into the event.”
With Riddle’s successes in the Pacific Northwest, it shouldn’t take the team to long to find speed. Owen is a three-time winner of the “Montana 200” at Montana Raceway Park (MT). He also has victories in the “Chilly Willy 150” at Tucson Speedway (AZ), the “Mark Galloway 150” at Evergreen Speedway (WA) and is a three-time winner on the Northwest Super Late Model Series, in only 12 starts. Owen also broke through with a win in the “Fall Classic” at Yakima Speedway in 2017, after several years of trying. That season he made his one and only start in the ARCA Menards West Series, coming home eighth.
The four-time Spokane Super Oval (WA) Super Late Model Track Champion will not be new to the SRL, as he will be making his second start in SPEARS Southwest Tour Series competition. Last November he made the tow to the $10,000-to-win “Retro Custom Metals 137” at the LVMS Bullring and Dirt Track. Riddle missed it a little in qualifying, coming home 17th in the field of 42. But the veteran racer patiently worked his way forward, towards the front, finishing in the fifth position after running as high as second. It was a satisfying result for Riddle in his VanDoorn Racing Development Super Late Model.
“Our first SRL race in Vegas was a lot of fun”, Riddle described. “The series provided strong competition and great racing and I look for Irwindale to be the same way. 17th definitely wasn’t where we wanted to start. However, I was pleased with our finish. We went into the race wanting to be competitive, and I think we accomplished that. I think that likewise, Irwindale should be a great event.”
Riddle just recently confirmed that he and his team will be able to make the 1,000-mile plus haul to Irwindale. It is only with the support of his family, crew, and sponsors, that he and his brother Tayler are able to make the journey to the star-studded event, at Irwindale.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without the help of my parents and Don Riddle Excavating”, Riddle stated. “We have great people like Jim’s Hay and Dukes Equipment that really help us out. I’d also like to thank VanDoorn Racing Development for their help and support.”
With the help of Bob Bruncati and the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, the 2021 “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200” will pay $30,000 to the winner of the 200-lap feature event at Irwindale Speedway. The Spears Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services, as well as the Spears Modified Series will join the action, racing for $15,000 and $5,000, respectively. An optional Test Day is slated for Thursday, with the official Practice Day getting underway on Friday.
Saturday will see the Super Late Models practice from 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM, with Qualifying for all divisions beginning at 2:30 PM. The Modifieds will go first followed by the Pro Late Models and Super Late Models. Opening Ceremonies are slated for 4:30 PM, with “B”-Main Events set for 5:00 PM. The “Pro Late Model Showdown 150”, “Modified All-Star Showdown 100”, and the “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200” will follow. The Modifieds and Pro Late Models are scheduled for the inner 1/3-mile oval, while the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will see action on the ½-mile.
For those unable to attend, the event will be shown live at www.SpearsRacing.TV and on a delayed basis on MAVTV.
Celebrating its twenty-first season in 2021, 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”.