Bakersfield, CA – Mobile, AL young gun Grant Thompson Racing will make the trip to Kern County Raceway Park this weekend for the “Sigma Performance Services 50”, for the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series. Thompson is known on the West Coast for his participation in the 2019 JR. Late Model Challenge Camp at Madera Speedway. He was selected as the winner, from a nationwide group of young drivers under the age of 16. He will return to California in a Pro Late Model prepared by Mike Naake, to take on some of the best Pro Late Model drivers on the West Coast.
“This weekend’s race at Kern County is a really big deal to me and my family”, Thompson began. “We have a very limited budget, so we want to make our opportunities count. The Spears Srl Southwest Tour and Kern County Raceway are nationally respected, high exposure programs. I follow a lot of drivers that race in the SRL Pro Late Model Series, and these guys are some of the best in the country. This will be my first race at Kern, but I am super excited to get on the track. I have watched several race videos and some in-car video from different drivers at Kern. It looks super-fast.”
At 15-years of age, Thompson has already established his name as one to watch in racing circles. Thompson was recently chosen as the #16 pick in the Speed51.com Short Track Draft. In 2020, Grant won two track championships, one at Five Flags Speedway in the Pro-Trucks, and one at Crisp Motorsports Park in the Pro Late Model. He also finished as the Allen Turner Pro Late Model Championship Runner-up, to Chris Davidson, also at Five Flags Speedway. 2019 found Thompson the Mobile International Speedway Pro Truck Champion as well as being selected to the Race Face Brand Development NEXT Class”.
2021 finds Thompson also moving into the Super Late Models ranks, competing with the TUNDRA Super Late Models Series with Casey Johnson Racing. He will also compete in a limited schedule with the Solid Rock Carrier CARS Racing Tour. He has already tasted Victory Lane in his Pro Late Model, recently winning at Polaris Mobile International, while opening the Tundra Series with a runner-up finish at Wisconsin International Raceway.
For his SPEARS Pro Late Model efforts, he will be teamed up with Mike Naake, and the Naake – Klauer Motorsports camp. Naake was a big part of the Jr Late Model Challenge Camp at Madera Speedway and the duo had plans for the 2020 season together, but the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc with those aspirations.
“I was planning to run the 2020 JR Late Model Series at Madera with Naake-Klauer Motorsports, but Corona Virus shut everything down for a while”, Thompson recalled. “When Madera did reopen, traveling from Mobile AL to Cali just didn’t work out. I really enjoy and learn a lot from Mike and his crew. I got to drive his car for the Turkey Shoot JR Late Model race at Tucson Speedway last November, and I had a blast. Mike said that Kern would be a good track for me to race at a couple of times this year with the SRL Tour.”
This weekend’s event is also a great opportunity to face one of the best drivers in the country. The #5 pick in the Speed51.com Short Track Draft belonged to championship leader Jeremy Doss Motorsports. Thompson has had the opportunity to speak with Doss and hopes to learn from the experience of racing with the 2020 Spears Modified Series Champion and 2018 SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Champion, as Thompson relates.
“Jeremy Doss is definitely a Top-5 driver in the country. I have gotten to spend a little time talking to Jeremy at Madera, and a couple of times when he has raced at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola FL. These are the drivers I like to race with. He is professional, with a lot of race experience. I watched him race at Madera one time. He ran several different lines during that race that was different than everyone else’s line, and that stuck with me. It would be cool to race Jeremy door to door.”
Not only will Grant need to adapt to racing with Jeremy Doss, but he will also have a whole new set of competitors to contend with, and a new track to learn. He is confident in his team and knows that it will be up to him to get up to speed with the competition, which will be one of his biggest challenges.
“(My biggest challenge will be) adjusting to another fast track, against a bunch of really good drivers, that know the track well. I know Mike has really good equipment, and Tony Caputo, Big John, Rob, Rick and Anthony will have the car dialed in. I just have to do my job, get out there and earn other drivers trust, race hard and see what happens.”
To make the cross-country trek, and compete with a team such as Naake-Klauer Motorsports, it takes a lot of support for the young driver. He is thankful for all who have made this opportunity come to fruition this weekend.
I definitely want to thank Rod & Carol at Race Face Brand Development, for Introducing me to Mike and his team. I can’t thank Performance Friction Brakes, KRC Power Steering and AR Bodies enough for their support. I can’t wait to drive that Pro late Model with the new Revolution Body on it! I want to thank my mom, dad and my aunts for making my racing possible, Thompson concluded.
If you are in the vicinity, come out to Kern County Raceway on June 26th to see the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series, SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services, SPEARS Modified Series, and the BMR Racing Academy at the fast 1/2-mile oval. LiUNA Local 220 will also present the largest fireworks display in Kern County. Admission Gates open at 5:00 pm with Qualifying beginning at 5:30 pm for the Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Super Late Models and finally the BMR Academy with run their second feature of the weekend. Qualifying Heats for the Super Late Models begin at 7:30 pm, followed by the feature events for the SPEARS Modifieds, Pro Late Models, and a Fireworks display. The final event of the evening will be the $10,000-to-win “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – Get It Hot 75” for the Super Late Models
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”.
PC: Naake-Klauer Motorsports