For Immediate Release: SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Media
Bakersfield, CA – Austin Thom has an ambitious schedule over the next several months, heading to some of the biggest races in the country over that time period. The Dundee, OR driver will begin that journey at the $10,000-to-win “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – Get It Hot 75” at Kern County Raceway on June 26th. Round #6 of the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series will feature a unique format with Qualifying, Qualifying Heat Races and a chance for the top eight qualifiers to start shotgun on the field for a chance at an additional $10,000 payday in the Feature Event. A win for Thom would be the continuation of his momentum from his Northwest Super Late Model Series victory at South Sound Speedway on June 5th.
Thom, and the Austin Thom / HossPower Racing Team, will start their busy schedule at Kern County Raceway (CA), then head to South Sound Speedway on July 3rd for a Super Late Model 100-lapper. They will then travel halfway across the country to Slinger Super Speedway (WI) for the “Slinger Nationals 200” on July 6th, at the track billed as the fastest ¼-mile oval in the country. They will then head to Anderson Speedway (IN), another tight ¼-mile track, for the “Redbud 400” and a possible $15,000 payday on July 12th. From there, they will head to the “Summer Showdown” at Evergreen Speedway (WA) chasing $25,000. A return trip to South Sound Speedway, for the South Sound 200, will bookend their excursion on August 7th, looking for their second Northwest Super Late Model Series win.
It all begins at Kern County Raceway, however, where Thom will make his second trip to the high-speed facility, and his fourth start in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series. Thom visited Kern County Raceway in March, running in the Winter Showdown 150”. He qualified 16th and finished 11th in the event, leaving the facility with an appreciation for the track.
“The facility is very professional and high end”, Thom recalled. “The track is fast, a place when you get out of the car you can’t stop smiling. The level of competition there was almost overwhelming.”
In his three SRL starts, the 2019 South Sound Speedway Super Late Model Track Champion had finishes of 19th at the LVMS Bullring and Dirt Track, 11th at Kern County Raceway and 17th at Irwindale Speedway. Hoss, as he is known, will be looking to step it up into the top-10, in his second trip to Kern County Raceway. He knows the competition will be tough as he takes on the drivers of the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series.
“Racing against the competitors in SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series, is definitely a different level of competition”, Thom described. “It’s quite humbling to be competing for wins, to fighting to get into the top-10. There are so many good teams capable of winning every week.”
The second-generation racer flew under the radar until the 2019 season, when he had a breakout season. After taking a six-year break from racing, during his college years, Austin made a comeback, racing a Super Late Model for Jason Dickenson in the “Chilly Willy 150”. It was a season that found him behind the wheel in 32 races, with four different teams. He scored seven Super Late Model wins at two different tracks. The season included the aforementioned track championship at South Sound Speedway.
In 2020, the HossPower Team ran a limited schedule due to Covid-19. Still, he managed two starts at South Sound Speedway, winning the season finale in his Super Late Model. He made the trip to Anderson Speedway and participated in two ARCA CRA Super Series Late Model events. He finished 22nd in the “Redbud 400” after a failed oil line, and 11th in the “Tom Wood Honda 125”. He had earlier opened his season in the “Chili Willy 150” at Tucson Speedway with a fourth-place run, and a ninth at the Bullring in the “Star Nursery 150” Open Comp for Super Late Models. He completed his season in the “Retro Custom Metals 137” at “The Bullring” for the SRL.
But just two weeks ago, Thom took home his first Super Late Model touring series victory, when he came home first in the “South Sound 125” for the Northwest Super Late Model Series. The field included 2021 SRL Rookie-of-the-Year contender Kole Raz, Pacific Northwest legend Garrett Evans, Evergreen Speedway Champions Doni Wanat and Trenton Moriarity Racing, multi-track champion Dave Garber as well as co-championship leader Bryce Bezanson in the 21-car field. The win showed the team starting to gel, but Austin was ready to roll up his sleeves and get back to business on Sunday, as he described.
“It was very exciting to win my first touring division race, but after Sunday it was time to get back to work and get ready for the next race. Everyone that raced is making their cars better and faster, so we must do the same to ensure our homework is done. I think our team is starting to come together, and with the win is creating some momentum that we’d like to keep rolling for the next races to come.”
With his recent win, Thom will look for improvement at Kern County Raceway. He would love to score his first top-10 effort in the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. To achieve that result, he will also be looking for a better qualifying effort than the past three SRL events.
“A successful weekend to us would be racing inside the top-10 all weekend. (We need to) improve qualifying, and put us inside the top-10, to put us in a good spot to finish strong at the end.”
To accomplish his goals, and the upcoming Summer of Speed, Thom would like to thank those who have made this journey possible.
The June 26th $10,000-to-win “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – Get It Hot 75” will be the headline of the biggest single day race event of the year at Kern County Raceway. The special event will feature the to-the-back challenge, where any driver who qualifies into the top eight will be given the option to start in the back, for an extra $10,000-to-win. $1,000 will also be awarded to the leader at lap 27 making it possible for the winner to take home a whopping $21,000! LiUNA Local 220 will also present the biggest fireworks show in Kern County.
The full night of racing on the big ½ mile with also feature the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services, who will race for $7,600 to win, the Spears Modified Series and the BMR Drivers Academy, for a huge evening of pulse pounding entertainment. Practice for all divisions begins at 12:40 pm. Admission Gates officially open at 5:00 pm. Qualifying will begin at 5:30 pm for the Pro late Models, Modifieds, Super Late Models and finally the BMR Academy. The Super Late Models will compete in three 10-lap Heat Races, to set the feature line-up. The fastest eight will redraw for their starting positions in their “Heat”, while the “Even” and “Odd” Heats will start straight-up.
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”.