Over the last month we have counted down the top-10 in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Championship Standings. Former champions and Rookie of the Year winners were among those included. We now reach the top of the heap where we find a former Rookie of the Year who hopes to become a champion. The driver that tops the list at the two-third mark of the season is Granite Bay’s Cole Moore.

Moore got the 2019 season off to a slow start with a 15th place effort at Irwindale Speedway, but has been consistently strong since then. His only non-top-five effort since then, was a sixth-place finish at the Bullring @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He had fourth-place efforts at ALL AMERICAN SPEEDWAY – ROSEVILLE CA and Madera Speedway to go along with third-place results at Irwindale Speedway and Kern County Raceway.

Even with those finishes, the former Motocross star feels his season could have been even more consistent.

“Well the season I have had has been quite up and down, but fortunately it is at its high point as of now”, Moore told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “We started off with a DNF, but since then we have been extremely consistent, and that has put me in the position I am in, with the points lead.”

Moore has been fast in the past, exhibiting near domination during the 2018 Pacific Challenge Series schedule. Moore won three of seven races, but mechanical failures cost him two potential wins while leading. With those issues, Moore still finished third in the overall standings. In contrast, Moore finished every event in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series last season, to come away with the Rookie of the Year Award and a fourth place in the championship standings.

It is that type of consistency than Moore and his team have been concentrating on this season. It is a show of maturity, for the 23-year-old driver, who is only in his fifth season of stockcar racing.

“The focus this year, as you mentioned, has simply been consistency”, Moore began. “There have been points throughout the year, where I have reminded myself that I am racing for a championship, and need to exercise the patience and maturity that goes along with that. Besides that, we have continued to work on speed, which has put us in a place to fight for wins and podiums.”

The younger Moore has learned a valuable lesson from his father John Moore, a former Pacific Challenge Series Champion. John currently holds the record for finishing percentage, with only one DNF in 24 career starts. The recent Sacramento State University Graduate is on the same path, with only one DNF in 21 career SRL starts, He sits in a tie for third, with Jim Courage Jr., on that all-time list (minimum 10 starts). But Cole knows it will take more than just finishing to win the title.

“To bring home the championship, I believe we need to continue to finish in the top 3 in these last few races”, Moore suggested. “Ultimately, I know that Linny (White) has been really fast, and they will be up there too. We basically just can’t let him beat us.”

Looking at the competition for the championship, Moore has his sights set squarely on Linny White, as his biggest competition, at this point of the season. White has a win and three consecutive top-three finishes, to close out the first two-thirds of the season. He sits only 39 points behind the championship leader.

Moore described his thoughts, “Linny White is definitely my biggest concern at this point in the season. Not to take away from drivers such as Jacob Gomes and Tyler Fabozzi, but Linny has consistently been a threat for wins, and I don’t expect him to let up in these last three races. With that being said, the 20 team has only been improving and getting faster, so I believe we are in a very good place coming down to the wire, here in the championship.”

Despite leading the 2019 SRL Championship Standings, there is also another goal that Moore would like to achieve this season. He has yet to score a SPEARS Southwest Tour Series victory, despite coming close on several occasions. At Kern County Raceway, earlier this season, he won the second segment of the event, but finished third overall. The event combined both segments finishes, to determine the overall winner. In 2018, Moore finished second in the “$10,000-to-Win Retro Custom Metals 150″ at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He led 58 laps in that event.

“I am most definitely eager to get my first win. I have been very close a number of times, but as mentioned, the competition is very deep, and we haven’t had the cards dealt in our favor for a win quite yet. With how the year has been going though, I do see a win coming very soon for our team”, Moore surmised.

To put together a championship season, it takes a team effort, and a lot support from crew, sponsors and family. For the opportunity that Moore has been given, he is very thankful for those who have supported him.

“I would like to thank my dad (John Moore) and JM ENVIRONMENTAL, INC.”, Cole stated. “Also, I’d like to say thanks to JM Racing, Berco Redwood Inc. / Berry Lumber Inc., Wiley X, FURY Race Cars, Hamner Racing Engines, Thryv, my Crew Chief Mario Isola and everyone else who plays a role on our team.”

Celebrating its nineteenth season in 2019, 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”.