DEFENDING SERIES CHAMPION – Cole Mooreadmin
As the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series celebrates its 20th season, we conclude our tributes to our former champions with the 2019 champ. That driver is Granite Bay, CA chauffer Cole Moore, who was able to perform two feats that no other driver in series history has achieved.
Up until 2019, only two drivers had won both the rookie-of-the-year title and the championship in the SRL. Those drivers were Jacob Gomes and Jeremy Doss. In 2019, Moore was able to become the third member of the group, but he was the first to do it in back-to-back seasons. Both Doss and Gomes had a five-year gap between the two titles, but Moore was able to grab the championship in only his second season on the “Tour”.
To achieve the 2019 championship, Moore also did something no SRL driver had ever done, win the championship without winning a race. Moore was close to several victories, finishing second at the October Classic at Kern County Raceway. The June race was also a near win, as he won the second of two segments, ultimately finishing third overall. The only blemish on his schedule was a 15th place finish, at the season opener, at Irwindale Speedway. Beyond that, his worst finish was a sixth, as he scored seven top-five finishes in the nine season events. He led the second most laps of all competitors, as his 130 laps trailed only Derek Thorn.
But heading into 2020, Moore is determined to get his first series win, and feels the team is ready to accomplish that goal, knowing that the competition will be extremely tough.
“There’s pretty much nothing holding us back from getting a win besides the high level of teams we compete against”, Moore stated. “Everything has to come together to win in this series.”
A win at any track on the series, would be special for the 2018 three-time Pacific Challenge Series winner. But winning at The New Stockton 99 Speedway would be extra special for the 23-year-old driver. Stockton was the unfortunate site of Cole’s brother’s death in 2004, which took place while practicing in a Western Late Model. Cole was only 7-years-old at the time of J.D.’s death, but it was a hard blow to the young motocross racer. A victory at Stockton would not ease the pain, but it would be meaningful for the second generation driver, as he told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series.
“For me I would love to win the race in Stockton. Obviously, that is where my brother passed away and the race will be in memory of him. So, to take that victory would be very special. To add to that, I feel like there’s nothing like winning a race in Stockton, there’s something in the air there.”
In clinching the 2019 championship, Moore became the third youngest driver to claim the honor, at the age of 23. Jeremy Doss and Jacob Gomes were both 22, at the time of their championships. Coincidentally they were the only other ROTY drivers to achieve the feat. The series has typically been dominated by veteran drivers, with no other champion under the age of 26. That ROTY drivers such as Ryan Foster, Rick Ruzbarsky, Garret Archer, Parker Stephens, Christian McGhee, and Ricky Schlick have not won championships, is a testament to the difficulty to do so in the series.
Brian Olsen has been a part of the ownership group of the SRL for over 10 years now, and has seen many young drivers progress through the series. He is impressed by the quality of young men who have come through the ranks, and Moore is no exception.
“I’ve made the statement many times over the years, the quality of young men that we’ve had come through our series is outstanding. Looking back at the ‘kids’ that have competed in the series, they’ve all showed great respect on and off the track. Cole definitely continues that tradition, and he will be a great representative of the series for many years to come.”
Olsen continued, “Don’t let his likeability and good-hearted nature fool you, because he’s also a fierce competitor. He’s had a lot of success in his short SPEARS Southwest Tour Series career, and has two ‘crowns’ that exemplify that success. The fact that he’s one of only three drivers in the series’ history to have both the ROTY and Championship, as part of their resume, is quite impressive. Even more impressive is the fact that he’s the first driver ever, to win the ROTY and Championship in back-to-back seasons.”
Winning both titles consecutively, makes the championship even more special for the driver of the JM ENVIRONMENTAL, INC. Toyota. But it gives him even more incentive to win the championship again in 2020.
“It’s an absolute honor to be an SRL champion. But you know what sounds better than champion……back to back champion, Moore exclaimed!”
To win back-to-back championships, it will be a difficult task for the personable driver. His 2019 success came down to the last event of the season, with both Linny White and Derek Thorn in close proximity. Throughout the finale at the LVMS Bullring and Dirt Track, Moore fought to stay in the championship lead. At the end of the night, Moore was able to secure the championship over White by a mere 10 points. It equated to two positions on the track. That battle, and his battle with White throughout the season, created what Moore would describe as his greatest rivalry in the series.
“I would say my biggest on-track rival would be Linny White, as of now”, Moore held. “Off the track I would call us friends for sure, but on the track, he stole a couple wins from me last year that stung, and on the contrary we just edged him out for the series title.”
Despite a rough 18th place start to the season, Moore can take solace in his 2019 season start. He recovered from a 15th place effort to win the championship, and will look for even greater success once the schedule resumes. It will be a challenge, but the Granite Bay, CA driver looks forward to the task, with a series he enjoys competing in.
“The best part about racing in the SRL, is the passion and the organization that the officials and staff put into every race”, Moore described. “I’ve said it before, it really makes you feel like you’re doing something special.”
The next event for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is an iRacing event from the simulated Irwindale Speedway. As of Friday, 40 cars were pre-entered for the “Approved Memory 125 presented by Retro Custom Metals”, which will take place on Tuesday, April 28th. Tune into Spearsracing.TV, or the series Facebook page, to see a free airing of the event. The broadcast will run from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm. It will pay $250 to the winner with a total payout of at least $1,400 for the event. Thank you to event sponsors Approved Memory, Retro Custom Metals, Meech Media Group, Delta Gunite And Shotcrete and Reeves Complete Auto Center Inc..
The next on-track event, on the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series schedule, is a trip to Roseville, CA. Last year’s event at ALL AMERICAN SPEEDWAY – ROSEVILLE CA was a thriller, with the 2020 edition promising to be just as exciting. The “JM Environmental 127 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM.” will take place on May 16th, and will pay a minimum of $7,000-to-win. A $5,000 bonus will be available to any driver who qualifies in the top eight, and elects to start in the back. If that driver wins, they will head home with a $12,000 victory. In addition, John Moore will give each driver who makes the feature race, a “black bad a** cowboy hat, made by Lonestar. It’s a hat that makes you look handsome and sexy at the same time”, commented Moore.