Derek Thorn Wins 2012 SUNOCO Driven Challenge

Derek Thorn Wins 2012 SUNOCO Driven Challenge

Derek and Coach GibbsBakersfield, CA – At the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series season finale held at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lakeport, California’s Derek Thorn drove to a third place finish to secure both the SUNOCO Driven Challenge and the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series championships.

Thorn, who began racing at age 8, now at age 26 and in his third full season on the SPEARS Southwest Tour put up impressive numbers in route to his series and SUNOCO Driven Challenge titles. For 2012, Thorn lead a SPEARS Southwest Tour Series high of 546 out of 1275 laps run, with five fast times, six wins and an unbelievable 2.2 average finish on the year.

“This has been a phenomenal year,” the elated Thorn said from The Bullring winner’s circle. “It’s the people around you that put you in a position to be successful. Byron Campbell (team owner) and Mike Keen (crew chief) did it the right way, they brought together a great group of people along with great equipment.”

Joe Gibbs Racing and Sunoco teamed up in 2012 to launch the “Sunoco Driven Challenge” to award the top ranked driver from five of the nation’s top short track series a test with Joe Gibbs Racing. The SUNOCO Driven Challenge national points structure was formulated to create one national champion from the following series; PASS North, PASS South, ARCA/CRA Super Series, ARCA Midwest Tour and the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series.

“Winning the SUNOCO Driven Challenge is a great opportunity,” commented Thorn. “I’m really looking forward to the test next month with JGR and meeting J.D. Gibbs and the rest of the team who I’ll be working with at Gresham (Motorsports Park). It’s pretty incredible that someone from a small town like Lakeport (CA) can get an opportunity like this, I feel very fortunate.”

Thorn will travel to Huntersville, NC, to tour the JGR headquarters and then travel to Gresham Motorsports Park, in Jefferson, Georgia for the December 12th test.