Bakersfield, CA – Dylan Lupton has been looking for a win in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series since 2018. He has come close on several occasions, in his 14 career starts, but late race handling issues have caused him to come up just short. On June 26th, Lupton will have another opportunity to win at a facility that has proven friendly to the Elk Grove, CA driver. That next event is the “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – Get It Hot 75” at Kern County Raceway (CA). The win would pay $10,000, with the possibility of increasing that number to $21,000 at the end of the day.
Lupton has concentrated his efforts in the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series on the ½-miles that the series visits. 11 of his 14 starts have been at Kern County Raceway, or the site of his 2011 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series participation, Irwindale Speedway (CA). Lupton has been fast on multiple occasions on the big tracks, earning the Performance Friction Brakes “Zero Drag Fast Time Award” on three occasions. One of the lone exceptions was at the April race at Irwindale. He finished 19th in that event after qualifying 18th in the 29-car field. It was a shocking contrast to his earlier efforts.
“Irwindale definitely wasn’t a good race for us”, Lupton explained. “We experimented a little bit and couldn’t find speed. Unfortunately, it was a little too late to switch everything back over to what we usually run there. As for Kern (County Raceway), I feel like our last two races there have been solid with a second and third place finish. We just have to find a little bit more to get on the top step of that podium.”
Lupton has been a part-time competitor on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series over the last couple of seasons. In his last nine starts he has a top-five and four top-10’s racing for DGR Crosley Racing. His accolades also include two ARCA Menards West Series victories, as well as its championship runner-up finish in 2014. His lone ARCA Menards National Series start, in 2020, resulted in a fourth-place finish. He is also coming off a second-place finish at Sanoma Raceway (CA), in the ARCA Menards West Series. He finished runner-up to NASCAR Cup Series star Chase Brisco.
But Lupton’s strong finish at Sonoma’s Road Course is not expected to pay dividends at Kern County Raceway’s fast half-mile.
“Honestly, my run at Sonoma won’t really affect our SRL effort at Kern”, Lupton reiterated. “It was nice to be able to run in the ARCA Series at Sonoma again. That is one of my favorite tracks in the country, but there’s not much I can apply to Kern from that race.”
In addition to his SRL schedule in 2021, Lupton participated in the BMR Racing Drivers Academy events at Thunder Hill Raceway Park (CA). There he won both events, beating 2019 SRL Champion Cole Moore, who has won 10 of 14 season events. For Lupton, the road courses seem to be an area of strength, as he also has a ninth-place finish in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The Lupton Excavation driver will now turn his attention from the road courses to the 1/2-mile at Kern County Raceway, with his family-run racing team. Lupton made the switch to his own team, during the 2019 season, and has been running events, as the driver and team members have time. He is proud of the efforts his team has dedicated to the program, especially because of their jobs outside of racing.
“We have been running our own program, built up of friends and family for the last year a half now”, Lupton described. “Everyone on our crew has full time jobs outside of racing, and work on the car during the weekends. It’s definitely tough, but I’m so proud of the time and effort my guys put in, to make it possible for us to race. Also, during most race weekends, Butch and Johnny VanDoorn lend us support at the track, and that has been a huge help.”
With the competition he will face in the SRL, Lupton knows they will need to have a car that is not only fast in qualifying, but one that is strong on the long runs. In the past, he has run up front during the first portion of the race, but has fallen off late. He feels getting his Super Late Model to maintain speed will be a priority at Kern.
“I think our biggest hurdle is to find a good balance late in the run at Kern” Lupton speculated. “We seem to always trend to the tight side, and it hurts us in the closing laps.”
Lupton will no-doubt be one of the competitors to watch at Kern County Raceway. With 25 Super Late Models expected, there will be plenty of strong competition. He knows he will have to beat championship leading drivers such as Derek Thorn, Buddy Shepherd, Jacob Gomes and Kole Raz, as well as Kern County Raceway front runners such as Christian McGhee, Cole Moore, Blaine Rocha, and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway championship contender Kyle Neveau, with others also thrown in the mix.
Lupton is thankful to his team and sponsors for the opportunity to compete next weekend.
“I want to give a big thank you to Lupton Excavation, VanDoorn Chassis, and an especially big thank you to my crew guys: Mark, Clark, Shawn, Markie, Adam, and my dad.”
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 be on hand to 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. Over 20 Pro Late Models are already expected. The Spears Modified Series and the BMR Drivers Academy will join the action 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.
For those unable to attend, catch all the action LIVE at www.SpearsRacing.TV. The event will also air on MAVTV at a time and date to be announced later.
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”.