Bakersfield, CA – Eagle, ID’s John Dillon will make the trip to Kern County Raceway for the $10,000-to-win “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – Get It Hot 75” on June 26th. It will be Dillon’s third start of the 2021 Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series season and his second at Kern in the Collins Motorsports Race Development Super Late Model. Those first two starts resulted in 26th-place finishes at both Kern and Irwindale Speedway, and the team will look for a rebound in the results column in Round #6 for the series.
“We did struggle the last two times out”, Dillon admitted. “We tried a few new things that didn’t work in the end. This series is tough for me, because it is so far away, as well as not having enough time to test because of work. Getting in a race car four to five times per year is really hard to keep up with this quality of competition.”
Dillon has 100 career starts in the NASCAR Northwest Tour Series, scoring 14 victories and a championship along the way. He also has a championship in the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series, scoring six wins in 41 career starts. Dillon was also a victor in the “Idaho 200” at Stateline Speedway Event Center . The Collins Motorsports driver will be making SRL career start number eleven. In his previous starts, his best finish has been a seventh, which he has achieved two times. The last occurrence was a strong run in the “October Classic” last Fall at Kern. The facility is one that he enjoys, but one that can be difficult to master with the car’s setup, as John explained.
“Kern is a great racetrack. It is fast, and yet different at both ends, which makes the setup a little tricky.”
The importance of setup can’t be undersold, especially at a track like Kern County Raceway. Getting the car to perform at its optimum, is at a premium importance in the SRL. With today’s technology, and the close competition in the series, the slightest miscalculations in setup can lead to less than desired results. Dillon has seen the progression of the sport over the last 20 years, and feels it is harder today to stay competitive, as a part-time participant, than in the past.
“The biggest difference between racing today versus years ago is that technology continues to improve”, Dillon opined. “I think it is harder today to be part-time, than it would have been 20-years ago. It takes a lot of test time to keep up with the top 5-7 cars, and then there is the expense of testing.”
The veteran racer has found a home with the Collins Motorsports (CMS) Team over the last several years. It is a team that has found success over the years, which at one time found the team with three consecutive SRL Rookie-of-the-Year titles with Garret Archer Racing, Parker Stephens, and Christian McGhee Racing. Jeff Oleen was also a Rookie-of-the-Year titlist for the Gary Collins led team. In addition, Collins Motorsports has fielded rides for successful drivers such as Blaine Rocha, Greg Voigt and currently fields a part-time effort for Indiana’s Cole Williams .
With a strong team and a multi-time Super Late Model touring series champion behind the wheel, the combination will be looking for another strong run at Kern. Dillon knows the task will be difficult, but it is a challenge he looks forward to, in a series that he feels is one of the best in the country.
“My impression of the SRL is that it is as competitive as any series in the U.S.”, Dillon relayed. “I think (Larry) Collins does a great job at running the show, and it has brought a lot of really top-notch competitors.”
Dillon is thankful to be headed to Bakersfield for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series event.
“I would really like to thank Gary Collins and Collins Motorsports for their help and support this weekend, as well as Dillon Toyota Lift. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”
The June 26th $10,000-to-win “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – Get It Hot 75” will be a large part 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 for qualifiers outside the top-eight.
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”.