Gomes and Doss to Settle Southwest Tour Series Championship at Irwindale Speedway Season Finaleadmin
Bakersfield, CA – The 2022 Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series championship will go down to the last event at Irwindale Speedway, in one of the closest battles in series history. Two former champions will battle it out in the ”2022 Spears Southwest Tour Series Finale – Prelude to the Showdown 100” on November 12th. 2009 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series National Rookie-of-the-Year Jacob Gomes enters the event with a 17-point lead over 2019 Kulwicki Driver Development Program champion Jeremy Doss (point system is based off the old NASCAR system with 180 for first and dropping to 170, 165, 160, 155, 150, 146, 142…).
Doss got the season off to a strong start, finishing fifth and second to lead the standings entering the Round #3 and the “Winter Showdown” at Kern County Raceway Park (KCRP). Gomes pulled off his second straight victory however, to take the championship lead. A third straight win found Gomes extending his championship lead to 32 points, after Doss followed him across the finish line second at Irwindale. Round #5 at KCRP found Gomes third and Doss fifth, as the lead grew to a season high 42 points. The next event at Stockton 99 Speedway found Doss in Victory Lane, with Gomes a season worst sixth, closing the gap to 12 markers. Headed to Irwindale, Doss produced a season worst sixth, as Gomes second-place run extended his lead to 27 once again. But Doss once again closed the gap winning in the October Classic at KCRP, leaving Gomes lead at 17 markers.
The two drivers have been competing against each other off and on since 2013, when Doss scored the Rookie-of-the-Year Award. Gomes earned the same award in 2010, scoring his championship in 2015. Doss evened it up in 2018, with his first title, after two runner-up results. In head-to-head competition, Doss holds the career edge, finishing in front of Gomes 29 times, with Gomes getting the edge on 17 occasions. Gomes leads the 2022 comparison five to three. Both drivers have a high degree of respect for each other, and they enjoy competing against each other, as Doss related.
“I always enjoy competing against Jacob. He’s always raced me really clean, and I’m looking forward to battling it out for the championship!”
Gomes is also looking forward to the competition with his championship rival, and feels he has a great chance to hold on to his championship lead.
“I think it’s gonna be fun (competing against Jeremy), and I think we got a da** good shot to hold the lead.”
Both drivers have had their ups and downs at Irwindale Speedway. Doss has 11 career victories in the series and is tied with M.K. Kanke for third on the all-time list. Yet he has failed to taste victory on the ½-mile in a Super Late Model. He has seven combined wins in the Spears Pro Late Model Series and Spears Modified Series but claims a second as his best in his Super Late Model. He has six top-five and seven top-10’s in eight starts, but he also had a 33rd-place finish in the 2021 “All-Star Showdown 200”. Still, Doss feels good about his chances for a victory Saturday night.
“I feel like I’ve always ran decent at Irwindale, but I still have not picked up a win there in a Super Late Model. But I feel like our chances are really good at bringing home a win. That’s all we can shoot for, and we will just have to see where that lands us in the championship.”
Gomes has 21 career SRL starts at Irwindale, scoring his first victory in May earlier this season. He has a first, second and eighth in 2022, with seven top-fives and 14 top-10’s overall. He has led 72 laps compared to 11 for Doss at Irwindale. Overall, he trails Doss by one in career victories with 10. But with his recent success and speed in 2022, Gomes feels confident in his chances for a victory number 11 this weekend.
“I think we’ve got the best shot at winning this weekend, even more than ever before”, Gomes confessed.
Both former champions will be vying to become only the third drivers in series history to become multi-time champions. Derek Thorn is the all-time leader with six, while Jim Pettit II has three in his pocket. 12 drivers hold single titles. Both drivers would love to add a second title to their resumes. The all-time starts leader would love to add his name to two of the best in West Coast Super Late Model history.
“I think it’s gonna be awesome (to win a second title), and I’m glad if I could add my name to the list of some of the greatest on the West Coast” Gomes stated. “It’s gonna be a great accomplishment, if I can pull it off.”
Doss has participated with two different teams in 2022, his own JD Motorsports team and Bob Lyon Racing. If he could bring home the championship, he would become the first champion to do so driving for two different teams. That would make the title even more special.
“It’d feel great to be able to get myself another championship with the SRL”, Doss explained. “Especially in our first year teaming up with Bob Lyon. It’d be really special.”
The ”2022 Spears Southwest Tour Series Finale – Prelude to the Showdown 100” will be the first series event to be televised on MAVTV, LIVE nationally. It will pay $6,500 to the winner thanks to the “Winner’s Bonus” from Senneker Performance. Spectator Gates open at 4:00 pm with Qualifying for the Spears Manufacturing Modifieds, Spears Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services and the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series Super Late Models beginning at 4:15 pm. Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 5:30 pm with the National Anthem at 5:50 pm. The command to “Start Your Engines” is scheduled for 6:00 pm, with the Main Events to follow.
Celebrating its twenty-second season in 2022, 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”.