Austin Herzog has announced his entry into to the “SPEARS Southwest Tour 125 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM” on September 28th at Madera Speedway. Herzog is currently the championship leader for the Overall Pro Late Model Title, and is the runner-up in the televised Nut Up Pro Late Model Series heading into round eight of the nine scheduled events at Madera. Herzog led those championship standings into July, but a disastrous 19th place finish, in round number six, knocked him out of the championship lead, and into a catchup mode. Austin is the most recent winner of the track’s regular Pro Late Model Division, scoring a victory over perennial Champion Matt Erickson on Friday night.
On September 28th, Herzog will bring his Charlie Wilson Motorsports, VanDoorn Racing Development Chassis Super Late Model to Madera, hoping to improve upon his SPEARS Southwest Tour finish back in June. The young driver came up one position short, to four-time SRL Champion Derek Thorn.
“I’m hoping for a win”, Herzog told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “We were super close the last time we ran the series at Madera, coming in second.”
The now, 17-year-old driver, has more laps at Madera Speedway than most of the SRL regulars. He has six Junior Late Model victories, a number only surpassed by 2019 SRL Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Jesse Love. He now has six victories in the Pro Late Model Division, in 2019 alone. But Herzog knows that his track knowledge will be balanced out by the Touring Series stars experience in a Super Late Model.
Super Late Models are not a complete unknown to the rising star, however. Herzog set Fast Time at the 2018 Senator’s Cup at the Bullring @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and finished second to 2018 SRL Champion Jeremy Doss. A post-race infraction set him back, but his skill behind the wheel did not go unnoticed. He has two starts, in the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway, with a best finish of 14th. Those go along with his three SPEARS Southwest Tour Series championship event starts.
“Running the SRL car is a whole different animal compared to the Pro Late Model”, Herzog assessed. “You can be more aggressive with the car, and still keep up the speed.”
When Herzog enters a SPEARS Southwest Tour Series event, he knows he will be racing against some of the best drivers on the west coast. It is a challenge he looks forward to, but there is one driver that he especially looks forward to competing against. A driver that he hopes to learn from, each time he races against him.
“I look forward to racing with Derek Thorn”, Herzog volunteered. “I’ve watched him drive every time I’ve watched the SRL, to see what’s different from him to the other drivers.”
Herzog is looking to participate in some big events at season’s end, but looking ahead to 2020, the young driver would love to put together a run for the Rookie-of-the-Year Award in the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series.
Herzog stated, “My goals for 2020 are all depended on funding. If I had the funding, I’d love to run SRL full time.”
As September 28th approaches, Austin will certainly be a contender for the $5,000 winner’s prize, thanks to the “Winner’s Bonus” sponsored by McGunegill Engine Performance. To make that quest come to fruition, Austin is supported by a group of sponsors that help him and his team make it to the track, each and every week.
“I’d like to thank Richard Herzog Construction, WDF Concrete, Superior Doors, Castech Pest Services, Vandoorn Racing Development, Wilson Motorsports and my awesome crew.”
The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series will be joined by the Spears Modified Series, Legends of the Kearney Bowl, Legends of the Pacific, Madera Hobby Stocks and Toyota Sedans. Practice on Saturday gets underway for the SPEARS Modified Series at 1:30 P.M. The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series takes to the track for practice at 2:15 P.M., followed by practice for the Local Divisions and the Legends of the Kearney Bowl.
Qualifying for the Local Divisions and Legends roll off at 4:00 P.M., with Modified Qualifying at 4:30 P.M. Heat Races, for the Local Divisions, are set for 4:45 P.M. with SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Qualifying at 5:30 P.M.
Main Events begin at 6:00 P.M. for the Toyota Sedans, Hobby Stocks and Legends of the Kearney Bowl. Opening Ceremonies are set for 7:00 P.M. Main Events for the Legends of the Pacific and the SPEARS Modified Series are up next, with the “SPEARS Southwest Tour 125 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM.” closing out the evening’s events for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Super Late Models.
Celebrating its nineteenth season in 2019, 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”.