Bakersfield, CA – Keith Spangler was a full-time competitor on the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series, as well as on the former NASCAR Southwest Tour Series. His starts are not as frequent as they once were, but whenever Keith arrives at the track, everyone knows he will give his best effort. He is perennially in contention for the Coleman Powersports “Hard Charger Award”, and despite his limited budget, will race the competition hard to get all he can out of his Super Late Model. Spangler will make his fourth SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series appearance of the season at Irwindale Speedway on July 17th, in the “SaltedMetals Architectural Metals Design And Consulting 100 presented by Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse San Dimas”. It will be career start #103, a total he shares with Derek Thorn.
The old-school racer was a NASCAR Southwest Tour Series regular for many years, racking up 126 starts with 18 top-five and 52 top-10 finishes. The driver from Porter Ranch, CA was instrumental in the SRL’s first decade, as one of the first NASCAR Series drivers to migrate over to support the SRL, when NASCAR closed the “Tours” at the end of 2006. He had four SRL starts in 2006, in the series sixth season. It was a positive sign for the other teams on the NASCAR side, and led the way for several big teams joining the series in the ensuing years.
The five-time Saugus Speedway Super Late Model winner became one of the pillars of the SRL series, accumulating 56 top-ten finishes. With that number, he sits behind only Derek Thorn and Jacob Gomes and is tied with Jim Pettit II. The popular veteran racer will be looking to break that tie next weekend, when he makes his 32nd Southwest Tour Series start at the ½-mile multi-groove oval. 16 of those starts were in the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series, with seven top-10’s.
Spangler has been on the verge of getting that number, scoring top-15 finishes in fields of 27 and 29 Super Late Models at Kern County Raceway Park and Irwindale in 2021. But the number Spangler would really like to get is the number one. He has been searching for his first Southwest Tour Series win since 1992, and has finished in the runner-up position on multiple occasions. It is an accomplishment that is at the top of his wish list, as Spangler recently stated.
“I have been close a few times, but to not be able to win makes it one of my bucket list items to do, before hanging up my diver’s shoes. To get an SRL win is on the top of my list. I would give away all my 100 starts, to get a SRL win. I would do it in a second.”
Can Spangler pull off the feat, against some of the best Super Late Model racers on the West Coast? If he does, he has a laundry list of people to thank for all the support he has received over the years, and he would certainly like to dedicate the win to the memory of his father Loren.
“First and foremost, I’d like to thank my father (Loren), because he was with me when I first started back in the Saugus (Speedway) days”, Spangler told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “He was helping me until about four or five years ago, when he had medical issues. I would really like to thank by good friend Homie (David Nava Mulcahy) and Salted Metals for their support all of these years. I would also like to thank Port City Racecars, Spangler Racing, and the guys who help me out at each event. I couldn’t do it without them.”
The “Salted Metals 100 presented by Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse” will see the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series visit Irwindale Speedway for the 21st-time its history. $10,000 will be on the line for the winner, thanks to Salted Metals and David Mulcahy. The Spears Modified Series as well as the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services will also be on the card for the weekend. Irwindale Speedway’s NASCAR LKQ Pick Your Part Pro Late Models will be on hand as well as the wild and crazy MINI VAN DEMOLITION DERBY. Admission Gates open at 4:00 pm (PST) with Qualifying for the Pro Late Models, Modifieds and Super Late Models immediately following. The Irwindale Speedway LKQ Pro Late Models will then run their first of two features. An On-track autograph session is scheduled for 5:45 pm with Main Events kicking off at 7:00 pm.
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”.