Kole Raz has 30,000 Reasons to Start Off His SRL Rookie Campaign in Victory Laneadmin
In 2020, Kole Raz got his first start in the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series, at the “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame” at Irwindale Speedway. Raz will make his second series start, and kick off his Rookie-of-the-Year effort at the same event on February 6th. In that event, the Oswego, OR driver finished a disappointing 25th, driving his brother Gracin’s Super Late Model. Rear end issues ended his night early, after only 19 of 200 laps. This year he will be driving a Super Late Model for TMI – Tucson Motorsports Inc. and Sigma Performance Services (SPS). TMI Motorsports is the same team that brought the 17-year old two consecutive NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series State of Arizona Championships, as well as the 2020 Tucson Speedway Track Championship.
Raz is confident in his team, and will be looking for an improvement over last year’s result. The SPS team has looked strong over the last several months of the 2020 season, with teammate Brandon Farrington and Preston Peltier both showing good speed. Now it will be Raz’s turn to see what he can do in his new FURY Race Cars Chassis Super Late Model, prepared by SPS, as he approaches the $30,000-to-win event.
“I’ve had a lot of different thoughts throughout the last few months headed into this race”, Raz admitted. “Once we finalized the deal with SPS, I just couldn’t help but not be excited. I felt like we got cut short on our efforts last year at this race, where we broke on lap 19. I am going in looking for redemption.”
Raz has racked up eight wins in 21 starts, in the NASCAR Regional window, at Tucson Speedway over the last two seasons. He finished third in the 2020 Chilly Willy 150 behind Peltier and Mark Neff. He also scored another third place run at the “Neal Newberry 125” at the Wenatchee Valley Super-Oval. The Northwest Super Late Model Series event attracted a field of 30 Super Late Models, where Raz finished behind his brother Gracin Dean Raz and Doni Wanat. In 2019 Raz scored a top-five in the “Mark Galloway 150” at the Evergreen Speedway’s 5/8-mile facility, showing his acumen at the larger tracks.
But heading into the “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200”, Raz will be looking for the biggest win of his young career. A strong field of SRL regulars, along with Super Late Model stars from outside the region, will all have their eyes on the big payday. It will be a chance for Raz to see where he stacks up with the competition, where he will be looking for the ultimate success.
“A successful weekend would be loading the car up with $30,000 and a trophy”, Raz declared. “We have a lot we can learn and build on throughout this year. But the team has put a lot of work into these cars and now it’s time to go prove we can run up front with these guys.”
The opportunity he has been given, as a result of his talent, has not been lost on the youthful competitor. He is thankful for each of those who have had a hand in getting him to this point in his career, and to those who will be assisting him throughout the 2021 season.
“A big thank you goes out to Brad Corneliusen and Joan Corneliusen”, Raz began. “They have been a big part of my career, over the past few years and I’m excited to continue that relationship. I want to thank Jim Parker Sr, Dustin Ash, Ken Ash, Chris Pulliam and especially Joe Farré’ for building this team at SPS. I’d like to thank Tim Huddleston, and everyone at Irwindale Speedway, for hosting this prestigious event once again. I’m ready to kick it off!”
With the help of Bob Bruncati and the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, the 2021 “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200” will pay $30,000 to the winner of the 200-lap feature event at Irwindale Speedway. The Spears Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services, as well as the Spears Modified Series will join the action, racing for $15,000 and $5,000 respectively. An optional Test Day is slated for Thursday, with the official Practice Day getting underway on Friday.
Saturday, Race Day, will see the Super Late Models practice from 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM, with Qualifying for all divisions beginning at 2:30 PM. The Modifieds will go first followed by the Pro Late Models and Super Late Models. Opening Ceremonies are slated for 4:30 PM, with “B”-Main Events set for 5:00 PM. The “Pro Late Model Showdown 150”, “Modified All-Star Showdown 100”, and the “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200” will follow. The Modifieds and Pro Late Models are scheduled for the inner 1/3-mile oval, while the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will see action on the ½-mile.
For those unable to attend, the event will be shown live at www.SpearsRacing.TV and on a delayed basis on MAVTV.
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”.
PC: Michele Martin, Sigma Performance Services