RAUDMAN’S FINAL COUNTDOWNadmin
2019 will be the final full season for the Craig Raudman – Dave Reed Racing combination in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series. In Raudman’s Farewell Tour, he sits a disappointing 10th in the championship standings, after showing good speed in most of the first six events of the season. Raudman has run near the front, a majority of the season, but luck has not been on the 2001 NASCAR Southwest Tour Series Champion’s side. After qualifying into the redraw, in half of the events, Raudman has only one top-five and 2 top-10 finishes. His 4 DNF’s have been his downfall, and three flat tires have not helped his fortunes.
Raudman’s season started out on a positive note, finishing fifth and third in the split feature event at Irwindale Speedway. Despite qualifying 12th, Raudman worked his way through the field to finish third overall. The next event, at ALL AMERICAN SPEEDWAY – ROSEVILLE CA, met Raudman with misfortune, and an eventual DNF with rear end failure. At the following event, at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a flat tire killed his early race progress, sending the Cottonwood, CA driver into the turn three wall.
Entering the Madera Speedway event, Raudman was excited to return to a track at which he had a NASCAR Southwest Tour Series victory, and top-five finishes in three of the last four events.
“Madera is an awesome short track”, Raudman told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “I really like the place because of the two grooves. Where racing at a track, that actually has several grooves, it allows for some exciting racing, because you can pass there. I find that, especially at Madera, you can move around and alter or change your line, to fit how your car might be handling that night. You just don’t see that at other tracks. I can’t wait to get there.”
Raudman qualified sixth, in the 22-car field, to confirm his hopes of a strong finish. After starting seventh, following the redraw, Raudman advanced as high as second, and battled in the top-three for much of the race. Gremlins, however, would pop up once again, and send Raudman pit-side with alternator issues, and a 17th place finish.
With three consecutive DNF’s, Raudman headed to Kern County Raceway, admittedly a track at which the veteran driver has had struggles. After qualifying 13th, Raudman soldiered on to score his second top-10 finish of the season, giving him a reprieve heading to Irwindale Speedway.
At Irwindale, Raudman qualified sixth, backing up his strong finish back in April. A good draw of four had the 17-time Southwest Tour Series winner looking forward to the evening. At the drop of the green, Raudman dropped out of the top-five, but settled inside the top-10.
Misfortune struck again, however with a flat tire, a spin and another DNF for the series veteran. This time it was a 26th place finish that dropped Raudman to the bottom of the top-ten list.
Raudman and Dave Reed Racing will now head back to Madera Speedway, to open the final third of the season. Raudman will look to get back on track, at the “Fastest One-Third Mile in the West”. It is the perfect track for Raudman to get back to his winning ways. It is the perfect track for Raudman to kick-off the final three events. It is also the prefect track for Raudman to show he still has what it takes, to get the job done in SPEARS Southwest Tour Series competition.
Raudman and Reed are supported by 25-year sponsors: Approved Memory, Ringers Gloves, Peters Racing Engines and FLUIDYNE High Performance. Their 15 plus year sponsors include Lucas Oil, K&N Filters, Eibach, JDA Enterprises Inc, BRE, Coleman Powersports and Bubba’s Rear Ends.
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”.