RIDDLE BROTHERS TO MAKE SRL DEBUTadmin
Owen Riddle and Tayler Riddle have gained themselves a winning reputation in the Northwestern portion of the country. The brothers have won big races throughout the region, and have even stepped out to portions of the southwest, and won as well. The next hurdle, that the Riddle’s will attempt, is a showdown with the Spears Srl Southwest TourSeries, in the $25,000-to-win “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame” at Irwindale Speedway. The February 1st event will be the duo’s first attempt at a SPEARS Southwest Tour Series championship event.
Both brothers, from Naches, WA are looking forward to their debuts, at both Irwindale Speedway and with the SRL. It is something they both have been anticipating for a while.
“No real reason in particular”, Owen stated. “Both Tayler and I have been wanting to run a race at Irwindale for a while now, so when this race was announced, we decided to give it a try.”
Tayler replied, “I decided to race the Showdown because Irwindale is a track I have wanted to race for a while now. With the Showdown coming back, it’s the perfect opportunity to come race at the facility, and get a chance to run with the SRL.”
Owen is the older brother, at 33 years of age. He will bring a wealth of racing experience into the event, but has competed in fewer events over the last several seasons, concentrating on his new family and home. Owen is a three-time winner of the Montana 200 at Montana Raceway Park (MT). He also has victories in the Chilly Willy 150 at Tucson Speedway (AZ), the Mark Galloway 150 at Evergreen Speedway (WA) and is a three-time winner on the Northwest Super Late Model Series, in a dozen starts. Owen also broke through with a win in the Fall Classic at Yakima Speedway in 2017. That season he made his one and only start in the NASCAR ARCA Menards West Series, coming home eighth.
On the weekly racing front, Owen possesses four Super Late Model Track Championships at Yakima Speedway (WA), and a single championship at the Spokane Super Oval (WA).
Owen has yet to make a start at Irwindale Speedway, but it is a return trip for the veteran driver. In 2011, Owen made the long tow to Irwindale Speedway for the Toyota All-Star Showdown’s Late Model program, but his weekend ended early, without starting the event.
“I actually attempted to complete in the 2011, then Toyota Showdown, but was involved in a final practice crash that ended our day”, Owen recalled. “Other than those few practice laps, a decade ago, Irwindale is a whole new track for us.”
Tayler recalled that same experience, as his only in-person exposure to the speedway, but he has also seen races from Irwindale on television and on the internet. They gave the 29-year-old driver a positive impression of the track.
“The only experience I have was in 2011”, Tayler recollected. “I came and crewed for my brother Owen, when it was the All-Star Showdown Late Model race (I believe). But a last practice incident took him out, and we weren’t able to continue on. Other than that, I’ve watched some SRL races there on YouTube, and it looks like a really fun track, and a lot of fun to race!”
Tayler is also a very successful Super Late Model racer, in his own right. The younger Riddle has five victories in the Northwest Super Late Model Series, in only 22 starts. Like his brother, he has a victory in the Chilly Willy 150 and scored a huge win in the Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. He was the winner of the prestigious Fall Classic at Yakima Speedway in 2015, beating his brother to the punch by 2 years. He made his debut in the NASCAR ARCA Menard West Series in 2017. He finished fifth, after qualifying second at Evergreen Speedway.
Tayler has also shown strength in the Montana 200. His 2017 effort netted him a second-place result behind his brother. Overall, he has four top-five finishes in six starts. In 2013, Tayler finished second in the Inland Northwest Super Stock Association standings, at Yakima Speedway. He won two of the three events that season. In 2012, Tayler found Victory Lane in his only two starts at Evergreen Speedway.
Tayler has spent most of his racing career travelling to different tracks. He hasn’t gone after local track championships, like his brother possess. But those travelling experiences can help in adapting to new facilities, and help him concentrate on the competition, which will be stiff at the “Showdown”.
“The biggest challenge is of course the competition, and all the great teams an event like this attracts. But my first challenge will be working on myself, and learning the track.”
Owen, on the other hand, feels he will need to get familiar with the track, before worrying about the competition, which he knows will be formidable.
“I think our biggest challenge will be learning the track for sure, and I know the competition will be strong”, Owen anticipated. “I feel confident that everyone at VanDoorn Racing Development will help us get the car where it needs to be, so it’s going to be up to me to do my job driving.”
To get up to speed at Irwindale Speedway, the brothers will need to learn the track quickly, with only a Friday Practice Day and Saturday’s Race Day. They will rely on each other to make the process more efficient, as they both feel having a teammate will benefit their efforts.
“Both Tayler and I work well with each other everywhere we go”, Owen described. “Even though we have different driving styles, we are still able to help with information on what’s working and what’s not.”
Tayler also explained how travelling to a new track makes it more difficult for the duo. “My brother and I normally try to work together as much as possible, but with going to a new track it’s hard. We can normally bounce things off each other and get feedback off each other, but with trying to learn a new track, and going somewhere new, it’s hard.”
When it comes to their expectations for their first SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series event, they both hope to have fun, be competitive and enjoy racing with new competition.
Tayler began, “My expectations are to hopefully be competitive come race time, and have fun going to a new place, and getting to race with some different teams.”
Owen echoed his brother’s statements, “Honestly, I just want to have fun and be competitive. If we can run in the top-10, having never really been there, and with the competition level, I would be happy.”
To make the 1,065-mile trek, from Naches, WA to the southernmost SRL event of the season, the Riddle brothers were thankful for those who make the trip possible.
“We wouldn’t be able to do this without the help of our parents, and Don Riddle Excavating. Also, we have great people like Jim’s hay supplies who help out, in addition to a few other small donations from those who contribute to our program. In addition to those people, we have developed a relationship with VanDoorn Racing Development to help with chassis support ect.
Tayler was thankful for those his brother mentioned, but also wanted to give a shoutout Primary Electric, for their support of the team.
The resumption of the All-Star Showdown will pay $25,000 to the winner of the 200-lap Feature Event, thanks to Sunrise Ford’s, Bob Bruncati and Ken Clapp from the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. Over $75,000 will be paid out to the 36 starters, plus additional cash bonuses for the drivers eligible for the Spears Manufacturing Frequent Flyer Program. If needed, the Last Chance Qualifying race will pay $1,000 to those on the SPEARS Frequent Flyer Program, who do not make the Feature Event.
Celebrating its twentieth season in 2020, 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”.