Bakersfield, CA – Oakdale, CA driver Blaine Rocha slotted into the number six position in the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series championship standings in 2021. Rocha has been a series regular since the second half of the 2014 season, posting 51 consecutive starts before missing the first two events of the 2020 season. He returned to full-time competition in 2021, scoring three top-five and six top-10 efforts in 10 events to rank sixth. His average finish was 10.3, while his qualifying average was a similar 10.2. He earned $11,600 for his season efforts.
Rocha’s two best efforts were at diametrically opposed facilities. He finished second at The New Stockton 99 Speedway’s tight ¼-mile in June, after battling with Derek Thorn for the win. In July, Rocha once again chased Thorn to finish runner-up at the wide open ½-mile at Irwindale Speedway. He also clicked off a top-five at ALL AMERICAN SPEEDWAY – ROSEVILLE CA coming home fourth. Rocha’s Achilles heal appeared to be at Kern County Raceway Park, where he averaged a 14th – place finish. Ironically, it was the site of his last win in the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series.
But with three DNF’s, Rocha’s most challenging issue during the season was consistency, after his slow start.
“My 2021 season had its up and downs”, Rocha explained. “It started off a little off the pace, then found some momentum through the summer. We got our new car, and finally our new engine, but our tire issues the last couple races put us behind. We have all our racecars in one peace and I’m just excited to keep racing these things, it’s so much fun! We are getting ready to head to Pensacola, for the Snowflake 100, and I’m more than ready, really pumped up for that, and I’m confident we have a good shot.”
Since the 2015 season, Rocha has finished sixth, fifth, third, tenth, eighth and after a partial 2020 season sixth in 2021, in the championship standings. He has accumulated 66 starts with two wins, 19 top-five’s and 35 top-10’s. He has 176 laps led in his career and has earned nearly $80,000 in purse money. He ranks in the top-15 in top-five qualifying efforts, with 17 such occurrences.
But the highlight of Rocha’s 2021 efforts was a trip across the country. In 2016, Rocha made the trip to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for the All American 400. He finished seventh in his debut at the speedway. This season, he teamed up with Willie Allen Racing and the W.A.R. Racing Development Team. On August 6th, he claimed the win in the Pro Late Model portion of the evening’s events. Just two weeks later, Rocha travelled to Five Flags Speedway for the first time. He once again teamed up with Allen to bring home a sixth-place finish, in the 21-car Allen Turner Pro Late Model field.
Rocha recalled his win at Nashville’s 0.596-mile oval.
“It was for sure the highlight of our season” Rocha recalled. “We work really well with Willie, and to get a win there for them was awesome. I’m hoping to do it again at the Snowflake.”
The next event for the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will be the Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown” at Irwindale Speedway, where 44 Super Late Models appeared in 2021. Blaine will have one event before the SRL season opener, as he heads to Five Flags Speedway for the “Allen Turner Snowflake 100” on Snowball Derby weekend.