Rookie-of-the-Year Challenger – Jace Hansenadmin
It was a pleasant surprise, when Jace Hansen entered the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series Rookie-of-the-Year competition in 2019. Not because of his racing background or accomplishments, but because of the distance he is required to travel to each event. Hansen, from Greeley, CO will traverse a minimum of 800 miles, one-way, to participate in each SRL event in 2019. The two-time Super Late Model Championship Runner-up, at Colorado National Speedway (CNS), got off to an impressive start, by scoring Rookie-of-the-Race honors in each of the first two events. A setback at Las Vegas, however, dropped him to second in the rookie standings, entering Round #4 of the SRL season.
On June 8th, he will look to overcome that setback, as his encounters with the SRL competitors are a challenge that Hansen looks forward to. With the tough competition, it is an opportunity for Jace and the team to improve their racing program.
“We have really enjoyed the challenge of racing with the SRL guys, we learn every time we are out there and it’s just a fun group to race with”, Hansen commented. “Running with the SRL has really made us step up our program, both at the track, and in the shop. This group is super competitive, and you have to be on your ‘A’ game every time you run with them.”
The five-time Super Late Model winner at CNS (in 2016 & 2017), scored a seventh-place finish to open his rookie campaign at Irwindale Speedway. He followed it up with a sixth at ALL AMERICAN SPEEDWAY – ROSEVILLE CA, but stop number three, at the Bullring @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, led to struggles. The team struggled for speed all weekend, and then had motor troubles in final practice. The team had to go to the back-up car for qualifying, but turned the 12th fastest lap, of 30 qualifiers, with no practice in the car. Unfortunately, radio and communication issues ultimately led to a 22nd place effort, with Hansen slipping to second in the rookie battle, and to seventh in the overall standings.
“We are pleased with our results so far, but we are always looking to improve”, Hansen told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “I’m pretty confident that we would have had another top 10 in Vegas, if it wasn’t for our mishap at the break. Hopefully we can start turning the top 10’s into top 5’s here soon.”
Hansen will now look to tackle the one-third mile oval at Madera Speedway, in the “SPEARS Southwest Tour 125 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM”, on June 8th. It will be Hansen’s first trip to the “Fastest One-Third Mile Oval in the West”, and he is looking forward to the close racing that the facility provides.
“I’m excited to make it out to Madera”, Hansen exclaimed! “I had a lot of fun at Roseville (All American Speedway) and the racing on a little bullring is always fun. From what I have heard, there is a lot of side by side racing there, and I’m looking forward to that!”
Over the last two seasons Hansen has done more travelling in the JE-CO Inc., West Weld Mechanical sponsored Chevy. Hansen has travelled to the last two Chilly Willy 150’s finishing 4th and 8th. In last year’s Summer Showdown, at Evergreen Speedway, he came home 7th in the 41-car field. Jace has also made the trip to the Winter Showdown, at Kern County Raceway, finishing 11th and 19th over the last two seasons.
To make those trips out west, and participate in the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series, it takes a lot of support from his friend and car owner Jim Egli.
“I can’t thank Jim Egli enough for everything he does for this race team”, Hansen proclaimed. “He puts a ton of effort into supplying us with everything we need to run up front. Without him, I would be watching races from the stands!”
On June 8th, the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will run 125 laps in the “SPEARS Southwest Tour 125 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM” in an event televised nationally on MAVTV, on a taped delayed basis. They will be joined by the Spears Modified Series presented by Lucas Oil, the Legends of the Kearney Bowl, and the Madera Speedway Hobby Stocks for a can’t miss night of racing. With a good finish, Jace will try to take the Rookie-of-the-Year lead back, and catapult himself back into the top-5 in the championship standings.
This year’s rookie winner will receive a ROTY package that includes a 55-gallon drum of race fuel from Sunoco, a set of tires from Hoosier Tire West, a $1,500 certificate from VDL Fuel Systems, a 3/4 Wrap from Wrapped Graphics and a FLUIDYNE High Performance Cooling Module. The estimated value of this year’s package is in excess of $4,000.
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”.