ROSEVILLE TO THORNadmin
Saturday’s win was Thorn’s third career SPEARS Southwest Tour Series victory at Roseville, which extended his championship point lead to 59 points over Jim Pettit II as the series heads to The Bullring on November 17th for the season finale. Thorn, who resides in Bakersfield, will need a 14th place finish or better to secure the 2012 SPEARS Southwest Tour Series championship.
“I just can’t thank Byron and Carol Campbell enough for the opportunity to drive this car,” Thorn said from the winner’s circle Saturday night. “This car is a lot of fun to drive, Mike (Keen) and all the guys do such a great job preparing the car for every race. Tonight we had to be patient, and keep our eye on the big picture, which is the championship. But that caution fell and that let us catch up to the 16 and the 18…the car was still really good and we were able to get the win.”
After fast qualifier Zane Lovelace, Jr. drew a six invert, Pettit and Ross Strmiska led the field to the green. Pettit, looking to gain on Thorn in the championship standings jumped to the lead followed by Jacob Gomes and Strmiska. Gomes pressured Pettit early for the lead before settling in behind the Moeller Bros./HUR Engines #18 of Pettit.
The top five of Pettit, Gomes, Strmiska, Eric Schmidt, and Lovelace remained unchanged on the tight Roseville 1/3 mile for the first 47 laps of the race, until Thorn moved passed Lovelace into fifth, two laps later Thorn was by Schmidt for fourth.
During a long green flag run of 78 laps, the leaders worked their way through traffic, which was no easy task, as battles for position were taking place throughout the field.
By lap 52, Thorn had made it to the top three, but was close to a quarter of a lap behind the leader, Pettit.
When the third caution of the race was dropped on lap 105 for a spin by Jason Gilbert, the top ten were; Pettit, Gomes, Thorn, M.K. Kanke who had moved up from the eighth starting position to fourth, followed by Schmidt, Strmiska, Keith Spangler, Michael Sandoval, Tim Smith, and Cody Hodgson.
On lap 115, Thorn moved into second past Gomes, and began his charge for the lead. In turn two on lap 115, Thorn put the nose of his Four Star Fruit Ford #43 under the #18 of Pettit. One final caution would bunch the field up one final time with five to go. Thorn led the restart, followed by Pettit, Gomes, Kanke and Schmidt. Kanke and Gomes raced side by side for third, until Kanke took the position away coming to the white flag. At the checkered, it was Thorn, Pettit, Kanke, Gomes, Schmidt, Spangler, Sandoval, rookie points leader Jeff Oleen, Hodgson, and Olympia, Washington’s Jared Vorse rounding out the top ten.
Next race for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series will be the 2012 Championship Finale, “Sigma Engineering Solutions 154” on November 17th at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Where not only will the championship be on the line, but so will over $60,000 in prize money.
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About the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series: Celebrating its twelfth season in 2012, the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is a regional stock car series competing on paved ovals in the southwestern portion of the U.S. http://www.srlsouthwesttour.com. “The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series…Where the Champions Race”
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