Bakersfield, CA – Keith Spangler is a name synonymous with the Southwest Tour, participating in 126 starts with the NASCAR Elite Division Southwest Tour and 108 in the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series. He has 36 “Tour” series starts at Irwindale Speedway, with 20 in the SRL. The track is one of his favorites and is the location of the most memorable “Tour” race of his long career behind the wheel. On November 12th, the Porter Ranch, CA driver will look to add to his memories at Irwindale and possibly replace his best memory with a new one, and his first Southwest Tour Series win in the “2022 Spears Southwest Tour Series Finale – Prelude to the Showdown 100”.
In 1999, Spangler made his first start at Irwindale Speedway. It was the first time that the NASCAR “Tour” had visited the ½-mile facility in its’ inaugural season. At that point, he was already a veteran of the “Tour”, having participated in the series since 1992. He just missed the Rookie-of-the-Year title in 1993, finishing second to fellow Saugus Speedway star Will Harper, while coming home sixth overall. Spangler had struggled early that season, as his best finish was 18th entering Round #6 of the 1999 schedule. The then 29-year-old driver qualified an unspectacular 27th, but at the end of the night, it was a new record for the NASCAR Series, as Spangler recalled the “Food 4 Less 100” and his near victory behind Greg Pursley.
“I think my favorite memory at Irwindale would be almost winning the first “Tour” race in 1999. I came from 27th starting to finish second. It was a great race. Man, I came as close as it gets, as it was the closest finish in “Tour” history (0.019 sec.). I was there with my dad (Loren), my friend Gabe, Dave was involved, but not there that night. What was great was that my family came, and my grandpa, who never came, was there. The finish almost gave him a heart attack.”
The strong run jump started Spanglers season, as he completed the last four events on his schedule, never finishing outside the top-10. His overall Irwindale record sees the driver of the #37 Port City Racecars Super Late Model with nine top-10 finishes. His best SRL efforts found Spangler with two sixth place runs. In Spangler’s 109th career series start, he will seek his first win and his 60th career top-10 finish. That number is only exceeded by Derek Thorn (92) and Jacob Gomes (82).
Spangler would like to thank car owner David “Homie” Mulcahy and Salted Metals for the support of his racing program. Also, a big shoutout to Glenn Davis and Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse for all their support. He would also like to thank long-time crewman Gary Quesada and Judd Grewel for helping crew his Super Late Model on the 12th.
The ”2022 Spears Southwest Tour Series Finale – Prelude to the Showdown 100” will be the first series event to be televised on MAVTV, LIVE nationally. It will pay $6,500 to the winner, thanks to the “Winner’s Bonus” from Senneker Performance. $2,500, $1,500, $1,250, and $1,000 will be paid out to the balance of the top-five. $1,000 will be paid to start the event, for those on the Spears Manufacturing Frequent Flyer Program. Spectator Gates open at 4:00 pm with Qualifying for the Spears Manufacturing Modifieds, Spears Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services and the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series Super Late Models beginning at 4:15 pm. Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 5:30 pm with the National Anthem at 5:50 pm. The command to “Start Your Engines” is scheduled for 6:00 pm, with the Main Events to follow.
Celebrating its twenty-second season in 2022, 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”.