Spears Manufacturing SRL Trifecta Revisits All American Speedwayadmin
Spears Manufacturing SRL Trifecta Revisits All American Speedway
Media Release: SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series
Bakersfield CA – The Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series will be joined by the Spears Modifieds and Spears Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services, for a big weekend at All American Speedway on September 18th. The trio of series will make their second appearance together at the Roseville facility, where they will compete for nearly 250 laps of Main Event action.
Headlining the show will be the Super Late Models, who will compete in the “Nut Up 125 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM”. The winner of the event could take home $8,000 for their efforts, if they beat Derek Thorn to the finish line, complements of an additional $3,000 for the Motor City Throwdown Challenge. Last May, Derek Thorn won in a thrilling race that saw Jacob Gomes leading with four laps remaining. Gomes experienced a flat tire, allowing Thorn, who was dogging the leader, to cross the line first. It was a surprising victory for Thorn and a bitter disappointment for the 2015 SRL Champion. So much so, Thorn could feel his closest competitor’s pain, as he looks forward to this weekend.
“The last time at Roseville, Gomes came so close to getting the win”, Thorn recalled. “I felt so bad for those guys. Roseville is tough to pass, and things happen quick. We will try to make the most of it, and try to make all the laps, and hope we have a fighting chance at it, when it counts.”
For Gomes it was certainly a heartbreak, but it gave the Manteca, CA driver motivation to come back even stronger at the 1/3-mile facility, searching for his first victory of the season.
“I’m more ready than ever and I can’t wait to get there and get it done”, Gomes exclaimed. “I’ve been close so many times. I won’t be able to sleep this Winter if I can’t get a win in, in these next two races.”
Sitting just behind Gomes in the championship standings is the leading Rookie-of-the-Year (ROTY) competitor, Buddy Shepherd. Shepherd led 78 laps in May’s event, after swapping the lead with Derek Thorn multiple times. Contact between Thorn and Shepherd, with the rookie driver leading the way, led to a pit stop to repair damage. It relegated Shepherd to the runner-up position, after driving through the field. His strong run has raised the expectations for the one-time series winner.
“I’m super amped up to head back to Roseville this weekend, after having such a fast car there the first race”, Shepherd exclaimed! It’s time to get it done.”
Kole Raz sits fourth in the series standings and second in the ROTY battle. He trails fellow rookie Buddy Shepherd by nearly 100 points but sits only 15 ahead of Cale Kanke The last time the series visited All American Speedway, Raz ended up in the front stretch wall with Carlos Vieira only 38 laps into the 147-lap affair. Raz was able to rally, however, and put his Sigma Performance Services Super Late Model in the top-five, despite missing all the front body work.
“Crazy would be a fair way to put our last trip to AAS”, the 2021 Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist recalled. “You know I was ready to actually climb out after the incident, figuring our night was over. But I was able to get the car re-fired and come back to a strong run. I’m looking forward to going back. I think even with our damage last time out, we had a really strong race car. I love the track. It’s a great facility and looking forward to another race weekend. I just really need a smooth weekend to transpire, and I believe if we have that, we will be in contention with these top dogs.”
Cale Kanke is the final driver in the top-five of the 2021 championship standings. Kanke has had a steady season, with three top-fives and six top-10’s. Of his two finishes outside the top-10, one was at Roseville. Kanke finished 15th in that event, tying his season’s worst finish. But that result hasn’t soured his view of the facility.
“I am a huge fan of AAS”, Kanke admitted. “I feel like the track is pretty racey and tight. It was disappointing, our finish the last time there, as the result didn’t show our speed. I am looking forward to getting back there to have a solid finish. My goal for this next event is to have a solid top-five finish. Our car has had some pretty good long run speed, and if we can get the short run better, I think we can be up there contending with Thorn and Gomes.”
Two-time SRL winner Blaine Rocha sits sixth in the championship standings followed by three-time Tucson Speedway Track Champion Brandon Farrington. 2020 SRL Championship Runner-up Carlos Vieira is eighth with two-time Irwindale Speedway Late Model Champion Dean Thompson ninth. Tracy Bolin sits 10th, and is the only competitor in the top-10 not expected this weekend. Scott Sanchez will look to vault into the top-10 from 11th-place, with John Moore also in the hunt to move to the top-10 this weekend. The series is averaging 24.9 Super Late Models per event in 2021 with 58 different competitors attending.
The SPEARS Modified Series is averaging 17 Modifieds per event in 2021. 17 cars appeared the last time the series visited All American Speedway in May, with Travis McCullough taking home his second consecutive victory. McCullough will now return to the scene of his latest win to compete in the “Gardner Denver & Champion Compressor 60 presented by California Tank Pneumatics”. McCullough sits fourth in the championship standings, but only 21 points behind Travis Thirkettle, who finds himself in the runner-up position ahead of Eddie Secord. With another victory, McCullough could displace Thirkettle in the number two position.
“To win at All American Speedway the last time was huge for me and the team”, McCullough began. “We had back-to-back wins at that point, and the feeling was great. I’m hoping to make it win number three for us this year in the Modifieds this weekend. We have our work cut out, however, as I’ll be running the Modified and Pro Late Model this weekend. It is my first double duty weekend. I think it’s going to be a great race weekend.”
The defending SPEARS Modified Series titlist Jeremy Doss currently leads the 2021 standings. He has scored five wins and six top-fives in the 2021 championship season. The only event, that found Doss outside the top-two, was at All American Speedway, where he finished with a disappointing 15th-place result. It was his worst career finish in the series, and he hopes to rebound from the overheating issues that plagued his last effort.
“I think All American Speedway makes for some really great racing”, Doss expressed. “I’m really excited to be back there in the Modified. We had a really good car last time there, but unfortunately had some overheating issues, so I’d really like to find Victory Lane come Saturday night.”
Like the battle for second, with Thirkettle, Secord, and McCullough separated by 21 points, the Rookie-of -the-Year chase is also a nail-biter. Andrew Anderson now leads Sam Jacks by a mere nine points, after taking the position at Irwindale Speedway in the last series race. The battle between Anderson and Jacks has been tight all season, as they sit fifth and sixth overall. The opportunity to take home the ROTY honor was somewhat of a surprise for the Mission, Hills, CA driver, after many seasons off behind the wheel.
“It’s been a crazy season for our team, being back after our 10-year break”, Anderson stated. “I never expected to be this locked in a battle for something as special as Rookie-of-the-Year with the Southwest Tour. We were happy with the car at Irwindale, and spent the last month tweaking and fine tuning to stay competitive against someone as talented as Sam.”
Jacks is a multi-time champion at the Bullring at LVMS and accustomed to championship battles. He will look to take advantage of the tighter confines of All American Speedway in an attempt to retake the rookie lead.
“The battle has been very back and forth this year between Andrew and I”, Jacks explained. “We’ve both had good and bad races, and it has been fun to mix it up with him all season so far. Andrew is a great driver. We haven’t made it easy on each other at all this season. His program is definitely better at the bigger ½-mile tracks, and I think we have him covered on the short track stuff, so we both have different strengths and weakness.”
Sam continued, “If we were able to snag the Rookie-of-the-Year Award, it would mean a lot to our whole crew. It represents how much work, and the crazy effort we have put forth all year into improving our program, trying to be competitive. Bill Paddock, our team owner, has done everything in his power to get us help and competitive cars to run where we have been, and it wouldn’t be possible without his help.”
The remainder of the top-10 in the championship will look to move up in the standings this Saturday. William Guevara sits seventh in front of Ed Coffey, Jim Coffey, and Jerry Toporek. The Modifieds will be racing for $2,500-to-win.
The SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services will also be on the card, as they race for $3,000 in the “51 FIFTY LTM. 60 presented by MPI”. The last time the series visited, Doss pulled off an unlikely victory, recovering from several setbacks. Doss led Cole Brown, Seth Wise, Mike Lovell and Hans Beeler.
Jeremy Doss has a solid lead in the championship, scoring seven wins in eight events. Doss is being chased by Kulwicki Driver Development Finalist Dylan Zampa. Zampa has been racing in the local NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Division at All American Speedway, capturing five victories. He is hoping his success with the local series will pay off this weekend.
“Yeah, we’ve done really well in the local series at All American Speedway”, the Sigma Performance Young Gun leader began. “A big thanks to the Anderson family for allowing me to run their car when we’re not racing the SRL series.
“In my opinion, the competition is fairly close”, Zampa opined about the local Late Model Series and the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series. “Everyone runs similar times in practice and qualifying in both series. It should be beneficial, because getting in more laps is always a plus. It’s just finding different ways to get around that racetrack and I definitely think my time at AAS is going to come into play for this upcoming weekend’s race. We have a really good shot at this one! A big thanks to all my sponsors; Anderson Logging, Sierra Speed Technology, PFC Brakes, Valley Fabrication, Allied Auto, Allied Propane, J Squared Performance, Kulwicki Driver Devolvement program.”
Dylan is followed in the standings by his brother Logan, Mike Lovell and Tanner Reif. The second five consists of Jake Bollman, Tyler Reif, Cole Brown, Seth Wise and Mike Beeler. The series is averaging 20.6 Pro Late Models in its first season with 61 different competitors.
One driver who will make his first start, since the season opening All-Star Showdown, is Austin Herzog. Herzog is a former MAVTV televised Nut Up Pro Late Model Champion at Madera Speedway and has 13 career Late Model wins at the facility. Herzog will compete in the final three events of the season, beginning at All American Speedway. He will be looking to get more experience at different tracks.
“I want to venture out a bit with my racing, to get the most experience I can”, Herzog related as to why he put this event on his racing calendar. “I feel racing some different tracks will help my racing skills, and also racing against some new drivers will also test me in different ways, helping me grow as a driver.”
The “Nut Up 125 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM” will be Round #9 of the 2021 SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series season. They will be joined by the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services, and the SPEARS Modified Series. The BMR Driver’s Academy will also be on the card. $8,000 will be on the line for the winner, other than Derek Thorn, thanks to the Motor City Throwdown Challenge. Grandstands open at 4pm followed by time trials for the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour. Opening ceremonies will be at 5pm with all four feature events to follow.
For those who cannot attend, the races can be followed LIVE on www.SpearsRacing.TV. It will be broadcast on MAVTV at a time and date to be named later.