Bakersfield, CA – The Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series and the Spears Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services would like to wish the best of luck to each of our series competitors heading to 5 Flags Speedway for the “Snowball Derby” 300 and the “Snowflake 100”. The two series will be well represented with a total of five teams participating in the “Snowball Derby” and six in the “Snowflake 100”. Two of those drivers will be doing double duty running the feature events on both Saturday and Sunday.
Leading the list of Snowball Derby entrants will be six-time SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Champion Derek Thorn. The Speed51.com top-10 short track driver of the decade will be making his ninth start in the 300-lap affair. Thorn nearly won the last two times out, finishing second to Ty Majeski in 2020 and being the victim of a controversial late race official’s decision in 2019. His 2020 effort found him leading a race high 252 laps. He was the pole winner in the last two versions and has qualified into the field on all nine previous attempts. His second best result was a third in 2014 and he has led laps in half of the Derby’s he has participated in.
Thorn will also participate in the “Snowflake 100” on Saturday. He was the winner in 2020 and was the quick qualifier in 2021, where he finished fourth after leading 74 laps. The Campbell Motorsports driver will be one of the favorites in both events.
Another driver who will be a contender in the Derby will be the only driver to win series championships in all three tours under the auspices of the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour. Jeremy Doss has championships in the Super Late Models, Pro Late Models and Modified series. He will be making his sixth trip to the Snowball Derby and has qualified no worse than 19th in the last four, twice timing into the top-seven. He has 11th, 12th, and 13th-place finishes in the prestigious event. He will be driving the Bob Lyon Hamke Race Cars & Parts Inc Super Late Model that he debuted at Kern County Raceway Park’s October Classic in the second position.
Doss has made the trip to Five Flags Speedway in his own Super Late Model for three Southern Super Series / Blizzard Series feature events in 2021. He had a best finish of third and a worst of 12th. He finished fifth in the track’s Blizzard Series Championship Standings, despite missing one event. It will be his second time behind the wheel of the Bob Lyon #44 machine.
Oakdale, CA driver Blaine Rocha will be headed to Pensacola, FL for the second time in his career, but for his first “Derby” Weekend. Rocha has six top-10 championship finishes in the SRL, including a sixth in 2021. He visited Five Flags Speedway for the first time just three months ago in a Pro Late Model from the Willie Allen Racing / W.A.R. Racing Development / Rackley WAR Racing stables. He finished sixth in that event. Rocha made his first start for the team a few weeks prior, setting fast time and winning at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, in only his second start at the facility. Rocha will look to repeat that win next weekend in the Allen Turner Pro Late Models, in the “Snowflake 100”.
Colorado’s Jace Hansen was third in the “Rookie-of-the-Year” competition in 2019 SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series competition. He missed one event that season to finish 11th in the championship standings, right behind rookie runner-up Jesse Love. Hansen has 16 career starts in the series with a best finish of second, in the October Classic at Kern County Raceway Park in 2020. Hansen will be making his first trip to the Snowball Derby and has been preparing for the event throughout 2021. He participated in each of the track’s Blizzard Series events, for Super Late Models, finishing tied for fifth in the championship standings. He earned top-10 finishes in each of his last three starts. His best run was a seventh, followed by an eighth and a tenth.
Part-time SRL competitor Preston Peltier will be looking to take home his first Snowball Derby prize next weekend. But for the first time he will do double duty, also participating in the “Snowflake 100”. Peltier has run partial schedules over the last several seasons, competing in eight SRL events over the last two seasons, along with hitting multiple big paying races. This will be Peltier’s ninth trip in-a-row to Five Flags Speedway for the Derby. He was the pole winner in 2017 and has qualified in the top-three on three occasions. He has fifth and seventh-place efforts as his best race results, but struggled in race trim last season finishing 33rd. Peltier will be one to watch after scoring multiple big wins in 2021, including the “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown” at Irwindale Speedway.
Zachary Telford and the Garcia Racing Team will make their first attempt in the “Snowflake 100”. Telford has attended seven SRL events over the last two seasons and will be a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate in 2022. The Idaho native also made his debut in the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series in the “Bischofberger Brawl 166” at The New Stockton 99 Speedway. Telford has four top-10 finishes in the big series, with a best finish of sixth at Stockton. It is a result he accomplished twice. Telford expanded his schedule in 2021 attending events at Slinger Super Speedway, including the prestigious Slinger Nationals, where he came home in the top-10. He also attended his first Northwest Super Late Model Series event at Magic Valley Speedway. The team will now make their debut at the biggest asphalt short track weekend of the season on December 4th.
Mike Lovell will also be a first timer at Five Flags Speedway, but he will be debuting with a team that has Snowball Derby experience. Lovell will make the trip with JD Motorsports, in a car they debuted at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway earlier this season. Lovell finished 14th in the field of 37, but ran far better than the results showed. He finished eighth in the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series in 2021, finishing with one top-five and five top-10’s in his eight starts. The former Pacific Challenge Series champion will be looking to run all 100 laps in the “Snowflake 100”, and emerge with a top-10 finish in a field expected to top 50 entries.
Spears Pro Late Model Series competitor Jake Bollman Racing is another driver set to make his debut in the “Snowflake 100”. Bollman participated in the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series in 2021, finishing 10th in the championship standings, competing in seven of 11 events. He finished with four top-10 finishes in those starts. Jake will be competing with the Curt Britt Motorsports team in their #36 Pro Late Model.
Jesse Love was the 2019 SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Rookie-of-the-Year runner-up, while finishing 10th overall. He was able to garner one top-five and three top-10 finishes that season. He is now a two-time ARCA Menards Pro Series West Champion and has been gathering racing experience throughout the country in Super Late Models, open wheel cars on the dirt, as well as in ARCA Series competition. This will be Love’s first trip to compete in the Snowball Derby. He will be competing in the Wimmer Motorsports Toyota Camry, after spending the last two seasons competing with the team based in the Midwest.
Good luck to all our teams this weekend at Five Flags Speedway!
Celebrating its twenty-first season in 2021, 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”.