Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series Makes Wild West Stop at Stockton 99 Speedwayadmin
Bakersfield, CA – Saturday July 16 will mark the 32nd time the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series has competed at Stockton 99 Speedway. Teams will compete for a $10,000 paycheck in the JM Environmental Wild West Shootout “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 127 presented by 51 FIFTY”, in their only 2022 visit. It is Round #3 of the “Wild West Shootout” Series which pays $10,000 to the winner of each event. The Super Late Models will be joined by the Spears Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services in the “51 FIFTY 60 presented by SPS”. For the Pro Late Models, it will be series visit number five to the historic ¼-mile oval. It is the first of two in 2022.
17 Super Late Models are currently entered for this weekend’s action, including three former SRL winners at Stockton. Jacob Gomes leads the series with three Stockton victories, while Jeremy Doss has two. Jeff Bischofberger scored a single win in 2015. Two additional drivers have Super Late Model wins at Stockton, in the Pacific Challenge Series. Those winners are John Moore and Eric Schmidt. Derek Thorn holds the all-time record for SRL wins at Stockton with seven. The lone Pro Late Model winner at Stockton is Jeremy Doss, who swept all four events in 2021.
Three former Spears Southwest Tour Series Champions are entered this weekend. They include Jacob Gomes, Jeremy Doss, and Eric Schmidt. Gomes and Doss are locked in a battle to become only the third repeat champions in series history. Derek Thorn has six championships and Jim Pettit II has earned three. The two combatants are separated by 42 points. Gomes has three 2022 victories, earning himself 10 career wins. Doss is looking for his first 2022 win and has nine career triumphs.
For Gomes, it is a return trip to his home track, where he was the NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts National Rookie-of-the-Year in 2009.
“I’m beyond excited to be at home racing, hoping we can get back in our winning groove again and get some more victories this year.”
Four teams will make their Super Late Model season debuts. Ripon’s Michael Sandoval was the 2011 Spears Southwest Tour Series Rookie-of-the Year, finishing ninth overall that season. He has 29 career starts with a best finish of fourth at Stockton in 2013. He has made only nine starts since 2012, but four of them have been at Stockton 99 Speedway. He also possesses a fifth in Pacific Challenge Series competition at the ¼-mile oval.
Another driver making his first season start is long-time series supporter Carlos Vieira. Due to his concentration on business, the Carlos Vieira Foundation, and family obligations, he has been racing close to his Livingston, CA home in 2022. This will be his lone planned SRL start of the season, which will give him 113 all-time.
“This year I have limited my racing to only a handful of weekends”, Vieira commented about his limited schedule. “I am concentrating on running the family sweet potato business and I continue to help the (Carlos Vieira) Foundation do all the great things that we have done over the years. I also continue to promote the 51 FIFTY lifestyle. I have kept my racing close to home, racing only at Madera and Stockton Speedways.”
Former Stockton 99 Speedway Late Model Rookie-of-the Year and open wheel star Eric Humpries will make his series debut this weekend in a Garcia Racing Fury. Humphries is a three-time champion of the King of the Wing Series and participates on both the dirt and asphalt. It will be a reunion with the Garcia Racing Team after winning in their Modified at Shasta Speedway in 2010.
“I got a call a week and a half ago saying “hey, do you want to go racing in Stockton?”, Humphries recalled. “The last time I was there was with the King of the Wings, in Sprint Car stuff. I said, why not, that is where I cut my teeth. If the opportunity arises, I don’t care if it is a lawn mower, Stockcar or Sprint car or whatever it is, I’m ready to go. I’m looking forward to getting back to my home roots, and I’m excited to do it.”
Bubba Nascimento will also make his 2022 SRL debut. His last start was at Stockton 99 Speedway, where he scored a career-best third-place finish in 2021. Nascimento competed for Rookie-of-the-Year in 2019, finishing third behind Tyler Fabozzi and Jesse Love. He would like to compete more often, but the expenses in 2022 are a challenge, as the team wants to compete for wins, each time they arrive at the track.
“We have a 2018 Fury with not very many races on it”, Nascimento began. “It’s just hard to race it more than a couple times a year, with the prices of everything nowadays. So, when we go and run a “Super” race nowadays, we wanna make sure we have a car to compete for the win.”
Nascimento continued, in reference to his strong third-place run at Stockton last season, “I think a big part of my success last year at Stockton was racing at all different tracks last year, many times. Also running eight races there the year before. This year I’ve only raced a total of three races, and two were road courses. But I still think I have the ability, the car, and the team to win. It was very cool to run that good so close to home against two Thorn cars last year. This year we’re going to win.”
Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist Dylan Zampa will be performing double duty this weekend in his family-owned Pro Late Model and a Super Late Model owned by Randy Hedrick. Zampa will make his second series start after finishing fifth at Irwindale Speedway, in his debut in a Sigma Performance Services car. Zampa will now team up with Hedrick at a track that can be action-packed. He hopes to have a good run, so as to participate in the future.
“Stockton is definitely an action-packed track in the Pro Late Model, so I can only image how much more it will be in the Super”, Zampa conjectured. “I’m hoping to get the car handling good so we can compete for another top-five, hopefully. Most importantly, I want to bring the car home in one piece, so we can potentially build off of this.”
The “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout presented by Sigma Performance Services “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 127 presented by 51FIFTY” will feature a straight-up start based on qualifying. There will be no green flag runs over 27 laps, unless it is within the last 20 laps. $10,000 will go to the winner and $1,000 will be paid out to start the event, for those on the Spears Frequent Flyer Program.
The Pro Late Models have 20 drivers entered as of Wednesday. Seth Wise leads the championship standings over Tyler Reif, Tanner Reif, Dylan Zampa, and Logan Zampa. Jeremy Doss swept all four Pro Late Model events at Stockton in 2021, but will be competing in the Super Late Model division, leaving it open for a first-time winner at Stockton. 2022 winners include Dylan Cappello (2), Dylan Zampa (2), Seth Wise (1) and Bradley Erickson (1).
Wise will enter this weekend’s event with a 36-point lead, but he will have to balance his desire for a race win, with his pursuit of the championship.
“I would say our goal is to always try and win, while being as safe as possible with our equipment”, Wise stated. “Patient but aggressive,” is something I often hear from my team. Being a small family team, we know we don’t have the resources for a quick rebound if we wreck our car. But we always show up wanting to win. With five races left, we’d really like a couple more wins, so we’re going to focus and work hard to finish this season off strong!”
Admission Gates open at 5:00 pm on Saturday, July 16. Qualifying for the SPEARS SRL Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services will begin at 5:15 pm with the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series following. Opening Ceremonies are up next with racing starting at 6:00 pm. Main Events begin with the Jr. B4 Cylinders, Bombers, SPEARS SRL Pro Late Model Series – “51FIFTY 60 presented by SPS”, B4 Cylinders and wrap up the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series – JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 127 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM”.
For those unable to attend, catch all the action LIVE at www.SpearsRacing.TV. The event will also air on MAVTV at a time and date to be announced later.
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”.