SPEARS Super and Pro Late Models Invade Stockton 99 Speedwayadmin
Bakersfield, CA – The SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will invade Stockton 99 Speedway for the first of two visits on May 1st, for the “SPEARS Southwest Tour 125 presented by Senneker Performance”. It will be the 30th time the series has visited to historic speedway whose history goes back to 1947. The Super Late Models will race for $5,000 and will be joined by the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services. It will be Round #4 for both series and the second visit for the Pro Late Models, after Jeremy Doss came home victorious on March 13th.
Derek Thorn leads all drivers with five SRL career victories at Stockton. The Lakeport, CA native will be making his 100th start in the series and will be looking for SRL win #3 in a row. Thorn is the fifth driver in series history to make 100 starts, sitting behind Jacob Gomes (110), Scott Sanchez (109), Carlos Vieira (105) and Keith Spangler (102). In his 13 years in the series Thorn has five championships, 51 career wins, 60 Fast Times, 76 top-5’s, and 84 top-10 finishes. It is a career that seems to get stronger with time and experience.
“Time has flown by, and what stands out the most is how lucky I’ve been to be surrounded by great people”, Thorn stated. “Byron and Carol have given me opportunities I’d otherwise only have dreamed of. Mike and Vicki Keen have been a huge part of the growth of Campbell Motorsports and helping me grow as a person on and off the racetrack. It is crazy how fast 100 starts have come and gone. I can guarantee I wasn’t thinking about marriage or having kids at my first SRL start and here I am well over a decade later with the love of my life and two crazy kids. The journey has been amazing and the people that have helped me along the way are what I cherish most.”
Thorn knows that Stockton 99 Speedway can be a challenging and unpredictable track. Despite his success there, he has scored two of his worst series finishes. That is not lost on Thorn.
“Stockton is a very humbling place to race”, Thorn revealed. “My first few starts there; I don’t think I finished. Everything happens really fast, and you never know what cards you’ll be dealt. We will go into it prepared as much as possible and make the most of it.”
Entering the fourth event of the season, Preston Peltier holds a slim 10-point lead over Jacob Gomes in the series championship standings, 490 to 480. Peltier is not scheduled to participate this weekend, making Gomes the presumptive championship leader. For Gomes, it is a return to the success he experienced earlier in his SRL career, and he is excited to be coming back to his home track. He would love nothing more than to get his first win of the season and continue his momentum towards SRL Championship number two.
“I’ve been beyond happy about our performance this year and I hope to keep rolling”, Gomes stated. It’s been a great run.”
His string of strong finished dates back to last season, and he has now scored seven top-five finishes in a row, to go along with nine consecutive top-10’s. The driver from Manteca, CA has three SRL victories at Stockton, and finished fifth in the series lone 2020 appearance.
Sitting third in the championship standings is Rookie-of-the-Year leader Buddy Shepherd. He is eight points behind Gomes and leads the “Rookie” standings by 45 markers over Kulwicki Driver Development Participant Kole Raz. Shepherd has been solid all season, with a best finish of second and a worst result of eighth. The former SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Madera Speedway winner will make his Super Late Model debut at Stockton, where he has five SRL Legends starts.
The aforementioned Derek Thorn sits fourth in the championship standings, having won the last two events after a disastrous 26th place effort at the season opening “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway.
The final top-five position is occupied by the son of a former SRL Champion, and the all-time wins leader in the NASCAR Southwest Tour Series, M.K. Kanke. His son Cale is having his best season in the series thus far. Cale has finished in the top-10 in all three events, and scored his first career top-five at the last series event in Irwindale. Kanke will also be making his Super Late Model debut at Stockton, but he has seven SRL Legend Series starts. Amongst those are six top-five efforts.
The remainder of the top-10 include Kole Raz, Christian McGhee, Kyle Neveau, Brandon Farrington and Blaine Rocha. Farrington sits third in the Rookie-of-the-Year battle.
The SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will be joined by the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services. The “SPEARS Manufacturing 75 presented by General Tire” will pay $3,000 to the winner of the event. Jeremy Doss has come out victorious in all three events thus far, but will be looking to extend his championship lead at Stockton, a track at which he holds six Late Model touring series victories. He currently holds a 55-point lead over two young, talented racers, as they sit tied for second.
Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist Dylan Zampa holds one of those positions. Zampa is the son of three-time SRL winner Joey Zampa. Dylan has clicked off three top-five finishes, with a best effort of second, at the most recent Irwindale Speedway event. Dylan is joined by another Sigma Performance Solutions Young Gun Tyler Reif. Reif has also finished in the top-five in each of his results. His best finish was a third at Irwindale, while finishing fifth at Stockton in April.
Fourth place is held down by Dylan’s older brother, Logan Zampa. The former Madera Speedway Short Track Shootout winner will look to improve upon his previous third place run at Stockton. A thirteenth place run at the season opener has the older Zampa brother playing catchup with the points, but Stockton is a good place for Zampa to continue his momentum and possibly get his first victory.
The driver sitting in fifth is JD Motorsports chauffer Mike Lovell. Lovell has two top-10 finishes, but is still looking for his first series top-five. Lovell has a Super Late Model win in the former Pacific Challenge Series and Stockton would be the perfect place to take home the $3,000 winner’s share.
The “Spears Southwest Tour Series 125 presented by Senneker Performance” will be Round #4 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, who will race for 75 laps. The Legends and B4 Cylinder Divisions will also be on the card. Spectators will be welcomed to this weekend’s event, with Admission Gates opening at 5:00 pm. Qualifying is scheduled for 6:00 pm with racing to follow. For those who can not 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.
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”.