Strong Colorado Contingent at Irwindale

Strong Colorado Contingent at Irwindale

The Colorado contingent of competitors continues to increase, as the Colorado National SpeedwaySuper Late Model Rookie-of-the-Year, Cody Dempster, has announced his plans to participate in the Spears Srl Southwest Tour season opener at Irwindale Speedway on March 23. The “RJ Allen Inc. 100 presented by Traffic Management, Inc.” now finds the state of Colorado represented by a quartet of drivers(Dempster, Preston Peltier, Jace Hansen, Eddie Vecchiarelli), who will be vieing for the $5,000 winners’s prize, thanks to the “Winners Bonus” provided by Senneker Performance.

Dempster was not only the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Rookie-of-the-Year for Colorado National Speedway, he won rookie honors for the state of Colorado as well. Dempster competed in 12 Feature Events, finishing in the top-5 three times and in the top-10 in eight events. He finished seventh in the Super Late Model standings. He also competed in most of the Legends events, finishing seventh in the championship standings. In 2017, he finished third in Legends points. In 2016, he was the Legends Rookie-of-the-Year at CNS and won two events in the Rocky Mountain Legends Association, capturing a fourth in the final standings.

Heading to Irwindale,the event will be Dempster’s first Super Late Model foray outside of his home state, but it won’t be his first visit to Irwindale Speedway.

“In 2018 we decided to stay at Colorado National Speedway, as it was my first year in Super Late Models, with me being only 16”, Dempster told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series presented by Lucas Oil. “This year we decided we would travel to a few races out of state, and Irwindale became the best option for us. We’ve been to Irwindale before, but ran the 1/3-mile with the Legend Cars. We also have family in California, and it gives us an opportunity to visit with them.”

This will be Cody’s first start in the SRL, where he knows it will be a challenge for himself and his team. The event will also be his first time on a half-mile oval, and the complexities will be compounded with all the changes to his car during the off-season.

“In all honesty, the whole weekend is gonna be a challenge for us, Dempster admitted. “It’s a lot of firsts for me and the team, from being the biggest race we’ve been in, to a lot of new equipment in the car itself. It’ll also be the biggest track I’ve been to, so I’ve been studying a lot of race footage to see how others drive through the race as the conditions change.”

Dempster is looking forward to his first start in the series, and against its’ competitors. He knows the competition will be tough, but he has a family history that is familiar with the Southwest Tour.

“The SRL Series is highly competitive, and puts on some great races, at some of the best short track facilities along the west coast”, Dempster began. “I’m excited to race around some of the best in the country, and some familiar faces from Colorado. Never having raced with the SRL before, does have an intimidation factor to it, but it’s a challenge that my team is up to face. I’ve heard a lot of stories from my grandpa (Don Dempster Sr.), over the years, of his days calling the shots for Jim Thirkettle on the tour.”

2019 will find Dempster in a familiar place, but with a few new wrinkles on his schedule.

“We plan on running as much of the Colorado National Speedway schedule as we can”, the Parker, CO resident said. “We’d also like to run more of the SRL tour races throughout the year, and possibly some other divisions throughout the year as well.”

Cody will be looking to gain valuable experience at Irwindale, to help him with the rest of his season in the Super Late Model Divisions. To gain that experience it takes a lot of help and the teenager is thankful for those who support his efforts.

“There are multiple people I want to thank, for making not only this possible, but each and every season possible, and that is my crew and family. My parents work their hardest each and everyday, to ensure I can do what I love. My crew works the hardest, even when we’re put in tough situations. I really have to thank Specialty Fasteners Inc. for even making the trip to California a possibility”, Dempster concluded.

The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series will run twin 50 lap features, in honor of title sponsor Spears Manufacturing‘s 50th anniversary in 2019. The highly competitive Spears Modified Series will also be in action, as well as the SouthWest Tour Truck Series, for a full night of racing action.

Photo Credit: Mike Magee