The 2000 Irwindale Speedway Super Late Model Championadmin
Collins Motorsports (CMS) announced a few weeks ago that Blaine Rochawould be taking the first half of the season off, to complete his degree at Fresno State University. The team has now announced that it will be going “Back to the Future” for the first event of the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series. Greg Voigt will be behind the wheel of the #21 Port City Chevy, for the “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame” at Irwindale Speedway, on February 1st. It will be Voigt’s first start since the final event of the 2015 SRL Championship season, and will pay $25,000-to-win.
Smittys Voigt has participated in 65 previous events in the “SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series presented by Lucas Oil”. The 2013 through 2015 seasons he spent racing with the Collins Motorsports Team, participating in 29 events. He picked up two of his three series victories in those seasons, finishing sixth, third and as the championship runner-up in his final 2015 season on the “Tour”. The Goleta, CA driver is looking forward to his return to the SRL, Irwindale Speedway, as well as his return to the CMS stables.
“I have always enjoyed working with Gary Collins and his crew”, Voigt stated. “Irwindale is a fun place to race at which we have been successful in the past.”
Voigt is one of several drivers who have participated in the NASCAR Elite Division portion of the All-Star Showdown. He represented the Southwest Tour Series from 2004 to 2006. He had a best finish of 11th in 2005. The 2000 Irwindale Speedway Super Late Model Champion has selected a highly competitive event for his return, but his familiarity with the facility will help with his transition back behind the wheel. A transition that he hopes will be quick, but one he is uncertain about.
“I have no idea”, Voigt described. “This has been the longest break in my racing career. We practiced on Thursday and it seemed to go well.”
Despite the layoff, however, Voigt’s goals remain the same as they have been in the past. The championship driver has always expected the most out of himself and his team, so he believes his outlook will remain the same, with only a slight temperament for the Showdown’s competition.
“I have the same goal as my previous racing weekends, WIN”, Voigt stated. “Realistically a top-ten, considering my time away, and the stellar competition in this particular race.”
Voigt ranks 10th in all-time series starts with 64, with one Did Not Start (DNS) due to mechanical issues. He has three victories, 28 top-five and 44 top-10’s. He ranks 12th in victories, sixth in top-five’s and fifth in top-10’s. He also has three Performance Friction Brakes Zero Drag Fast-Time Awards and has earned over $78,000 in his SRL career. He is happy to make his return to a series he enjoys, with support from long-time series sponsor Spears Manufacturing.
“I’m excited to be back racing for such a great family run series, and the wonderful support received from Spears and all the other sponsors.”
Voigt’s return is made possible by several sponsors, and a team that is accustomed to success, as Greg acknowledges.
The resumption of the All-Star Showdown, after a nine-year hiatus, will take place on February 1st. It will pay $25,000 to the winner of the 200-lap Feature Event, thanks to Sunrise Ford’s, Bob Bruncati and Ken Clapp from the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. Over $78,000 will be paid out to the 36 starters, plus additional cash bonuses for the drivers eligible for the Spears Manufacturing Frequent Flyer Program. If needed, the Last Chance Qualifying race will pay $1,000 to those on the SPEARS Frequent Flyer Program, who do not make the Feature Event.
The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Super Late Models will be joined by the Spears Modified Series, as well as the Pro Late Models for a huge weekend at the speedway. The Pro Late Models will race for a $10,000 payday, while the Modifieds will be going after a $5,000 winner’s share, thanks to series sponsor FLUIDYNE High Performance and Irwindale Speedway.
Celebrating its twentieth season in 2020, 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”.