SCHMIDT RETURNS FOR BALANCE OF SEASONadmin
2006 SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Champion Eric Schmidt has entered the “SPEARS Southwest Tour 125 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM.” on September 28th at Madera Speedway. Schmidt participated in the first two events of the season, but bad luck in those races found him on the sidelines for events three through six. Those two starts were in stark contrast to his 2018 SRL Championship runner-up season, where he visited Victory Lane, and finished outside the top-five in only one event.
“The first two events didn’t go our way, but that’s racing”, Schmidt told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “Sometimes you are the windshield and sometimes you are the bug. We were the bug the first two races.”
Although the first two starts, in 2019, didn’t look good on paper, the results were not an indication of the strength of the team and its driver. Schmidt qualified seventh, of the 35 cars on hand, in the season opener at Irwindale Speedway. The Roseville, CA driver was caught up in an incident, not of his own doing, while running in the top-five, ending his night.
At ALL AMERICAN SPEEDWAY – ROSEVILLE CA, Schmidt won the Performance Friction Brakes Zero Drag Fast Time Award, with a new Track Record. He led the first 35 laps of the event, before being spun, after a restart, by another competitor. The 2013 Pacific Challenge SeriesChampion would work his way back into the top-five, with less than 10 laps to go, but overheating from his charge through the field ended his night with eight laps to go. It was a disappointing finish to a promising evening.
As the series heads to Madera, Schmidt and car owner Randy Hedrick decided that the “Fastest One-Third Mile in the West” was the perfect place to make their return. Schmidt has a stellar record at the facility, with an SRL victory, and seven top-five finishes, in only eight starts. It is also one of the most travel friendly trips for the team.
“Randy and I didn’t plan on running the entire series this year, but Madera is one of the closest tracks we race at Schmidt stated. “We want to get back in the mix, so Madera was the one. We plan on running the final three races this year.”
With the Sierra Speed and Technology Team, running only a partial schedule in 2019, Schmidt has one thing on his mind, when they roll into Madera Speedway, challenging for a win.
“We want to go to Madera and be in contention for the win. That is our goal at any race we go too.”
Although Schmidt will be searching for a victory, he knows it will not come easy. The event will be his 64th career start in the series, and the difficulty of winning in the series is one of the reasons he has participated in so many events.
“The SRL has by far the best competition, week in and week out, that I have ever raced with”, Schmidt assessed. “That is the reason we keep racing in the SRL. You have to be 100% when you roll through the gate.”
To keep his Super Late Model at the front of the field, Schmidt is supported by a strong group of people with a love for the sport. For the opportunities that he has been given, Schmidt is grateful to that group that surrounds him on the road, and in the shop.
“As always all the thanks go to our team, without that it’s not possible”, Schmidt stated. “I do want to thank Randy Hedrick, for giving us the opportunity to race, and Rick Terry at RT Painting for the support he gives us. I also want to thank Sierra Speed and Technology and W.A.R. Shocks for their help keeping our race program at its best.”
The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series will be joined by the Spears Modified Series, Legends of the Kearney Bowl, Legends of the Pacific, Madera Hobby Stocks and Toyota Sedans. Practice on Saturday gets underway for the SPEARS Modified Series at 1:30 P.M. The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series takes to the track for practice at 2:15 P.M., followed by practice for the Local Divisions and the Legends of the Kearney Bowl.
Qualifying for the Local Divisions and Legends roll off at 4:00 P.M., with Modified Qualifying at 4:30 P.M. Heat Races, for the Local Divisions, are set for 4:45 P.M. with SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Qualifying at 5:30 P.M.
Main Events begin at 6:00 P.M. for the Toyota Sedans, Hobby Stocks and Legends of the Kearney Bowl. Opening Ceremonies are set for 7:00 P.M. Main Events for the Legends of the Pacific and the SPEARS Modified Series are up next, with the “SPEARS Southwest Tour 125 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM.” closing out the evening’s events for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Super Late Models.
Celebrating its nineteenth season in 2019, 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”.