“The Legend Lives On” Strmiska RETURNSadmin
When it comes to racing in the central valley of California, there are few names more synonymous with hard racing and winning than the Strmiska family name. Third generation driver Ross “The Legend Lives On” Strmiska will be striving to continue on in that winning tradition, when he heads to Madera Speedway for the “SPEARS Southwest Tour 125 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM” on September 28th. It will be the Manteca, CA drivers first start in the SRL since 2015, when he participated in just three events.
“I’m super excited to get back in the SRL car”, Strmiska stated. “I just hope we are prepared enough to go run at one of my best tracks and be competitive.”
Before 2015, Strmiska was a full-time veteran of the series. He has 52 career starts, with 16 top-five and 35 top-ten finishes. The third-generation driver was especially good at Madera Speedway, where he had three runner-up finishes in a row in the SRL. His accolades at Madera Speedway even pre-dated the tour, scoring two Late Model Championship Runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2009. In a three-year stretch, he tallied 11 victories at the facility, and nearly won the 2009 championship, despite missing four feature events.
Ross’ Late Model success was not limited to Madera Speedway, however. The son of Ron Strmiska Jr., the Manteca Missile, has also tasted success at the The New Stockton 99 Speedway. In 2018, Ross scored, what he considers to be the most special win of his career, bringing home the “Ron Strmiska Memorial Firecracker 125” trophy. It was an event named after his grandfather Ron Sr., who passed away only a few years before. The elder statesman of the racing family was one of the most successful drivers in Stockton 99 Speedway history, and a threat to win wherever he raced.
Although the younger Strmiska has raced in the Late Model Division, as a top runner over the last several years, he feels his home is in Super Late Models, and with the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. Strmiska is happy be back running in the series, and for the help he has received to do so.
“I really miss racing in the SRL Tour, and luckily our sponsors, Nut Up Industries / Mainline Equipment and our family race team, have the opportunity and equipment to make it happen”, Strmiska told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “We have been racing at Madera and Stockton, in the Late Model classes, and have been running well the last few years. It is not a tour car, however, and that’s what I want to race again. The SRL is the best of the best teams, equipment and drivers on the west coast, and that’s where we belong.”
To take on the regulars of “The Tour”, Strmiska will be driving a Port City Chassis car, that he and his family built over the Winter. They will also be working with an old reliable power plant, that is left over from the 2015 campaign.
“We built a New Port City race car this Winter and have ran it a few times this year at Madera, in the Pro Late Model class”, Strmiska declared. “We still have our 9:1 Freight Train Peters Built Motor from the last time we raced. We build everything at our family race shop, like we always have. I am happy to be working with Port City Racecars the last year. I am thankful for their support, to get back to running the SRL Southwest Tour and getting the car up front.”
With this being Strmiska’s first SRL race in four years, his goals are somewhat tempered from his normal expectations. But he is still looking for a good run, and the possibility of taking home the $5,000 winners prize, thanks to the “Winner’s Bonus” sponsored by McGunegill Engine Performance.
“Realistically a top-10 would be great, but I don’t go to a racetrack not thinking I can win”, Strmiska said. “If we run a clean race, we can accomplish that, and that’s what we are going to go out and try to get done.”
With the popularity of the Strmiska family, and their long history of winning in the California Central Valley, it is not surprising that Ross has a long list of people and companies he would like to thank.
Strmiska began, “I would like to thank my dad Ron, first off. Without him, none of this would be possible. He works his tail off to keep our family race team getting to the track. Secondly, I would like to thank my sponsors; Nut Up Industries, Mainline Equipment, Frontier Performance Lubricants, Farmers Blacksmith & Welding, Honda Kawasaki KTM of Modesto, Naake Suspension Specialists, NAPA Auto Parts – Tilbury Auto Parts, Joes Racing Products, Performance Sign & Graphics, California Landscaping Services Inc. and Port City Racecars”.
Strmiska continued, “It takes a lot of support from all these sponsors, to make it happen, so without them we wouldn’t be able to go run the SRL again. I hope we have a good run, and can keep going to the remaining races.”
The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series will be joined by the Spears Modified Series, Legends of 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”.