Championship leaders Buddy Shepherd and Derek Thorn will both be headed home for Round #6 of the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series schedule on June 26th. Shepherd enters the “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout Round – Get It Hot 75” with a slim two-point lead over five-time and defending series champion Derek Thorn. Both drivers call Kern County Raceway their home and both drivers have found success at the fast half-mile tri-oval.
Shepherd has been very successful at his home track and will be looking forward to breaking into the 2021 win column at Kern. In 2016 he swept the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series events at the facility, going nine for nine in winning the track championship. He has a two second place runs in the Winter Showdown, finishing behind Kyle Busch in 2018 and then Derek Thorn earlier this season. All told, Shepherd has four second place finishes at Kern in the SRL.
Shepherd will also be looking to break out of that bridesmaid column, in SRL competition this season. He has finished there twice this season already, to go along with a total of four top-fives and five top-10’s. Consistency has gotten Shepherd to the top of the standings thus far, but he knows he will need to put a check in the win column to stay there.
West Coast dominator Derek Thorn has a plethora of check marks in that win column, including four in 2021. Thorn has 12 SRL Southwest Tour Series victories at the facility, which includes two Winter Showdown victories. He has also won four championship events in-a-row at Kern, and will be looking to take home the $10,000 winner’s share on June 26th. There is little the Lakeport, CA native hasn’t achieved at his current home track, and if he continues his winning ways, a sixth SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Championship could be capped off at the track’s “October Classic” this Fall.
Thorn will be the favorite next weekend, but he is sure to be challenged by a strong field of Super Late Models, and the potential for another challenge, that could result in another $10,000 in winner’s purse money. If Thorn qualifies into the top eight, he is eligible to take the challenge to start in the rear to compete for $20,000-to-win. Will he accept the challenge? Come out next Saturday night to see what his decision will be, and if he can pull it off.
The June 26th $10,000-to-win “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – Get It Hot 75” will be the headline of the biggest single day race event of the year at Kern County Raceway. The special event will feature the to-the-back challenge, where any driver who qualifies into the top eight will be given the option to start in the back, for an extra $10,000-to-win. $1,000 will also be awarded to the leader at lap 27, making it possible for the winner to take home a whopping $21,000! LiUNA Local 220 will also present the biggest fireworks show in Kern County.
The full night of racing on the big ½ mile with also feature the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services, who will race for $7,600 to win, the Spears Modified Series and the BMR Drivers Academy, for a huge evening of pulse pounding entertainment. Practice for all divisions begins at 12:40 pm. Admission Gates officially open at 5:00 pm. Qualifying will begin at 5:30 pm for the Pro late Models, Modifieds, Super Late Models and finally the BMR Academy. The Super Late Models will compete in three 10-lap Heat Races, to set the feature line-up. The fastest eight will redraw for their starting positions in their “Heat”, while the “Even” and “Odd” Heats will start straight-up.
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”.