By Kevin Peters

The 2012 and 2014 Spears Southwest Tour Series Champion, Derek Thorn, currently sits in a tie for ninth in our current series points countdown. Despite missing the third race of the season at Stockton 99 Speedway, the Lakeport, CA native has accumulated enough points to sit only 79 markers out of the championship lead. By any measure the 2012 Joe Gibbs Racing, Sunoco Driven Challenge Series National Champion is having an outstanding season to date.
Derek ended last season with the Spears Southwest Tour Series Championship accumulating 4 wins and 8 poles in the 10 race season. He followed that up with an 11th place qualifying effort and a 3rd place finish in the prestigious Snowball Derby in Pensacola, FL.

Derek, and the Campbell Motorsports Team, opened the 2015 season with a fast qualifying effort at the inaugural $25,000 to win 2015 Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway. The Spears Southwest Tour Series Open Show boasted an entry of 52 cars and Derek quickly proved he was one of the drivers to beat by following up his fast time effort with a qualifying heat race win. Derek led 146 of the first 147 laps before ultimately finishing in 3rd place behind East Coast standouts Bubba Pollard and Dalton Sargeant.

The 2013 K & N West Series Champion opened the Spears Southwest Tour Series points season with a win at Madera Speedway after holding off Jim Pettit II in a torrid duel. After another win at a PCS Open Show at Irwindale Speedway, Derek scored his first SRL win at Kern County Raceway in Bakersfield, CA. Two more wins in the Pro Late Model Class at KCR followed, making him 4 for 5 on the season. Derek then scored his first Spears Southwest Tour Series win at Irwindale Speedway a few weeks later to finish off the first half of the points season.

A trip to Monroe, Washington’s Evergreen Speedway for the Winter Showdown’s companion event proved to be the end of the win streak. After qualifying an uncharacteristic 9th at the Summer Showdown, Derek recovered to run as high as 2nd in the first half of the race, but slid to 9th by the half way break, From there he recovered to finish 3rd behind Bubba Pollard and Northwest Racing Legend Garrett Evans.

Last weekend Derek headed back east to Pensacola, FL and picked up a win in a Pro Late Model event for car owner Kurt Jett.