By Kevin Peters

Sitting second in our Top 11 countdown of the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series Point Standings is Laguna Beach, California’s Ryan Cansdale. It is even more impressive that his position, of championship runner-up, is during his rookie season. As the current Rookie of the Year Point Leader, Ryan has been the top finishing rookie in 3 of the 4 point events. He has completed all but 2 laps during the point season which is tied for the best in the series.

Ryan started racing at the age of five, racing Karts from 2004-2009 and winning five championships during that period. In 2009, Ryan moved to the ovals and raced bandoleros across the country. He won 29 times to lead the nation and become the California State Champion. That season he also became the youngest Irwindale Speedway Champion with 10 wins in 20 starts. 2010 led to 25 more wins and a tie for the number one spot in points in the nation. He also became the first back to back champion in that division at Irwindale Speedway.

In 2011, Ryan moved to the Legend cars. He ran that division all across the country in addition to in the SRL Legend Series. In the SRL, he ran 8 of the 13 events finishing 4th in points and racking up 5 top 10 finishes. In 2012 Ryan competed in 9 of the 11 SRL Legend events compiling 2 top 5 and 7 top 10 finishes while finishing as the championship runner-up. That same season he racked up another State Championship to go along with his first National Touring Title.

In 2013, Ryan competed in the inaugural season of the SRL S2 Division for the High Point Racing Team. Ryan finished every race in the top 10 with 5 wins and 12 top 5’s in the 13 events. He would be the S2 Series’ first Champion by the end of the season and the youngest driver to win on the half-mile at Irwindale Speedway. Ryan also participated in Late Models for the first time, becoming the youngest winner at Madera Speedway in that division.

2014 saw Ryan concentrating on his first full season in Late Models as a regular at Irwindale Speedway. He and the High Pont Racing Team would compete in 17 events with 1 win, 5 top 5 and 12 top 10 finishes. That was good enough for a forth place finish in the season ending point’s standings. In addition he would add another SRL S2 Division victory in his only series start.

“After racing Legends and S2’s with the SRL, it was an easy decision to stay with the SRL while we moved to the full size tour cars”, Ryan would comment. “Our goal for the 2015 season was to have fun and learn from the top drivers in the nation.”

Ryan’s Spears Southwest Tour Series race debut came at Madera Speedway in March. In a car acquired from Strmiska Racing, Ryan was able to finish 6th in his first start. He followed that up with a 12th at Kern County Raceway and another 6th place finish at Stockton 99 Speedway. Ryan entered the fourth event of the season, at his home track of Irwindale Speedway, fifth in the point’s standing. Ryan qualified 3rd placing him 7th on the starting grid. Ryan would drop to 9th in the early going, but work his way up to third by lap 55. He would remain there the rest of the way despite pressuring Greg Voigt for second late in the going.

“Our goals for the second half of the season are the same. Have fun and keep on learning. We’re really looking forward to RAR because we have never raced there before. Also looking forward to Utah, it’s always good to see Rocky the Raccoon.”  Ryan continued “I’d also like to give special thanks to High Point Racing” Ryan will be back in action on August 1st for the Spears Southwest Tour Series 125 Presented by Bear River Hotel and Casino at Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka, California