BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour will be joined by the SPEARS Modified Series and SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services for a big weekend at All American Speedway on Saturday.
The trio of series will make their second appearance together at the Roseville, Calif., facility, with nearly 250 laps of feature action on tap. For fans unable to attend in person, they can watch the races live by visiting SPEED SPORT TV affiliate SpearsRacing.TV.
Headlining the show will be the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour super late models, which will compete in the Nut Up 125 presented by 51 FIFTY. The winner of the event could take home $8,000 for their efforts if they beat Derek Thorn to the finish line, complements of an additional $3,000 for the Motor City Throwdown Challenge.
Last May, Thorn won in a thrilling race that saw Jacob Gomes leading with four laps remaining. Gomes experienced a flat tire, allowing Thorn, who was dogging the leader, to cross the line first. It was a surprising victory for Thorn and a bitter disappointment for Gomes. So much so, Thorn could feel his closest competitor’s pain, as he looks forward to this weekend.
“The last time at Roseville, Gomes came so close to getting the win,” Thorn recalled. “I felt so bad for those guys. Roseville is tough to pass, and things happen quick. We will try to make the most of it, and try to make all the laps, and hope we have a fighting chance at it, when it counts.”
For Gomes it was certainly a heartbreak, but it gave the Manteca, Calif., driver motivation to come back even stronger at the third-mile facility.
“I’m more ready than ever and I can’t wait to get there and get it done,” Gomes said. “I’ve been close so many times. I won’t be able to sleep this Winter if I can’t get a win in, in these next two races.”
Sitting just behind Gomes in the championship standings is the leading rookie competitor, Buddy Shepherd. Shepherd led 78 laps in May’s event after swapping the lead with Thorn multiple times. Contact between Thorn and Shepherd, with the rookie driver leading the way, led to a pit stop to repair damage. It relegated Shepherd to the runner-up position after driving through the field. His strong run has raised the expectations for the one-time series winner.
“I’m super amped up to head back to Roseville this weekend, after having such a fast car there the first race,” Shepherd said. “It’s time to get it done.”
The defending SPEARS Modified Series titlist Jeremy Doss currently leads the series standings. He has scored five wins and six top-fives in the championship season. The only event that found Doss outside the top-two was at All American Speedway, where he finished a disappointing 15th. It was his worst career finish with the series and he hopes to rebound from the overheating issues that plagued his last effort.
“I think All American Speedway makes for some really great racing,” Doss said. “I’m really excited to be back there in the modified. We had a really good car last time there, but unfortunately had some overheating issues, so I’d really like to find victory lane come Saturday night.”
The SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services will also be on the card, as they race for $3,000. The last time the series visited, Doss pulled off an unlikely victory, recovering from several setbacks. Doss led Cole Brown, Seth Wise, Mike Lovell and Hans Beeler.
Doss has a solid lead in the championship, scoring seven wins in eight events. Doss is being chased by Kulwicki Driver Development finalist Dylan Zampa. Zampa has been racing in the local NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model division at All American Speedway, capturing five victories. He is hoping his success with the local series will pay off this weekend.
“Yeah, we’ve done really well in the local series at All American Speedway,” Zampa said. “A big thanks to the Anderson family for allowing me to run their car when we’re not racing the SRL series.”