Derek Thorn will make his 100th SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour start this weekend. (Steve Himelstein Photo)
Derek Thorn (pictured) and Buddy Shepherd will lead the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour back to Kern County Raceway on June 26. (Steve Himelstein Photo)

Thorn & Shepherd Lead Southwest Tour To Kern County

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Championship leaders Buddy Shepherd and Derek Thorn will both be headed home for round six of the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series season on June 26.

Shepherd enters round two of the JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – the Get It Hot 75 – with a two-point lead over five-time and defending series champion Thorn. Both drivers call Kern County Raceway their home and both drivers have found success at the fast half-mile tri-oval.

In 2016 Shepherd swept the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly 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 Thorn earlier this season. Shepherd has four second-place finishes at Kern with the series.

Shepherd will also be looking to break out of that bridesmaid column in SRL competition this season. He has finished second twice this season in addition to four top-five and five top-10 finishes. 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.

Thorn has a plethora of check marks in the win column, including four already this year. Thorn has 12 SRL Southwest Tour Series victories at the Kern County facility, which includes two Winter Showdown victories. He has also won four consecutive series events at Kern, and will be looking to take home the $10,000 winner’s share on June 26.

There is little the Lakeport, Calif., native hasn’t achieved at his 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, but he is sure to be challenged by a strong field of super late models. In addition, if Thorn qualifies in the top eight, he is eligible to take the challenge to start in the rear to compete for $20,000-to-win. 

The June 26 $10,000-to-win JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – Get It Hot 75 will be the headline of the biggest single race day of the year at Kern County Raceway. 

The full night of racing on the big half-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 those unable to attend, catch all the action live via SPEED SPORT TV affiliate at www.SpearsRacing.TV. The event will also air on MAVTV at a time and date to be announced later.

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