Buddy Shepherd Looks for Hometown Success in the “Sixth Annual Winter Showdown”admin
Buddy Shepherd Looks for Hometown Success in the “Sixth Annual Winter Showdown”
For Immediate Release: SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series
Bakersfield, CA – It would be difficult to overlook Buddy Shepherd as a threat to win the Sixth Annual Spears Manufacturing Winter Showdown, when the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series heads to Bakersfield’s Kern County Raceway on March 20th. Shepherd calls Bakersfield his home and at times has been unbeatable at the half-mile speed plant. Shepherd had the distinction of sweeping all nine NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts Late Model victories in 2016, winning the track championship with ease. The SRL Rookie-of-the-Year candidate will set his sights on joining Bubba Pollard (2015, 2016), Derek Thorn (2017), Kyle Busch (2018) and Ty Majeski (2019) as winners of the prestigious event.
Shepherd was almost a victor back in 2018, when he finished runner-up to two-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch. Shepherd set Fast Time over the 48-car field and ran with the leaders all day. At the end of 300 laps, Shepherd finished in the runner-up spot, after a furious duel with NASCAR Cup and Xfinity star Daniel Hemric. It was an experience that Shepherd remembers fondly to this day.
“It was a blast racing door to door with Daniel those last few laps, such a hard fought second place finish that year”, Shepherd recalled.
Shepherd has already made his presence known in 2021. The leading Rookie-of-the-Year Contender finished fourth in the season opening “Sunrise Ford All-Star Showdown 200” from Irwindale Speedway. The three-time Madera Speedway Nut Up Pro Late Model Track Champion was sporting a brand new VanDoorn Racing Development Super Late Model, and has now had some time to get accustomed to the new car. He will now look to take the car to Victory Lane in its’ second start, at a track he knows well.
“I think our chances are very high with this new Vandoorn race car, with the way Butch (VanDoorn) has this thing rolling now. It is definitely going to be a team effort with how high the competition level is in the Southwest Tour. I’m really excited to be back at my home track!”
Shepherd is no stranger to Victory Lane in the “Tour” as well. He has 16 career series starts and scored a win at Madera Speedway in 2017. He has finished in the top-five in fully half of his SRL starts and 13 times in the top-10. He has an impressive finish average of 7.0, which is eighth best in series history, for drivers with 10 or more starts. At Kern County Raceway, he has three second place SRL finishes, which includes his 2018 Winter Showdown result. Last season he had a best finish of second, in his three starts. In one week, he plans to improve that by one position.
To make this event, and a run at the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Championship, Shepherd is thankful for those who have made the opportunity possible.
“I can’t thank everyone who is involved and helps me out enough”, Shepherd declared. “I’d like to thank my mom and dad, as well as my sponsors; Martin Auto Color, Inc., PPG, Advanced Distribution, Schaeffer’s Oil Indiana RaceSavers, Swift Springs and Vandoorn Racing Development.”
The Sixth Annual Winter Showdown will see 150 laps of competition, with a halfway break at lap 75. Half of the purse will be awarded at that juncture. Championship points will not be awarded until the completion of 150 laps. $5,000 will be paid to the leader at both lap 75 and 150, for a possible $10,000 payday. Single car qualifying will be followed by three Qualifying Heat Races to set the line-up for the Feature event. The top eight cars in qualifying will draw for position in their Heat Race, then race for their opportunity to sit on the pole for the prestigious event. The remaining cars will be split into “odd’ and “even” Heat Races, to set the remainder of the scheduled 36-car field. The Spears Modified Series and Kern County Raceway Super stocks will join the action.
The Sixth Annual Winter Showdown will be the first event at the paved ½-mile to allow fans in the grandstands since the Covid-19 shutdowns. Fans can purchase a “Fan Pass” at the front gate for $30. Those gates will open at 11:00 am. For those who are unable to attend, you can catch all the action live at www.SpearsRacing.TV, and on a delayed basis on MAVTV, the Motorsports Network.
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”.