Bakersfield, CA – When it comes to records, Scott Sanchez may not be the first name to come to mind in the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series. Derek Thorn, Jacob Gomes, Jeremy Doss, Jim Pettit II, M.K. Kanke, and others may get more notoriety, but the “Chez” has done more than his fair share of racing in the series. In fact, he has appeared at more events than any other driver in series history, and he will make start number 130 at Kern County Raceway Park (CA) this Saturday in the “JM ENVIRONMENTAL, INC. Wild West Shootout – For Those About to Rock 107”. It is only one less start than two-time series champion Jacob Gomes. It will also be his 61st consecutive appearance, which is currently the most among all competitors.
Sanchez also holds the series record for positions improved, with a fourth-place finish in the “Canidae Classic 110” at Irwindale Speedway. He drove from 29th starting to improve 25 positions in 2011. He is coming off a sixth-place finish, also at Irwindale, earning career top-10 number 14. Sanchez is the only current competitor to make a start in the series inaugural 2001 season, and he has made many memories along the way.
“I’m really just very appreciative that I’ve been able to be a part of the “Tour” for so long”, Sanchez reminisced. “When I look back at some of the amazing drivers I’ve been privileged to race with, all the Belletto’s, all three generations of the Strmiska’s, both Kanke’s, then there is (Jim) Pettit, (Eric) Holmes, (Dave) Byrd, (Ken) Boyd and of course now (Derek) Thorn, (Jacob) Gomes, (Linny) White and (Jeremy) Doss. They are definitely memories that I’ll carry forever.”
Saturday’s event will pay $10,000-to-win with the starting line-up established by the Heat Race results. The Heat will pay $1,000-to-win thanks to Dick Shepherd at H&S Body Works and Towing. The “Chez” has been improving at Kern, finishing in the top dozen in four of the last five events. Although the facility has been a challenge for the Bakersfield, CA driver, he is beginning to get more comfortable at the high-speed ½-mile, and a win would be a popular occasion for the fans and teams of the series.
“Kern can be a bit intimidating, and it’s sneaky fast”, as Sanchez described his impression of the fast ribbon of asphalt. “You don’t realize how fast it is till you’re in trouble. I’d say I’m a bit more comfortable the last couple of races here, but I’ll need to get out of any comfort zone to be more competitive this weekend.”
For the second time in 2023, Sanchez will have a teammate. Travis McCullough will pull double duty in both his Modified and the Sanchez owned FURY Race Cars Super Late Model. For Sanchez, it is more work, but it is well worth the effort, giving other drivers and friends an opportunity to compete.
“Obviously it’s more work having a second car running”, Sanchez explained. “I truly enjoy helping other drivers get an opportunity to drive a Super (Late Model), so it has its pluses and minuses. Travis and I have been chatting for the past couple of years about him wheeling the ole #24, and it’s finally coming together this week. I look forward to seeing Travis run on Saturday.”
Bringing two Super Late Models to the track is especially difficult for a small budget team, but Sanchez is able to accomplish the feat with the help of his racing partners.
“None of us do this alone”, Sanchez admitted. “It takes a lot of time, dedication, and support from so many, to get to the track each week. Scott Sanchez Racing is no different. I wouldn’t be able to do it without the continued support of Gibson Crane, Salted Metals Architectural Metals, Motor City Buick GMC, and of course my better half Michele Burrow. In the iconic words of Michael Buffer; “Let’s get ready rumble!!”
The “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – For Those About to Rock 107” for the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series will take place on June 17th and will be a single day event for the Super Late Models, Spears Modified Series, and the Spears Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services. The Super Late Models will race for $10,000, with $800 to start and $1,200 for those on the Spears Frequent Flyer Program. The starting lineup will be set through a Heat race, which will pay $1,000 to the winner, thanks to H&S Body Works. The Heat lineup will be based off practice times for the series, with a redraw or invert at the front of the field. The Liuna “Feel the Power” Fireworks Spectacular will also be a part of the evening.
Celebrating its twenty third season in 2023, 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”.