Wild West Shootout News and Notes Kern County Raceway Parkadmin
Event: The Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series will visit Kern County Raceway Park for the 24th time in series history on June 17th. It will be a single-day event for the series, and they will be joined by the Spears Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services and the Spears Modified Series. The “JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – For Those About to Rock 107” will pay $10,000 to the winner and $800 to start. For teams on the Spears Frequent Flyer Program (three consecutive starts) it will pay $1,200 to start. Final Practice will determine the line-up for the 20-lap Qualifying Heat Race. The Feature event line-up will be set off Heat Race results. The winner of the Heat Race will receive an additional $1,000 from H&S Body Works. There will be a Competition Caution at the end of 30 consecutive green flag laps, but no Competition Caution will be thrown after lap 92.
Championship Standings: Three-time ’23 winner Jacob Gomes leads the Super Late Model standings after four events with 710 points. John Moore (630), Dylan Zampa (582), Nick Cooper (549), and Cale Kanke (529) make up the top-five. Andy Allen (516), Austin Herzog (515), Dan Holtz (512), Scott Sanchez (492), and Jace Hansen (450) round out the top-10.
Rookie Standings: With his win at Irwindale Speedway (CA), in the series last event, Dylan Zampa has taken the lead in the Rookie-of-the-Year standings. The 2022 Kulwicki Driver Development Program champion leads two-time Colorado National Speedway (CO) Super Late Model championship runner-up Nick Cooper by 33 markers. Madera Speedway (CA) Pro Late Model champion Austin Herzog is third, another 34 points back after finishing third at Irwindale. Three-time Colorado National Speedway Super Late Model champion Darren Robertson and two-time ARCA Menards Pro Series West winner Sean Hingorani make up the remainder of the top-five.
Series Winners: Six drivers on the current entry have won in the Spears SRL Southwest Tour. Jacob Gomes leads the list with 13 victories. Jeremy Doss has 12 wins with Blaine Rocha and Buddy Shepherd at two apiece. Dan Holtz and Dylan Zampa possess one each. Gomes, Doss, and Rocha have wins at Kern County Raceway Park.
Hall of Famer: John Moore and JM Environmental Inc. are the primary sponsors for this weekend’s $10,000-to-win event, as well as the Wild West Shootout three-race mini-series, paying $10,000-to-win. Moore is a West Coast Stockcar Hall of Fame 2022 inductee, boasting a multitude of Motocross championships, a Pacific Challenge Series Championship, and a 2021 All American Speedway Pro Late Model Track Championship. Moore has been an integral part of the series and will make his 56th career start on Saturday, looking for his first series victory.
Champion Returns: 2018 SRL champion Jeremy Doss will make his return to the series, after competing in the season opening “All-Star Showdown 200” at Irwindale Speedway. Doss narrowly lost the championship to Gomes by two points in 2022, in a battle that came down to the last lap. Both Gomes and Doss earned three wins last season, with Doss grabbing his second series victory at Kern County Raceway Park in the “October Classic”. The two will reunite their friendly rivalry Saturday night, at a track for which Doss has momentum.
“Gomes is always fun to race with, and we’ve been battling it out ever since I started racing in the SRL in 2013”, Doss recanted about his battles with the Manteca, CA racer! “He’s a driver I’m very comfortable racing side by side with, knowing we won’t rough each other up, or take each other out of contention.”
Doss continued, “I believe our win last October will help us with this event. That car hasn’t been raced since then, and we have a great baseline to work with, which will help us with it only being a one-day event.”
Two-time Champion: Jacob Gomes is looking forward to the Jeremy Doss / Bob Lyon Racing return to the series. Gomes trails in the SRL head to head comparison with Doss, 30 to 17. But he has the edge over the last 10 events, six to four. He will be seeking win number four this season and 14 overall. If Doss wins, the two will be tied at 13 apiece. The Manteca, CA racer is ready to take to the track once again, with his fellow champion.
“I’m really looking forward to having him (Doss) back” Gomes stated. “It’s always fun racing with him. I had a lot of good races with him in the past, and I’m sure this next week is going to be fun with both of us together again.”
Rookie Leader: Dylan Zampa put himself on the winners list at Irwindale Speedway in May. He is excited to compete at big money events against series champions such as Gomes and Doss, as well as multi-time winners and track champions such as Buddy Shepherd. Competing for wins at his point of the season is something that Zampa could only hope for.
“Competing against Gomes, Doss, and Shepherd for $10,000 dollars is a big deal”, Zampa explained. “Me, just only being a rookie, and competing for wins against these guys, is something I never thought would be said at the beginning of this year. But having the right people behind me and having amazing parents and an amazing crew makes us able to be in contention for wins. Going into this race against these guys, is just gunna be just another race for me, and nothing will change on how I prep for the race. All these guys in the SRL are the real deal, and they are hungry for that big win. We will be even more hungry after the last race, knowing we can win in this series.”
Rocha Returns: Blaine Rocha began the season participating in the first two Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series events, but he drove cross country to compete with the SRL National and ASA Stars National Tour over the last several month. On Saturday, he will make his return to Kern County Raceway Park, where he was a winner in the past. He is thrilled to be back home with some knowledge gained from his East Coast adventures.
“I’m really excited to get back to Kern and the SRL”, Rocha stated. “We learned a lot back East, running against the rest of the best Super Lates in the country. We had some tough luck at Hickory (Motor Speedway) but still came out on a positive note. It’s all about the experiences and the people you surround yourself with. We have had really strong runs at Kern the last two times we have been there, just bad luck struck us. I think we will go back and compete for the win. We just have to put it all together as a team.”
NASCAR Veteran: Three-time Irwindale Speedway track champion Nick Joanides will make his first start with the SRL since 2020, when he teams up with Garcia Racing this weekend. Joanides was a veteran of the NASCAR Southwest Tour, as well as the ARCA Menards Pro Series West. His 57 career wins at Irwindale placed him third on the all-time wins list for the facility. He will now return to his favorite type of racecar, looking for his first top-five in his eighth SRL start.
“I am looking forward to it! The “Tour” cars have always been my favorite cars to drive”, Joanides stated. “They are light weight, great handling cars, with full slick tires, and a lot of horsepower. It’s always hard to do a one-off race with no testing, but the Garcia’s have good equipment, and they’re great guys to work with. So, hopefully we can hit on the setup right off the trailer and have a great run”
Schedule: There will be an optional open practice for all teams beginning at 10:00 AM Saturday and extending to 1:00 PM. Official Practice begins at 1:00 PM for the Pro Late Models, Modifieds, and Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series. Spectator gates officially open at 4:00 PM. Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 7:00 PM with Heat Races for all three divisions following. Main events will follow for the Spears Modified Series and the Spears Southwest Tour Series. A fireworks display thanks to LiUNA Local 220 will proceed the Pro Late Model Feature event.
Broadcast: The event will be shown LIVE on SpearsRacing.TV and on a delayed basis on MAVTV.
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”.