STOCKTON, Calif. – The SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will be back in action this Saturday at New Stockton 99 Speedway for the running of the JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – Shoot to Thrill 127 presented by 51 FIFTY.
The quarter-mile oval has been in operation since 1947 and has hosted the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series 28 times. Saturday’s race will be the third for the series this year.
The 127-lap event will feature a half-way break. The leader on lap 27 will be awarded $1,000 thanks to JM Environmental Inc. The main event will feature a straight-up start, with $500 going to the fastest qualifier. In addition, each starter in the feature will be awarded a Lone Star Cowboy Hat, and a group photo will be taken before the event. In another twist, there will be a caution after 40 straight laps of competition, unless it falls within the final 25 laps.
The race winner will earn $5,000.
Derek Thorn leads the series in wins at New Stockton 99 Speedway. Thorn has four victories at the facility. He’s also been the fastest qualifier at the track six times.
“The most important thing at Stockton is to have a fast car, then luck, and avoiding the chaos is right there with it,” Thorn said. “It’s such a small track and when things go wrong everything happens real quick. I’ve been fortunate to have a great team and some real fast cars there, so hopefully we can get through a majority of the race in one piece, and be in contention at the end.”
Thorn has won the first two events of the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series season. He will be looking for his third win in a row this season and fourth overall, after winning the finale at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Series veteran Scott Sanchez will be making his 100th start in the series on Saturday. He will become only the second driver in series history to break the century mark, joining 2015 series champion Jacob Gomes. He is also the only series regular to have participated in the series inaugural season in 2001.
“Reaching 100 starts is definitely a cool milestone,” Sanchez said. “It’s not really something you think about year to year, and then suddenly here it is. I’ve just been really fortunate to race in the tour all these years. When I made my first start in 2001, I never had any idea I’d still be doing it 20 years later. I just love these cars both driving and working on them. I guess the challenge week in week out keeps the fire lit.”
Jacob Gomes won the 2015 edition of this event. It is one of three SRL victories for him at the facility. That win jump started his season and ultimately helped the Manteca, Calif., driver earn the SRL title. The event will be a special one for the Sunny Valley Smoked Meats driver, as the event will pay tribute to Ron Strmiska, and is traditionally the biggest race of the season at the historic facility.
“I’m excited and I love racing at Stockton,” Gomes said. “It’s one of my best tracks and being the 4th of July is awesome. It’s always been my favorite race of the year growing up as a kid.”
A win at New Stockton 99 Speedway would be even more special for two of the participants in this weekend’s event. Both John and Cole Moore would like to dedicate a win to their fallen son and brother, respectively, J.D. Moore. J.D. Moore lost his life in a fiery practice accident at Stockton in 2004.
“99 Speedway will be a part of my life forever,” the elder Moore offered. “I believe Cole and myself will honor Mr. J.D. with a win this weekend.”
Entry List For Saturday’s JM Environmental Inc. Wild West Shootout – Shoot to Thrill 127 presented by 51 FIFTY at New Stockton 99 Speedway
05 – Eric Schmidt – Roseville, Calif.
6B – Mike Beeler – Modesto, Calif.
6F – Tyler Fabozzi – Anaheim Hills, Calif.
11 – Tracy Bolin – Valley Spring, Calif.
16 – Jacob Gomes – Manteca, Calif.
20 – Cole Moore – Granite Bay, Calif.
22 – Andy Allen – Garden Grove, Calif.
24 – Scott Sanchez – Bakersfield, Calif.
26 – Jim Vermillion – Salisbury, N.C.
27 – John Moore – Granite Bay, Calif.
29 – Randy Hedrick – Reno, Nev.
43 – Derek Thorn – Bakersfield, Calif.
51T – Dean Thompson – Anaheim Hills, Calif.
51V – Carlos Vieira – Livingston, Calif.
71N – Kyle Neveau – San Clemente, Calif.
71W – Matt Wendt – Lodi, Calif.
86 – Tim Spurgeon – Danville, Calif.
88I – Joey Iest – Madera, Calif.
88G – Jason Gilbert – Dublin, Calif.
98 – Blaine Rocha – Oakdale, Calif.
99 – Linny White – Colton, Calif.