Thursday, August 4, 2016

Spears SRL Southwest Tour returns to the Acres

Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series point leader, Derek Thorn
(Photo Courtesy Matthew J. Sullivan Racing Photography)

By Matthew J. Sullivan

For the third time in the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series’ history, the super late model touring division will visit Eureka’s Redwood Acres Raceway. The SRL tour cars first visited the Acres in 2013 and returned to the 3/8-mile paved oval in 2014.

Many of the top super late model drivers on the west coast are set to participate in the 125-lap main event presented by Renner Petroleum and Bear River Hotel and Casino. Perhaps the biggest name is SRL series point leader, Derek Thorn. Though he currently resides in Bakersfield, Thorn was born in Lakeport, California. Thorn has three wins in 2016 including in the most recent SRL race at Madera Speedway on July 16th. He was the 2013 NASCAR K&N West Series champion and has 27 career wins in the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series.

Thorn is no stranger to the Acres. The 30-year old driver raced IMCA modifieds at RAR in the early 00s before moving to the now defunct North State Challenge late model series. Thorn won three NSCS races at Redwood Acres Raceway between 2005 and 2006. More recently, Thorn has made a name for himself on the national stage, in particular the prestigious Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Florida where he has three top 10 finishes in four races including a third in 2014.

Another top driver who will be making only his second start in the SRL series this season is Upper Lake’s Jeremy Doss. At only 19-years old, Doss is making a big name for himself in super late model racing circles. Just a few weeks ago, Doss won the coveted Montana 200 at Montana Raceway Park in Kalispell, Montana. Doss is a member of the Kulwicki Driver Development program named after the 1992 NASCAR Spring Cup Series champion, Alan Kulwicki. Like Thorn, Doss also has experience taming Redwood Acres Raceway. Doss won a 2012 Pacific Challenge Series race at the Acres and currently holds the series’ fast time mark with a 15.413.

Eureka’s Brandon White will be looking for his second career win in the SRL series at his home track on Saturday night. White’s only win came in 2014 at Madera Speedway. The 2016 SRL season has not treated White so kind as it’s been a struggle for the 19-year old. White’s only top 10 so far in the season came at the season opening race at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. White hopes his victory at the Acres in the Don Graham Memorial Firecracker 100 in July will provide the momentum he needs to take a win in front of his home town fans.

Alderpoint’s Luke Hall will be making his first Spears SRL Southwest Tour start Saturday night. Hall is a regular in RAR’s late model division. Roseburg, Oregon’s Brandon Ash will also be racing as well as Stayton, Oregon’s Alan Cress. Ash finished third in the Don Graham Memorial Firecracker 100 earlier this season while Cress has numerous late model starts at Redwood Acres Raceway.

Gates open at 4:00 PM on Saturday with the qualifying for the Spears SRL Southwest Tour cars taking place at 6:00 PM. The local late model and Thunder Roadster divisions will have the night off. In between the heat races and main events, fans will have the opportunity to meet the stars of the SRL on the front straightaway. Presale tickets for this weekend’s Renner Petroleum/Bear River Hotel and Casino 125 are available at Fortuna Wheel & Brake. For more information on this weekend’s SRL race and everything going on at Redwood Acres Raceway please visit the track’s official website,