The Fourth Annual SRL Winter Showdown will once again bring some of the biggest names in Super Late Model racing to Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California the first weekend in February, but just as important are some of the new names that will be looking to establish themselves over the course of the weekend. 15-year-old Fontana, CA native Kayla Eshleman is certainly going to be one of the fresh faces looking to do just that.
Coming off her first year in Super Late Models that saw her run full-time at Irwindale Speedway (CA) as well as traveling to Kern County, Madera Speedway (CA), The Bullring at Las Vegas (NV), and Havasu 95 Speedway (AZ), Eshleman is feeling a sense of confidence with all the seat time she gained in 2017.
“The first part of the year was a big time for learning, but throughout the year we got a lot better. So the first season was a big win for us. We learned a lot at Irwindale, made a lot of new friends. It was a pretty good season.”
Eshleman’s biggest highlight of the year was driving cross-country to Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) in November for the 300-lap PASS Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown. Though she was unable to hit her prerace goal, it was nonetheless a great eye-opening spectacle.
“It was an awesome experience being able to go out there, just to meet new people. We weren’t able to get through all 300 laps, which we wish we had, but it was an awesome experience.”
As for going for her first start in the Winter Showdown, Eshleman is more than thrilled to have a shot an all-star field with names ranging from Derek Thorn to Kyle Busch.
“It’s going to be a pretty good time, I’m very excited to be able to meet even more new people and show everyone what I can do. I’m going for the front, going to go for a top 10.”
The Winter Showdown is just the start for what will be the first season touring with the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series, among other things.
“My plan for the rest of the season is to run SRL full-time, we’re going to try some races at Las Vegas, and I’m super happy that Irwindale is back. Hopefully we can get a bunch of wins this year.”
Speed51.com will have extensive coverage of the SRL Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway including Trackside Now, video highlights and more.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA, RI & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Kayla Eshleman Instagram