Two-time Kern County Raceway Park (CA) and Madera Speedway (CA) Late Model champion, Buddy Shepherd, will be teaming up with the Wilson Motorsports group to compete in the 2018 Winter Showdown at Kern County on February 1-3, 2018. The event pays $30,000 to win and $3,000 to start, thanks to the and Coors Light Bonus. This will be Shepherd’s third Showdown attempt after finishing 11th and 26th, in 2016 and 2017.


Shepherd is coming off a dream season, which saw him win the Madera Speedway RPM Pro Late Model championship, winning five of the seven events he participated in. He was also two for two in the Kern County Raceway Late Models and won his first SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series event at Madera Speedway.


300x250 SRL 2017.02.03 Winter ShowdownIn all, Shepherd scored top-five finishes in all three SRL events he started for Wilson Motorsports in 2017. That alone gives the team cause for optimism entering the 2018 Winter Showdown.


“Wilson Motorsports is excited to have Buddy Shepherd returning to the team to compete in the 2018 Winter Showdown,” the team stated. “Buddy has done extremely well in his previous performances for Wilson Motorsports. We will have joint support from VanDoorn Racing Development and Wilson Motorsports, in an effort to provide Buddy and the team with the equipment to be successful in the 2018 Winter Showdown.”


The Centennial High School Senior finished second to Derek Thorn in his last SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series start at Kern County Raceway. In his first start of the season, in the Winter Showdown, he qualified fifth with his small family-owned team, out-qualifying drivers such as Kyle Busch, Bubba Pollard and David Mayhew before motor issues sidelined him. Although he enters the Winter Showdown on a roll, he still remains humble, while looking for a good result in the star-studded event.


“My expectations, as a driver, is to do my best, no matter what is thrown at me during the race,” Shepherd told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “I have really good equipment behind me and I am looking for really good results for the Winter Showdown.”


Come February 3, the Wilson Industrial Pumps, VanDoorn Racing Development, Wilson Motorsports Toyota Camry will be one of the cars to watch for. With a talented young driver and a veteran team, the $30,000 prize will not be beyond their reach.


-By Kevin Peters, SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour

-Photo credit: SRL

After Dream Season, Shepherd Ready for Winter Showdown