One of the crown jewels of Super Late Model racing on the West Coast, if not the entire country, takes place this weekend, as the 5th Annual Winter Showdown unfolds at Kern County Raceway Park (CA). Fans with a premium membership can watch live this weekend on Speed51. We get you ready for the big race in this edition of “By the Numbers.”
2: After a year away from the Winter Showdown, Donnie Wilson heads back to Kern County Raceway following a second-place finish to Derek Thorn in 2017. Wilson, who is sporting a new look on his No. 2 ride this weekend, will look to improve on that second-place run and take home the $30,000 check.
3: In his third start in the Winter Showdown, Dominic Ursetta posted a career-best eighth finish a year ago. Now, he’ll be back looking to crack the top five.
4: Ty Majeski returns looking to improve on his fourth-place run in 2018. Last year’s journey to Bakersfield was the only trip to date to the California track for Majeski.
5: Ryan Reed, a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series winner at Daytona International Speedway, will be behind the wheel of the Wauters Motorsports No. 5R this weekend. Reed is a Bakersfield native who will return to his hometown looking for a big victory.
9: Keep an eye on the driver of car No. 9 this weekend. Derek Kraus enters the weekend with three NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victories at the track, including one last year over NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick.
11: Eureka, California driver Brandon White completed only 11 laps of the Winter Showdown in 2017. In 2018, he did not make the race, so he comes into this year’s race with a lot of time to think about how to improve. He hopes to make the race and have a solid run this time around.
18: Chris Davidson started 25th a year ago and worked his way through the field to finish seventh in the 300-lap Winter Showdown. It was Davidson’s second start at Kern County. He’s hoping the third time is the charm this weekend.
48: Last year, 48 cars tried to make the show at Kern County. The field was set at 36.
58: Tyler Ankrum enters the Winter Showdown after what he called a “tear-jerking” ending to his Winter Showdown last year. Ankrum was running second at the time before a flat tire launched him into the outside wall and ended his day.
93: Preston Peltier has completed 93 percent of the laps he’s run at the Winter Showdown. Peltier is one of the few who can say they have run all the Winter Showdown events. His best run was a fifth in 2015, and he’ll be looking to improve on that with a new Rowdy Manufacturing ride under him this weekend.
300: In 2018, this young race expanded from 250 laps to 300 laps, making it the longest on the west coast. The race is now the same distance as the Snowball Derby, which is also on a half-mile track.
539: The number of laps that Derek Thorn has led at the Winter Showdown. He’s led laps in all four Winter Showdowns and picked up a win in 2017, but these numbers tell you he could have won more.
2015: Mike Longton will be looking to make his first start in the Winter Showdown since 2015 when he finished 34th.
3000: Every driver that takes the green flag for the 5th Annual Winter Showdown will pocket a minimum of $3,000.
30,000: The winner of the Winter Showdown will pocket $30,000, making it one of the biggest paydays in asphalt short track racing.
150,000: The total posted purse for the 5th Annual Winter Showdown.
2018 Kyle Busch
2017 Derek Thorn
2016 Bubba Pollard
2015 Bubba Pollard
-Text by Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Stat Boy
-Photo credit: Speed51.com