Derek Thorn won Monday’s SPEARS Southwest Tour Series “Century Motorsports and Marine 125” at Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley, Utah. Thorn’s win was hard fought, as he made his way up from his tenth starting position for his third career win at the 3/8-mile oval.
Jeff Bischofberger led the field to the green, with fellow front row starter Tracy Bolin. Bolin jumped to the lead and held the point until Ross Strmiska move passed Bolin to take over the top spot on lap 14.
On lap 20, Donny St. Ours powered the Sigma Engineering #54 passed Strmiska and into the lead. St. Ours stretched his lead to two seconds over Jeremy Doss who had followed St. Ours passed Strmiska.
At lap 40, St. Ours was still leading, followed by Doss, Thorn, Brandon White, Strmiska in fifth, Jacob Gomes sixth, with Keith Spangler, Cole Loftsgard, Jonathan Mawhinney, and Bolin rounding out the top ten.
Within the next 20 laps, White moved ahead of Thorn for third, then passed Doss for second and took over the lead from St. Ours on lap 58.
By the half-way point of the 125 lap event, White was out front with a four second lead, Thorn was second, St. Ours third, Doss fourth and Gomes up to fifth.
As the laps wound down, White, from Eureka, California looked to be on his way to his second SPEARS Southwest Tour Series win of 2014, before his car started to lose power intermittently, with what was later to be discovered a fuel pressure issue. As White’s car faltered, Thorn started eating away at White’s big lead. As White’s Northcoast Lighting and Electric Ford sputtered off turn two the #43 of Thorn made contact and the lead was exchanged, White battled back five laps later to re-take the lead as the two cars rubbed entering turn 1.
White and Thorn ran side-by-side with Greg Voigt, Gomes and Doss right on their bumpers. White’s car hesitated again down the back straightaway on lap 112 and Thorn squeezed into the lead for good to win the Century Motorsports and Marine 125. White held onto second, followed closely by Greg Voigt who rallied from the rear of the field twice, with Gomes in fourth and Doss rounding out the top five. Strmiska was sixth, top rookie Garret Archer seventh, with Spangler, Bolin and Scott Sanchez making up the balance of the top ten.
Notes from Rocky Mountain Raceway:
· Monday’s win was Thorn’s 18th in his SPEARS Southwest Tour Series career, which is the most all-time in the series.
· Brandon White led a race high (and career high) of 46 laps.
· Laguna Beach, California’s Ryan Cansdale made his series debut at Rocky Mountain Raceways. After a solid day on Sunday during open practice, Cansdale gave up his ride in the BP Racing #01 to allow Carlos Vieira to drive the car on Monday due to Vieira’s #51 suffering non-repairable mechanical issues.
· Blaine Rocha of Oakdale, California made his first SPEARS Southwest Tour Series start driving the Strmiska Racing/MASROC Farms/Rocha’s Valley Enterprises #98 to an impressive eleventh place finish.
· Retro Custom Metals (Salt Lake City) sponsored Keith Spangler for the Rocky Mountain Raceways event. Spangler will also carry the Retro colors at the Pikes Peak International Raceway event on September 28th.
· Jeremy Doss and his team will log a lot of miles over the next two weeks as Doss left Rocky Mountain Raceways to travel straight to Montana Raceway Park to compete in the G.E.T. Rich 212, from there they will travel straight to the Century Motorsports & Marine 222 at Magic Valley Speedway (Twin Falls, ID).
· Garret Archer maintained his lead in the Rookie-of-the-Year Challenge, by placing 7th in Monday’s Century Motorsports and Marine 125.
· Next race for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is at Madera Speedway on Saturday, June 28th, which will also feature the DC’s RV Center – Barbecue, Qualifying Draw and Campout on Friday after open practice.
About SPEARS MANUFACTURING: Spears Manufacturing is a world leader in plastic pipe fittings and valves. SPEARS’ maintains over one million square feet of manufacturing facilities in four states and nine distribution centers across the USA for worldwide distribution. For more information go to http://www.spearsmfg.com.
About the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series: Celebrating its fourteenth season in 2014, the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is a regional stock car series competing on paved ovals in the southwestern portion of the U.S. http://www.srlsouthwesttour.com <http://www.srlsouthwesttour.com/> . “The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series…Where the Champions Race”