Jeremy Doss, the seventh pick in the 2019 Short Track Draft on Speed51.com, heads to The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (NV) this weekend with eight career Super Late Model wins at the facility. If he is to capture a ninth victory in Sin City, he will need to defeat two of his biggest rivals on the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour in the $10,000-to-win Retro Custom Metals 150 on Saturday, May 4.
Derek Thorn and Preston Peltier are two of the 31 drivers entered; they're also two of the fiercest competitors that Doss will need to fend off to garner the rich win.
Not to make it easier, two-time Senators Cup Fall Classic Winner Linny White will also join the mix, as well as two-time NASCAR Southwest Tour “Bullring” winner Craig Raudman and former SRL “Bullring” winners Bear Rzesnowiecky, Jacob Gomes and Blaine Rocha. This weekend’s entry list represents 17 Southwest Tour Series victories and five Fall Classic Super Late Model wins at the facility.
The Bullring at LVMS is admittedly Doss’ favorite track, as the 2018 SRL Champ has won six of his last seven Super Late Model starts at the facility, including his last four. His only loss was a Fall Classic thriller, in which Derek Thorn and Doss exchanged the lead multiple times over the last several laps. It was an event that enhanced the growing competitive rivalry between the two west coast stars, but he doesn’t feel it will distract from his effort to win the $10,000 winner prize.
“Derek and I have had quite a few run-ins at Vegas, but our focus is on winning the race”, Doss told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “If it comes down to us in the final laps, we’ll just have to see how it plays out. We raced hard and traded some paint at Roseville (All American Speedway, CA), but it was just good short track racing. Hopefully we’re able to put on another exciting race for the fans.”
Prior to Doss’ stretch of wins, Thorn had proven to be the dominant driver at The Bullring. He has accumulated nine total wins since 2010, but didn’t make a start at the facility in 2018. The fact that the Campbell Motorsports driver is on the entry list only makes Doss work harder.
“Like I always say, I expect to win every race I enter,” Doss explained. “Derek and I are very similar in that respect. But yeah, when I see the 43 on the entry list, it gives me that little bit of extra fire and it makes us work that much harder. I wouldn’t say that I race Derek any different than anyone else; I race you the way you race me.”
A visiting driver that is sure to be in the mix with Doss, Thorn and company is Colorado driver Preston Peltier. The Colorado resident made his first SRL start at Irwindale Speedway a profitable one earlier this year by taking home $5,125 for the victory.
During that event, Peltier, Doss and Thorn mixed it up in an entertaining race for the fans. After the race, a new rivalry emerged between Doss and Peltier, a rivalry that may have had its roots a couple of months before.
“I guess it all started at the Winter Showdown,” Doss speculated. “I don’t think he liked what I said after the race. Then at Irwindale, we raced each other really hard and he had something to say after the race. I felt like I raced him the way he raced me. It is what it is. My focus at Vegas is to win, and I hope that’s his focus as well. The more competition the better, so it’s great to have him compete in the series.”
The two-time Pacific Challenge Series Champion and its all-time winningest driver is rightfully concentrating on the race itself, with hopes of bringing home another $10,000. Doss executed a sweep of last year’s rich events at the Bullring, and he has proven that he knows the way to Victory Lane at the 3/8-mile D-shaped oval. He has won with a variety of strategies, but the common detail has been a fast car.
“I think race management is probably the most important thing at The Bullring,” Doss commented. “That’s something I feel I excel at and having fast race cars definitely doesn’t hurt. I’ve got the best crew around, and they give me fast race cars week in and week out.”
In the larger picture, Doss leads the early season standings over 2015 champion Jacob Gomes, teammate Jeff Bischofberger, four-time champion Thorn and Rookie of the Year Contender Jace Hansen. Tyler Fabozzi, Cole Moore, John Moore, Linny White and Craig Raudman round out the top 10.
With Thorn in the championship picture thus far, Doss would love to take home the title, competing against the best drivers in the west, a list that includes Thorn.
“The more competition the better,” Doss stated. “He (Thorn) edged me out for the championship in 2014, so it would be cool to get it back. Season after season, the SRL continues to be the most competitive series on the West Coast. It’s not easy to win races in this series, and it won’t be any different at Vegas.”
If Doss can pull off another victory on Saturday, he will collect another $10,000 for his efforts. That would result in $45,000 in race winnings over his last four starts in Las Vegas. Those earnings have been extremely helpful for the Upper Lake, California driver, and he is extremely thankful to Retro Custom Metals and David “Homie” Mulcahy for his sponsorship of the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series events.
“As most everyone knows, racing is a very expensive sport,” Doss commented. “To have someone like Homie put up the extra money is pretty awesome. It’s a great incentive for more drivers to come out and race, and we’ve seen that with the great car counts at Vegas.”
Doss is also thankful for those who make his racing efforts possible.
“I’ve got to thank the JD Motorsports crew for working their tails off, week in and week out, to give me fast race cars. I’ve got to thank my sponsors as well: Earnest Performance, Senneker Performance, S&S Sports Enterprise, PFC Brakes, Swift Springs, Pit Stop USA, Speedy Signs, Pacific Export LLC, Peter’s Racing Engines, and Five Star Bodies, Top Notch Water Delivery & Horse Power Project. I also want to express my thanks to the Kulwicki Driver Development Program, and I hope that I can represent them well, both on and off the track.”
On Friday, April 26, Doss’ efforts behind the wheel paid off when he was recognized for his accomplishments in racing. Doss was selected as the No. 7 Draft Pick in the 2019 Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes on Speed51.com. It’s an honor that the 2019 Kulwicki Driver Development Program finalist is very appreciative of, and he hopes it will bring more attention to West Coast racers.
“It’s nice to be recognized on a national level,” Doss proclaimed. “I feel like the West Coast doesn’t always get the recognition or attention it deserves, but I hope I can help change that.”
On Saturday, May 4 spectator gates open at 5:00 pm, with qualifying for the Junior Late Models, Bandoleros, Spears Modified Series, Legends and SPEARS Southwest Tour Series beginning at 5:15 p.m. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 6:45 p.m., followed by the Bandolero Features for the Bandits and Outlaws. The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Last Chance Qualifying Race (as needed) is up next, with the Junior Late Model feature ensuing. The Retro Custom Metals 150 will then take center stage, with a fuel break at the lap 75 mark. The Legends feature follows, with the “SPEARS Manufacturing Modified Series presented by Lucas Oil” feature rounding out the night's action.
SRL Pre-Entry List for May 4:
1 Matthew Wendt*
2 Craig Raudman
6F Tyler Fabozzi*
6M Mike Beeler
08 Jace Hansen*
11B Tracy Bolin
11D John Dillon
16 Jacob Gomes
18 Jack Wood
20 Cole Moore
21N Eric Nascimento Jr.*
21R Blaine Rocha
23 Dan Holtz
24 Scott Sanchez
26 Andy Allen
27 John Moore
38 Jesse Love*
42 Mark Neff*
43 Derek Thorn
44 Bob Lyon
45 Bear Rzesnowiecky
48 Preston Peltier
51 Carlos Vieira
54 Joe Farre’
64 Matthew Meech
66 Jeff Bischofberger
71 Kyle Neveau
75 Jeremy Doss
89 Bobby Hodges
98 Barry Conoyer*
99 Linny White
*SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Rookie Contender
-Story by: Kevin Peters, SRL
-Photo credit: Michele Martin