Bakersfield, CA – At Saturday’s Century Motorsports & Marine 122 presented by Retro Custom Metals at Rocky Mountain Raceways, just out side of Salt Lake City, Utah, 28 cars took the green flag for the $10,000 to win event. For the first time ever, the teams of the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series and the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series came together to compete in same race.
After a late race restart, with just four laps remaining, Manteca, California’s Jacob Gomes was able to wrestle the win away from Clear Lake, California’s Jeremy Doss, who had led the race since lap 33. From his outside front row restart position on lap 119, Gomes was able to move into the lead past Doss, who had chosen the inside for the final restart, and went on to his second career win at Rocky Mountain Raceways.
“Man, it feels so good. This is a big win for us,” stated the 22-year-old Gomes from the Rocky Mountain Raceways winner’s circle. “We’ve really struggled over the last few seasons, but now we have back-to-back wins after winning Stockton three weeks ago.”
Saturday was Gomes 6th career SPEARS Southwest Tour Series win and 61st consecutive start in the series, the most of any driver in series history.
“We started the weekend with the same car we won with at Stockton, and had nothing but trouble, so late on Friday we pulled out our other car, and it wasn’t much better speed wise in practice. We made some changes just before qualifying and surprisingly we ended up second fastest behind Derek (Thorn).”
Gomes started eleventh, after a twelve car invert set the field. At the drop of the green, the 2015 Rocky Mountain Challenge Series champion, Jonathon Gomez, jumped into the lead, where he stayed until a lap 29 restart. Doss took over the lead on lap 33 with Olympia, Washington’s Parker Stephens on his bumper cover.
Fast qualifier Derek Thorn had worked his way up to third by lap 34, but a flat left rear tire would send the defending SPEARS Southwest Tour Series champion spinning down the front straight-away on lap 55, at which point Gomes established his place in the top three. With the top three of Doss, Stephens and Gomes staying unchanged, the remainder of the top 10 was changing nearly every lap with Ryan Wells, Carlos Vieira, John Dillon, Eddie McKean, Blaine Rocha, Ryan Cansdale, and Thorn who was charging back through the field after pitting for a new left rear. Thorn’s night would end on lap 95 with a broken track bar.
At lap 100, Doss was still out front, Stephens was second and Gomes third, while Wells and Vieira battled hard in fourth and fifth.
With five laps to go, the top five remained unchanged, and Doss was in control and looking to cash the $10,000 winner’s check.
But everything changed on lap 119, when the spinning car of Darren Jones collected the second place car of Stephens and the final caution flew with just four laps remaining. Stephens pitted for repairs, and Gomes joined Doss on the front row for the final restart. With Doss restarting on the inside, Gomes stayed even with Doss through turns 1 and 2, then charged ahead off of 2 and down the back straight away. Doss filled the bottom groove, with Gomes inches ahead on the outside. At the finish, Gomes cleared Doss by .44 seconds, to score the biggest payday of his career.
Wells would place third, Vieira fourth, Rocha fifth, Colby Potts finished sixth, after starting 19th, Cansdale seventh, Greg Voigt, who rebounded from an early spin in eighth, and Bobby Hodges ninth.
The race lasted one hour, twenty seconds, with five caution periods.
Voigt maintains the championship lead with 1042 points, with two races remaining in the 2015 season. Gomes moved up to second with 1034, just 8 points back. Carlos Vieira is third in the standings with 1031, followed by Stephens at 1022, Cansdale at 989, and Keith Spangler who is seventh in the championship, just 104 points off the lead.
The next race for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is the “DC’s RV Center’s 100 presented by Race for Autism” on Saturday, October 17th at Kern County Raceway Park.
-SRL Southwest Tour Press Release. Photo Credit: SRL Southwest Tour photo