The 2016 Speed51.com Most Popular Driver for the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series has submitted his entry for the 2018 Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway on February 1-3. Bobby Hodges will make his fourth appearance at the $30,000-to-win event, where he has one top 10 and two top-15 finishes.
Hodges scored one 2017 SRL win at the season-opening SPEARS Manufacturing 100 at the Irwindale Event Center in March. He led the championship standings until the fourth event of the season at Madera Speedway. It was there that he was caught up in an accident, not of his own doing. That accident destroyed his primary car and set off a string of bad luck that ended his championship run, and led to an eventual sixth-place finish in the standings.
It was at Kern County Raceway, however, that got Hodges back on track, as he finished fourth in the penultimate event of the season after missing the event at Tucson Speedway. The top-five finish gave Hodges back to back top fives at KCR.
It was the first good finish for the straight-rail car they purchased from Brian Richardson. It is the same car that Willie Allen drove to a fifth-place finish in the 2017 Showdown. That finish gives the team reason for optimism heading to the Showdown.
"I think our chances are good to compete for the win," Hodges told the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series. "We made some good headway in figuring out this new car, getting into the top five with it last year and finding some speed. But we'll need to do some homework testing to put ourselves in the best position to win. We are certainly looking forward to the challenge."
Hodges is excited to bring his National Automotive Test Center, Naake Suspension Specialists, StopTech Chevrolet to an event that has grown in stature and status over its young history. The "Red Rocket" is looking forward to the competition, afforded by the biggest Super Late Model race on the West Coast.
"I am looking forward to the Showdown because it is most likely the biggest race I will ever have the opportunity to race in. It is our opportunity to bring our 'A' game, at the highest level. That is really a racer's dream, to go toe to toe with the best and to beat them," Hodges explained.
When Hodges takes the green flag for the $30,000-to-win event on February 3, he will not only be looking for his first top five in the event but his first victory. Given the driver and team's improvement over the last several years, this driver's dream could come true.
-Story by Kevin Peters / SRL
-Photo credit: Speed51.com