Even though the SRL Winter Showdown is just two years old, it’s quickly solidified its reputation as one of the biggest Super Late Model races in the country. If proof is needed, just look at the entry list for this weekend’s race at Kern County Raceway Park in California. The defending NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion is on the entry list, but he said he’s just focused on making the race.
That’s right, Chris Eggleston just wants to make the Winter Showdown, a race that will pay out at least $30,000 to the winner, before he even thinks about winning the race.
“It will be an honor to just make the race,” Eggleston told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “You’ve got to have a good qualifying effort and good heat race run to get locked into the show first and foremost.
“It’s going to be nuts. I mean everybody that is going there is probably a hometown hero at their local track. There’s no slouch at this race. When you add to it that there’s over 50 cars, that’s just nuts.”
In addition to just having a lot of cars, the competition is about as fierce as it gets. Whether it’s Bubba Pollard, Derek Thorn, Cole Anderson, Todd Gilliland, Donnie Wilson, or anyone else, so many drivers have a chance to win on Sunday.
Eggleston knows this race will be tough to win. He said it will be even tougher for him because he’ll be in his own equipment this weekend. But if he was to win, he said it would mean close to as much as his K&N West championship from one year ago.
“Everyone that works on my race cars all have full time jobs and all work more than 40 hours a week and they get to the shop at night,” added Eggleston. “That’s always real difficult. But we’ve put in a lot of effort into this car and this race and if we are able to capture a win this weekend that would be extremely cool. To do something like that in our own equipment would be awesome. It would be a humbling experience for sure.”
Last year Eggleston started 10th in this race, but finished 27th after falling out of the race at lap 109 with an engine failure.
“Last year I thought we ran okay,” Eggleston said. “We started terrible. We didn’t test early last year like a lot of people did. We kind of unloaded behind the eight-ball. We unloaded terrible. We continually got better. We were solidly a top-10 car before we had engine troubles right at the halfway mark. We definitely want to improve that and run better this year.”
This year Eggleston will his friend, and short track legend, Butch Miller calling the shots. Miller and Eggleston have worked together before, going to victory lane in the Pro All Stars Series 300-lap race at the famous, but now defunct North Wilkesboro Speedway (NC) in 2011.
“With Butch there helping us out, I’ve got a lot of confidence that we’ll run well,” he said. “Who knows? With a little bit of Lady Luck on our side maybe we can end up in victory lane.”
Fans can watch Eggleston go for the win on Sunday, February 28 live with Speed51 TV’s pay-per-view broadcast of the 2nd Annual SRL Winter Showdown. To purchase your pay-per-view ticket, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo supplied by Chris Eggleston