Event: The “JM Environmental Inc. 150 presented by 51 FIFTY” is Round #5 of the 2020 season, and will take place on August 15th. All American Speedway (CA) will host the event, after Covid-19 restrictions made the scheduled appearance at Colorado National Speedway unfeasible. An event at Colorado National Speedway is in the works for 2021.
Race Procedure: The event will be 150 laps in length. There will be five-minute breaks at or near laps 50 and 100, for teams to work on their cars. Double file restarts will be featured throughout the event, unless it is on the second green, white checkered restart. The first three laps will be counted after the caution is thrown, as per standard race procedures.
Stepping Up: A big thank you goes out to the individuals and businesses that made this event possible. John Moore with JM Environmental, along with Carlos Vieira with 51 FIFTY stepped up to sponsor the event. Bill McAnally, with NAPA Auto Parts, worked together with the series and its sponsors, to bring the event to life at All American Speedway. Performance Friction Brakes will once again sponsor the “Winner’s Bonus”, to boost the winner’s share to $5,000. A huge thank you goes out to the teams who have supported the series, and altered their plans to back the event at All American Speedway.
Solid Field: 22 drivers have entered the event at All American Speedway. The entry includes five Super Late Model Series Champions and nine different winners. The series is averaging 25.5 cars per event, despite the crowd restrictions in California.
Epic Finish: The 2019 “JM Environmental 127 presented by 51 FIFTY LTM.” turned into one of the series most memorable battles, between two former series champions. Derek Thorn and Jeremy Doss waged a back and forth encounter over the last 77 laps of the event, swapping the lead multiple times. Doss would end up with the victory on this night, with Thorn grabbing second over another series champion Jacob Gomes. 2019 SRL Champion Cole Moore was fourth followed by Linny White, Jace Hansen, John Moore, Tyler Fabozzi, Jeff Bischofberger and Justin Marks, who rounded out the top-10.
What Could Have Been: Two of the strongest drivers in the field, for last year’s SPEARS Southwest Tour Series event at All American Speedway, didn’t get the finish they expected. Eric Schmidt was the quick qualifier and led the event early. Linny White was equally quick during the race. Both drivers were relegated to the rear of the field, after contact between White and Schmidt, sent the 2006 SRL Champion spinning, while battling Thorn for the lead. White was sent to the rear for the contact, but both drivers drove through the field to arrive in the top-five. Schmidt retired with over-heating issues while running fourth, while White finished fifth, after using up his tires. Both will be expected to contend for the win on Saturday.
Who’s Hot - Cole Moore: Moore will be looking for his first SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series victory this weekend. Moore has won three consecutive Late Model events at All American Speedway, including a $10,000-to-win event. Moore finished fourth in last year’s event and calls All American Speedway his home track. The 2019 SRL Champ in confident heading into this weekend but knows the competition will be tough.
“I definitely have a lot of confidence at all American Speedway”, Moore stated. “I have more laps on the track than anywhere, and have watched a lot of racing there growing up. Also, whenever we test our cars, it's always at all American Speedway, so that gives us another edge. We have the same plan going into every race, and we come to win each and every weekend. Those guys are just hard to beat. I think with home-field advantage, we have an awesome shot at getting the first win.”
Also, Hot - Derek Thorn: Thorn has been hot over his last seven Late Model starts. He has four wins in the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series to go along with a second in the last event at Irwindale Speedway. He was the winner of the “Snowflake 100”, at 5 Flags Speedway (FL) and nearly won the Snowball Derby, when a late race official call relegated him to the last car on the lead lap, from third place. Thorn has the most SRL wins at All American Speedway with three.
More Hot - Buddy Shepherd: Buddy Shepherd is a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate in SRL competition in 2020. He was the “Rookie-of-the-Race” in both events he has attended thus far. Shepherd has gotten off to a great start in the televised Nut-Up Pro Late Model Division at Madera Speedway (CA). He has won three of the first four events, including last weekend. He was also a $10,000 winner at All American Speedway in 2018. He feels his experience in the Pro Late Model at All American Speedway will help his effort this weekend.
“I think the seat time and changes we made to the car will help a ton when we race our Super Late Model this weekend”, Shepherd stated.
Recently Hot, Linny White: Linny White comes into this weekend’s event second in the championship standings. He was the victor at the series last event at Irwindale Speedway (CA). Prior to that, White finished third at Stockton 99 Speedway. The veteran racer is a fan of the shorter tracks on the schedule and the 1/3-mile paved track in Roseville, should fit the bill. White finished fifth in last years event, after being sent to the back of the field, after contact with the second-place car of Eric Schmidt.
Hot Rookie - Dean Thompson: SPEARS Southwest Tour Series rookie Dean Thompson is still looking to find his footing in the series, sitting 13thin the championship standings, but he has certainly found it at Irwindale Speedway. Thompson swept both Late Model Features last weekend at his home track, to take the championship lead in the division. Thompson now has three victories, in six starts in Irwindale’s Late Model Division. The sweep last weekend adds to Thompson’s confidence, but a new track in a different car makes him cautiously optimistic.
“A sweep would give anyone tons of confidence in themselves, coming into any race, but this is a track that I haven't been to before so I can't overdo myself”, Thompson related. “I'm going into this race with the SRL mindset, these cars are so different, especially going somewhere I've never been before. It is a big challenge. So, I guess you could say I'm coming into this with lots of cautious confidence. Ha-ha.
Rookies: A season high tying six Rookie-of-the-Year (ROTY) candidates are entered for this weekend’s event. Joey Iest leads the list, as the current ROTY leader followed by Dean Thompson. Buddy Shepherd sits third with Brandon Farrington fourth. Mike Hite and Zach Telford will be making their first starts of the season, with Telford making his series debut.
The Red Rocket Returns: Bobby Hodges will make his first start since the season opening event at Irwindale Speedway. Hodges is a former SRL winner at All American Speedway, leading only a single lap in the 2011 event. The facility is special for Hodges, as many of his career firsts occurred there.
“All American Speedway is definitely a special place for us”, Hodges stated, “It's the closest track to home, and all my Late Model firsts were there. The first time I ever tested a Late Model was there, my first Late Model fast time, win, clean sweep, and then my first SRL win. I didn't even realize all those firsts were there until now!”
Championship Standings: All the top-10, in the championship standings, are entered for this weekend’s event. Derek Thorn leads Linny White, with Cole Moore and Eric Schmidt tied for third. Tyler Fabozzi is fifth followed by Carlos Vieira, Jacob Gomes, Kyle Neveau, John Moore, and Scott Sanchez. Rookie-of-the-Year leader Joey Iest is 11th, with Dean Thompson 13th.
Schedule: Practice for the series is scheduled to begin at 12:30 pm (PST) on Saturday, with Qualifying at 4:15 pm and Opening Ceremonies at 5:00 pm. The SRL Super Late Models will be joined by the Mini Cup / Bandoleros, Late Models, F4’s, Super Stocks, Jr. Late Models and Limited Modified, for a huge night of racing.
Broadcast: For those not in attendance, the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series event will be live streamed on www.SpearsRacing.TV. and shown on MAVTV at a later date. The local NASCAR Divisions will be live streamed at www.AllAmericanSpeedway.TV.
05 Eric Schmidt
6 Tyler Fabozzi
11 Tracy Bolin
12 Jonathan Mawhinney
16 Jacob Gomes
20 Cole Moore
22A Andy Allen
22S Buddy Shepherd*
24 Scott Sanchez
25 Brandon Farrington*
27 John Moore
43 Derek Thorn
50 Trevor Huddleston
51T Dean Thompson*
51V Carlos Vieira
70 Mike Hite*
71M Zach Telford*
71N Kyle Neveau
88 Joey Iest*
89 Bobby Hodges
98 Blaine Rocha
99 Linny White
-SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Michele Martin