2nd Annual Winter Showdown – 2/28/16
What Won the Race: Bubba Pollard took the lead from Gracin Raz on lap 171 and fended off a late race challenge from Parker Stephens in the 2016 Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway.
The Skinny: Bubba Pollard wrestled the lead from Gracin Raz on a lap 171 restart and was able to hold off a strong late race challenge from the 2015 Spears Southwest Tour Series Rookie of the Year Parker Stephens. The race was difficult for many of the drivers who led in the event. Derek Thorn, David Mayhew and Gracin Raz all took turns at the head of the field, but none of them made it to the finish. Seventeen cautions and one red flag slowed the 250 lap event with ten drivers finishing the event on the lead lap.
Derek Thorn led the first one-third of the race until he was sidelined with a rear end leak. David Mayhew then took over and led until Gracin Raz passed him on a restart on lap 122. Following the lap 125 mid-race break, Mayhew reassumed the lead with a pass of Gracin just before the 150 lap mark. Just a few laps later Mayhew slowed and headed to the infield with a broken driveshaft. Gracin then retook the lead until Pollard snuck by on a lap 171 restart. Parker Stephens closed in on Pollard’s rear bumper over the last ten laps, but was never able to get inside of the leader.
Bubba walked away with $40,000 for his win in the event which consisted of the $30,000 winner’s share, plus the $10,000 Speed 51 – Coors Light Bonus.
Winning Quote: “I woke up this morning and didn’t have any confidence at all. I knew we had to go to work. Making that rear end change before the race is what won us the race. We changed that rear end and this thing came to life. I knew when we went off on the green flag on lap one I knew we had something.”
Notebook: A couple additional drivers have packed up early on Sunday morning. Jason Gilbert had too significant damage from an accident on Saturday night. Former SRL champion M.K. Kanke was dissatisfied with his car’s performance.
Preston Peltier has been happy with the way things are going despite virtually changing everything to get to where they are at on the charts. His qualifying run was worse than expected; however, the former PASS South Super Late Model champion accelerated to finish second in his qualifier.
NTS Motorsports teammates Blaine Rocha, Christian McGhee, and Parker Stephens have been fast all weekend. All three teenage drivers are poised for a breakout season that could very well begin at the Winter Showdown.
Bubba Pollard has not been the fastest on the charts in any sessions, but remarked on a couple occasions that overall he feels their car has been better on longer runs than others, with lap times not falling off very much.
Todd Gilliland was fastest in final practice on Sunday morning. This is his debut in equipment fielded by the Kyle Busch Motorsports team.
Cole Moore ran away with the Last Chance race to complete the starting field for Sunday’s Winter Showdown. Shane Mitchell edged Braeden Havens at the line for second.
Jeremy Doss found a broken ball joint just before qualifying last night. He hopes that today’s practice session gave them a chance to get the car set-up for today’s Winter Showdown.
Teams are limited to three sets of tires for this weekend’s racing activity: one set for qualifying and qualifier heats, one set to start the Winter Showdown 250, one set to change during the 10 minute halfway break.
All caution laps will count until lap 245.
The engines have fired. Derek Thorn and Blaine Rocha will lead the field of 38 to the green.
Lap 10: Derek Thorn leads. Todd Gilliland gets into the turn 2 wall to bring out the first caution. Cole Rouse is off with overheating.
Lap 25: Donnie Wilson spins to bring out the caution, losing a lap. David Mayhew is the big mover up to second. Gracin Raz is up to fourth as Thorn continues to lead.
Lap 45: Blaine Rocha spins battling teammate Parker Stephens for fourth. Thorn continues to lead Mayhew and now Gracin Raz.
Lap 65: Caution as Donnie Wilson stalls. Steven Wallace just went a lap down to the field, but will get the lucky dog. Garret Archer has the hood up after pitting from sixth.
Lap 72: Checking Thorn and Mayhew for oil leak.
Lap 77: Thorn crew is looking under the rear for the leak. Derek has taken the car to the infield. Mayhew is the new leader.
Lap 99: Steven Wallace spins. David Mayhew leads Gracin Raz, Parker Stephens and Dan Holtz.
Lap 102: Johnny White breaks a rear end on the restart and Blaine Rocha is a victim of the slowdown.
Lap 120: Gracin Raz takes the lead on a restart, David Mayhew back to second.
Lap 125: Halftime break. The field will come down pit road and change all four tires. Raz leads Mayhew, Holtz, Stephens and Pollard. 24 cars remain on the lead lap.
Lap 130: Cole Moore into the wall in turn 4. Raz leads with Mayhew, Pollard, Stephens and Gragson following.
Lap 138: Garrett Evans is hard into the wall in turn 3. He exits the car safely. The only change in the top 5 is Dalton Sargeant into fifth over Gragson.
Lap 150: Eric Holmes spins on backstretch after contact. Mayhew back to the lead with Raz, Stephens and Pollard following.
Lap 153: Mayhew Breaks.
Lap 158: Jacob Gomes spins with right rear flat. Raz, Pollard, Stephens and Gragson are the top 4.
Lap 169: Dan Holtz and Steven Wallace get together for a yellow.
Lap 178: Pollard now leads Raz, Gragson, Stephens and Cole Anderson.
Lap 195: Cole Anderson spins from fifth. Pollard leads Raz, Stephens, Gragson, Preston Peltier and Jeremy Doss.
Lap 205: Teammates Gracin Raz and Noah Gragson get together for the first big multicar accident of the day. Pollard now leads Peltier, Doss, Carlos Vieira and Tyler Tanner. Parker Stephens is back to 12th.
Lap 225: Holtz and Gragson get together for a red flag. Doss is now second followed by Tyler Tanner and Parker Stephens. Peltier retires with a broken radiator.
Lap 235: Restart with Pollard leading Stephens.
Lap 250: Pollard wins over Parker Stephens, Jeremy Doss, Tyler Tanner and Noah Gragson
Car Count: 44 Super Late Models started off the weekend at Kern County Raceway Park. A couple drivers, Ken Benhamou and Brandon White, were victims of practice crashes and have loaded up and gone home.
Title Fight: This is a non-points event.
Winning Chassis: Pollard built race car.
Winning Engine: Hamner Racing Engines
Winning Shocks: JRI
|1||43||Derek Thorn||Fast 12 Finish|
|2||21R||Blaine Rocha||Fast 12 Finish|
|3||28||Parker Stephens||Fast 12 Finish|
|4||51G||Todd Gilliland||Fast 12 Finish|
|5||97||Cole Anderson||Fast 12 Finish|
|6||16||Jacob Gomes||Fast 12 Finish|
|7||5A||Garret Archer||Fast 12 Finish|
|8||23H||Dan Holtz||Fast 12 Finish|
|9||21H||Eric Holmes||Fast 12 Finish|
|10||26B||Bubba Pollard||Fast 12 Finish|
|11||66||Steve Wallace||Fast 12 Finish|
|12||51V||Carlos Vieira||Fast 12 Finish|
|13||55||Dalton Sargeant||1st in Qualifier 1|
|14||17||David Mayhew||1st in Qualifier 2|
|15||48||Preston Peltier||2nd in Qualifier 1|
|16||27R||Gracin Raz||2nd in Qualifier 2|
|17||7W||Johnny White||3rd in Qualifier 1|
|18||22S||Buddy Shepherd||3rd in Qualifier 2|
|19||2W||Donnie Wilson||4th in Qualifier 1|
|20||7G||Noah Gragson||4th in Qualifier 2|
|21||75||Jeremy Doss||5th in Qualifier 1|
|22||22E||Chris Eggleston||5th in Qualifier 2|
|23||89H||Bobby Holmes||6th in Qualifier 1|
|24||26M||Christian McGhee||6th in Qualifier 2|
|25||05||Eric Schmidt||7th in Qualifier 1|
|26||65||Tyler Tanner||7th in Qualifier 2|
|27||27M||John Moore||8th in Qualifier 1|
|28||4||Brian Richardson||8th in Qualifier 2|
|29||20R||Cole Rouse||9th in Qualifier 1|
|30||99W||Linny White||9th in Qualifier 2|
|31||20M||Cole Moore||1st in Last Chance Race|
|32||99M||Shane Mitchell||2nd in Last Chance Race|
|33||83||Braeden Havens||3rd in Last Chance Race|
|34||23A||Brandon Ash||4th in Last Chance Race|
|35||71||Nick Joanides||Provisional – Highest in 2015 SRL Southwest Tour Owner Points|
|36||64||Garrett Evams||Provisional – Highest in 2015 NW SLM, CARS, SSS, or CRA Points|
|37||15||Lance Wilson||5th in Last Chance Race|
|38||89W||Doni Wanat||6th in Last Chance Race|
Last-Chance Race Results:
Heat Race Results:
|Winter Showdown Qualifier 1 Top 9 Finishers|
|Winter Showdown Qualifier 2 Top 9 Finishers|
|Winter Showdown Fast 12 Finishing Order|
Qualifying Events: The fastest 12 drivers from qualifying were locked in to the 250-lap main event. Their order was determined from a 20-lap ‘Fast 12’ race Saturday evening. 13th through 30th were decided by finishing order in two 30-lap qualifier races, also held Saturday night. The next six spots will be decided by a Last Chance race on Sunday afternoon preceding the race. 37th and 38th will be provisionals from the highest in 2015 Spears Southwest Tour Series owner points and the highest in points from the Northwest Super Late Model Series, ARCA CRA Super Series, CARS Tour, or Southern Super Series.
|Winter Showdown Sunday Final Practice Speeds|
|28||54||Donny St. Ours||18.049|
For previous results, see Saturday’s Trackside Now coverage.
|Sunday, February 28 (All Times Pacific)|
|8:00 – Pit Gates Open|
|8:30 – Showdown Driver’s/Spotter’s/Crew Chief Meeting|
|9:00 – 9:45 – Showdown Practice/Warm Up|
|10:00 – Spectator Gates Open|
|10:30 – Tech Inspection Opens|
|12:30 – Showdown Last Chance Race (Top 6 Transfer)|
|1:30 – Opening Ceremonies|
|– Winter Showdown 250|
Who To Watch For: Local favorite Derek Thorn has been the driver to beat so far this weekend, breaking his own track record and winning the $2,000 fast time award with a time of 17.212 seconds in qualifying. Thorn then went on to win the ‘Fast 12’ 20 lap qualifier Saturday night and as a result will start from the pole. Other qualifier winners locking themselves in the field included Dalton Sargeant and David Mayhew.
Sargeant as well 2015 Winter Showdown winner Bubba Pollard, Speed51.com fan vote winner Cole Anderson, and top Snowball Derby finishers Donnie Wilson and Preston Peltier are eligible drivers competing for a $10,000 Coors Light / Speed51 Bonus to the highest finishing driver in today’s Winter Showdown.
|2W||Donnie Wilson||Oklahoma City, OK||Coors Light, OKC Auto Works, Wilson Ford Parts||2nd in 2015 Southern Super Series Standings||Debut|
|4||Brian Richardson||Bakersfield, CA||Summeripe, D’Angelos||2014 Kern County Raceway Park Late Model Champion||Debut|
|5A||Garret Archer||Maple Valley, WA||Kings Transmission, Archer Construction||4th in 2014 SRL Points, 4th in 2013 Evergreen Summer Showdown||Debut|
|05||Eric Schmidt||Roseville, CA||Sierra Speed, McGunegill Engine Performance||2006 SRL Champion, 2013 Pacific Challenge Series Champion||35th|
|7G||Noah Gragson||Las Vegas, NV||Alert ID, Collier’s||2nd in 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Standings||12th|
|7W||Johnny White||Bakersfield, CA||MMI/Pour House, Ron’s Rear Ends||KCRP LM 3-Time Race Winner, 9th in 2015 K&N West Points||30th|
|15||Lance Wilson||Bakersfield, CA||Wilson’s Industrial Pumps, Taylor/Wilson Racing||4th in 2015 Kern County Raceway Park Points with 4 Wins||DNQ|
|16||Jacob Gomes||Manteca, CA||Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats, Dennis Arbini||2015 SRL Southwest Tour Champion||19th|
|17||David Mayhew||Bakersfield, CA||MMI/Pour House, Ron’s Rear Ends||2014 Kern County Raceway Park Pro Late Model Champion||17th|
|19||Brandon White||Eureka, CA||NorthCoast Lighting and Electric, DC Racing Engines||2014 SRL Madera Race Winner, 8th in 2015 SRL Points||21st|
|20M||Cole Moore||Granite Bay, CA||JM Environmental, JM Racing||3rd in 2015 Pacific Challenge Series Standings||Debut|
|20R||Cole Rouse||Fort Smith, AR||Rouse Homes, Kevin Crider Motorsports||5th in 2015 All American 400, 8th in 2014 CRA JEGS All-Star Tour Points||Debut|
|21H||Eric Holmes||Escalon, CA||Nascimento Motorsports, Scribner Plastics||3-time K&N Pro Series West Champion, 12 SRL/NASCAR SW Tour Wins||Debut|
|21R||Blaine Rocha||Oakdale, CA||NTS Motorsports, Masroc Farms||6th in 2015 SRL Points, 4th in 2015 Winter Showdown||4th|
|22E||Chris Eggleston||Thornton, CO||Globe Fire Sprinkler Corporation, H2O Fire Protection||2015 K&N Pro Series West Champion, N. Wilkesboro “The Race” Winner||27th|
|22S||Buddy Shepherd||Bakersfield, CA||H&M Motorsports, Bakersfield Muffler||3 LM Feature Wins at KCRP in 2015, Madera Speedway Open LM Champion||Debut|
|23A||Brandon Ash||Roseburg, OR||Salvation Army||66 Career NASCAR K&N West Starts, 5 Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Starts||Debut|
|23H||Dan Holtz||Pacific Palisades, CA||Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center||69 Career SRL/NASCAR Southwest Tour Starts, 2001 Mesa Marin Champion||Debut|
|26M||Christian McGhee||Claremont, CA||NTS Motorsports||4 Wins in Irwindale Event Center LM Division in 2015||15th|
|26P||Bubba Pollard||Senoia, GA||Coors Light, Pollard Motorsports, JEGS||2015 Winter Showdown Winner, 2014 Southern Super Series Champion||1st|
|27M||John Moore||Granite Bay, CA||JM Environmental, AT&T YellowPages.com||2015 Pacific Challenge Series Champion||Debut|
|27R||Gracin Raz||Lake Oswego, OR||Montana Tech, Trinity Energy||4th in 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series Points||DNQ|
|28||Parker Stephens||Olympia, WA||Platinum Motorsports, Stephens Rental Properties||KCRP Veterans Day Classic Winner, 3rd in 2015 SRL Points||DNQ|
|33||M.K. Kanke||Frazier Park, CA||RPM Motor Sports||2009 SRL Southwest Tour Champion||24th|
|43||Derek Thorn||Bakersfield, CA||Four Star Fruit, Campbell Motorsports||2-Time SRL Southwest Tour Champion, 3rd in 2015 Winter Showdown||3rd|
|48||Preston Peltier||Concord, NC||Coors Light, Generator Source.com, Graphix Unlimited||2010 PASS South Champion, 2013 World Crown Race Winner||5th|
|51V||Carlos Vieira||Livingston, CA||51 FIFTY Energy Drink, Allied Packaging||5th in SRL Southwest Tour Standings||28th|
|51G||Todd Gilliland||Mooresville, NC||Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota||Wins in First Career ARCA, NASCAR K&N West, and NASCAR K&N East Starts||Debut|
|54||Donny St. Ours||Upland, CA||Sigma Engineering Solutions, Inc.||5 Top 10s in 18 Career SRL Southwest Tour Starts||23rd|
|55||Dalton Sargeant||Boca Raton, FL||21 Means 21, Windows 10, AllStar Performance||4th in 2015 K&N East Points, 2nd in 2015 Winter Showdown||2nd|
|64||Garrett Evans||East Wenatchee, WA||Leonard Evans Used Car Superstore, LP Gear||2014 &2015 NW SLM Series Champion, 49 Career NASCAR NW Tour Wins||Debut|
|65||Tyler Tanner||Auburn, WA||2nd in Evergreen Speedway LM Points, 14 Career NASCAR Truck Series Starts||Debut|
|66||Steven Wallace||Charlotte, NC||Jet Tools, Rusty Wallace Racing||2004 Snowball Derby Race Winner, 193 Career NASCAR Xfinity Series Starts||Debut|
|71||Nick Joanides||Northridge, CA||J&M Racing, Bill Loe Race Engines||Multi-time Irwindale Event Center Late Model Champion||Debut|
|73||Ken Benhamou||San Ramon, CA||S.A.S. German Auto||36 Career SRL Southwest Tour Starts, 8th in 2013 SRL Points||Debut|
|75||Jeremy Doss||Upper Lake, CA||JD Motorsports, I-5 Tire Factory||2013 & 2014 SRL Runner-Up, 2012 Pacific Challenge Series Champion||11th|
|83||Braeden Havens||Airway Heights, WA||Western Rail Inc., Midwest Powersource||2011 INSSA Champion, 17 Career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Starts||Debut|
|88||Jason Gilbert||Dublin, CA||S.A.S. German Auto||4th in 2013 SRL Points, 2008 Altamont Motorsports Park champion||DNQ|
|89H||Bobby Hodges||Carson City, NV||Nevada Automotive Test Center, Naake Suspension||2011 SRL Southwest Tour All American Speedway Race Winner||10th|
|89W||Doni Wanat||Woodinville, WA||Pathfinder Chassis, McGunegill Engine Performance||3rd in 2015 NW SLM Series Points, 2nd in 2015 Evergreen Speedway Points||Debut|
|97||Cole Anderson||Northfield, MN||21 Means 21, Anthoni Campi Racing, Cerron Properties||2015 New Smyrna Red Eye 100 and Orange Blossom 100 Race Winner||Debut|
|99W||Linny White||Colton, CA||Earl Robbins||2015 LVMS Fall Classic Winner, 2014 Irwindale Event Center SLM Champion||8th|
|99M||Shane Mitchell||East Wenatchee, WA||Mitchell Trucking & Paving, Bird Race Engines||2011 Montana 200 Race Winner||DNQ|
The Track: Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California is a 1/2-mile that opened in 2013, essentially filling the void for Southern California racers after the Mesa Marin Raceway in the same town closed several years ago. This is the second running of the prestigious Winter Showdown event for Super Late Models.
Weather: It is beautiful sunny California weather with temperatures expected to reach the low 70s by race time. Additionally, there is a zero percent chance for rain.
Saturday’s Lucas Oil Modified Feature Results
Next Series Race: The first points race of the 2016 Spears Southwest Tour Series season will be Saturday, April 9 at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
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