Jeremy Doss recently visited Bakersfield, California and picked up his SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series championship trophy, along with a variety of product and cash awards. A few days later, Doss broke out his Senneker Performance Super Late Model for practice in preparation for the $30,000-to-win 2019 Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway (CA) on February 1-2. This will be Doss’ fifth attempt at bringing home the lucrative check and the accolades that come with it.
The Upper Lake, California driver had a best finish of third, which came in the 2016 version of the event, but has had several frustrating finishes, ending up outside the top 20 in the last two starts. For Doss, those were his worst finishes in each of his last two seasons. Heading into the 2019 version, Doss feels that he and the JD Motorsports Team are ready to put those prior starts behind them and have a strong showing in one of the richest short track races in the country.
“You know, for one reason or another, we just haven’t come to the Winter Showdown with the right package each of the first four years,” Doss recalled. “I feel like in 2016 we were close to where we should be, so it’s not a coincidence that we finished third. Preparation is the key, and I believe this year we have everything in place to be successful in this race.”
Despite less than desired results in the Winter Showdown, Doss has had an extremely impressive career behind the wheel. In 2018 alone, Doss scored his first SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series championship. He was victorious in three of the nine SRL races, winning both $10,000-to-win events at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (NV).
Outside of SRL competition, Doss scored his second career victory in the $10,000-to-win Montana 200, at Montana Raceway Park (MT). He also found Victory Lane for the second time in the $15,000-to-win Senator’s Cup 150 at “The Bullring.” He also threw in a win at the season opening Budweiser Crown Series event at Evergreen Speedway (WA).
With his championship and race wins, Doss feels he and his team have proven themselves to be contenders at races all across the county.
“I wouldn’t say I have anything to prove necessarily,” Doss commented. “I think our team has proven that we’re able to run well at races throughout the country. Of course I would love to pick up a few more wins this season.”
Despite all those victories in some of the biggest events in the west, Doss still has the Winter Showdown circled as an event he hungers to win. In his opinion, it would be the biggest win of the 22 year old’s career.
“Without a doubt, the Winter Showdown would top the list, as far as big races,” Doss replied. “Don’t get me wrong, the Senator’s Cup and Montana 200 are big accomplishments, but the Winter Showdown is recognized as a crown jewel throughout the nation.”
Beyond the Winter Showdown, the JD Motorsports calendar is still up in the air for 2019. Doss is scheduled for several SRL events to begin the season, but a championship defense is a goal that he would love to obtain. A win on February 2 at Kern County would be a great way to kick-start his season, in terms of finances, and a great way to get noticed. This is especially true, with the quality of competition he will have to overcome at the event.
“I couldn’t start the season off any better than with a win at the Winter Showdown, right? $30,000 would go a long way for our season,” he said. “This race attracts the best competition from around the nation, so there will be probably be 15-20 cars with a legitimate shot at winning the race. (Ty) Majeski, (Derek) Thorn, (Donnie) Wilson, (Preston) Peltier, (Stephen) Nasse, the list just goes on and on.”
Doss is one of only 11 drivers who have participated in each of the first four Showdown events. It has become a central stop on his yearly schedule. It is an event that he compares to arguably the most prestigious asphalt Super Late Model race in the country, the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
“It’s very important for me to participate in the Winter Showdown,” the two-time Pacific Coast Super Late Model Champion said. “To me, it’s the west coast’s version of the Snowball Derby. I feel a certain responsibility to compete in this race and represent the west coast as best as I can.”
If Doss was to win the Winter Showdown, it would not be a surprise to his west coast fans. He already possesses a SPEARS Southwest Tour Series win at Kern County Raceway, as well as a Pro Late Model victory over multi-time track champion David Mayhew. His last appearance at the half-mile facility led to a runner-up finish to Derek Thorn in the October Classic event for the SRL. On February 1, Doss would like to step it up one more position and bring home $30,000.
Doss is thankful for his sponsors who made his whole 2018 season possible and his 2019 Winter Showdown appearance a reality.
“I’ve gotta thank my sponsors Earnest Performance, Senneker Performance, S&S Sports Enterprise, PFC Brakes, Swift Springs, Unlimited Landscaping, Pacific Export LLC, Speedy Signs, and Peter’s Racing Engines for all the support they have given me. Without them, this would not have been imaginable. ”
The 2019 Winter Showdown will get underway with an optional practice day on Thursday, January 31. On Friday’s “51 FIFTY Energy Drink Opening Night,” the Super Late Models will have two practice sessions. “Winter Showdown Qualifying Controlled by Traffic Management Inc.” will also take place on Friday, which will lock the top-30 drivers into the $30,000 main event. Those drivers outside the top 30 and not receiving provisionals will participate in the “Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse Last Chance Race,” which will fill positions number 31-34 in the 36-car “SPEARS Manufacturing Winter Showdown 300” field.
Friday night will also feature qualifying and the “Motor City GMC Super Stock Showdown” featuring two 30-lap segments for the Kern County Raceway Super Stocks. The SPEARS Manufacturing Modified Series will also be on hand for practice and a 20-lap All-Star Race.
Saturday February 2 will open with SPEARS Manufacturing Modified Series practice, followed by qualifying. The Modifieds will then race for 75 laps in the “51 FIFTY Energy Drink Showdown.” The Super Late Models complete the show with the 5th Annual “SPEARS Manufacturing Winter Showdown 300,” which features a $150,000 and pays $3,000 to start thanks to the Speed51 – Coors Light Bonus.
Race fans unable to make it to Bakersfield, California will be able to catch all of the action both Friday and Saturday via a live broadcast on the Speed51 Network. The broadcast will be available to Speed51 Network premium (monthly or yearly) subscribers.
For a complete schedule and more information on the 5th Annual Winter Showdown, visit https://www.srlsouthwesttour.com/winter-showdown/.
-Story by Kevin Peters, SRL
-Photo credit: Speed51.com