October Classic: After 28 years of the October Classic at Mesa Marin Raceway (CA) (1977 to 2005), the race returned to Kern County Raceway in Bakersfield, California last season. In this year’s second edition, the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series presented by Lucas Oil will be joined by the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West for what will be a one-day event on October 26. The “Bulwark ‘FR 100 presented by Traffic Management Inc.” will be race number eight of nine scheduled events during the 2019 SRL season.
Throwback Weekend: The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series will feature a “throwback” theme weekend, both on and off the track. Nearly a dozen drivers will be sporting throwback paint schemes this weekend, with a race day schedule that harkens back to times of old. Single-car qualifying will be followed by a Trophy Dash for the fastest eight to set the front of the field. Odd and even heat races will set the inside and outside rows for the remainder of the field. Dash and heat winners will receive $500 each for their efforts from AKM Maintenance.
Winner’s Bonus: $5,000 will be awarded to the winner of this weekend’s event, thanks to the “Winner’s Bonus” sponsored by FLUIDYNE High Performance.
Two Series, One Night: The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will join the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series for the second consecutive year in the October Classic. The “West” Series will compete for 150 laps on the half-mile oval.
Trick or Treat: An on-track autograph session will be held after qualifying for both the SRL and the “West” Series. The drivers will be handing out candy to the kids, both big and small.
Two to Go: Not only are there only two events remaining in the SPEARS Southwest Tour season, there are only two races left for the No. 2 of Craig Raudman on his “Farewell Tour.” The Cottonwood, California driver is scheduled to hang up his helmet from his full-time participation at the end of the season. Raudman with sport a throwback scheme, which harkens back to his early days with long-time car owner Dave Reed. The car will display Advantage Memory, Dave Reed’s former company, on the rear quarter panels.
Repeat: Derek Thorn will look to repeat his victory in last year’s October Classic over the 27-car field. Thorn scored the win over Jeremy Doss, Eric Schmidt, Cole Moore and Craig Raudman. 11 of the top-13 finishers from last season’s event will be returning to dethrone Thorn at his home track.
Record Field: Thirty-one Super Late Models are entered for this weekend’s action. The current record at Kern County Raceway is 30 Southwest Tour Series vehicles, set in April of 2018.
Record Season: With 31 cars entered at Kern County Raceway, the series only needs to draw 27 cars to the season finale at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to break the all-time record of 26.6 cars per event.
Rookie Battle: Nine rookies are entered in this weekend’s action. Tyler Fabozzi leads Jace Hansen, Jesse Love, Eric Nascimento Jr., and Don Zoll Jr. in the Rookie of the Year chase. One rookie who will be noticeably absent, however, is Jace Hansen. He is awaiting the birth of his first child any day. We wish the best for Jace, Taylor and the baby.
Championship Battle: 2018 SRL Rookie of the Year Cole Moore leads 2019 SRL Kern County Raceway winner Linny White, four-time SRL Champion Derek Thorn, 2019 Rookie Leader Tyler Fabozzi and 2015 SRL Champion Jacob Gomes. John Moore, Jace Hansen, Blaine Rocha, Kyle Neveau and Craig Raudman make up the back half of the top 10 in the championship standings.
Live Broadcast: Low Budget TV will be at Kern County Raceway to provide live coverage of the “Bulwark ‘FR 100 presented by Traffic Management Inc.” The PPV broadcast can be found at https://lowbudget.tv/videos/6105.
Bakers Dozen: This will be the 13th time the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series has visited Kern County Raceway. Derek Thorn has seven victories at his home track. Other winners include Jim Pettit II (2013), Jeremy Doss (2014), David Mayhew (2014), Blaine Rocha (2017) and Linny White (2019).
First Timers: Six drivers will be making their 2019 series debut. Jim Wulfenstein, Christian McGee and Tanner Wattenbarger will make their first 2019 starts, while Jacob Smith, Logan Jewell and Dean Thompson will make their series debuts.
Double Duty: Jack Wood will be participating in both the SPEARS Southwest Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West events. Wood sits 12th in the SRL Championship Standings and will be looking for his second top-10 of the season. In four starts in the “West” Series, Wood has two top-ten finishes.
Special Throwback: Scott “The Chez” Sanchez will be in an extra special paint scheme for this year’s October Classic. Sanchez will make his 96th series’ start in the No. 97 of former two-time NASCAR Southwest Tour Series Champion Ron Hornaday Jr. The throwback is to 1994 and features the SPEARS Manufacturing sponsorship sported by Hornaday that season.
Throwback Bonus: The winner of the best throwback scheme this weekend will receive a free set of tires from Hoosier Tire West.
Lupton Returns: Dylan Lupton will make his fourth SRL start of the season. Lupton had a best finish of fifth at Irwindale Speedway in the season opener. It is his only top-five of the current season in the series. He has one top-five and three top-10 finishes in five starts in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
Moore Consistency: Cole Moore has ridden his consistency to the top of the championship standings. Between Cole and his father John, the duo has only two DNF’s in 47 career starts.
Lap Leader: If Derek Thorn can lead 25 laps in this weekend’s “Bulwark FR’ 100 presented by Traffic Management Inc.”, he will surpass 4,000 laps led in his SPEARS Southwest Tour Series career.
12:00pm – 12:30pm: SPEARS Southwest Tour Series – Practice
12:30pm – 1:00pm: NASCAR K&N Pro Series – Practice
1:00pm – 1:30pm: SPEARS Southwest Tour Series – Practice
1:30pm – 2:00pm: NASCAR K&N Pro Series – Practice
2:00pm – 2:30pm: Sprint Car Warm up
2:30pm – 2:45pm: Sprint Car Warm up
3:30pm – 4:15pm: NAPA – Ride Alongs
3:30pm: Spectator Gates Open to Public
4:30pm – 5:00pm: SPEARS Southwest Tour Series – Single Car Qualifying
5:00pm – 5:30pm: NASCAR K&N Pro Series – Group Qualifying
5:45pm: On Track Autograph Session-Driver Introductions-Opening Ceremonies
7:00pm SPEARS Southwest Tour – AKM Maintenance Trophy Dash – 8 laps
SPEARS Southwest Tour – AKM Maintenance Heat #1 – 8 laps
SPEARS Southwest Tour – AKM Maintenance Heat #2 – 8 laps
NASCAR K&N Pro Series “NAPA/ENOS 150 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame”
Sprint Car Exhibition
SPEARS Southwest Tour Series “Bulwark ‘FR 100 presented by Traffic Management Inc.”
Celebrating its 19th season in 2019, the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is a regional stock car series competing on paved ovals in the southwestern portion of the U.S. “The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series…Where the Champions Race”.
-Story by Kevin Peters, SRL
-Photo credit: Scott Sanchez