Three-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Eric Holmes has entered the Fourth Annual Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway, on February 1-3, 2018. Holmes, from Escalon, CA will be making his third Showdown appearance, finishing 22nd in 2016, and 28th in 2017. He has 17 career “West” Series victories and two championship runner-up finishes, in addition to his three championships. Holmes was also successful in his “Tour” car, scoring nine wins in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour (NFSWT), and three victories in the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series. In the final year of the NFSWT, he missed the championship by one point, to 2006 Champion Rip Michels.
Holmes is no stranger to victory in big races. He is a three-time winner of the $10,000 to win Short Track Shootout at Madera Speedway, narrowly missing his fourth win in a row, to Buddy Shepherd in 2017. In 2004, he scored the biggest win of his career, in the NASCAR Elite Division of the Toyota All-Star Showdown at the Irwindale Event Center. He hopes to add the Winter Showdown to his list of accomplishments, despite his limited racing schedule as of late.
“The Showdown is definitely becoming one of those premier races and a race I really want to win", Holmes told the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series. “We have won a lot of big races, including the Toyota All Star Showdown, which is the biggest of my career. The Winter Showdown would rank right there at the top. It's tough to show up, to a race like this, when you’re not racing every week, but the Nascimento Team always put a first class car on track for me, and I really feel we have a shot at this year.”
In 2016, Holmes qualified ninth for the Showdown, but couldn’t finish the event, after a strong run. In 2017, he had a good car in early practice, but could only muster a 38th place effort in qualifying, before transferring through the Last Chance Qualifier. His feature race ended early, after only 37 laps, but the car never showed the speed it had during practice.
“Last year we had a great test, and on opening day of race weekend, we were a top 15 car”. Holmes explained. “Friday rained, and Saturday we really struggled. It wasn't until we got the car back to the shop that found out we had a rear end issue.”
Holmes will return to the Showdown in the same car as last season. He will have help from a variety of sources, which he is extremely thankful for.
"Eric Lee Nascimento owns the car, and we have a lot local sponsors. Paul Cardoza helps out a lot, as well as Escalon Feed and Supply and David's Racing Products. The whole Nascimento family helps and I am thankful for all their support.”
With $30,000 to the winner and $3,000 to start, the Fourth Annual Winter Showdown is the richest asphalt short track event of the year. On February 3rd, Eric Holmes will look to make his mark on the event’s history, and add his name to the short list of winners.
Race fans can tune into the SRL Winter Showdown from Kern County Raceway Park February 1-3 on Speed51.com for free on the Speed51 Video Network. To become a member of the Speed51 Video Network, click here.
-Winter Showdown Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com