News & Notes: SRL All-Star Showdown

Fast facts for this weekend's SRL showdown at Irwindale.

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Event: The “All-Star Showdown”. The participating divisions will be the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series, SPEARS Manufacturing Modified Series presented by Lucas Oil and the SPEARS Pro Late Model Series presented by Sigma Performance Services. The Super Late Models will race for 200 laps, with a mid-race break at lap 100 on the ½-mile track. The Modifieds will race for 75 laps on the ½-mile oval for the second time. The Pro Late Models will also circle the 1/2-mile for the first time for 100 laps, with a mid-race break.

Where: All divisions will compete on the ½-mile progressively banked asphalt oval at Irwindale Speedway (CA)

When: February 5th, 2022. It will be the championship opening event for the Super Late Models and Pro Late Models. The Modifieds will be participating in their second event, after 20 Modifieds appeared at Havasu 95 Speedway on January 18th.

Big Money: The SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series will be racing for $25,000-to-win. The SPEARS Modified Division will compete for $5,000-to-win, while the SPEARS Pro Late Models will be gunning for $10,000. The Super Late Models, of the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series, will be competing for a “A”-Feature purse of $72,218 plus SPEARS Manufacturing Frequent Flyer Bonuses that could add up to an additional $13,150.

Ron Esau Tributes: With the recent passing of West Coast racing star Ron Esau, long-time Southwest Tour Series car owner Dave Reed will put up extra cash to honor his friend. Reed will put up $256 to the fifth and six-place finishers in all three feature events. Esau, who was famous for his #56, drove in two events in 2017 for Dave Reed, as a teammate to Craig Raudman.

Hard Charger: Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse will put up a $560 bonus for the Hard Charger Award in honor of Ron Esau. The Award goes to the driver who improves the most positions in the “All-Star Showdown 200” for the Super Late Models.

Lap Leader: The Lap 56 leader, in all three divisions, will receive an extra $356 thanks to the Lynch Foundation and Steve Teets at STR, in honor of Ron Esau.

Large Fields: 99 cars, among three divisions, have submitted entries for All-Star Showdown weekend. 35 Super Late Models representing eleven states are on the list. Those states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. 39 Spears Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services have entered the action as well as 25 SPEARS Modified Series drivers.

Double Duty: Blaine Rocha and Trevor Huddleston will both be performing double duty this weekend at the “All-Star Showdown” in the Pro as well as Super Late Models. Rocha performed the task at All American Speedway and at the “October Classic” at Kern County Raceway Park in 2021. Huddleston, who is the all-time winningest driver at Irwindale, will attempt the feat for the first time with the series. He competed in five Pro Late Model and three Super Late Model events in 2021, but never on the same weekend.

Colorado Strong: Five drivers from the state of Colorado have entered this weekend’s Super Late Model competition. Defending All-Star Showdown winner Preston Peltier leads the list. Teammate Eddie Vecchiarelli will also make the trip in the team’s #18 Super Late Model. He was the 2020 Colorado National Speedway Super Late Model Champion. 2021 Showdown third-place finisher Jace Hansen will look to improve upon last year’s performance by two. He will have a teammate in Mark Neff, who will be making his fifth series start. Cody Dempster will make the trip from Parker, CO to make his third series start.

Three-Time Starters: 12 drivers on the entry are scheduled to make their third SRL “All-Star Showdowns”. They include; Derek Thorn, Preston Peltier, Dylan Lupton, Logan Bearden, Chris Davidson, Cale Kanke, John Moore, Jacob Gomes, Trevor Huddleston, Scott Sanchez, Kole Raz, and Andy Allen

SRL Showdown Winners: The 2020 and 2021 Super Late Model All-Star Showdown winners are both entered this weekend. Derek Thorn won the inaugural return of the event in 2020 while Preston Peltier came away with the record-breaking purse in 2021. Both will be favorites this weekend. Jeremy Doss was the winner of both the Pro Late Model and Modified features last season. Doss will be in a Super Late Model this season. Travis Thirkettle won the 2020 Spears Modified Series feature and will look for his second Showdown win in his last three starts.

Rookies: Seven rookies are entered in this weekend’s Super Late Model action. Austin Herzog, Jordan Riddick, Cody Dempster, Mark Neff, Zach Telford, Barrett Polhemus and Austin Thom are all eligible for the Rookie-of-the-Year Award.

Debut: Six drivers will make their first Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series starts. Those drivers are Jordan Riddick, Eddie Vecchiarelli, Jake Finch, Dennis Rock, Barrett Polhemus and Riley Herbst.

East Coast: Four drivers will make the trip from east of the Mississippi River to compete in the All-Star Showdown. NASCAR Xfinity driver Riley Herbst and Washington transplant Tyler Tanner will make the journey from North Carolina to compete. Jordan Riddick will travel from Indiana and Jake Finch will come from Florida to compete in the $25,000-to-win event.

SRL Champions: Three former SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series champions are on the roster this weekend. Derek Thorn, Jeremy Doss and Jacob Gomes will represent that group.

SRL Winners: Eight drivers on this weekend’s entry list have victories in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series. Those winners include Derek Thorn (58), Jeremy Doss (9), Jacob Gomes (7), Preston Peltier (2), Blaine Rocha (2), Dan Holtz (1) Buddy Shepherd (1), and Jeff Bischofberger (1).

History: This will be the 11th time the event has been held at Irwindale Speedway. The event returned in 2020 after spanning a nine-year hiatus, but will be known as the Third Annual Event, under the SRL banner. The event was originally known as the Toyota All-Star Showdown and began in 2003, as an invitation only event, for the NASCAR Elite Divisions (Tour Series) and the now ARCA Menards Series (formerly NASCAR K&N Pro Series). The Elite Division portion was made up of participants in the top-10 of the championship standings from the Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, and Southeast Tours, starting 40 cars in the feature. The ARCA Menards portion was made up of the top-15 in both the “West” and “East” Series, to make a 30-car starting field.

The event was run much the same for the first four years, until the demise of the NASCAR Elite Divisions. In 2007, the ARCA Menards Series top-15 East and West drivers were invited with bonus moneys. The guaranteed starting spots in the now 40-car field, were only guaranteed to those with a NASCAR Regional Series Championship. The balance of the field was made up of the top qualifiers and Last Chance Qualifying Race transfers. The Super Late Models were added for a 150 lap Friday night show.

In 2008, the race was moved from late in the year to the beginning of the 2009 season. The format remained the same, but the Late Models were added. The 2010 and 2011 running of the events, kept the same divisions, with slight differences in the format and guaranteed starting spots. At the end of the 2011 season, the All-Star Showdown was not renewed, and no event was held in 2012.

The event returned in 2020 with the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Super Late Models, SPEARS Modified Series and Pro Late Models. The Pro Late Models raced on the inner 1/3-mile for 100 laps and $10,000, while the Modifieds ran for 75 laps on the ½-mile, for $5,000. The Super Late Models went for 200 laps with a halfway break. The winner collected $25,000.

2021 found the Super Late Models racing 200 laps for $30,000-to-win, but the event was curfew shortened to 177 laps with Preston Peltier claiming the richest prize in series history. The Pro Late Models raced for 150 laps and $15,000-to-win on the 1/3-mile again, this time under the SPEARS Pro Late Models presented by Sigma Performance Services banner. It was the inaugural event for the series with Jermy Doss claiming the rich win. The Modifieds moved to the inner 1/3-mile for this edition as well, with Jeremy Doss doubling down and claiming the $5,000 win over 100 laps.

Former Winners - Elite Division: Ron Breese Jr. (2003 MWT), Eric Holmes (2004 SWT), Auggie Vidovich (2005 SWT), Tim Schendel (2006, MWT) were winners in those first 4 seasons. Eric Holmes, the 2004 winner, recalls collecting $15,000 for his efforts, a Toyota Tundra leased for a year, championship rings for the team, as well as many other gifts and awards.

Former Winners - Super Late Model Division: Greg Pursley (2007), Travis Thirkettle (2009), Rip Michaels (2010), Ryan Partridge (2011) were victors during those respective seasons. Derek Thorn scored the $25,000 win in 2020 and Preston Peltier earned $30,000 in last season’s event.

Former Winners - NASCAR ARCA Menards Series: Austin Cameron (2003), Mike Johnson (2004), David Gilliland (2005), Matt Kobyluck (2006), Joey Logano (2007), Matt Kobyluck (2009), Joey Logano (2010), Jason Bowles (2011) took home bragging rights from 2003 to 2011.

Former Winners – (Pro) Late Model Division: Mike Johnson (2009), Tim Huddleston (2010) and Sean Woodside (2011) were the only three winners in the Late Model Division. Cole Williams scored the Pro Late Model win in 2020, with Doss claiming the 2021 win.

Former Winners – Modifieds: Travis Thirkettle scored his second “Showdown” win in 2020, this time in a Modified. Doss claimed the win in 2021.

Livestream: All 2022 SPEARS Southwest Tour Series, SPEARS Manufacturing Modified Series and SPEARS Pro Late Model Series races will be Livestreamed at www.SPEARSRacing.TV. Coverage will begin when qualifying begins on February 5th. Tommy Mason and Jeffery Best, with Low Budget TV (LBTV), will cover the action from Irwindale.

MAVTV: All 2022 races for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series, SPEARS Manufacturing Modified Series, and SPEARS Pro Late Model Series events will also be carried on MAVTV on a delayed basis. Broadcast times will be announced, at a later date.

Celebrating its twenty second season in 2022, 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”.

-SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Press Release