Brian Olsen, co-owner of The Spears Southwest Tour is our next guest on Fan4Racing Fan2Fan NASCAR & Race Talk on Monday, August 11th at 9:30 pm ET. Call 347-996-5176 during the LIVE broadcast to interact with any comments/questions.
After a ten-year absence, The Spears Southwest Tour is returning to Irwindale Event Center on August 16th. A little history about the series seems relevant to celebrating the occasion. So here we go…
In the 2000 racing season the series ran at three tracks, Altamont Raceway Park, Madera Speedway and Stockton 99 Speedway promoting the then Tri-Track Series. At the end of the season Stockton decided they did not want to hold these events in 2001 and run the same type cars.
So in January of 2001, the promoters of Altamont and Madera asked for a meeting to discuss efforts to schedule a Series of the NASCAR Elite type cars for 2001. At this meeting were Andy Herbst from Altamont Raceway Park, Rick and Lynn Gerhardt from Madera Speedway, Ken Boyd from Boyd Enterprises and Steve Fensler.
They suggested the two tracks hold events with the same rules package as the NASCAR Southwest Tour. At the same time they requested that Steve Fensler with their help try to form the new Series.
Davey Hamilton and Rick Gerhardt were promoting a Supermodified Series under the Supermodified Racing League (SRL) and offered to bring the late models into their company. The late models would compete under the name SRL Wild West Shootout Late Model Series. They decided the Series should keep the schedule to no more than 12 events per season.
In 2001, twelve dates were added to the schedule at Altamont and Madera, with six at each track. The season went well, building increased car count at each event. At the close of the 2001 season meetings were held with Stockton 99 Speedway as they wanted to participate with three events in 2002. These three tracks held events for the next two years. In 2004 Mesa Marin Raceway and Shasta Raceway Park invited the Series to their tracks.
At the beginning of the 2004 season, Rick Gerhardt decided to sell his interest in the Supermodified Racing League to Steve Fensler.
In April 2005, another decision came to sell the Supermodified division to Elizabeth Williams and Rick Cameron and they formed the WSSRL. The Late Model part of the Supermodified Racing League was kept in tact and went under the SRL. With the Late Models being identified under SRL, the corporation was then changed to the StockCar Racing League.
With the closure of Mesa Marin Raceway in 2005, the Mesa Marin management team of Larry Collins, Brian Olsen and Marion Collins purchased the SRL from Steve Fensler and are moving the series forward as the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series.
Under their management, the series now race at seven different tracks including, Irwindale Event Center, Kern Raceway, Madera Speedway, Pike’s Peak International Raceway, Rocky Mountain Raceways, Stockton 99 Speedway and The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Fans can watch the SPEARS Southwest Tour on MAVTV for two events and watch every race webcast on RPMTVOnline.com and GoLiveStream.TV Racingwest.com provides extensive coverage and has a link on its homepage to the series website, www.SRLSouthwestTour.com. The series website informs and updates competitors, race fans, and sponsors on event and series information, while also giving insight on series drivers, links to series sponsors, race footage from previous races and much more.
Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated, Circle Track Magazine, Speed51.com, Late Model Digest, Host Track websites, Facebook – Spears SRL Southwest Tour – Twitter – @SRLSWTourSeries and several local and regional media also keep fans informed.