Derek Thorn is our next guest on Fan4Racing Fan2Fan NASCAR & Race Talk on Monday, November 24, 2014 at 9:30 pm ET. Call 347-996-5176 during the LIVE broadcast with any questions or comments.
Derek Thorn set a new track record but faced a challenging night at the Bullring in Las Vegas enroute to the 2014 Spears SRL Southwest Tour Championship.
Thorn, a Lakeport, CA native who now calls Bakersfield home, only needed to finish twenty-fifth or better at the season finale because of a 92 point margin over second place Jeremy Doss. Thorn had enjoyed Victory Lane four times in 2014 and until Saturday’s Las Vegas finale had not had a DNF all season.
Thorn’s Byron Campbell Motorsports, Four Star Fruit #43 Chevy was good in practice, running some of the fastest laps among the weekend’s drivers. As qualifying began, several cars flirted with breaking the track record and Jeremy Doss put up a blistering time of 14:454. Thorn rolled out a few cars later and surpassed Doss with a new track record of 14:308! With only the #28 of Nick Williams and the #4 of Chad Stulzman waiting to qualify, it only took a few minutes to solidify Thorn’s track record.
The invert for the start of the championship race had Thorn starting 9th with a stellar field of cars just ahead of him. The pace was slowed on laps 4 and 7 for caution flags that took out a couple of competitors, and left Thorn in fifth as racing resumed on lap 13. As Thorn and Doss battled for position, incidental contact between the two allowed Doss to gain an advantage as the two began closing on race leader Ross Strmiska, with Brandon White challenging from behind.
Lap 27 proved to be costly in the chase for a fifth victory. After gaining the advantage over Doss, Thorn and Doss were caught up in an accident that also collected Eric Schmidt and Brandon White. While the wreck would end the night for Thorn and White, Derek had already succeeded in securing the 2014 championship. The Byron Campbell Motorsports team gathered with Derek at the Start/Finish line after the race and all were soon reveling in the Bullring applause as Thorn was introduced to the crowd as the SPEARS SRL CHAMPION for 2014.