Derek Thorn is our guest on Fan4Racing Fan2Fan NASCAR & Race Talk on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 9:30 pm ET. During the LIVE broadcast call 714-202-9918 or tweet us @Fan4RacingSite, @Sal_Sigala with any questions or comments.
Over 60 drivers entered the inaugural SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway.When qualifying was complete, 36 drivers went on to compete on Sunday, March 1st – after rain postponed activities from Saturday. And only one picked up the checkered flag after crossing the finish line first – Bubba Pollard, the 2014 Southern Super Series Champion.
From Senoia, GA, Pollard and his team traveled 2,600-miles through ice, snow and the usually arid desert to Bakersfield, CA to take part in one of the biggest payout events of his career.
“We had a good race car since we unloaded,” Pollard said from victory lane. “These big races seem to bite me and this weekend I took a different approach and didn’t consider a big race, but I knew it was. I felt confident when I got here and felt calm. My guys gave me a fast car when we unloaded and we just had to fine-tune it. I can’t thank those guys enough.”
Pollard took the lead on lap 148 and led the last 102 laps of the race.
Leading most of the first part of the race was Derek Thorn, the local favorite to win the event. One of the fastest qualifiers, Thorn led the first 136 laps, when Pollard challenged and took the lead on lap 137. Thorn came back the next lap and took the lead again, until Pollard kept the lead on lap 148. Thorn settled for a second-place finish after his car became tight and unable to challenge again for the lead.
Sandwiching the west coast competitor, Thorn, with some good hard racing for the second spot, was another eastern, Dalton Sargeant, who finished the event in third.
There’s another showdown coming to Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA on June 27th – the Summer Showdown. The driver with the best average finish in both the Winter and Summer Showdowns, earns a $10,000 bonus. So, will Bubba Pollard and his team make another trek from the east to the northwest?
“There is a good possibility. We have been thinking about it and talking to sponsors,” Pollard said when asked the question. “We want to hit more of these bigger shows this year and venture around to see if we can get some more of these big wins.”