Wednesday, November 16, 2016

SPEARS Southwest Tour Series 2016 Season Finale - By the Numbers

SPEARS Southwest Tour Series 2016 Season Finale “Retro Custom Metals 150 presented by Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse” at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – November 19, 2016


1 One race remains to decide the 2016 SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Championship; Derek Thorn leads the standings with 1358 points over Ryan Cansdale with 1284, Christian McGhee at 1252 and Jacob Gomes with 1222 points.

2 Keith Spangler currently holds the number two spot in all-time series starts with 78. The all-time series starts leader is Troy Ermish with 95.

3 Derek Thorn will be looking for his 3rd SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Championship.

5 Drivers making their first career series starts: Billy Mitchell (Las Vegas, NV), Justin Simonson (Wheat Ridge, CO), Stan Mullis (Las Vegas, NV), Rick Smith (Gering, NE), Toby  Becker (Wenatchee, WA).

6 The number of different states represented this weekend for the 2016 Season Finale.

7 Most poles and wins at The Bullring: Derek Thorn

8 The number of Top 10’s 2016 ROTY driver Christian McGhee has this season. McGhee is the only driver to finish in the Top 10 at all races in 2016.

10 Number of drivers pre-entered who have a SPEARS Southwest Tour Series victory.

16 Saturday is the season finale for the 16th season of the SPEARS Southwest Tour.

18 This will be the 18th SPEARS Southwest Tour event held at The Bullring.

25 Average car count for the SPEARS Southwest Tour at The Bullring.

30 Most cars at a SPEARS Southwest Tour Series event at the Bullring occurred on October 31, 2009.

36 Number of cars pre-entered for this weekend’s “Retro Custom Metals 150 presented by Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse.”

45 Danville, CA’s Jason Gilbert will make his 45th career series start.

51 Number of drivers to attempt a SPEARS Southwest Tour Series race this year.

75 The “Retro Custom Metals 150 presented by Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse” will have a halfway break at lap 75.

158 This will be the 158th points paying event for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series.

1040 Number of miles traveled for Toby Becker from Wenatchee,WA to Las Vegas, NV.

Dave Grayson's Hot Racing Tickets For November 19th


I've always said that the words racing and Las Vegas belongs in the same sentence. Per a long standing tradition, the Las Vegas Bullring will be presenting their annual, season closing, West Coast Short Track Championships this Saturday night. This event is loaded with some of the best driving talent from the western states and will feature the Spears SRL Southwest Tour, The Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series and the RACE CAR Factory Spec Late Models. Put it all together and it's going to be another stellar night of stock car racing in Las Vegas.

The highlight of the evening will be the Spears SRL Southwest Tour's 2016 season finale. The Retro Custom Metals 150, presented by the Pinnacle Peak Steak House, is expected to be a very intense affair. That's largely due to the $10,000 check that goes to the race winner. In recent days SRL officials announced that a beautiful, custom made, cupola will also be presented to the race winner. Described as a copper masterpiece, this winner's cup is valued at $6,000 and is courtesy of race sponsor Retro Custom Metals.

As far as the series' points championship goes, it appears that Derek Thorn, and his Campbell Motorsports team, is in good shape to take another series title based on five main event wins this season. The Lakeport, California driver has won previous series championships in 2012 and 2014 and is the winningest driver in the SRL. He goes into Saturday night's race with a healthy points lead over two time winner Ryan Cansdale.

The Lucas Oil Production Studios will be in Las Vegas Saturday night to film the race for the company owned MAV TV Motorsports Network. The race will be presented for national broadcast on January 24th.

Making an equally impressive appearance Saturday will be the Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series, presented by Loan Mart. This outstanding regional touring series will be treating their fans to the running of the 51 FIFTY Energy Drink 101, presented by Optima Batteries. This race will be ran in two segments. The first segment, laps 1 through 51, will be ran early in the evening. The final 50 lap segment will be ran later that night and will determine the race winner.

Championship points are not a part of the equation on Saturday night. Matthew Hicks took care of winning the series' championship, at the Arizona based Havasu 95 Speedway, back on October 29th. That means the Las Vegas race is about major bragging rights along with a $4,000 winner's check.

This race will be carried live Saturday night on Lucas Oil Racing (Dot) TV. This recently launched live stream computer broadcast system features high level broadcast quality that is well worth the very budget friendly priced subscription rates. The broadcast is scheduled for 8pm eastern time.

The Las Vegas racing weekend will begin on Friday night with an open practice session, for all divisions, from 2pm to 9pm. The grandstands will be available to the fans free of charge Friday night. On Saturday the spectator gates will open at 2pm. The day begins with qualifying followed by twin heat races from the RACE CAR Factory Spec Late Models and a 40 lap B Main from the Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series. Official opening ceremonies will be held at 5pm followed by the start of main events from the three racing divisions.

General admission tickets are $12. There are also discounts available for kids, age six to 12, as well as seniors and military personnel. A budget friendly family four pack is also available. Fans can save money on available ticket packages by visiting the speedways tickets office or by calling 1 800 644 4444. Advance tickets can also be ordered through the speedway's website or through Ticketmaster.

In still more good news is the fact that the Las Vegas Bullring has an extremely fan friendly concession stand that features $2 hot dogs and Cola Cola products along with $3 Budweiser products.


The IEC will again covert a portion to of their half mile oval into a one-eighth mile drag strip in order to present their NHRA Thursday Night Thunder program along with it's important message: race the strip and not the streets. This program is open to all types of vehicles from professional race cars to street legal vehicles. The gates will open at 4pm followed by racing from 5 to 10pm.

The program is also very budget friendly. A $20 entry fee will allow drivers to race all night long and a $10 entry fee will allow spectators to watch the racing all night long.

Monday, November 14, 2016

2016 NWSLMS Championship Driver Review

Wenatchee, WA (November 14, 2016)– As the 2016 season comes to a close the drivers inside the final Top-10 championship standings on Northwest Super Late Model Series were an important part of the of the series this year. The NWSLMS finished up the third season for the premier touring Super Late Model division in the Northwest with sixty-four drivers participating in 2016.

The 2016 Northwest Super Late Model Series Championship Banquet will be held at the Wenatchee Convention Center in Wenatchee, WA on January 14th. Over $25,000 in cash and award will be awarded to eligible drivers from the Top-10 championship standings. Tickets for the banquet are $35 per person. For ticket and other information regarding the banquet call 509-663-8551 or email

Here is an inside look at the drivers that finished sixth through 10th in the NWSLMS points standings for 2016.

6th Place
Driver: Ed Thomsen
Hometown: Pasco, WA
2016 Starts: 8
2016 Wins: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Best 2016 Finish: 6th Place at Stateline Speedway, Idaho Tune Up 150
Thomsen ran with the NWSLMS full time in 2016 after running a limited schedule with the series in 2014 and 2015. The Pasco, WA driver showed that he could still run up front with the series regulars even with using one of the oldest chassis in the series. Thomsen captured his best career NWSLMS finish this season at the Idaho Tune Up 150 with a sixth place run. Thomsen will be awarded $1,000 cash and AR Bodies Body Kit for his sixth place finish in the 2016 NWSLMS Championship.

7th Place
Driver: Glenn Knutson
Hometown: Quincy, WA
2016 Starts: 7
2016 Wins: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Best 2016 Finish: 5th Place at Stateline Speedway, Idaho 200
The 2015 NWSLMS Rookie of the Year had a slow start in the 2016 season with engine issues but bounced back midway through the season with back to back top 10 finishes at Stateline Speedway. The young gun driver had three blown engines during the 2016 season but the family racing team bounced back each time. Knutson will be award $1,000 cash and a Five Start Bodies Kit for his seventh place finish in the 2016 NWSLMS Championship.

8th Place
Driver: Clint Habart
Hometown: Cranbrook, BC
2016 Starts: 7
2016 Wins: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Best 2016 Finish: 3rd, Wenatchee Valley Super Oval, Neal Newberry 125
The 2016 season started off slow for the Canadian driver Clint Habart with an early race accident and wrist injury at the Apple Cup in April. Habart and the Kustom Fab race team didn’t let that slow them down as they grabbed a tenth place finish the next race out. Habart captured his best NWSLMS career finish at Wenatchee Valley Super Oval’s Neal Newberry 125 in September when he finished third. Habart will be awarded $1,000 cash and $500 Certificate for Franks Radio Service for his eighth place finish in the 2016 NWSLMS Championship.

9th Place
Driver: Dirk Bennett
Hometown: Spokane, WA
2016 Starts: 7
2016 Wins: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Best 2016 Finish: 11th, Wenatchee Valley Super Oval, Leonard Evans 150
The 2016 Jefferson Pitts Racing Rookie of the Year contender raced his first full year of Super Late Model racing after just a couple starts in 2015. Bennett joined up with the Kustom Fab race team in 2016 showing progress for the young driver. Bennett had his best series finish of eleventh at Wenatchee Valley Super Oval’s Leonard Evans 150. The rookie finished second in the JPR Rookie of the Year standings. Bennett will be awarded $1,000 cash for his ninth place finish in the 2016 NWSLMS Championship

10th Place
Driver: Shane Mitchell
Hometown: East Wenatchee, WA
2016 Starts: 6
2016 Wins: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Best 2016 Finish: 7th, Spokane Super Oval, Park Model Homes 125
Mitchell returned to racing full time in 2016 after an early season injury cut his 2015 season short. The past series winner had some early season runs up front at races but late race incidents hurt his finishes. Mitchell found success at Spokane Super Oval for seventh place finishes in both races at the half-mile oval.

The Northwest Super Late Model Series Inc. is the premier regional touring Super Late Model series in the Pacific Northwest. The series has many valued sponsors including Hoosier Racing Tire, McGunegill Engine Performance, Port City Race Cars, AR Bodies, Joes Racing Products, Accelerated Graphics, Five Star Bodies, Longacre Racing Products, Wheel Chill, KRC Power Steering, Racers Against Child Abuse, Atomic Screenprinting and Embroidery, Franks Racing Radio, BLP, Jefferson Pitts Racing and Racing Dynamics. For more information on the series visit or on Facebook or Twitter.