Friday, February 1, 2019

Season Two Of Humboldt Outlaw Karts On The Horizon For 2019

Eureka, CA (February 1, 2019) – After a successful first season for the Humboldt Outlaw Karts in 2018, the series will return once more for 2019 at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. New years typically see changes in most forms of motorsports and for HOKs it will be no different as there will be improvements and additions for the upcoming year.

2018 was a year for change for outlaw kart racers in the region. The first was the creation of the Humboldt Outlaw Kart organization which wanted to not only continue on maintaining outlaw kart racing in the area but wanted to better it. Halfway through the season, the series moved from its previous home, the 1/10-mile dirt oval inside of the Redwood Acres Raceway 3/8-mile paved oval. The new track stayed on the fairground’s property, taking over the former bullring with a 1/8-mile dirt track in its place. The new track not only provided a spectacular setting for the racing action but also gave the outlaw racers their own place that they could be proud of.

The six divisions that drivers and racers have come to love will be returning in 2019. That includes the Champagne Attourney Service beginner box stocks, the Williamson Financial Group box stocks, the Miclette Family Racing pure stocks, the Fortuna Wheel & Brake old fart karts, the Wes Green Landscape Materials 125-250cc karts and the NorCal Automotive 500cc/open karts. A new division will be added for the season with the addition of the stock lawn mowers. It will be the first full season of lawn mower racing at any Northern California facility and the division should quickly develop a hardy fanbase based on its popularity all over the country.

2019 will also mark the first year of a full season-long points championship battle for all divisions. Since outlaw kart racing started at Redwood Acres in 2016, each event has been a stand-alone race that did not count toward an overall championship. The addition of a championship will likely add to the on-track action and will make winning, finishing and showing up every race even more important than in previous seasons.

The schedule for the Humboldt Outlaw Karts in 2019 is still tentative. Currently a test and tune is scheduled for April 20 with the seasoning opening race taking place Saturday May 4. Other race dates include May 18, June 1, June 20, August 3, August 17 and September 28. All events will be Saturday races with the June 23 race being held on a Sunday to coincide with the final day of the Redwood Acres Fair. The September 28 race will be the final race of the championship run while the October 12 race serve as an open race of sorts. A full and official schedule for 2019 will be released in the very near future.

Other exciting news for the Humboldt Outlaw Karts will be the return of electronic scoring for every division with the X2 timing data system. Having electronic scoring was a necessity in regards to having a year-long championship but it will also allow drivers to follow timing and scoring in real time while also keeping track of lap times and finish results. The scoring system will allow for the return of qualifying in all divisions as well.

For rules and information regarding potential sponsorship opportunities, please visit or visit #/HumboldtOutlawKarts/

April 20 - Open Practice
May 4
May 18
June 1
June 23 - Sunday, Final Day Of Redwood Acres Fair
August 3
August 17
September 28
October 12

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Derek Thorn Problem - Talented Racers Who Never Get Their "Shot"

Photo Courtesy Matthew J. Sullivan Racing Photography

By Matthew J. Sullivan

Over the past 15 years, there is nobody in the west coast pavement late model racing scene who can they they have won as much or as often as Derek Thorn. The 32 (soon to be 33) year old driver from Lakeport, California is one of the best late model short track racers not only on the west coast but across the country. When the top super late model racers in the United States are listed, Thorn's name is among the first listed among the likes of superstars like Bubba Pollard, Ty Majeski, Donnie Wilson and others.

Thorn moved from IMCA/Grand American modified cars to racing touring late models in 2005 in the North State Challenge Series. Thorn won five times in two seasons in what was a very competitive series. In 2007, he raced a full season in the ASA Late Model Series in the Midwest and began to show his talent to a wider audience. Thorn won once that season taking a hard fought 200-lap victory at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and finishing fifth in the standings overall after racing a schedule featuring tracks he had never raced at before, much less seen.

When NASCAR shuttered its late model touring series in the mid-00s, the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series took over the role as the top late model tour in the region. In 78 starts, Thorn has won 36 times or in other words almost every other race he has started in the prestigious series. He has won four SRL titles (202, 2014, 2016, 2017) and the worst he's finished in the standings while racing the series full time is third twice in 2010 and 2011. Additionally, Thorn has started from the pole in three of the first four runnings of the high-dollar Winter Showdown non-points event while winning 2017 race. Later in 2017, Thorn was able to beat up and coming racer Jeremy Doss in a thrilling duel for the victory in the Senator's Cup 150 at the Las Vegas Bullring.

Aside from his accomplishments behind the wheel of a late model, Thorn has also established himself in NASCAR circles racing in both the K&N West and East series. He made six starts in the East Series in 2006 registering finishes of fifth at Nashville and seventh at Mansfield Motor Speedway. In 2012, Thorn joined Bruncati Motorsports for a full-time West schedule taking two wins and finishing third in the standings. The following season, Thorn won three times en route to winning the series championship. Just last season, Thorn returned to drive for Bruncati Motorsports. Although he only won two times, Thorn took another NASCAR West championship while also scoring top 10 finishes in all 14 races.

All the numbers are listed. All of the accomplishments are there yet for whatever reason Derek Thorn has never had the chance to race in the upper echelons of NASCAR. His lone chance came in 2013 when he attempted to qualify for a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway driving for the underfunded Jimmy Means Racing team.

30 years ago, a early 30s driver like Thorn would still be a prime candidate for a top ride in NASCAR's Busch or Winston Cup Series. Unfortunately, drivers older than 25 rarely get a chance to show their ability in NASCAR's truck series anymore and without major corporate backing a talented driver like Thorn will never get a true chance in modern day NASCAR.

Thorn's Georgia counterpart Bubba Pollard is very much in the same boat. Pollard has nearly 100 big-time late model victories since 2004. Pollard is a year younger than Thorn, has never raced in a NASCAR touring series yet has established himself as one of the best late model racers in the country, arguably the best.

Of course it isn't the first time a talented and highly-accomplished short track racer didn't get a fair shake. Mike Chase of Redding, California won numerous races in the west through the 70s and 80s including championships in NASCAR's Winston West and Southwest Tour series. While Chase did make 13 Winston Cup starts, the majority of those were in combination Winston Cup/Winston West races. The three "stand alone" races he started for A.J. Foyt's team in 1991 were among the last of that team's original phase. By 1991, Foyt was not focused on his NASCAR efforts.

While drivers like Thorn and Pollard will likely never get on the "big stage" of NASCAR's top three series, their misfortune is the gain of the late model short track racing community. They are two drivers who late model fans can consider as being "theirs". They are blue collar racers who are among the best that fans can get an up close and personal view of at their local track, something they wouldn't otherwise get if either competed in Cup. Certainly they won't be the last drivers who won't get their chance but they are racers that fans can respect and admire. Those are the kind of people that make late model racing on the local and touring series levels so great.

Winter Showdown Opens 2019 Season For Austin Herzog

Via Austin Herzog Motorsports PR

CLOVIS, CALIFORNIA (January 31, 2019) – Austin Herzog, age 16 from Clovis, CA, will open his 2019 season this weekend in the prestigious Winter Showdown 300 at Bakersfield’s Kern County Raceway Park. Austin will drive his #11 Toyota in Super Late Model racing’s richest event with a $150,000 purse on the line including $30,000 to win.

Action gets underway Thursday with tech inspection and a three hour testing session. Friday’s activities include additional practice along with qualifying. The Winter Showdown 300 takes place Saturday evening, following the SPEARS Modifieds season opener.

Race fans can keep up on the event by tuning into for live PPV coverage both Friday and Saturday. The event is also being taped for a later broadcast on MAVTV.

Herzog’s 2019 plans include running for the 2019 RPM Mortgage Pro Late Model Series championship at Madera Speedway, also televised on MAVTV. Austin Herzog Motorsports also intends on competing in other major regional events for both Pro Late Models and Super Late Models, with a complete such to be announced. Marketing partnerships are still available for the upcoming season as well.

His 2018 season included fast-time at the Las Vegas Bullring Fall Classic, a top-15 finish in the Winter Showdown, runner-up in the Madera Pro Late Model standings, and a victory at Orange Show Speedway.

Austin Herzog Motorsports thanks Richard Herzog Construction, Superior Doors, WDF Concrete, Castech Pest Control, Stark Naked Enterprises, Wilson Motorsports, LC Services, Steve and LuLu, Jose Casillas, and Darrell Herzog Roofing for their support.

Potential sponsors are encouraged to contact for more information.

For more information, check out Austin Herzog Motorsports at Austin Herzog Motorsports can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Winter Showdown On Schedule

Via KCRP Media

Bakersfield, CA – This weekend’s Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway is on schedule. With some rain in the forecast, the plan is to stick with the schedule and make any adjustments necessary to get all the racing in by the end of the day on Saturday.

“In Bakersfield the average rainfall is less than 7 inches a year. When rain is in the forecast, it usually means a storm moves through leaving a minimal amount of rain then moves on,” stated Larry Collins, of Kern County Raceway. “If we do need to adjust, the goal is to get all the racing in. We look forward to seeing everyone here this weekend, for the ‘richest short track race’ in the nation.”

The weekend’s schedule of events is set to begin on Thursday with Super Late Model tech inspection and practice.

Friday will feature Super Late Model “Winter Showdown 300 Qualifying Controlled by Traffic Management, Inc.” and the Winter Showdown Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse Last Chance Race. The Spears Manufacturing Modified Series presented by Lucas Oil will roll into Kern County Raceway on Friday for tech inspection, practice and the 2018 Modified All-Star Race. The NASCAR Super Stocks will have full day on Friday, including qualifying and the Twin Segment “Motor City GMC Super Stocks Showdown”. Qualifying starts at 6pm, with racing at 7:30pm.

On Saturday, the Modifieds will qualify to set the lineup for the 1pm start of the “51 FIFTY Energy Drink Modified Showdown“(75 laps), followed immediately by the Super Late Model “Spears Manufacturing Winter Showdown 300”.

For more information about this weekend’s Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway, go to,, or call 661-835-1264.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Top 10 North State Modified Series Drivers Honored

The 2018 top 10 North State Modified Series drivers with awards:
Back Row - Left to Right – Eric Price II, Darrin Sullivan, Jason Philpot, Terry Deal, Ian Elliott.
Front Row – Left to Right – Dustin DeRosier, Cameron Austin, NSMS Champion Kris Price, Rick Avila, Eric Johnson

Via Nadine Strauss/NSMS Media

Williams, CA. January 26, 2019....... The fifth annual awards banquet honoring the top ten drivers in the 2018 North State Modified Series, presented by Protect the Harvest (NSMS) was held Saturday night at Granzella's Banquet Facility in Williams, CA. Business Manager Nadine Strauss acted as master of ceremonies. Speakers were Rick Avila representing the “2018 Driving Out Cancer” tour, Shake Sulikyan from the ValleyCare Charitable Foundation Cancer Services, and series co-promoters Jeff Stephens and Bob Strauss.

Kris Price of Sacramento was crowned NSMS champion in his first full year of competition with the touring series. Price captured four feature wins in 2018 which included the season opener at Shasta Speedway and the July race at All American Speedway. He backed that up with a win at Redwood Acres Raceway, and then set fast time and took home the big “Lloyd Burton Against the Wind Modified Challenge trophy at Shasta Speedway. His other accomplishments were one second, two thirds, and a fourth. Price took home $1200 in cash plus a $1000 Lucas Oil products certificate.

Second place honors went Dustin DeRosier of Cloverdale. He finished in the top 10...8 out of 9 races this year. He was in the top 5 five times. DeRosier donated 10% of his winnings to the “Driving Out Cancer” fund at each race, and was the largest contributor to this worthy cause.

The other half of the Price Racing team, Eric Price II, finished third overall this year. Price jumped from fifth to third in points in the final NSMS event when he won the Hoosier NSMS October Classic at All American Speedway. He also chalked up two seconds, one third and a fourth during the season.

Fourth place went to Kelseyville's Eric Johnson who also finished in fourth place in 2017. This season, after his bad luck at Shasta, he finished a solid second at Madera. His 3 top five's included a second, a third and a fourth. Seven top 10's in all plus he earned money in 3 Lucas Oil Dashes for Cash.

The NSMS 2016 Rookie of the Year, Darrin Sullivan of Kelseyville ended up in fifth place overall. He was the winner of the September race at Redwood Acres Raceway. He also had six top 10 finishes.

Finishing in sixth was Terry Deal of Roseville. Deal's season bests were a second place finish at both Redwood Acres Raceway in Eureka and Ukiah Speedway. His stats saw him finish in the top 10 six times.

Seventh place went to Cameron Austin of Santa Rosa. Austin was the youngest driver in the series but drove like a veteran. He raced both a modified and a Legends Car during 2018 and showed he has real talent. Austin was the Winner of the Lucas Oil Summertime Horsepower Nationals at Madera Speedway on June 9. He placed in the top five 6 times which included one first.... 2 seconds, 1 third, a fourth and a fifth.

Jason Philpot of Sacramento, his family and crew, all attended the ceremonies for the first time in five years running and collected the eighth place trophy. This year Philpot won his first race ever at Redwood Acres Raceway in May. He was also the quickest car to qualify at Roseville's All American Speedway. Philpot never finished lower than eighth and had 4 top five finishes.

Ninth place overall went to Ian Elliott of Lakeport. It was his first full season running with NSMS, and he did well enough to earn the 2018 North State Modified Sunoco Rookie of the Year title.

Rick Avila of Pleasanton rounded out the 2018 top 10 NSMS drivers. Avila was the key player in the Driving Our Cancer awareness program that continued throughout the season. Through his weekly presentations, and with the help of collections chairman Sheri Knight, the drivers, crews and race fans, a total of $5,570.38 was awarded to Shake Sulikyan for the ValleyCare Charitable Foundation Cancer Services.

Keith Bloom of Redding received the 2018 NSMS Keyser Manufacturing Hard Charger Award.

The top four were awarded Lucas Oil Products certificates, and fifth on back collected gifts from Five Star Bodies, Scribner Plastics, and Lucas Oil.

Recognition went to all the NSMS officials as well as the series sponsors Protect the Harvest, Lucas Oil, Ward Land Management & Development, Hoosier Tire West, Naake Suspension, Sunoco Race Fuels, Five Star Bodies, Racer Bling, Keyser Racing Products, Scribner Plastics, and Frank's Radios.