ROSEVILLE, CA   Lakeport's Derek Thorn is headed to sin city to wrap up the 2011 SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour season to compete in the Sigma Engineering 154. This event is the second SRL Series event in a two week span and will conclude the 10 race championship season right where it all started back in March on the competitive Bullring at Las Vegas and Thorn will have a mathematical shot at the title aboard the #26 Superior Crankshaft Toyota Camry with a brand new chassis which is being referred to as the Gen 1 JRC Truck Arm chassis.


The SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series is a regional stock car series that competes on asphalt ovals in the southwestern region of the United States. A total of ten races formed the championship season in 2011, spanning areas of California, Utah and Nevada.  Known as one of the fastest stockcar series in the country, the SRL is bountiful with dozens of talented drivers in each event which are always big on thrills with no race less than 100 laps in length on the best short-track venues in the west.


After a two week break in competition, Thorn recently returned to the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series to compete in the Thunder Valley Casino & Resort 135 at the All American Speedway in Roseville.  After earning the fastest lap in qualifying for the sixth time this season, a seven car inversion placed Thorn on the inside of the fourth row for the start of the big event. He wasted no time in working his way into the lead long before the conclusion of the race in an event that very well could have been a significant factor in the championship point’s chase.


Approaching the final green flag of the event, trouble broke out aboard Thorn's Superior Crankshaft #26 Toyota Camry. As he accelerated out of the fourth turn the rear end failed, sending him to the pit area just as a multi-car melee erupted and the race later ended under caution. In the end, Thorn finished 14th overall and rolls into Vegas in third place in the overall point standings.


Just 78 points sit between Thorn and leader Jim Pettit II. In one SPEARS SRL event, a driver can earn as many as 180 points towards the title. With 154 laps to tell the tale, Thorn will be all in to catch series point leader Jim Pettit II.


"My numbers show the picture pretty clearly and that is we need to go win and Petitt would have to finish 21st or worse for us to clinch the title," said Marty Melo, Competition Director for Joiner Race Cars. "Our strategy is simple to win the race to gain the maximum number of points and the rest is out of our control. We have four JRC cars this weekend so he will have three teammates on the track."


Thorn will debut the new Joiner Race Cars Gen 1 Truck Arm Car at the Bullring in Vegas. The new car tested well last week and should be a force to contend with. Thorn will be joined behind the wheel of the JRC foursome by veteran driver/owner Joe Farre, the co-owner of JRC and owner of Sigma Engineering who is the title sponsor of the event. Washington's Blake Williams will make his debut in the series as well as Ryan Reed of Bakersfield.


In his 16 year career, Derek Thorn has made 140 asphalt starts. He has had 28 overall wins, 84 top five finishes and 113 top ten finishes with 53 fast times. He is a four time track champion on both dirt and asphalt venues. In 2012 he will join the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West full time aboard the Bob Bruncati Sunrise Ford #6 team.


Derek Thorn is proud to carry the sponsorship of Superior Crankshaft and a number of marketing partners in the 2011 SRL Spears Southwest Tour. Among the many contributors are Joiner Race Cars, Sigma Engineering, JRI Shocks, Eibach Springs, PepperJack Kennels, Joe's Racing Products, ARP Bodies, Finishline Signs, Fastenal and Joiner Motorsports.


To learn more about this talented young driver visit Derek Thorn's personal website at www.derekthorn.com. Further information can also be found at the site of one of his title sponsors, www.superiorcrankshaftracing.com.



Copyright 2012 Derek Thorn Racing / Blakesley Sports Media