CALIFORNIA (November 21, 2012)
– Derek Thorn concluded a banner year with a third place finish in
Saturday night's "Sigma Engineering 154" at the Las Vegas Bullring
to wrap up his 2012 SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour championship season.
Thorn's SRL championship also earned him the Sunoco Driven Challenge
National Championship, topping touring Late Model drivers from
across the country for the honor.
The Lakeport-born driver, currently residing in Bakersfield, amassed
eight wins, six fast-times, 19 top-fives, and 22 top-tens in 26
starts across the SRL and in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West as
Driving the #43 Four Star Fruit / Hronis Racing Ford for Byron
Campbell Motorsports, Thorn finished in the top-two in eight of the
10 races on the SRL campaign. Thorn stretched his points lead
through the summer months when he won six of seven races. The wins
included two at Stockton, two at Las Vegas, a win at Rocky Mountain
Raceways, and a win at All American Speedway.
"It's an amazing
feat to come home champions in 2012," Thorn said. "I can't thank
Byron and Carol Campbell enough for all their support and such a
great opportunity to be driving their 43 car."
Saturday's Sigma Engineering 154 was the longest and richest event
in SRL series history and Thorn took over the lead on lap 71. He
maintained the lead through the halfway break and then relinquished
the lead during pit stops on lap 90. Restarting 11th, Thorn set
sail on the field and found his way up to third for the final
In a three lap
shootout, Thorn successfully held off championship rival Jim Pettit
to finish third and win the series championship.
"Mike Keen has led
the charge in the shop and done an amazing job this year in
preparing our SRL equipment. The crew including Richard Watson,
Vicki Keen, Chris Horton, Jennifer Keen-Horton, David Coley, Keith
Jagels and spotter Bryan Brown came together as a team and put us in
contention each week to win races.”
championship in hand, Thorn was able to top drivers from five
different Late Model series across the country to win the Sunoco
Driven Challenge championship. With the championship, Thorn will
test a NASCAR K&N Pro Series, East car for Joe Gibbs Racing at
Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia mid-December.
"To be going back
to test with the Joe Gibbs organization is a dream come true. I
can't thank Sunoco and Joe Gibbs Driven enough for putting together
such a great program," Thorn said. "I have high hopes for the test
and am very excited to be getting a chance to work with such a great
organization first hand."
2012 also marked
Thorn's first full-season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West,
driving Bob Bruncati's #6 Sunrise Ford entry with Bill Sedgwick at
the helm as crew chief. The team achieved great results including a
win and a pole at Havasu 95 Speedway in Arizona, a win at the
half-mile NAPA Speedway in
and top-fives in three of the four road course events.
In total, Thorn
scored ten top-fives and 12 top-tens in the 15 race series to finish
third in the standings. Thorn remained in the thick of the
championship battle through the final event at Phoenix before a flat
tire derailed his championship hopes.
"Getting to step
foot into the #6 car this year for Bob and Maureen Bruncati was an
awesome experience," Thorn said. "Bill Sedgwick, Mike Fisk, Rob
Hassler, and Chris Helton have put alot of shop hours into making
the team solid all year. The road crew this year included Bubba
Dornback, Bill Chapman, Barny Barnes, Danny Renko, and Jeff
Harrison. I cant thank them enough for all their hard work and
sacrifice to make our season possible."
Thorn plans to return for full-time programs with both Byron
Campbell Motorsports and Bob Bruncati's Sunrise Ford team in 2013 to
chase their respective series championships.
Race fans can follow Derek Thorn on his Twitter page @DerekThorn6
and encouraged to vote for Thorn in the Most Popular Driver contest
on www.nascarhometracks.com for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West
Race fans can
also learn more about Derek Thorn on his official website at
Derek Thorn's 2012
SRL sponsors included: Four Star Fruit, Hronis Racing, Double Eagle
Transportation, SPPI Limited, Bakersfield Muffler, Keen Sights,
Melos Gas and Gear, Surface Pumps Inc., Joes Racing Products and
Blakesley Sports Media.
His NASCAR K&N Pro
Series, West program was sponsored by: Sunrise Ford, Lucas Oil
Products, Eibach Springs, Loctite, RPM12, and PepperJack Kennels.