IRVINE, CALIFORNIA (February 1, 2011) – 24 year-old Derek Thorn brought home a pole position and a seventh place finish in the TOYOTA All-Star Showdown at TOYOTA Speedway last weekend in a career-defining moment.  The Lakeport, California driver was making his first start for the new Byron Campbell Racing in the #44 Four Star Fruit / Superior Crankshaft Chevrolet.


With a live television audience viewing on SPEED, Thorn grabbed the pole position over an international roster of 46 talented short-track racers.  Then on Saturday night in the 225 lap feature, Thorn led the first 102 laps of the race and finished in an impressive seventh place.


“To be leading 40 of the best short track racers and teams from around the world to the start of the Showdown was an amazing accomplishment for myself and my team,” Thorn said.  “I am very proud of leading the most laps of the race as it is an accomplishment any veteran team would be proud of.  To have our newly formed Byron Campbell Racing atop the leaderboard for 102 laps just shows the effort and determination of our program.”


The weekend kicked off with practice sessions early on Friday morning, and the set-up that Junior Joiner brought to the track helped Thorn land second and fourth in the two practice sessions.


It was in qualifying where Thorn made the biggest impression, turning a huge 18.334 second lap.  The pole lap prompted many in the media to ask “Who is Derek Thorn?” and they were quickly educated about the quality of the driver with his run on Saturday night.


Thorn backed up the hype from the pole position by dominating the first 100 lap segment of the 225 lap race.  After the lap 100 break, Thorn fell back to the fourth position as he waited out his chance to fight for the victory.


The final 25 laps of the race were when Thorn seized his opportunity to challenge for the $30,000 victory.  Using the low line, Thorn advanced to second place and made a bid for the lead.  His challenge for the lead fell short and resulted in some contact with the leader.  NASCAR officials penalized Thorn to the tail of the field for his involvement in the racing incident.


“We proved that we had a dominating car for the entire race,” Thorn said.  “Unfortunately, being put to the back after a controversial call left us fighting our way back through the pack in the final 15 laps.”


Undeterred, Thorn made a torrid charge through the field including a memorable three-wide battle with action sports star Travis Pastrana that allowed him to pick up a seventh place finish at the stripe.


Despite the setback near the end of the race, Thorn’s seventh place finish was still a strong accomplishment for the driver with limited NASCAR K&N Pro Series experience.


“Everyone at Superior Crankshaft is very proud of Derek and the extraordinary results he posted this weekend,” said Superior Crankshaft CEO Cheryl Archer.  “Derek is an exceptional talent and I believe great things will happen for him this year.”


Derek Thorn is slated to continue his development in the stockcar racing world as he will be racing the full 2011 SRL SPEARS Southwest Tour representing Superior Crankshaft.  Thorn is also planning to compete in select K&N Pro Series events possibly including the upcoming event in Phoenix on February 26.


Thorn’s progress is being supported by many fine sponsors including Four Star Fruit, Superior Crankshaft, Joiner Motorsports, Pepperjack Kennels, Sumseeds, and JRI Shocks.  Potential sponsors can contact SP Racing for more information on sponsoring the talented Northern California racer.


SP Racing is online at www.superiorcrankshaftracing.com   An all-new Derek Thorn website is online at www.derekthorn.com



Copyright 2012 Derek Thorn Racing / Blakesley Sports Media