IRVINE, CALIFORNIA (June 26, 2011)After a disappointing night in Stockton one week earlier, Derek Thorn and the Superior Crankshaft team arrived at the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour event in Madera with one goal in mind. That simple goal was to put the team and its dedicated sponsors into victory lane and back into the championship battle. When Thorn sets a goal for himself, he rarely falls short of it and Saturday night was a shining example of just that.


Putting the series of events that ended a top run one week earlier behind them, Thorn and his talented crew, led by crew chief Junior Joiner and team owner Joe Farre’ arrived at Madera Saturday afternoon as a team on a mission. They made their statement loud and clear from the first green flag of the day from solid runs in practice, qualifying and eventually driving the  #26 Superior Crankshaft/PepperJack Kennels Toyota Camry to a victory in the Children's Hunger Fund 125.


"After letting my team down in Stockton, where I felt we had the dominant car all weekend, I felt like I really owed them," said Thorn. "The car was a lot of fun to drive, the Hoosier rubber we've got on these cars has a lot of grip and Madera is really tough on tires so by the end of the race we were hanging on for all it was worth and brought home the win that this crew, Superior Crankshaft, PepperJack Kennels, Sigma Engineering and Joiner Motorsports really deserved."


In practice on Saturday, Thorn was near the top of the charts as he tested different lines around the Madera oval that is known as the fastest third mile in the west. With a fastest time of 14:839, Thorn clocked the fifth fastest time in practice and was confident he had the car to beat for the upcoming qualifying session.


In qualifying, Thorn not only had the fastest lap of the night, he also drove his way to a new track record at Madera for the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series. Thorn's time was a blistering 14:320 which was .132 seconds ahead of the second place qualifier.


 “Derek was confident from the start of the day. We knew we had a strong car but the track record was a bit of a surprise,” said Cheryl Archer, CEO of Superior Crankshaft. “The race was very competitive and it was great to see the respect that he and Eric Holmes had for each other in the final laps. Derek raced well and kept the car out of trouble. The win was just what we needed to put us back in the race for the championship.”


The inversion placed Thorn in the sixth place starting position for the Children's Hunger Fund 125 before an enthusiastic crowd that was celebrating in patriotic fashion at Madera Speedway Saturday night, Thorn showed the fans the talented driver that he is and how exciting the SRL Southwest Tour is as he quickly sliced and diced his way to the top three positions in the opening laps of the race.


After chasing bridesmaid and former Madera Speedway Champion Ross Strmiska for 12 laps, Thorn saved his moved for a baker's dozen when he overtook Strmiska on lap 13 and set his sights on the leader. Driving out in front was one of California's most competitive asphalt drivers of current time, Escalon's Eric Holmes, a multi-time champion in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with a long list of career accolades in multiple divisions.


In the early laps of the race Thorn pursued Holmes without serious challenge to himself. On the 27th lap, however, Jacob Gomes slipped into the second  position where he remained until Thorn had enough and redeemed the second place spot once again nine laps later.. For the next 20 laps Holmes and Thorn put on a show for the fans with a dog fight for the lead that included its share of slicing and dicing, fender rubbing and a great display of both talent, aggression and sportsmanship.


"It feels awesome to have our second win of the season so far," added Thorn. "I felt like we should have had another one at Stockton, we're going to keep digging and make sure we really showcase what our team is capable of each week."


On the 56th lap, Thorn got down to business and worked his way to the inside of Holmes to take a lead he would never relinquish. Once in front, Thorn maintained a tight line on the track and worked his way thru lapped traffic with Holmes in his wake for the remainder of the race. At the finish line Thorn was trailed by Holmes, M.K. Kanke and Justin Westmoreland.


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, PepperJack Kennels, Sigma Engineering, JRI Shocks, Joe Gibbs Driven, Eibach Springs, Joe's Racing Products, ARP Bodies, Finishline Signs, Fastenal, and Joiner Motorsports.


"I feel honored to be driving for this group and I am thankful for all of them. I have to give an extended thank you to team owner Joe Farre’ of  Sigma Engineering, Marty and Misty Melo of Pepperjack Kennels, JRC, Eibach Springs, JRI Shocks, Hoosier Tires, Ron's Rear Ends, and Cheryl Archer of Superior Crankshaft"


This week Derek Thorn will return to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in Irwindale, California behind the wheel of the Byron Campbell Racing #44 Four Star Fruit and Hronis Racing Chevrolet. Thorn will return to the SRL Southwest Tour on July 23 at Rocky Mountain Raceway in Salt Lake City, Utah.


To learn more about Superior Crankshaft and primary driver Derek Thorn, visit them online at www.superiorcrankshaftracing.com. Derek Thorn's personal website can be found at www.derekthorn.com. Further information on Superior Crankshaft and the series can be found at www.superiorcrankshaft.com and www.srlsouthwesttour.com


Copyright 2012 Derek Thorn Racing / Blakesley Sports Media