STOCKTON, CA  (8-16-11) – After a four  week break, California stock car ace Derek Thorn is ready to get back behind the wheel of the Superior Crankshaft,  JRC #26 Toyota Camry this weekend in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series. Thorn will be competing on one of the tightest most action packed tracks on the tour, Stockton 99 Speedway, in the Jackson Rancheria 135.


Saturday's 135 lap race will mark the 7th round of the 10 race SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series that spans California, Utah and Nevada between the months of April and October. Although the Lakeport native has had some setbacks that have not been any fault of his own, Thorn is very much still in the hunt for the 2011 SRL Southwest Tour Championship and this weekend could very well be a solid points night for his team who will be lead by crew chief Scott Franchimone as Thorn’s regular crew chief Junior Joiner has commitments this weekend to the NASCAR Truck program.


The quarter-mile Stockton 99 Speedway is sure to have its share of action Saturday and running out in front will mean a driver must slice and dice their way through lapped traffic. For Thorn, racing in lapped traffic is one of his strong suits and doing so will surely be commonplace this weekend as he visits Stockton 99 Speedway for the second time this season.


"I’m excited to be returning to Stockton we had a great car the last time we were there,” said Thorn. The key to Stockton is going to be patience and saving the equipment. Stockton is a tough place to pass. I am looking forward to gaining back some points for the championship this weekend.”


In his 16-year racing career, Thorn has made 137  starts and has scored a total of 28 wins, 82 top five finishes, and a 111 top ten placements. Many of those accolades came after traveling through traffic and muscling his way to the front. Additionally, Thorn has earned the fast time a total of 51 times in asphalt action.  As he returns to one of California's most famous asphalt tracks he looks to increase the digits in his win column and move forward towards the series championship.


Currently, Thorn is fourth in the SRL Southwest Tour point standings. He trails leader Jacob Gomes by just 103 points with four events left on the competitive schedule. Following the final appearance of the year in Stockton, Thorn will wrap up the series on familiar tracks he always fares well at including Madera, All American Speedway in Roseville and the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


"We are heading back to tracks that we have ran at this year and all the remaining tracks after Stockton I have been fast and won races at,” added Thorn. “So I feel we are definitely sitting in a good position heading down the homestretch of this season.”


In addition to chasing the SRL Southwest Tour Championship, Thorn recently announced he has signed a full season schedule in 2012 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West aboard the competitive Sunrise Ford #6. For Thorn, securing a full season contract in the series that is home to the future stars of NASCAR is a dream come true as he will compete for the well followed series championship with one of the most competitive teams on the tour.


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, Eibach Springs, Joiner Motorsports, Joe's Racing Products, ARP Bodies, Finishline Signs, and Fastenal.


To learn more about Superior Crankshaft Racing 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