CALIFORNIA (August 22, 2012)
– Derek Thorn left no doubt that he is the driver to beat in the
SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour and in the Sunoco Driven Challenge
National points, extending his lead in both series with another
fast-time and the win in Saturday's "Performance Electrical 125" at
Stockton 99 Speedway. Thorn's win now gives him four wins and four
fast-times in just seven starts this year in the competitive SRL
Driving Byron Campbell's #43 Ford for Four Star Fruit and Hronis
Racing, Thorn has an average finish of 2.42 and an average
qualifying of 1.85 after seven rounds of the 2012 SRL Southwest Tour
and continues to showcase his talent and the great equipment that he
has underneath him.
The win on Saturday came after Thorn set the fastest qualifying time
with a 13.506 around the historic quarter-mile asphalt oval, but he
started the race sixth after the invert. It didn't take long for
the Lakeport native to steer the Mike Keen prepared #43 to the
front, taking the lead on lap 30.
Points rival Jim Pettit did all he could do chasing Thorn through
heavy lapped traffic over a long green flag run from lap 47 to lap
115. Thorn managed to keep a car length or two ahead of Pettit
while lapping up to fifth place in the 18 car field. Thorn pulled
away from Pettit on a late restart with 10 to go and took the win by
half a second at the line. The victory extends his points lead to
39 points over Pettit heading into their next event in Las Vegas.
"It was a lot of fun. My game plan was to get to the front to begin
with because this place is tough to pass on," Thorn said. "I think
Jim had a really good car but I had the track position and it paid
off later in the run. Since we were here in June the track has lost
a lot of grip and my crew chief Mike Keen and the entire team have
really worked hard to find additional grip for me."
Switching gears, Thorn will hope to harness the momentum into a
strong performance in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West this Sunday at
Portland International Raceway. Thorn will climb back aboard Bob
Bruncati's Sunrise Ford #6 to tackle the 1.99 mile road course.
The 2011 Portland event was Thorn's debut effort with Bruncati and
Thorn finished an impressive third in his debut with the team and at
a road course. With the third place finish, Thorn secured himself
the chance to run for Bruncati for the 2012 championship and he
currently finds himself fourth in the series standings.
Sunday's Bi-Mart 125 will be a 63 lap race around the track and has
drawn an all-star lineup of road racing veterans to challenge series
regulars. The event will be the 12th of the 15 race schedule making
it a critical race for Thorn as he chases down the top-three in
"This will be the
first time returning to a road course for a second try," Thorn
said. "It'll also mark exactly a year since getting the first
opportunity to drive for Bob Bruncati and what a difference a year
makes. Portland was the first road course I had ever run and now
having four road course starts under my belt, I feel we will be that
much stronger this year. Sunday's race should be a lot of fun and
hoping to close in on the points chase as the year winds down."
Racing action this weekend gets underway on Saturday afternoon with
practices at 12:20 p.m. and 2:30 pm. Qualifying will be held at
11:15 a.m. Sunday morning with the race scheduled to go green at 3
p.m. Race fans can follow live lap-by-lap coverage on
NASCARHomeTracks.com or they can also follow Derek Thorn all weekend
on his Twitter page @DerekThorn6
Race fans can
also learn more about Derek Thorn on his official website at
Derek Thorn would like to thank the following sponsors for their
support in 2012: Sunrise Ford, Four Star Fruit, Hronis Racing, Lucas
Oil, Eibach Springs, Joe’s Racing Products, Oakley, Double Eagle
Transportation, Victory Circle Chassis, PepperJack Kennels, and
Blakesley Sports Media.