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DOMINATING PERFORMANCE AT STOCKTON EXTENDS THORN'S SRL LEAD

 

BAKERSFIELD, 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 series.

 

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 series points.

 

"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 www.derekthorn.com

 

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.

   
 

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