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Derek Thorn Earns Sixth Southwest Tour Win at Kern

Derek Thorn continues to make the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour his playground.

The Bakersfield, California native led 99 of 100 en route to a victory in the Wild West Shootout at Kern County Raceway Park on Sunday afternoon. The four-time Southwest Tour champion has now won six of seven starts this season and led 672 laps.

Thorn posted just the fifth fastest speed in time trials but drew a front row starting spot and led from the second lap onwards. His greatest threat came from Preston Peltier who steadily applied pressure to Thorn over 67 laps until suffering a puncture.

Thorn then pulled out to a three-car length lead over Jace Hansen and won by just under half a second.

“That was a workout, that was intense,” Thorn said. That was the most intense race I think I’ve had in a long time. Hat’s off to (Peltier) and (Hansen), they both had good cars.”

Thorn has dominated the season, but he simply feels proud to have a season to compete in during the COVID-19 pandemic — especially with many races taking place without spectators.

“Hat’s off to the tour for making it happen,” Thorn said. “There’s been a lot of sponsors that have had to step up and fill that pay gap due to the financial void those guys don’t get by having people in the stands. When things happened with COVID you automatically assumed things would be shut down but it’s cool to have a series that has been able to give us a race season about on par.”

The remaining two races are scheduled for Nov. 21 at the Bullring at Las Vegas and Dec. 19 at Irwindale Speedway.

RESULTS

  1. Derek Thorn
  2. Jace Hansen
  3. Christian McGhee
  4. Brandon Farrington
  5. Jacob Gomes
  6. Dan Holtz
  7. John Dillon
  8. Blaine Rocha
  9. Carlos Vieira
  10. Kyle Neveau
  11. Buddy Shepherd
  12. Cale Kanke
  13. Chris Clyne
  14. Keith Spangler
  15. Eric Schmidt
  16. Joey Iest
  17. Dean Thompson
  18. Bobby Hodges
  19. Jim Vermillion
  20. Scott Sanchez
  21. Preston Peltier
  22. Mark Neff
  23. Linny White
  24. Andy Allen
  25. Thane Alderman

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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