Derek Thorn

Bakersfield's Derek Thorn has a new car as he looks for a second victory in the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway. 

Some of the top Super Late Model drivers from throughout the country have rolled into Kern County Raceway Park where they will be gunning for a $30,000 victory in the Fifth Annual Winter Showdown.

An optional practice took place on Thursday evening, qualifying and preliminary races are set for Friday with the 300-lap Showdown on Saturday. 

Wisconsin’s Derek Kraus, who has won three consecutive NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races at KCRP, will be looking for his first Showdown win as well as fellow Wisconsin driver Ty Majeski.

Oklahoma’s Donnie Wilson, who finished second in 2017, is back for another crack at trophy as is Tennessee’s Willie Allen, who was fifth last year.

Other long-haul teams among the nearly 50 entries include Texas drivers Davin Cravens, Logan Bearden and Chris Davidson, Stephen Nasse from Florida and even a Canadian, Logan Jewell of Prince George, B.C.

And former Bakersfield Ryan Reed, is out from N.C. and looking for a win.

Three different drivers have won the first four races and the only one of those back is Bakersfield’s Derek Thorn, who raced to victory in 2017. Thorn won the K&N Pro Series West championship and is the winningest driver in Spears Southwest Tour history.

Nine of the top-10 Southwest Tour drivers from last year are entered, including 2018 champion Jeremy Doss of Upper Lake.

Thorn was quickest in Thursday night practice at 17.468 seconds around the half-mile oval. He was followed by Doss, 17.477 and Dylan Upton, 17.505. 

Mike Griffith can be reached at 661 395-7390. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeGriffith54. 

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