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Gomes takes Rocky win on Utah track
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The long trek to Rocky Mountain Raceways, just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, for last Saturday’s Century Motorsports & Marine 122 presented by Retro Custom Metals 28 proved to be a very worthwhile trip for Manteca’s Jacob Gomes. 

Gomes, age 22, got the better of Clear Lake’s Jeremy Doss on a late race restart to claim the checkered flag in the first ever combined race for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series and the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series and the $10,000 winner’s purse.

It was the second consecutive win for Gomes, who also won in Stockton on Aug. 22, his 6th career SPEARS Southwest Tour Series win and 61st consecutive start in the series, the most of any driver in SRL series history.

The weekend got off to a rough start in Friday practice forcing the team to switch to the backup car.

“We started the weekend with the same car we won with at Stockton, and had nothing but trouble, so late on Friday we pulled out our other car, and it wasn’t much better speed wise in practice,” said Gomes. “We made some changes just before qualifying and surprisingly we ended up second fastest behind Derek (Thorn).”

An invert draw of 12 put Gomes in the sixth row of the 28-car field to start the race as 2015 Rocky Mountain Challenge Series champion, Jonathon Gomez, jumped into the early lead where he stayed put until a lap 29 restart when Doss, following a long side-by-side battle, took over the top spot on lap 33.

Gomes moved up to third behind Parker Stephens of Olympia, Washington, on lap 55 after Derek Thorn, the defending SPEARS Southwest Tour Series champion, spun with a flat left rear tire.

That top three remained the same with Doss seemingly in total control until Darren Jones spun, collecting Stephens in the process, on lap 119 to set up a three lap shootout to the checkered flag.

Doss chose to restart the race on the inside of Gomes. When the green flag fell Gomes stayed even with Doss through turns 1 and 2, then charged ahead on the back straight. Gomes continued to inch ahead of Doss through the final two laps to grab the win by a .44 second margin and earn the biggest payday of his career.

“Man, it feels so good.  This is a big win for us,” exclaimed Gomes in victory lane.  “We’ve really struggled over the last few seasons, but now we have back-to-back wins after winning Stockton three weeks ago.”

Season point’s leader Greg Voigt finished eighth to maintain his championship lead with 1,042 points while Gomes jumps from fourth to second in the 2015 SRL standings with 1,034, just 8 points back.  Atwater’s Carlos Vieira is third with 1,031, followed by Stephens at 1,022 setting up a great championship fight with just two races to go.

The next race for the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is the “DC’s RV Center’s 100 presented by Race for Autism” on Saturday, Oct. 17, at Kern County Raceway Park and the season will conclude Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Bullring at Las Vegas Speedway

 

Speed moves into second

place in rallycross

Manteca native Scott Speed took wins in both ends of last weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Los Angeles presented by Subaru Tecnica International to move into second place in the 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross standings.

Speed, driver of the NO. 41 Merchant First Beetle for Andretti Autosports, now trails Ken Brock by a 328 to 315 margin with three events remaining.

“It’s been a great weekend. Obviously at the beginning of the season we struggled a bit, but with a new program like this you’re bound to have problems and we have had them. I think our Beetles are dialed in, they are fast and durable, so I see us as a major threat for the championship. I couldn’t be happier,” said Speed.

The Global Rallycross season continues with a doubleheader in Barbados on Oct. 4-5 and concludes in Las Vegas on Nov. 4.

 

Area race track action

The regular season is over locally, but the Stockton Dirt Track will be back in action with a big Monster Truck doubleheader on Saturday/Sunday, Oct. 9-10, and an Open Wheel weekend on Friday/Saturday, November 6th and 7th featuring the King of the West 410 Sprints Car Series and Civil War Series championship.

The Madera Speedway will be in action this weekend with the Annual Harvest Classic featuring the track’s regular season division’s racing on Friday, September 18th and the an Open Wheel Extravaganza on Saturday, Sept. 19, featuring the King of the Wing Winged Sprint Cars, BCRA Midgets, USAC HPD Midgets, NCMA Sprints and a host of other divisions.