BAKERSFIELD, CA – Jim Wulfenstein has made only occasional starts, in the Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series over the years. But in those eight career SRL starts, five of them have been at Kern County Raceway. For the first time, Wulfenstein will make an appearance at the Winter Showdown on March 21st. It follows his best finish at the facility, when he scored a tenth-place effort in the 2019 October Classic, in his Sigma Performance Services (SPS) Chevy Impala.
The Pahrump, NV driver is a veteran of the former Rocky Mountain Challenge Series, and tracks throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. Jim also has experience in the now-defunct NASCAR Southwest Tour Series, finishing a career-best fifth at the LVMS Bullring and Dirt Track, among his seven career starts. As of late, Jim has participated for the most part, at the Bullring at LVMS. In 2019 he had four starts, three of which ended in top-five runs. He started the 2020 season with a 12th place effort in the “Open Comp Star Nursery 150”, at the same facility.
Wulfenstein has been behind the wheel of the #12 Super Late Model of Joe Farre’ and SPS, for several seasons now. But with the 2020 season getting underway, there will be some big changes for the SPS program, with Preston Peltier coming on board to head their efforts. The veteran driver is looking forward to the relationship, and an improvement in an already strong program.
“There is no doubt that Preston coming on board will be a great asset to the team”, Wulfenstein assessed. “Joe and the whole SPS team have consistently brought me a very competitive car, to every race. Having Preston there only enhances our opportunity to run up front.”
As evidenced by his number of starts at Kern County Raceway, Wulfenstein enjoys the ½-mile oval, with the speed and the challenges it brings to a driver, as Wulfenstein stated.
“Kern is a unique challenge, due to the high speed, as well as the commitment it takes to make a good lap. I love the challenge, and enjoy racing there.”
Entering the Winter Showdown, Wulfenstein knows he will be facing some of the toughest competitors on the West Coast. The 200-lap event will be one of the longest of his career, but he aspires to finish all the laps. If he can accomplish that goal, the weekend will be a success. If he can accomplish that goal, maybe he could bring home the checkered flag.
“A good run for me would be to run the whole race, stay on the lead lap, and hope to have saved enough to compete at the end. A win for me would certainly be an upset, but one I would love to see happen.”
Jim is thankful for the opportunity he has with Joe Farre’ and the whole Sigma Performance Services group. He is looking forward to the Winter Showdown and the 2020 season to come, as he sees the potential of the continuing partnership.
“No doubt that Joe Farre and the whole SPS team make it possible for me to get out and go racing. I have been racing on and off for a long time, but it has never been better than it is now. I’m looking forward to a great year.”
The 2020 Winter Showdown, from Kern County Raceway, is entering its sixth season of competition. The previous winners of the event include Bubba Pollard Fan Page (2015, 2016), Derek Thorn (2017), Kyle Busch (2018) and Ty Majeski (2019). The previous Feature Events have included several formats, with distances of 250 laps (2015 – 2017), 300 laps (2018 – 2019) and this year’s 200-lap version. 2020 will feature a halfway break, where half of the purse money will be awarded based on its’ result. The completion of 200 laps will wholly determine the final championship event finish, with the second half of the purse payout. Drivers eligible for the Spears Manufacturing Frequent Flyer Program will receive a minimum of $1,400 to start the feature. If required, eligible drivers who do not transfer from the Last Chance Qualifier will receive $1,000.
The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Super Late Models will be joined by the Spears Modified Series, as well as the Kern County Raceway Super Stocks. The SPEARS Modifieds will be racing for $4,000-to-win. The event will be Nationally televised on MAVTV, at a date to be named later, and Live-Streamed on spearsracing.tv/
Celebrating its twentieth season in 2020, the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series is a regional stock car series competing on paved ovals in the southwestern portion of the U.S. “The SPEARS Southwest Tour Series…Where the Champions Race”.
Photos courtesy of SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series