Vecchiarelli has been equally impressive in the CNS Modified Division. He was the championship runner-up in 2017, won his only two starts in 2018 and scored two wins, two seconds and a fourth in five 2019 starts. He hopes the success he has had, in both the Super Late Model and the Modified, as well as his association with Preston Peltier, will help him at Kern County Raceway, against some tough competition.
“The SRL drivers are amongst the best in the country, so managing my expectations through the weekend will be important”, Vecchiarelli explained. “As a car owner, and being a part of big races with Preston behind the wheel, I’ve learned that there is a lot more to racing than laying down a fast lap. Conserving energy, tire management, driver feedback, etc., all play into what it takes to produce good results. Guys like Preston, Derek Thorn, and Linny White are crafty veterans, so I feel like if we can finish up in the top 10 with them, and learn a thing or two along the way, it’ll be a successful weekend.”
Vecchiarelli has never turned a lap at Kern County Raceway. That circumstance could be a difficult hurdle to overcome for many competitors. But Eddie has learned from one of the best Super Late Model competitors in the country. That knowledge accumulation began back at the original running of the SRL Winter Showdown, and it is something he wants to take advantage of in 2020.
As a fan, I attended the inaugural Winter Showdown at KCRP” Eddie recalled. “We had just purchased a Hamke Race Cars & Parts Inc car from Preston, but I had never met him or seen him race. Watching him in the Heat Race, he was running a totally different line than anyone else. It was fascinating to watch. I walked over and introduced myself afterward, and when I asked him about his line, he simply said “you have to go where they won’t”, and that stuck with me. Heading into the ’20 Showdown, and being his teammate, I’ll definitely be leaning on him for advice. He’s helped me as a driving coach at our local track, and hopefully, I’ll be able to parlay his experience with David (Vecchiarelli) and Bond Suss’ expertise, to get us dialed in.”
With Eddie’s success behind the wheel, his knowledgeable crew behind him, and the coaching of a Super Late Model star, he will be eager to finish all the laps in the Winter Showdown. If he can do that, he would consider the event a success, as Vecchiarelli explained.
“Ultimately, I want to run all 200 laps and finish the race. If we can keep the nose clean, and stay on the lead lap, we’ll finish in the top 10, and that is my goal.”
Heading to Kern County Raceway on March 21st, Vecchiarelli will have less experience behind the wheel of a Super Late Model, than most of his fellow competitors. Getting that time behind the wheel, in an extra distance race, is something he looks forward to.
“There is no replacement for seat time, so I’m really looking forward to strapping in the seat, and just getting laps in”, Vecchiarelli acknowledged. “It’s been a long winter, and I miss the smell of race fuel. I’m excited to kick off the season at the Winter Showdown.”
Making the drive from Colorado to Bakersfield, to participate in the Winter Showdown isn’t an easy task. It takes a team effort, and a lot of support from friends, family, and sponsors. Vecchiarelli has a great group of people behind him, and he is grateful for their support.
“I’d like to thank Preston Peltier and Dave Vecchiarelli for their hard work, dedication, and competitive drive. Over the last five years, they’ve really propelled our team upwards and solidified us as one of the top short track racing programs in the country. I’d also like to thank my dad, Generator Source, and my wife Naomi for her support. I’d also like to thank Bond Suss, for coming aboard to crew chief the 18 for the Winter Showdown. I’m very much looking forward to working with him and learning as much as I can. In addition, I can’t thank Fire Alarm Systems enough, for coming on board as our sponsor for 2020.”
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 ManufacturingFrequent 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 https://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”.