Bruce Nuttleman Photo
Jacob Gomes has established himself as one of the West Coast’s top stars, having won multiple championships and big races in and around California. He has since ventured east for select races, which includes his first visit to Madison International Speedway for the Joe Shear Classic.
The Manteca, CA driver pocketed $10,000 at last December’s Snowball Derby by virtue of being the highest-finishing rookie with a ninth-place finish. He then backed it up with an eighth-place run at the ASA STARS National Tour opener at Five Flags Speedway in March.
After his pair of top-ten runs in the Sunshine State, Gomes crosses the Mississippi River once again to visit the half-mile at Madison International Speedway, a race that could dictate what happens next while on this side of the country.
“I’m really looking forward to going to more different tracks than we usually go to. Just looking forward to going to Wisconsin and racing there,” said Gomes. “There’s a lot of good guys that race over there, it would be cool to get some driving time there.
“I know we’re going to Madison and if it all goes well and we somehow pull a top-three and not get tore up, I think our plan is to go to Wilkesboro. We definitely plan on going to a couple more, I’m not sure what we have on the list. We’re going to try to run a lot more races on the East Coast and get more time over there.”
As will be the case for most of the races on his schedule, Madison will be a track he sees for the first time when he arrives for race weekend. A look at past Joe Shear Classic races has helped him get as ready as he can be ahead of next weekend’s race.
“I’ve been watching a lot of the past Joe Shear Classics, trying to see how restarts are and seeing how everything works out. I looked on iRacing and it wasn’t a track on there, so it’s just watching a lot of videos from previous races.”
Perhaps no driver on the West Coast has been hotter since the start of last season than Gomes. He won three races en-route to his second SRL Southwest Tour championship in 2022, and 2023 has started out even better, having won all three races contested so far with the series this season.
His hot streak back home is something he hopes to carry over to the opposite side of the country.
“We had a really good year last year, went on a streak and got the championship. This year we’re on another little streak, but we’re willing to give up a streak to go learn as much as we can and go to where all the competition’s at. It’s cool when you have four really good guys on the West Coast, but you go to the East Coast and you have our four good guys going there and all the good guys from back there. It’s cool to be competing against good competition.”
He approaches the Joe Shear Classic and his future starts out East as a learning opportunity for he and his team, and to carry over his success across time zones as well.
“It’s just different tracks. There’s a lot of competition on the West Coast, it’s just different places we’ve never been so it’s harder for us to adapt and figure it out. That’s our goal, to go to different tracks and be dominant wherever we go. Our plan is to keep going to more racetracks and getting acclimated to going to a new track and being fast out of the gate.”
The Joe Shear Classic 200 will mark race two of the inaugural ASA STARS National Tour schedule, set for 2:00PM CT on Sunday, May 7. Advance tickets are available by visiting the track website at misracing.com/tickets, or at the track office during regular business hours. Madison International Speedway is located ten minutes south of Madison, on Sunrise Road off of Highway 51 between Oregon and Stoughton.
The ASA STARS National Tour opened the ten race, six-state schedule at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL on March 11. Georgia racer Casey Roderick won the Sunshine State 200.
For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at starsnationaltour.com, or be sure to follow the series on social media (Facebook: STARS National Series | Twitter: @racewithstars | IG: @starsnational).
ASA STARS National Tour
The ASA STARS National Tour debuted in March of 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America. Announced last October, many of the best drivers in America will compete in the ten-race national tour with a minimum $100,000 point fund. The championship team will be guaranteed $25,000.
The ASA STARS National Tour is made up of three races from each of the regional pavement Super Late Model Series under the Track Enterprises banner; the ASA CRA Super Series, the ASA Midwest Tour and the ASA Southern Super Series.
The Team Construction Winner’s Circle program has been announced as a part of the ASA STARS National Tour for licensed drivers/teams with perfect attendance. The program provides additional financial incentives to those teams who support the Series, thanks to Team Construction.
Track Enterprises, a Racing Promotions Company based in Illinois, will operate the ASA STARS National Tour. It announced the acquisition of the CRA sanctioning body in January and followed that up with the purchase of the Midwest Tour in July. In October, Track Enterprises President, Bob Sargent announced a partnership with the Southern Super Series which set the table for the formation of the ASA STARS National Tour.