Manteca teenager Jacob Gomes has signed with Joiner Race Cars (JRC) to take on the 2012 SRL SPEARS Southwest Tour championship. Gomes will drive a newly designed Sunny Valley Smoked Meats, Dell’Osso Farms #26 TOYOTA with a JRC Gen-1 Truck Arm chassis underneath him.
In addition to leading the JRC assault on the SRL, Gomes will also drive a limited schedule of NASCAR K&N Pro Series, West races in 2012. The 18 year-old won three races in the 2011 SRL campaign to finish second in the standings. In one NASCAR K&N Pro Series start, Gomes sat on the pole at All American Speedway in October before finishing sixth.
Gomes’ move to Joiner Race Cars makes him an instant championship contender, moving into the same #26 that Derek Thorn drove to seven consecutive fast-time awards at the end of the 2011 SRL season. Gomes’ limited K&N program will see him hit Iowa Speedway, All American Speedway, Stockton 99 Speedway, and the Las Vegas Bullring, along with a trip to Phoenix in November.
“We definitely have a good shot at the (SRL) championship and I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Gomes said. “I want to show what JRC is capable of. The big picture is to do well in the West so you can go somewhere in racing. Working with Junior is going to be great because he lives for racing and he’s just so pumped up about it.”
The move into the NASCAR K&N Pro Series builds off of the success Junior Joiner experienced in 2011 when JRC led the preparation of the pole-winning car for the TOYOTA All-Star Showdown.
“We are proud to have Jacob as our newest team driver in 2012,” JRC co-owner Junior Joiner said. “This young man showed tremendous ability in the 2011 SRL series racing against our team of drivers. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to add Jacob to our 2012 driver’s roster and we look forward to working with Jacob, his father Paul, and his team of Ron Dell’Osso and gang during the 2012 SRL Season. Jacob is sure to give the SRL a good run for their money in 2012.”
Gomes will be joined full time by veteran JRC team driver Joe Farré in 2012. After a tough start to his shortened 2011 season, Farré’s program showed significant gains during the closing events of the 2011 SRL season. Farré posted several top-three qualifying efforts in the #54 JRC/Sigma Engineering Solutions, Inc. on his way to a season ending high finish of 3rd place in the Las Vegas October Classic at his hometown track.
Gomes and Farré will be joined in the 2012 SRL season by the part time JRC drivers of Austin Reed, Ryan Reed, and a host of other talented drivers. As winter break rolls on, negotiations continue with more interested drivers for the JRC 2012 SRL racing program.