Bob Strandwold - SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series Interview:
Bob Strandwold has won two SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series championships as a car owner, with drivers Dave Byrd in 2007 and again in 2010 with Jonathon Gomez. Gomez was part of Strandwold’s three car SRL team along with teammates Derek Thorn (3rd in points) and Auggie Vidovich (12th in points). Before becoming the “Rick Hendrick of the SRL”, Strandwold was a championship driver himself.
1. How did you first get started in the sport?
Every weekend in the early 70's, my dad would take my brother and I to Stockton Speedway and San Jose Speedway.
2. When was your first race as a driver, what kind of car was it and at which race track?
My first race was when I was a junior in high school; the car was a 1966 Chevelle at Stockton 99 Speedway.
3. As a driver, what were some of your career highlights?
I would say winning two driving titles and the three years I drove for Tim and Jackie Gillit. In 1995, I won 13 main events at Stockton, Madera and Altamont. Throughout my career, my brother crew chiefed all my races, except for the three seasons with the Gillits.
4. When did you shift from driver to car owner?
In 2002, after I left the Gillits, I drove my own car to two victories in three starts and my last race I had won at Stockton.
5. How many years have you been involved in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series?
6. How was the transition from driving your own cars to having other drivers in your equipment?
The transition was fine. I had accepted that I did not have the "killer" instinct anymore.
7. You have been known to say that you “Eat, sleep and breath your race cars”, is that statement still true today?
Yes and no. I still love racing at this level, but one of my sons is going to start racing go karts this year and I seem to be more excited about that than anything. I just really enjoy spending my time with my sons, racing, watching them play baseball and soccer.
8. You are now the only person in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series history to have two series championships, what do you attribute you success to?
I attribute it to surrounding myself with great people that are in the sport and some of the great business partners that have helped out tremendously.
9. What drivers have you had in your cars in the SRL?
2007- Dave Byrd
2008- Dave Byrd, Craig Raudman
2009- Dave Byrd, Troy Ermish, Craig Raudman and Auggie Vidovich
2010- Jonathan Gomez, Derek Thorn, Auggie Vidovich, Mike David and Dave Byrd
10. Do you feel the same level of gratification from you success as an owner, which you once did as a driver?
Yes at times.
11. Who are your drivers for the 2011 SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series?
Jonathan Gomez (full time)
Craig Raudman (limited schedule)
Mike David (limited schedule)
12. Any predictions for the up coming SRL season?
I wish all the competitors a safe and enjoyable year and hope my team continues to be successful on and off the track.
I also predict that the series will grow and continue as a premier series.