DOERR SWINGS INTO TUNDRA ROOKIE BATLLE
PORTAGE, Wis. (May 8, 2019) – Fans of the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes may recall the name Derek Doerr. The 20-year-old driver from Watertown ran Midwest Truck Series events in conjunction with TUNDRA shows several seasons ago. This season he makes his move to the Super Late Model field.
Prior to his time in the Super Late Model and Midwest Truck Series Doerr worked his way through the go-kart ranks. He competed at Badger Kart Club in Dousman before transitioning to the American Super Cup cars in 2014. In just his second season Doerr was able to secure the Championship. He then made his move to the Midwest Truck Series in 2016.
“Every transition has been a big learning curve for me, but I can’t thank my dad enough for all his help each year. He has taught me so many things and been with me every step of the way,” Doerr said. “My grandpa and great uncle Howie Lettow began working on race cars when they were my age and from there on our family has always been involved in racing. My grandma has stories of taking my dad to the track when he was a baby; my dad also brought me along at a very young age, as well. So for me racing has always been a big part of my life growing up.”
Doerr became heavily involved in Super Late Model racing last season. His main focus was on State Park Speedway where he collected several fast times and finished Fifth in the final point standings. However, Doerr is hoping to spread his wings a bit more this season.
“We decided to run TUNDRA because we like to travel,” Doerr said. “In 2016-2017 when I ran in the truck series we were able to travel to many different tracks and I really enjoyed that. During that time we were also able to run in conjunction with the TUNDRA series for a few events and we really liked the atmosphere and how the races were run by TUNDRA.”
Much like last year’s Rookie of the Year Gabe Sommers, Doerr will have the advantage of being familiar with each track on the TUNDRA schedule thanks to his days in the trucks. Doerr will have a year of experience under his belt in the Super Late Models and says that experience is a big confidence boost heading into 2019.
“My time racing a Super Late so far has gone pretty good. We were able to race 19 races last year and travel to six different tracks,” Doerr said. “Although we primarily race at State Park, I think I was able to get a good grip on driving again, and just focus on the fundamentals behind the wheel.”
With so much experience at State Park under his belt, it seems like a slam dunk that would be the race Doerr is looking forward to the most this season. While it is the case that Doerr has circled that race on the calendar, he’s also looking forward to competing a bit closer to his hometown of Watertown, Wis.
“I really look forward to racing at Jefferson each year, being so close to home, we always get a great following of sponsors, friends, and family that attend the race,” Doerr said. “I also look forward to racing at State Park because it provides really close tight racing that makes it really exciting for the fans, and as a driver makes you really work hard to be smooth and consistent.”
With at least three other rookies in the mix, Doerr knows this season won’t be easy. He knows that TUNDRA has made a habit of attracting some tough racers, but Doerr is up for the challenge. He embraces the competition and sees the challenge as a positive thing.
“I think the biggest challenge for me this year will be the competition first and foremost,” Doerr said. “The TUNDRA series has a good following each year with a lot of drivers that have been racing Late Models for a long time so that’s always tough to matchup with. I am looking forward to getting in track and trying to gain more experience in a Super Late and also learn off of those other drivers.”
Learning from those drivers and increasing his feel behind the wheel is the main goal for Doerr this season. With some prior experience, he may already be in good position to make some noise early in the season.
“Coming into the 2019 season my goal is to gain more experience overall in a Super Late, especially in the bigger tracks, and to get used to traveling more again,” Doerr said. “Being a small team it’s always a goal of mine to make the most of what we have and have fun doing so. In the end I hope get some more races under my belt, and hopefully compete for Rookie of the Year.”
Doerrr and his fellow rookies begin their quest to make a name in the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series this Saturday, May 11 in Kroll’s West Round One at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, Wis. Qualifying is set for 5:30 pm with racing scheduled to begin at 6:45. TUNDRA will be joined by the Midwest Compact Series, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, and Figure 8s.
Wisconsin International Raceway is located just past the intersection of Highway 55 and KK outside of Kaukauna, Wis. The track offers free camping on the grounds with no utility hook ups. For more information visit www.wirmotorsports.com.