Trophy Cup to feature a record $200,000 purse during 25th anniversary in 2018

From Gary Thomas

TULARE, Cal. (January 19, 2017) — Already one of the most prestigious races in the Western United States the annual Trophy Cup will receive an even larger boost in 2018, with the announcement that the 25th anniversary event at Thunderbowl Raceway will showcase a three-night purse worth $200,000.

The elevated purse for the 2018 season further places the Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup in a league of its own when it comes to Winged 360 Sprint Car racing across the country. The major stipulation put in place is that to be eligible for the 25th anniversary showcase, an owner/driver must compete in this season’s 24th annual event on October 19, 20 & 21.

An owner/ driver simply sending in an entry form this season won’t make them eligible for 2018, something that is sure to spark interest in this year’s race.

“We’re happy to announce that the 25th Trophy Cup in 2018 will pay out a record $200,000 purse,” commented event founder & organizer Dave Pusateri. “I really want the teams that have supported us over the years to be the ones that take part in the 25th anniversary and have a shot at the increased purse. That’s the reason for making it mandatory that an owner/driver actually competes in this season’s event. We really want these next two years to be the best ones yet, so everyone that races in 2017 is eligible to be a part of the event in 2018.”

The Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup is not only known for featuring some of the best racing seen all year long, but it’s also well regarded for being held to benefit one of the truly great organizations around, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. With the Trophy Cup donating $150,000 at last year’s event it brought the total amount of donations up to a staggering $1,420,000 since the event was created back in 1994. This coming season marks the 13th occasion that the Trophy Cup will be held at Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.

With special events going on all weekend long, the Trophy Cup has turned into a true happening each season and one that fans flock to from all over the state of California & beyond.

“Everything that happens at the Trophy Cup wouldn’t be possible without the support of all our sponsors & volunteers, the fans & teams that support us each season, as well as Steve Faria & the whole Thunderbowl Raceway staff,” Pusateri said. “The Tulare Thunderbowl & the Tulare County Fairgrounds have been outstanding hosts of our event since 2005 and we can’t thank them enough.”

The winners share for the 25th annual Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup in 2018 is still to be determined and will be announced once firmed up. Tickets are on sale for this season’s 24th running of the event and can be acquired by contacting 559-688-0909.

The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway would also like to welcome JD Heiskel & Company on board as presenting sponsor of the Chris & Brian Faria Memorial. The JD Heiskel & Company presents Faria Memorial on Saturday May 20 will showcase the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series, the USAC West Coast Wingless 360 Sprint Car Series and the Western RaceSaver Sprint Cars.

Special thanks to all of our partners for making things happen at the Thunderbowl including Merle Stone Chevrolet, Budweiser, Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Roth Motorsports, KRC Safety, Western Metal, Southwest Contractors, Double “D” Towing and JD Heiskel & Company.

For more on Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway visit and like our Facebook page at

The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds on the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California. From the junction of SR 99 and SR 137, go west on SR 137. At South K go south one-half mile to the fairgrounds.