From Gary Thomas
TULARE, Ca. (February 7, 2017) — It’s become a tradition at Thunderbowl Raceway for the World of Outlaws to be on hand each spring and that will be the case once again in 2017 when the “Greatest Show on Dirt” invades Tulare on Friday & Saturday March 17 & 18.
This season marks the 14th overall year that Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway hosts the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. The inaugural event occurred in September of 2003 when 20-time series champion Steve Kinser of Bloomington, Indiana scored the victory over Aliquippa, Pennsylvania’s Tim Shaffer and local favorite Jason Meyers from Clovis.
The Golden State contingent has been successful at the track over the years, with six of the last eight seasons seeing a California native end up in victory lane.
Last year’s World of Outlaws event was picked off by Watertown, Connecticut’s David Gravel, who led all 35-laps to claim his first career Thunderbowl Raceway score. The 24-year-old rising star ended the campaign with nine victories and a third place finish in the series standings aboard the CJB Motorsports/ Big Game Tree Stands No. 5 Sprinter.
The podium last March was rounded out by Bixby, Oklahoma’s Shane Stewart and California’s very own Willie Croft, who also captured the evening’s dash, in what was a career best night with the series for the Sacramento driver. Fellow California native Brad Sweet began the night by setting a new Thunderbowl track record with a blistering 12.327 around the one-third mile oval. The Grass Valley racer then ended the evening by finishing fourth at the helm of the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 49 machine.
Also competing both nights in March will be the always entertaining Wingless Sprints of the USAC West Coast 360 Series. Along with the March weekend the tour is also set to compete at the Thunderbowl on April 22 during the Peter Murphy Classic and at the JD Heiskel & Co. presents Chris & Brian Faria Memorial on May 20.
Last season Garden Grove’s Brody Roa earned a pair of wins en route to his first career USAC West Coast Series title. A full field of wingless warriors will be on hand alongside the World of Outlaws to certainly give fans the best of both worlds.
Prior to the World of Outlaws weekend Thunderbowl Raceway will fire-off the new season with the two-night Spring Nationals on February 24 & 25 featuring the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Stocks, IMCA Sport Mods, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks.
“We’re really excited to have the World of Outlaws return to Thunderbowl Raceway once again in March,” said track promoter Steve Faria. “We’re going to do something a little different this year by having the Spring Nationals in February to help kick-off the season and get a race on the track before the Outlaws arrive. When you add in the USAC West Coast 360 Sprints to the Outlaw weekend I think it gives everyone the best show possible. If you’re a Sprint Car fan it’s definitely a weekend to check out. It should be a great season in Tulare and we look forward to seeing everyone.”
Tickets are on sale for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series/ USAC West Coast 360 Sprint Car Series weekend on March 17 & 18 and can be acquired by calling 559-688-0909. All seating in the house is reserved, with grandstand tickets $45 on Friday and $50 on Saturday. Bleacher tickets are $40 on Friday and $45 on Saturday. Kids 6-12 are half price and 5 and under are free. Also on hand during the Saturday portion will be IMCA Sport Mods.
Special thanks to all of our partners for their support of 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 www.thunderbowlraceway.com and like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Tulare-Thunderbowl-Raceway-392991907541396/?fref=ts
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. Camping is available during the weekend.