From Gary Thomas
Tulare, CA – October 20, 2010…For the first time in five months the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway will find Winged Sprint Cars taking to the 1/3 mile clay oval for the much anticipated 17th annual Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup presented by Kaeding Performance this Friday and Saturday nights.
An ultra stout 80-car field is set to do battle at the Tulare County Fairgrounds facility, racing for an overall payout that will be nearly $90,000 for the two-nights of competition and will see the high-point driver for the event take home a guaranteed $20,000.
With its unique format the Trophy Cup regularly produces some of the best racing seen all season. Each time a driver hits the raceway for competitive racing action there are points awarded, with it all being a lead-up to the 50-lap feature on Saturday night that is completely inverted based on points accumulated up to that part of the event.
Three-time and defending Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup champion Tim Kaeding goes into this weekend as arguably the favorite once again, after putting together another tremendous year on the West Coast aboard the Roth Motorsports, DTR Transport Inc. No. 83 machine. Last season the former King of California became the first driver to ever win Saturday night’s main event from the 24th and final starting position, in what was one of the most exciting races seen in the history of the Tulare Thunderbowl.
“TK” has claimed 14 wins out West in 2010 and this weekend will be looking to join father Brent Kaeding as the winningest driver in the history of the Trophy Cup. Last weekend T. Kaeding closed out the Ocean 360 Sprints year by racing to victory and is also coming off a two-night sweep of the Pacific Sprint Fall Nationals in Chico on October 1 and 2. In addition to those triumphs he also claimed the only other Winged 360 Sprint event held in Tulare on May 22 and also captured the $5000 Johnny Key Classic in August.
Bixby, Oklahoma’s Shane Stewart has been right in the thick of things at the Trophy Cup during the past few seasons and this week will look to breakthrough for his first win in the event aboard the always potent Paul Silva Motorsports, RockStar Energy Drink No. 57 mount. The 33-year-old veteran last year followed T. Kaeding through the field and garnered a finish of fourth in the feature after starting 23rd, which was good enough to give him a career best runner up result in the final Trophy Cup standings.
This weekend’s Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup will also mark the one-year anniversary since joining BK Motorsports for Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson, who goes into Friday and Saturday with momentum following his ninth victory of the year at last week’s Cotton Classic in Hanford. The 2010 King of California scored victory at the Tulare Thunderbowl in May at the helm of his Stadelhofer Construction, Peppermill Casino-Reno No. 99 machine and will look to improve upon a fifth place finish in the Trophy Cup standings from last season.
Recently crowned Ocean 360 Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo champion Tommy Tarlton of Easton will be one of the favorites at the Trophy Cup behind the wheel of his Corporate America Lending, Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino No. 21 mount. It marked the second year in a row that Tarlton has claimed the Ocean title and did it by tallying four wins overall with the series. The veteran competitor has consistently been at the front of the field each time he has competed in 2010 and will be in search of his second career Trophy Cup title this weekend.
Current Lucas Oil ASCS National point leader Jason Johnson of Eunice, Louisiana and second place in points Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma will also add to the national 360 spice at the Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup. Johnson currently has five wins on the Lucas Oil tour, including a victory and a runner up at last weekend’s annual Devils Bowl Winter Nationals. In 2008 the “Ragin’ Cajun” claimed the ASCS National title and has also been runner up in three of the last four years with the series.
Whereas Johnson will be in Tulare driving for Jason Finley in the No. 77 sprint car, Bacon will be at the helm of the Vertullo Racing No. 83v machine as he makes his Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway debut. One of the most versatile drivers in the country Bacon has had success running both with and without a wing and brought home finishes of third and fourth at last week’s Devils Bowl Winter Nationals in Texas.
Chico’s Jonathan Allard will be looking to bring home the big money at the Trophy Cup for the first time in his career this weekend, after picking up nine 410 Sprint Car victories this season in the Williams Motorsports, Sharp Insurance No. 0 sprinter. The two-time King of California recently tallied a pair of close second place finishes to Tim Kaeding at the Pacific Sprint Fall Nationals in Chico.
As previously noted the winningest driver in Trophy Cup history is Campbell’s Brent Kaeding, who recently picked up his first win of 2010 aboard the famed Al’s Roofing Supply, High Five Pizza No. 69. The four-time Trophy Cup champion finished sixth in the overall event standings last season and in May charged to a runner up effort during the only other Winged 360 Sprint Car event held at the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl this year.
Other top contenders at the 17th annual Trophy Cup will include Owasso, Oklahoma’s Daryn Pittman, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania’s Lucas Wolf, Oroville’s Sean Becker, San Jose’s Randy Hannagan, Campbell’s Bud Kaeding, Loomis’ Kyle Hirst, Salinas’ Ronnie Day, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg, Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Johnny Herrera, Grand Forks, North Dakota’s Mark Dobmeier, Medford, Oregon’s Roger Crockett, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Chico’s Stephen Allard, Clovis’ Peter Murphy, Vancouver, Washington’s Zach Zimmerly, Sacramento’s Mike Henry, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs, Stockton’s Brad Furr, Visalia’s Steven Tiner, Princeton’s Mason Moore, Placerville’s Andy Gregg and many more.
The front gate on Friday night will open at 4pm with qualifying around 5 and racing scheduled to start around 6. On Saturday night the front gate will open at 4pm with hot laps at 5 and racing at 6. Tickets will be $25 for general admission bleachers and $30 for reserved grandstands on Friday with Saturday $30 for general admission bleachers and $35 for reserved grandstands.
To order tickets contact 559-688-0909 and for more information on the 17th annual Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup log onto http://www.thunderbowlraceway.com and http://www.trophycup.org/
The Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds on the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California.
Former Trophy Cup winners-
2009- Tim Kaeding
2008- Brad Sweet
2007- Jason Meyers
2006- Tim Kaeding
2005- Brent Kaeding
2004- Jac Haudenschild
2003- Steve Kent
2002- Tim Kaeding
2001- Craig Stidham
2000- Tommy Tarlton
1999- Brent Kaeding
1998- Brent Kaeding
1997- Mark Kinser
1996- Brent Kaeding
1995- Kevin Pylant
1994- Ronnie Day