From Gary Thomas
Tulare, CA – October 25, 2010… Chico’s Jonathan Allard and San Jose’s Tim Kaeding were the big winners on Saturday night during the 17th annual Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup at the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California.
Allard, a multiple-time King of California and two-time winner of the prestigious Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup captured the overall Trophy Cup title for the first time in his career and bagged $20,000 for his efforts aboard the Morrie & Katie Williams owned No. 0 sprinter.
Starting the feature in 24th “JA” powered through the field and charged up to fourth in the 50-lapper, after also carving his way from eighth to second in his heat race on Saturday night.
“This is an event I’ve wanted to win for a long time and it’s an awesome feeling to finally to do it,” commented Allard. “I’m really thankful to win the Trophy Cup for our sponsors and most importantly Morrie & Katie Williams, who have believed in me for a long time. I also want to thank Ashley Smith & my guys because they gave me a phenomenal car all weekend and this is a great way to end the year.”
For T. Kaeding it was the third time overall and the second year in a row that he has claimed the Saturday main event since the Trophy Cup moved to Thunderbowl Raceway in 2005.
The exhilarating win for “TK” came from the 19th starting spot in his Roth Motorsports No. 83 mount and featured a great battle for the lead over the final part of the race with Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson.
“I really have to give thanks to my car owners Dennis and Teresa Roth and my whole crew for giving me an awesome car tonight,” said Kaeding. “I want to congratulate Jonathan Allard for winning the Trophy Cup and it was also really fun racing with Kyle Larson for the win like that so hopefully the fans enjoyed it.”
The 17th annual Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup presented by Kaeding Performance kicked off on Friday night with Medford, Oregon’s Roger Crockett scoring the feature victory, after having an exciting late race duel with Jonathan Allard, who came home in second while starting from the sixth row.
Current Lucas Oil ASCS National point leader Jason Johnson from Eunice, Louisiana claimed third on Friday night with row 10 starter Tim Kaeding charging to fourth and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania’s Lucas Wolfe rounding out the top-five in the 30-lapper. Allard led the overall Trophy Cup standings following night one by 14-markers over the evening’s fast qualifier and new 360 track record holder Jayme Barnes of Everett, Washington.
After heat race competition on Saturday the gap remained the same with J. Allard still holding a 14-point edge over Barnes going into the 50-lap/ totally inverted A-main event. Lining up on the front row were Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Johnny Herrera and Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan and at the waving of the green flag it was Herrera jumping into the lead aboard the Main Motorsports No. 35a sprint car.
As everyone tried to shake things out around the racy 1/3 mile clay oval Visalia’s Steven Tiner was able to then slice to the outside in turn two and steal the lead away from Herrera after a handful of laps. Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson soon made his presence known and would take the lead on lap-nine when Tiner caught the wall off the second corner. Just after that T. Kaeding also continued his march forward and in no time at all found his way to second, as he looked to do something with the youngster up front.
Much like a number of times in Northern and Central California this year Larson and “TK” kept the fans on the edge of their seats, fighting it out for the lead of the race while navigating through lapped traffic. As the talented duo ran one-two Allard began to kick it up a notch coming from the rear of the field and when a mandatory fuel stoppage was seen on lap 34 he was already up to the top-five.
When things went back green Larson and Kaeding continued their battle and Allard moved up to fourth in the order to give him a comfortable lead in the Trophy Cup standings.
With Larson trying everything to maintain the lead through slower traffic Kaeding got the chance he needed on lap 43 and scooped up the lead down the back stretch. “TK” looked to pull away, but the 18-year-old King of California didn’t let that happen and remained close to the rear bumper of the No. 83 sprint car. When the white flag waved heavy duty lapped traffic appeared ahead of Kaeding and Larson looked to take advantage.
Entering turn three for the final time Larson gave it one last charge to the inside and executed a thrilling slide job, but Kaeding was able to cut back to the bottom and get to the line first for his 15th victory of the season on the West Coast. Larson’s bid at making it double digit wins on the year in California came up just shy as he crossed the stripe in second aboard the Stadelhofer Construction No. 99.
Completing the podium was Owasso, Oklahoma’s Daryn Pittman in the Rod Tiner Racing No. 83 machine. As previously noted Allard came home in fourth and rounding out the top-five in the main event was Loomis, CA’s Kyle Hirst at the helm of the GP Development No. 6 sprinter. The remainder of the top-10 in the 50-lap contest was made up of Johnny Herrera, Roger Crockett, Jason Johnson, Campbell’s Bud Kaeding and Sacramento’s Willie Croft.
Jonathan Allard’s fourth place finish officially gave him the Trophy Cup title by 14-points over Tim Kaeding. Finishing third through 10th in the final event standings were Roger Crockett, Jason Johnson, Tommy Tarlton, Kyle Larson, Kyle Hirst, Bud Kaeding, Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s Mark Dobmeier and Jayme Barnes.
The annual Trophy Cup also supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the 2010 check to the organization was for $50,000 to make the total for all Trophy Cup events now $590,000.
The Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway will now close the season with the upcoming Pacific Coast Nationals on Saturday November 13. The event will feature the USAC National Sprint Cars and Midgets taking to the 1/3 mile clay oval for what should be an action-packed can’t miss night of racing.
For information on the event log onto http://www.thunderbowlraceway.com