From Gary Thomas, Paul Trevino Photo
Tulare, CA – October 26, 2010…Putting a wrap on his second consecutive Ocean Sprints title the week before, Easton’s Tommy Tarlton went into the annual Trophy Cup hoping to win the event for the second time in his career and in the end came up just shy, tying for fifth place in the final event standings.
Tarlton captured the Trophy Cup in the year 2000 and despite having various issues during the main event on both nights this past weekend, he was able to battle back and record a top-five effort in a stout field of 75-cars.
The 17th annual Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup presented by Kaeding Performance began Friday night at the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway and Tarlton kicked off the event on a good note, timing in third fastest overall behind the wheel of the Corporate America Lending, Sharp Insurance No. 21 sprinter.
Drivers were then broken up into six individual heat races and the two-time Ocean Sprint Car Series champion was able to move from sixth to third in his 10-lapper to earn a direct transfer into the main event. Going from 10th on the grid in the feature Tarlton fought it out among the top-10, until getting into a flip with 14-laps complete.
He was able to go to the pits and get repairs made to tag the rear of the field, before coming home 11th at the finish. Following the first night of racing Tarlton found himself sitting fifth in the overall Trophy Cup standings behind only Jonathan Allard, Jayme Barnes, ASCS National point leader Jason Johnson and Roger Crockett.
Coming back on Saturday saw 68-competitors return to finish off the Trophy Cup and with no qualifying being held drivers and teams focused their attention to heat race action, which saw the highest point drivers starting from the fourth row. With Tarlton being fifth in points it put him in the fifth heat and he would get the “elbows up” charging to second by the time the checkered flag waved.
After the strong run in the heat race it allowed Tarlton to move up to third in the overall event standings and with the totally inverted A-main it put the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Tarlton & Son Inc., BG Lubricants No. 21 Maxim in the 11th row.
With a five-point drop between positions in the 50-lap main event it forces drivers to be on their toes lap after lap, while racing in heavy traffic during much of the contest. Trying to make his way forward after the drop of the green flag Tarlton caught the wall in turn four on lap 16 and came to a stop in the first corner. Restarting at the tail of the field he would ultimately go a lap down as the race went on and at the conclusion tallied an 11th place finish for the second night in a row.
When the points were tallied Tarlton finished in a tie for fifth in the standings with Kyle Larson, but with the higher qualified driver from Friday winning the tie breaker, the Easton wheel-man was officially awarded the fifth spot in the final outcome. Finishing first through fourth in the Trophy Cup points were winner Jonathan Allard, Tim Kaeding, Roger Crockett and Jason Johnson.
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 Trophy Cup puts a wrap on what was a great 2010 season for Tarlton that saw him claim four main event wins with the Ocean Sprint Cars presented by Taco Bravo, en route to the title by 44-digits over Kyle Larson. Tarlton also made 10-starts with the Golden State Challenge Series and tallied top-five finishes in each outing, including victories at the Ocean Speedway and Santa Maria Speedway respectively.
“We had a great season and I really want to thank all our sponsors for their support this year, because they definitely mean a lot to our program,” commented Tarlton. “I also have to give a lot of appreciation to my family, my whole team and everyone that helps us out. It was a lot of fun this year and hopefully we can have an even better season in 2011.”
For more on Tommy Tarlton and Tarlton & Son Inc. log onto http://www.tarltonandson.com/