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– EASTON, Calif. (June 12) – It’s been circled and highlighted on the calendar all year.
Finally, it’s time for the prestigious 40th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup – held at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash., Thursday through Saturday. It’s a race that has evaded veteran Tommy Tarlton in approximately a half dozen attempts.
Oh, and this year’s event pays $40,000 to the winner.
“We’re ready,” the Easton, Calif., native said. “That’s why we’re dumping all that diesel in the rig to drive up there. I want to win. If I don’t come back with a win, I won’t be happy.”
Tarlton has a handful of top 10s and even started on the pole of the feature in 2004 only to be hindered by mechanical issues. Last year he finished eighth after his setup had a negative effect after a last-minute change to the track.
“We had a good car that could have won,” he said. “We were so tight. I was just along for the ride that night.”
Tarlton, who qualified the fastest on a preliminary night, won the Qualifying Challenge last year and he’s optimistic the team will find similar success this weekend; just hopefully a little closer to Victory Lane.
“It’s gonna be hard,” he said. “Those guys are good. That place is a little like Tulare, which I can run good at. But it also has a characteristic that I haven’t figured out.”
First, Tarlton and the King of the West Sprint Car Series will make a stop at the Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore., on Monday.
In his first – and only – race at the high-banked, 1/4th-mile, Tarlton finished second last year by less than one second to Tim Kaeding.
“I love that track,” Tarlton said. “I wish Dirt Cup was held there. That place is fun. It’s the size I like, the shape I like. It’s wide and develops a cushion. I just like a track you can pass at.”
Check out Tarlton’s website – www.tarltonandson.com/racing – for a nightly recap throughout Dirt Cup.
SEASON STATS –
14 races, 14 features, 3 wins, 11 top fives, 11 top 10s, 11 top 15s, 13 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Monday at the Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. and Thursday through Saturday at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash., for the 40th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup with the King of the West Sprint Car Series
FAVORITE NUMBER –
8: Finish last year at the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS –
Tarlton has black t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats, and white women’s shirts available for purchase at every race he attends. For information on where you can get them, visit http://www.tarltonandson.com/tarlton-racing-schedule.
ON THE AIR –
Tarlton was a guest on the Lucas Oil ASCS Show by Racinboys on May 3. Click on the link below to listen. Tarlton’s interview begins around the 32-minute mark.
Check out the link below to see highlights of Tarlton’s King of the West Sprint Car Series’ win at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., on May 14.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Tarlton and Son, Inc.
Established in 1977, Tarlton and Son, Inc., is a service labor company that specializes in lath, plaster, drywall, scaffold, metal studs and EIFS. Tarlton and Son, Inc., is headquartered in Fresno, Calif., with a second building in Arroyo Grande, Calif. For more information, visit www.tarltonandson.com.
“My dad, Tom, owns Tarlton and Son, Inc.,” Tommy said. “I drive for him and I work for him full time. It’s so fun being able to go race with my dad. It’s turning into a sport that the whole family can enjoy. It’s just a great sport that can involve lots of entities, including our family, friends and business partners.”
Tarlton would like to thank his sponsors, including Corporate America Lending, Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino, Bandy & Associates, Sharp Insurance & Bonding and BG Products for their continued support.