From Gary Thomas
Tulare, CA — (May 13, 2015) — An extremely close point battle has developed after the first three King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series races of the season, with a trio of drivers separated by just one-marker at the top of the standings. Lemoore, CA’s Carson Macedo heads into the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway atop the points, in what is his first full season with the series.
The 18-year-old has finished on the podium in all three events so far this year, including runner up efforts the last two weeks aboard his WFO Apparel/ Tarlton & Son Inc/ Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino No. 21x machine. Macedo will be in search of his first KWS win on Saturday to help maintain the point lead.
“We’ve had a great start to the season and I can’t thank Tom Tarlton, my crew chief Paul Baines and my whole team enough,” said the youngster, who came within two-laps of winning the Chris & Brian Faria Memorial last year. “There will be a tough field of cars like there always is with the King of the West Series, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. Thunderbowl Raceway is my favorite track and I have a lot of confidence going right now.”
Fellow Central Valley youngster Dominic Scelzi of Fresno ranks second in the standings, tied with veteran Bud Kaeding of Campbell. Scelzi just recently turned 18-years-old and has put together podium finishes the last two weeks while driving his Scelzi Enterprise/ Red Line Oil No. 41 mount. In his career he has one King of the West victory, which came at the Stockton Dirt Track in 2013.
Kaeding has a won a number of races in his career at the Thunderbowl, most notably without the wing, and has scooped up the last two main events with the King of the West 410 Series. The three-time USAC National Silver Crown champ drives the famed Morrie & Katie Williams owned ZERO Sprint Car with the KWS tour. Kaeding is gunning for his first series title in 2015, after finishing runner up last year.
Chico’s Kyle Hirst claimed the Chris & Brian Faria Memorial last season with the King of the West 410’s and returns this Saturday aboard the locally based, Dennis & Teresa Roth owned No. 83jr Sprinter. The 27-year-old captured the last two series championships while driving the Roth Motorsports machine. Hirst was victorious in the KWS opener at Placerville Speedway in April.
Competing alongside KWS for the first time this year will be the always exciting USAC West Coast Wingless 360 Sprints. It will be the first of three combo events in Tulare featuring the two series’ on one night, with the others occurring on July 25 in the Peter Murphy Classic and the October 10 KRC Safety Fall Shootout. Also on hand this Saturday will be the Western RaceSaver Sprint Cars.
Bud Kaeding & Hollister’s Ryan Bernal captured the two USAC West Coast features held during the World of Outlaws/ King of the West weekend in March. Both are also anticipated to pull double duty this Saturday, competing with KWS & USAC. Bernal in fact, leads in all-time West Coast wins at the Thunderbowl, with nine to his credit. Kaeding’s five victories rank second.
Bernal last year performed a clean sweep at the Chris & Brian Faria Memorial, setting a new track record in qualifying, winning his heat race and then the 30-lap main event.
Chris Faria was an up and coming driver who was the youngest of five children to Danny Sr. & Arlet Faria. He grew up on their farm in Tipton and was known as the prankster of the family. Chris unfortunately lost his life at the age of 21 during a farming accident and his memory has been kept alive with a memorial race at the Thunderbowl Raceway ever since.
Brian was the oldest of the five Faria children and was taken from us in January of 2006 during an accident while driving on a highway. Brian enjoyed helping out with the track preparation at the Thunderbowl, as he drove the water truck and the grader among other things. The Chris & Brian Faria Memorial has become a cornerstone of the track schedule and is always a special night for everyone with the Thunderbowl Raceway.
Reserved grandstand seats for the Chris & Brian Faria Memorial on Saturday cost $20 with general admission bleacher tickets $18. To reserve your seat contact (559) 688-0909. The front gate will open at 4pm with racing expected to get underway around 7pm.
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. More info can be found at http://www.thunderbowlraceway.com