20-grand awaits Trophy Cup winner this weekend

By Gary Thomas Tulare, CA – October 18, 2011…For many fans in California the one race they look forward to more than any other each season is the annual Trophy Cup and this weekend the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway will play host to the 18th edition of the famed Winged Sprint Car event. A talented 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. The high-point driver for the event will 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. Fresh off his big victory last Saturday at the Cotton Classic, defending Trophy Cup champion Jonathan Allard will come into the Tulare Thunderbowl with momentum on his side. In June the Chico veteran captured $40,000 at the Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup and also claimed four King of the West wins this season, en route to fourth in the series standings. “I had tried to win the Trophy Cup for a lot of years and to finally get it last season was pretty special,” said Allard. “Dave Pusateri and his staff do an amazing job with the Trophy Cup, so I have to give them a huge thanks and also everyone that supports it because this is a race we look forward to every year.” A number of hungry drivers will be looking to dethrone Allard from his Trophy Cup crown this Friday and Saturday, including the two-car effort of locally based Roth Motorsports, who will have three-time event champion Tim Kaeding and ’04 Trophy Cup titlist Jac Haudenschild at the helm of their always potent machines. Kaeding last Saturday locked up the King of the West 410 championship and this weekend will be gunning to join father Brent Kaeding as the only other four-time winner of the Trophy Cup. Last year “TK” charged from 19th to win the Saturday finale, but missed out on the overall title by 14-points to Allard, who carved his way from 24th to fourth in the 50-lapper. “The Trophy Cup is always one of our favorite races we run each season and I’m really looking forward to this weekend,” said Kaeding, who made Trophy Cup history in 2009 by winning the Saturday A-main from dead last. “Dennis and Teresa Roth always give me a great shot to win and it should be a fun show as always in Tulare. We’ve had a strong season and it would be great if we could bring home another Trophy Cup.” Always a tough contender at the Trophy Cup Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson goes into this weekend looking to win the event for the first time in his career, having already claimed a number of major victories this season throughout the country. The 19-year-old has been in position before at the Trophy Cup, but various things have seemed to keep him from the overall title. “I’ve been really fast at the Trophy Cup the last few years, but it seems like there’s always some bad luck that finds me at various points of the weekend,” commented Larson, who had a torrid battle with T. Kaeding during last year’s 50-lapper on Saturday, before coming home in second. “The Tulare Thunderbowl is my favorite track without a doubt though so I can’t wait to get there for the Trophy Cup.” After spending time on the World of Outlaw tour this year 2008 Trophy Cup champion Brad Sweet will be a driver to beat this weekend, as he gets back behind the wheel of the Rod Tiner Racing No. 83 mount. The Grass Valley native maneuvered his way through the field from 24th to third at the Saturday finale in ’08, which gave him the title by just a handful of points over Sammy Swindell. Other former Trophy Cup victors expected in the field this weekend will include four-time event winner Brent Kaeding of Campbell, 2011 Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo champion Ronnie Day of Salinas, ASCS So Cal titlist Tommy Tarlton of Easton and former Rebel Cup Series champ Craig Stidham of Fresno. The stout field will also include top drivers such as New Oxford, PA’s Stevie Smith, San Jose’s Randy Hannagan, Fremont’s Shane Golobic, Auburn’s Andy Forsberg, Medford, Oregon’s Roger Crockett, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs, Grass Valley’s Jason Statler, Sacramento’s Willie Croft, Loomis’ Kyle Hirst, Everett, Washington’s Jayme Barnes, Placerville’s Andy Gregg, St. Helena’s Rico Abreu, Campbell’s Bud Kaeding, Chico’s Stephen Allard, Prunedale’s Justin Sanders, Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan and many more. Tickets will be $30 for general admission bleachers and $35 for reserved grandstands both nights, with qualifying scheduled to get underway around 5pm on Friday night. Don’t forget about the Taco Bravo Feed that will follow Friday’s action at the track and the Spaghetti Feed, which will be held Saturday afternoon in the same building on the fairgrounds. To order tickets contact 559-688-0909 and for more information on the 18th annual Southwest Contractors Trophy Cup log onto The Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds on the corner of Bardsley and K Streets in Tulare, California.
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