by Ron Rodda
(TULARE, California) — The second preliminary night of the Abreu Vineyards 28th annual Trophy Cup presented by Rudeen Racing had 84 winged 360s in action at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway Friday night with Tyler Courtney standing in victory lane.
Thursday’s format was repeated and drivers raced hard to win a heat or be the highest point car following eight intense laps.
The A main inverted 12 by points putting 21-year-old Kalib Henry and 16-year-old Chase Randall in row six for the 30-lap, $4,000-to-win race, adding 100 points to the night’s total for the win with a two point drop per position.
Justin Sanders wasted no time, blasting out of turn two to lead initially from fourth starting. Colton Hardy was second for a lap before Tanner Holmes took the spot to chase Sanders.
Courtney used the bottom of turn two to take third on lap 10 and by mid-race the fast lane moved up to the wall, a Tulare tradition that leaves no room for error. Kyle Hirst, Thursday’s point leader, dropped out with engine issues.
Tanner Holmes dove low into turn three and got under Sanders to take the lead on lap 16, Courtney grabbed second two laps later, and Sanders found the turn-two wall and was able to continue.
Tim Kaeding moved up to third on the restart and immediately pressured Courtney for second. Corey Day used a low turn two pass to run third on lap 29 before Kalib Henry brought out a red.
It was now a 31-lap main and Holmes, a 19-year old from Jacksonville, Ore., had to keep Courtney behind him for a pair of laps.
Courtney used a turn-one slider to take the lead on the restart, lost the spot a lap later in turn two, but raced out of turn two to gain the win over Holmes. Corey Day, Tim Kaeding, Shane Golobic finished the top five.
Drivers will use the better point total from each preliminary night to determine the heat race lineups on Saturday.
The top 48 in points will race six heats, fully inverted, for points and the top 20 in points after the heats go to the A main. Preliminary mains will follow, leading to the 50-lap championship main which inverts 20 by points.
Hirst and Courtney are tied with 278 points after two nights of racing.
Feature (30 laps): 1. 57W-Tyler Courtney; 2. 18T-Tanner Holmes; 3. 14-Corey Day; 4. 83-Tim Kaeding; 5. 17W-Shane Golobic; 6. 69-Bud Kaeding; 7. 7P-Jake Andreotti; 8. 41X-Colton Hardy; 9. 9R-Chase Randall; 10. 18-Cole Macedo; 11. 46JR-Joel Myers; 12. 94TH-Landon Brooks; 13. 5V-Colby Copeland; 14. 88-Austin McCarl; 15. 98H-Tyler Thompson; 16. 2X-Justin Sanders; 17. 2K-Kaleb Montgomery; 18. 5T-Ryan Timms; 19. 5J-Kalib Henry; 20. 7C-Tony Gomes; 21. 24-Rico Abreu; 22. 94-Kyle Hirst; 23. 52-Blake Hahn; 24. (DNS) 88N-DJ Netto