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by Ron Rodda

(Tulare, CA – March 29, 2022) In October the Abreu Vineyards 28th Annual Trophy Cup Presented by Rudeen Racing will be held at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway and this year offers an opportunity for a quartet of drivers to receive a record check by claiming the Cup championship, the result of earning the most points over the three nights of racing. Since this is the 28th year of the event, the champion receives $28.000 total for the three days. All drivers in the 24-car Saturday finale are guaranteed $5000 for their three day total.

But this year it could be a substantially increased payout for the champion.

A sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous is making the bonus possible and the four drivers who start the 50-lap Saturday night finale in rows nine and ten will be eligible to collect the bonus if they win both the main event and the Trophy Cup title.

With 20 cars inverted by points, the two rows eligible means they are the top four in points entering the extra length main. If the high point car entering the main wins the race and championship, the total winnings for the three days will be a guaranteed $50,000. Second in points wins the main and title and the check will be for $40,000. If third in points is both the main event winner and high point car the reward will be $35,000 and if it is fourth in points able to win both race and points the total will be $30,000. All others in the 24-car field will receive the regular $28,000 to win the title.

In the 27 years the Trophy Cup has been held, only once did the high point car entering the Saturday main win both the race and the title. Tim Kaeding won the title and came from 24th starting to claim the Saturday main event also. The 2009 accomplishment at Tulare featured TK bouncing off the cushion and sometimes the wall in his sterling drive to the front to be the only driver to win the Saturday main from last starting.

A couple years ago the format was adjusted to the high point car now starts 20th, so Kaeding’s feat will never be matched. A change for this year is no limit on the number of entries. Those who raced last year will have their entry forms mailed on May 1 and the only restriction is entries must be received by September 15.

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Ron Rodda
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Joseph Terrell
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Short Track Racing Junkie (Sprints or Stock Car, Dirt or Pavement - I enjoy it all). Went to the first Trophy Cup at San Jose Speedway. Check out Joseph's website: www.wcsprintscene.com Currently lives in Olympia, Washington -- Home Track: Skagit/Grays Harbor; make at least two trips to California each year including Trophy Cup - A weekly contributor to hoseheads.com (West Coast Sprint Car Scene).
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By Joseph Terrell

(Tulare, Calif/Olympia, Wash ‐ 10/25/2021) — The Trophy Cup is just one of those must see events. I mentioned that in my previous column and the 2021 version only reiterated this idea. It is a destination for so many race teams and drivers – an event they look to all year because of its unique format, the legendary Thunderbowl Raceway, the parties, the money raised and friends. It is all the above but Thursday, Friday and Saturday from about 5pm to 11pm it is all about the drivers and their attempt to tame the Tulare Thunderbowl and take home the $27000 top prize for the Trophy Cup champion.
 
The long straights, high banks and always a nice a hole a two mixed in the Thunderbowl is tough to conquer. It eats cars like a horse eating grass – often with ease and no discretion. A driver can go zero to hero in a moment and sometimes the demanding conditions and inevitable contact that occurs causes tempers to rise above a manner deemed appropriate socially. So here is a look at what caught my attention during the three night of Trophy Cup 27:

  • Buddy Koifoid won Thursday’s main event and set the tone for the weekend as he simply dominated. Even before Saturday’s main event it seemed he was in a great position to win as he was nine points ahead of Friday night winner Rico Abreu and 16 points ahead of third running Kyle Hirst. The championship was sealed barring disaster when Abreu and HIrst got together early and were eliminated. After that Koifoid avoided trouble and mounted a late race charge to finish fourth to go along with a first and second the first two nights. Only other drivers to score top 10 finishes all three nights were second and third in points – Colby Copeland and DJ Netto.
  • As Koifoid was cruising to an easy overall championship 15 year old Ryan Timms was again reminding everybody just how special he is. Whether it was his domination of ASCS National Speedweek to his many POWRI midget wins, Timms just wins. Saturday night of the Trophy Cup was no different. Yes the field was inverted but make no mistake in one of the most talented features of the season anywhere Timms simply laid a whooping. Minus a gaffe on lap 40 that allowed Tanner Carrick to take the lead, Timms set a pace on Saturday night nobody could match.
  • Fellow 15 year old Corey Day never won a main during the weekend but he did finish fourth in overall points, two spots ahead of Timms. Day seemed to be a different driver than the one I saw in August and was much more patient which is only bad news for the competition.
  • As someone who has been around sprint car racing my whole life I understand just how expensive these cars are and the Thunderbowl will always be tough on cars and this year was no different. At least five teams brought down a second car and many others did extensive re-bullds. The Country Builders team went back to Tracy after Thursday to retrieve a new car only to see one car catch on fire and the other flip on Friday before calling it quits after Friday night qualifying. The fact there is a flip count at this race doesn’t sit right nor does the fact that some seem to celebrate the carnage. I know a few drivers who I talked to during the weeknd who weren’t racing and when I asked why they said “Look around.” Flipping is not cool.
  • No driver wrecked harder than JJ Ringo Friday night. He hit the turn three wall full throttle and rode the wall for a second before flipping violently, landing in turn four. Later that evening I walked by the pits and saw something that barely resembled a sprint car and Ringo visibly shaken in the back of his trailer. Fast forward 10 hours and as I walk the pits Saturday morning I see the Keller Motorsports team pulling down a second car and getting to work. I was shocked. JJ Ringo and the whole team would have been justified in saying they had seen enough for the weekend but no…Ringo showed why sprint car drivers are some of the most courageous athletes in the world as he hopped back in the rocket ship for some more Saturday night.
  • As ugly as some of the wrecks were, nothing matched the ugliness of what happened between Dominic Scelzi and Devon Borden during the first heat race of Saturday night. Scelzi entered Saturday seventh in points and Borden was 19th. Each driver is big time, expects to win every time they are on the track and don’t lift for anybody. That all came together on the second lap of heat one Saturday night and ultimately resulted in both drivers on the hook. Scelzi confronted on the track and then again in the pits leading to his disqualification. Borden parked his ride for the night. I am not going to go into details because I don’t know exactly what happened but you could see the pressure mounting on Scelzi as the weekend seemed to slip away. WIth undefeated season at Tulare coming into Trophy Cup, Scelzi was almost deemed Trophy Cup champion before the race.
  • Scelzi’s disqualification created the biggest controversy of the weekend as officials elected only to start 23 cars instead of 24 – not replacing Scelzi who had enough points to be in the A. Two of the most upset were Justyn Cox and Willie Croft. Cox was 21st in points so would have started on the pole of the invert 20 main instead of the 21st position he started after transferring through the B. Croft started seventh in the B and missed the main – if Cox would have been moved up he would have started on the pole of B since they inverted six. Why they didn’t start 24 and bump up everybody one position is beyond me. My belief is they paid Scelzi the $5000 for qualifying for Saturday’s main and didn’t want to pay an extra driver the guaranteed $5000.
  • Anthony Macri left an impression right away. His thrilling second place finish Thursday night had the California faithful fired up and smashing beers. Post race he was interrupted multiple times by fans as he tried to drink a beer on his way to a post race party. West coast fans love drivers who get up on the gas…Macri gets up on the gas and has a new fan base for years to come.
  • The two most important events of Trophy Cup continue to be Thursday qualifying and the Saturday main event. Even though you get to choose your best point night, a good Thursday qualifying effort will ease your mind as you start the weekend ahead of the game. Saturday night’s main event is an opportunity to make amends for your weekend. Timms and Tanner Carrick showed that a good finish Saturday can help salvage a weekend as they entered the main 19th and 17th in points but used podium finishes to wind up sixth and fifth in points. Only qualifying and Saturday’s main offer 150 points and work down.
  • Steve Kent is one of the best to ever strap into a sprint car from the west coast. One thing that made him legendary was his drive and determination which was on display again this weekend as he wrenched on his son’s (Steven Kent) sprinter. After Steven Kent found the wall and damaged his front end in his Saturday night heat race, his dad went to work in ferocious style. Banging, yelling, demanding and not giving up Steve and his band of Grandpas got Steven out for the B. Friday I had asked Steve if ever wanted to strap back in and he said “No” but you can tell the fire still burns.

The 2021 season has finished for me. Ten tracks and 35 races stretching from Tulare to Skagit the season was a blast as I was able to catch many of the major events on the west coast and even get shoutout from the legendary Bobby Gerould on my journeys. While I am now grounded until spring of 2022 look for this column to continue to churn as the world of sprint car racing never slows.

Email me at [email protected]. Follow me on twitter @wcsprintcarscene where I tweet about west coast and national sprint car racing and occasionally go to the darkside of dirt super late model racing and pavement super late model racing.

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Joseph Terrell
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Short Track Racing Junkie (Sprints or Stock Car, Dirt or Pavement - I enjoy it all). Went to the first Trophy Cup at San Jose Speedway. Check out Joseph's website: www.wcsprintscene.com Currently lives in Olympia, Washington -- Home Track: Skagit/Grays Harbor; make at least two trips to California each year including Trophy Cup - A weekly contributor to hoseheads.com (West Coast Sprint Car Scene).
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by Ron Rodda

(Tulare CA – 23-Oct) Buddy Kofoid raced from 19th starting to finishing 4th, earning the necessary points to become the champion of the Abreu Vineyards 27th Trophy Cup Presented By Rudeen Racing. Kofoid’s success paid $27,000 in total earnings for the event.

Six heats for the top 48, fully inverted by points, earned 36 points for a win with a three point drop. These heats give drivers an opportunity to close the point gap and the top 20 in points after the heats move directly to the A main. Those 20 are fully inverted and four B main transfers tag the field.

Buddy Kofoid added three points to his lead over Rico Abreu making it nine going to the A main. Kyle Hurst moved up to 3rd and Anthony Macri dropped to fourth. Colby Copeland made progress to move from 9th to a tie for 5th with Cory Eliason.

Following the heat races Dominic Scelzi was disqualified for the remainder of the evening for an altercation in the pit area.

The C main moved Colton Hardy, Joey Ancona, Mitchel Moles, and Colton Heath earned transfers to tag the back of a talent-filled B main.

Transfers to the finale were Ryan Bernal, Justyn Cox, Chase Randall, and Jake Andreotti with 16th starting Justin Peck about five feet short of a transfer.

Kalib Montgomery led 7 laps before colliding with 2nd place Robbie Price, elevating Ryan Timms to the lead.

The last 42 laps featured excellent action among the top three with sliders and crossovers creating many passes.

Timms lost the lead to Tanner Carrick on lap 41 after a turn four slider, but regained the lead two laps later with a similar move in turn two.

Colby Copeland took 2nd on lap 46 and raced with Carrick the last four laps to claim 2nd. Kofoid was 4th and DJ Netto filled the top five.

The chase for the Cup title essentially ended early when contenders fell by the wayside.

Second and third in points, Rico Abreu and Kyle Hurst, were both out after 7 laps when they collided. Anthony Macri started 4th in points and pitted twice for flats and Cory Eliason went off on the hook.

All Kofoid had to do was safely make laps to finish and he went from 19th to 4th to win the title by 16 points.

The Trophy Cup raised a record $250,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation to make the total donated now $2,250,000

The 28th Cup will be October 20-22, 2022 at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway.

Top ten in points:

Buddy Kofoid: 455
Colby Copeland: 439
DJ Netto: 432
Corey Day: 426
Tanner Carrick: 422
Ryan Timms: 419
Anthony Macri: 417
Justin Sanders: 417
Shane Golobic: 415
Mitchell Faccinto: 414

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Trophy Cup 27 – Final

Event: 27th Annual Trophy Cup October 21-23, 2021
Guaranteed payout for A-Main cars and Champion $27,000
Total money earned, ($5,000 to all A-Main cars)
Rank Car # Driver Name Car Owner
1 57 Buddy Kofoid Paul Silva
2 5V Colby Copeland Annette Van Lare
3 88N DJ Netto DJ Netto Racing
4 14 Corey Day Myers Constructors
5 83T Tanner Carrick Carrick Motorsports
6 5T Ryan Timms Randy Timms
7 94 Anthony Macri Tiner Hirst Enterprises
8 4SA Justin Sanders Dale Miller
9 17W Shane Golobic Matt Wood Racing
10 88F Mitchell Faccinto DJ Netto Racing
11 20 Cole Macedo C. Crouse
12 83V Sean Becker Dave Vertullo
13 26 Cory Eliason Rudeen Racing
14 24 Rico Abreu Rico Abreu Racing
15 83 Tyler Courtney Roth Motorsports
16 0 Kyle Hirst Katie Williams
17 42X Tim Kaeding Bates-Hamilton Racing
18 7C Justyn Cox C&M Motorsports
19 9R Chase Randall John Randall
20 21P Robbie Price Randy Price
21 7P Jake Andreotti Jared Andreotti
22 21 Ryan Bernal Tarlton Motorsports
23 3 Kaleb Montgomery Jason Montgomery
24 41 Dominic Scelzi Gary Scelzi
25 7Z Zane Blanchard Zane Blanchard
26 8 Devon Borden Devon Bordon
27 43 Bradley Terrell Bradley Terrell
28 5H Michael Faccinto Harley Van Dyke
29 2X Chase Majdic Demo Mittry
30 2K JJ Ringo Keller Motorsports
31 29 Willie Croft Willie Croft
32 73 Tony Gomes Josh Ford Motorsports
33 69 Bud Kaeding BK Racing
34 5J Kalib Henry Jim Jensen
35 38B Blake Carrick Carrick Motorsports
36 X1 Justin Peck F&F Racing
37 21S Shane Hopkins Meyer Family Motorsports
38 10L Brock Lemley Brock & Kimberly Lemely
39 36 Craig Stidham Craig Stidham
40 46JR Joel Myers Jr. Joel Myers
41 88A Joey Ancona Joe Ancona
42 41C Colton Hardy Hardy Motorsports
43 83JR Mitchel Moles Roth Motorsports
44 98H Tyler Thompson Brett Smith
45 115 Nick Parker Mike Parker
46 28 Chase Johnson Quinn Development
47 67G Grant Duinkerken Roger Duinkerken
48 19 Colby Thornhill Chris Thornhill
49 7 Steven Kent Kent Performance Center
50 88 Austin McCarl Country Builders
51 33C Colton Heath Law Motorsports
52 22 Keith Day Jr. Keith Day Sr.
53 56 Ryan Robinson Michael Phulps
54 7Y Carson Short Clayton Snow
55 33 Tucker Worth Tim Worth
56 72W Kurt Nelson Kurt Nelson
57 91 Chase Goetz Reece Goetz
58 9 Dustin Freitas Dean Freitas
59 2XM Max Mittry Demo Mittry
60 38 Colby Johnson Don & Deanna Johnson
61 5R Ryan Rocha Robert Rocha
62 88W Carson McCarl Country Builders
63 10F Jared Faria Faria Racing
64 18T Tanner Holmes Tanner Holmes Racing
65 21M Michael Ing Dave Ing
66 17V Danny Faria Jr. Kortnee Faria
67 33T Tyler Driever Driever Racing Inc.
68 14T Tim Estenson Tim Estenson
69 8X Jeremy Chisum Jeremy Chisum
70 5D Connor Danell Justin Danell
71 18 Grant Champlin Shawn Champlin
72 71L Korey Lovell Korey Lovell Racing
73 4 Jodie Robinson Shop Jo & Co
74 17C Chris Bullock Chris Bullock
75 57B Bobby Butler Lewis Butler
76 98 Michael Pombo Porras Motorsports
77 14B Bailey Sucich Bailey Jean Sucich
78 6C Travis Coelho Steve Coelho
79 01 Nick Larson Cregg Larsen
80 2 Brooklyn Holland David Holland
81 15 Pat Harvey Jr. Pat Harvey Jr.
82 5 Cole Danell Justin Danell
83 78 Bret Barney Brent Barney
84 77 Ryan Lippincott Ryan Lippincott
85 33X Dylan Bloomfield Dustin Bloomfield

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Rico Wins Trophy Cup Friday Night
Rico Abreu and crew in victory lane. (Devin Mayo photo)

TULARE, Calif. — The second night of the Abreu Vineyards 27th Trophy Cup presented by Rudeen Racing produced an 84-car field.

Rico Abreu came back from a disappointing Thursday to take the $4,000 win and 100 points by leading the final six laps on the racy Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway.

Group B qualified first and Buddy Kofoid was the fastest at 14.090 seconds, followed by D.J. Netto, Rico Abreu, Mitchell Faccinto and Joel Myers.

Group A’s quickest driver was Cory Eliason at 14.382seconds. Tim Kaeding, Steven Kent, Bud Kaeding and Blake Carrick completed the top five.

Eight heats moved the winner and highest point car to the A main and the top 40 in points from the remaining cars raced in a B main. Each of those added four more to the A main with the top 12 in points inverted.

The 30-lap A main was led by Chase Johnson for four laps until Mitchell Faccinto raced through the top of turn four to lead by inches at the line. Colby Copeland was third due to a high line pass in turn four on Chase Randall.

Johnson flipped in turn four while second and Abreu passed Copeland out of turn four to run second after the restart.

A green-flag stretch saw the top three all running the top and spread out. Eventually Abreu closed on Faccinto and Buddy Kofoid drove low into turn three to take third with eight laps remaining.

Lap 25 ended after a huge turn four slider by Abreu to take the lead and Kofoid used the same move a lap later, dropping Faccinto to third.

Over the last five laps Abreu kept Kofoid far enough back to avoid any move and won his fourth of the last five Trophy Cup mains.

Kofoid finished second, ahead of Faccinto, Kyle Hirst and Copeland.

All three nights offer main events paying $4,000 to win and $500 to start. All preliminary mains pay every driver except the transfers.

After Saturday’s concluding 50-lap main, the point fund will go to the 24 cars that ran the finale. Each A main has a $21,450 payout and the point fund total pay is $81,500.

The finish:

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 24-Rico Abreu[6]; 2. 57-Buddy Kofoid[12]; 3. 88F-Mitchell Faccinto[3]; 4. 0-Kyle Hirst[7]; 5. 5V-Colby Copeland[4]; 6. 88N-DJ Netto[5]; 7. 26-Cory Eliason[11]; 8. 42X-Tim Kaeding[10]; 9. 83V-Sean Becker[14]; 10. 17W-Shane Golobic[15]; 11. 21-Ryan Bernal[24]; 12. 94-Anthony Macri[23]; 13. 83T-Tanner Carrick[9]; 14. 8-Devon Borden[19]; 15. 5H-Michael Faccinto[17]; 16. 14-Corey Day[22]; 17. 21P-Robbie Price[13]; 18. 7C-Justyn Cox[21]; 19. 83-Tyler Courtney[8]; 20. 7P-Jake Andreotti[18]; 21. 9R-Chase Randall[2]; 22. 3-Kaleb Montgomery[20]; 23. 41-Dominic Scelzi[16]; 24. 28-Chase Johnson[1] 10/23

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Buddy Kofoid at the Trophy Cup(Devin Mayo Photo)

By Ron Rodda
(Tulare, Calif.) – Buddy Kofoid is the youngest to win a Trophy Cup main and a few years later won again after a yellow filled 30 laps to open the 2021 version. Anthony Macri made his California debut with a second ahead of DJ Netto.
 
It took an extra year, but the Abreu Vineyards 27th Trophy Cup Presented by Rudeen Racing opened the three day event at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway on Thursday night. An 85-car field of winged 360 sprints packed the pit area for the first of two preliminary nights.
 
Cars were split into two groups with each having their own quick qualifier and four heats. Qualifying offered 150 points for the quickest lap with a one point drop while heats awarded 36 points to the winner with a three point drop per position.
 
Cory Eliason led group A in qualifying with 13.644 earning him 150 points. Following Eliason were Kyle Hirst, Kaleb Montgomery, Dominic Scelzi, and Tyler Courtney.
 
B group’s fastest was DJ Netto at 13.707 and he was followed by Cole Macedo, Anthony Macri, Colby Copeland, and Rico Abreu.
 
Eight heats total moved the winners plus the highest point car in each to the night’s A main. The top 40 in points not yet making the A main raced a pair of B mains with a six inversion by points, and C main transfers were added.
 
The top four from each B main were added to the 16 cars from heats and the 30-lap A main inverted 12 by points.
 
Defending champion, Rico Abreu was a DNF in his heat when contact at the start led to front end damage. That led to starting 15th in a B main.
 
The B main fields were stacked. To quote the great announcer Fred Rannard Jr., “This B main is an A main anywhere else!” The first B main inverted Buddy Kofoid, Tim Kaeding, Willie Croft, Jason Sanders. Tyler Courtney, and Carson Short and only four would make the A main.
 
Courtney spun on the opening lap to restart 22nd and Short flipped off of the turn four wall while leading with 7 of 20 laps complete. Courtney was 9th at the red.
 
A yellow with three laps remaining put Sanders and Courtney right behind Justyn Cox in the race for the final transfer spot. The exciting finish had Sanders use a low turn one move to finish third and Courtney edged TK for the final transfer with a low line drive out of turn four. Croft and Kofoid were the top two.
 
The second B main had a first lap mess with Abreu’s flat putting him 17th on the second try. After five laps Abreu pitted and again started at the rear. A 6th place finish meant missing the A main after winning all three mains in 2019.
 
Kaleb Montgomery led initially with Buddy Kofoid and Bud Kaeding following. Montgomery ran the bottom and Kofoid was up top for several laps and Kofoid was able to use the momentum off turn four on lap ten to lead.
 
Shane Golobic took 3rd and used the bottom of turn four to gain 2nd but spun later racing for the lead. Montgomery dropped out with mechanical problems moving DJ Netto and Anthony Macri up to podium finishes.
 
Macri closed on Netto and used the upper line in turn four to claim 2nd with two laps remaining. Macri closed on Kofoid but needed more laps to think about first.
 
Friday’s show will repeat Thursday’s format with group B qualifying first and the order within the group’s reversed.
 
Whichever point night is better from the two prelim nights will be used for Saturday’s lineups.
 
Finish: Kofoid, Macri, Netto, Day, Hirst, Scelzi, Courtney, Sanders, Eliason. Copeland, Blanchard, Terrell. Golobic, Macedo, Ringo, T. Carrick, Madjic, Gomes, B. Kaeding, Montgomery, Lemley, Price, Timms, Croft
 
 
 

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Gary Thomas
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Motorsports Public Relations Director/ Announcer from the Golden State of California. Business Manager of the The Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford & Abreu Vineyards competes in California. A premier Winged 360 Sprint Car series on the West Coast.
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Join the Fun!

Driver and fan Remote Control Car Races will occur during the post-race parties this Thursday and Friday at Trophy Cup 27 at Tulare Thunderbowl Raceway.

Trophy Cup QR Code Sprint Car

Sign-ups will be available at the T-shirt booth or pit gate sign-in booth, and as always will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Entries are $20 per person, per night and will be on a limited basis.

The cars used to race will be provided and are set to be wrapped with a livery of selected well known Sprint Car drivers.

A silent auction will also be held at the T-shirt booth for a chance to win the RC cars to take home after the final night. The winners of the particular cars will be announced during the Make-A-Wish Foundation presentation on Saturday.

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Gary Thomas
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Motorsports Public Relations Director/ Announcer from the Golden State of California. Business Manager of the The Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford & Abreu Vineyards competes in California. A premier Winged 360 Sprint Car series on the West Coast.
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Gary Thomas
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Motorsports Public Relations Director/ Announcer from the Golden State of California. Business Manager of the The Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford & Abreu Vineyards competes in California. A premier Winged 360 Sprint Car series on the West Coast.
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By Gary Thomas

(Tulare, CA – October 18, 2021) – Enthusiasm is floating through the air as one of the biggest weeks in California Sprint Car racing has arrived, which means only one thing, it’s time for Trophy Cup 27 at Stone Chevrolet Buick GMC Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.

The Abreu Vineyards Trophy Cup presented by Rudeen Racing is not only known for featuring some of the best racing seen all year long, but it’s also well regarded for being held to benefit one of the truly great organizations around, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. With the Trophy Cup donating money last year, even despite not having a race, it brought the total amount of donations to $2,100,000 since the event was created back in 1994.

This weekend marks the 16th occasion that the Trophy Cup will be held at Stone Chevrolet Buick GMC Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare. All cars that start the Saturday A-main are guaranteed at least $5,000 in weekend winnings and the overall champion is guaranteed a stout $27,000 in weekend winnings. The three-day extravaganza on October 21st, 22nd and 23rd features a $200,000 overall purse.

Past Trophy Cup champs entered for this weekend include reigning victor Rico Abreu of Rutherford; three-time winner Tim Kaeding of San Jose; two-time champion Shane Golobic of Fremont, along with single-time winners Bud Kaeding from Campbell, Willie Croft of Roseville and Fresno’s Craig Stidham.

Driver’s looking to take home the Abreu Vineyards Trophy Cup presented by Rudeen Racing for the first time will include Paradise, California’s Kyle Hirst; Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi; Visalia’s Cory Eliason; Indianapolis, Indiana’s Tyler Courtney; Aromas’ Justin Sanders; Hanford’s DJ Netto; Penngrove’s Buddy Kofoid; Roseville’s Colby Copeland; Foresthill’s Ryan Robinson, Hanford’s Mitchell and Michael Faccinto; Clovis’ Corey Day; Lincoln’s Tanner and Blake Carrick; Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox; Salinas’ Keith Day Jr.; Hollister’s Ryan Bernal; Monrovia, Indiana’s Justin Peck; Raisin City’s Mitchell Moles; Dillsburg, Pennsylvania’s Anthony Macri; Altoona, Iowa’s Austin and Carson McCarl; Roseville’s Sean Becker and many more.

“With not being able to hold the Trophy Cup last year we know everyone is eager to get here this weekend,” said Thunderbowl Raceway promoter Steve Faria. “The extra functions on the fairgrounds have definitely created a happening at the event and one that people mark down on their calendar every season. I know we are looking forward to it and hope everyone else is too. Dave Pusateri and his entire team do an outstanding job with everything, and I know we’re honored to host the Trophy Cup for the 16th straight time.”

Tickets continue to be available for the Abreu Vineyards Trophy Cup 27 presented by Rudeen Racing with all seating in the house reserved during the weekend. Adult grandstand tickets cost $50 on Thursday and Friday and $55 on Saturday. Bleacher tickets are $45 on Thursday and Friday and $50 on Saturday. Kids pricing and senior pricing is also available.

Tickets can be purchased starting at approximately 10am-10:30 each race day behind the stands at the box office. The pit gate opens at 10am on Thursday October 21, with the drivers meeting just after 3pm. Wheel packing, hot laps, qualifying and heat races will follow.

The special events that have become so popular are returning with a slight twist. Following the races on Thursday will be Hot Dog/ Chili Dog Night sponsored by KRC Safety, while Friday after the races will be Taco Bravo Fiesta Night featuring Tacos. On Saturday afternoon Steve Faria and Thunderbowl Raceway will present the Spaghetti Feed as well. Both Thursday and Friday nights will also showcase RC car racing, while Cow Pie Bingo returns as usual on Saturday.

The post-race parties start 20 minutes after the checkered flag with beer, water and soft drinks also available for purchase inside.

A donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation at the door during all these events is appreciated. Fans and teams are all encouraged to attend the special eating events. More info on the Trophy Cup, as well as an entry list can be found at www.trophycup.org

Special thanks to Steve Faria with System 1 Filters and all our partners for making things happen at Thunderbowl Raceway including Stone Chevrolet Buick GMC, Budweiser, Roth Motorsports, KRC Safety, Western Metal Company, Double “D” Towing and JD Heiskel & Company.

For more info on Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway visit www.thunderbowlraceway.com and like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com

The Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds on the corner of Bardsley and K Streets at 620 South K Street Tulare, California 93274. 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. Camping is available for fans off turns three and four.

Image courtesy of Chuck Fry

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Motorsports Public Relations Director/ Announcer from the Golden State of California. Business Manager of the The Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford & Abreu Vineyards competes in California. A premier Winged 360 Sprint Car series on the West Coast.
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By Ron Rodda

LINCOLN, Calif. – When the Abreu Vineyards 27th Trophy Cup Presented By Rudeen Racing takes place on Oct. 21-23 at Thunderbowl Raceway, there will be both snow and sunshine. 

That’s not a weather forecast, but an update to the entry list as two previously empty seats now have drivers.

The Clayton Snow winged 360 sprint car will have Carson Short behind the wheel to chase the $27,000 award going to this year’s Trophy Cup champion. Short drove for Snow at Silver Dollar Speedway the first weekend of September at the Louie Vermeil Classic and won the non-winged 410 sprint car race on opening night.

Roth Motorsports has filled a seat for the $200,000 Trophy Cup by bringing Tyler Courtney to California, offering an opportunity for the Indiana native to add to his long list of accomplishments. With two races left on the All Star Circuit of Champions schedule this weekend at Fremont (Ohio) Speedway, Courtney has all but wrapped up the series championship.

The Trophy Cup will continue to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation this year. To date the event has given $2,100,000 to the organization thanks to outstanding support from fans and racers.

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Ron Rodda
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Ron Rodda is a contributor to Hoseheads Sprint Car News and Speed Sport News.
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Ron Rodda
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Ron Rodda is a contributor to Hoseheads Sprint Car News and Speed Sport News.
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By Ron Rodda

LINCOLN, Calif. – Later this month Pennsylvania sprint car racer Anthony Macri will experience two things for his first time: coming to California and racing in the Abreu Vineyards 27th Trophy Cup Presented by Rudeen Racing at Thunderbowl Raceway on Oct. 21-23.

Macri has never visited the Golden State and will be able to combine racing in the Trophy Cup with some tourist time. It was the dominant driver in the last Trophy Cup who facilitated the opportunity.

When Rico Abreu was in Pennsylvania recently, Macri mentioned to him he had an interest in racing in the Trophy Cup. Abreu said that the Tiner Hirst entry needed a driver. Macri made a phone call and is now looking forward to racing in the the most unique and demanding event in sprint car racing.

Ten years ago when he was 12, Macri started his racing career in micro sprints, a division he spent four years racing in before making the big jump to 410 sprints. Acquiring a 410 engine in 2015, Macri basically spent that year practicing with it, racing twice at a local track. In 2016 he raced a full schedule in a 410, a move that was partially made because he was not old enough to race a 305 at local tracks due to sanctioning rules.

The last couple of years have brought success to Macri’s program with 11 wins so far this year, nine last year and around four in the years before. As to preparing for the trip west to a track he has never seen, Macri said he plans to watch some video and take notes. 

“I’ll watch some videos and when I get out there I’ll talk to the guys I’m running with and get as much in notes as possible and go at it Thursday,” said Macri.  “Obviously you can’t lie back and I think I will be able to go at it hard from the start  I’m excited to work with the guys and hopefully we can have a good showing. Obviously I want to do well and do well for the guys.”

Driving the Tiner Hirst Enterprise car is an excellent option for the Dillsburg, Pa., driver. A fourth-place finish in the National Open at Williams Grove shows that Macri is ready to experience the intensity of the Trophy Cup.

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Ron Rodda
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Ron Rodda is a contributor to Hoseheads Sprint Car News and Speed Sport News.
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