Chris & Brian Faria Memorial up next for the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series this Saturday at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway

By Gary Thomas

Tulare, CA – May 13, 2014…Fresh off an exciting main event this past weekend the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series will now venture south to the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare this Saturday May 17 for the annual “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial,” which also includes the always exciting USAC West Coast Wingless 360 Sprints.

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 Raceway, 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.

Defending King of the West champion Kyle Hirst goes into his team’s backyard maintaining a 27-point advantage in the series standings and will be shooting for his first win of the season on Saturday. The driver of the Roth Motorsports No. 83jr has finished among the top-five in all four events this season and earned a runner up effort at the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway in April with KWS. Hirst will also be pulling double duty on Saturday, competing with both KWS and the USAC 360’s.

Following a strong third place finish last week Campbell’s Bud Kaeding will be another driver gunning for his first King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series win of the season on Saturday. The three-time USAC Silver Crown champ also ran third at the season-opener in Tulare and goes into Saturday’s Faria Memorial ranking second in the KWS standings aboard the Williams Motorsports No. 0 machine. Like Hirst, Kaeding will also be pulling double duty on Saturday.

Campbell’s Brent Kaeding, a multi-time Faria Memorial winner, is fresh off a season-best King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series finish of second last weekend and on Saturday will be searching to move one spot higher in the rundown behind the wheel of the Al’s Roofing Supply No. 69. The National Sprint Car Hall of Famer comes into Tulare sitting third in the KWS standings, but is only four-markers back of his son Bud.

The driver going into Saturday with the most momentum would certainly have to be Sacramento’s Willie Croft, who picked up his sixth career King of the West main event win last week in Petaluma. Croft ranks fourth in the series standings and had a great run at the Thunderbowl in April, finishing fifth after also battling for the lead in the A-main. “Double Down” has been very strong in this early season aboard the Holey Smokes BBQ No. 29 mount.

Former King of the West champ Sean Becker of Roseville currently rounds out the top-five in points going into the Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway on Saturday. The “Shark” has returned full-time to the series this season and has been a welcomed addition in the Main Motorsports No. 35m Sprinter. Becker will be gunning for his first ever win in Tulare this weekend after finishing seventh at the opener in April.

Rounding out the top-10 in the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series standings going into the Thunderbowl on Saturday includes last week’s KSE hard charger award winner Dominic Scelzi of Fresno, 2005 Faria Memorial winner Jason Statler of Grass Valley, Fresno’s Craig Stidham, Elk Grove’s Bobby McMahan and Fremont’s Shane Golobic.

More possibilities for Saturday include 2003 Chris & Brian Faria Memorial winner Jonathan Allard of Chico, Elk Grove’s Sean McMahan, Roseville’s Colby Copeland, Hanford’s DJ Netto, Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs, Lemoore’s Carson Macedo, Auckland, NZ’s Michael Pickens, Auburn’s Richard Brace Jr., Tipton’s Mike Faria, Gilroy’s Jarrett Soares, Coarsegold’s Scott Parker, Grass Valley’s Pat Harvey, Laton’s Geoffrey Strole, Merced’s Mark Barroso and others.

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

Info on the King of the West 410 Sprint Car Series can be found at

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Upcoming events after Tulare May 17

Friday June 6: Silver Dollar Speedway (David Tarter Memorial)

Saturday June 7: Marysville Raceway Park

Saturday June 14: Kings Speedway (Pombo/Sargent Classic)

Friday June 20: Ocean Speedway Saturday June 21: Calistoga Speedway (Wine Country Classic)

(Bud Kaeding goes into Tulare ranking second in the King of the West standings during his first season driving the Williams Motorsports No. 0 Sprint Car. Photo by Chuck Fry)